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02- Billy Bunter's Banknote

02- Billy Bunter's Banknote

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Published by Bobs UrUncle

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Published by: Bobs UrUncle on Mar 25, 2012
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“I JOLLY well shan’t tell you now.’’
“Thanks !” said Harry Wharton, politely. Ha, ha, ha !”
There was a cheery crowd in the Rag. Having beaten the Shell, the heroes of the
Remove were feeling pleased with themselves and things generally. Billy Bunter,
rolling into the Rag, found them talking cricket—playing the Form match over again, as
it were, and still absolutely without interest in Bunter and the tale he had to tell.
Bunter had found some listeners, however. He had told his minor, Sammy of the
Second. He had told Tubb of the Third. Temple, Dabney and Co. of the Fourth Form
had condescended to listen and then he told Skinner, and Snoop, and Stott, of the
Remove. Coker of the Fifth came along with Potter and Greene while he was telling
Skinner and Co. and paused to hear—and then Coker told Bunter that he was a grubby
little eavesdropping tick, and ought to have his head smacked—and, on further
consideration, smacked it. Bunter was rubbing a fat ear as he rolled into the Rag: and
snorted as “cricket jaw” fell on both his fat ears from all sides.
“I mean, I’ve a good mind not to tell you !” amended Bunter.
“You’ve got a good mind?” asked Bob Cherry.
“Yes, I jolly well have.”
“First I’ve heard of it. I didn’t know you had one at all, let alone a good one. Why don’t
you use it sometimes?
“Yah! I say, you fellows, if you knew what I know, you’d jolly well sit up and take
notice. A hundred and fifty pounds spotted about the school——.”
“Eh !”

“What?”
“A hundred and fifty pounds!” said Bunter. Fivers, tenners, pound notes, spotted about
Greyfriars somewhere. That’s what I was going to tell you, though I’ve a jolly good
mind not to, now.”
A dozen fellows stared at Bunter. He had attention at last.
“Wandering in your mind—if you’ve got one to wander in ?” asked Bob.
“Been dropping your loose change about?” asked the Bounder, sarcastically.
“Ha, ha, ha!”
Bunter gave Herbert Vernon-Smith a rather uneasy blink. He had rather expected to
hear something from Smithy on the subject of chocolates when he saw him again. But
Smithy did not seem to be thinking about chocolates, much to the fat Owl’s relief.
“Has your postal-order come, Bunty?” asked Frank Nugent, laughing. “Cashed it and
dropped the money?”
“Ha, ha, ha !” yelled the juniors.
“Oh, really, Nugent! It’s the Head’s cash,” explained Bunter. “The tin that was snooped
from his desk last night. It wasn’t a burglary after all—it was an inside job. See?”
“A whatter?” ejaculated Bob.
“An inside job,” said Bunter, with an air of superior wisdom. “It’s called an inside job
when it’s done inside, see? That’s what Grimey called it, and I suppose he knows.”
“And Grimey told you?” asked Johnny Bull with a snort.
He jolly well told the head, and I jolly well heard him !” retorted Bunter. “And I jolly
well know all about it, and you jolly well don’t. Precious little goes on that I don’t get
wind of, I can tell you.”
“Bunter’s in the know,” said Bob. “ Bunter always will be in the know, so long as they
make keyholes to doors. What about kicking him ?”
“The kickfulness is the proper caper,” said Hurree Jamset Ram Singh. “Turn
roundfully, my esteemed prying Bunter.”
“How could I help hearing, when I was in the room ?” demanded Bunter. “Think I’d
listen syrupstitiously? I was parked behind the head’s armchair in the corner—think I
was going to let him catch me in his study? I couldn’t help hearing what they said,
could I? You might listen syrupstitiously, Bob—.”
“What?”
“Or you, Inky! Not me,” said Bunter. “As it happened, I heard the lot. I say, you
fellows, I wonder who snooped the dough? Grimey said it was somebody in the school,
and he’s still here, of course.”
“What utter rot!” exclaimed Harry Wharton.
“The rotfulness is terrific.”
“Chuck it, Bunter !”
“Kick him !”
“I tell you, that’s what Grimey said !” roared Bunter. “He said it was an inside job, and
the snooper is somebody in the school, and he’s still here, and he’s hidden the loot
about Greyfriars somewhere—not in his own room in case there was a search, and
there’s fivers and tenners and pound notes spotted about somewhere, and nobody
knows where, and—.”
“It’s impossible!” exclaimed Harry.
“Well, that’s what Grimey said,” declared Bunter. “Think you know better than
Grimey? I say, you fellows, he wasn’t looking for footsteps—I mean footprints—under
the lobby window this morning—he knew there weren’t any—that’s why he was
looking for them—I mean why he wasn’t——.”
There was a buzz in the Rag now. Bunter had got away with it at last. The burglary—as

