“I went to the dentist, Wednesday,” said Ginger with a touch of legitimate pride.
“I bet you made ’nough fuss,” said William, who considered it his duty to deflate his fellow-creatures when he thought they were unduly puffed up.
- Number: 8.2
- Published: 1927 (1926 in magazine form)
- Book: William in Trouble
- Synopsis: William helps a small girl escape from boarding school.
The Outlaws set out on a quest to explore “where no white man’s ever set his feet before”. On the discovery of terra incognita – conveniently located in the middle of their local wood – they set about a game of hide-and-seek.
William comes across a parked car (the sort of thing, I suppose, often to be founded in land where no white man’s ever set his feet before) and thinks it would be the perfect place to hide, so he climbs in.
Then, of course, the car drives off, and he isn’t able to escape until it has pulled up outside a girls’ boarding school.
The Fairy Daffodil seemed unaware that it was attracting any attention. It sat down and gazed around it, stern, bored, contemptuous – then a light as at some happy memory came into its face. It pulled up the butter muslin to its waist, revealing muddy boots, muddy legs and muddy trousers, plunged its hand into its pocket and brought out a nut, which it proceeded to crack with much facial contortion and bared teeth.
There, he is mistaken for the gardener’s boy and made to pose for an art class (“I think I’ve got his ugliness all right but I can’t quite get his cross look”) before meeting a tearful young girl who wants to run away, back to her family.
Agreeing to impersonate her (veiled) character in a school play that evening, to buy her time to abscond, William thus becomes Fairy Daffodil.
It was difficult for me to choose how to classify this one, but eventually I chose William comes out on top, because although he is discovered and disgraced, it rather looks like he’ll get away with it – plus he gets a hearty tea and attention from a pretty girl, both to his great satisfaction.