WILLIAM - online children's book

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196                                WILLIAM
" No, they don't," said William. " I've seen pictures of them. They wear sort of dressing-gowns an' bath towels round their heads."
" Why ? " said Douglas.
" Oh, shut up always wanting to know why," said William. " What does it matter why if they do ? . . . the dressing gowns don't really matter, but they have things wrapped round their heads like bandages. That ought to be easy enough. Tell you what," again his freckled face shone with inspiration. " Tell you what . . . I'll go home'n' get some things like that. My mother's gone out for the afternoon," he added simply, " so I c'n get what I want."
Secure in the absence of the keeper he set off gaily through the wood homewards, and reappeared in less than half an hour with a bundle under his arm.
" I've got some fine things," he called as he came. "She'd locked the linen cupboard but I got somethings that were in the rag bag. An' I've got some corks and matches to make whiskers an' beards for us too."
They crowded round him eagerly to share in the division of the spoil. He had indeed found some treasures. There was a tattered bedspread and a sheet with a hole in the middle that did admirably as a head opening. There was an old pair of pants of his father's and a pair of ancient pyjamas that had once belonged to his elder brother. There were—marvel­lously—two old bath towels that, torn across, would furnish headgears for all four of them.
They set about accoutring themselves. William appropriated to his own use the sheet with the hole in the middle. He made two further holes for his arms, taking off his coat and shirt so that bare arms might protrude. His robe flowed about his feet in a way that made him almost decide to give up the Arab idea altogether and be someone out of the Old Testament. He wrapped his half bath towel about his head and plentifully adorned his face with burnt cork. As he
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