Day 146: A Crowded Hour with William

The facts

“I’m going to let you scrape out the dish now. And the spoon,” said Mrs Brown.
William laughed sardonically. “Anyone’d think you were tryin’ to starve me, the way you scrape it out.”
“Now, William,” his mother interrupted him firmly, “I’ve left quite a lot. If you don’t want it, of course, you needn’t have it. I’ll put the basin to soak in the sink.”
But William, who had been talking for talking’s sake, hastily seized it and set to work upon it earnestly.

  • Number: 13.6
  • Published: 1931 (same year in magazine form) – originally titled William the Hero
  • Book: William’s Crowded Hours
  • Synopsis: William becomes infatuated with Hubert Lane’s cousin.

Verdict

Poor William never learns his lesson, does he. Only a few short stories ago, in William the Superman, 12.8, he got himself into hot water trying to impress a little girl by claiming psychical powers. And now he does exactly the same thing again – but worse, because the girl is Hubert Lane’s cousin Dorinda, and Hubert is standing by ready to watch his humiliation.

“Why are you running so fast, William?” Dorinda said, trying to keep up with him.
“Jus’ ’cause I like runnin’,” said William breathlessly.
“What were all those people making such a noise
about?” said Dorinda.
“Oh, they jus’ like:makin’ a noise,” said William.

When Dorinda challenges him to produce a magical cake for her to eat, he repeats his trick from The Magic Monkey, 8.6 (surely Hubert must suspect this?) and leads her to the village hall where, he happens to know, a vast quantity of cakes are lying unattended in waiting for a Women’s Guild meeting.

Dorinda is still not quite satisfied though, and asks William to bait and tame Farmer Jenks’ fearsome bull.

She does seem like a ridiculously dangerous person to hang around with, but William is happy in the end…