Day 43: The Fête – and Fortune

The facts

At last the removers departed and William proudly surveyed the scene of his labours and destruction.
“Well,” he said, “I bet things would have been a lot different if I hadn’t helped.”
“I’m sure they would,” said Miss Tabitha with perfect truth.

  • Number: 4.3
  • Published: 1924 (1921 in magazine form)
  • Book: William the Fourth
  • Synopsis: William fills in for a fortune-teller at the village fête.


William attaches himself, again, to a newcomer to the village: this time, Miss Tabitha Croft, an amateur tarot reader.

She is soon enlisted by the Vicar’s wife (a lady “afflicted with the Sale of Work mania, a disease to which vicars’ wives are notoriously susceptible: she was always thinking out the next but one Sale of Work before the next one was over”) to offer a fortune-reading tent at the forthcoming fête (“I’m thinking of calling it the King of Fêtes. Such an arresting title”).

Robert entered next. William was beginning to enjoy himself.
“You’ve gotter brother,” he whispered. “Well, he’s not strong an’ he may die soon. This is a warning for you. You’d better make him happy while he’s alive. That’s all.”

Unfortunately, during the afternoon, Miss Tabitha is called away from her duties and William offers to take her place.

He takes full advantage of the opportunity to manipulate the future to his advantage.

Not only does he not get found out, he even gets an invitation to Miss Tabitha’s wedding. So that’s all good then.