“I say! A mushroom!” William announced. “I’m goin’ to take it home an’ ask them to cook it. I’ll give it my mother for a present. That’s a jolly good idea. It’s her birthday nex’ week.”
“A mushroom won’t count,” said Douglas. “Not for a birthday. They don’t.”
“I bet no one’ll cook it for you, anyway,” said Ginger. “They’ll jus’ throw it in the dust-bin an’ tell you not to come botherin’ them.”
This sounded so probable that William did not contradict it.
- Number: 19.4
- Published: 1937 (1936 in magazine form, originally titled Other People’s Dogs)
- Book: William the Showman
- Synopsis: William believes himself to have killed a neighbour’s dog.
When William accidentally feeds a suspect mushroom to Nero, a dog belonging to a neighbour of his, and the next day hears that Nero is dead, he is racked with guilt and determined to procure Miss Tressiter a new dog by fair means or foul.
Another idea struck him. He must find a family of poor people and offer to take their dog off their hands to save them paying the licence. That would be quite plain sailing, and there wouldn’t be any possibility of mistake. He must find a poor family with a brown dog.
Jumble gets involved. “Jumble had almost as great a genius as his master for precipitating a crisis with the best intentions in the world.”
In the end, he manages to round up a whole range of dogs for her, most of whom belong to loving owners who are very angry indeed.
(Utterly bizarrely, one of the dogs is named “Hitler” by the family to whom he belongs.)