“You can have any sandwiches that are left and one piece of each cake,” said Mrs Brown.
“What size of a piece?” he demanded at last and
added, “Will you let me cut my own?”
“No, William,” said Mrs Brown firmly. You cut almost the whole cake the last time I let you do that.”
- Number: 21.6
- Published: 1939 (1938 in magazine form)
- Book: William and Air Raid Precautions
- Synopsis: Ethel sends William on a quest to recover a vase.
An impending visit from Ethel’s godmother means that she needs to get back a vase which Aunt Lucy had given her on a previous visit – she’d be offended to come back to the household and find her gift disposed of.
“It’s not too soon after breakfast,” said William
“Oh, of course…” She went to the dining-room and returned with a tin of mixed biscuits.
“They’re a bit musty, I’m afraid.”
“Thanks awfully,” said William gratefully. “I don’t mind a bit of must.”
He set to work with silent concentration, and she watched him with interest and a certain awe. Really, if one didn’t know his parents personally, one would think
he was starved…
William’s tactic is to try to persuade the vase’s new owner that there is a famed travelling vase expert in the village who is anxious to examine all such items in the neighbourhood.
But it turns out that they gave it away as a prize at a whist drive. So William heads to the next person in the chain and kicks off with, “I’m jolly int’rested in paintin’. I want to get hold of a red an’ gold vase to paint.”
But they, in their turn, had donated it as a prize at a local Sale of Work, and so on and so on.
Events converge on the living room in the Browns’ house where the vase’s various owners are all baffled to find their vase unexpectedly present…