Day 179: William the Sleep-Maker

The facts

In the new game, William, Ginger, and Henry were “nervous breakdowners”, and Douglas the proprietor of a “rest cure home”.

  • Number: 16.6
  • Published: 1934 (1933 in magazine form)
  • Book: William the Gangster
  • Synopsis: William discovers some sleeping potion.


William was excited for his Aunt Jane’s visit, because she had had a nervous breakdown and he was looking forward to seeing her acting “’xactly like a lunatic”. So it was a great disappointment to find that she was only suffering from mild depression and that “she’s jus’ like anyone else”.

But he gets excited again when he discovers that she has brought sleeping-pills with her. The Outlaws come up with the brilliant plan of putting their entire school to sleep every day so that they can have free time unencumbered by lessons.

“I’d get into an awful row if they found I’d got cows or horses sleepin’ in the summer-house.”

But then the Browns welcome into their home Mr Forrester, a speaker from the Temperance Society who is visiting the village. He confides to Mr Brown, “In this good work I never sleep.” William overhears this, and naturally considers it his social duty to help Mr Forrester with his insomnia, and administer him some sleeping draught.