Day 280: A Witch in Time

 The facts

“You know Miss Evesham?”
“That stupid woman who comes here for her cat? Yes.”
“Well, I think she’d give you a lot of money for the Society in Aid of Vivisection.”
“Anti-vivisection, William dear.”

  • Number: 27.4
  • Published: 1950 (1947 in magazine form) – originally titled William and the Witch
  • Book: William the Bold
  • Synopsis: William needs to drive a distasteful woman out of the village.

Verdict

Irksomely punny name aside (the original title of William and the Witch presumably having been changed to avoid clashing with the later book, 34, of the same name), this story is basically a much better and more fun version of William and the Black Cat, 4.9.

Entreatied by Joan to drive out Miss Evesham, the unpleasant sitting tenant living in Joan’s house, William starts by accidentally killing her cat and then weaves a cunning – although rather cruel – plan to do the deed.

“Well, there’s one other thing,” said William, with a burst of inspiration. “My father’s got a book with ‘Laws of Banking’ on the outside, but I think there’s something quite different inside. Once I got hold of it an’ he shouted ‘Leave that alone’.”
“Can you get the book, William, and bring it to me?”
“’Fraid I can’t. He’d miss it at once an’ he’s a very savage man.”

It helps, of course, that there is a slightly witchy-looking writer staying in Honeysuckle Cottage, and that Miss Evesham has a mortal fear of witches.