Day 74: The Midnight Adventure of Miss Montagu

The facts

“I’m not in your garden,” William said judicially, “an’ I s’pose we join at this fence. You’ve got half an’ we’ve got half. Well, I’m sittin’ on our half. I wun’t mind you sittin’ on your half an’ I don’t see why…”
“Get down!”
William got down.

  • Number: 6.6
  • Published: 1926 (1925 in magazine form)
  • Book: William the Conqueror
  • Synopsis: William goes on a desperate quest to recover a confiscated bow-and-arrow.


When a disagreeable house-sitter moves in next door to William, and refuses to return possessions of his that happen to end up in her garden, he takes matters into his own hands and creeps into her house in the middle of the night.

“We won’t make a noise,” said William to his mother when she remonstrated.
Mrs Brown went indoors hoping for the best. Mrs Brown spent most of her time hoping for the best. From her William had inherited some of his glorious optimism.

When she comes across him, he pulls a toy gun on her and escapes through a window.

Unfortunately, when she reports the matter to the police the next morning, she lets her imagination get the better of her – a trait, interestingly, she shares with William himself – and testifies to a gang of masked men who tied her to a chair, ransacked her property and stole all her jewellery.

When she finds out that William was the culprit, and that he alone knows the truth about what happened in her house at midnight, she, slightly reluctantly, gives him permission to collect his things from her garden next time they land there.