Day 116: The Outlaws Deliver the Goods

The facts

“We’ll start with easy ways of gettin’ money,” said William, “we’ll start with
the ways he said. S’lic’ting subscriptions an’ doin’ services an’ such-like. We’ll start with s’lic’tin’ subscriptions. That’s his way of sayin’ askin’ for money, of course.”
“Why can’t he say askin’ for money?”
said Henry rather irritably. The magnitude of their undertaking was weighing heavily upon his spirit.
” They never do,” said William indulgently. “They’ve gotter say things in a way that’s harder to understand than the ornery way or else they’d never get to be headmasters. It’s a speshal sort of langwidge that gets ’em to be headmasters.”

  • Number: 10.6
  • Published: 1929 (1928 in magazine form, originally titled Ten Pounds Wanted)
  • Book: William
  • Synopsis: The Outlaws raise £10 for the school’s building project, in spite of the Hubert Laneites’ hindrance.

Verdict

The Outlaws “knew nothing and cared less” about their Headmaster’s quest to raise funds for a new wing to the school.

So they were inspired to serve the cause less out of a desire to expand their place of learning, than out of a desire to raise more than the Hubert Laneites’ aspired to. The Hubert Laneites aspired to raise £5, so William rashly and publicly vows to raise £10.

“There are four boys in your drawing-room.”
“Four boys?” said her hostess. “There can’t be, dear.”
“But there are,” said the stout lady. “Unless, of course, I’m seeing spirit visitants.”
“You must be, dear,” said the hostess, “because there certainly aren’t any boys in my drawing-room.”

They do actually hit on a very sensible money-making scheme by opening a lemonade stall at the side of the road, and immediately reinvesting any profits in procuring more buns to sell. Unfortunately, a particularly malicious trick of Hubert Lane’s (involving him in a bizarre drag act) ruins this enterprise.

But fortunately it all turns out all right in the end – although whether the Outlaws will appreciate having contributed to the construction of yet more classrooms remains to be seen…