" Yes, my dear boy. Why ? "
"I jus' wondered," said William non-committally.
" Ah, but you shouldn't, you know," said the Vicar's wife reproachfully. " You shouldn't wonder. Curiosity, you know. Idle curiosity. You remember what the Vicar said about idle curiosity in his last sermon, don't you ? "
Ginger made an inarticulate sound that might have meant that he did, and she sailed on down the road towards the station, smiling vaguely, her lips moving silentl . Already in imagination she was addressing her Mothers' Meeting.
" A teapot," said William in a brisk, businesslike tone of voice. " That's what he mus' have been showin' his confederation. Come on. Let's go back an' get it. Well, even if he's wrote about the pig, it'll make up for it—gettin' back somethin' stole out of a tbief s den."
" It might be a bit din" cult," said Douglas doubtfully, " if he's one of these desp'rate criminals what you read about in books. I'd almost as soon miss that five shillings as get gagged an' left in cellars same as people get in books."
" I bet he won't be there at all," said William. " I bet he'll have got that note and be fleein' abroad for all he's worth."
" Takin' the teapot with him," said Douglas gloomily, " an' writin' to your father before he goes."
They entered the gate and looked about cautiously. The aunt and cousin had gone home and Mr. Ballater was hanging over Eglantine's sty, gazing at her sadly and adoringly. Pounds she must have lost to-day running across the lawn like that and missing her dinner. She'd forgotten the sawdust now and was eating her meal with every appearance of enjoyment, but still she must have lost pounds. And the show next week. . . .
The Outlaws crept up the empty front garden in the shelter of the bushes to the drawing-room window.