Day 66: The Cat and the Mouse

The facts

This was a strange time for William. William had previously escaped scot free for most of his crimes. Now to his amazament and indignation he found himself in the unfamiliar position of a scapegoat. Any disturbance in William’s part of the room was visited on William and quite occasionally William was not guilty of it. Most people considered that this was very good for William, but it was a view that was not shared by William himself.

  • Number: 5.12
  • Published: 1925 (1924 in magazine form)
  • Book: Still William
  • Synopsis: William decides that one of his teachers needs taking down a peg or two.

Verdict

A lesson to all teachers here: don’t have an Achilles heel, if you do then on no account allow your pupils to discover it, and ideally live a long way away from those you teach.

“I hope my nephew is kind to you,” said Miss Felicia.
William gave her a pathetic glance like one who wishes to avoid a dark and painful subject. “I expect he means to be,” he said sadly.

Mr Evelyn Courtnay failed on all three of these fronts, and so it was that he found his (genuine) wrongdoing against William being punished by William letting a mouse – of which his visiting rich aunt was terrified – loose in his home, followed by a cat – of which he was terrified – followed by a William, who saved both adults from the menace and obtained ample material for blackmail in the process.

This story is perhaps most notable, though for its touching description of the unorthodox kinship between William and “Old Stinks” the regular science master.