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By FRANK RICHARDS
Illustrated by R. J. MACDONALD
CHARLES SKILTON LTD
Chapter I CAKE FOR ONE! “I SAY, you fellows !” Harry Wharton and Frank Nugent, in No. 1 Study in the Greyfriars Remove, glanced round, as a fat voice squeaked in the doorway. Billy Bunter, his ample proportions almost filling the doorway from side to side, blinked in through his big spectacles. “Oh, here you are !” said Bunter, “I’ve been looking for you.” “Now go and look for somebody else !” suggested Harry Wharton. “Oh, really, Wharton—.” “And shut the door after you !” said Nugent. “Oh, really, Nugent—.” ‘Buzz off !” said both the juniors together: and they turned back to the occupation that Billy Bunter’s arrival had interrupted. It was tea-time ! There was a parcel on the study table. It was not a large parcel; but evidently it contained supplies for tea; and Billy Bunter’s eyes, and spectacles, lingered on it covetously. Wharton and Nugent were getting tea. They expected Bob Cherry, Johnny Bull, and Hurree Singh, to tea; and did not expect Billy Bunter. Neither did they seem happy to see him. Attractive fellow as Bunter knew himself to be, fellows never did seem exhilarated to see him at tea-time. Bunter was too quick a worker to be welcomed at the festive board when supplies were short. Nevertheless, had Bunter rolled in, no doubt he would have been allowed to remain, and annex his share—or rather more than his share—of what was going. But, to the surprise of the chums of the Remove, Bunter did not roll in. “If you fellows think I’ve come to tea—!” said Bunter. “Eh ! haven’t you?” “No!” roared Bunter, “ Think I want a whack in your measly two-bob cake? Fat lot there would be to go round! Besides, I never knew you had a cake. Thank goodness I’m not always thinking about grub, like some fellows.” “Oh, my hat!” “I’m going to tea with Mauly!” yapped Bunter. “Poor old Mauly!” “Well, if you haven’t come to tea, what have you come for?” asked Frank, “ Not just to spoil the view, I suppose?” “You fellows are for it! “ said Bunter, impressively, “ You’re up for a row, and I jolly well know why. I saw you knock Coker’s hat off in the quad after class.” Harry Wharton laughed. “Coker can come up and see us about it, if he likes,” he said. “ ’Tain’t Coker! It’s the Head! The Head wants to see you in his study. I fancy he saw you knock Coker’s hat off. Anyhow, he wants you. That’s why I’ve come up—not after your measly two bob cake!” added Bunter scornfully, “Head’s study at once—and you’d better pack some exercise books in your bags—he looked waxy!”
And with that, William George Bunter revolved on his axis, rolled out of the study doorway, and disappeared up the Remove passage. Harry Wharton and Frank Nugent looked at one another, across the table, in dismay. They did not want Bunter to tea—but Bunter to tea would have been better than a summons to the headmaster’s study. “Oh, rotten!” said Harry. “Putrid!” agreed Nugent. “I suppose he must have seen us from his study window!” grunted the captain of the Remove. “Blow! What does Coker’s silly hat matter anyhow?” “Bother Coker and his hat!” “Blow Coker!” It really was hard luck. Knocking off a Fifth-form man’s hat in the quad was regarded, in the Remove, merely as a harmless and necessary relaxation. Neither Horace Coker nor his hat mattered a boiled bean. Both were trifles light as air, from the point of view of the Remove. But if Dr. Locke had witnessed that trifling incident from his study window, it had a more serious aspect. Head-masters did not see eye to eye with juniors of the Lower School in such matters. “I suppose we’d better go!” grunted Wharton. “Sort of !” grinned Nugent, “Beaks don’t like Lower-Fourth fellows to keep them waiting! Only a jaw, I expect—the Old Man wouldn’t whop for that!” And the captain of the Remove and his chum left the study, and went down the passage to the stairs. From the door of No. 7 Study, further up the passage, a pair of little round eyes, and a pair of big round spectacles, watched them go. As Wharton and Nugent disappeared across the Remove landing, Billy Bunter rolled out of No. 7, grinning from ear to ear. He rolled into No. 1 study. Billy Bunter’s movements were generally slow: but on this occasion he rolled, like Iser in the poem, rapidly. “He, he, he!” chuckled Bunter, as two fat clutching hands closed on the parcel on the study table. Bunter had said that he did not want a whack in a two-bob cake. Bunter was not always veracious; but that statement was true. He didn’t want a whack in that cake. He wanted it all. Wharton had already untied the string of the parcel. Bunter proceeded to unwrap it. His happy grin grew more expansive as the cake was revealed. Bunter gloated over that cake. He was hungry. He had had tea in Hall, to make sure of something to go on with. He was going to have tea with Lord Mauleverer—if Mauly couldn’t help it. But there was plenty of room for the cake. He blinked round for a knife to cut it, found one in the table drawer, and was about to begin operations, when he gave a sudden jump. “ Hallo, hallo, hallo! “ came a cheery roar in the doorway. “Oh!” gasped Bunter. He spun round in alarm. In his keen concentration on the cake, he had not heard Bob Cherry coming. He blinked at a cheery face under a mop of flaxen hair in the doorway. Behind Bob was another Remove fellow, with a dusky smiling face and a flash of white teeth. “ Beast !” gasped Bunter. “ Making a fellow jump ! I—I say, you fellows, I—I was just coming up the passage to tell you—you’re wanted in the Head’s study. Knocking Coker’s hat off——.”
these interruptions were very annoying. and entered that apartment. but it did not last Bunter long. You’d better cut off. and a fat hand grabbed the knife to cut another. if the Head was not there— and Bunter was aware that the Head was not there.” “I—I was just coming.“I didn’t knock Coker’s hat off. “And I don’t suppose the Head cares a hoot about Coker and his hat. and the coast was clear at last. “You’ve started.” said Bunter. That was more than ample time for Bunter. having seen him go out! They would wait a quarter of an hour. The Head wants the whole lot of you. had invented that message from the Head. . He’s waiting for you” Snort from Johnny Bull. or you’d have found me. with felonious designs on the cake. trailed off down the passage to the two stairs. for knocking Coker’s hat off—he saw you from his window—. were not likely to come back yet.” “You didn’t look in my study. blow!” said Bob. Bunter considered. Billy Bunter sliced the cake. 1 Study. much to Bunter’s relief. Inky. It had not occurred to them that Billy Bunter. they naturally expected to find the Head there—as he had sent for them. and blow his hat !” he said. shaking his head. and the most active jaws at Greyfriars School opened wide. Bunter’s attention returned to the cake. and settled down to enjoy life. crossly : and he went down the passage with his heavy tread. Wharton and Nugent have gone already. I fancy it’s that. The Beak’s always worse if you keep him waiting—and he’s waiting now!” Oh. I see !” said a sarcastic voice in the doorway. “You’re wanted too. Blow!” said Frank Nugent. and blinked in great exasperation at Johnny Bull of the Remove. I’ve been looking for you to tell you—. If there’s going to be a row about Coker’s silly hat. Really. It was really disconcerting. “ Anyhow he sent me up to tell you. dismally.” “Well. “Come on. but Wharton asked me to unpack this parcel for him while he was gone. 1 Study—and a happy fat Owl finished the cake to the last crumb and the last plum. at least. It was a large slice. And the two juniors. “Where are the fellows?” Billy Bunter whirled round. Blow!” “The blowfulness is terrific!” said Hurree Jamset Ram Singh. cheerily. Bull. A large slice was sliced off the cake. we’re all in it. Once more there was a sound of champing in No. There was a sound of champing in No. He did not fear any more interruptions: Harry Wharton and Co. But at that point there was once more an interruption. Billy Bunter grinned again when they were gone. instead of coming into No. Chapter II IN THE HEAD’S STUDY “BOTHER!” said Harry Wharton. But the Head was not there. All the Famous Five were gone to the Head’s study now. 1 Study. I only kicked it after Wharton had knocked it off ——”answered Bob. Fellows sent for to the Head’s study had to wait. Blow Coker. It disappeared rapidly on the downward path. and a solid slice. Having tapped respectfully at the door of the Head’s study. “Oh! They’ve gone to the Head!” gasped Bunter. before they gave it up.
” Tap! Johnny Bull came into the study. “ Wharton and Nugent were here first. and what their effect might be on Dr. a fellow wants to get it over. “Oh!” gasped Bob again.” grunted Wharton. Oh.” Bob Cherry sat on the edge of the Head’s writing table. Locke. suddenly. “ The Beak can’t expect a fellow to stand around on his hind legs waiting for him. Can’t have forgotten sending for us. Hallo. when he comes in. and then at the waiting juniors.” “The esteemed and idiotic Bunter told us that the Head was waiting for us.” Johnny Bull chuckled. “Can’t tell him so. I suppose. All the juniors spun round towards the door. as he told Bunter to send us here.” remarked Bob.” “Better not. in great relief. “Bunter said—.” “Bit cheeky of the Old Man to keep fellows hanging about at tea-time. and a pair of watery eyes that blinked through rimless pince-nez. a receding chin. Wharton gave him a warning look. “Join the queue. “I shan’t push for a front place.” remarked Hurree Jamset Ram Singh. blow. Tap! The study door opened again. expecting to see Dr. And they waited. as soon as they saw that the Head was not present.” said Bob. followed by Hurree Jamset Ram Singh. so far as I can see. the head-master’s secretary.“Wait. and swung his long legs. “Better not let the head see you there when he comes in !” he said. dropped from them like a cloak.” “Same here!” “The samefulness is terrific. Dash it all. so they’re entitled to the first whops when the head blows in. a headmaster ought to keep an appointment when he makes one. and they looked round. I suppose? If the jolly old beak is losing his jolly old memory—. “Where’s the jolly old beak?” “Goodness knows! We’re waiting for him. was alarming to contemplate. “We’re waiting for him instead. But it was not the Head who entered. anyhow. perhaps. Locke. laughing. What the thump is he keeping us waiting like this for? If it’s a whopping. hallo!” exclaimed Bob. They came in with the meek and respectful air proper to juniors entering the presence of their head-master: which. Stepped out to speak to Quelch.” answered Bob. “He can’t be long. “I suppose so!” agreed Nugent. a pale complexion. Twiss. . He stared at the Head’s writing table and empty chair.” he began. You come last.” Bob Cherry broke off. Nothing in it. blow !” said Bob.” said Harry Wharton. He fairly bounded off the writing-table.’’ It was Mr. as Bob Cherry came in. as the study door opened—without a tap this time! “Oh!” gasped Bob. “What a rotten fuss to make about knocking Coker’s hat off. the venerable Head of Greyfriars School.” he remarked.” “Oh. I suppose. “ I want my tea. Obviously his words must have been heard as the door opened. hallo. “Only Twiss. It was a little gentleman with fluffy hair. Wouldn’t have mattered much if we’d knocked his head off.
Twiss seemed suspicious. Locke certainly did not send for you. Mr.” “He was in your study when I saw him. Twiss gave Bob a rather severe glance. “If this is Bunter’s idea of a joke. was glad to see him now—instead of his head-master! Mr. you have no business here. it’s time he learned not to be so funny. with a deep breath. and Mr. “Leave this study. “Pulling our leg!” said Johnny Bull. or whether some foolish boy has deluded you. I shall have no alternative but to report you to Dr.” he said. “We were told by a fellow in our form that the Head had sent for us—.” “Please leave this study at once. Go away at once. “We’re waiting for Dr.” “Wha-a-at?” ejaculated the five juniors.” explained Harry Wharton.” grunted Johnny Bull. If you have done anything here—. “Nonsense!” Snort from Johnny Bull. the better. and the sooner you go. He can think what he likes. “I’ve told you that Dr. please. “ scoffing cake.” He was standing with his hand on the door. I have work to do here.” Harry Wharton and Co. Then he looked round the little crowd of juniors. “ He thinks we were up to something in the beak’s study—. In the corridor. “ Whether you came here to play some disrespectful trick. “ You have no right to enter this study in your head-master’s absence. He said he was going to tea with Mauly —we’ll burst him all over Mauly’s study——. “You had better go. Locke is dining with Sir Hilton Popper. at Popper Court.” We’ve been sent for. if the Head had gone to dine at Popper Court. Twiss closed the door after them with a snap. Twiss. and no doubt he knew nothing whatever about the misadventures of Coker’s hat! “That fat villain Bunter—!” breathed Bob Cherry. Locke has certainly done nothing of the kind. and be blowed to him! But that fat villain Bunter—what the thump did the fat Owl play this idiotic trick for—? We might have waited an hour in that study if Twiss hadn’t come in—.” “We’ve done nothing!” growled Bob. in startled chorus. The juniors had seen little of him : and were not interested in him : but Bob. Locke.” grunted Johnny Bull.” retorted Mr. “Suspicious little beast!” said Bob. Twiss. he couldn’t be expecting to see five members of the Lower Fourth Form in his study. Mr.” Mr. Locke sent for us to come here. impatiently. “By gum !” “Will you please go?” snapped Mr. evidently surprised to find them collected in the head-master’s study. he couldn’t have sent for them. drily.” “If you have come here to play some foolish trick in your head-master’s study—. “If I find anything amiss in this study. looked at one another.” The juniors left the study. “What are you boys doing here?” he exclaimed.” answered Wharton. having entered the Head’s service only that term. at least.’’ said Harry. Twiss. and he left the school an hour ago. “We came here because Bunter told us—. this evening. curtly. Dr.” “We were told to come here—!” stammered Nugent. Twiss was a newcomer at the school.” snapped Mr. “ Dr.” “Dr. Can’t you take a fellow’s word?” he demanded. Twiss.” . Twiss set the door wide open. bother Twiss.” “Oh.Mr.” “Lucky he did come in. Evidently. they looked at one another again. Equally evidently. Locke in the morning.
as there was a rush of feet in the passage. Added to tea in Hall. He understood at last. Five wrathful juniors ran for the stairs. you fellows—. in search of the something more. after all. Bunter had enjoyed it. So there was Bunter. Bunter had finished the cake. It stood to reason. for the Head. They left him to splutter.” “You fat brigand—. They did not even see him till they crashed. you fat fraud. Bunter thought. “Did you fellows have a cake? I never saw a cake—. “ I—I say.” “Where’s that cake?” “Eh ! What cake?” asked Bunter. “Oh. He spun round from the study cupboard in No. haven’t you been to the Head?” gasped Bunter. You’ll get into an awful row if you don’t wait for him in his study—. that something more than a cake must have been provided for tea for five fellows. It was—or had been—a nice cake. 1 Study. he hasn’t gone out in the car. Not a crumb or a plum remained—not the ghost of a crumb or a plum. and five fellows in a bunch burst into the study.” . They rushed up the staircase. They came across the Remove landing with a rush. While the Famous Five were wasting time in the Head’s study. and sighed for fresh worlds to conquer.” Oh! No! I never saw him go out before I came up to the studies—so far as I know. “Oh! Ow! Wharrer you up to?” The Bounder sat up and spluttered. It seemed that they had not.” “Here he is!” “Where’s that cake?” “The wherefulness is terrific. Like Alexander of old. he was not satisfied with his plunder. and rushed on to No. But he was not finished in Wharton’s study.” “You podgy pirate—!” “I—I say. waited very long for the Head! “Oh!” gasped Bunter. “I—I say. as the poet puts it. They had not. Chapter III WHO HAD THE CAKE? BILLY BUNTER jumped.“Cake!” repeated Nugent. “You silly asses —you mad chumps—you blithering maniacs—you burbling cuckoos—what the thump do you think you’re up to ?” But the Famous Five had no time to waste on Smithy. after all. There was a yell from Smithy as he was strewn in the passage. 1. my hat! That’s why !” “The whyfulness is terrific!” “Oh!” exclaimed Harry. at least half-an-hour. It was just ill-luck that Herbert VernonSmith was coming out of the Remove passage as they rushed into it. you had to wait if he wasn’t in his study. Bunter was not wasting time in No. it had taken the keen edge off his appetite. and I never heard him tell the chauffeur to drive to Popper Court—. But a change came o’er the spirit of his dream.” “So you knew he wasn’t there. with a squeak of alarm. He had lots of time—those fellows might wait an hour. had to wait so long in the Head’s study as Bunter had happily calculated. standing at the open study cupboard. blinking into it. 1 Study in the Remove— he was dealing with the cake! “Come on !” roared Bob.
Coker of the Fifth was the man to come up to the Remove studies for a row—especially after his hat had suffered from the playful attentions of the churns of the Remove.” “He.” urged Bunter. in great relief. he.” said Bob. “O. He called you names. The—the fact is—. Wharton. In fact.. and so—so I had to let him walk off with the cake. crumbs!” “Well.” “That’s right!” gasped Bunter.” “Coker!” repeated the Famous Five.” “Eh !” “As a witness that he had the cake. with a longing blink at the door. He said. “You fellows go and see Coker about it.” “Did he?” gasped harry Wharton. “ Oh! I—I——. my hat!” ejaculated Bob Cherry.” “If you fellows don’t believe me—!” “Believe you! Oh. you jolly well go to Coker’s study in the Fifth.” “Collar him!” “Scrag him!” “I say. with one voice. “Ananias was a fool to that chap! George Washington wasn’t in the same street with him. if I could—but— but Coker was too big for me to tackle. “I—I wasn’t bolting it! I only had a slice— just a teeny-weeny slice—just a taste! If you fellows are going to make a fuss about a fellow having a teeny-weeny slice of cake —. it showed that Billy Bunter was an optimist.” Harry Wharton and Co. “He— he collared the cake. too. “We’ll go after him—. They were not likely to believe that Coker of the Fifth had raided that cake.” said Bunter. “And we’ll take you with us—. Inky! I—I’d jolly well go after him. “I say. He—he said you were a stuck-up young ass. when you knew he’d gone to Popper Court—. But the idea of a Fifth-form senior snooping a cake in a junior study was a little too steep.” “Oh. and he said you were an obstreperous rhinoceros. he said so. you know. he!” “And you scoffed the cake while we were gone—. “Yes! He—he came into the study. in alarm. “I’d jolly well rag him for it. if I were you. He—he said you were a coal-black nigger. ‘Tell Wharton I’m bagging his cake for knocking my hat off!’ Those very words. I—I’d have stopped him.” “We won’t make a fuss about a teeny-weeny slice—where’s the rest?” “The—the rest? “ stammered Bunter.” said Bob. “Come on!” “Oh!” gasped Bunter. “Yes. I—I’ve got to see .” “You fat villain. do listen to a chap! I never had the cake—another fellow had it. Bob.” said Harry Wharton.“You never saw the cake you were bolting when I looked in?” asked Johnny Bull.K.” “I didn’t !” roared Bunter. gazed at William George Bunter. after—after you were gone!” gasped Bunter.” said Bunter. old chap. “You sent us to wait for the Head in his study. “ You’ll find him and Potter and Greene scoffing that cake. while— while he was snooping the cake. “I—I haven’t had the cake. you fellows. I—I expect he did it because you knocked his hat off. “I—I’d rather not go and see Coker.” Bunter dodged actively round the study table. If Billy Bunter hoped to get by with that.
I—I was sorry for her. Cherry—.” “Take hold of his ears.” “We shall never see that cake again. as actively as a kangaroo. upside down. Five pairs of hands grasped Bunter.” said Bob. ha. “Ow! Oh.” said Bob. and his fat head tapped on the floor of the study. “Coker of the Fifth—I mean Mrs. Christopher Columbus!” said Bob Cherry. Kebble’s cat! That cat’s always nosing into the studies. Kebble’s cat walking off with a cake!” “Ha. ha. “Ha. ha!” “Cough it up. Cats don’t get much these days. 1 Study and the Remove passage outside.” “Oh. Kebble’s cat—he ate it—I mean she ate it. you know. “Ooooooogh!” spluttered Bunter. really. “I mean. “A fat animal named Bunter. “unless we shake it out of Bunter. hear!” “Collar him!” Billy Bunter made another backward jump. Kebble’s cat had it—and it’s inside Bunter all the time. it—it wasn’t Coker! Now—now I come to think of it. only—only I—I could see the poor thing was hungry. “ She had Smithy’s sardines the other day! Now—now she’s had your cake. “I—I say.” “The cat!” yelled the Famous Five. I— I’d have stopped her. you fellows.” “We know you’re fond of one animal. The fat Owl of the Remove was swept off his feet. crikey Oooogh!” Even five sturdy fellows did not find it easy to handle Billy Bunter’s uncommon weight. “Coker had it —and Mrs. “she—she ate it on the table.” agreed Bob.” Billy Bunter executed a backward jump. “I can sort of see Mrs. But it booted not. but he knows there were hardly any plums in it. as Bunter whirled. “I’ve told you.” said Bob. crumbs! Help! I say. where’s that cake?” demanded Johnny Bull.” said Bob. “Yarooh! Leggo! Beasts! I say— whooop !” “Is he heavy?” gasped Bob Cherry. Billy Bunter’s feet went into the air.” “Oh. you fellows yaroop! Oh. But they handled it. crikey! Gurrrrgh! I say— .” “And now. through his spectacles.” hooted Bunter. it was the cat—. with combined efforts.” “He never ate it. really. it—it wasn’t Coker at all!” “I rather thought it wasn’t. Mrs. I wouldn’t make all this fuss about a measly two-bob cake—it wasn’t much of a cake —hardly any plums in it—. “Shake it out of him. A frantic yell awoke all the echoes of No.” “Oh.” gasped Bunter. The study walls seemed to whirl round Bunter. ha!” “Ow! Leggo! You’ll make my specs fall off—wow!—if they get busted you’ll have to pay for them—yow-ow-ow !—— Leggo! Oh. ha!” “She—she didn’t exactly walk it off!” stammered Bunter. “Plenty of room to take hold—.” agreed Bob. ha. you know—you know I’m fond of animals—. you know—. “Yes.a chap up the passage—Mauly’s expecting me—. without an X-ray outfit. as he blinked dizzily.” “Ha. Bunter. What about up-ending him and shaking it out?” “Good egg!” “Hear.
and jump on him. There was a howl in the Remove passage. ha. This time he stayed vanished. Five minutes later the door was cautiously opened from without. ha !” Harry Wharton shut the door after the fleeing fat Owl. When I say three. ha. But that was a little error. “Oooch! Leggo! Wooooh!” Shake! shake! shake! “Urrrrggh!” “Is that cake coming?” asked Bob. I don’t think I should care much for it now if it did——. and I’ll pip. you fellows—.” Whiz! It is said proverbially that half a loaf is better than no bread.” said Bob. and another to the doorway. The cake that was to have graced the festive board was gone—with Bunter : but they supposed that they were done with Bunter. Bob Cherry chuckled. with a bump that shook the study. ha!” “Ooogh! Leggo! I say. “ I wonder if Bunter fancied we were going to jump on him!” “Ha. and the chums of the Remove sorted a rather sparse tea out of the study cupboard. I say. you fellows—!” “Two!” Bob Cherry did not get to “three. I never had that cake— it was Catter of the Fifth—I mean. “stand round him. Bob Cherry picked it up—and Bunter eyed him warily. if you like!” gurgled Bunter. you fellows.urrrrrrggh!” “Ha. “ After all.” “Ha. have you got sardines? Good! I say. as that half-loaf landed on a fat chin. I’ll pay for the cake. “Look here—!” he gasped. The plumpest form at Greyfriars School landed on the floor. scissors! Will you leggo my legs?” shrieked Bunter. Coker of the cat——I mean—. all jump together!” Billy Bunter sat up. ha!” “Gurrrrggh !” spluttered Bunter. ha. “I say.” urged Bunter. I’ll yell for a prefect! I’ll get Wingate up here. . They were not quite done with Bunter. no larks.pip-pay for the kik-kik-cake! Oooogh! Leggo my legs. at all events. “Now. you fellows. “I say. He vanished into the passage. ha!” “Leggo my legs! If you don’t leggo my legs. “Ha. and say—Yarooooooh!” Bunter’s fat legs were suddenly released. crikey! Oh. ha. Mauly’s gone out. “I’m expecting a postal-order to-morrow. Billy Bunter rolled and roared. you know. and Billy Bunter vanished again.” There was a half-loaf of bread on the table. “I say. “I say. and I can’t find anything in his study.” Shake! shake! “Oh.” Billy Bunter made one bound to his feet. “It’s not coming!” said Bob. “Gone!” he said. But it did not seem so to Bunter. you beasts. and a fat face and a big pair of spectacles blinked cautiously in. “One!” said Bob.
Not that you can spell better than I can. of the Remove. I could spell your head off. Often did Billy Bunter adorn the study armchair with his fat person.” explained Bunter. just to impress the pater. “I know there’s one at least. said Bunter. a fellow wants to be sure—and I’ve forgotten. can you? I don’t want any mistakes in spelling. if you sprinkle any K’s in that word. and still wasting his sarcasm. He actually used the word ‘lazy—’. “ I don’t think you’ll impress your pater an awful lot with your spelling. The pater wasn’t awfully pleased with my last report—.’ Me. “He’s prejudiced.Chapter IV BUNTER WRITES HOME ! “How many K’s in ‘succeeded.” “That’s rot. just for the moment. while Toddy and Dutton did their prep. Mr. as he had said. And you jolly well needn’t cackle. still sarcastic. Peter Todd —you can’t spell for toffee. “I shouldn’t put any. as he resumed prep. was giving prep a miss. that a fellow might not be called on for “con” and the fat Owl hoped for the best. All the Lower Fourth were in their studies.” “Lazy! Now what could have put that into Quelch’s head?” asked Peter. irritably. “Why.’ Are there one or two.” said Bunter. “He rather runs me down. blow prep. There won’t be any time after prep —Squiff’s going to have doughnuts in his study— I heard him tell Bob Cherry so. will you. Look it out in the dick. Toddy?” Peter Todd chuckled. Bunter was busy—though not with prep. to make a good impression on Mr. “K’s in ‘succeeded’. “So I want to make this letter jolly good.’ Toddy?” “Eh ?” Peter Todd. Quelch had set his form to prepare. I think I’ll put one K and chance it—I’m pretty certain that’s right. “I’m writing home. and stared across the table at his fat study-mate. “Oh. “Well.” said Bunter. he even said ‘untruthful. Toddy. as a matter of choice. Peter Todd and Tom Dutton were giving their attention to the section of the Æneid which Mr. “ You can’t be too careful when you’re writing home for money.” said Bunter. you know! That’s the sort of justice we get here. hard at work— more or less. and I want to be particularly careful about the spelling in this letter. Prep was on in the Remove. But on this occasion it was not laziness that had supervened. Still. Toddy ?” “Fathead!” “Beast!” “What about prep?” asked Peter. He wanted. Quelch wasn’t very nice about it. you know. crumbs !” said Toddy. Quelch really was not a form-master with whom it was safe to “chance it”: still. Billy Bunter. looked up from his prep.” said Bunter. William George Bunter.” he answered. Bunter—a . He seemed rather surprised by Bunter’s question. as often happened. “I’ve no time for prep. “chancing it” with Quelch in the morning. there was always a hope. how many K’s there are in ‘succeeded. of course. 7.” “Oh.” Peter did cackle. In No. when I’ve got to get through this letter home. Billy Bunter wrinkled his fat brows over that letter home. to begin with.” “Must be hard to please !” remarked Toddy. “How many whatter in which?” asked Peter. in a numerous form. with a deep sarcasm that was wholly and entirely lost on Bunter.
perhaps. He’s a bear. There’s nothing about pinions here. crikey!” said Bunter. Now shut up. I heard the pater say it was going to be a bear market. “You don’t understand these things. “How do you spell ‘opinion’ ?” “Pinion?” repeated Dutton.” said Bunter. Exactly what the difference might be among “bulls. Toddy—. Bunter was sometimes a bull. Tom Dutton looked up at that.” Bunter did not quite know—but he knew that Mr. you make lots and lots of money.” said Bunter. hopefully. “I say. changing like a chameleon according to the state of the market. you silly ass !” roared Bunter. The pater’s been making a lot of money lately. “Eh! Did you speak!” he asked. Dutton!” roared Bunter.” and “bears. there’s no reason why he shouldn’t stand me a decent remittance perhaps a fiver—especially if he’s pleased with this letter. “No more than you do!” agreed Peter. fearsome creatures that haunted the purlieus of Throgmorton Street.” “Well. “No. as he was Bunter’s study-mate——of being deaf. “You get the profits. I think it will be O. I say. before the Y—. peevishly. Dutton had the disadvantage—or the advantage.” went on Bunter. That’s how you make money on the Stock Exchange. and most of the conversation in No. “I say. glancing at his Æneid. Billy Bunter blinked at him impatiently. Well.” said Bunter.” “Ye gods!” said Peter.” “Run in ?” asked Peter.” said Bunter. You see.’ Toddy?” “Not quite. “ That’s why I’ve got to get the spelling right—the pater’s made quite nasty remarks about my spelling—I don’t know why. Dutton.” “The Y !” repeated Peter Todd.K. and stags. Billy Bunter’s father was a stockbroker. unconscious that he was being addressed. and bears. 7 Study was lost on him. as he went on with his work. Not for the first time. and at odd times a stag. And Bunter was badly in want of a remittance. thoughtfully. he had been disappointed about a postal-order he was expecting. “No. loftily. “I say. Now. I’m going to stand a spread in the study if I get a remittance from home with this letter. . and then you get—.” said Peter. but he’s a bear now. Toddy.” and “stags. I shouldn’t put it like that.” “Oh. if the pater’s making lots of profits. “ He was a bull last year. you sell a lot of shares you haven’t got. How’s a fellow to work at prep if you keep on wagging your chin ?” “Do you think there’s a double-N in ‘opinion. when you’re a bear in a bear market.” said Toddy.” Tom Dutton did not look up from prep.” said Bunter.” “He’s a whatter?” “A bear. you know. Peter. I think it’s a double-N. “Well. Bunter. Snort from Bunter.” “Don’t jaw. and he ought to be when I tell him I’ve succeeded in getting Quelch’s good opinion by working hard at my lessons—. blankly. I wonder if Dutton knows. without looking up. “Might even be a tenner. “Is there a Y in ‘opinion’ ?” “Of course there is.good impression might mean a remittance. and at home in the holidays Bunter often beard of bulls. He shook his head. is there a double—N in ‘opinion’? I don’t mean at the end of the word—but in the middle. Last hols. and he’s a bear. Fat lot of good asking you—you can’t spell for nuts. sometimes a bear.” “Sounds more like the Zoo to me. and Peter Todd chuckled.
