Day 178: Only Just in Time

The facts

“We don’t want you,” said William brusquely. “We’re busy. Go away.”
Too late he remembered that this was the one way of making certain that Violet Elizabeth would not leave them till she had discovered every detail of the business on which they were engaged.
“What are you buthy doin’?” she demanded.
“Nothin’ ,”said William succinctly.
“You can’t be buthy doin’ nothin’,” objected Violet Elizabeth with an air of deep wisdom. “It ithn’t pothible.”

  • Number: 16.5
  • Published: 1934 (1933 in magazine form) – originally titled William Runs a Nightclub
  • Book: William the Gangster
  • Synopsis: The Outlaws enter the club business.


A sequel to The Plan that Failed, 16.4, the Outlaws are still trying to raise money to buy Victor Jameson’s football.

This time, Violet Elizabeth gives them the idea of opening a “nightclub”. William is, at first, sceptical (“They’ll all likely come to a night club when they’ve all got to be in bed by eight, won’t they?”) but he is eventually persuaded.

Violet Elizabeth agrees to “thing and danth”. The Old Barn’s packing cases are ‘decorated’ with odd scraps of fabric. The bar serves liquorice water, with the addition of black paint to make it look darker.

“Well, what d’you expect for a halfpenny?” said William, who was hastily summoned to deal with her.
“A chair,” she answered simply.

Overall, the whole plan looks set to be an utter failure – until Violet Elizabeth’s final wrinkle, inviting the police to “have a raid”, turns out unexpectedly well.