“I’ll get you a job,” said William. The words were out of his mouth almost before he knew that he was going to say them. A flicker of doubt passed through his mind, a vague memory of other similar tasks that he had undertaken with disastrous results; but he stifled the doubts, dispelled the memories and repeated, “Yes, I bet I can get you a job all right.”
There was a hopeful gleam in the old man’s eyes as he turned to look at William.
“Well, of course, you’re only a boy, but you’ve prob’ly got local influence.”
“Oh, yes, I’ve got local infl’ence,” said William airily.
“People know you…?”
“Oh, yes. People know me all right,” said William.
- Number: 33.4
- Published: 1962
- Book: William’s Treasure Trove
- Synopsis: William tries to find a job for an old man.
William makes the acquaintance of a 78-year-old occupant of an old-age home who is still full of joie de vie and wants an escape from the dullness of his life. (In 1961, the average life expectance of a man was 68 so he was doing very well to be as fit as he was!)
Enchanted by Mr Mason’s friendliness, William determines to get him a job. He starts the search at home:
“I say, Dad,” began William.
Mr Brown grunted.
“Didn’t you say you were short-handed at the office?”
“I did, my boy. Very short-handed.”
“Well, would you like an old man?”
“A what?” said Mr Brown, startled. “A what, did you say?”
“An old man,” repeated William patiently. “I can let you have one. An old man in the prime of life with the strength of ten young men. He’s felled trees over a hundred feet high. I bethe’d be jolly useful to you in the office.”
“In the event of our needing a tree felled in the office,” said Mr Brown, “I will certainly get in touch with your friend.”
“Can this man play the organ?” the Vicar asked sternly.
“Well,” temporised William, “I don’t know that he can axshully play it ’cause I don’t think he’s ever tried, but I bet he could if someone jus’ showed him how to. He’s in the prime of life an’ he’s got the strength of…”
Suddenly and inexplicably, as it seemed to William, he found himself, at this point, outside the closed front door of the Vicarage.
Both this avenue of investigation, and all his other ones, come to nought. Especially hopeless was his application – on Mr Mason’s behalf – for the post of church organist.
But then the two of them run into General Moult (and are briefly arrested by him for housebreaking) and everything turns out for the best.