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THE OUTLAWS FETCH THE HOLLY 193
The idea appealed to the others.
" Yes," said William, " that's the best thing to do. We've got to try'n' do it prop'ly like what she said about it bein' a good work an' that sort of thing. Well, we won't be doin' that if we bring home a lot of dead droopin' holly at the end of the day, with gettin' it too soon. We shan't feel those feelin's she says we ought to feel when we see our holly all dead an' droopin' round the pillars an' things. No, I think we'd better have a few games first an' then get the holly. Well, that's how it seems to me," he ended with an uncon≠vincing air of modesty. That apparently was how it seemed to all of them. Even Douglas s conscience, that tender but easily appeased organ, was satisfied.
" Where'll we go ? " said Ginger who was lying full length in the wheelbarrow with William.
She said Mells' Wood," said Douglas tentatively
" Yes, but everyone goes there," objected Ginger. " No one minds you goin' there. It isn't even a trespass wood. I meanówell, there's nothin' about Mells' Wood."
" Crown Wood's better," suggested William.
Crown Wood had the allurement of (almost) impene≠trable barbed wire barriers, frequent notice boards that warned trespassers of prosecution, and a ferocious keeper armed with a gun and a dog that, the Outlaws firmly believed, would rend them limb from limb if ever he caught them. Moreover, Crown Wood belonged to an elderly professor of science who was reported to be eccentric and, according to the juvenile population of the village, used trespassers found on his land for " human experiments."
" Yes, that's more excitin'," agreed Ginger, his spirits rising.
So they marched along the road to Crown Wood, singing joyously and inharmoniously, and wheeling each other in turns in the wheelbarrow. Near one of their private entrances to it they met the keeper with his dog
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