Day 189: William and the Tablet

The facts

William’s excitement was intense when he found that the sweep, who was expected at his home the next morning, had called late in the afternoon and left his implements in the tool shed, so as to be ready for him when he arrived. He ran to fetch the other Outlaws and they stood gazing in silent rapure at the
thrilling sight.
“His brushes!” breathed Ginger on a note of ecstasy.
“He goes on stickin’ those little handles on to ’em till he’s made it long enough to reach to the top,” explained William. “Golly. It must be fun!”

  • Number: 17.5
  • Published: 1935 (1934 in magazine form) – originally titled William Sweeps the Chimney
  • Book: William the Detective
  • Synopsis: The Outlaws help out with some chimney-sweeping.


The Pennymans are back (see The Pennymans Hand on the Torch, 11.10), and they are coercing an unwilling village into taking part in what the Outlaws variously call “tablets” and “tabloids”, but which are in fact tableaux.

And there are chimney sweeps in town.

The Outlaws manage to combine these two events, but the story as a whole – a bit like the Pennymans’ last appearance – feels oddly shapeless.