He read it through. Toddy?” “Ha.” he said. In class this morning he komplimented me on my speling. ha. crumbs ! Know how to spell ‘opinion’ ?” raved Bunter. “ There’s nothing about a spell here. “You’d better not put in rot like that. what’s the good of asking me?” said Dutton gruffly. “Well. and that I have sukseeded in getting Mr. not a spell. Toddy. wich gives an edge to a fellow’s appytight. and spread them when he flew off—but Virgil doesn’t say so.” “I didn’t say better. Mercury appeared to Æneas in his sleep—it was a dream. I’ve never heard of a double-ended pinion anyway. if you hand it out in con. ha!” yelled Peter. But if you think you know better. “Utter rot !” said Torn.’’ “If you know better. Blessed if I see anything to cackle at. while Toddy and Dutton went on with prep. and you’d better not. “A double-ended pinion? No! I keep on telling you that there’s nothing about a pinion at all. I daresay Mercury had pinions. Put it that he faded into the dark night. Also I am offen hungry as the phood is not reely snffishent for a fellow who is always playying strennewus games. ha!” gurgled Peter. I can tell you it won’t do for Quelch. and if the mater could send me a plumm kake it would be verry welkom. “Jaw” was really Bunter’s long suit: but he found it fatiguing with his deaf study-mate. get on with it. What do you think?” Peter looked at the letter. “Ha.” Billy Bunter did not “jaw” any more. “Who ?” “Oh. “What are you . It ran: Deer Father. and seemed satisfied. Have you. and I have no dowt that my nekst report will be a reel corker.’’ howled Bunter. I should be very glad to receeve a pownd noat. I thought you wood like to heer this as it shows how hard I wurk at skool. any more than there is about a pinion. Quelch’s good opinnyon by wurking hard at my lessons. I can tell you that.” said Dutton.” said Bunter.” “Better let her!” repeated Dutton. “Now don’t jaw any more—I’ve got to get through. I am sorry to say that I am short of munny as everything is now so ekspensive. “I’m not doing prep—I’m writing a letter. Quelch will drop on you. The fat Owl had finished his letter by the time his study-mates had finished prep. “I said letter. He grunted. What makes you think it was a spell?” “I didn’t say spell—I said spell—. Sumtimes I am verry tired but I do not cair becawse I am keene on getting a good plaice in form. He gasped as he looked.” “I didn’t say pinion—I said opinion !” shrieked Bunter. Your affectshonate Sun.“Sic fatus nocti se immiscuit atrae—is that where you are?” asked Dutton. and went on with his letter home. blinking at him.” “ Eh?” “Is there a double—N in ‘opinion’ ?” yelled Bunter. blankly. Bunter. William. and said that verry phew fellows in the Remove spelt like me. “I fancy the pater will think my spelling’s all right this time. ha. I am riting these phew lines bekawse I think you will be pleezed to hear that I am getting on verry well in form. Look at that. “I tell you there’s nothing about a pinion here—nothing at all. Not better—letter.
cackling at, Toddy? Think there ought to be more than one K in ‘succeeded’?” “Ha, ha! No. But—.” I’m pretty sure about the double N in ‘opinion’,” said Bunter, thoughtfully. “It looks right, to me. Anything else?” “Ha, ha, ha!” growled Peter. “ If you want to impress you pater with your spelling, old fat man, you’d better write that over again, and let me give you a few tips.” “Well, that wouldn’t do,” said Bunter, shaking his head. “ Your spelling’s pretty rotten, Toddy, if you don’t mind my mentioning it. Only the other day you told me that there was a ‘g’ in ‘neigh’ —and every fool knows that it’s spelt N-A-Y.” “Every fool does!” agreed Peter. “ But—.” “That letter’s all right,” said Bunter decidedly. You needn’t tell me anything about spelling, Toddy—but I’ll tell you what you can do—you can lend me a stamp.” Peter, gurgling, produced a stamp: and Billy Bunter rolled out of the study with his letter— leaving Peter still gurgling. Chapter V OUT OF BOUNDS! JOHNNY BULL shook his head. “No !” he said. “Now, look here, Johnny—!” said Bob Cherry. “My esteemed Johnny———!” murmured Hurree Jamset Ram Singh. “We’re late!” remarked Harry Wharton. “Jolly late,” said Frank Nugent. “ Don’t be a goat, Johnny. We don’t want to get into a row with Quelch for cutting roll.’’ Johnny Bull, standing stolid and solid, shook his head again. Johnny was a fellow of firm opinion. He had, indeed, the firmness of a rock which on occasion seemed to his comrades rather the obstinacy of a mule. The Famous Five were out of gates—and they were late. They had walked over to Highcliffe School, to tea with their friends, Courtenay and the Caterpillar. They had intended to walk back in good time for call-over at their own school. But they had talked cricket, and the time had passed somehow—and it was a long walk back across Courtfield Common—even by all the short cuts they knew. So there they were, in Oak Lane, a good mile from the school, with only a matter of minutes before the bell rang at Greyfriars for roll—and if they were going to get in before old Gosling shut the gate, it was clear that they had to find a shorter route than that by the road. Such a route was available—but it meant going out of bounds. By the side of the lane was a high wooden fence, enclosing the grounds of the “Three Fishers,” a riverside inn. A short cut across those grounds would take them to the tow-path by the Sark, and a quick and easy run to the school. But the “Three Fishers” was a place with a somewhat disreputable reputation, the haunt of racing men, and it was most strictly and severely out of bounds for all Greyfriars fellows. There were fellows at Greyfriars, like Vernon-Smith and Skinner of the Remove, and Price of the Fifth who sometimes paid surreptitious visits to that insalubrious resort. But such exploits were risky, and attended with painful consequences if discovered. Harry Wharton and Co. certainly never had any desire to “play the goat” like Smithy. But circumstances alter cases. It was a short cut home, or lines for cutting roll: and four members of the Co. were in favour of the short cut. Johnny Bull was not. “You fellows can talk till you’re black in the face,” said Johnny, calmly. “But we’re not
going out of bounds——.” “Never been out of hounds in your life, what ?” asked Bob Cherry, sarcastically “Lots of times—but not in that kind of show,” answered Johnny. “Suppose we were spotted! Any fellow spotted in that rotten show might say that he was taking a short cut. Think it would go down?” “The spotfulness is not the terrific probability,” remarked Hurree Jamset Ram Singh, “and we shall otherwisefully be preposterously late.” “Better be late, than walked in to the Head as pub-crawlers,” said Johnny. “ Smithy can have that sort of thing to himself.” “Put it to the vote!” said Bob Cherry. “Good?” said Harry Wharton, laughing. “Hands up for the short cut.” Four hands went up: Johnny Bull’s remained stuck in his pockets. Johnny’s view, no doubt, was the right one. Breaking bounds, in such a quarter, was a serious matter, if discovered. But the risk of discovery was, after all, remote: and lines for being late was not a risk but a certainty. The Co. did not want to have to ring up Gosling, and have their names taken: they did not want to appear as culprits in their form-master’s study, under Quelch’s gimlet eye. They wanted to take that short cut and chance it. “You’re out-voted, Johnny,” said Frank Nugent. “ This Co. goes by vote—and you’re a minority of one. So shut up and come on.” “I tell you——!” grunted Johnny. “We’re wasting time!” Harry Wharton pointed out. “You’ve said your piece, old man— now come on.” “I tell you— !” “Speech is silvery, my esteemed Johnny, but silence is the cracked pitcher that goes longest to the well, as the English proverb remarks,” said Hurree Jamset Ram Singh. “Good old English proverb!” chuckled Bob. Come on, you men! “And Bob Cherry settled the matter by making a jump at the fence, and catching the top. “I tell you—!” hooted Johnny Bull. “Follow your leader!” said Harry. And he clambered over the fence after Bob, and Nugent and the nabob of Bhanipur followed. Johnny Bull gave an expressive grunt. But he took his hands out of his pockets and followed his friends. His solid commonsense seemed to be of no use to four fellows in a hurry, and he gave up the disputed point. Five active juniors dropped on the inner side of the fence, into the weedy and unkempt grounds of the riverside inn. In the distance they could see the red-tiled old inn, with a tree-shaded path leading down to the gate on the tow-path. It was quite a short run, and the juniors did not intend to waste time in those forbidden precincts. Indeed, now that they were fairly inside, and committed to it, they were all feeling a little uneasy. Certainly, they meant no harm, and there was no harm in taking a short cut—but there was no doubt that appearances were against them, if they were seen. “Put it on,” said Bob. “Race you to the gate.” “Nice if we run into a prefect on the towpath,” remarked Johnny Bull. “The pre’s are all in hall now, fathead—think Wingate or Gwynne or Loder will be wandering along the towpath when the bell’s just going to ring for roll ! If anybody sees us, it won’t be a Greyfriars man.” “Quelch often walks on the tow-path————.” “Not at this time of day.” “Well, I think—.” “No, you don’t,” said Bob. “You exaggerate, old man. Anyhow, pack it up, and come
on—we might as well have gone the long way round, if we’re going to stand here while you do a chin solo.” “I jolly well think—.” “No, you don’t,” said Bob, and he started at a run: and Johnny gave it up once more, and raced with his friends. They had no use for words of wisdom : and really, once they were inside that prohibited fence, words of wisdom were rather superfluous—the urgent thing was to get out as fast as possible. They sprinted for the distant gate. As they came into the path by the inn, a fat man smoking a cigar in the wooden verandah stared at them blankly. They had a moment’s glimpse, as they passed, of Mr. Joe Banks, the bookmaker, with his red face, his red nose, his cigar, and his bowler hat cocked at a rakish angle on his greasy head. Then they went speeding down to the gateway as if they were on the cinder-path. Bob Cherry, in the lead, hurtled out of the open gateway rather like a thunderbolt—just as a man turned into it from the tow-path. Crash! It was a terrific collision. Neither saw the other till they crashed—the man turned in, just as Bob careered out, and a collision simply couldn’t be avoided. “Oh!” gasped Bob. He staggered from the shock, and sat down, and Frank Nugent tumbled over him before he could stop. The other three, panting, stopped just in time. Bob had sat down, suddenly and hard—but the man into whom he had crashed had fared worse. He was a small, slight man, quite a light-weight and the shock hurled him over backwards, sprawling on his back on the greasy tow-path. He sprawled there winded, gasping for breath, his hat rolling in the grass. Oh, my hat! “ ejaculated Harry Wharton, in dismay. “Bob’s done it now !” murmured Johnny Bull. “I told you—.’’ “Ooooooh!” gasped Bob. “Who—what—oh, crumbs !” He staggered to his feet, “ I say —oh, crikey——it’s Twiss !” “Twiss !” breathed Nugent. “ The Twissfulness is terrific !”
THE FAMOUS FIVE STARED AT THE SPRAWLING MAN
The Famous Five stared at the sprawling man, in dismay, almost in horror. It was little Mr. Twiss, the Head’s new secretary. Not for a moment had they thought of Mr. Twiss,
“Here is your estimable hat. “I said——. “Ooooch!” gurgled Mr. “Wharton! Cherry! Nugent! Bull! Hurree Singh! You have been out of bounds—that place is out of bounds ! I shall report this to your form-master.” said Nugent.or remembered his existence. sir—. so long as you don’t say any more. that it was an odd circumstance that the Head’s secretary had been coming in at the gate of that disreputable inn. Twiss.” “We were only taking a short cut. not yet recovered from the shock. just as Gosling was about to close them.” We didn’t see you. “We’re fearfully sorry—. “What? what? Certainly I am hurt—I have had a very painful shock. “Awfully sorry. The frown he bestowed on the hapless five was like unto the frightful.” said Harry. frantic frown of the Lord High Executioner. and walked on up the tow-path. And there he was— sprawling at their feet. Mr. They arrived at the school gates with a burst of speed. and Johnny. “I told you so !” remarked Johnny Bull.” gasped Mr. Still panting for breath. I am breathless! Oooooh. Evidently he was in a very bad temper. Ugggh. raced after them. sir. “ I have been knocked over! Ugggh. Nugent and Johnny Bull lent Wharton a hand in helping Mr. And when Mr. grunting. leaned on the gate-post and spluttered for breath. They were “spotted” out of bounds by someone belonging to Greyfriars: and they could hardly expect Mr. supported by the anxious juniors. when Mr. at the five dismayed juniors. sir.” “What? what? Nonsense ! I shall certainly report you to Mr. and jammed it on his ruffled fluffy hair. He set the pince-nez straight on his nose. Twiss to keep silent on the subject. He stood unsteadily. Twiss jerked himself away from supporting hands.” said Bob.” But the chums of the Remove did not stay to listen to what Johnny had told them.” “Never mind what you said. Twiss reported them: and being late for roll would not improve matters. Bob Cherry. Twiss. and stared—or rather. that kind attentions might produce a placating effect. They were really sorry that the little man had been knocked over. Twiss was helped to his feet. “What a go!” murmured Bob. Hurree Jamset Ram Singh ran to retrieve his hat. fearful. Twiss a hand to help him to rise. meekly.” Mr.” We hope you’re not hurt. called the names in hall. five rather breathless voices answered “adsum” with the rest. that was certain. Harry Wharton and Co.” “The sorrowfulness is terrific. if it came to that: and there was a hope. Twiss up. There was going to be a row. sir. for the moment. Prout. the master of the Fifth. They raced along the tow-path towards the school. “What—who—you rushed into me.” gasped Bob. too. Quelch—I am surprised— shocked—disgusted! Pah!” Mr. Twiss grabbed his hat from the Nahob.” said Hurree Jamset Ram Singh. Come on——no good being late for roll after all. Harry Wharton ran forward to give Mr. sir—. knocked over and winded by Bob as he charged out of the gateway. he turned his back on them. looked at one another. . esteemed sahib. “I told you—. glared. It did not occur to them.
they wanted to get it over. sir! I mean. It was very disconcerting. They had scraped in just in time for roll. “Oh. They stood waiting. sir. “ I—I mean. That remark was not loud enough for “Henry” to hear. so that was all right. Quelch appeared in the doorway. “Oh!” ejaculated Bunter. “Yes. sir. what had I better do?” “Cut off and take your lines to Quelch. nothing! I—I mean. They were in the Rag.” “Now for the chopper !” sighed Nugent. would probably not have been gratified to hear himself alluded to as “Henry. Go and fetch them at once.” answered Toddy. anything! That is. sir They’re in my study. Mr. “Bunter!” rapped out Mr. The gimlet-eye roved over the crowd of juniors in the room. departed from the doorway. Quelch. master of the Greyfriars Remove. Bunter. Obviously Quelch had not come for them—so it seemed to the breakers of bounds. The Famous Five were not in a happy mood. “Yes. “It wasn’t me. and somewhat severe countenance of Mr. which was a relief to the fat Owl. I—I say. “Beast!” breathed Bunter. It was now nearly time for prep. Mr. really. “But there ain’t any lines. The gimlet-eye fixed on a fat figure at a little distance.Chapter VI THE SWORD OF DAMOCLES “HERE comes Henry!” murmured Bob Cherry. “Eh! You told Quelchy you’d written them.” “Have you written your lines. Quelch. frowning. yes. Bunter?” “Oh! Lines.” “What! What was not you.” Mr. expecting the gimlet-eye to fix on them. But as soon as Twiss came in from his walk.” “A pie!” repeated Mr. “Oh. old chap. “ I—I say. if it’s anything about a pie.” gasped Bunter. sir. think it would go down if I told Quelch I left them on the . I haven’t had time to write them. To their surprise and relief. like the sword of Damocles. sir—. somebody’s pie lay heavy on Billy Bunter’s guilty conscience. I don’t know anything about it. You can ask Skinner—he knows! I gave him some. Henry Samuel Quelch. and bring them to my study. Bunter—. sir. sir!” stammered Bunter.” said Mr. certainly. no. but the call had not yet come. as he always left them till the last possible moment. they expected to be called in by their form-master.” “Oh. It was not a missing pie—it was lines. you know. They did not want the thing hanging over their heads. “You utterly stupid boy. sir!” Bunter blinked at his form-master in alarm. Quelch. but it didn’t sound true.” You should have brought them to me. with a tale that they had been out of bounds simply for the harmless and necessary purpose of taking a short cut. He spun round. Quelch did not smile. when the lean figure. Bunter?” “Oh ! Nothing. I certainly haven’t had a pie today. and sometimes later than that.” explained Bunter. Quelch. But if they had to face that gimlet-eye. severely. Toddy. till after prep. Perhaps Twiss had not yet come in—or perhaps he had not yet taken the trouble to report to Quelch. It was true. He glared.” “Oh! Yes! That—that was only a figure of speech. Quelch did not look at them. Evidently. blankly.” There was a chuckle in the Rag. The juniors certainly did not want to face Quelch’s gimlet-eye. sir. fathead. sir. Bunter had lines—he generally had.
you men? “ Herbert Vernon-Smith joined the Famous Five. you fellows.” “Thanks. I know all about these short cuts. quite !” he agreed.” said Nugent. and rolled out of the Rag—with the problem of those unwritten lines still unsolved. “Did he believe it?” The captain of the Remove made no reply to that. “Not us.” said the Bounder. “Did you tell Twiss you were taking a short cut?” asked Smithy. and tell Quelch you saw them blow out of the window—. Quelch would believe you—he mightn’t me— you know he makes out that I’m untruthful. You can’t expect it to wash with Quelch. “I told you so at the time. “But the ridiculous suspense is preposterously infuriating. Besides.” murmured Bob Cherry. Smithy. “Oh. quietly. “ We were late and took a short cut across the ‘Three Fishers’ grounds. “He’s bound to report fellows he spots pub-crawling. look here.” “What?” yelled Peter.” “It’s true !” snapped Wharton. He gave me six of the very best —. “We want to get it over. and they blew out of window?” “Hardly!” chuckled Peter.” He broke off. Billy Bunter yelled. you come with me. “My nose will do very well where it is. I was taking a short cut myself by the ‘Cross Keys’ last week when Wingate of the Sixth spotted me. dismally. “If you think we go pub. And that’s what he thinks.” “Mightn’t be going to report us after all!” said Bob. . and ran into Twiss on the tow-path. You come to Quelch and say——Beast! Ow! Wow! Wharrer you kicking me for? Yarooh!” Peter Todd did not explain what he was kicking Bunter for. who were standing in a group by the window. and—.” “What’s the row.” “Then don’t tell us any more !” suggested Bob. old chap.” “That’s rot! “ said Johnny Bull. hopefully.” said Hurree Jamset Ram Singh.” “Serve you jolly well right !” grunted Johnny Bull. “Henry hasn’t heard yet. “The boundfulness is terrific. “If you don’t believe it. “Well. with a nod. imperturbably. “After all. I told him so. He just kicked. and—.study table. “Yes !” growled Wharton. it’s no business of his—the Head’s secretary isn’t a beak—he has nothing to do with the school—it doesn’t concern him. put it plain—and I’ll push your nose through the hack of your head. Twiss must be in by this time.” “Bother him!” said Harry. as the Bouncier winked. “It was too thin—but the best I could think out in the circumstances. surely.crawling like you do. “Well.” answered Harry Wharton.” “Bound to come. “I’ll do as much for you another time.” said Johnny Bull.” We shouldn’t have taken that short cut. The Bounder laughed. “Did you think Quelchy was after you? You looked like it ! What have you been up to?” “Nothing really. say so !” said Bob Cherry. I did tell you so—.
Johnny Bull was right —there was no doubt about that—they oughtn’t to have taken that short cut.” said Nugent. He pushed hack his cuffs. “If that’s true—if you’re not making some silly mistake—you needn’t worry about Twiss reporting you to Quelch. “I say—you mad asses—leggo —ow!” “Bump!” . Now bump him for being right. it’s rather queer.” said Bob. “if you tell us again that you told us so —. “Bosh !” said Bob. then. as his comrades suddenly grasped him. and telling us so. gum ! That tears it. he won’t say a word to Quelch. “But we did!” howled Bob. look at it. as they went up—but the Remove master did not glance at them.” “How could I help it!” growled Bob. I know we did! But if we hadn’t——.” “What on earth was Twiss doing. and he told us so. “We were putting on speed. sighted Mr.” “Oh.” said Vernon-Smith. either grateful or comforting. He had told them so—that was not to be denied. “ He was strewn over the tow-path. don’t be a goat.” said Vernon-Smith. and they were worried. “Oh. Quelch. and the juniors went up to their studies for prep. in a deep voice. I did tell you so!” Johnny pointed out. “Well. “If we hadn’t taken that short cut—!” said Johnny Bull. and made no sign. “Yes. “Piffle!” said Nugent. and—. and bumped him on the landing. hear!” “Hold on—leggo—look here—I say—Whoooo!” roared Johnny Bull. blandly.” said the Bounder. “Yes. Evidently the sword of Damocles was to remain suspended over their heads. he won’t want to advertise it.” “If that’s true—!” “If !” roared Bob. and Twiss turned in at the gate just as I was bolting out. Must have been a clumsy ass to crash into him. there’s more in him than meets the eye.” said Harry Wharton.” “Why not?” asked Nugent.” “Oh.“Truth is stranger than fiction. in the distance. rot.” “Well. staring. A few minutes later the bell rang. but. if you’ve got it right.” said Harry. “That does it !” said Bob. “Sure that Twiss saw you coming out?” “Not much doubt about that. and strolled away.” Johnny Bull’s comrades glared at him. “Twiss looks like a little tame rabbit. “ He must have come in —why can’t he put Quelch wise and get it over. “Johnny’s right— he’s always right.” “Well.’ If Twiss really was going in. of course. If you’ve got it right. on the Remove landing. come to think of it. Harry Wharton and Co. But the fact that Johnny had “told them so” was not.” “Hear. “NOW look here. Head-master’s secretaries aren’t supposed to drop in at pubs like the ‘Three Fishers. in the circumstances.” “Blow him terrifically!” said Hurree Jamset Ram Singh. or it wouldn’t have happened. “Blow the man!” growled Bob Cherry.” “He turned in at the gate !” repeated Smithy. It was exasperating. going into a den like the ‘Three Fishers’ “You’re dreaming. “but that’s what happened— Twiss was going in as we were coming out—. The Bounder laughed. as Bob crashed into him in the gateway. The suspense of waiting to be called in to Quelch was disturbing and disconcerting. uneasily.
leaving Johnny Bull sitting on the landing. who had opened his envelope. Bob.” he said.” said Bob. perhaps. old fat bean. you fellows! Is there one for me?” It was morning break. anything in your letter?” asked Bunter. there was no reason. Bunter really was making “lots and lots” of money as a “bear” on the Stock Exchange. ha!” “The fact is. If it was not a ten.” said Harry Wharton.” “Ha.” said Bunter. and it might be a fiver—or a tenner. ha. crumbs! Wow!” “Ha. “Fat lot of good a fellow taking all the trouble to write home. ought to have pleased his honoured parent. and taken something therefrom that he had put into his pocket. Bob. it could only be a pound note—and a fellow who had a pound note . Among them was William George Bunter. “ I wrote specially to the pater a few days ago. and some of the Remove had gathered round the rack to look for letters. went on to their studies.” “But it isn’t a ten—shilling note. “Nothing for you. “Hallo. from Bunter. why a fiver or a tenner should not come his way. hallo! Expecting a postal-order. Billy Bunter’s little round eves gleamed behind his big round spectacles. as the ridiculous poet remarks. glancing at the letters. like mine. It seemed to Bunter that that letter home.shilling note. But if your pater has coughed up a ten-shilling note. and it’s time he answered.” “One for you. “Is the expectfulness terrific. He’s making lots and lots of money on the Stock Exchange. The sword of Damocles was still suspended over their heads: but at all events Johnny was not likely to tell them any more that he had told them so! Chapter VII NOT A POUND NOTE! “I SAY. “Only !” said Bunter. my esteemed fat Bunter?” chuckled Hurree Jamset Ram Singh. “Now give him another for having told us so. old fat man?” asked Bob Cherry. Grunt. “ Look here—ow! Oh. “Well.” said Harry. I’m expecting a remittance from home. so far Bunter could see. a note’s a note! You can’t expect to get whacking tips like I do— your people ain’t rich. gasping for breath. that’s pretty rotten.” “Whose stamp?” asked Peter Todd. and produced at least a pound note—while if Mr. and Bob Cherry caught it. hallo.” Bump! “Yooo-hoop!” roared Johnny. and all that. blinking anxiously through his big spectacles. Billy Bunter blinked at the rack. I might as well have saved my stamp. ha!” The Co. old chap—.“Oooooh!” “That’s for being right!” said Bob. “I say. you’re in luck.” “The perhapsfulness is terrific. “Only a note. “Well. ha.” answered Bob.’’ The captain of the Remove “chucked” it over. and taking a lot of trouble with his spelling. turning his spectacles on Bob Cherry. “Hope springs eternal in the human chest. with its very careful spelling. “Good ! Chuck it over.
I don’t expect quid tips from home. “I say. you know. “Hold on.” said Bob. “You let Bob alone! Bob can lend a pal a pound note if he likes. no. ain’t we. Billy Bunter was very unlikely to use it for such a purpose as the settlement of debt. “You shut. old boy——. Have you got so many notes that you want to chuck one away?” “You shut up. old chap!” said Bunter. you ass!” exclaimed Johnny Bull. Cherry!” “Still. We’re pals.” said Nugent. A dozen fellows stared at that proceeding. Bull!” “You don’t often get a quid tip. ha.was a fellow in whom Billy Bunter was deeply interested. “ I seem to have heard something of the kind. it will be for a pound. “First I’ve heard of it. laughing. I’ll come to the tuck—shop with you and change that note. Didn’t I tell you that I was expecting a postal-order?” “Did you? “ said Bob.” “Well. Bob.” “Oh.” said Peter Todd. where pocket-money was counted in shillings. and take my postal-order when— when it comes! See?” “The whenfulness will probably be terrific. “Oh. anyhow. sententiously.” “Coming out. That Billy Bunter’s celebrated postal-order was likely to arrive. don’t walk away while a chap’s talking to you !” gasped Bunter. “Come on. now he’s rolling in it. grabbing Bob’s sleeve with a grubby fat paw. somehow.” said Bunter. sympathetically.” “I’m not taking it to the tuck—shop. “But that postal-order’s a cert. “You shut up. ha!” “I may get a big remittance from my pater any day. look here.” said Harry Wharton. warmly. “ I’ll let you have my postal-order for it to-morrow. that almost trembled with eagerness.” “Well. As it happens. old fellow——. if you want this note—. old fellow—.” “All the more reason to take care of that one. Did you fellows know that Bunter was expecting a postal-order?” “Ha.” remarked Hurree Jamset Ram Singh. you men?” asked Bob. “I say. old chap. nobody but Bunter believed—and perhaps Bunter had his doubts! And even if it did miraculously arrive. old chap—. Bob?” “Are we?” asked Bob. “I’m certainly not going to change this note. though. “Look here.” said Bob. Bob. “Bob.” “Hand it over.” said Bunter. Bob. laughing. and it’s absolutely certain to come to-morrow. “I say. Bull!” exclaimed Bunter. don’t be an ass. “ my people ain’t rich like Bunter’s. really. Nugent!” howled Bunter. “You shut up.” said Harry Wharton. and if Bunter really wants it—. Bob. as Bob’s hand came out of his pocket with something crumpled in it. if you’re not going to change it.” “Fools and their money are soon parted!” commented Johnny Bull. up Wharton—. And a pound was a considerable sum in the Lower Fourth. lend it to me. I say. He held out a fat hand. It sounds sort of familiar. eagerly.” “For the first time in your life ?” asked Bob. really. Cherry! I say.” admitted Bob. “Well. I’ve been disappointed about a postal—order. eagerly. “You shut up. Bob put his hand in his pocket. you lend me that note. It’s from one of my titled relations. Toddy!” .
It was nothing like a pound note. old chap. “Is that how you thank a fellow for tipping you a pound note. you silly idiot?” Harry Wharton and Co.” And Bob Cherry thrust the crumpled paper into Bunter’s fat paw. leaving Skinner staring.” “Fancy Bunter thinking that a note from Snell the shoemaker was a pound note !” said Bob. my hat!” said Harry Wharton. “What’s the good of that to me? “ yelled Bunter. evidently. “If you want it. Yours faithfully J.” gasped Bunter. Dear Sir. “But you seemed to want it. The chums of the Remove looked at it. It bore not the slightest resemblance to any document issued by the British Treasury. Snell It was a note ! There was no doubt about that. ha. and walked away with his friends.” said Bob.” “Ha. rather. turned round.” answered Bob. Bunter?” “Beast!” roared Bunter. He held it up. “ Hallo ! What’s the matter. “Never mind what those fellows say. “My dear chap. Certainly he couldn’t have changed that note at the school shop! “Ha. you fellows !” howled Bunter. a beatific grin—but only for a moment! Now it was red with wrath. “Look at it!” “Eh! What?” “Look !” yelled Bunter. so I thought —. shaking his head. and as it’s no use to me—. old fat man. But a note from the shoemaker’s in Friardale was not of much use to Billy Bunter. “Well.” “Ha. old fat man. ha !” “Well. You can trust me. some fellows are fools!” remarked Skinner.” said Bob. and may be called for when convenient. “I say—Bob Cherry—you beast—look here! What’s the good of this. Bunter?” “Tain’t a pound note!” shrieked Bunter. It was a note. “Yes. Bunter—. can’t you old fellow?” “Not further than I can see you. if you really want it. Something. “Beast! I—I mean. here you are!” said Bob. slowly. I shan’t want it—I shall be getting my old—age pension by that time.“Well. ha. He rushed after the Famous Five. But it was not a pound note. you . ha !” yelled the Co. ha !” “I thought it was a pound note—you said it wasn’t a ten—shilling note. They understood now why Bob Cherry had parted with that “note” so cheerfully. The shoes are now repaired. Four of them looked astonished. “I say. for a moment. Bunter’s fat face had worn. was the matter. gently. “I didn’t suppose it would be any good. here it is. I don’t get pound tips—my people ain’t rich like yours. ha. dear old chap—. And don’t worry about handing over your postal-order for it when it comes. “Well. as he rolled in wrathful pursuit of the Famous Five.
” “The truefulness is terrific. He could see that the juniors were expecting him to walk them directly to Quelch’s study.” said Mr. as Mr.’ when I was passing on the tow-path yesterday.” Harry Wharton and Co. when he glanced round and saw the cheery bunch of juniors. Wharton. “I have not yet spoken to your form-master. Mr. I was very much surprised. It was in fact his duty to do so. Twiss blinked from face to face through his rimless pince-nez. Twiss. Twiss. made no reply to that. But it happens to he true. “It was a fatheaded thing to do. true or false. sir!” murmured Hurree Jamset Ram Singh. What Lower Fourth juniors did was not exactly any concern of the headmaster’s secretary: but it seemed impossible that he would fail to report what he had seen to their form-master.” “Ha. glaring after them with a glare that almost cracked his spectacles. went out into the quad. and smiled faintly. So far. But they did not want to argue the point. “You told me that you had been merely taking a short cut. and a little uneasily. Twiss came up to them in the quad.” chuckled Hurree Jamset Ram Singh. The smiles faded from five faces. his eyes very sharp behind his pince-nez as he watched the juniors’ faces. Any boy seen in such a place might make the same explanation.” said Johnny Bull. sir. With the cheery optimism of youth. of course. or the collision would never have happened.” went on Mr. Twiss. till they were reminded of it by Mr. and came across to them. Now they had no doubt that the “chopper” was coming down.” But they became grave at once. Quelch on the subject of that unlucky short cut at the “Three Fishers.know.” “The pullfulness was terrific. squeaky voice. “Pulling my leg all the time—. and addressed the captain of the Remove. ha !” Harry Wharton and Co. and they all looked very serious. Chapter VIII ALL CLEAR “WHARTON!” “Oh! Yes. sir!” The Famous Five were chuckling over the incident of Billy Bunter and Bob Cherry’s “note.” said Harry. They capped the Head’s secretary respectfully. “That was true. and I told these fellows so at the time. to see you coming out of such a place as the ‘Three Fishers. ha. Mr. Mr. in his highpitched. Billy Bunter was left with that “note” crumpled in a fat paw.” His manner had been as usual in the form-room that morning. ha !” “Beast!” roared Bunter. they had heard nothing from Mr.” “It was a very thoughtless action.” “I know that. and it was clear that he was not aware that those five members of his form had been “spotted” out of bounds in a questionable quarter. Wharton. “I have been considering the matter. “We should have been late for roll if we hadn’t. they were rather forgetting the sword of Damocles that was still suspended over their heads. “But that was how it was.” . ha. laughing. sir. Twiss was walking under the old elms. “Ha. Twiss had not been “passing on the towpath” : he had been turning into the gateway. and very much shocked.