a mere burglary—was already fading as a topic. But the idea of a hundred and fifty
pounds hidden somewhere about the school caused a sensation.
“Grimey said that a burglar wouldn’t know which was the money-drawer,” went on
Bunter. “He said the snooper knew. See?”
“By gum!” exclaimed Vernon-Smith. He passed his hand over the bruise on his
forehead, and his eyes glinted. “Grimey was right, if Bunter heard him say that. How
the dooce would a burglar know the Head kept money in that drawer, or in his desk at
all? By gum!”
“You can’t believe that the man’s at Greyfriars, Smithy!” exclaimed Bob.
“Isn’t it as plain as your face—which is saying a lot?” retorted the Bounder. “I wonder I
never thought of it. Grimey was bound to spot it—he’s come across inside jobs before
this.”
“Smithy, old man———!” said Redwing.
“Oh, don’t be an ass, Reddy! The man who knocked me out last night wasn’t an
outsider—he was an insider—of course he was.” The Bounder evidently had no doubt
on that point.
“But who—?” exclaimed Squiff.
“Echo answers that the who-fulness is terrific,” said Hurree Jamset Ram Singh, shaking
his dusky head.
“Look here, it’s all rot,” exclaimed Bob Cherry. “Why, if the snooper’s here, he might
be anybody! You didn’t see him, Smithy—.”
“No—he took jolly good care of that, and I know why, now,” said the Bounder, his
eyes gleaming. “But now I know he’s here—.”
“You don’t,” said Bob. “That fat ass has got it all wrong, if he really heard anything at
all—.”
“Oh, really, Cherry! I jolly well word every heard—I mean I jolly well heard every
word—.”
“You ought to he jolly well kicked, anyhow,” growled Johnny Bull.
“Beast!”
“I guess this is the cat’s whiskers,” said Fisher T. Fish. “A hundred and fifty pounds—
why, that’s over four hundred dollars in real money. I’ll say it’s worth nosing around a
few to locate it.”
“Might be hidden anywhere,” said Peter Todd. Anywhere but near the snooper’s own
quarters,” remarked Frank Nugent. “But it wouldn’t stay hidden long, I should imagine.
As soon as the snooper thinks it safe he will get it out of the place, surely.”
“I say, you fellows, I’m going to look for it. If a fellow found it, they’d have to stand
him something out of it—at least a fiver!” said Bunter, eagerly. “Perhaps a tenner !
What?”
“Grimey may find it,” said the Bounder, sardonically. “But if Bunter finds it, Grimey
won’t !”
“Why, you beast, think I’d touch it!” roared Bunter, in great indignation. “Think I’d
touch what wasn’t mine, you swob ?”
“Oh, chuck it, Smithy,’’ said Bob. “ You know Bunter wouldn’t—.”
“I know he snoops every fellow’s tuck that he can lay his fat paws on,” sneered the
Bounder. “If we see Bunter blowing cash at the tuck-shop, I shan’t believe, for one, that
his postal-order’s come!”
“Why, you—you—you —!” stuttered Bunter, in spluttering wrath. “I say, you fellows,
you jolly well know—.”
“Chuck it, Smithy,” said Harry Wharton, sharply. “Don’t be a rotter.”
The Bounder shrugged his shoulders.

The day-room was in a buzz now. The mere idea of a “hidden treasure” somewhere
about Greyfriars was exciting. Mr. Grimes, when he advised the Head that nothing
should he said outside the study, had been happily unaware of a fat Owl drinking in
every word behind the armchair in the corner. Before prep that evening, there was
hardly a man at Greyfriars who had not heard the startling story, and did not know that
a bundle of tenners and fivers and pound notes was “spotted” somewhere about the
school.

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