THE OUTLAWS FETCH THE HOLLY 195
whose front door fortunately opened on to the lane bordering the wood, and William tactfully ascertained from the keeper's youngest child (who was sitting at the door engaged in watching the effect of its saliva upon the newly whitened step) that the keeper had gone into Marleigh and would not be back till evening. The Outlaws danced another dance of exultation in the lane, then crawled once more through the barbed wire fence, after throwing the wheelbarrow over it. Then they proceeded into the heart of the woods.
" What'll we do this afternoon ? " said Henry. " Red Indians again ? "
But William felt that one morning's Red Indians was enough.
" Let's think of somethin' else," he said, " some-thin' more excitin'."
" Pirates," suggested Ginger.
" Robbers," suggested Douglas.
" Smugglers," suggested Henry.
William shook his head.
" We've played them so often," he said. " Let's think of somethin' quite diff'rent. I know ! " His freckled face lit up with inspiration. " I know . . . Arabs!"
" What ? " said the Outlaws.
" Arabs ! " said William excitedly. " Arab chiefs fightin' each other in the desert with camels an' things. Come on . . . Arabs ! "
At the mention of Red Indians the Outlaws had taken out their feathered head-dresses. Now they looked at them rather regretfully.
" I s'pose," said Henry, " Arabs don't wear anything like this."
" No," said William, " only Injuns."
He frowned thoughtfully. He saw the difficulty.
" What do they wear ? " said Ginger and added, with vague memories of the Tower of London, " Coat o' mails an' armour an' such like, I s'pose."