” said Mr.” said Frank Nugent. he’s thought it over. well.” “His reasons are plain enough.’’ “Now he’s thought it over!” said Nu gent. “ but that doesn’t alter the fact that we were out of bounds.” “Only he wouldn’t want the beaks to know that he liked !” “Well.” “The all-clearfulness is—. realise how very foolish it was to risk placing yourselves under suspicion. Much obliged to Twiss.” said Bob. and walked away under the elms. “I don’t want a row with Quelch. was he?” “Oh.” said Nugent. It was his duty. “He was coming in at the gate.” “Well. A man’s liable to get shirty if you charge him over all of a sudden. is he ?” “Well. sarcastically. You acted very thoughtlessly: and you will.” said Johnny Bull. he’s thought it over since. “Oh. “Not a bad little ass. Quelch. I do not think it necessary to trouble Mr.” said Johnny. Mr. “He believes what we’ve told him.“Well. Johnny Bull was silent. He left them feeling extremely relieved. I believe you. blow Smithy!” “Blow him as hard as you like.” said Bob. if he’d taken us to Quelch.” said Harry Wharton a little sharply. I am sure. But Twiss ought to have reported us to Quelch. “I’ll keep my thanks till I’ve something to thank him for.” said Harry. Twiss gave the juniors a nod.” “The ‘Three Fishers’ isn’t out of bounds for head-master’s secretaries. “He’s just said that he was passing the ‘Three Fishers’ when you cannoned into him. I think it’s jolly good natured of him to keep mum. I believe you.” “Terrific!” chuckled Bob. but now that I have thought over the matter. I suppose he could see that we were telling the truth. Or did you want a report to Quelch and a detention or a whopping?|” Grunt. It would have meant a detention at least. in the circumstances.” “Oh.” said Bob.” said Bob. and he ought to have done it. all the same. uneasily. Didn’t you ?” “Well. rot. Twiss. with a grin.” “Oh! Thank you. “Good luck!” said Bob. You might have thanked him too. “but Smithy was right. I shall say nothing about the matter—but you must let it he a warning to you. and you can bet that Quelch would have wondered. And if he hasn’t it’s for his own reasons. not for ours. “They can trickle in there if they like. I think.” . “Not to say preposterous. and he was a hit shirty at the time. yes !” “And it would have come out. if you do.” “I don’t ! No more than you do. Well.” “He didn’t believe it at the time.” “We’re well out of it. and there was really no need to drag Quelch into it. Sir!” said four voices in chorus. if we had that right —as we know we had. “All clear now. from Johnny Bull. Johnny.” said Johnny.” he answered “Twiss hasn’t let us off on his own account.” assented Johnny. yes. “I was very much startled and shocked at the time. “Quelch would have believed us. Smithy said last night that he wouldn’t mention it to Quelch. too. stolidly. You walloped into him face to face. He’s got his reasons.
you’d better get a move on.” “He seems to be cultivating quite a taste for our society. “ And I jolly well think—.” “Ha.” The Famous Five went to the school shop. the Head wants you in his study at once. Billy Bunter was standing outside the little shop in the corner of the quad. Now. with a reproachful blink. “You’re wanted. It was not a chicken that would fight twice! But the fat and fatuous Owl evidently hoped that it would.’’ chuckled Bob. Really. any day.” “Ha. and—and see that nobody snaffles it. “ You know how waxy Quelch gets if you keep him waiting—. and mop up the ginger-pop. at once—. ha. then. Twiss. “I say. his eyes and spectacles fixed on the window. I’d go at once. you fellows!” he exclaimed. really. rather!” said Bunter. “You know how stuffy the beaks get if you keep them waiting!” “And you’ll look after the tuck while we’re gone?” grinned Bob. if I were you!” urged Bunter. affably. Bob Cherry—. A few days ago Bunter had pulled their leg in exactly that manner.” “Oh. anxiously. “I’d do more than that for fellows I really like. ha !” “I say what I think. if you like.” said Bunter. “Beast !” Bob chuckled. you men! What price that for a really hopeful nature?” “Oh. “The tastefulness is terrific. Twiss. He blinked at the juniors as they went in. ha!” “I hope you don’t think I’m after your tuck.” “I’ll tell you what. Better cut off.“Well. and they had fallen for it. “Yes. Like a podgy Pen at the gate of Paradise.” said Bob. old chap. “He hopes we don’t think he’s after our tuck.” “I say.” said Johnny Bull. the minute we’ve turned our backs?” “Yes. “The Head wants us. So let’s cut along to the tuckshop——if Johnny’s finished his lecture on the Whole Duty of Man. Having been disappointed about a remittance that morning. with knobs on. all together. Bunty?” asked Bob Cherry. I say. “I’d rather play cricket than sit in a detention class. Bunter rolled in from the quad. I’m glad he’s not such a whale on duty as you think he ought to he. the Owl of the Remove gazed longingly at good things that were beyond his reach. with ginger-beer and buns thereon and a few moments later. does he?” gasped Bob Cherry. “Changed that note yet. gazed at Billy Bunter. Bunter was in his usual stony state. Cherry! I say. they were not likely to fall for it a second time.” said Bob. my hat!” ejaculated Bob. “come and have a ginger-pop——and I’ll stand you a twopenny bun if you won’t tell us what you think !” “Fathead !” “Same to you.” . you fellows. Come on. to discuss ginger-pop and buns—much more to their taste than Mr.” remarked Nugent. ha. They sat down round a little table.” “What ?” yelled the Famous Five. old chap—I—I mean No—. and Johnny Bull’s ideas on the subject of Mr. there’s just time for ginger-pop before the bell goes for class. and passed into the tuck-shop with his friends. “He—he sent me to look for you.” Harry Wharton and Co. “Yes. eagerly. you chaps—he looked rather shirty! I’ll look after your tuck while you’re gone. Trust me !” “And you’ll scoff the buns.
and the wild and reckless Bounder. hallo!” roared Bob. At that hour. He was anxious—but almost as angry as anxious. “You’re up. “Did I say Quelch? I—I mean the Head.” snapped Redwing. no! I’m going to kick Bunter all round the shop for telling whoppers. “But if you can’t be decent. as well as the head?” “Oh! I—I mean the Head!” stammered Bunter. There was a faint sound of regular breathing in the long dusky dormitory and an intermittent rumble of Billy Bunter’s snore.” “Right!” agreed Bob. and his comrades stared at him. dully through the night. Reddy—and not dreamin’ of me. it’s only Bunter’s gammon. “Look here.” Tom Redwing peered at him in the gloom. “Reddy. He just went ! Chapter IX TWO IN THE DARK! “SMITHY. Remove fellows wondered sometimes at the friendship between the quiet. “We’ll get a move on. I’ve got up and dressed myself to take a stroll in the corridor. Some of the beaks might be still up.” “Dear old Quelch!” murmured the Bounder.” “Hallo. Smithy. of course. however. Tom Redwing sat up in bed. If the dear man’s dreamin’.” “Oh !” gasped Bunter. he slipped quietly from his bed. “I suppose it’s no good asking you to chuck this because it’s a rotten thing to do—. steady Redwing. old chap—. “Look here. “Don’t be a goat. he looked fierce. you ass.” “Quiet ! Don’t wake the dorm.” He laughed softly.“Quelch! Does Quelch want us. “I say—. in whose restless nature there seemed to be an ineradicable kink of blackguardism. in the glimmer of moonlight from the high windows. it’s more likely to be of pius Æneas or the . you ass !” he breathed. He will be in a wax if you don’t go at once.” “How well you know me!” agreed Smithy. and began to get his clothes on. Go to sleep. all Greyfriars School was dark and silent. hallo. “ Where are you going.” he muttered. there was at least one exception—the Bounder of Greyfriars was wide awake. you might have a little sense. Reddy! I’ve got to see a man about a horse. “Fast asleep now. But the Bounder did not expect to hear anything else: and a low whispering voice from the next bed startled him. old chap!” Herbert Vernon-Smith gave a jump.” said Johnny Bull.” He rose from the table. Eleven strokes had boomed out from the old Greyfriars clock-tower.” “Good !” said Harry Wharton. from the Sixth to the Second. And as the last stroke of eleven died away. But that ill-assorted friendship was very deep and real: and it was the reason why Tom was awake that night when his chum was about to creep softly from the sleeping dormitory. sarcastically. “You’re not going to the Head?” “Oh.” he muttered. “ Quelch has had his eye on you all this term—. Do get a move on. On this particular night.” “You’re breaking out?” “Oh! No!” said the Bounder. were in bed and asleep—or should have been. I say. in their studies : but all the forms. you know. Smithy. “We’ll all do the same. Bunter?” Billy Bunter did not stop to explain where he was going.
His luck had always been good—and he banked on his luck. It was “pie” to the Bounder to carry on in his own arrogant way. hallo.” muttered Redwing.” “Not in the least! You’re losin’ your beauty sleep for nothin’.” short and sharp. and crossed the wide landing to the staircase. in his cunning and resource. “I suppose it’s no use talking to you—. “It’s risky enough for Smithy anyway—. “You know you’re under suspicion. Smithy.. After all. a law unto himself to delude the “beaks” and beat watchful prefects. “ You know what it means. and stared round. Evidently the nabob of Bhanipur had awakened also. you fellows.” urged Redwing.” “Smithy out on the tiles !” There was a chuckle from Skinner. of the thrill of danger for its own sake. anxiously.’ I thought it would be safer later. for a fellow with plenty of nerve—and Smithy had never lacked nerve. “I’ll tell a man he does.” came another voice.” “Speech may be taken as read!” yawned the Bounder. to the anxiety—not unmingled with angry disgust —of his chum Redwing.Seven Against Thebes. “He’ll run into a beak or a pre. There was a door on the .” And Smithy chuckled again. Smithy had his good qualities : there was more good than bad in him: but he had a love of excitement. “Oh. don’t he a fool It’s too risky. Smithy was not insensible. wake the whole dorm!” snarled Vernon-Smith. The whole House was buried in silence and slumber. “Can’t you fellows keep quiet and let a fellow sleep?” “Quiet. one of these times. breaking out at night—you’d be sacked like a shot if they spot you—. “I’ll leave you to it!” And he slipped away to the door.” “Silly ass!” said Frank Nugent. He was quite cool as he crept away silently down the dark corridor. Smithy.” snapped the Bounder. you mean!” grunted Johnny Bull.” “For goodness’ sake. But if that feeling influenced him.” “I guess that guy surely does ask for it!” came a nasal yawn from Fisher T. hallo!” came a drowsy voice. too.” “The rightfulness will be terrific. That risk gave an added zest to his adventure. it did not influence him to the extent of restraining him from his reckless escapades. for goodness’ sake. “Who’s that jawing?” Bolsover major was awake. earnestly. and the Bounder was gone. “Is that somebody up?” Bob Cherry lifted his head from the pillow. Smithy—!” urged Redwing. More and more fellows were awakening at the sound of voices. “Good old Smithy! He will do it once too often. without a sound. that seemed to make it impossible for him to toe the line as other fellows did. perhaps. I saw Wingate’s eye on you when you went out after class to-day. “Look here. regardless of authority. and closed. He had boundless confidence in himself.” “Hallo. it was easy.” “So did I! That’s why I didn’t drop in at the ‘Cross Keys. Fish. He was well aware of what he was risking: he knew that “breaking out” at night had only one penalty: the “sack. some time. “That goat Smithy!” said Bob. Smithy?” “Find out. and serve him jolly well right. Vernon-Smith did not hear them: the door had opened. “Is that you. “Silly rotter.
He would be back in an hour or so. he did not seem greatly surprised. of a “beak on the prowl. He gave a desperate wrench as he was grasped. But he dragged himself loose from the unseen man who sprawled with him. and he met the gimlet-eyes of his form-master. but swiftly. grasping at the junior. his hand gliding clown the polished oak banister. above and Mr. “Vernon-Smith!” repeated Mr. as he stared down at the Bounder. inevitably. his lean figure encased in a dressing-gown. and panted. And then. Nobody—unless a fellow breaking out like Smithy—— could he supposed to be creeping down the staircase in the dark—as silently as Smithy. His gasp was echoed by a startled exclamation. to Smithy. hardly knowing whether he was on his head or his heels. going clown tile staircase silently in the dark. He stepped stealthily down the stairs. A master would of course have turned on the staircase light. with a wild hope of yet escaping unrecognized. That anyone could be ahead of him on the staircase would have seemed impossible. Still. moving more swiftly. and it was easy to do again. not a boy’s. Quelch. It was no breaker of bounds that he had run into so unexpectedly—it was a man—it must be a master—and he had fairly walked into that master’s hands. Someone.” and he was keen to get out as soon as possible. stumbled over him. and nobody the wiser. A single glance took in every . unseen. suddenly. startled voice. and. He had done it before. was in front of him. There was no glimmer of light—all was black darkness. bumped into him “Oh !” gasped the Bounder. evidently as wildly startled as Smithy himself. Chapter X ONCE TOO OFTEN! “VERNON-SMITH!” “Oh!” breathed the Bounder. close to the banister. a light suddenly flashed on. “Oh Who—what———. His face was very grim. had he even thought of it. And he went swiftly. Stealthily. Smithy did not recognise the husky. lost his footing. Smithy. Quelch had been disturbed by the sudden outbreak of uproar in the middle of the night: he had hurriedly donned his dressing-gown and come out on the landing to investigate. He had rolled down two or three stairs. silently. with compressed lips. He descended the stairs with his right hand following the banister as a guide. if a remote one. had overtaken him. That light gleamed full on his face as he stared up at the lean figure on the landing.junior lobby which he could leave unlocked for his return. There was always a possibility. and scrambled up—just as the landing light flashed on. as he suddenly bumped into an unseen figure in the darkness. And. The unseen man. but he knew that it was a man’s voice. for he heard no sound. stared down blankly from the landing at the two sprawling figures. He gave a gasp of utter amazement and alarm. and rolled. he was bumped and bruised and breathless. and bumped.” A hand in the darkness swept round. as they sprawled. it happened. he went down. Quelch. and they sprawled on the stairs together. unsuspected. and slipped on tile stairs. without a sound. in the darkness. He had had a doubtful and distrustful eye on that particular member of his form for a long time. step after step. He could hardly have expected to see a member of his form up at that hour.
detail, noting that the junior was fully dressed, even to his collar and tie: Quelch did not need telling that Smithy had been going out of the House. The Bounder’s long run of luck had failed him at last: he was fairly caught “breaking out” at night! He realised it, as he looked up at Mr. Quelch, and his heart sank. Only a few minutes ago, Torn Redwing had been urging him to give up that reckless escapade: but the scapegrace of Greyfriars had had no use for good advice. He rather wished now that he had found a use for it. For a long moment, Mr. Quelch stared at the Bounder, his face so grim that it might have been that of the fabled Gorgon. Then his glance shifted to the figure that was still sprawling breathlessly, panting and gasping and gurgling, on the stairs. “Is that Mr. Twiss?” exclaimed the Remove master. “Twiss!” muttered Smithy, and he stared round at the man with whom he had collided in the dark—revealed now in the light. He gritted his teeth. It was Twiss—what had that little ass been doing, stealing about like a ghost in the dark? Mr. Twiss sat up dizzily. He was winded, startled almost out of his wits, spluttering for breath. The Bounder had had a shock: but Twiss, plainly, had had a greater one. He blinked up at Mr. Quelch, like an owl in the sudden light. His rimless pince-nez slanted on his nose: his fluffy hair was wildly ruffled, standing almost on end, and his usually pallid face was crimson. “Urrrggh!” gurgled Mr. Twiss. He made an effort to rise, and dragged himself up, with the aid of the banisters. “Urrgh! Mr. Quelch— urrggh!” “What has happened, Mr. Twiss?” asked the Remove master. “Did you find this junior going out? I—I hardly know,” gasped Mr. Twiss. “I— I was descending the stairs—I—I could not sleep, and I—I was going down for a book I left in Common-Room, and—and all of a sudden I felt somebody behind me— Oh, goodness gracious! I—I——I was so startled —oooogh!”
FOR A LONG MOMENT, MR. QUELCH STARED AT THE BOUNDER
Mr. Quelch eyed the fluffy little man, crimson and breathless and confused, hanging weakly on to the banister : and his lip curled ever so little. No doubt it had been startling enough for Mr. Twiss to discover somebody behind him suddenly in the dark : but it was pretty evident that Twiss had not only been startled, but frightened. I—I—I——,” burbled Mr. Twiss. “This is a boy of your form, I think, Mr. Quelch.” Holding to the banisters with one hand, Twiss set his glasses straight with the other, and
peered at Vernon-Smith. “I—I was—was quite startled—I—I may say alarmed. Surely this boy should not be out of his dormitory at this hour of the night, Mr. Quelch.” “Most assuredly he should not, sir,” answered Mr. Quelch. “I am sorry that you have had such a shock, Mr. Twiss, and that it was due to a boy in my form. I trust, sir, that you are not hurt.” “I—I think I—I am a little bruised—I——I think I stumbled over the boy—I———I fell down several stairs,” mumbled Mr. Twiss. “ I—I do not feel quite myself. I—I think I—I will return to my room.” Mr. Twiss came up the stairs unsteadily, his hand on the banister. Vernon-Smith followed him up, his face set. The Bounder had recovered from the shock now, though he was still feeling shaken. But little Mr. Twiss seemed to be nothing but a bundle of nerves. Smithy wondered savagely whether the little ass had supposed that it was a burglar behind him in the dark. The Bounder was ‘‘for it,” he knew that. But he had the courage of his delinquencies, and he was cool and collected now, ready to face what was coming to him. He felt only a savage scorn for the frightened, confused, stammering little secretary. Mr. Twiss reached the landing, still gasping, when a deep voice boomed out. “What is all this? What is this disturbance ? Quelch! What has happened?” It was the fruity voice of Mr. Prout, the master of the Fifth Form. Prout, too, had been disturbed by the noise, and had turned out, and the sound of opening doors told that others had been roused also. Mr. Quelch compressed his lips bitterly. It was bad enough to find a boy of his form breaking bounds at night: worse, for other masters to arrive on the scene. Prout, his portly figure draped in a voluminous dressing gown of many colours, rolled up, staring from Quelch to Twiss, and from Twiss to Vernon-Smith, and back to Quelch again. “What has happened, Quelch? What is this alarm? is it a fire—or———?” boomed Mr. Prout. “Nothing of the kind, Prout,” snapped Mr. Quelch, “ it is merely—.” “Is anything the matter?” came Mr. Capper’s voice, and the master of the Fourth came into the light on the landing. “I heard a noise—it sounded like someone falling downstairs.” It was the acid voice of Mr. Hacker, the master of the Shell. “ Has there been an accident?” Mr. Quelch breathed hard and deep. The Bounder’s cheeks burned. All the masters were staring at him, evidently surprised to see a junior standing there fully dressed. Smithy hardly dared look at Mr. Quelch. He could guess what his form-master was feeling like. “There is no occasion for alarm.” Mr. Quelch’s voice seemed to grind like a saw. “A boy of my form was out of his dormitory, that is all. And—.” “All?” said Mr. Hacker, very expressively. And he gave an audible snort as he whisked away. “Really,” said Mr. Capper, “it is very annoying to be disturbed in this way, at such an hour—.” “I should say so !” boomed Prout. “I should most certainly say so. I should say that it was not merely annoying—I should say that it was scandalous! We have all been disturbed—we have been brought out of our beds—.” “There is nothing to keep you out of bed, Mr. Prout,” Quelch almost yapped! “What? What? Really, Mr. Quelch! A boy of your form causes all this uproar and disturbance at midnight—. I repeat, sir, that it is scandalous! Scandalous!” boomed Prout. “Unprecedented—I may say, unparalleled!” Prout snorted, and whirled away, with a sweep of a vast dressing-gown.” “Scandalous!” he repeated, over a plump
shoulder, as he went. “Come, Capper! There is nothing the matter—nothing but a boy of Quelch’s form disturbing the House at midnight—a mere trifle, no doubt!” “Hem!” said Mr. Capper. Mr. Twiss, still gasping, was going to his room, which opened on the landing. The door closed on him and his gasps. Left alone with that delinquent of his form, Mr. Quelch fixed his gimlet-eyes on the Bounder, gleaming like cold steel. “Vernon-Smith!” His voice was low but deep. “Yes, sir,” muttered the Bounder. “Have you been out of the House?” “No, sir.” “You were going out?” Vernon-Smith made no reply to that. The Bounder was far from particular about the truth when he was dealing with “beaks” or prefects. But it was obviously futile to deny what was perfectly clear. “Very well,” said Mr. Quelch, his voice more like a saw than ever, “ I shall take you back to your dormitory now, Vernon-Smith. You will be taken before your head-master in the morning, and Dr. Locke will deal with you.” The Bounder, with all his nerve, paled a little. He had risked it a dozen times or more— now he had risked it once too often. Now that it had happened, he had the nerve to face it. But his heart was like lead at the thought of that interview with his head-master in the morning. “I hadn’t been out of the House, sir,” he muttered. “ It’s not ten minutes since I left my dormitory, and—.” “You need say nothing, Vernon-Smith. Whatever you have to say, you may say to Dr. Locke when you come before him,” said Mr. Quelch, coldly. “ Now follow me.” The Bounder, in miserable silence, followed him to the door of the Remove dormitory. Chapter XI UP BEFORE THE BEAK! I SAY, you fellows Billy Bunter rolled up to the Famous Five, in the quad, with a cheery excitement in his fat face. There were a good many serious faces in the Greyfriars Remove that morning. Even fellows who did not like Smithy were rather concerned about him. Bunter, apparently, saw no occasion to he concerned. Bunter rather liked a spot of excitement— and there was quite a large spot in the Remove that sunny morning after prayers. Harry Wharton and Co. were unusually grave. They did not pal with the Bounder, but they were on more or less friendly terms with him, and in any case they would have felt sympathy for a fellow up before the Head. Tom Redwing was with the Co., his face dark with a distress he could not conceal. Billy Bunter blinked at the troubled group of juniors quite cheerily. “I say—!” “Oh, blow away, Bunter,” said Bob Cherry, curtly. “Oh, really, Cherry! I say, Smithy’s for it,” said Bunter. “I say, Quelch took him to the Head when we came out after prayers.” “We know that, fathead.” “I expect it’s the sack,” said Bunter. “I say, ’taint often that a fellow gets bunked, is it? I say, think Smithy will be bunked, Redwing?” Redwing winced, but made no reply.
“You can’t bunk a man for what he was going to do—if he never did it. Reddy. I’m sorry for him. really. Bull! It would be corking to get out of maths.” “Beast! Of course. There was always a touch of .” said Bob. “Brace up. I expect we shall cut a class. I’m sorry for Smithy. They had had plenty of trouble with the Bounder.” “Now run away and play. as he came out of the House. with all the school lined up. “Here’s Smithy. Wharton! What do you think. and he’s mean with his money—only yesterday he refused to cash a postal-order for me. and it serves him jolly well right: still.” agreed Hurree Jamset Ram Singh. were left to their rather glum meditations. his face cool and unconcerned. Bunter. Vernon-Smith was with the head—up for judgment. The minutes seemed very long. standing before his headmaster.” “Turn round.” “Beast!” Billy Bunter turned round—but he did not wait to be kicked. suddenly. I hope. Nobody envied Herbert Vernon-Smith. of course. “ ’taint the long jump for Smithy this time. to bestow the delights of his conversation on more appreciative fellows. “Oh. now he’s up for the sack—. Wharton?” “I think you’re a fat ass!” answered the captain of the Remove. The Remove fellows were waiting for news. really. you can take my word for that. He came with his hands in his pockets. You fellows may not be. you fat ass.“Oh. Nugent What I mean is. and nobody could have been more thoroughly “down” on his wild and reckless ways—but now that he was so badly up against it. Smithy won’t be bunked—he wasn’t out of the House when they nailed him.” All eyes were turned on the Bounder. that wouldn’t make much difference.” murmured Bob Cherry uncomfortably.” Redwing nodded without speaking. “Oh. hallo !” ejaculated Bob. and the whole bag of tricks?” asked Bunter. The juniors would have given a good deal to know what was going on in that rather dreaded apartment. and he’s got a rotten temper. “Turn roundfully.” said Bob.” said Bunter. “He’s asked for it. He’s rather a beast. just because it hadn’t come—still. “If it’s that. shut up.” “The kickfulness is the proper caper. my esteemed idiotic Bunter. if we get out of maths with Lascelles—.” said Frank Nugent. everything was washed out but concern for the luckless fellow. “Hallo. Bob?” “I think you’re a burbling bandersnatch.” “Oh.” “They know he was going out!” grunted Johnny Bull. Many eyes turned on the head-master’s study window. shaking his head. at one time and another. but I’ve got a sympathetic nature.” said Bunter. It’s the sack all right. really.” “Dry up!” grunted Johnny Bull. do you fellows think it will be an expulsion in Hall. He departed.” said Bob. Harry Wharton and Co. He never went out—. “What do you think. “Eh! What do you want me to turn round for?” “I’m going to kick you. wouldn’t it? Or do you think the Head will just whiz him out quietly?” Bunter blinked inquiringly at the juniors through his big spectacles. “Bank on that. “Oh. to answer a charge of attempted “breaking-out” at night. hallo. “They jolly well know he was going out on the razzle-dazzle. Reddy.
After this—. old fellow. “Sorry to disappoint you—no.” “Speech may he taken as read. I’d like to punch that man Twiss’s silly rabbit face. “I’ve done the same thing a dozen times or more— lucky they don’t know that!—and then I get dished because a silly little ass goes mooning down in the middle of the night for a silly book.” said the Bounder.” he drawled. for he was hard as nails but the disgrace of the infliction in the crowded hall. Smithy?” called out Skinner. With all his assumption of cool indifference. Smithy! Thank goodness it’s no worse.” “Exactly what the Old Man said. sarcastically.swagger about the scapegrace of Greyfriars.” But it was only for a moment that his feelings were revealed.” Why couldn’t he be fast asleep in his burrow. under the staring eyes of all Greyfriars : his own form. Smithy.” said Harry Wharton. 13 Study when I want a sermon. eager for news.” he answered. “Sacked?” Smithy glanced round at him.” .” “If that’s all. I’m feeling jolly about it. there was no sign of them in his face. and it was more pronounced now. as he strolled into the sunny quad. and all the other forms. you’re in luck.” Johnny Bull breathed hard. you’ll let it be a warning to you. lined tip to witness the “execution. he laughed lightly. His face fell. why couldn’t he switch on the light. “What’s the verdict. “and if he wanted to go down mooning for a book. like any other rabbit?” snarled Smithy. “O. Reddy!” “Not sacked?” asked Johnny Bull. Is it going to be in Hall? Did the Head say— ow! wow! ow! wow! Beast!” Bunter jerked away that fat paw.” said Smithy. quietly. it was clear that Smithy was feeling this deeply—not so much the flogging itself.” “Oh. Smithy. “I say. “What rotten luck.” “Oh. “Glad I’m up for a Beak’s flogging ?” asked Smithy. Pack it up till then. like a sensible man? I should have given him a jolly wide berth if he had. Billy Bunter grabbed his arm with a fat grubby paw. “As it is. “I’ll come along to No. old chap. “We’re all glad. “I’m glad you’ve got off. “ Thanks.” Torn Redwing came up breathlessly. “you’re not losin’ me this time. don’t be an ass!” said Johnny.” “You might have been turfed out. You would have been. but did not trouble to reply.” “Well. if you’d been caught outside the House instead of inside. The next.” He set his lips.K. “Smithy. I’m let off with a flogging.” drawled Vernon-Smith. old man. The Bounder was not a fellow to wear his heart upon his sleeve. “ For goodness’ sake—tell me —.” The Bounder’s hard face softened a little. sorry you’re bunked.” “A flogging!” repeated Redwing. you can hardly blame Twiss. “I wouldn’t care—I can stand a whopping—if the old bean had got on with it. “Sort of thing a fellow would look forward to. as the Bounder gave it a sharp rap.” said Bob. Whatever Smithy’s feelings were. you couldn’t expect much less. “Well. and if you’ve got any sense at all. But it’s going to be a public execution—the whole school in hall— sort of example to all the fellows—Gosling comin’ in to take me up—You fellows can expect an entertainment after third school—almost as good as going to the pictures. of course.’’ His eyes were smouldering as he spoke.” said Nugent. “ He couldn’t help you walking into him in the dark.
Smithy had asked for it—and more—but it was tough. and he stood. the Bounder was getting off cheaply. “They may like sermons—I don’t !” And he walked away with Redwing. Some fellows would . and he would have disdained to allow a single cry to leave his lips. “ But I’ve a good mind—a jolly good mind—. Apparently Smithy was disposed to lay some of the blame for his disaster on little Mr. But most of the fellows were grave and quiet. and they sympathised.” remarked Bob. Gosling set Smithy down. If you hadn’t gone out of the dorm—. Smithy prided himself on carrying on in reckless defiance of authority. and he had no use for solid common-sense from Johnny. quiet and subdued. From Herbert Vernon-Smith. The Head had felt it his duty to make a public example of Vernon-Smith—and there were few who did not think that. Tom Redwing slipped his arm through Smithy’s and led him away. and he did it. It was over—and the school dismissed. But very few fellows could have gone through that castigation in silence. a little unsteadily.” he said.” interrupted the Bounder. but with a hint of defiance in his glinting eyes. And kind old gentleman as the Head seemed at happier moments.” said Vernon— Smith. and the culprit “hoisted” in the oldfashioned way—and no doubt it was all the more impressive for that reason. “No good blaming Twiss because he happened to be in the way when you were kicking over the traces. and Billy Bunter giggled. Chapter XII THE “EXECUTION” IT was over! The last sounding swish of the birch had died away through the silent Hall. That’s not sense. Only on very rare occasions—very rare indeed—was there a public “execution”: with the school assembled in the Hall. Johnny Bull breathed very hard. leaving Johnny Bull staring. masters and boys all present.” said Johnny Bull. and come up against it hard. and Snoop grinned. hard as hickory. on being a law unto himself: and now he had come up against the inevitable result.“Queer that he didn’t. In silence. There was nothing of the grim old Bushy type about the headmaster of Greyfriars: but he had his duty to do. that’s rot. from Sixth-Form seniors down to fags of the Second Form—the prefects in their places. not a sound had come. Greyfriars men were “whopped” when they required the same. in latter days—the hard old days were long gone when that ancient hall had often echoed to the swishing of the birch in the hands of grim old head-masters and to the painful howls of the victims. A public flogging was a rare occasion at Greyfriars. Oh. It was a severe infliction. contemptuously. with grave faces: the hapless culprit.” Johnny left it at that. But it was over at last. I suppose I can’t punch a fellow’s head when he’s up for a flogging. his face pale. Hall was packed. tough as it was. Not a sound had escaped him—the Bounder was tough all through. they crowded out of Hall. but “six on the bags” in a study was the usual limit. Every fellow of every form was there. with their canes under their arms: the masters. blow him.” “Well. he’s a queer little beast. “I wish now I’d tipped him down the staircase. there was no doubt that he could whop ! Skinner whispered to Snoop that he wondered where the old boy packed the muscle. Twiss.” “Tell your pals the rest.
too. “Bet you he will! The head seemed to think he was beating carpet! I say you fellows. Every mutter of pain from his chum went to his heart: and he was uneasy. “Smithy likes to fancy himself a fellow who doesn’t give a boiled bean for beaks and pre’s—and he will feel this. set.” said the Bounder savagely.” sneered the Bounder.” “Oh. Wharton. Tom Redwing stood silent. and more: that he had deserved it. in the quad. That moon-faced rabbit Twiss won’t he wandering about in the dark next time. he !” contributed Billy Bunter.” “The roughfulness of the luck is terrific.” “Twiss couldn’t help—.” said Hurree Jamset Ram Singh. in real alarm. reprovingly.” “I should jolly well say not!” exclaimed Redwing . “For goodness’ sake. I shall he jolly careful. don’t be mad. All Greyfriars knew that Vernon Smith had asked for what he had received. Redwing led him away in silence. thank goodness. lifting a pale bitter face. “I know that.” “Better leave him alone. “ It’s rough luck. and that it might have been worse for him. “ You’d better not know. ass ! But it’s tough all the same.” said Bunter. But it was not a tactful moment for saying so. But it had fallen from him now like a cloak. don’t jaw. “Smithy. “Fellow shouldn’t ask for what he doesn’t want !” grunted Johnny Bull. I think I’ll go and ask Smithy how he feels. with eyes smouldering like live coals. “Well.” Redwing started. and the door of No. In No. you fat ass!” said Harry Wharton. I’ve had it!” said Vernon-Smith. he. He had succeeded in keeping up an aspect of iron endurance and indifference while many eyes were upon him. Smithy. between his teeth.” “I don’t care whether he could help it or not.” said Bob. There are ways of hitting back—even at the Great Panjandrum! No good askin’ you to join up in a rag on the Big Beak.” His eyes burned.” jeered Smithy. The Bounder stirred at last. “You think I asked for this?” he muttered. You’re not sympathetic. 4 Study Smithy was not looking as if he wanted kind inquiries from a kindhearted Owl. dismally. It was pale.” “For goodness’ sake. and looking at him across the table. and a little alarmed. too—. at the evil gleam in the Bounder’s eyes. Do you want to be sacked after all?” “Oh. “Do you think I want pi-jaw now? Leave a . 4 Study in the Remove closed on them. They won’t get anything on me—after it’s happened. He paused. Smithy—. “Poor old Smithy !” said Bob Cherry.” “Don’t ‘Smithy old man’ me! That little beast Twiss—. in miserable distress. Only too plainly he could read the fierce and savage resentment that ran riot in the breast of the scapegrace.have spoken to him—but the look on Smithy’s face did not encourage them. savagely. “and others may get what they’ve asked for. And he rolled away. but more probably from an inquisitive desire to see how Smithy was taking it.” “I haven’t got your fat head.” “He. He’s got me this! And the Head. old chap—!” said Tom. “ You haven’t got my kind heart. “Smithy! Are you mad? What do you mean?” “Never mind what I mean.” “Yah !” retorted Bunter. Leave Smithy alone. old man—.” “That’s just like you. to inquire how Smithy was feeling— perhaps from kind-heartedness. if I asked for it. aghast. “Smithy won’t be wanting to see anybody just now. breathing in gasps. He was leaning on the study table. too. “Well.
and Skinner looked in. genially. and spluttering. Smithy?” he asked. “I thought I’d give you a lookin—. He moved restlessly about the study.” “Oh ! Yes. Smithy would forget his wild words. and yelling. old scout?” he asked. Redwing’s face was troubled. old chap. Tom Redwing stood looking at him in silence for a few moments. sir!” stammered Bob.” said Bunter. you know. as he went down the Remove passage: but he hoped.” “But—old chap—. “Feeling a bit better. he stopped in the doorway.” “Oh. and howled. Smithy? I say—leggo my collar—wharrer you think you’re up to—. and believed.” Harold Skinner shrugged his shoulders and walked away. that when the effects of the flogging had worn off.” “Kindly refrain from shuffling your feet. and spluttered: and he was still roaring. he. The Bounder kicked the door savagely shut after him. I can take it. sir! I mean. a few minutes later. when the Bounder pitched him into the passage and slammed the study door on him. I’m not soft! Brace up.fellow alone. and then quietly left the study.” said Bunter. Keep that stump away—oh. Don’t feel like sitting down for a bit. 4 Study. Chapter XIII UPSIDE DOWN! “CHERRY!” “Yes. The fat Owl blinked curiously at the dark scowling face that was turned on him. “Find out! And get out. encouragingly. really. This time it was the fat face and big spectacles of Billy Bunter that looked in. his brow black. and What are you going to do with that stump. and howling. “After all. But he seemed to change his fat mind as the Bounder grabbed his collar with one hand and laid on the stump with the other. if I were you. He did make a fuss—quite a tremendous fuss—he roared. that’s my advice. no. what? He. old chap! I wouldn’t! Grin and bear it. “How are you feeling now. But after a few minutes more it re-opened. and yelled. Bunter had stated that he wouldn’t make a fuss over a whopping. The study door opened again. I wouldn’t make a lot of fuss about it. sir. he. leave a fellow alone!” snarled Vernon-Smith. Smithy! You might be civil when a fellow asks you a civil question. The Bounder was in no mood for the company of even his best friend—his only friend at Greyfriars. In his present temper he was as likely to quarrel with friend as with foe. . what’s a licking?” “What?” “A fellow ought to be able to take a licking without doing a song and dance about it. crikey! Whooop!” Billy Bunter roared. wishing from the bottom of his fat heart that he hadn’t paid that kind-hearted visit to No.” said Bunter. his eyes burning. “I wouldn’t make a fuss over a whopping. I hope. The Remove passage echoed to sounds of woe as the fat Owl tottered away. “You fat fool!” Well.” “Get out!” “Oh. He was about to enter: but as he caught the Bounder’s look.
