just showing something he's stole from the Vicar. He was jus' sayin' ' This was the Vicar's. I took it two years ago.' Tellin' 'em straight out like that."
" What was he showin' 'em ? " said Ginger excitedly.
" I cun't see," said William, " but I could jus' see that there was a lot of silver stuff in the room. I 'spect he was showin' him some of that. I heard him movin' then so I came away, because I espect he's a pretty ruthless sort of man if he finds anyone's found out about his secret career of crime. Well, I know he is, from my ears."
" How 're we goin' to let him know we know ? " said Henry. " I mean about his career of crime ? "
" I votes we write to him," said Douglas, who never liked to run unnecessary risks. " I don't think it'd be quite safe to tell him. He might set on us."
So they wrote a note and put it through his letterbox. It was short, terse, and in the best traditions of melodrama. It read quite simply :
" All is nown fle."
It was very beautifully written in William's best writing, but it didn't have much effect, because it fluttered beneath the hall mat and wasn't found till a week later.
" But it won't be much use to me—him fleein'," said William, " if he wrote to my father first."
" Tell you what," said Ginger with a burst of inspiration, " we'll find out what he stole from the Vicar an' take it back. Well—even if he's wrote to your father—if we take back something that was stole from the Vicar, that'll make it all right, won't it ? They'll sort of cross each other off, I should think— lettin' the pig out an' takin' back somethin' that's been stole."
The others thought so, too, but there were obvious disadvantages to the plan.
"How 're we goin' to find out what he stole ? " said Henry.