WILLIAM AND THE PRIZE PIG 255
they practised regularly, but many of which had never been required and probably never would be required. They included special whistles for help in such contingencies as attacks by lions, pursuit by Red Indians and meeting with sharks when bathing.
The rest of them stood at the corner of the road, and William entered Mr. Ballater's house again cautiously by the drawing-room window. He went to the cabinet and to his amazement found it empty. He listened. Sounds came from upstairs. He crept upstairs. The sounds came from a bedroom. He peeped in. An unsavoury-looking individual stood at a dressing-table opening drawers. There was a half-filled sack on the floor. William had no doubt at all as to the identity of the unsavoury-looking individual. It was Mr. Ballater's confederate who was collecting the " loot "! to take with them in their flight from justice. William felt righteously enraged at this plot, and determined to foil it. A bold plan came to him. He tiptoed into the room, slammed the door, locked it, and slipped the key into his pocket. It was the work of a second, but in that second the unsavoury-looking individual had turned round, revealing a face as unsavoury as the rest of him, and hit out fiercely at William. William dodged the blow, flashed across the room to the open window and slid down the water-pipe. The unsavoury individual was too large to slide down pipes, so he contented himself with battering against
the locked door and uttering horrible threats. ******
The Vicar and Mr. Ballater came down the road together. They carried the teapot tenderly between them. They were still discussing the mystery of its curious disappearance from Mr. Ballaters house and its still more curious appearance at the Vicar s.
" From what the maid says," said Mr. Ballater,
' it sounds like the same boy. I mean the boy who
made Eglantine run—run" his voice trembled, " across