It was not only that he had an instinctive repugnance to learning anything: that was .” A history class. sir! Certainly not. but he could be considerate to a fellow who had been through it so severely: and he took no notice of Vernon-Smith. crikey !” ejaculated the alarmed Owl. as all the fellows did. “Do you consider it decorous to yawn in class. was on the alert. However. in fact. and a glint in his gimlet-eyes. commented on it—Hacker raised his eyebrows. Which all the juniors thought was very decent of Quelchy. sir. sir.” gasped Manly. they worried it like a dog with a bone. and the New Zealand junior nodded. sir.” “Oh. as the gimlet-eye fixed on him. but passing him over in the lesson. in Mauly’s opinion. sir. Bob Cherry. of course. indeed. Wiggins shook his head: it was. in Common-Room. To Quelch’s credit. There was a frown upon his brow. he seemed satisfied with that. sir! I heard everything you were saying. Bunter. he manfully suppressed his feelings. Even Billy Bunter made some slight effort to give attention to Quelch’s words of wisdom in that class. but Quelch seemed to have uncommon keenness of hearing that afternoon. “Bunter !” “Oh. had endorsed the Head’s sentence with the fullest approval: if anything. Fish. he was exceedingly tart with the rest of the form.” Fisher Tarleton Fish did not whisper again. certainly. However. “You are not paying attention. however. while your form-master is speaking?” “Oh! No.” “If you do so again. like all form-masters. Billy Bunter. in alarm. Prout boomed. Even Lord Mauleverer sat up and took notice. not only ignoring his scowling face. I shall cane you. Quelch. But if Quelch did not take it out of Smithy. with a sullen brow and a glinting eye. But Billy Bunter had other matters on his mind. and James. He knew. Smithy was in form. as if he simply yearned to know about 1688 and all that! But it was almost impossible for Bob to keep still. Mauleverer. and the gimlet-eye turned from Bunter. he knew why. much to the fat Owl’s relief. Quelch was not.Henry Samuel Quelch was not in his bonniest mood in class that afternoon. yes. disliked criticism of his form : and if other beaks suddenly stopped talking when he appeared in the offing. After that. I—I’m awfully keen on history. he did not “take it out” of the Bounder. Capper and Twigg made remarks. patient with sullen looks.” Quelch gave him an expressive look. Fish.” gasped Bunter. in point of fact. was keeping his eyes fixed on Quelch. all the same. but they took what interest they could in Charles. Quelch. what was the matter with Quelch. sir. was enough to make a stone image yawn. yep!” gasped Fisher T. a topic in Common-Room and when Common-Room had a topic. “I—I haven’t missed a word. Seventeenth-century history did not exactly thrill the Lower Fourth.” Fisher T. The Remove knew the signs: and most of them made up their minds to walk warily. There had been a Head’s flogging in the Remove. “I guess Quelch is sure fierce this afternoon. It was not only that he was lazy—he was always that. It was all very annoying. in a mood to answer his form-master with impertinence if picked upon. “Did you speak to Brown. Other masters. Fish?” “Oh. he was disposed to think that the head had not laid it on hard enough. and the Revolution of 1688. Quelch having rapped out to him. gum! I mean. “Oh! Yaas. “Take fifty lines. Bob endeavoured so to do. Fish whispered to Tom Brown. “Fish !” It had been the faintest of whispers. like the rest of the form. as a rule. But it was very irritating and annoying to Quelch.
nothing new. Quelch. cheerfully. and that was all. I—I wonder what made me say 1066.” It flashed on Bunter.” “If you do not answer my question. Quelch. of course. One date was much the same as another to Billy Bunter. The fat Owl gave a start. did not know that Bunter regarded his instructive voice as a dreary drone. sir—. sir—I—I never forget dates—I—I shall have it in a minute. “ I—I mean—. that 1066 was the year of the Norman Conquest?” rumbled Mr. Quelch’s look that it didn’t ! “I—I mean.” he gasped. of—of course it didn’t. of course. He blinked down at a slip of paper on which a date was written. sir. Quelch.” groaned Bunter. Quelch’s look did not seem to indicate that it would do. They had gone over it in the lesson. he couldn’t. sir. It was not only that he regarded a lesson as a bothering infliction that a fellow had to get through somehow. I shall cane you. fortunately. But Bunter was feeling many lingering and painful twinges from the stumping in No. and even Lord Mauleverer could have answered promptly. “The year of the English Revolution?” That really was an easy one. of which the hands seemed to crawl. sir? “ asked Bunter. Tom Brown had hastily scribbled the required date. when the gimlet-eye turned on him. from hand . under cover of the desk. Bunter? Are you not aware. The Bounder had laid on that stump not wisely but too well.” said Bunter. Every now and then Bunter gave a painful wriggle: and only terror of Quelch made him suppress an occasional yell. sir !” Bunter wrinkled his fat brows in an effort of thought. except the edible variety. sir. what did you mean.” “Oh. 4 Study. Billy Bunter was rubbing a plump spot where he had a pain. certainly. I shall give you the date to write out five hundred times after class. “1066.” “Well. Bunter. sir—. Quelch. sir. “Bunter ! I——. “Bless my soul! Do you suppose that the English Revolution occurred in the same year as the Norman Conquest?” hooted Mr. It was not a happy lesson. If you open your book. Perhaps even Bunter could have done so but for those troublesome twinges which had monopolised his attention. as he felt something slipped into his fat hand. Bunter.” He gathered from Mr. In such circumstances. did not realise that he was being unduly tart. Even Bunter knew that. I—I meant —. yes.” “Oh. When Quelch began to ask questions on the lesson most of the fellows concentrated. But many eyes turned longingly on the form-room clock. sir! I—I didn’t mean 1066. and there was a double figure in that He hoped it would do. “Answer my question. Bunter?” “I—I—I mean—I—I know the date. He had a vague idea that there was a double number in it. “Oh. He was simply keeping an inattentive form up to the mark. Bunter. Didn’t it. of—of course. how was a fellow to fix his attention on a dreary drone? Quelch. As it was.” groaned Bunter. crikey! I—I—if—if you’ll give me a minute. leaving Bunter perspiring. Bunter was never good at dates—he loathed all dates. and forget as soon afterwards as he could: that was his fixed and permanent view on the subject of education. Bunter. sir. He blinked at his form-master. and he turned his attention to other happy members of his form. One minute!” rumbled Mr. “Bunter! Did you say 1066. “Bunter !” “Oh! Yes. and passed it along under the desks. I will give you one minute.
“Silence!” rapped Mr. Bunter’s fat face brightened. The Lower Fourth were not exactly in a hilarious mood that afternoon. “Bunter! Is this stupidity or impertinence? Are you not aware.to hand. that the present year is in the twentieth century?” “Oh. and I wasn’t holding it upside down. Dates were much of a muchness to Billy Bunter: merely bothering things that had to be’ handed out when a beak asked for them. ha!” Silence in the class ! Bunter. in dismay. He realised now what had happened. Bunter. no. written plainly enough in pencil: 8891. sir! Yes. only I had it upside down—I—I mean—. sir. He was prepared to answer Quelch’s question—the good-natured New Zealand junior had got him out of his fix. ha!” came a howl from the Remove.” “Then what do you mean by 8891?” “Ain’t—ain’t that right. There was the date. Of course. sir. Quelch. and—. They yelled.” Bunter had not noticed that he was holding that slip of paper upside down! Mr. It was too dangerous for any fellow to whisper. Quelch. “ Did—did—did you say 8891. “Bunter! The date is 1688—. and—and there’s nothing written on it. as the clock-hand crawled slowly round. sir?” stammered Bunter.” babbled Bunter. full of cheery confidence now. But it dawned even on Bunter’s fat brain that there was a mistake somewhere. sir! I—I—I mean. and that he had considerably post-dated the English Revolution. “I—I haven’t got anything in my hand. the way Bunter was holding it. “8891. He seemed hardly able to believe his ears. sir. with almost ferocious sarcasm. Chapter XIV BUNTER KNOWS HOW! .” added Mr. yes. Quelch almost jumped. sir. “I—I meant to say 1688.” said Bunter.” “Ha.” answered Bunter. when the gimlet-eye turned on him again.” “Ha. Bunter ! You will write out the date 1688 five hundred times after class! After which.” “That will do. But Bunter on dates was too much for them. “Are you prepared to give me the year of the English Revolution?” “Oh. He was all right now. “WHAT!” he roared. Bunter?” “Ain’t that right. “Well. is that a paper in your hand! “Oh ! No. “ I—I think it was 8891. He blinked down at the paper in his fat hand. until at last the welcome hour of dismissal came. sir?” “A date six thousand years in advance of the present date?” almost shrieked Mr. to the hapless Owl. ha.” “Oh!” stuttered Bunter. sir. ha. Bunter?” The gimlet-eyes transfixed the fat owl again. blinking at him. sir.” The prospect of remembering at least one date in English history did not seem to console Billy Bunter very much. Bunter. Bunter?” “Oh!” gasped Bunter. yes. His fat face was lugubrious. sir. “you will perhaps remember at least one date in English history. But Browney had found a way. Quelch “What do you mean. sir.
You see. of course. one over the other. and a bull on a rising market.” chuckled Peter Todd. “It must be. if you like. and it worked. in the Fourth Form. You can have that old exercise-book too. if your pater’s a bear!” “Oh. I write four at once. lend me—. you silly chump!” snorted Bunter. Peter— I’m asking you to lend me a pen. misjudged his fat study-mate. Look here. blankly. when he’s rolling in money because he’s a wolf—did you say a wolf——?” “A bear.” “You want four?” repeated Toddy. “Well. “Oh. but this ain’t lines. I do it in a quarter the time. “1—I don’t think I’ll keep Quelch waiting. as three pens lay on a study table—Toddy’s. Are you going to use four pens all at once. with four pens tied together. with dignity. you fasten four pens together. He stared across No.” “Eh! I don’t want your old exercise-book!” “What use is an old exercise-book?” “To pack in your bags when you take your impot in to Quelch. “Look here. shaking his head sadly. as you’ve been frowsting about doing nothing ever since class. see? I’ve got to write the same date over and over again.“LEND me—. “I’ve got those rotten dates to write for Quelch. old fat man. “If you take my advice. and proceeded to carry .” Toddy naturally supposed that it was a coin of the realm that Bunter wanted. “Well.” added Bunter.” explained Peter. see? So the pater’s a bear——. Peter Todd chuckled. old brainy barrel. don’t be a funny ass!” howled Bunter. Fry’s done lines for his beak that way. impatiently. Toddy—he ain’t in a good temper to day. and left the study.” “I see. “Wasn’t your pater pleased with your spelling. here’s a pen. All Bunter wanted was a pen—though that was rather mysterious. “A pen. you won’t try to pull Quelch’s leg like that.” explained Bunter. for once.” said Bunter. and being the same date Quelch won’t suspect a thing. have you got another pen in your desk?” demanded Bunter. Have you got a pen in your desk?” “You want some new specs. after all? Too bad.” “Hasn’t that whacking remittance come?” asked Peter.” “Yes. you frabjous owl?” “That’s it. Dutton’s. “ That accounts for your manners. my hat!” said Peter.” “I’m not asking you to give me advice.” “Oh. and my time’s of value. and Bunter’s own. Apparently he had. “I want four.” “It might work with Capper. old lazybones. Billy Bunter sniffed. 7 Study at Bunter. sympathetically. “ But if Quelch saw an impot with the same line written over four times——. “You’re a bear on a falling market.” “Nothing doing!” “A pen—. and write with them all at once. But writing a date is different. When Billy Bunter began with “Lend me.” argued Bunter. really. “Three ain’t enough.” agreed Peter.” said Peter. “I got the tip from Fry. 1688 five hundred times. Quelch is too downy for that.” “A whatter?” ejaculated Peter Todd. if you can’t see three pens lying right under your silly nose.” repeated Bunter. “Yah!” was Bunter’s reply to that. I know. “You needn’t worry about advising a chap who’s got twice your brains. Toddy! Lend me—.” “Stony!” said Peter Todd. Peter.” agreed Peter. with a string.
Fastening several pens together. Perhaps Bunter hadn’t knotted the string very securely. For once. Bunter. so that was all right. my boy. Bunter was prompt with the delivery of an impot. but surely. quite genially. Still. to make up the total of five hundred. “You may hand me your paper. somewhat inattentive. and secured them with a knotted string. He seemed puzzled for a moment. saw the genial expression disappear from his face. He hoped that this was a sign of amendment in the laziest and most dilatory member of his form. Capper. what a chap like Fry could do. But with dates it was different. as a rule. was neither industrious nor persistent in any task. higher than before.out the big idea. “Ah! Bunter!” said Mr. But he could be both persistent and industrious in dodging work. “1688” gradually covered the page with endless repetitions. to write more than one line at a time. Slowly. He had no doubt about that. and rolled down the Remove passage. as if wiped away with a duster. and Quelch would never dream of that time-saving device. a really brainy fellow like Bunter evidently could do. Indeed. the master of the Fourth. That dodge was a time-saver. Quelch. It did not come easy at first. It was finished at last. and very unsuspicious gentleman: and a Fourth-Form man could palm off on him an imposition in which lines were repeated. Quelch glanced up from a pile of Latin proses. expected him to write that date five hundred times. somehow. Quelch’s expression became quite kindly. Bunter blinked over it with satisfaction. Bunter. Quelch glanced at it. Mr. not merely one hundred and twentyfive times. raising his eyebrows a little. He breathed hard through his little fat nose. Bunter was quite sick of that date before he had repeated it five hundred times. with inward trepidation. came apart. of course. Was it possible that the beast suspected something? . Bunter’s dates had to be repeated. But even Bunter realised that if a downy bird like Quelch saw an impot beginning Conticuere omnes intentique ora tenebant Conticuere omnes intentique ora tenebant Conticuere omnes intentique ora tenebant Conticuere omnes intentique ora tenebant there would be thunder in the air. Its use depended largely on the beak with whom it was worked. It seemed a good thing to Bunter. was not exactly a new idea.” Bunter handed him the paper. Still. He re-started after the interval. was a mild. Then he laboured to secure the pens more securely. The fat junior jammed the four pens together. Quelch. he had only to write it one hundred and twenty-five times. Billy Bunter took his paper. His eyebrows lifted again. The fat Owl blinked in great exasperation at a sea of blots. he got on with it. How could he? Glad to be done with it. Quelch could expect what he liked! There was “1688” five hundred times repeated. Then he dipped the four nibs into the ink. Bunter would take more time and trouble in eluding a task than would have been required to get it done. and started. “Come in!” Bunter rolled in. with that dodge he had picked up from Fry of the Fourth. “Blow!” The four pens. Mr. A few minutes later he was tapping at his form-master’s study door.
He laid down the paper. “You can’t do it!” . “I was a schoolboy. even as a schoolboy. Quelch. to look at him! Still.” said Mr. though no one would have supposed so. But only for a moment.” said Mr. I approve of it still less as a school-master. and looked at Bunter. A fellow couldn’t think of everything—at all events.” “Eh !” “By which device. But he withdrew it. sir!” mumbled Bunter. Bunter had been careful with his total.Alas! It was! “I—I hope it’s all right. He hadn’t thought about that.” Mr. “I was. “to use only one pen! You may go.” Billy Bunter went—with feelings too deep for words. “ I—I’ve written it five hundred times. Quelch must have been a boy.” “Oh!” gasped Bunter. “Forty years ago. His crusty face relaxed into a grim smile. Bunter. “ could sometimes be played with success upon an inattentive or absent-minded master. “Bunter !” “Oh! Yes. I—I counted. Quelch. If he was counting.” said Mr.” Oh! W-w-w-were you. Quelch did not reply for a moment. Quelch. Bunter couldn’t. “This trick. “and when I was in a junior form. sir. “Is it?” jeered the Bounder. in his time. I was acquainted with a trick of fastening pens together—. Quelch. Those blocks of four puzzled Mr. Chapter XV SMITHY’S SCHEME “IT’S mad. he did not see why Quelch should tell him so. sir?” stammered Bunter. Bunter. “more than one line could be written at a time. I did not approve of it. Quelch.” said Mr. Smithy!” muttered Torn Redwing. Yet he did not seem satisfied.” added Mr. He realised that Mr. sir. His hand strayed to his cane. He was scanning that paper with an eye as keen as any gimlet. somehow. he had to admit that the total was correct—Bunter was sure of that. Quelch for a moment. But he had not been quite so careful with his spacing.” “Oh!” “And I recommend you.” stammered the fat Owl. Bunter’s paper looked like this : 1688 1688 1688 1688 1688 1688 1688 1688 1688 1688 1688 1688 1688 1688 1688 1688 1688 1688 1688 1688 1688 1688 1688 1688 1688 1688 1688 1688 1688 1688 1688 1688 And so on.
you’ll see that as plainly as I do. “You want to stop mc.” urged Redwing. Smithy. I shall make it midnight. Smithy! When you’re cooler. in his savage resentment: and now that he knew. “It’s no good telling you that what you’re thinking of is rotten—you know that! But the risk—I tell you they’ll think of you first of all—you were flogged this morning. with a sneer on his hard face.” he broke out.” “Don’t waste any more.”y “Is that sixthly or seventhly?” Redwing breathed hard. his hands in his pockets.” “It’s rotten. do you think I shall answer. But what’s the odds—if they can’t prove anythin’? Even if they guess. But—. ‘Oh. It was only eleven last night when that fool Twiss was mooning about. A chap who’s just had a flogging wouldn’t be expected to risk another just afterwards.” said Vernon-Smith “They can whop a man if they bowl him Out—they can’t expect him to give himself away. Smithy.” “I’m not so sure of that. But if you will kick over the traces. “Not that I care!” “They’ll think of you first thing. hotly. if I’m questioned. or Maul ——. “It’s as safe as houses. he was alarmed. “It’s not so risky as you fancy. Tom’s eyes were on him in deep anxiety. 4 Study. I know. and stood staring at his chum. after prep.’ sneered Smithy.” “Can it!” “You wouldn’t tell lies among the fellows——. “It’s a rotten game to rag the head’s study——rotten. Think I can’t see through you?” “I know I’m wasting my breath.“Can’t I?” They were in No. Beaks are fair game. It evoked only mockery from the . his eyes glinting. He knew that it was useless to argue with the scapegrace of Greyfriars.” he said.” “I know that’s how you look at it. and something happens in the Head’s study the next night— they’ve only got to put two and two together.” “Think that little bunny-faced blighter Twiss will be goin’ down for a book again in the middle of the night?” jeered Smithy.’’ “I’m leaving it late to make sure. The Head’s a good man and a just man. “No! But anything might happen—a master might be up——.” “That’s different. they’ve got to have proof. and you know it. If they ask me whether I did it. because you don’t like the idea. He knew that mood of the Bounder—a mood in which he was utterly reckless of consequences He had dreaded what Smithy might do. You had it hard. when his wilful mind was made up. “Let them suspect what they like! I stick to it that I never left the dorm after lights out. or old Bob. and disrespectful. “and it’s rottener still to rely on telling lies to see you through if you’re suspected. Vernon-Smith came to a halt. Other fellows don’t have to lie themselves out of scrapes— Wharton. But you’re wrong-headed about it. Smithy was moving restlessly about the room. Most of the Remove had gone down to the Rag: but Smithy was not disposed to meet the crowd in the day-room. then. Anybody likely to be up at midnight? “ Redwing was silent. his brow moody. what do you expect?” “Is this a lecture or a sermon ?” Torn Redwing bit his lip. and Tom Redwing stayed up in the study with his chum. yes—I cannot tell a lie: I did it with my little hatchet ’?” The Bounder laughed scoffingly. Who’s to prove anythin’ else?” “You were caught last night—. and caddish.
Smithy—I—I didn’t think you’d gone down. ain’t you going down?” asked Bunter. “ and if you hear me stirring to-night. you know——. But Smithy was not cool now—he was seething with angry and passionate resentment. Reddy—there won’t be anybody up to spot a fellow at the jolly old witchin’ time of night.” But the idea of shipping the Head’s study was certainly not likely to occur to any mind less wildly reckless than the Bounder’s. “But I shan’t he spotted. and I wasn’t after anything —. as you did last night. The Head never locks his study door. they can’t make out that I was going out of bounds like that.” “Hand me that stump.” “It’s safe as houses. “ I tell you——. you fellows. really. and not to be reasoned with. A fat figure rolled in—and stopped. and wake the fellows. that’s all.” Redwing sat silent.” said the Bounder.” “What?” “I never knew you had chocs in the study cupboard! How could I?” demanded Bunter.” He chuckled. don’t jaw. or Mauly?” mimicked the Bounder. That’s easy. you know—you fellows shouldn’t miss it. Wibley’s going to do some of his impersonations in the Rag. then!” said Vernon-Smith.” “You know that I shall do that. but they haven’t the pluck.” said Smithy. “I came up to tell you that Wharton wants to speak to you—it’s about the cricket. Studies had been “shipped” before.” “It’s mad. I shan’t be more than ten minutes in the Beak’s study—but you can bet your Sunday hat that it will be a sight for gods and men and little fishes when I’m through with it. get out!” growled Vernon-Smith.” Keep mum. “I’d ask Skinner or Snoop. That’s what I came to tell you.” “You fat idiot! What do you want?” “Oh! Nothing! I say. or old Bob. I hear—awfully funny when he does old Prout. Smithy! If you think I was after your chocolates——.Bounder. looking at him. at Greyfriars—it was not unknown for even a master’s study to be “shipped. as the study door was suddenly opened from without. “You know I don’t. Well.” said Tom. that’s all. Nobody’s going to know who shipped the Head’s study. Smithy—.” “Lump it. warmly. “I say.” “That’s enough! Give us a rest. “Oh!” ejaculated Billy Bunter. and you know it. if I can help it. I—I looked in to speak to you. “ Haven’t you fellows gone down? I—I thought you’d be down in the Rag—I—I—I mean. “You don’t feel like turning out to-night. and as Redwing had said. I don’t want any help. And—.” “Oh. “You know that I couldn’t have a hand in anything of the kind. “Keep mum about what I’ve told you. “I’ve got it all cut and dried. coolly. “You don’t like the idea?” jeered Smithy. I go down with my pyjamas tucked into my trousers—if I’m spotted. even the Bounder would never have thought of it had he been cooler. “Oh.” “Smithy. But—.” “Of course not! Aren’t you a jolly old model—like Wharton. old man—. to keep cave in the passage while I’m in the Beak’s study?” grinned Smithy. Reddy!” “Beast!” .” The Bounder broke off.
at length.” He knew that Redwing was right —they would think of him at once: the scapegrace who had been flogged only that day. He made no sound—and no sound came to his hears in the silent House. His heart beat a little faster as he stopped at the door.Billy Bunter did not wait for the stump. If Smithy carried out his scheme of “shipping” the headmaster’s study. the most belated beak had gone to bed: all Greyfriars slept. by ill chance. The study was dark: the blinds drawn. he crept away to the door—and even the wakeful Redwing. What did it matter. He stepped in. the last light was out. But there it was. He faded promptly out of No. and he pushed it open. opposition only made him more stubbornly obstinate. He had had more than enough of that stump for one day. listening intently. in the gloom. The darkness and the silence were nothing to him. even in the Remove. The Bounder guessed that his chum’s eyes were on him. His face was set and bitter. Some fellows might have hesitated to traverse dark passages and stairs at such an hour. he stood transfixed. his heart giving a great bound. Smithy did not know—and he did not care. He did not intend to dress—if. did not hear a sound as the door opened and closed again. But such a mischance was very unlikely: what had happened the previous night could scarcely happen a second time. taking his time. he wanted it to be clear that he had not intended to leave the House: some tale of intending a “rag” on another dormitory would see him through. when it was discovered that the Head’s study had been “shipped. The thought came into his mind of the tremendous “row” on the morrow. Whether Tom Redwing was awake in the next bed. shutting out the glimmer of the stars. it could not be kept too secret. Silently he crept down the passage. he was not turning back. the door moved under his hand—it was ajar. To his surprise. in the corridor on which the head-master’s study opened. across the landing—doubly cautiously he crept down the stairs. Smithy was very cautious—caution itself. he was “spotted” on his way down. his feet noiseless on the soft carpet. But Tom did not speak —he would not risk drawing attention to Smithy’s mad escapade. It was the gleam of a torch! . as he scrambled into his trousers. The last of twelve strokes had died away in the night. Chapter XVI STRUCK DOWN! HERBERT VERNON-SM1TH made no sound as he slipped from his bed in the dark. His hand was steady as he groped for the door-handle in the blackness. But the Bounder was not troubled with nerves. A startled gasp escaped him involuntarily. 4 Study. The next moment. All was dark—but he knew every inch of the way. In his better moments. Redwing had much influence over him: but in his present mood. without a sound. in his socks. He was taking no chances. It was midnight: and at that hour. He had expected to find it unlocked: he had not expected to find it unlatched. Silently. Billy Bunter’s fat imagination would have peopled the shadows with lurking burglars. He did not heed. was a twinkle of light. though he had no doubt that the coast was clear. There was a faint stirring—and then he knew that Redwing was awake. on the further side of the Head’s writing-table. if they could prove nothing? Anyhow. But across the wide room. and the door slammed behind him. listening. unconsciously. He stood.
and he spun over with a cry and thudded to the floor. He lifted his head from the pillow and looked round him. From the silence came the intermittent rumble of Billy Bunter’s deep snore. His eyes opened. He was not alone in the room. But he heard. the rustling paper. . each with its black shadow on the floor. The man who had struck him down was running. was as startled as he. catching as he fell at the invisible figure that had crashed into him. But there was some other sound— someone was stirring. the patter of running feet in the dark corridor. It was shut off instantly. inert. Chapter XVII WHAT HAPPENED TO SMITHY? HARRY WHARTON awoke. what he could only be—a thief in the night! For the moment. with only the glimmer of a tiny torch to light him? The thought of burglars had never entered the Bounder’s mind at all as he threaded his way by dark staircases and passages in a silent House at midnight. in the glimmer of light from the high windows. knocking him backwards. It was like the Bounder to carry on with his wild ways. He stared towards the door. as his senses swam. He was wildly startled: but the other. crashed into him. and that a shadowy figure was standing there. and silence: and the Bounder of Greyfriars. The thought of Smithy came into his mind at once—that it was the scapegrace of the Remove who was returning at that late hour from some reckless excursion. It was half-past twelve. the Bounder was as if paralysed: his bulging eyes staring into the gloom. Who was there—who could be there. and knew. the scrape of a chair as someone. His right hand closed on an arm—and held. moving hurriedly. A cold draught in the air told him that it was open: and in the glimmering moonlight he saw that it was wide open. rushing across the room to the door. Almost at the same moment an unseen figure. lay in the darkness just within the doorway. A clenched fist lashed from the darkness. His lip curled as he looked. Whoever held that light had heard him. Its light glimmered in the long dormitory: he could see the many beds. He heard a panting breath in the darkness. But he could hear—he heard the panting breath. in the dark. The moon was high in a clear sky. He staggered. in spite of the flogging—or even because of it. But it held only for a moment. Vernon-Smith could see nothing but the gleam of the light instantly extinguished. unseen. at midnight. Something had awakened him—he hardly knew what: but he knew that somebody was moving in the dormitory. For what else could it mean? There was a panting breath—a hurried rustle—the rustle of papers. no more. Someone was at the Head’s desk—a panting. Vernon-Smith’s heart thumped. he realised his peril. crashing into his face with stunning force. from the night. There was a low moan. his heart leaping and thumping. Faintly. throwing out his hands.Only for a split second was it visible. and backed swiftly to the doorway. startled man: and he knew what that man was. came the sound of a chime. crumpled. hardly knowing what he did. But as he heard the unseen man moving. stunned and senseless. knocked against it in the dark. But it rushed into his mind now. He heard.
Smithy’s not the fellow to tumble downstairs in the dark. “He can’t have gone out. that it was not Smithy’s. Dimly as he made it out. “What’s up?” The half-seen junior at the door gave a sudden start. He can’t be all this time in the Head’s study—but what——?” “Sure that was his game?” asked Harry.” muttered Redwing. But—but why hasn’t he come back?” Redwing put his head out of the doorway again. in a low whisper.” Harry Wharton sat silent. If Smithy was out of bounds again.But was it Smithy? He made out a figure in pyjamas. and joined Redwing at the doorway. if that’s what you’re thinking. He could read the trouble and anxiety in Redwing’s face. he said so.” “Hardly. staring at the shadowy form. It was not Smithy: but it was a Remove man. That was enough—but—but why doesn’t he come back? He’s been gone half an hour. watching the dark passage outside and listening— why. standing with his back to the room. softly. yes. and spun round towards him. “I know! But—but—he said he would be ten minutes. Reddy?” he asked.” “A rag?” repeated Harry. “Who’s that?” he called out. staring at him. “Yes. he slipped from his own bed. Why did not Smithy return? “I can’t understand it. after a moment or two. staring into the blackness of the passage. looking out into the passage. He couldn’t go out of the House in his trousers and socks.” “The mad ass!” breathed Wharton. and he did not need telling that it was something to do with Smithy.” “No! But—if he’s only gone down to a study——. and recognized Tom Redwing. He sat up in bed. He hardly knew what he feared—but he knew that something must have delayed the Bounder—something must have happened: he could not begin to guess what. or anything like that—. the captain of the Remove could not imagine. “Smithy breaking out again?” “No! No! It’s not that! It’s a rag—. “He’s a reckless ass. “Quiet!” came a breathless whisper. Quietly. Why doesn’t he come?” Wharton shook his head. and now that he looked at it he could see that it was unoccupied. but he would get through as quickly as he could—and get safe back. “Redwing—!” “Quiet! Don’t wake anyone. Every minute that Vernon-Smith was out of his dormitory added to the danger of discovery. I’ve been listening all the time—there hasn’t been a sound—he can’t have been nailed. Redwing would not have been out of bed at that hour on his own account.” he muttered.” “That’s what I can’t understand. Quiet. so soon after the offence for which he had been flogged in Hall. he could understand Redwing’s anxiety. he saw. Then Wharton saw his face in the moon-glimmer. “He was going to ship the Head’s study—. All was silent—still. Ten . He turned his glance towards Vernon-Smith’s bed.” Harry Wharton paused. “What’s up.” “Um! Yes! But—.” “But why—? I can’t make it out. The reckless scapegrace was hardly worth being concerned about: but Tom was concerned about him. They’ve not got him—there hasn’t been a sound—but something—something. He was as perplexed as the Bounder’s chum. “Keep it dark! Smithy was wild—you know him!” muttered Redwing. all the same.
