Day 13: A Busy Day

The facts

“I borrowed it. I thought you’d like to see a model railway signal. I thought you’d be interested. Anyone would think anyone would be interested in seein’ a railway signal made out of a mincin’ machine.”

  • Number: 2.1
  • Published: 1922 (1920 in magazine form)
  • Book: More William
  • Synopsis: William ruins Christmas, in a multitude of different ways.


This is the first of William’s many Christmasses. We are also introduced to his four-year-old cousin Jimmy who seems somewhat like a William-in-training, at least aspiring to William’s (in Richmal Crompton’s words) “infinite capacity of producing chaos in his immediate surroundings, with the best intentions in the world”.

“It’s a good thing I don’t live here,” wept Aunt Evangeline. “One day a year is enough!”

Following a flood, various ‘gifts’ of live insects, a magic trick that goes wrong and an unsuccessful attempt by William to ‘mend’ the hall clock which results in the entire family missing church,

This poses an interesting role-reversal: often the Browns are cursed by annoying houseguests, but this time, they (collectively) are the annoyance, and in their own home.