Day 180: William and the Russian Prince

The facts

“Seems to me,” said William bitterly, “no one wants to help Robert but me. You won’t let me go as his page or his butler or send him high-up letters, an’ you won’t even embroider coats of arms an’ things on his clothes. Well, I’ve done my best and I hope you won’t blame me if no one takes any notice of him there.”
Mrs Brown promised that she wouldn’t.

  • Number: 16.7 (halfway point!)
  • Published: 1934 (1933 in magazine form)
  • Book: William the Gangster
  • Synopsis: William tries to get Robert a girlfriend.


Robert is invited to a cricket week amongst aristocrats at Marleigh Manor, and worried about that his low social standing will be a drawback when he gets there. William tries to help out, by offering to go with Robert as a valet, by sending letters addressed to “Duke Robert Brown”, and – finally – by pretending to be a Scotland Yard agent and persuading an incredibly credulous young lady that Robert is a Russian prince who needs constant, round-the-clock bodyguarding.

“I’m a good deal older than what I look, of course. I’ve been kept small by Scotland Yard so as to be able to take on jobs like this.”

But then he uncovers a genuine crime and unintentionally gives Robert a chance to shine…