” he breathed. As quietly as the Bounder half an hour before them. And he had been gone half an hour: and there was still no sound or sign of his return. old man!” Wharton could only stare. with starting eyes. “Did you hear—?” His voice came in a gasp. “He’s hurt. if he could help it. for Mr. a strange sound came—low and faint: a low. “Something must have happened to him. In the silence they could hear each other’s suppressed breathing. Reddy. stupefied. Then. and his hand met open space. He could see nothing.” whispered Wharton. on his knees beside the still form stretched on the carpet: the Bounder. All was dark arid silent there.minutes would have been ample—a quarter of an hour more than ample. But it’s jolly queer. He peered into the dark interior of the room. barely audible moan. they crept down the stairs to the study landing below.” There was no answer from the blackness. he was silent. He stared. colourless. they were crossing the landing to the staircase—stepping lightly and softly. if—if———. and the lower staircase was a black well. “Smithy.” A minute more. Quelch’s room was near at hand.” “Smithy!” whispered Redwing. “Good heavens! Smithy—. if you’re going. and then stepped out quietly into the passage. “He must be still in the Head’s study. They groped down to the ground floor. “But why—?” “Goodness knows! We shall soon see. Some accident—something—he wouldn’t be staying all this time. I’ll come down with you. Harry Wharton started. Wharton found the switch inside the doorway and flashed on the light. But there was no sound from the gloom—the Bounder was not coming. Redwing groped for the door. But—I’m going down to look for him! I can’t make it out—but something’s wrong. He caught Redwing’s arm. at the scene in the study—Redwing. He ran into the study. A startled cry broke from him. The Bounder lay unconscious under the eyes of the . “The door’s open. at the foot of the staircase. stumbled over something that lay in the darkness. They had been speaking in low voices at the door: no one else in the Remove dormitory had awakened. There was no sound from the study—if the Bounder was there.” “What is it?” gasped Harry Wharton. “answer if you’re there.” groaned Redwing.” “It will mean a row for you.” “You’re not going alone. quick! Redwing was groping at the unseen form over which he had stumbled. “Then he must be here. “I can’t make it out any more than you can. you ass!” muttered Wharton. “Smithy!” panted Redwing.” Harry Wharton nodded. his face upturned. and they were in the corridor outside the door of the head-master’s study. the blood rushing to his heart. with a great black bruise on the forehead. to listen. “Smithy!” “Smithy. as they listened with anxious intentness.” muttered Redwing.” said Harry. “What could have happened?” “I don’t know. In a minute more. And they were careful to wake no one as they slipped on trousers and socks. “Get a light—quick! It’s Smithy—it must be Smithy—lying here—switch on the light. and there they stopped. and almost fell.
A couple of minutes later Mr. Chapter XVIII SOMETHING UP ! “I SAY. “I can jolly well tell you fellows that something’s up!” At which the Famous Five smiled. “Smithy—here—at this time of night—. faint. you fool?” snarled the Bounder. And as Redwing lifted the sagging head.” “I had a knock. They had been discussing it when Billy Bunter rolled up to them in the quad after breakfast.” “Hallo. old fellow. hallo. for a long minute. that something was “up” that sunny morning. “There’s nobody here. “He’s gone?” “He—who?” “The man who knocked me out. Vernon-Smith’s eyes opened. The table had a column of drawers on either side—and Wharton started. Quelch. was listening with a startled face to what he had to tell. you fellows. hard look. as he saw that one of them was pulled open—a rough gash in the wood showing that the lock had been forced. “I’m here. he crossed the study to the head-master’s writing-table.” “This can’t be kept dark now—the Head’s been robbed—. and looked round it. His voice came again.” “The man who knocked you out!” repeated Harry Wharton.” “I know! I thought I heard him running. or suspected. knew more about it than most fellows. as I went down. Harry Wharton had told his chums of the strange happening in the night. You’re hurt——.” Billy Bunter nodded his fat head sagely. and rested it against his knee. Stick to me.” “Call Quelch—. Almost every fellow at Greyfriars School knew. But he was recovering a little—a faint flush of colour came back into his white face. roused from sleep. hallo!” “Something’s up!” said Billy Bunter. and caught his breath. Apparently it had now dawned upon the powerful intellect of William George Bunter. “Yes. without stirring.” Wharton stared. The Bounder lay with his aching head resting on Redwing’s knee.” “Smithy!” “Can’t you understand? The thief was here— he knocked me out and ran—he was at the Head’s desk—do you think I’m wandering in my mind. The Famous Five. “I’ll call Quelch.” There was silence again. Smithy. “Well?” came an impatient mutter from the Bounder. Then. But he was coming to—the moan they had heard was the first sign of returning consciousness. Reddy—you go and call Quelch. He hurried from the study. as a matter of fact. and another faint moan escaped him.two horrified juniors. but stronger than before. quietly. The fat . His dizzy eyes flickered in the light. in silence.” Harry Wharton gave the Bounder a long. Smithy. “Look at the Head’s desk—I expect you’ll see signs of him.” said Harry. “Reddy!” he muttered. Wharton. rather. “Not really?” asked Bob Cherry.
” suggested Bob Cherry. and got into a scrap with some of his precious pals at the ‘Cross Keys’ ? That might be it. when I dropped in for a chat with Smithy——. Cherry!” Bunter sniffed. You can wash that out. “Well. I know. “I wonder if it’s Loder of the Sixth——.” “Smithy been scrapping?” asked Frank Nugent. Bunter. “Ha. You fellows never hear anything. something’s up. I fancy. blankly. “but they were jolly well arguing over something. “I don’t fancy that Smithy’s in a row at all. And the other beaks. “Think Smithy’s up for another flogging. “I hardly think so.” said Bunter. haven’t you seen him this morning?” asked Bunter. what is it?” asked Bunter. And I heard Hacker speaking to Twiss.” “Rot!” said Johnny Bull. If the Head knew.” “Ha. triumphantly. he would sack him like a shot. really. it stands to reason——he’s seen him at prayers. you fellows?” “Better ask Loder—he would know.” “Like a whatter?” gasped Bob Cherry. I’m sure Smithy hasn’t been out of bounds. ha. Try again. my hat!” gasped Harry Wharton.” “Ha. wisely. see?” said Bunter. and Smithy was ratty.” “That settles it!” said Harry Wharton. 4 to look for the chocolates—I mean.” said Bunter. ha!” “Well. so he must have noticed it.” argued Bunter. “We all know the sort of man Loder is. perhaps not exactly a row. I know—unparallelogrammed—. and Twiss said he hadn’t. “ And what is it that’s up. ha. and I’ve often wondered why Redwing doesn’t punch his head.” “Think so?” asked Bob. it only shows what duffers you are.Owl blinked at them seriously through his big spectacles.” said Bunter. Think he was out of bounds last night. old fat man?” “It’s something to do with Smithy.” Well. Smithy’s got a jolt from somewhere.” “Think it was Redwing?” asked Bunter. ha!” “Oh. They were having a row in their study after prep last night——. “Oh! Do you mean Gorgon?” “I don’t care whether it’s a gorger or a gorgon. and at brekker. “I heard Prout say to Capper that it was unpara— unpara—I mean. you can cackle. “I heard him. That’s what Prout said to Capper. what’s that long word he uses? Oh. Bunter. “ I expect I should have heard . too—he said he’d heard nothing during the night.” “Loder!” repeated the Famous Five.” he answered.” said Bunter. gravely. too. “Anyhow. “Blessed if I can see anything to cackle at. and that jolly well shows that something happened. “If you fellows can’t see that something’s up.” he remarked. ha. “I mean to say. Quelch must have noticed it—. suppose the beaks have spotted him?” suggested Bunter. ha!” yelled the Famous Five. “Well. “Well. “He’s been fighting.” “Oh. but this morning he looks like—like—like a Gorger. “You fellows wouldn’t know. “No. Didn’t you see Quelch’s face—he always looks like a grim old gargoyle. “Well. and if it isn’t Smithy. Think Loder’s up for the sack. But it’s pretty plain that something’s up. Wharton?” Harry Wharton laughed. but I can tell you that Smithy was in a beastly temper as usual— he was simply insulting. “He’s got a lump over his eye as if a mule had kicked him—. I thought they’d gone down when I went to No. he’s got a rotten temper.” declared Bunter. but that’s what Quelch looks like. You can take my word for that.
“The esteemed Bunter hears these things without listening. Come on.” “They won’t do much good here. and the three of them followed Mr. It was broken open in the clumsiest way. The Co.” “Hallo. Many eyes that morning had turned on the Bounder’s disfigured face.” answered Bob. between his teeth. slowly.” “I believe Quelch phoned to Inspector Grimes at Courtfield after he sent us back to the dorm last night. They joined Tom Redwing. but I suppose he wants to take notes. May he here now for all we know— or Bunter knows. Bunter rolled up with an excited fat face.” said Vernon-Smith. I keep my eyes open. from what I saw. and his eyes glinted as the juniors involuntarily glanced at his disfigured forehead. where they were once more favoured with the attention of Billy Bunter. I expect the Johnny who knocked Smithy out is far enough away by this time. “I’d like to meet the man who handed it out—I’d give him something back. with what he snaffled from the Head’s desk.” said Bob. doesn’t it?” he sneered. We can’t tell him anything of any use. “I told you yesterday.” “Not professional work.” The Bounder sneered again.” said Harry. Wharton. what?” grinned Bob. and I had to move on. “I say. he had received a terrific jolt from the unknown man in the Head’s study. “I think you’re a burbling bandersnatch. most likely.” “Some cracksman from London.the next minute what it was. “Looks pretty. however. “It can’t be kept dark about burgling the Head’s study. He was hard as nails. hallo! Here’s Smithy! By gum.” said Bunter. I believe he’s been making investigations. in the Head’s study. I say. “You fellows would know more about what goes on. seen Skinner? Skinner may know something about it. “It must have been a bit of a shock. “Local talent. I expect.” Well. “That drawer in the Head’s desk had been forced open—a chisel or something—a cracksman could have picked the lock easily enough. It’s a matter for the police. Apart from that ugly bruise.” he said. His expression was far from pleasant as he came up to the Famous Five. only Hacker saw me. perhaps! Some jolly old tramp— I wonder how he got in. You fellows never know a thing. “The police must have been here. then?” asked Nugent. I suppose—he had lots of time to get clear before I was found. old fat . “Fat lot of good. “Yes. You know the Acid Drop! He’d make out that a fellow was listening to what he was saying. That’s about as far as he’ll get. Not much chance of that.” remarked Bob Cherry. and he wouldn’t risk making a noise breaking it open. The heavy blackand-bluish bruise on his forehead leaped to every eye. if you did the same. “Yes.” And the fat inquisitive Owl rolled away in search of Skinner and possible information on the interesting subject of what might be “up” at Greyfriars that morning. Only too plainly. the Bounder showed few if any signs of what he had been through. you fellows! What do you think?” exclaimed the fat Owl. Wharton—you and I and Redwing—Grimey wants to hear anything we can tell him.” said Nugent. Harry Wharton shook his head. I came to tell you that you’re wanted.” “Grimey will find that out.” “And the listenfulness was not terrific?” grinned Hurree Jamset Ram Singh. hallo.” “Is Grimes here.” said Bob. Quelch to the head’s study. it was a bit of a knock. “I shouldn’t think so. “I suppose it will be all over the school soon.” The captain of the Remove went into the House with Smithy. remained in the quad. that sportsman last night must have given him a whale of a jolt.
The three juniors stood quietly before their head-master. and there was a wrinkle in his brow. leaving the Co. uneasy. what about Grimes being here?” “Grimes!” repeated Bob. What had happened was a great shock to him. “I say. almost sleepy. chuckling. Grimes may have some questions to put to you. there jolly well is something up. The Head’s kind old face was clouded. But his reckless scheme of “shipping” the study had not been carried out. with the underworld. especially after the injury he had received. Wharton and Redwing. “Yes. sir!” said Mr.” said Bunter. it’s true about Grimes—two or three fellows have seen him— and he’s jolly well in the Head’s study now. and cannibals in Central Africa. His glance turned on the three juniors as they followed the Remove master into the study. Dr.man. Mind.” And Billy Bunter rolled off again in search of further thrilling items of news.” “Yes.” said the Head. his eyes were very keen: and they scanned the three juniors with a very penetrating look. He had greeted Inspector Grimes. The Bounder did not look. and came to this study— . came down in the night to look for Vernon-Smith. It appears that you. “Mark my words.” “Oh. and Mr. after all: for which he was now duly thankful. in the first place. of Courtfield. But he had never anticipated rubbing shoulders. plump and red-faced. “I shouldn’t wonder if that’s why Grimey has come over from Courtfield. with his usual urbane courtesy: but he would almost as soon have seen a grisly spectre in his study. but you’ll jolly well find that I’m right—there’s something up!” declared Bunter. Cherry! I say. or feel. Chapter XIX INSPECTOR GRIMES INVESTIGATES “HERE are the boys. You can jolly well cackle as much as you jolly well like. You left your dormitory. sir. The present state of affairs was very disturbing to him. Dr. He had no doubt of coming through easily. really. as I told you!” exclaimed Bunter. Mr. Locke’s placid existence. why you came down to this study. he can’t have come here to run Smithy in. Locke was seated at his writing-table. “I understand: but I do not understand. I say. you fellows—before you’re much older you’ll hear that there’s something up. Vernon-Smith. It had had to come out about his surreptitious nocturnal visit to his head-master’s study. Locke knew that there were head-hunters in Borneo. my boys. There was a stocky figure standing by the study window—Inspector Grimes. “Well. My belief is that something must have happened last night. of Courtfield.” said Harry. Quelch. you can take my word for it that something’s up. Plump and red as his face was. No doubt. as it were. “I’ve found it all out. A robbery had taken place—an unheard-of occurrence in Dr. “Your form-master has told me all the circumstances: but I desire to hear what you have to say. can he?” “Oh. and the juniors hardly noticed that he was there. “You know why I have sent for you. Grimes did not stir or speak. rather! Inspector Grimes from Courtfield police-station!” trilled Bunter. in the scholastic calm of Greyfriars. suffering cats! Hardly!” gasped Bob. at midnight. and he frowned a little as he looked at the Bounder.
” Dr. But the Remove master did not speak. unthinking prank in your head-master’s study—a prank of which a small boy in the Second Form might be ashamed.” “What! Bless my soul!” exclaimed the Head. as it happened—I was knocked out as soon as I got into the room. and I caught at him as I was knocked over. sir. In view of the injury you received. sir. Let this be a lesson to you.” “Thank you. sir—. exactly what occurred.” murmured the Bounder. for he rushed into me.” “What happened then?” “I realised that it must be a burglar. meekly.” Mr. till I saw the light of a torch as I came into the room. “ I should like to hear from you.” “Oh. VernonSmith. only too well. what the Bounder’s intentions had been.” Smithy passed a hand over the black bruise on his forehead.” “You came down in the dark?” “Yes. yes.” “I’m very sorry. Grimes.” Smithy was meakness itself. He did not know what Redwing knew: but he had no doubt—not the slightest doubt— that the scapegrace of Greyfriars had planned something much more serious and damaging than a fag trick of putting gum into an inkpot. “It was a lark.” and found in the morning in a state of the wildest disorder. the study would have been “shipped. There was a pause. sir.” The Bounder touched the bruise on his forehead.” “Certainly.why?” The head-master’s voice grew sterner as he put that question. Locke’s mind. “Your reckless action placed you in actual danger. But for the unexpected encounter with the midnight pilferer. I had no idea that anyone was here. “No doubt what has occurred will he a warning to you. Locke glanced across at Mr. Then he gave me—this. unreflecting. sir. sir. just to remind the Head that he had been injured. Locke. “Bless my soul!” repeated the Head. sir. And I never did it. sir. At what time precisely did you leave your dormitory?” “Midnight had just struck. sir. “Vernon-Smith!” said the Head. I shall not do so. “I’m sorry. Grimes stepped from the window. to play a foolish.” said the Bounder.” “A lark!” repeated the Head. when he liked. Vernon-Smith. Tom Redwing compressed his lips a little.” said Dr. He thought it worth while to keep that in Dr. He must have rushed for the door at the same time. Quelch fixed gimlet-eyes very sharply on Smithy. blankly.’ Vernon-Smith?” “I—I was going to put some gum in your ink-pot. “What do you mean by a ‘lark. Mr. disrespectful prank.” “You did not see the man who held the torch?” “No: it was put out instantly. Smithy could be meek.” “You saw nothing at all of him?” “Nothing whatever. sir—I can see now how silly it was—but ——. as it transpired. at last. sir—I see that quite plainly now. He knew. of course. “I know it was silly. “but for the consequences of your act I should request your form-master to administer a severe punishment for such a foolish. “You were stunned?” . “It was your intention. “If you desire to question the boys. Master Vernon-Smith. sir. sir. and backed to the door.
” Billy Bunter stuttered.” he answered. disdainfully. and Mr. “At what time was this ?” “Some minutes after half—past twelve. I have some investigations to make which will be better carried out while the boys are in class. Locke and Mr.” said Harry. I suppose?” “Yes. Master Wharton. “ It’s bub-bub-bub— burglars. and they were waiting for the bell when Bunter rolled up. Grimes was left to his meditation and investigations.” The Head made a sign. Locke’s desk. of course. Master Redwing. Grimes. “I’ve got it from Wingate of . he wouldn’t have knocked me out like that. The Bounder gave him a look.” “You found Master Vernon-Smith unconscious here?” “I stumbled over him. sir. He ran down the corridor. Inspector Grimes stood with a deeply thoughtful expression on his face. as he did not return to the dormitory. I don’t know anything afterwards till Wharton and Redwing found me here. sir. and the three juniors left the study.” “You saw no sign of a burglar?” “Not till Smithy told us to call Mr. sir. He was just beginning to come to. I may have something to tell you later—I certainly hope so. as a bell began to ring.” said Mr. “I will take up no more of your time now. “Now. Quelch to the Remove: and Mr. “What sort of burglar is a bub-bub-burglar?” “Oh. But I heard him running. and saw that a drawer had been broken open.” “Then Master Vernon-Smith must have lain here unconscious for at least half an hour. sir. Cherry! I’ve found it all out!” gasped Bunter. “Bub-bub-burglars!” gasped Bunter. or hear. sir.“I must have been.” was it?” asked Bob. Mr. really.” Mr. anything unusual as you came down?” “Nothing at all. in his excitement. Quelch.” “Thank you. You too came down in the dark. It was only a few minutes now to class.” “What?” “Bub-bub—bub——. “I was not frightened. That is all— at present.” “Or you. Dr. Quelch regarded him in silence. Locke proceeded to the Sixth-Form room. Evidently the Owl of the Remove had news—startling and thrilling news. Master Wharton?” “No sound of anyone stirring? “No. “Then I looked at Dr. Whether the Courtfield inspector was cogitating deeply. Did you see.” He got it out at last. his little round eyes almost popping through his big round spectacles. or whether he was utterly at a loss. If I’d had a chance.” said Redwing. apparently.” And Dr. “I was startled. Chapter XX BUNTER WANTS TO KNOW! IT’S bub-bub-bub——. Harry Wharton had rejoined his friends in the quad.” “As frightened as you were. “What do you fellows think of that?” Bub-bub-burglars. Grimes smiled. Grimes spoke at last.” answered Tom. and then we saw him. they did not know. “I called to Wharton to switch on the light. spluttering with excitement. as I fell—I am sure of that. whatever they were. it appears that you came down to look for your friend.
“He looks pretty fit this morning for a chap who’s been weltering in his gore over-night. “I say. and you don’t. So you can take it from me that Smithy got that cosh in the Beak’s study last night. “Well. the Head wouldn’t be likely to have millions of pounds in his study. when I’d stopped to tie my shoe-lace.” “As bad as that?” gasped Wharton. “Not millions ?” “No—thousands. could I? I say.” said Bunter. There’s been a burglary in the Head’s study.the Sixth—he knows.” said Bob. anyway.” “Smithy’s a tough nut. being just under the window. That’s where he got that cosh on his cocoanut.” “You don’t say so!” “I jolly well do!” asserted Bunter. Thousands!” “That all?” asked Frank Nugent. All the prefects were up.” explained Bunter.” “And he’s told you all about it?” grinned Bob.” “Ha.” said Harry Wharton. Quelch came down——. “Ha. And I say.” said Bunter. gravely. he didn’t exactly tell me—I heard him talking with Gwynne.” said Nugent.” “Found Wingate?” “No.” said Bunter. you ass—found Smithy.’’ “Oh. Some fellows came down and found him—. “Ha. I know. Smithy’s mixed up in it. you know—they’re a sort of what-do-you-call-it that they use for busting open thingummybobs——.” “Mixed up in the pile of banknotes?” asked Bob. Some of the beaks. too—Quelch called them up. and he got it from the burglar. scissors! “Smithy got it on the nut. it’s straight. covered with blood—. ha!” “The welterfulness was probably not terrific. I wonder who those fellows were who came down and found Smithy?” “I wonder!” said Harry.” “Not by listening under open windows.” explained Bunter.” . weltering in his gore—. “Of course. “They were up last night. ha. ha!” “No. ha!” “You can cackle.” “About as likely as thousands. “Thousands of pounds gone. Rolls of banknotes—stacks of them— heaps ! A regular pile of banknotes. “Well.” “And caught the burglar?” asked Johnny Bull. but I tell you. “You fellows go about with your eyes shut. Quelch was up. I’d like to know who the fellows were. and the window was open and I happened to hear him. “Wingate mentioned his name. you beast—I couldn’t help hearing what they said. “Burglars use jemmies. “Yes—I expect the burglar knocked him out with his jemmy. that’s all you know!” retorted Bunter. some fellows went down in the middle of the night and found Smithy lying in the Head’s study. Nugent. ha. “I wasn’t listening. “No——as far as I can make out. laughing. the burglar bolted after knocking out Smithy with the butt of his automatic——.” chuckled Hurree Jamset Ram Singh. in the burglary. “Well. He seems to have walked right into the burglar—silly ass ! That’s how it happened—I’ve got it straight from Wingate—he was talking to Gwynne in the Prefects’ Room. ha.” said Bunter. breathlessly. and never find out anything. I should think. you fathead—not in the banknotes.
“Rot! You never know anything. and they searched the House. ha.” “But I say. I expect that’s how he got in. there’s old Grimes.” “Ha. I say. or forgot the time—.” said Harry Wharton. I can tell you. I’d like to know who those fellows were who came down and found Smithy. you beast——. you know. Bunty. laughing. “I say. Inquisitiveness was Bunter’s besetting sin : he always wanted to know. “Let’s have the next instalment of the thriller in break. Seen Smithy? I heard somebody say that he was let off classes this morning because of that cosh.” “Oh!” gasped Bunter. “Bunter’s the man for the news. Think he’s going to look for clues?” Billy Bunter eyed the plump inspector inquisitively. and that’s jolly well why old Grimey is here this morning! I told you fellows that something must have happened last night! Didn’t I?” “You did!” agreed Bob.” “Gammon!” said Bunter.” Billy Bunter’s eyes. you fellows—. “Better not bother Smithy—he’s not in the best of tempers. but I’m jolly well going to ask him. Besides. if Gwynne hadn’t shut the window. and then he must have bolted with the banknotes. of course. then! You jolly well knew there was something up all the time. you beast. He told us there was something up ! And there is. Bunty. you fellows. where’s Smithy? I’m going to ask him.” said Harry. I expect. fixed on a stocky figure emerging from the House.” “Ha. “Who were they?” “Redwing and I.” “Come on. hallo. “Eh? I—I meant the butt of his jemmy—I mean. Know where he is?” “He’s gone up to his study.” Bunter was getting a little mixed. And the Famous Five headed for the Remove form-room. “I mean. you fat duffer.” “I say. You wouldn’t have known there was something up at all. ha!” “Hallo. “Why. a fellow might be late !” argued Bunter. ha!” “Quelch called up the prefects. you fellows. hallo. ain’t it? I say. the jemmy of his automatic—I mean —. think a fellow might risk cutting a class?” “I wouldn’t risk it with Quelch !” chuckled Bob.” said Bunter. He looks in a beastly temper this morning. “I say. I say. Mean to say you know who the fellows were who came down and found Smithy in the Head’s study last night?” “Sort of. almost hungrily. too. more than ever did Bunter want to know.” “Come on. “Suppose a fellow never heard the bell. he coshed Smithy on the cocoanut with his jemmy. if you want to know. Grimey’s here because of the burglary. ha. “You seem to have heard quite a lot while you were tying up your shoe-lace. ain’t it exciting. “I say. But Billy Bunter did not follow them. curiously.“As well as with his jemmy?” asked Bob. there’s the bell !” exclaimed Bob Cherry. . Why. if I hadn’t told you. “Henry doesn’t like to be kept waiting—even on the morning after the night before. you fellows?” “Thrilling. “They found a window open—the Window of the Sixth-Form lobby—that’s how the burglar went. it’s pretty rotten to have to go in to class with all this going on. “Still.” “I should have heard the rest.” said Bob.” went on Bunter.” said Bob. and spectacles. you know all about it. And on this unusually thrilling occasion.” “You!” said Bunter.
Chapter XXI NO LUCK FOR BUNTER! INSPECTOR GRIMES was busy. Mr. occasionally stirring the grass with a plump finger. “Oh!” gasped Bunter.” “Master Bunter. Grimes did not look angry. Evidently he remembered him. but the size of his feet. watched from a respectful distance. or both. Mr. He knew all about clues. He was taken quite by surprise: he hadn’t expected that sudden move. Then. concentrated on his search. Grimes seemed oblivious to him. and the interpretation thereof. and stared at Bunter. were fastened on the plump gentleman from Courtfield. bent double. been unconscious of the fat junior blinking at him: he had known that Bunter was there all the time. I think. Billy Bunter rolled off in quite another direction. a faint smile came over his stolid red face. He heard Mr. politely. to Bunter. But suddenly he resumed the perpendicular. Billy Bunter had read a good many detective novels. He was well aware that an amateur detective. Quelch gathered his flock in the formroom. But objects were rather dim to the Owl of the Remove at a distance. Grimes was rooting about at the window of the Sixth-Form lobby. of making Billy Bunter’s acquaintance long ago. from a spot of cigarette-ash. Grimes. Grimes. the inspector was looking for clues. Grimes. Bunter was breathlessly interested. at first. Grimes. and of everything but his task. to have a note of satisfaction in it. not only who had committed the crime. Still. Bunter did not need telling that that was where the burglar had made his exit after knocking Smithy out in the Head’s study. when Quelch had called up the prefects to search the House. “Oh !” repeated Bunter. at least. the colour of his hair. He knew that that window had been found open in the night. But he was! From a little distance a pair of little round eyes. Bunter was a fellow not easily forgotten. Quelch was strict on punctuality: still. couldn’t be expected to do wonderful things like that. Grimes had not. Circumferentially.Instead of following the other fellows in. . after all. Indeed. To his relief. which seemed. glanced round. Grimes was making a most meticulous examination of the stone sill under that window. Billy Bunter watched him breathlessly. He had had the pleasure. N—n—nice morning.” Good morning. Mr. Grimes spent quite a long time at the sill. and gradually he edged nearer. Mr. “Oh! Yes!” gasped Bunter. “I—I say—. an official detective-officer. He had something in his hand—Bunter wondered whether it was a magnifying glass. Billy Bunter was going to risk it: and when Mr. or had forgotten the time. Grimes give a grunt. there was a sporting chance that he might believe that a fellow hadn’t heard the bell. the fattest member of his form was conspicuous by his absence. and a pair of big round spectacles. Of course. Bunter knew why. It dawned on Bunter that Mr. Mr.” said Mr. ain’t it?” said Bunter.” said Mr. He seemed unaware that he was under observation. Grimey might find out something—and Billy Bunter fairly burned with curiosity to know what. He goggled at Mr. till he was only a few yards behind the inspector’s plump back. Obviously. Bunter. if not an official one. could deduce. What had he discovered? Nearer and nearer the inquisitive fat Ow! edged. or otherwise. he proceeded to scan the earth under the window. Mr. “G-g-good morning. with the disadvantage of practical training and experience. and his style in neckties. his plump figure rather suggesting a barrage-balloon.
not at all. Even with the aid of his big spectacles. that’s the window where the burglar got out last night. and went into the House by the lobby door. It did not occur to Bunter that he was considering whether to box Bunter’s fat ears for his cheek or not. “I say. The coast was clear: and the fat Owl rolled up the corridor to the head’s door.“Very!” agreed Mr. Grimes. deep sarcasm that was a sheer waste on Billy Bunter. But if the Courtfield inspector had made any discovery there. with a deep. “ It’s rather high from the ground. “Must have left some sign when he jumped out. The chime of the quarter caused the fat Owl to blink up at the clock-tower.” said the fatuous fat Owl. But Bunter did not turn his steps immediately in the direction of the form-room.” Mr. A quarter of an hour late was rather a good allowance in dealing with a master like Mr. “I’m considered pretty good at picking up signs. He was fifteen minutes late for class. Grimes. Grimes was an amiable and good-tempered plump gentleman.” “Oh!” “I’d be jolly glad to help!” said Bunter. I don’t miss much. Mr. Grimes. “It’s very kind of you. However. Mr.” “Indeed!” said Mr. “They found it open when they searched the House. isn’t it? I expect you’ve spotted it. “If you haven’t. which he was intensely curious to do. Grimes. Mr. Bunter proceeded to look for “signs” under the lobby window. It really looked as if Mr.” explained Bunter. While masters and boys were in form. From the corner of the corridor he blinked cautiously in the direction of the Head’s study.” “Ah!” said Mr. Grimes. being on the spot. He concluded that the fleeing burglar must have climbed out very carefully instead of jumping out. Grimes did not reply. and he decided not. the fat junior was unable to spot a single trace of anyone having jumped from that window. He disappeared into the lobby. turned the door-handle. . I’ll be jolly glad. “Anything I can do. Bunter blinked after him. Bunter was left blinking. He was surprised by this sudden departure of Mr. Quelch. “Well.” said Bunter. Bunter made none. “Eh?” “I’m a Greyfriars Scout. you know. Bunter was blind and deaf to sarcasm. Grimes gazed at William George Bunter. Master Bunter. Grimes. He rolled into the House. But Mr. Grimes had been able to deduce as much. Grimes had no use for Bunter’s kind assistance in the execution of his official duties. but not to the Remove room. and wondered whether Mr. Trust me! I fancy I could pick up any sign you’ve missed. Grimes. it was a chance for Bunter to view the scene of the burglary.” said Bunter. Having gazed at Bunter. and blink at the burgled desk. to offer to expend your valuable time in assisting the police in their duties. and the Head with the Sixth. and rolled in. and shut the door after him. “I expect you’ve found the footsteps—I mean the footprints?” ventured Bunter. “Oh. when they had been getting on so nicely with their chat. He looked very thoughtful. he turned away. I daresay I could help!” said Bunter. you know. “Do you?” said Mr. Grimes!” he squeaked. added to his knowledge of scoutcraft.” said Mr.
and stared—or rather glared—at him. But he jerked upright as Bunter rolled in. Grimes. Chapter XXII CORNERED! “I SAY. “He won’t be in the Head’s study then. as he rolled down the corridor. perhaps making some examination of the burgled drawer in which Billy Bunter was so keenly interested. It was a half-holiday that afternoon. “Oh!” stuttered Bunter. had. grimly. Billy Bunter reminded them of it. lor’!” Whop! “Wow! ow-ow-wow! Wow!” “You may go to your place.” “Oh. too: and he went. Bunter. Quelch fixed him with a grim gimlet-eye.“Well?” That monosyllable came like a shot. “Beast!” he breathed. He had hoped that this would be good enough for Quelch. you fellows!” Billy Bunter blinked into the changing-room. “Not knowing the bell. good !” said Bunter. “You will take fifty lines for unpunctuality. “You are twenty minutes late for class. minor matters like burglaries naturally took a very secondary place: and the Co. Mr. sir. “Grimey?” repeated Bob Cherry. He rolled off to the form-room. where Harry Wharton and Co. “I shall cane you for untruthfulness. and the heroes of the Remove were hooked for cricket with Hobson and Co. in fact. Grimes was there. and a good many other fellows had gathered. But it was not vacant. He was .” “Oh! Yes. When cricket was the order of the day. where Billy Bunter was concerned. He had taken it for granted that the Head’s study would be vacant.” Billy Bunter went to his place—wriggling. Bunter. and I forgot the time. sir—I mean the time—I—I——.” “Oh. “Bunter!” rumbled Mr. Quelch. The inspector was leaning over the Head’s writing-table. “I—I thought—I—I mean—I—I didn’t—I—I wasn’t—I—I mean to say—oh. Bunter decided that he had better turn up for class.” gasped Bunter. He picked up the cane from his desk. for the time. blow him.” added Mr. Grimes. But Quelch was always rather a doubting Thomas. looking round.” said Mr.” “And. After which. Bunter. where all the Remove stared at him as he rolled in. Bend over that chair. it was high time.” Billy Bunter’s voice trailed away.” “What?” “I—I mean. and I forgot the bell—. Bunter thought so. of the Shell. forgotten all about the exciting incident of the night.” “Oh! Yes. Really. His speaking countenance indicated only too plainly that it was not good enough. which is a much more serious matter. Quelch. lor’!” “What are you doing here?” snapped Mr. and Mr. “Oh! Nothing! I—I mean—” “You had better go. with the head-master in the Sixth-Form room. long ago. “He’s gone. sir! I never heard the time. “Seen Grimey?” he asked. Bunter jumped. I never heard the bell.
with a grin. You couldn’t trail anything but a jam-tart or a dough-nut. that Mr.” “Double—width. I fancy. you couldn’t pick up a sign if it stuck out a mile.” “Ha.” said Bunter. “He said it was kind of me to offer to assist the police in their duties——. “Ain’t Smithy going to play cricket?” “Not with a lump like a duck’s egg on his frontispiece. of course—but he shouldn’t he slacking in his study. you fat chump.” said Bunter. curtly. I fancy. I don’t want him. where’s Smithy?” Bunter blinked over the crowd of faces in the changing-room. Bob Cherry. at least. jawing to Twiss.” assented Bunter. to make such a fuss about a cosh on the conk.” “I’m used to jealousy.’ “Bit soppy.there when I looked in this morning—. with a nod. I say. “You silly ass. when I went in. “Smithy’s taking a rest. “I wouldn’t! I hope he ain’t sticking in his study this afternoon—I—I mean. “I didn’t know he had gone to the Beak’s study—but there he was. he was civil. Billy Bunter winked. I’ve had an eye open for the Head—he’s in his garden now. Why. a fat wink. you know.” “Something that Grimey has missed.” “Your which of whatter?” gasped Bob. ha. if you want him!” said Tom Redwing. Grimes had been indulging in sarcasm. Bunter? asked Squiff. “Well. He was rooting about under the lobby window this morning. with my knowledge of scoutcraft. you know. “Too jolly wide to be spotted by a beak. I’m wide. what?” asked Johnny Bull. and he glared at me like a Gorger—I mean a Gorgonzola—.” chuckled Hurree Jamset Ram Singh.” said Bob. I can tell you. “Never saw a wider chap.” “The fancifulness is terrific. They could guess. you fat chump.” “The widefulness is terrific.” “You looked in at the head’s study !” exclaimed Harry Wharton.” “You are!” agreed Toddy. I offered to help——. “That’s all right. “I’m a pretty good Scout. all right. he never spotted anything.” “You’d better not let the Head spot you prying in his study.” said Bunter. ha. ha !” yelled the juniors. I shouldn’t wonder if I found a clue.” “Ha. “I’m jolly well going to see where the burglar boggled—I mean burgled—. a fellow wants to see what’s happened.” said Bob Cherry. “I was going to give that desk the once-over—where the burglar burgled it. Then he walked off—I don’t know why. “That’s it. you know.” said Bunter.” “What?” yelled Bob. I don’t mean wide. but of course. sarcastically.” said Bunter. “Well. with a sniff. ha!” “But if he’s cleared off.” said Peter Todd. I saw him. Toddy. “Well. if Bunter couldn’t.” grunted .” snapped Bunter. The Head won’t spot me. Redwing?” “Smithy’s in his study. “Blessed if I see anything to cackle at.” said Bunter.” he said. is he sticking in his study. “ Grimey’s rather an old donkey. “I’m wide. “I mean. “Didn’t Grimey jump at your offer. I might be jolly useful in picking up sign—.
