William The Good (Just William, Book 9)
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'I din' take it,' William said. 'Ethel took it. She - she sort of can't help herself. I always,' he added virtuously, 'try'n put back the things she's took.' It all started with a rare event: William Brown read a book. And now he feels inspired to save his sister from a life of crime. The road to disaster is paved with William's good intentions. Ethel's behaviour has been rather odd - more so than is usual in a girl. But William, the Brown family's moral guardian, is determined to 'reform' her - whatever the consequences . . .
crying. He was glad to be told to stop crying. It is quite easy to sob convincingly for a minute or two but difficult to continue it indefinitely. He was afraid that his performance was beginning to lack realism. At each house along the road the General said, ‘Do you think you live here, my little man?’ and his little man said with a break in his voice of which he was secretly proud. ‘No – no. N-not here.’ Till they got to the large house at the end of the road, then, when the General said, ‘Do
another silence. The solution was felt to be unworthy of William. ‘Buy ’em!’ echoed Douglas in a tone that expressed the general feeling, ‘buy ’em! Who’s got any money?’ This question being unanswerable remained unanswered. It was a strange fact that the Outlaws never had any money. They all received pocket money regularly and they all received the usual tips from visiting relatives, but the fact remained that they never had any money. Most of it, of course, went in repairing the wreckage that
for them to be out this time of the year.’ The three of them went on to the greenhouse and stood there, Uncle Frederick in the middle, Robert and Flavia on either side. Uncle Frederick looked about him. ‘Well,’ he said, ‘where are the carnations? I don’t see any carnations.’ ‘I didn’t mean carnations,’ said Robert desperately, ‘I meant,’ he swept his arm wildly round the greenhouse, ‘I meant these.’ ‘These.’ Uncle Frederick adjusted his spectacles and began to look around. ‘I see . . .
monkeys. They saw a monkey bite a piece out of someone’s trousers. William laughed at this so much that they thought he was going to be sick. The bear sat on its hind legs and flapped its arms. The lion roared. The elephant took someone’s hat off. The whole thing was beyond description. The Outlaws wandered about, getting in everyone’s way, putting their noses through the bars of every cage, miraculously escaping sudden death at every turn. It was when William thought that they must have been
waiting there now. He would certainly have arrived by now. ‘Let’s go up the drive,’ said Ginger, ‘an’ see if we c’n see him.’ They crept up the drive. Dusk was falling quickly and the downstairs rooms were lit up. The drawing-room curtains were not drawn and the Outlaws were rewarded by the sight of the Great Man standing on the hearthrug talking to Mr and Mrs Carroway. They stared at him forlornly from the bushes. ‘Well!’ moaned William, ‘of all the rotten luck!’ Then they discussed the