Day 59: A Bit of Blackmail

The facts

“They said it was himportant business, sir,” said the butler, “an’ you knew about it.”
Then four boys walked up to his desk.

  • Number: 5.5
  • Published: 1925 (1924 in magazine form)
  • Book: Still William
  • Synopsis: The Outlaws want Mr Bott to reconsider his decision to fire one of their friends.


Bob Andrews, a gardener at the Hall, is a man after the Outlaws’ own heart – bone-idle, a collector of birds’ eggs, a maker of whistles and always willing to play Red Injuns.

Robert’s eye fell sternly and accusingly upon William. William looked up, met it unflinchingly with an expression of patient endurance on his face.
“Robert,” he said with a sigh. “I wish you’d talk more quietly. I’m trying to learn my history dates.”

Mr Bott, having taken up residence at the Hall, not unreasonably decided not to continue paying Bob Andrews a salary for the vital task of playing with the Outlaws, and sacks him.

William considers this to have been an unfair dismissal and does what he can to have the decision reversed.

His increasingly desperate attempts to blackmail Mr Bott are plausible in and of themselves, but the vice he discovers in Mr Bott does seem somewhat far-fetched.