It was rather a risky game to pay a surreptitious visit to that awesome apartment: but Billy Bunter had taken his precautions.table the “once-over. Billy Bunter rolled away in the direction of the Head’s study. you beast! Wharrer you shoving that bat at me for?” yelled Bunter. I call it! A fellow may have a bit of a headache. he knew a lot about detective work from the detective-novels he had read. ha. but I don’t believe in slacking and frowsting about. that a fellow shouldn’t be soppy. The burglar did not seem to have played up. ha!” “What I think is. Tom Redwing shoved again: and the fat Owl faded out of the doorway of the changing-room. staring at the fat Owl suspiciously. he had little doubt that he would spot it. He rolled in and shut the door after him. Bunter had no high opinion of Inspector Grimes and his abilities—but considerable faith in his own. “Beast!” floated back. He seemed to have left no sign whatever to be picked up by eagle eyes: even eagle eyes assisted by a big pair of spectacles. He blinked at it from very angle. and empty. really. Leaving the fellows in the changing-room laughing. Bunter was bold as a lion.” “Bunter doesn’t believe in slacking and frowsting about!” said Bob Cherry.” It was easy enough to spot the drawer that had been “burgled. The coast was clear this time: with Inspector Grimes gone from Greyfriars. and he had great faith in his own “wideness. Billy Bunter arrived at his headmaster’s study. Redwing. But after ten minutes of industrious blinking. Bunter had to admit that if a clue was there.Bunter. had been crudely and roughly broken by the instrument that had forced open the drawer. and then rolled in. and the wood surrounding it. if he asked. “Ha. Bunter would have been very bucked to pick up a clue: and if there was a clue to be spotted. the former was evidently out of reach of his fat fingers —so the fat Owl gave his attention to the latter. Without explaining why he was shoving his bat at Bunter. Redwing?” “Fathead!” “Is there anything to eat in Smithy’s study?” asked Bob Cherry. and it could not be wholly shut again till it was repaired.” “Ha. if he’s got a headache. Why not cut up to the study and tell him. he couldn’t locate it. and the Head and his secretary both in the Head’s garden. The lock. as Bunter departed. I’ve a jolly good mind to go up and say to Smithy— Whoooop! Keep that bat away. as burglars do in detective novels. . “Quelch would give him leave to go up to dorm. and make a song and a dance about a bit of a tap on the crumpet.” said Bunter. With Smithy taking a rest in No. There were two important matters on Billy Bunter’s fat mind that afternoon. as it were. Billy Bunter blinked at it wisely through his big spectacles. There was absolutely nothing to be seen but an oaken drawer that had been roughly wrenched open with a chisel. One was the box of chocolates in Smithy’s study—the other was his curiosity to pry at the burgled desk. and when there was no danger. “Oh. “Soppy. Then he proceeded to give the Head’s writing.” It seemed to Bunter safe as houses. ha!” “Besides. Cherry! If you think I know anything about that box of chocs in Smithy’s study——. it would be much better for him to lie down. 4 in the Remove. opened the door and blinked in. ha. Besides.” All the other drawers were shut and locked—but the burgled drawer was partly open.
Grimes. when a sound came from the corridor without—a sound of footsteps.” “Impossible!” said the Head. a . he had gratified his inquisitive curiosity. when Bunter crammed himself desperately behind a massive. waiting for the schoolmaster to assimilate what he had told him.Bunter grunted. He sat stolid. and seen what was to be seen. little as it was: and that was something.” said the Head. Mr. “I am afraid it may he a shock to you. faintly. But he did not know what an “ inside job” was. and the Head had brought him to the study. Locke blinked at him. His fat ears pricked up like those of a startled rabbit. He stopped suddenly. in sheer terror. and his only thought was to get out of sight—escape might come later if they didn’t spot him there. Surely some extraneous person must have entered the House. “An inside job. sir. sir. There was no escape. Inspector Grimes let that pass.” repeated the inspector. his fat hand was almost on the door handle. He was hardly out of sight when the door opened. But there is no doubt about it in my mind. “I have every confidence in every servant employed at this school. He rolled towards the door. when the boy Vernon-Smith unexpectedly interrupted him. crikey!” breathed Bunter. Some person belonging to this establishment was pilfering here. Not a case of housebreaking. sir. Chapter XXIII “AN INSIDE JOB!” “AN inside job. Grimes. The footsteps were approaching the study door— footsteps of more than one person. That beast Grimes had come back. “I am sorry. Was it the Head coming in? If he were caught in that study—! His fat heart palpitated as he listened. “Pray step in. That meant that they were going to “jaw. with a nod. The pilferer is to be looked for in this school. “You do not mean to imply that some person resident in the house could have—. sir. Grimes.” It was the Head’s voice. “A job done from the inside.” said Mr. Bunter’s fat head almost swam. The Head’s learning was great—his erudition wide and deep. sir!” Dr. Still. He stood transfixed. Locke looked inquiringly at Inspector Grimes. They were coming—and there was Bunter. “Exactly. blankly. He knew many languages and many other things. Nobody entered this building last night.” They had come to stay! And if they found Bunter there—! Billy Bunter could only hope that they wouldn’t. sir—not a case of burglary from outside.” “Bless my soul !” said the Head. high-backed armchair that stood in a corner. “Oh.” He broke off.” Then he gave a little start. palpitating with terror. “I don’t quite understand Mr. sir. or the robbery could not have taken place. The footsteps were almost at the door. But I must apprise you of the facts. to meet their eyes the moment the door was opened! The Owl of the Remove was fairly cornered! He gave a wild blink round the study.” Dr.
There are dozens of drawers in your desk here. “Mr. sir. the sill outside.little warmly. sir. some reason for supposing—.” But I have supposed. Locke gazed at him. sir.” DR. Locke.” “Bless my soul!” repeated Dr.” said Mr. as I have said. I was aware that it was an inside job. sir—or rather. but stating facts. Locke. and the grass below the sill. to give the impression that a burglary had occurred. and no doubt hoped that the police would suppose. In one of them.” “He knew—?” “Obviously. It is. Inside information is an indication of an inside job.” “Oh!” murmured Dr. an inside job—and the wanted man is here—here under this roof. “No doubt. sir. Even before examining the window for traces. no doubt. The result is the assurance that no one either entered or left the house by that window last night. sir—everyone has supposed—that the burglar escaped by that open window—. money . The person who robbed your desk desired.” Dr.” murmured the Head. doubt your professional skill and efficiency. A window was left open for that purpose. “and I can make the matter clear to you in a few words. Grimes! I cannot. sir. the perpetrator is absolutely unknown. of course. no one can be excluded. of course. You have. sir. The person—man or boy or whatever he was —knew where to look for the money. a childish one: but all that he could do to give the hoped-for impression that the pilferer had come from outside. sir. LOCKE BLINKED AT HIM “Then it was a—a trick?” “A simple trick.” “ But—. At the present moment. But this—this is beyond credence. “I have made the most careful and meticulous examination. There is no more reason to suspect a servant than to suspect any other person here. Grimes. quite aghast. “At the moment.” Precisely what he intended you to suppose. of the window.” “I am not supposing. sir.
Some unscrupulous person. a case of burglary—but a case of pilfering. in knowing where to lay his hands on it. from what you have told me. “I was about to say that a search would reveal the pilfered money in the pilferer’s room. sir. is obviously still here—and the money also: and a search —.” “Then a good many persons may have known——. He crept down in the night.” said the inspector.” said the inspector.” “In that drawer. knew where to find it. in strange surroundings.” “Oh !” breathed Dr. “ Cash for various requirements is kept there. at all events. or even knew that there was money in any of the drawers at all. Whoever broke open that drawer knew that it was there—knew. and helped himself to all that was there.is kept. to break open other drawers. after securing his plunder. sir. The pilferer shut off his light instantly—his chief concern. sir. drily. with a deeply clouded brow. That may be known to many persons in this building. But he was interrupted suddenly by a foolish boy coming into the room to play a thoughtless prank. he rushed for the door. was silent. this is not. but it could not be known to any extraneous person. and has always been kept there. to add colour to the pretence of a burglary. sir. Certainly it was no secret. and ran. Locke. in need of cash. sir— impossible. supposed that anyone would be interested in the matter. “ It is everyday work to me. sir. naturally. “We know from Master Vernon-Smith what happened next. at hand—somewhere in the school. His first thought. sir. was merely to escape—to escape unrecognized. five ten-pound notes. that a stranger. But the person. sir. Locke.” “I——I had not thought of that—.” “Some person in need of money might be extremely interested. there was a considerable sum in cash —ten five-pound notes. Grimes. . It is very easy.” “Oh!” We can hardly suppose.” said the Head. in so simple a matter as this. “In short.” Mr. Grimes paused.” “Here?” repeated the Head. knocked out the boy who was in his way.” “Certainly: though I had not. “Quite possibly. sir.” said Mr. of course.” “Oh!” said the Head. I imagine. He gazed at Mr. Grimes almost in horror. Grimes. that money was there.” “Quite unnecessary. opened a ground-floor window to give an impression of an intruder from outside. aware that cash was habitually kept in that particular drawer? “I—I hardly know. with a faint smile. I have frequently had occasion to take cash from the drawer in the presence of others. The Head. In the dark. sir. if he kept it there—which he would not do. if he had his wits about him—or any wits at all. Are many persons in this House. was to avoid being seen—and identified. as it appeared at the first glance. stole into this study. “he may have intended. sir. cheerfully. and fifty pound notes—one hundred and fifty pounds in all. The thief is still here.” said Mr. and I have no doubt whatever that the money is still here.” “Oh! Quite! But—.” “A search?” repeated Dr.” “This is not your line of country. In that he succeeded. to reconstruct the affair. happened on the right drawer by sheer chance. “I mean. “A search. But it was the money-drawer that was broken open. The whole sum is missing. broke open the moneydrawer.
” “Oh !” “I am aware. slowly. Inky—. He would not dare to keep the plunder in his own quarters in case of a search. All was clear: and Bunter rolled out of the study. Grimes rose. sir.” “Bow-wow !” “I say. especially as Vernon-Smith’s interruption prevented him from adding plausible details as he may have intended. take certain measures. I’ve found it all out!” gasped Bunter. the Head sat in silence.” “Can it. thinking it over. Grimes. Chapter XXIV CHOCS FOR BUNTER ! “TODDY.” Mr.’’ said Peter Todd. But an “inside job”— some untrustworthy person in his very household—that was much more discomfiting and distressing. but the less he is put upon his guard the better. he rolled rapidly. Between excitement and terror. and tiptoed to the door. long minutes. that the—the person hoped that the theft would he attributed to an outside burglar. sir. old chap—. He crept round from behind the armchair. But it would be useless also: for I have no doubt whatever that. Whatever the fat . I shall. Grimes.” “But what—?” “It was easy. and like Iser in the poem. It was Bunter’s chance to escape. to have further information for you. where. Billy Bunter’s little round eyes were almost popping through his big round spectacles. from the head-master’s point of view. He lost no time—anxious to get clear before some other beast came into the study. “Bob. the boy Vernon-Smith having been knocked unconscious. He had had a shock. Then—and not till then—did a fat head and a fat face rise from behind the back of the armchair in the corner. “Oh. if it was found. sir. and rolled away. Finding that there was no alarm.” Dr. For long. it is not in the quarters of the person who purloined it. He opened the door a few inches. The door closed behind him. sir. sir! I need take up no more of your time at present. Mr. crikey!” breathed Bunter. he rose and left the study. Locke nodded. and blinked into the corridor.” “Nothing shall be said. “In the meantime I suggest that nothing of what I have told you shall be mentioned outside this study. at last. “ I shall hope soon. old fellow—.” said Mr.“It is clear. wherever the money may be. Locke sat with a troubled face after the plump inspector had left him. But he could not feel sure of that. it could throw no suspicion upon himself.” Dr. that a general search would be extremely repugnant to you. as there was no immediate alarm. I imagine that the pilferer crept out of his room again.” “Very good. with your concurrence. Even that startling statement did not draw attention to Billy Bunter. A burglary would have been bad enough—quite an undesirable spot of excitement in the school. At last.” “Brr-r-r-r” “But I say. The pilferer cannot fail to guess that I suspect an inside job. and concealed the bundle of notes in some hidden recess.
” “You silly ass! I say.” “I say. “Jolly good innings. Bull—.” said Squiff. as he faced Hobson of the Shell for the last ball of the over. He liked to know the latest happening. for goodness’ sake.” said the Australian junior.” “Hallo. Hazel—.” The batsmen were running. and I’ll jolly well tell you——. Harry Wharton and Tom Brown were at the wickets. but not in the least in William George Bunter. and Hobson of the Shell was putting in some really good bowling that made the captain of the Remove. Cricket was going on. on Little Side. ruthlessly regardless of Bunter. as the English proverb remarks. you fellows——!” hooted Bunter.” remarked Johnny Bull. “I say. . After getting out of the Head’s study Bunter had found the House almost deserted: most of the fellows were on the cricket ground.” “I say. They watched Harry Wharton dealing with Hobby’s bowling. “Buzz off. “Good man! Bet you that’s three. so to speak. nobody wanted to know. old chap. “Give us a rest. But evidently he had tired of his own company.” “Roll away. He was not looking amiable. He was full of news—packed with news—he was the fellow who knew! Nobody else knew— except the Head and Mr. sit up and take notice and the Remove batsmen waiting at the pavilion were interested in the batting and in the bowling. Wibley—. All eyes were on the New Zealand junior. “Dry up.” “But I say—. Grimes—what Bunter knew! He was fairly bursting with news and excitement. and to relate the same to fellows who hadn’t heard. as Bob predicted. I say. Bunter. Now he had a really thrilling and tremendous spot of news—quite a whale of a tale! It was annoying and exasperating when nobody wanted to hear it. as he felt.” said Hazeldene. So thither rolled Bunter to impart his thrilling news.” “The talkfulness is too terrific. Field! I say. disgruntled. and he looked. the newest item of gossip. Smithy— squat down here.” “Well hit!” roared Bob Cherry. you see. old fat man. here comes Smithy!” exclaimed Tom Redwing.’’ “Hobby’s a good man with the leather.” “Is that fat bluebottle still buzzing!” exclaimed Bob Cherry. Head better?” The Bounder grunted in reply to that inquiry. “Oh. and come down from the House to see how the cricket was going on. Inky.” “Don’t bother. I’ve found it all out. Redwing—. really. “I say.” “Go and tell somebody else. old chap—. “But Browney will put paid to him. barrel.Owl might or might not have found out. He found plenty of fellows there to whom to tell his startling tale—but they all turned deaf ears. He had a lingering headache. three: and brought Torn Brown to the batting end. and buzz somewhere else. Billy Bunter gave an angry snort.” “Beast! I say. Nugent—. looking round. and did not even look at Bunter. my esteemed Bunter. It was.” “A still tongue is a stitch in the side that saves ninepence.” “I say. and the dark bruise on his forehead showed up to great advantage in the bright sunshine. Bunter liked to be the fellow with the news. Ogilvy—.
to go on with.” It was a boundary and the Remove crowd gave Tom Brown a cheer. “I say. Smithy often had nice things like that—rare in other studies. Bunter grabbed the box. Smithy. 4 Study— and the first object that met his eyes. I heard old Grimey say to the Head—Beast! You jolly well kick me. The Bounder. and started on the chocolates. Bunter was glad that he had taken the precaution of shooting the bolt. And now that Vernon-Smith was on the cricket ground. He grabbed Vernon-Smith’s sleeve. All was clear in the Remove passage. Neither did he linger in the Remove passage. . when Bunter grabbed off the lid. But he was still more anxious to scoff those chocs. but the chocs couldn’t. he gave a jump. The fat Owl rolled away to the house. This was Bunter’s chance.” Bunter grabbed Smithy’s sleeve again. Smithy might go back to the house any minute—the tale could wait. “But I say—. was not in a good temper: and nobody seemed to have any use for Bunter’s news. old chap—. Smithy!” bleated Bunter. jerking his sleeve away. you fat prying owl!” growled VernonSmith. A minute more. was sure to be interested in Bunter’s startling tale. was that box of chocolates on the study table. Staying only to cram a couple of fat chocolates into a capacious mouth. and he was safe in the box-room. as the man who had encountered the pilferer in the Head’s study. Smithy. whatever it was. in case of pursuit. he gazed ecstatically at the stack of chocolates. and look for it—and very probably for Bunter! The fat Owl hurried up the passage to the little stair at the end that led up to the Remove box-room. and almost choked over a chocolate half-way on the downward path. “It wasn’t at a keyhole. Now that Smithy had gone out. I heard old Grimey talking to the Head.” “ Don’t tell me what you’ve heard at a keyhole. If Smithy had not yet scoffed those chocolates—! Bunter was anxious to thrill anyone who would listen. rarest of all in Bunter’s. Billy Bunter was not interested in boundaries. will you?” snapped Smithy. with his startling tale. accessible now that Smithy wasn’t there. 4—Smithy might come hack. and his spectacles. and I’ll jolly well— yaroop!” Billy Bunter retired from the scene. it was certain that he would miss the box at once. There was a bolt on the door. as he heard a light step on the box-room stair.“I say. If Smithy came hack to his study.” “Oh. Then he sat down on a big trunk that belonged to Lord Mauleverer. had been sampling the contents. not a fellow remained in the studies that sunny half-holiday.” gasped Bunter. which Bunter promptly secured. Billy Bunter rolled into No.” Leave me alone. do listen to a chap. “I say. The Owl of the Remove did not linger in No. and rolled out of the study. But the box was still nearly full. A few minutes later.” “Good old Browney!” roared Bob Cherry. The Bounder. “I say —. 4 Study—inaccessible so long as Smithy was there. evidently. “I’ve found it all out. It had been opened. “That’s a boundary. get out !” grunted Smithy. Billy Bunter’s thoughts turned to that box of chocolates in No. “But I say. apparently. if they were still available.
Ha. on further consideration. I jolly well have. ha. A hundred and fifty pounds spotted about the school——. and he resumed enjoying life. you fellows. Sammy of the Second. ha !” There was a cheery crowd in the Rag. and Stott. Billy Bunter chuckled. and paused to hear—and then Coker told Bunter that he was a grubby little eavesdropping tick. and still absolutely without interest in Bunter and the tale he had to tell. The box-room window overlooked flat leads. however. Smithy—if it was Smithy—seemed to suppose that the door had jammed somehow. crikey !” gasped Bunter. to scramble down to the ground with the aid of a massive old rain-pipe. There was a sound of a quick light footstep that died away down the box-room stair. He had no doubt it was Smithy. “I mean. Billy Bunter. Coker of the Fifth came along with Potter and Greene while he was telling Skinner and Co. Why don’t you use it sometimes? “Yah! I say. and ought to have his head smacked—and. Billy Bunter’s eyes. fixed in alarm on the door. you’d jolly well sit up and take notice.’’ “Thanks !” said Harry Wharton.” “Eh !” . Bunter’s fat heart palpitated. not that it was bolted inside. I didn’t know you had one at all. Dabney and Co. politely. you beast—it’s no use shoving. so yah !” To his surprise and relief. “Yes. as it were. of the Remove. and Snoop. after him and the chocs—who else could it be? Whoever it was. “Beast!” breathed Bunter. smacked it. Having beaten the Shell. the pressure on the door ceased instantly. Creak ! creak ! “Oh. “I say. He had a safe line of retreat—and that beast. Bunter had found some listeners. from which it was easy. Billy Bunter’s attention returned to the chocolates. “You’ve got a good mind?” asked Bob Cherry. to catch him as he came down. he seemed surprised to find that the door did not budge. He had told Tubb of the Third. if you knew what I know. you can’t get in. a fat chuckle. 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. Smithy. the heroes of the Remove were feeling pleased with themselves and things generally. rolling into the Rag. The wood creaked under a strong and heavy pressure from without. But the fat Owl knew a trick worth two of that. Smith—if it was Smithy—was gone: but Bunter had little doubt that the beast would be waiting for him below. of the Fourth Form had condescended to listen and then he told Skinner.The door-handle turned.” “First I’ve heard of it. He had told his minor. He had bolted the door—now he sat on Lord Mauleverer’s trunk and bolted the chocolates——and then he opened the box-room window and bolted himself! Chapter XXV BUNTER SPREADS THE NEWS ! “I JOLLY well shan’t tell you now. in terror that the bolt might give. and spectacles. found them talking cricket—playing the Form match over again. let alone a good one. There were many chocolates in the box: but there could not be too many for Bunter. even for Bunter. Temple. could wait for him at the box-room stair as long as he jolly well liked! It did not occur to him for one moment that the hand that had tried the door was not Smithy’s—whose else could it have been? The alarm over. I’ve a good mind not to tell you !” amended Bunter.
” “Chuck it. 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——. Nugent! It’s the Head’s cash. “The rotfulness is terrific.“What?” “A hundred and fifty pounds!” said Bunter. and nobody knows where. Fivers. I can tell you.” said Bunter. ha!” Bunter gave Herbert Vernon-Smith a rather uneasy blink. could I? You might listen syrupstitiously. much to the fat Owl’s relief. and he’s still here. “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. It wasn’t a burglary after all—it was an inside job. see? That’s what Grimey called it. ha. pound notes. with an air of superior wisdom. ha !” yelled the juniors.” A dozen fellows stared at Bunter. “As it happened. and he’s hidden the loot about Greyfriars somewhere—not in his own room in case there was a search.” “And Grimey told you?” asked Johnny Bull with a snort.” There was a buzz in the Rag now. “And I jolly well know all about it. and the snooper is somebody in the school. you fellows. “Think you know better than Grimey? I say. and he’s still here. Inky! Not me. tenners.” “Bunter’s in the know.” “What?” “Or you.” said Bob. and there’s fivers and tenners and pound notes spotted about somewhere. The burglary—as . “The tin that was snooped from his desk last night.” explained Bunter. What about kicking him ?” “The kickfulness is the proper caper. of course. spotted about Greyfriars somewhere. I say. laughing.” “How could I help hearing. when I was in the room ?” demanded Bunter. you fellows. though I’ve a jolly good mind not to. “Wandering in your mind—if you’ve got one to wander in ?” asked Bob. “Been dropping your loose change about?” asked the Bounder. “Well. “ Bunter always will be in the know. “Turn roundfully. “Ha. That’s what I was going to tell you. that’s what Grimey said !” roared Bunter. “He said it was an inside job. now. and I suppose he knows. and—. Bunter had got away with it at last. “Cashed it and dropped the money?” “Ha. “Has your postal-order come. and I jolly well heard him !” retorted Bunter. I wonder who snooped the dough? Grimey said it was somebody in the school. Precious little goes on that I don’t get wind of. my esteemed prying Bunter. “Oh.” declared Bunter. He had attention at last.” “What utter rot!” exclaimed Harry Wharton. He jolly well told the head. I heard the lot.” said Bunter.” “It’s impossible!” exclaimed Harry. But Smithy did not seem to be thinking about chocolates. “It’s called an inside job when it’s done inside. ha. “An inside job. and you jolly well don’t. Bunty?” asked Frank Nugent. Bob—. that’s what Grimey said.” said Hurree Jamset Ram Singh. Bunter !” “Kick him !” “I tell you. sarcastically. so long as they make keyholes to doors. really. He had rather expected to hear something from Smithy on the subject of chocolates when he saw him again. See?” “A whatter?” ejaculated Bob.
“Why. shaking his dusky head. I shan’t believe. “Echo answers that the who-fulness is terrific. “Isn’t it as plain as your face—which is saying a lot?” retorted the Bounder. “Perhaps a tenner ! What?” “Grimey may find it. I’m going to look for it. sharply. if he really heard anything at all—. But the idea of a hundred and fifty pounds hidden somewhere about the school caused a sensation.” growled Johnny Bull. “But if Bunter finds it. if the snooper’s here.” said Hurree Jamset Ram Singh.” “Chuck it. Cherry! I jolly well word every heard—I mean I jolly well heard every word—. now. “Think I’d touch what wasn’t mine. if Bunter heard him say that.” said the Bounder. Smithy—.” “Oh. chuck it.” “You ought to he jolly well kicked. you fellows.” went on Bunter. Smithy!” exclaimed Bob. it’s all rot. his eyes gleaming. “I wonder I never thought of it. “But now I know he’s here—. or in his desk at all? By gum!” “You can’t believe that the man’s at Greyfriars.” The Bounder evidently had no doubt on that point. sardonically.” “Might be hidden anywhere.” “You don’t. “I say. you fellows.” “Smithy. “A hundred and fifty pounds— why. and his eyes glinted. “But it wouldn’t stay hidden long. really. See?” “By gum!” exclaimed Vernon-Smith. in spluttering wrath. “Look here. don’t be an ass. “Beast!” “I guess this is the cat’s whiskers. Reddy! The man who knocked me out last night wasn’t an outsider—he was an insider—of course he was. you swob ?” “Oh.” The Bounder shrugged his shoulders. “Oh. “That fat ass has got it all wrong. that’s over four hundred dollars in real money. old man———!” said Redwing. that his postal-order’s come!” “Why. How the dooce would a burglar know the Head kept money in that drawer. think I’d touch it!” roared Bunter. “He said the snooper knew.” exclaimed Bob Cherry. in great indignation. and I know why.” said Bob. He passed his hand over the bruise on his forehead. you—you—you —!” stuttered Bunter. “ You know Bunter wouldn’t—.” remarked Frank Nugent.” sneered the Bounder. . As soon as the snooper thinks it safe he will get it out of the place. surely. “Grimey said that a burglar wouldn’t know which was the money-drawer.’’ said Bob. you jolly well know—. I should imagine. Smithy. Smithy. for one. Grimey won’t !” “Why. eagerly. Anywhere but near the snooper’s own quarters. “If we see Bunter blowing cash at the tuck-shop. he might be anybody! You didn’t see him. Fish.” said Harry Wharton.” said Fisher T.” “I say. “But who—?” exclaimed Squiff. “Don’t be a rotter. “Grimey was right. anyhow. Grimey was bound to spot it—he’s come across inside jobs before this.” said Peter Todd.” “I know he snoops every fellow’s tuck that he can lay his fat paws on.a mere burglary—was already fading as a topic.” said the Bounder. they’d have to stand him something out of it—at least a fiver!” said Bunter. I’ll say it’s worth nosing around a few to locate it.” “No—he took jolly good care of that. you beast. If a fellow found it.
“Bunter!” rapped out Mr. “I—I wasn’t speaking to Toddy. was putting his form wise about the latest fashions in European frontiers.The day-room was in a buzz now. sir. But he didn’t want to tell it to a beak—very much indeed he didn’t. Bunter loved to be the fellow with the news. “Do you hear me. it was plain. But only too clearly it was not geography that was exciting his form. there was hardly a man at Greyfriars who had not heard the startling story. The mere idea of a “hidden treasure” somewhere about Greyfriars was exciting.” Billy Bunter was the most eager of all. and he had enjoyed spreading the startling tale of a bundle of cash hidden in some secret nook about the school. had been happily unaware of a fat Owl drinking in every word behind the armchair in the corner. sir. sir. The fattest member of the form seemed hardly able to keep still. Quelch. That was by no means uncommon—but now quite an unusual number of the Lower Fourth seemed interested in the time. Quelch. Quelch was going to get to the bottom of this. in order to begin a “treasure-hunt. I—I only said——. . with the aid of a large map spread on the blackboard. Quelch gazed at the fat ornament of his form. Mr.” “You were whispering to Todd. “I—I said it was a—a fine morning. Before prep that evening.” rapped Mr. Then he picked up the cane from his desk. sir! You can ask Todd. in a deep rumbling voice. he could not begin to guess what all this excitement was about. to tell the tale to any Greyfriars man. Quelch had rapped out at Bunter for whispering in class. It booted not—there was Bunter whispering again. Mr.” gasped Bunter “Oh. Quelch. Nearly every fellow in the Remove was eager for break. But it was out of place in the form-room. But things were not as they ought to have been. Quelch. But he did not want to confide that to Quelch. my only summer hat!” murmured Bob Cherry. Bunter?” inquired Mr. and thrice.” “I—I—I said—. The lesson was geography: Mr.” “Tell me at once what you said. Chapter XXVI A SPOT OF EXCITEMENT MR. sir. Bunter. QUELCH glanced over his form in class the following morning with a sharp suspicious eve. He could see that something was “on” in the Remove. There were many signs of suppressed excitement. sir. He heard me. Attention in the form-room ought to have been wholly concentrated on the acquirements of geographical knowledge. Grimes.” “Well. Billy Bunter blinked at him in dismay. which could only mean that they were unusually anxious to get out. indeed eager.” “Oh! No. Quelch. Bunter. He gazed at him like the fabled basilisk. Something of great interest. Quelch frowned. “Oh! Yes. when he advised the Head that nothing should he said outside the study. and did not know that a bundle of tenners and fivers and pound notes was “spotted” somewhere about the school. Mr. Twice. Fellows whispered to one another. Many glances turned on the form-room clock. stirred the Greyfriars Remove.” gasped Bunter. “ If Bunter thinks that that will do for Quelchy—” Mr. He was willing. “I—I never spoke to Toddy.” “Bunter! Repeat to me at once what you were saying to Todd!” rapped Mr.
