Day 170: William and the Drug Trafficker

The facts

He began to haunt the Vicar, the doctor, the superintendent of the Sunday School, and the many elderly ladies of impeccable appearance who lived in the neighbourhood.

  • Number: 15.9
  • Published: 1933 (1932 in magazine form) – originally titled William the Star Detective
  • Book: William the Rebel
  • Synopsis: William has dark suspicions about one of Robert’s friends.


The policeman plunged his hand into Rupert’s coat pocket and brought out the folded paper that William had seen thrown upon the station platform.
“That’s it,” shouted William triumphantly. “Open it. You’ll find cocaine in it.”
The policeman had opened the paper and was slowly reading out the words that were written on it: “Translate II.260-360 and comment on the following constructions, giving parallel examples where possible.”

After reading a detective novel lent to him by Robert, William becomes convinced that his village is riddled with drug-pushers – the least likely suspects most likely.

But when Robert’s friend Rupert Bergson comes to stay, William knows he finally has a culprit to contend with: “his name in itself was almost a proof of guilt”.

But then, after witnessing the admittedly suspicious sight of Rupert collecting a parcel which had been thrown off a train to him before passing it to Robert, William knows that this time it’s personal.