Day 40: William Gets Wrecked

The facts

To a casual observer William looked only a small boy walking slowly down a road, frowning, with his hands in his pockets. He was really an intrepid mariner sailing across an uncharted sea.

  • Number: 3.14
  • Published: 1923 (same year in magazine form)
  • Book: William Again
  • Synopsis: William, playing at Robinson Crusoe, manages to lose his clothes.


A tramp, who William persuades to act as Man Friday for the purposes of his shipwreck game, in turn persuades William to swap his clothes for a tablecloth (‘sail’) all the better to impersonate a deserted sailor.

William laid aside ‘Robinson Crusoe’ with a sigh. His dreams of pirate-king and robber-chief vanished. The desire of his heart now was to be shipwrecked on a desert island.

Joan, the mate upon William’s doomed ship, purloins him another suit of clothes but her father demands them back.

So William ends up looking “ridic’l’us” by walking home in his tablecloth.

Seems overbrief as a story but a fairly entertaining scenario nonetheless.