But there was nothing particularly exciting about taking a walk in the old Cloisters. “Upon my word!” said Mr. “Hazeldene!” “Oh! Yes.” stammered Fisher T. sir.” “I have asked you. Upon my word— Bunter. that on the Noo Yark exchange an English fiver would be worth about fifteen dollars in genooine spondulics. Bunter?” “I—I didn’t mean—I—I mean I never—I—I—I——. Every fellow in the Remove and almost every fellow in every other form at Greyfriars. Fish. and Bunter most excited of all. Fish gave quite a jump. was clear. puzzled. But it was only too clear that the Remove weren’t interested in geography. “What were you saying to Skinner. Where is the city of Prague situated. sir. so far as Mr. Quelch a little attention. sir!” he gasped. Bunter?” . That the Remove were all excited about something. Quelch. Quelch’s eyes were beginning to look like glittering gimlet-points. evidently. Take fifty lines. Quelch could see. sir!” gasped Bunter.” “Answer me at once. There were grinning faces in the Remove. could not guess that one.” “Is this an impertinent jest. I have pointed out the city of Prague. more puzzled than ever. Bunter. Once more there was a respite from whispering. Mr. as his name was shot at him like a bullet.” gasped Bunter. sir. of course. Hazeldene. “You will take fifty lines for talking in class.” Geography resumed the tenor of its way. had said nothing on the subject. “Bunter! have you taken leave of your senses! You wondered whether the city of Prague was in Gosling’s wood-shed! What do you mean.” Geography re-started after the interval. “I——I only said I wondered whether it was in Gosling’s wood-shed. “Oh! Yes. lor’! I—I only said I—I was going to look in the Cloisters in break. Quelch. Quelch.” he said. Fish!” “I—I was jest remarking. Mr. sir. But thoughts were straying. crikey!” “Bunter! Tell me this instant what you said to Snoop!” thundered Mr.” “Is that what Bunter said to you. sir. sir. that was plain. Quelch. Todd?” “Yes. Fish. For some minutes even Bunter gave Mr. as requested by Mr. Quelch stared at them both. “Aw! Yep. where the city of Prague is situated. Fish?” “I—I—I guess—. Hazeldene?” “I—I—I think—. Fishy’s reply let in no light on the mysterious excitement in his form. “Fish! You should not discuss such matters in class. But the Head. Fisher T.” answered Peter.“Bunter! If you do not immediately give me a truthful answer. Grimes. But Mr. knew all about Inspector Grimes’s belief that the purloined notes were hidden in the school. so the beaks were still in the dark. Hazeldene. “You are not paying attention. at last. What did you say to Todd?” “Oh. had been calculating the value in American money of the fivers in the hidden bundle.” stammered Hazel. “Fish!” rapped out Mr. I shall cane you. “We—we’re allowed in the Cloisters. suddenly. are you whispering to Snoop?” “Oh.
“Wow-ow!” “Silence. He went back into the House. “Just about. “Like looking for a needle in a haystack. It dawned on him that the excitement that morning was not confined to the Remove. and perhaps to their form-master’s also.. sir. Temple. Mr. as Mr.” said Dabney. where?” said Johnny Bull.” said the Remove master. sir! Oh. “There’s a story going round the school that the banknotes taken from the Head’s desk on Tuesday night are hidden about the place somewhere.” “Bless my soul! Who could have set such a rumour in circulation!” “I have no idea. “ Might have a shot at it ourselves. going out of the House with his pals Potter and Greene.” grinned Bob Cherry. Mr. a senior form. came out with a rush. Quelch’s pointer.” remarked Frank Nugent. What was “on” in his form that morning? Clearly something was. lor’! Wow!” roared Bunter. Coker. “We’re on this. ain’t it? Sort of treasure—hunt.” They passed on. Quelch heard from Coker: “Bit exciting.” answered Wingate. “Oh.” “All the fags are after it. Dabney and Co. I believe. I shall cane you.” Cecil Reginald Temple was saying. Quelch stood looking after them with a puzzled frowning brow. sir! Yes. Quelch walked out. of the Fifth. to see the Head about it. Harry Wharton laughed. and Mr. hitherto used on the map. and stopped to speak to Wingate.” said Wingate. leaving Mr. it did. It seemed to the Remove that the form-room clock never would indicate 10.” “The jolly old bundle must be somewhere.’’ Billy Bunter made a great effort to suppress the ridiculous noises. passed him. whatever it was: but the Greyfriars captain turned politely as Mr. Quelch gazing at their backs.“Oh! No. They fairly scampered out into the quad when freedom came. “Plenty of places to choose from—about a million or so. I imagine !” he answered. and the juniors got out in break: to their great relief.” “Dear me !” said Mr. Quelch stopped to speak. He sucked his fat knuckles in silent anguish. “Wingate! There seems to be some excitement among the boys. Bunter. “The fags are all going treasure-hunting. but everybody seems to have heard it—it’s all over the school.” said Potter. But. “As likely as any other spot. sir! Yow-ow-ow-ow! Wow!” “If you continue to make those ridiculous noises. “Bless my soul!” said Mr. who was discussing something with Gwynne and Sykes of that form. you men. “I do not understand it. All three seemed deeply interested in their topic. of the Fourth. “Only. at long last. Quelch. rather. Bunter!” “Yes. was now used on his fat knuckles. Any special . sir. It was shared in other forms—even the Fifth.45. Have you any idea of its cause?” “Oh! I—I think so. with a smile. Quelch. Chapter XXVII THE TREASURE-HUNTERS! “WHAT about our box-room?” asked the Bounder. of the Sixth.
” said Smithy. The chums of the Remove gave him attention at once. Well.” said Harry. They were all in an eager mood now. there was absolutely no clue. “Skinner went up after prep last night— I daresay you know he parks his cigarettes in the box-room—and he couldn’t get in and get his fags.” “By gum. was a magnetic attraction. Almost everybody was keen on the “treasure-hunt”: eager fags of the Second and Third swarmed in the most unexpected places: Shell and Fourth and Remove were all agog—even a good many Fifth Form men. “And it won’t take us ten minutes to root through the box-room—half-a-dozen of us. They stopped by the massive old rain-pipe that gave access to the flat leads under the box-room window. But why our box-room specially?” “Because the door’s fastened. ready to climb in their turn.” even though it would not appertain to the finder. “I suppose it might be in a boxroom as likely as anywhere else.” “ Many hands make the cracked pitcher go longest to a bird in the bush. “Inky. Descent was an easy matter. “No end of a catch if we bag the giddy treasure—one up for the Remove Come on.” said Vernon-Smith. “Hidden treasure. there were innumerable nooks and crannies where a small packet could be concealed. to circle round the school buildings—with an eye open for “beaks” and “pre’s. ha!” . and even some of the high and mighty Sixth. then.” said Harry Wharton.” chuckled Bob. “Looks as if somebody or other wants to keep fellows from wandering into that box-room. The Famous Five stood watching him. “But that’s odd. “It’s a jolly old sporting chance.” remarked Bob Cherry.” “Good egg !” said Bob. “Ha. that jolly old moonshee who taught you English at Bhanipur must have been a real whale on proverbs.” agreed Hurree Jamset Ram Singh. It might have been hidden almost anywhere: and in a rambling.” “And so the poor dog had none!” sighed Bob Cherry. were rooting about in odd corners. “Cough it up.” And the bunch of juniors walked away. But little difficulties were not likely to stop schoolboys on the track of treasure ! Herbert Vernon-Smith grasped the rain-pipe and began to clamber up. Whoever did it must have got out by the window. But it had to he admitted that the chances of success were slight. “Why should anybody fasten the door of our box-room?” “That’s what I wondered. Smithy?” “Yes !” said Vernon-Smith. anyhow. that enterprise would have been nipped in the bud. to the hideout of the bundle of notes. old man.” Clambering up to high windows was very much against all rules: and had the eye of authority fallen upon them in the act. “We can get in by the window—if there’s no beaks about. ancient pile like Greyfriars School. “It can’t be locked—the key’s been missing for ages —but there’s a bolt on it.” said the captain of the Remove. So far as they could see. I cut up before class to see if Skinner was right. no hint of a clue. why?” “The whyfulness is terrific.reason for looking in our box-room. and the door wouldn’t open—it’s been bolted inside.” “Exactly” “We’ll draw that box-room for a start. as Billy Bunter had found—ascent was more difficult. Smithy. ha.” said Bob.
“We’re getting up to our box-room. and a row. Twiss. “It’s all over the school that they’re hidden somewhere about Greyfriars.“My esteemed Bob—. For a moment he had feared that it was a “beak”——which would have meant lines or a gating. Quelch at once. “Rats!” said Smithy. All the party were irritated by Mr. “Hem! We—we thought of looking in the box-room. sharply. “I cannot allow this. twisted to look down. sir. Twiss’s interference: but it was evidently injudicious to carry on.” said Bob.” “The—the what?” ejaculated Mr. “I shall report your impertinence to your form-master. clinging to the rain-pipe. old chap—!” said Nugent. Vernon-Smith. He was not a master. and very likely the Bounder. It irked the rebel of the Remove to obey masters and prefects: and he was not going to obey little Twiss if he could help it. The Famous Five exchanged glances. and glared at him.” said Bob. in their opinion. come down at once. we’re rather pushed for time. Twiss a dogged look. Vernon-Smith?” “Aren’t you our head-master’s secretary. “Vernon-Smith! You are impertinent!” exclaimed Mr. “Haven’t you heard about the Head’s banknotes. “Smithy. looked to him in a perilous position. What do you mean. Mr. gave Mr. Now come down at once. The Bounder was the man for rows! Twiss. Twiss. “Better chuck it. was angry: and they expected him to walk away in quest of Mr.” said Mr.” “Smithy. Twiss. This meant a report to Quelch. stood in dismay. Only the Bounder thought of doing so. “It’s all right.” The Bounder. Wharton! You are well aware that Mr. old man—!” murmured Bob. Smithy. and really had no right to interfere: but evidently he was going to do so.” “You’ve no right to give me orders.” said Harry Wharton. Twiss. clinging to the rain-pipe. sir?” asked Bob. sir?” asked Vernon-Smith. Some sportsman has bolted the door on the inside. he resumed clambering up the rain-pipe. “No doubt Gosling could enter by his ladder and unfasten the door. They stared at little Mr. sir. “Eh! What? Yes. sir—.” “Dear me!” said a high-pitched voice behind the juniors. Harry Wharton and Co.” “Well. Twiss.” said Mr. evidently. Mr.” “Nonsense!” snapped Mr.” said Harry. . “Break doesn’t last long—and we’re after the treasure. staring at him. “Smithy’s all right. half-way up the rain-pipe.” “Vernon-Smith! Come down at once! You are risking life and limb. Who the dickens was Twiss? “Do you hear me. And with cool disregard of Twiss. Twiss. Quelch would not allow anything of the kind. Twiss.” “What? What? I tell you to come down. regardless of Twiss. was a nervous little rabbit of a man. Twiss.” “Dear me! Surely it would be better to speak to your form-master. Twiss. “Whatever does this mean? What are you boys doing here?” The Famous Five spun round. Vernon-Smith. Vernon-Smith?” “They haven’t made you master of the Remove by any chance?” said the Bounder. with cool impertinence. as if touched by the same spring.
Mr. We’ll have another shot after third school. Smithy. “Will you come down. if he had made one.But Mr. as he landed. you ass—. Twiss stood blinking after them as they went. He hung on to the rainpipe. on the earth.” “My esteemed Smithy—. All his obstinacy was roused now.” “Let him rip. Twiss. and landed with a heavy bump.” Vernon-Smith’s reply. “Come down at once!” he snapped. The Bounder set his teeth. But the Famous Five gave him no opportunity of checking Mr. Do you want another head’s flogging?” “Why couldn’t the meddling little beast mind his own business ?” hissed the Bounder. There’s not much left of break now. “Smithy. don’t be a goat. “ Yon can’t row with Twiss. sprawling. reached up. Harry Wharton and Co. He came suddenly slithering down the rain-pipe. anyhow. Vernon-Smith?” “No!” snapped the Bounder. would certainly not have poured oil on the troubled waters. and Smithy’s hold was too precarious for that. “Dear me !” gasped Mr. "COME DOWN AR ONCE !" HE SNAPPED “You foolish boy! I hope you are not hurt! It was wholly your own fault! Such recklessness——.” “Oh.” “Look out!” roared Bob. He’s always shovin’ in where he’s not wanted. Twiss blinked at him through his rimless pince-nez. “Smithy—!” exclaimed Harry Wharton. ran to help the Bounder up. “I tell you—. “Who’s that dashed little ass to butt in?” “Kim on!” said Bob Cherry. “Oh!” he roared.” growled Johnny Bull. my hat! Oh. Twiss any further. “Leave go.” said Bob.” The Bounder grunted angrily. suffering cats and crocodiles!” Mr. if Twiss goes to Quelch. Mr. but he suffered the chums of the Remove to lead him away: perhaps realising that he couldn’t row with Twiss. Twiss was jerking angrily at the Bounder’s ankle. He was still rubbing sore . you fatheads! Look here. and grasped Vernon-Smith’s ankle. soothingly. “Oh. I’m goin’ up that pipe !” snarled the Bounder. He made a stride towards the rain-pipe. in alarm. Twiss did not walk away. They surrounded him and hustled him away. Vernon-Smith’s face was furious. “You’re up for six already. “I’ve got a bushel of aches and pains from that bump.
“You fat. whatever it is. “What the thump did you bolt that door for. he. of course—. “See? Not that I had the chocs from his study. and that Quelch had something to say to Smithy on the subject. “I say. realising that it was his fat cachinnation to which Bob alluded. Bunter seemed amused. The idea of the Famous Five fancying that the “treasure” might be hidden in the box-room because the door was bolted was enough to make Bunter gurgle—when he had bolted that door himself! “Oh. he—because the door was bolted—he. Bob Cherry looked round. with a scowling brow. you burbling bloater?” “He. he. he—and I bolted it yesterday afternoon—he. he. They could guess that Twiss had spoken to Quelch. and you fancied —he. were in the quad. he. Mean to say you’ve been clambering up to the box-room window because the door was bolted. Harry Wharton and Co. staring. he.” “You had Smithy’s chocs—?” “No!” roared Bunter. but they were waiting for Smithy. footling frump!” said Bob Cherry. foozling. And he chuckled explosively. crikey! You’ve been clambering up to the window after the banknotes— he. he! I did!” “You !” roared all the Famous Five together. and bolted the door? He. “He. “He. crumbs! He. how . “Eh! I haven’t got an alarm-clock! Wharrer you mean?” “Well. “Nothing of the kind. doesn’t it. he. he. he. if you did bolt it?” “Because that beast Smithy was after me. He never had any chocs. “You silly ass !” hooted Bunter. shut it off !” said Bob. he! Oh.” giggled Bunter. he!” Thus William George Bunter. Chapter XX VIII BUNTER IS AMUSED “HE. when the bell rang for third school.” “What is that fat chump cackling at?” asked Johnny Bull. he!” Bunter gurgled. he. frumptious. “He. Quelch when the Remove came out. he. “Shut off that alarm-clock. “It looks like it. who had been kept back by Mr.” “You do!” exclaimed Harry Wharton. he. I jolly well know who bolted that box-room door. After third school. and the Remove trooped hack to their form-room. “You see. “Think the snooper parked the banknotes in the boxroom. Bunter’s fat face was irradiated by a wide grin—a grin so wide that it seemed almost to extend from one fat ear to the other. Don’t you get telling Smithy I had his chocs. you fellows are enough to make a cat laugh. Billy Bunter gave a fat ear to the talk among the Famous Five as they waited for Vernon. and they weren’t in a box. They intended to have another “shot” at the Remove box-room. he!” “Who did it then?” demanded Frank Nugent.Smith. and the box wasn’t on his study table when he went down to Little Side—and if it had been. he.” he said. he. he!” Bunter almost wept with mirth.spots. so far as I know. he!” Bunter chortled. Bunter.” Bunter spluttered with merriment.
“You didn’t know?” asked Bob. “You footling ass. you fat brigand?” “Oh. Smithy had not mentioned the subject of chocolates. and I got away by the window.” “Ha. But it was Smithy who thought the bolted door might be a clue—. but it was bolted. I left it without even touching it. I was down in the Rag when I went to Smithy’s study—I mean when I didn’t went—I mean—. and took them up to the box-room to scoff. and Gosling got in with his ladder while we were in class. I tell you he came up after me. rats! Corning up to the box-room?” snapped the Bounder.” “He. if I’d known Bunter did it? Talk sense. What were you there for. disdainfully. “It’s open now. “I don’t make this out. he must have known the door was bolted.” “I know what you mean. really. “Yes.” “Rot!” said Bunter. hastily. hallo! Here’s Smithy. “Hallo. ha. Not that I went there. “What?” yelled Smithy. “The mixfulness is terrific. And there weren’t very many. with a sullen brow. like Skinner.” said Bob. and I jolly well told him it was no good shoving. “Oh. blankly.” It was quite mystifying to the Famous Five. see?” “Smithy came up after you!” said Harry Wharton. “Smithy jolly well knew.” grunted the Bounder. and the door’s unbolted now. and couldn’t get into the box-room. as you jolly well know! So I thought I’d bolt the box-room door in case he came up.” grinned Bunter. this is a bit mixed. “That rabbit Twiss has told Quelch. “I’m a bit too particular for that.” “Well. hallo.” said Bob.” .” “What was Bunter doing in the box-room. he couldn’t get in.” “Might have given you six!” said Johnny Bull.” said Bunter. as I never went to the study?” “Oh.” said Bob. We can walk in if we like. either. Quelch has given me a detention for cheeking Twiss. and when he came up after me. “He doesn’t go there to smoke. ha!” “But you know Smithy!” said Bunter. “No need to climb in at the window. that’s why I cleared by the window. “It wasn’t there when I went in. you blithering fat ass?” “Oh ! Nothing !” said Bunter. “Suspicious beast! It would be like him to think of me when he missed his chocs. you know. they didn’t last me ten minutes———. Besides. “You bagged Smithy’s chocs. he. Is that it.should I know. “Nothing to do with chocs—. and pushed at the door. too. Cherry! I’ve told you I never touched Smithy’s chocs—as if I’d touch his chocs !” said Bunter. Fellows do. and you know what that looked like. “That’s how the door was left bolted.” said Harry. should I have fancied that the snooper did it. I hope.” Herbert Vernon-Smith came out of the House. see? He. my hat!” “I never touched that box. he. then?” snapped Vernon-Smith. so far: but the fat Owl could not feel quite easy in his fat mind. Billy Bunter sidled behind the Famous Five as he came up. warmly. I jolly well knew he’d he waiting for me. he!” “Bunter says that he bolted that door yesterday. he!” The Famous Five stared at Bunter. “And you fellows thought—!” chuckled Bunter. “If Smithy got after Bunter.
waiting syrup-stitiously for a chap to come out—. all together.” “You howling ass. There was a glint in his eyes.” “No ! Nothing of the kind.” snapped Vernon-Smith. I thought it was you. and it ain’t there now. “Nobody at all—unless it was somebody who had a special reason—somebody who might have hidden a packet there. I mean. For a moment. you prize porker! Now tell me what happened while you were in the box-room. let’s go and draw the jolly old box-room. and wanted to help himself from the packet—and sneaked off quietly when he found that somebody was in the box-room——. . what the dickens do you mean?” exclaimed Nugent.” “Oh. “Eh! What about Twiss?” asked Bob Cherry. nobody but a Remove man would go up to our box-room. and I jolly well cleared by the window. It was somebody. and I jolly well told you you couldn’t shove it open. six juniors tore into the House leaving Billy Bunter blinking after them blankly through his big spectacles. I thought it was you. all right. and shoved at the door.” said Bunter. “ You came up after me.” “No. “Well. Smithy—not that I had them.” Vernon-Smith stared at the fat Owl. because 1 thought you’d be waiting outside! Not that I had the chocs. I—I went there to look for a—a—a book—. What do you mean?” “Oh !” ejaculated Bunter. unpleasantly. is it?” “No. “Well. between his teeth. you fathead! No.” “Didn’t he speak?” “Not a word! Just sneaked down the box-room stairs as soon as I spoke. “wasn’t it you? I—I wondered why you didn’t say anything —a fellow would expect you to blow off steam. “Well. now it’s open.” “What a brain!” said the Bounder. I thought it was you.” “Somebody else. The next moment. too. of course——. “You know as well as I do that nobody outside the form ever goes up to our box-room.” said Nugent. “ Of course. “I wasn’t eating chocs when you shoved at the door. “I never shoved at the door. it ain’t!” roared Bunter. with a sneer.” “WHAT!” gasped the Famous Five. I—I—I haven’t tasted chocs for weeks.” “Might have been Skinner after his smokes. you fathead! I never went up to the box-room at all yesterday. they stared at the Bounder. you ass! No.” said Bob. quite!” jeered the Bounder.” “Oh. “Oh! I see! That’s where my box of chocolates went.“Chocs!” repeated Vernon-Smith. you know! Nothing of the kind. don’t be an ass! Skinner would have slanged the fat chump for bolting him out— so would I—so would any Remove man. You were in the box-room scoffing my chocs.” “Oh ! If you ain’t going to make a fuss about the chocs. Chapter XXIX TOO LATE? “THAT fool Twiss !” said the Bounder.” said Bunter. “Oh. never mind the chocs ! I want to know what happened. and Bunter thought Smithy was after him !” said Bob.” “Hold on a minute !” said Vernon-Smith. and I never hid the box behind Mauly’s trunk. “Nobody else ever goes there. “Let’s have this clear. Bunter—.
” remarked Hurree Jamset Ram Singh. there’s nothing here. “If he hadn’t barged in this morning. Of a packet of notes there was no sign. we should have had it. after that. or rather every inch. An empty chocolate-box rewarded the eager seekers—but nothing else. But they did not root it out. the hide-out was. Herbert Vernon-Smith. to put in a safer place. “Still. and there was nobody about during class.” Harry Wharton and Co. “That fool Twiss!” he repeated. so far as they could see. They were disappointed— but not so bitterly as the Bounder. and scrutinized—every box looked into and over and under and round about. in itself: but they could see no evidence of it. “The meddlin’ little ass! He had to barge in and queer the pitch! If he hadn’t meddled this morning. and looked at one another.” “What good would it have done.” “Not now !” snarled Smithy.” said Harry Wharton. If that was so. we should have got in at the window—. Every foot. The absurd packet is not here—.“What has Twiss got to do with it?” “Only that he’s dished us !” snapped Vernon-Smith. a scowl on his face. If the packet had ever been there.” They were still looking about the room. Eagerly they searched. in its hiding-place: and they were going to root it out. “You think—?” “I don’t think—I know! Gosling came up on his ladder and got in. “Well. as the thing isn’t here after all?” asked Johnny Bull. Bob Cherry had jerked at it.” They were in the Remove box-room. and it seemed very likely to the Famous Five. we should have found it here in break. after all. Well. Mr. If indeed the bundle of notes had been there the previous day. and unbolted the door. “But for him and his meddling. still .’’ but with Smithy it was a personal matter—as a hit back at the unknown “snooper” who had knocked him out in the dark. I suppose. But they no longer expected to find anything.” “No doubt about that. Smithy’s quick brain had jumped to it. “No luck !” said Frank Nugent. What the Bounder stated was probable enough. “The seefulness of my esteemed self is not terrific. He came here and took it away. certainly it had been taken away—but had it ever been there? “That fool Twiss has dished the whole thing. at last. Bob Cherry winked at his comrades. there was no reason. his hands in his pockets. He wasn’t going to risk being bolted out a second time. But there was nothing in the orifice behind it but dust and cobwebs. There seemed no other possible hide-out in the room. “You wouldn’t!” snapped the Bounder.” growled Vernon-Smith. while we were in third school. savagely. “Fathead !” “Thanks!” said Johnny. looked at the Bounder. sarcastically. Smithy—!” said Harry. drily “I don’t quite see. that the unknown person who had tried the box-room door while Bunter was there was the mysterious “Snooper”—coming there to visit the hidden packet. of the box-room was scanned. unless under or in one of the many boxes—but every box had now been explored inside and out by the Famous Five. the snooper could walk in when he liked. and they smiled. it looked jolly likely. to see whether it could be moved—and found that it could. All the fellows were keen to discover the “treasure. stood staring at a little ventilator in the wall—a little rusty iron grid about the size of a brick. “Oh!” exclaimed Harry Wharton. Sherlock Holmes?” asked Johnny Bull. in that very boxroom. why it should not still be there. Smithy isn’t quite such a Sherlock Holmes as he fancied !” remarked Johnny Bull.
Smithy was disappointed and angry and in such a mood. and the cobwebs torn. He pointed to the little ventilator in the wall. and goodness knows where it’s parked now—outside the house. The dust undoubtedly had been disturbed. I wish I’d landed out with my boot when that interferin’ tick grabbed me on the rain-pipe this mornin’.” said Nugent. they passed Herbert Vernon-Smith. Twiss. but he did not join them.’’ snapped the Bounder. on their way to the Cloisters. “It does certainly look as if somebody has been groping in that ventilator. “They seem to have forgotten you and your pals when brains were served out.” snapped the Bounder.” “Yes let’s. Johnny seemed unconvinced: perhaps because he did not like being called a fathead and an ass. “Think some fellow came up here and shoved his paw into that hole in the wall just to rake up the dust and set the spiders running? “Oh!” exclaimed Bob. his manners were never very polished. Smithy would have been glad to tell Mr. or rather stamped. walking in the quad with Hacker. “I suppose you know just where the snooper parked it?” “So would you. I daresay. The chums of the Remove smiled at one another. “You can’t. they could see the traces the Bounder’s keen eye had detected.” “Might draw the old Cloisters. Holmes. and they stared into the dusty cobwebby opening.” snapped Smithy. “ There !” “Nothing there but dust and cobwebs. “Lots of nooks and crannies there where a packet might he hidden. do tell us that!” said the sarcastic Johnny. Most certainly it looked as if that dusty recess had been recently groped into. Twiss exactly what he thought of him. Twiss.” “But it doesn’t get us any forrarder!” remarked Bob. had spoiled the whole thing by his interference.” said Bob. In the quad. Bob jerked out the little iron grid again. “Go it. “I’ve looked. we can’t be sure— !” said Harry.” said Harry. ass. the master of the Shell. “Well. Where was it hidden?” “Yes. “By gum !” said Bob. “No. “No ‘if ’ about it. it’s gone. gathered under the ventilator. if you used your eyes. for the Bounder looked in one of his worst tempers. and several long trails of broken cobweb hung about.” said Nugent. you might notice that the dust has been disturbed. out of the boxroom. as they went.” “Well. “It looks—.” “Um !” said Johnny Bull.sarcastic. Harry Wharton and Co. “It was there. “Smithy may be right. Wharton turning on the light of a flash-lamp. For which they were not exactly sorry.” sneered Smithy. Smithy—you can look on us as a lot of Dr. . if it was here. “No ! Let’s get out. and tramped away down the stairs.” said Bob. Now it’s been removed. most likely. Now that they examined it more closely.” “Well. I see!” grinned Bob Cherry. Watsons. if the Bounder was right. and we should have had it in break but for that rabbit-faced idiot Twiss. as he glanced at little Mr. A glitter came into Vernon-Smith’s eyes. Smithy knows all about it. and explain the jolly old mystery like Mr.” “If you looked again.” With that polite rejoinder. but took no other heed of their existence. Herbert Vernon-Smith walked. He scowled after them.
” “What does it feel like to he stony for the first time in your life.” “Your whatter?” ejaculated Bob. After class. I rather fancied it might mean a fiver. “That means spelling. but—it hasn’t .” “Wet prospect!” said Bob Cherry. you just rake it in. As it was getting near tea-time. “Anyhow it’s done no good. Hardly breathing in his sudden excitement. I thought he’d be pleased to see that my orthology was all right—.” said Bunter morosely. thinking more of tea than of treasure. taking no end of trouble about the spelling. so far. gravely. Strange and startling thoughts were working in his mind. the Bounder savagely reflected——he had to barge in where he was not wanted. “I wrote the pater a special letter last week. and had gone on merrily. Bunter?” asked Frank Nugent. had had any luck. “The wetfulness is terrific. He made it with a serious fat face. the “treasure-hunt” had been resumed. he caught his breath. and give the “snooper” a chance to remove the hidden packet before it could he found—just as if he had done it on purpose! And as that phrase formed itself in the Bounder’s mind. and it’s a bear market. “Oh!” muttered Smithy. “But it’s a bit awkward. Billy Bunter made that announcement after class. “I was expecting another postal-order. I don’t know he can know what Quelch really thinks. sympathetically.” “Perhaps he guessed that it was bunkum !” suggested Johnny Bull. “Well it’s pretty rotten. and when you’re a bear in a bear market. Billy Bunter. now the pater’s making tons of money. as the little man trotted by the side of the long. as a matter of fact.He watched the Head’s secretary. because he’s jawed me about it. blinking very seriously at Harry Wharton and Co. sorrowfully. expected the arrival of that postal-order. from one of my titled relations. Chapter XXX MR. Nobody. At the present moment I’m actually stony. Twiss—intently. It’s a bit thick. “Well. perhaps !” suggested Harry Wharton. Really. with a black scowl. Nobody else did—and perhaps even Bunter had his doubts. they were. if you don’t happen to know. it was rather like looking for a needle in a haystack—there were so many nooks and crannies where a small packet might he put out of sight. The Famous Five were now taking a rest: sitting in a cheery row on one of the old oaken benches under the elms. his heart beating. Fellows searched and quested and rooted in every possible and impossible corner for the hidden packet. with a massive trunk behind them and shady branches overhead. till he gets my next report !” argued Bunter. “Orthography. too. too.” retorted Bunter. And I haven’t even had a postal-order for five bob!” added Bunter. “Well. you can cackle.’’ said Bunter. lean Hacker. At which the chums of the Remove chuckled. and I mean orthology. when Bunter rolled up. That tame little rabbit—that footling little bunny—couldn’t mind his own business. He’s a bear. And I mentioned that Quelch had a very high opinion of me this term—that ought to have pleased him. intensely. with a sudden start. you know. through his big spectacles. GRIMES HEARS BUNTER’S OPINION “MY postal-order hasn’t come!” Five fellows chuckled. “I said orthology. perhaps. and made his announcement respecting the celebrated postal-order which he had been so long expecting. he stood watching Mr.
Never saw such an old donkey. “Worse. Skinner said so. and then just pounced on it.” went on Bunter. if he found it. Grimey’s rooting about the place now—but he won’t find anything. and he said he wanted it himself. old chap. which of you fellows is lending me ten bob?” “The whichfulness is terrific.” “What about you.” “If you think I’d touch it. it only shows that you’ve got a rotten suspicious mind like Smithy.” said Bob Cherry.” said Bunter.” “Oh.” “Why.” said an unexpected voice. Not that it would be much good telling Grimey. Wharton?” “I think you’d better not look for that packet any more. in disgust.” said Bunter.” “The nobility are a bit forgetful at times.” answered Bunter. He doesn’t even know what Smithy found out in our box-room. “Toddy had half-acrown to-day. “I’ve hunted everywhere. you fellows are a stingy lot here. mixing with such a lot. I expect it’s only Smithy’s rot. you fat villain——. See? Now. Billy Bunter jumped almost clear of the ground. he might borrow one of the pound notes—?” “What?” “Temporarily. shaking his head. Grimey’s an old donkey. That’s my opinion of him. What do you think. in fact. a plump red face looked.” said Bob. “Skinner said he saw him. “One of you fellows lend me ten bob. From behind the massive elm. and I’ll let you have it back out of my postal-order. Harry Wharton and Co. when he heard about it. “I don’t think much of Grimey. “Well.” “Smithy ought to tell him. “Smithy’s too clever by half.” “What about you. The Head would be bound to stand a fellow something out of it. isn’t he?” Bunter sniffed. A real detective would have spotted it long ago—he would have found some cigarette-ash or something. “Fat lot of good he is. all stared round.” said Bunter. Bob. because I’m too honourable to touch the tin in that packet if I found it.” “You needn’t call me names. my hat!” “And I haven’t been able to find that beastly packet yet.come. Billy. old chap?” “Nothing about me. “Only temporarily. and ring up the Duke de Bunter. if he really thinks there’s anything in it. really.” “What about you. or out of my fiver if the pater shells out—whichever comes first. if you don’t want to put in next term at Borstal. Nugent? You’re not so jolly mean as Cherry. .” “Well.” “Thank you. Selfishness all round I wonder sometimes that I don’t grow selfish myself. and I asked him to lend it to me.” “I am!” contradicted Nugent. Don’t you fellows think so? Do you fellows think that if a fellow found the packet. But I don’t feel so jolly sure it’s hidden about Greyfriars at all —I’ve looked all over the shop.” said Bunter. at the back of the bench. of course. ha. ha!” “Oh. Wharton. hastily. Wharton. “Why not ask Quelch to let you use his phone. leaning up against one of the elms. Master Bunter. or the Marquis de Grunter—?” ~ “Ha. Cherry! What I mean is this.” “Is Grimey here?” asked Bob. old fat man. Inky?” “The worsefulness of my esteemed self is terrific.
