Day 79: The Wrong Party

The facts

William kept an anxious and rather distrustful eye on the invitations. He had a deep suspicion that his mother would sacrifice his pride on the altar of the social code by inviting some of his deadly enemies to his party just because their mothers had asked her to lunch of Ethel knew their elder sister, or some equally futile reason.

  • Number: 6.11
  • Published: 1926 (1925 in magazine form)
  • Book: William the Conqueror
  • Synopsis: Hubert Lane ruins William’s Christmas party, so, obviously, William has to ruin Hubert’s.

Verdict

Finally, some proper warfare between the Outlaws and the “Hubert Laneites”.

“But I don’t wanter do anything dignified,” persisted William. “I wanter fight ’em.”

Unusually, this story ends on a definite cliffhanger: the Outlaws are determined to wreak their revenge on Hubert for ruining their Christmas party, but Hubert shrouds his party in such impenetrable secrecy that they don’t find out its date until the very end of the story. Fortunately, they do obtain the vital datum, hence my labelling this one as William comes out on top, but I was sorely tempted to categorise it differently because, in the course of their investigations, William is forced to sit through a lecture on Spinoza, which he finds unbearable.

Still, the stage is set for two stories hence: Revenge is Sweet, 6.13.

Geeky note: there’s an interesting continuity error (?) in this story. At one point, Robert has the following exchange with William:
“It’s a pity if someone messes up your party, but, when all’s said and done, you messed up ours.”
“Yes, but I thought he was a burglar!”

Those events don’t happen until William Starts the Holidays, 6.12, the next story, which not only comes after this one in the book but was in fact published a month later in real life…