Day 253: Claude Finds a Companion

The facts

“I say,” said William, “why shu’nt we start makin’ sweets an’ sell ’em to the sweetshops?”
The prospect was a roseate one. Too roseate, they felt, for reality. Henry voiced the obvious objection. “You’ve gotter have special machinery for makin’ sweets. They make ’em in factories.”
“You can make ’em at home all right,” said William.
“How d’you make ’em?” said Ginger.
“Oh, you jus’… sort of mix things up together,” said William vaguely.

  • Number: 23.10
  • Published: 1941 (same year in magazine form)
  • Book: William Does His Bit
  • Synopsis: William encounters a bully.


The words “Look here,” said William, “let’s put the sardines in an’ call the whole thing Sardine Toffee. The sardines’ll give it a more def’nite taste than it’s got now” at the start of this story almost put me off from reading on, but I pulled myself together and continued…

A visiting lecturer in Child Psychology is anxious to find a nice gentle companion to introduce to her son Claude. She fondly imagines Claude to be a paragon of manliness and a good, toughening influence on every other child with whom he happens to come into contact.

Due to a misunderstanding of alarming magnitude, she gets the impression that William is a nice gentle boy, and so arranges with Mrs Brown for him and Claude to spend some time together at her home.

“William’s so much quieter and gentler than Claude,” Mrs Dayford said.
Mrs Brown tried to imagine Claude, and her imagination boggled at the task.

As it turns out, William does make an impact on the horrible bully that is Claude… and probably a positive one at that.