Day 64: An Afternoon with William

The facts

“Well,” said William almost tearfully, at the end of a long and painful course of home truths, “’f they’d reely been cannibals and eaten me you’d p’raps have been sorry.”
Mr Brown, whose peace had been disturbed and reputation publicly laid low by William’s escort and appearance, looked at him. “You flatter yourself, my son.”

  • Number: 5.10
  • Published: 1925 (1924 in magazine form)
  • Book: Still William
  • Synopsis: William and Ginger ‘borrow’ a rowing-boat and set sail for France.


“You can see France from my bedroom window.”

These were the fateful words – spoken, unusually, by Ginger rather than William – that set the scene for the disasters the pair unleash in this story.

Ginger found a dead crab and William made a fire and tried to cook it, but the result was not encouraging. They ate what was left of their liquorice sticks to take away the taste.

They don’t manage to reach France in their illicitly-purloined rowing boat, but they do drift round the coast and manage to persuade themselves that they’ve discovered a hitherto undiscovered island. On seeing it populated by “some lightly-clad beings dancing backwards and forwards, one shouting out unintelligible commands in a shrill voice”, they naturally conclude that they have stumbled upon a coven of savages and cannibals, and attack.

The New School of Greek Dancing failed to see the funny side of the episode…