WILLIAM - online children's book

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204                                WILLIAM
in this country. I have always insisted that the main feature of life upon the two planets are the same. Ah, thank you, Jane," as the housemaid entered with a tray, " thank you. Put it by that gentleman, will you ? He is a traveller from a distant planet who, I hope, will be an inmate of my house for some little time."
The housemaid stared at William, more amazed than ever. Then she withdrew to the kitchen to tell the cook that she'd never worked in a lunies' asylum before and wasn't going to start it at her time of life, and she'd give in her notice that very day.
Meanwhile William raised the glass of wine to his lips with gusto, thinking that it was blackcurrant tea of which he was very fond, then hastily set it down with an expression of acute nausea.
The Professor took out his notebook and wrote :
" Alcohol evidently unknown in Mars."
He ordered the housemaid to bring some grapes, and these William consumed with evident familiarity and relish. The Professor wrote : " Grapes evidently known and eaten as fruit but not fermented to make wine."
He addressed the girls:
" And I only hope, my dears, that we shall not corrupt this civilisation, as we have corrupted so many others, by teaching them the use of alcohol. It is a wonderful thing to look at this inhabitant from a distant planet—small but sturdy and virile—and notice his natural aversion from the degrading liquid. Look at him."
They gazed in silence at William, who was zestfully consuming the sandwiches and biscuits that were on the tray. The elderly gentleman watched his every movement, making frequent and copious notes in his little book. Finally he said in wistful tones to the two girls:
" What I'm hoping, my dears, is that when he has refreshed himself he will speak a few words in his own
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