Quite suddenly William thought of a way. It was so simple that he couldn’t imagine why he hadn’t thought of it before. All he had to do was to move the unexploded bomb from the front of loan’s house to the front of Hubert Lane’s house. Then Joan would be able to have her party, and Hubert Lane would not be able to have his. Even the details of the plan did not seem difficult. William realised, of course, that the thing might go offas he was removing it to Hubert Lane’s house, but he considered himself quite capable of dealing with that. A saucepan on his head, a tin tray in readiness to use as a shield… and then, he thought, the bomb might do its worst.
- Number: 24.2
- Published: 1942 (1941 in magazine form)
- Book: William Carries On
- Synopsis: An unexploded bomb threatens Joan’s birthday party.
William’s favourite gal Joan is celebrating her birthday, and her party is to be a high point in amidst the trials and deprivations of the war. Clashing with and likely to surpass Hubert Lane’s party, at first it suffers from only one imperfection: the lack of a kinematograph (the local projectionist having become an ARP warden and having acquired an excessive view of their own dignity à la Captain Mainwaring).
But then a greater disadvantage materialises: an unexploded bomb outside Joan’s house which necessitates the evacuation of the entire street.
William bravely (but stupidly) manages to establish that the unexploded bomb isn’t quite as dangerous as had been thought… and then fate moves in his and Joan’s direction.
This is such a fun story partly because of how blithely William is prepared to pick up an unexploded bomb. He’s not being brave, just mindlessly optimistic, and it’s very sweet.