“Is—is—is that you. and walked across to the elms. though it looks like one. but another old donkey altogether——.” murmured Hurree Jamset Ram Singh. it’s all pretty vague. and raised his eyebrows. He had taken plenty of time to think over the sudden and startling suspicion that had shot into his mind that morning. leaving Tom Redwing looking. sir? I—I wasn’t calling you an old donkey. I’m goin’ to pass it on to Grimey. Smithy.” “Quite!” said Smithy. “I—I didn’t mean you. Evidently. Grimes. Grimes. and another expressive grunt followed them as they went.” he said. and the more he pondered over it. and that might make you think—. The plump inspector came round the elm. I Suppose you ought to pass it on to him. Skinner had told him that he had seen Inspector Grimes leaning up against one of the elms. “I’ve told you. “I— I was speaking of another old donkey! Not you at all. what?” “Well. anyhow. Inspector Grimes glared after him. you fat chump!” breathed Bob Cherry.” “Is he here?” asked Tom.” “Shut up. “He can’t help being a silly ass.’’ ventured Bob. Smithy. and grunted.and Billy Bunter blinked at it in great dismay. esteemed Mr.” said Tom. There was a grim frown on Mr. Grimes. Mr. Chapter XXXI WHAT SMITHY SUSPECTED “BUT——!” said Torn Redwing. But —. revolved upon his axis.” If Billy Bunter expected that to placate Mr. “and—and you dislike the man. if he’s nothing worse. and his look. it was! “Oh!” gasped Bunter.” “If you think you’ve got it right. “Don’t mind Bunter. “Look under the elms—that object on the bench isn’t a sack of coke. But what Redwing thought mattered little to the Bounder: he was sure in his own mind. with a grin. as he came. Grimes. Grunt ! The Famous Five exchanged glances. was so grim that Billy Bunter backed away in alarm. rose from the old bench.” “I’m goin’ to. Inspector Grimes glanced at Vernon Smith as he came. slowly.” Grunt ! “The apologize for the preposterous manners of the idiotic Bunter is terrific. “Meddlin’ little beast. dubiously. you fathead!” breathed Wharton. Inspector Grimes dropped on the bench they had vacated. “I heard what you said !” he rapped. and walked away to the House to tea. very dubious. as . Anyhow. and departed hurriedly for the open spaces. “You think there’s nothin’ in it. Wharton! I tell you I didn’t mean Grimey.” gasped Bunter. he was disappointed. really. but it had not occurred to Bunter that it might be that particular elm. the more assured he felt that he had put his finger on the facts. Mr. Grimes’s plump face.” The Bounder left his chum.” “Oh. The Bounder laughed. Perhaps he had not been pleased by Billy Bunter’s remarks! He glared at the fat Owl. “Oh. and feeling.
and then answered. though it’s been taken away since. in the best of tempers. with a sneer. and that “treasure. “Oh. if you like. and into whom I ran in the dark when I left my dormitory for my own reasons. Grimes was not. They . weighing his words as he spoke. “I can show you the place. as the officer in charge of the case. slowly. There was a row when I barged him on the stairs. “I shall examine the spot. Grimes. I should think. and his reasons for believing that the packet had been concealed in the ventilator. and stopped. perhaps. “Quite possibly. and my beak came out. The discovery that the story of the hidden loot was all over the school.” “Oh. while the Bounder. had deeply displeased and disgruntled Mr. Grimes. Mr. “And suppose. where the packet was hidden. seemed doubly difficult now that the mysterious “snooper” was put so thoroughly upon his guard. in a few succinct words. yes.” said the Bounder. Grimes.” said the Bounder. “Did the man explain why he was up late that night?” he asked. I know why now. and that we should have found it in break this morning by getting in at the window—only we were interrupted. “Is that all?” “Not quite ! Suppose. “suppose that the packet was there. I hope. it is of course your duty to report it to me. A mere coincidence. quite !” said Mr. that it gave the snooper an opportunity of getting the packet away to a safer place. “I have already had an offer of assistance from Master Bunter. he ought to mention it to you. “Not quite so natural to go down in the dark. already far from easy. “If anything has come to your knowledge. He was in no mood for a schoolboy’s company or conversation: and his look at Vernon-Smith told as much. in the same slow way. with heavy sarcasm.” Mr. after everybody else was in bed. and was going down for a book. “I suppose if a fellow hit on something that looked suspicious. I believed it at the time.” “Is that all?” “Not quite all yet.” said the Bounder. but it was out: and the inspector’s task. “Several fellows remarked that it was queer he was going down in the dark.” He listened with attention.” “Quite a natural proceeding. Grimes. I think. Master Vernon-Smith.hunting” was going on far and wide. And I believe I can point out the man who snooped it on Tuesday night. drily. and ran into this same man—coming in at the gate. by a man who is not a master and had no right to interfere.’ You know the place—rather juicy: out of bounds for Greyfriars men.” The Bounder spoke quietly.” “I’m not a goat like Bunter. He couldn’t sleep.” Inspector Grimes’s keen eyes fixed on his face. Grimes’s eyes narrowed. told him of the search in the Remove box-room. Mr.” said Mr. He had to leave the job till the following night!” sneered the Bounder. They put on speed. keeping so quiet that a fellow butted into him. of course. How it had got out he did not know. Why couldn’t he have switched on the light?” Mr. “and left it till midnight to make it safer. some fellows in my form took a short cut at the ‘Three Fishers. That did not disconcert Smithy in any way. He gave Herbert Vernon-Smith a long. “Excuse me.’’ said the inspector. Certainly I will hear what you have to say. as a matter of fact. long look.Smithy dropped on the bench beside him.” said Smithy. Grimes made no rejoinder to that.” said Mr. “that it happened to be the same man who was up late one night. Grimes. A week or two ago.
“I know now who gave me this—I’ve been thinking it over ever since this morning.” Mr.expected him to report them to Quelch. and I’ve got it clear—it all fits in. If it’s all moonshine. Obviously he did not wish to utter a single word that might reveal his thoughts on the subject. if they’d really seen him going into the ‘Three Fishers.” said the Bounder. he didn’t.” “What?” “If I’m a silly schoolboy fancying things.” sneered the Bounder. “Well. and he passed his hand over the dark bruise on his forehead. If you think there’s something in it.” repeated Mr.” “Oh.” Vernon-Smith moved away “One moment. and I’ll give you the name. quietly. “You have not told me the name of the man you have referred to. Grimes.’ since the story got out. “A man has connections at a den of racing men—he goes down in the dark when he wants a book. Grimes. Master Vernon-Smith” “O. Grimes. “Not at all unlikely. Grimes.” “And—?” “I told them he wouldn’t. forget it.” sneered Smithy.K. “Somebody was hard pushed for cash—and knew where to lay his hands on it. But he did want to know that name. He looked very long and very hard at the Bounder. Grimes sat silent. slowly and . drily.” went on Smithy.” said Vernon-Smith. “You think it’s all moonshine. you can say so. his lip curling. “I’ve wasted too much of your time already.” Mr. and the snooper moves it to a safe place. Official reticence was strong with Mr. Perhaps he hadn’t had luck on a horse. “Well?” “Have you told this to anyone else?” “Only my pal Redwing.” he said. instead of switching on a light—and he barges in when the hidden loot’s just going to be found. “We know all about the ‘inside job. But his stolid plump face gave no clue to what impression might have been made on him. and rose from the bench. he dabbles in it—or those fellows wouldn’t have seen him where they saw him. “Especially if it’s all moonshine. I’m not a fool.” The Bounder set his lips. “You can’t have it both ways. and I’ve told you. That’s all I had to tell you. Mr. Herbert Vernon-Smith gave him a hard look. please.” added the Bounder.” Joe Banks at the ‘Three Fishers’ would know ! Just the silly ass to fancy he could spot winners. “I thought you ought to know. “I think what you have told me may be worth investigating. “One moment. The man I’m speaking of would know better than anyone else. “Precisely.” “Leave it at that. Grimes. He had listened attentively and patiently to the Bounder. “That’s all. because the man’s meddled with me and I don’t like him?” he snapped. Anyhow.” Smithy turned away again. He’s mum. you don’t want to hear any more of my fancies. please.’ He wouldn’t want that talked about among the beaks.” Mr.” “Certainly it would be very inadvisable to spread such a story about the school. then. and that I’ve let my fancy run away with me. and pick out a horse that came in eleventh . Grimes breathed very hard through his stubby nose.” said Mr. you don’t want any more moonshine.” There was a mocking glimmer in his eyes.” said Mr. at last. Grimes did not speak.” The Bounder’s eyes glinted. Grimes.” Still no rejoinder from Mr.
did fellows turn a deaf ear to Billy Bunter.” Inspector Grimes almost jumped off the bench. Micky Desmond. a cheery grin on his fat face. In break he had blinked in vain for a letter in the rack—his celebrated postal-order seemed to be still delayed in transit. “That’s good enough. That question seemed to electrify every fellow in the Rag. like the lion of old. After third school. Hazel. and a dozen other fellows. Grimes’s eyes fixed on a dapper figure at a distance. in the eyes of all Greyfriars fellows. Twiss had never entered his thoughts. The sun had gone down on a stony Bunter. The Famous Five. Wibley. Twiss was taking a walk in the quad. who giggled. forgot all about chess and stared at Bunter. up and down the Remove.” “That will do. Grimes was startled out of his stolid official calm. had had the acid edge of Mr. Chapter XXXII WHOSE TENNER? “I SAY. For once. In class that afternoon the fat Owl. He liked to make fellows sit up and take notice. “Your head-master’s secretary !” he stuttered. he had wandered forth on his own.” said Mr. Quelch’s tongue several times. Fisher T. Little Mr. That morning Bunter had been trying to borrow any little sum from threepence to halfa-crown. Never had he had so much success as now. Grimes looked after him with a grim disapproving stare. Morgan. Squiff. Bolsover major. That stony state. Peter Todd jumped. and had not been seen for some time. or rather bounded. which disappeared at once in the tuck-shop. gruffly. Tom Redwing caught his breath. and propounded that startling question that caused every eye in the junior day-room to turn upon him. Mr. and the Bounder burst into a scoffing laugh. only too often.” The Bounder spelt it out. his rimless pince-nez gleaming back the sunshine. Grimes. Skinner winked at Snoop and Stott. “The name’s Twiss. chatting by the window. who were playing chess. After class. Bunter’s stony state was well known. spun round. seeking what he might devour. He looked. and walked away. In break he had succeeded in extracting a half-crown from Lord Mauleverer. continued.reluctantly. and he wondered. you fellows! Can you change a tenner for me? “ Billy Bunter liked to attract attention when he spoke. The Bounder laughed again. or their various . And now—! Now he rolled into the Rag.” But plainly little Mr. Fish ejaculated “Gee-whizz !” Russell and Ogilvy.” he said. T for Thomas—W for Walter—I for Isaac—. Now all was changed—Bunter was the cynosure of all eyes. Mr. and risen again to find him still in quest of a little loan to tide him over till his postal-order came. passing by his remarks like the idle wind which they regarded not. Often. The Bounder laughed. all suspended conversation. “Did—did——did you say Twiss?” “T-W-I-S-S. Then Mr. thinking less of his lessons than of methods of raising the wind. Bunter was as hard up as ever—going to and fro. Tom Brown. a harmless rabbit of a little man. which he had confided to the Famous Five under the elms the previous day. once more treasure-hunting. Was there more in little Mr. Twiss than met the eye? Long and keenly the inspector’s scrutinizing eyes dwelt on him. No doubt he had pondered long and deeply over the mystery of the identity of the unknown “snooper” who had performed that inside job.
“If you found that banknote in the packet. with a whistle. Bunter?” gasped Bob Cherry. really. old chap! Got some change?” “You’ve got a ten-pound note !” exclaimed Harry Wharton. Bull—. “Nothing wonderful in having a tenner. quite aghast. Mrs.” That Bunter had a tenner was soon demonstrated. “Well. and he would ask questions.” said Harry Wharton. or is he pulling our leg?” grunted Johnny Bull. The captain of the Remove was looking. Mimble might be inquisitive about it. at least where I looked. but did I spot the spondulics? And that fat piecan has worked the riffle! I’ll say it’s sure the elephant’s hind leg. Can you change it for me?” “Isn’t he the jolly old limit!” said Bob Cherry. It wasn’t in the Cloisters. is there—for me.” “Why not?” grinned the Bounder.” said Fisher T. we know where he got it. and waltz away with the Peek Frean?” “What did I tell you?” sneered Vernon-Smith. But has he?” “Oh. He blinked cheerily at a sea of staring faces through his big spectacles.” Smithy.” “Bank on that !” chuckled Smithy. Wharrer you mean?” “You haven’t found the packet—but you’ve got a tenner!” exclaimed Frank Nugent. Bunter held it out to the Bounder. should I?” asked Bunter. I’d rather not take it to the tuck-shop. really. “The whole school’s been hunting for those banknotes—and the biggest idiot at Greyfriars is the lucky man! Can you beat it?” “It’s the cat’s whiskers. Smithy—. and opened his eyes wide. “You’ve got tons of oof. “Of course not! I’ve been looking for it.” “Has he really got a tenner. I mean? I know you fellows never have tenners—your people ain’t rich like mine. you see. Smithy was one of the few fellows in the Remove who might have had change for a tenner. Bunter blinked at him. “You can change it for me. “Eh ! I shouldn’t ask you to change it. Bunter?” asked Hazel. let alone a ten-pound one. “Doesn’t he take the biscuit? Doesn’t he prance off with the Huntley and Palmer. but did not offer to take it. Bunter had the house ! He did not seem to mind.occupations. Bunter liked the spot-light. take it to Quelch at once. At Bunter Court——. But there it was! Tenners were seldom seen in the Remove—but they knew one when they saw it! And here was one. old chap. But he would hardly have been prepared to give six-pence for that particular tenner.” “Where did you find the packet. Bunter. “Exactly. “Yes. “Did—did you say a tenner.” . “Eh! I haven’t found any packet. but I haven’t found it. and then some. “I guess I’ve given every pesky spot in the whole shebang the once-over. Hazel!” “You haven’t?” roared Bolsover major. “You unutterable idiot. “If he has. and feeling. to gaze at the fat Owl. He stared at the banknote. for he drew it from his tattered wallet: which seldom had a ten-shilling note in it.” said Harold Skinner. if I hadn’t. Even Lord Mauleverer sat upright in his armchair. “Bunter’s found it—and endings are keepings with Bunter. Fish.” “This beats the band.” “Oh. It might get to Quelch.
” “Yah!” “For goodness’ sake. “and you’ve jolly well got to tell us where you got it. “ I don’t want to go to chokey with you. haven’t I?” “Bunter’s got it. Peter Todd’s concern went to the length of taking Bunter by a fat ear—eliciting a howl of anguish from the proprietor thereof. do you think anybody will believe it’s yours?” “It’s mine ! I’ve got it. Why.” said Peter Todd. “Then where did you get it?” “Like your cheek to ask a fellow where he gets a tip. Smithy.” “It can’t be yours.” said Peter. “Anybody would think that I don’t get lots of remittances. you beast! I was going to lend you something out of this—and now I jolly well won’t. Most of the fellows had been down on the Bounder’s suggestion that if Bunter found the treasure. The thing really spoke for itself—especially as everyone knew how very vague were Billy Bunter’s ideas on the subject of “meum and tuum. from the way you fellows stare. “Ain’t I your keeper. he. He jerked his fat ear away and rubbed it. you awful beasts—. they won’t send him there. and ask him to change it!” suggested Skinner. Bunter had been hunting for the packet. “Home for idiots is more likely. Bunter!” exclaimed Harry Wharton. so yah!” “Where did you get it?” shrieked Peter.” “You howling ass !” hooted Bob Cherry. Not that you have one very often— he. Haven’t you ever seen a tenner before? Why. A few hours ago he had been trying to borrow sixpences.” “Cough it up!” roared Peter. Skinner cynically amused: but most of the fellows were alarmed and concerned for the fat and fatuous Owl. “You jolly well won’t.” said Bunter. There were ten-pound notes in the missing packet.” “I’ll jolly well please myself about that!” retorted Bunter. “We ain’t allowed to have tenners in the Remove. “And as soon as Grimey hears of it. old fat man. you beasts. “it would not he safe from his fat fingers. you potty porpoise? Now.” retorted Bunter.“I didn’t!” roared Bunter.” “Borstal for Bunter!” said Snoop. “ If you don’t say where you got it. at Bunter Court—. The Bounder was scoffing. “Beast!” retorted Bunter.” grinned Smithy. cough it up. Now he had a tenner.” said Skinner. when you have one.” said Bunter.” “Why. “Oh.” “Well. are you making out that this tenner ain’t mine?” demanded Bunter.” “Take it to Quelch.” But they could hardly help agreeing with the Bounder now. Toddy. “Keep off. as you . are you going to change this tenner for me or not?” “Not!” grinned Smithy. unless you want me to take a stump to you. independently. indignantly. “Find out! Look here. “Ow! Leggo! Beast!” howled Bunter. glaring at Peter with a glare that almost cracked his spectacles. he will get Bunter.” That that ten-pound note came from the missing packet could hardly he doubted by any fellow present. I can’t. “I don’t ask you where you get a ten-bob note. you fat chump. “You can mind your own business. “Quelch would be frightfully interested in that tenner. he! Tenners aren’t so much to my people as they may be to yours.
” “Shan’t!” retorted Bunter. dodging Peter’s hand as it reached for a fat ear again. You needn’t deny it —you have!” “Guilty. I jolly well won’t! It’s my business. Bob Cherry brought a tin of sardines. Smithy—.” “Not in these trousers!” said Smithy. had gathered there for tea—rather a frugal tea. and Hurree Jamset Ram Singh a bag of biscuits. youthful appetites: and certainly an energetic trencherman like Bunter was likely to make short work of it. not yours. hallo ! Roll in. Chapter XXXIII NO CHANGE! “HALLO.” The obvious explanation was that he had . And you can jolly well go and eat coke !” hooted Bunter. Quelch would be down like a ton of bricks on a man who had ten pounds. 1 Study seemed actually glad to see him. my lord!” said Peter. And with that. ain’t it? I daresay you wouldn’t believe me. the fat Owl of the Remove. I guess you cinched the whole packet? That tenner wasn’t lying around on its lonesome. then—Temple’s got lots of dough. “ Say. and the other four all nodded assent. 13.” “Where did you get that tenner?” yelled Peter. you fellows. He blinked indignantly round the Rag. No.” “I tell you I never—. what have you done with the rest. “I have—many a time and oft. Peter Todd. Fish. when only that day he had been scrounging up and down the Remove for a humble “tanner. especially in times of dearth. But get it off your chest. hallo. Harry Wharton and Co. this is pretty thick. The chums of the Remove had pooled their resources—like the Early Christians. Making out a fellow snooped a tenner—a tenner ain’t so much to me as it is to you. barrel!” It was rather unusual for William George Bunter to receive so cordial an invitation when he presented his fat person in a study doorway at teatime. all the same. Wharton and Nugent provided toast.jolly well know.” “Will you tell us where you got that bank-note?” hooted Peter Todd. if I did—you’ve doubted my word before. That tenner had alarmed them. big boy?” “Eh! The rest of what?” “Aw. Bob Cherry cordially invited him to roll in. “I say. No. they had most things in common. and a ghost of butter thereon: Johnny Bull brought along a cake from his study. At Bunter Court—. 14: and from No. Nevertheless. Funds were a little low. It was not exactly a festive board for five schoolboys blessed with healthy. I don’t want Quelch to know anything about it. It was practically impossible to believe that it belonged to the impecunious Owl—how could it. The fact was that Harry Wharton and his friends were anxious about Bunter. “No. But on this occasion.” “I guess you sure do not!” chuckled Fisher T. “Find out! If you won’t change it for me. as may occasionally happen in the best-regulated study. “I’ll ask a Fourth Form man. rolled out of the Rag—leaving that apartment in a buzz behind him. if he knew it.
” he said.” assured Hurree Jamset Ram Singh. I intend to treat you fellows generously now that I’m in funds. “The fact is. “Yes—it’s happened at times. if you don’t happen to know.” murmured Hurree Jamset Ram Singh.” “You unspeakable idiot——!” said Harry Wharton.K. Bull—. he. He blinked a little suspiciously at the juniors in No. that there would he no great harm in accommodating himself temporarily in that way—Bunter’s fat brain moved in mysterious ways its wonders to perform.” “Too much of a whatter?” gurgled Bob.” said Bunter. I ain’t the man to owe a grudge. by some fatuous mental process. Look here. Bunter seemed surprised by that cordial welcome. what have you got for tea?” Bunter blinked at the frugal tea-table. you fellows.” “Look here. “But the bootfulness is not the proper caper. “Putting on airs. my esteemed Johnny. what? Well. you bloated bloater!” roared Johnny Bull. no larks. If he wants to go to chokey. “The larkfulness is not terrific. Bunter was just the fellow to persuade himself. because I know your game. cheerfully. I promise you. So for once the Fatuous Five were glad to see Bunter roll in. let him go. 1 Study. I’m not doing this simply because I can’t get the tenner changed——I’m doing it because I’m a generous chap. of course. with a blink of ineffable scorn. You know you did! Well.chanced upon the hidden packet.” “I say. “Oh.” Bunter thought he saw. though. Only yesterday you refused to lend me ten bob. “You ain’t so jolly civil when a fellow’s been disappointed about a postal-order! You can be civil to a fellow when he’s got a tenner in his pocket! He. as it were. and be blowed to him. hoping to be able to save himself from himself. you needn’t get your rag out.” said Bunter. draw it mild ! If that’s the way you talk. “Is that all you’ve got? Hard up. “That’s the sort of thing the benighted chump would think. boot him out!” snorted Johnny. brightly. you fellows. Bob Cherry. I hope. . “Didn’t Temple of the Fourth jump at it?” inquired Johnny Bull sarcastically “I don’t want to have anything to do with Temple—too much of a supersquilious ass for me. I’ve been hard up occasionally—. he!” “Why. my esteemed fat Bunter. you won’t see much of my tenner. “Supersquilious means putting on airs. “O. as you know” “Oh! You can’t get the tenner changed?” asked Bob. “Oh. you know —that’s me.” “The Bunterfulness is truly terrific. He can’t help Buntering. or a police-inspector was quite alarming to think of. You’ll have to change the tenner for me. Nothing mean about me. “I see. Mind. “I say. really.” “I don’t!” admitted Bob. But the view that would be taken of such a proceeding by the head-master. I say.” said Bunter. I’m going to stand you fellows a spread—best you can get at the tuck-shop.” “Steady the Buffs!” said Bob Cherry. and helped himself to one of the banknotes— especially as he had been known to be looking for the “treasure” just before he walked in with the banknote.” “Only occasionally?” remarked Frank Nugent. now. He grinned. “Your honorific presence is a boonful blessing.” “Oh !” ejaculated Bunter. Kindest friend and noblest foe.
we’ll get it changed all right. If you don’t. all you’ve got to do is to sell shares you haven’t got.” Billy Bunter held out the ten-pound note to the captain of the Remove. As if I’d touch it if I had!” “Only yesterday you were talking about borrowing a pound note from it if you found it!” hooted the captain of the Remove.” explained Bunter.” “You’ve soiled them on something. 1 Study as the Famous Five gazed at Bunter.” went on Bunter. this ain’t a pound note ! It’s a tenner Talk sense. of Course. now I’ve told you where it came from. thinks at once that I’ve found that packet. will you fellows change it for me?” he asked. and left only the banknotes. you fellows. is it?” “That’s it. you know now I’ve told you. and then where will you be”? Bunter blinked at him. I say. That alone was enough to banish any .” said Bunter. with a nod. Wharton—you get it changed for me. “Yah! Then I asked Hobson of the Shell.” remarked Johnny. “He said I’d better take it back where it belonged Fancy that!” “Jolly good advice!” grunted Johnny Bull. he’s coughed up a tip.” said harry Wharton. But I don’t suppose you fellows know much about the City. he asked me where I’d found the packet— as if I know anything about the packet. What I meant was that I wouldn’t!” explained Bunter. apparently.” said Bunter. “Because you’ve got a banknote. Bunter. “So that tenner’s a tip from your pater. The Famous Five gazed at him. for some mysterious reason. you fellows. “and instead of changing the tenner. “Look here. gazing at the fat Owl in wonder. as I told you—well. and the beaks will get wise to it before long.” said Johnny Bull. “I wrote him a very special letter more than a week ago. “If it’s yours. Bunter. “But I wouldn’t soil my hands on the fellow.” “From what we’ve heard. “That was only—only—only a figure of speech. When you’re a bear in a bear market. old chap. it will be all over the school soon that you’ve found that packet. but everybody who hears that I’ve got a tenner. if I tell you.“Well. and the oof rolls in in oodles. “Looks as if the Snooper may have blued the pound notes. just try hard not to be such a benighted ass. If Billy Bunter had come by that tenner honestly he did not choose.” “Not much more than you do. “I told you fellows he had been a bear and was raking it in. it wasn’t! Chapter XXXIV BUNTER EXPLAINS! THERE was silence in No. It’s a tip from my pater. Here you are. to explain precisely how. supposed that it was all plain sailing now.” said Bunter. you can say how you came by it. “Besides. That Bunter was not telling the truth was. If that tenner’s yours.” “Eh! How do you make that out?” asked Bunter. apparent to all. that cad Temple said he wouldn’t touch my tenner with a barge-pole.” agreed Bob Cherry.” “Is it possible that that banknote does belong to Bunter?” asked Bob Cherry. there were a lot of pound notes in the packet. To judge by the looks of the Co. It’s a queer thing.” “Why. “I’d have Punched his head for his cheek. you know. I don’t mind telling pals like you fellows. “Well. you beast——. “Well.
” “And how did it get here from your pater?” “Eh! In a letter.doubts the juniors might have had as to the source of the fat Owl’s newfound wealth. Tenners ain’t so jolly scarce at Bunter Court as they are at Wharton Lodge. he registered the letter.” “Then it’s still there. “I—I mean—. it was a—a registered letter.” .” Billy Bunter belonged to the class that should. The pater’s careful with tenners—of course.” “Oh!” stammered Bunter. if you asked him. You keep on taking a fellow up. of course. “We’ll rouse it out of the grate in the Rag instead of the wastepaper basket in No.” “There wasn’t a fire in the Rag to-day. Bunter!’ Those very words. I didn’t chuck it into the wastepaper basket in my study. old chap! Now you take this tenner to Mauly—. Mauly would change it for you. He won’t for me. “I was in the Rag. “Let’s have the fact! Facts from Bunter are worth hearing—we don’t get many. see?” “Oh. “ I—I—I mean—the— the fact is—. evidently cudgelling his fat brain for a fact that would do. a tip from my pater. 7 and get that registered envelope out of the waste-paper basket. See?” “So you had a registered letter?” “That’s it. You see.” “Oh ! I—I mean.” said Harry. crumbs !” said Bob. then. have good memories.” “Did Quelch hand it to you? “Yes of—of course. “Go it!” said Bob. Bunter was holding out the ten-pound note.” Bunter paused. and asked Bob to look.” gasped Bunter. and there was no letter for you. into the grate. “I’m going to stand a spread in this study when it’s changed. I can tell you. “Look here. But there were no takers. “What I meant was. now I come to think of it. 7. He sent for me to his study. I remember now. are you going to get this changed for me?” he demanded.” “Oh !” gasped Bunter. of course” “You never had a letter this morning. and that will settle it.” “I—I mean. What’s the good of the envelope?” “All clear.” “You’ve still got the registered envelope?” “Eh! Yes! No! I chucked it into the wastepaper basket in my study. Think it walked?” “And when did the letter come?” “I got it in the rack this morning. “I’ll cut along to No. that I should have chucked it into the waste-paper basket if I’d been in my study. He blinked impatiently at staring faces. “It’s a pip from my tater—I mean.” “I mean. Only I—I wasn’t. what do you mean?” I—I mean. I chucked the envelope into the fire. to make sure.” “Eh?” “You nosed over the rack as usual.” said Bob.” explained Bunter. proverbially. and said. I—I chucked it out of the window. What about it?” “Where did you get it?” “Haven’t I told you?” hooted Bunter. Wharton. “That’s what I really meant to say. But Bunter had a bad one! “Well. ‘here’s a registered letter for you. you know. it wasn’t in the rack this morning.
“Are you going to get this banknote changed for me. you fellows. at any rate.” “What?” yelled the Famous Five.” “Bank on that!” said Johnny Bull.” “I can take Quelchy’s. now I— I come to think of it.” roared Bunter. “Goodness knows! It’s not on record that he’s ever tried. Wharton?” “Not unless I know where it came from. “There was a—a sudden gust of—of wind. ha!” “Look here. Do you mind if I ask Quelch whether you had a registered letter to-day?” Billy Bunter’s plump jaw dropped. Gig-gog-Gosling?” stuttered Bunter. all together. Gosling must have let the messenger in.” stammered Bunter. “It’s no good asking Quelch anything. if you don’t believe me—!” “Oh.” said the captain of the Remove. it wasn’t a registered letter. you know. He grinned.” explained Bunter. he! I rather thought you’d come round as I’m going to stand a spread in the study.” said Bob. “When Bunter says the fire.” “I’ve told you. “You’re going to take it to Manly?” he asked.” howled Bunter. staring at the fat Owl. “You fat fraud. Wharton! I hope you can take my word. Have another go!” “Ha. he means the grate. “Oh. crikey! Don’t you go saying anything to Quelch!” he stuttered. crumbs !” “I wonder if that chap could tell the truth if he tried !” said Johnny Bull.” said Bob. Wharton?” “I think you’d better tell us a little more first. That’s how it was. are you going to take this banknote to Mauly and get it changed. encouragingly. and when he says the grate. “He. “The bankfulness is terrific.” said Harry.” “It—it blew away!” gasped Bunter. now I’ve told you all about it.” “I’ll ask Gosling instead. and not so much jaw. ha. Now just get on with it. “Yes. as he’s a suspicious beast— you can tell him your uncle sent it to you—. really. so yah!” Bunter revolved in the doorway “Hold on. “You can see for yourself that the messenger won’t wash. Bunter blinked round again. the—the pater decided to send it by— by messenger. Not—not exactly a registered letter.” “Oh. as—as he doesn’t know. you fat ass!” exclaimed Harry Wharton. you never had a registered letter. “Can I?” . “Try again!” said Bob Cherry. One of us had better cut down and pick up that jolly old registered envelope that’s lying around under the Rag window. “And if you can’t take a fellow’s word you can go and eat coke. You fellows are like a sheep’s head—all jaw! You needn’t tell Mauly it’s my banknote. he.” “Great pip!” “So—so Quelch doesn’t know anything about it.“We’re getting it clear. “Look here. and it— it blew right away! I—I don’t think you fellows could find it. “I—I say. “The—the posts are so slow now.” “Oh!” gasped Wharton.” “Well. he means the window.” “Oh!” gasped Bunter His fat face was a study.
And for all the use it was to him. indeed. I say. and Peter Todd with a question to which Bunter could only reply “Beast. He had had tea in Hall—provisionally. as you know. “Still. He flew. he might as well have been tenner-less. The mere thought made his capacious mouth water. and that everybody will know where you got it!” “I don’t mind—. as it were. Bunter was now in possession of a tenner—such a sum as was seldom seen in the Lower Fourth. I—I’ve come here to settle up—I’m not the fellow to owe money. After his rapid exodus from No. tell him anything you like—I don’t mind what you tell him.” “You fat chump!” roared Wharton. When Toddy and Dutton tea’d out. Smithy. Chapter XXXV NO TAKERS! “BEEN to Quelch with that tenner?” “ Beast!” Peter Todd asked the question: Bunter made the reply. where he found Peter at tea with Smithy and Tom Redwing. ain’t it?” “Oh. hoping against hope for the arrival of a postal-order that never seemed to materialise. enough to peeve anyone. dazzled Bunter. with a frowning brow.“Well. Bunter rolled along to No.” . the Bounder with a cynical grin. 4 at last. they seemed to forget that Bunter wanted his tea. Billy Bunter was peeved.” said Bunter. you blithering bander-snatch. “Let’s!” “Why. The study door banged behind Bunter and his banknote. His position was. so long as you get it changed. 1 Study. I owe you five bob. his own study. He wanted his tea.” “What?” “It’s mine. The three juniors looked at him as he blinked in—Torn Redwing very grave. Bull—. “ I’m not taking that banknote to Mauly! You’re taking it to Quelch !” “I’ll watch it !” “Can’t you understand. with the selfishness to which Bunter was so sadly accustomed.” said Johnny Bull.” “You’ve still got it?” asked Smithy. 14. the fat Owl. pondered over that peculiar position. Generally the most impecunious fellow at Greyfriars School. so long as he shells out the change. you cheeky beast!” gasped Bunter.” “Slaughter him. “It’s no good talking to him. Now he was ready—more than ready —for tea in a study. that might he best. to make sure of something to go on with. What about bagging that tenner and taking it to Quelch ourselves?” “Good!” said Johnny Bull. even in times of dearth. But that tenner seemed as unchangeable as the laws of the Medes and Persians. Not a man in the Remove would have given him so much as a threepenny-bit for that tenner! The amount of tuck that could he obtained for a tenner. “Oh. really. old chap. “Yes. that it will soon be all over the school that you’ve got a tenner. 7. suffering cats and crocodiles!” exclaimed Bob Cherry. That’s the point really—get it changed —it doesn’t matter much what you tell Mauly. Dutton with Squiff in No. Peter Todd was teaing with the Bounder. There was nothing doing in No.
“Eh? Yes—I—I mean my Uncle William.’ Those very words. I’ve told you often enough that my uncle’s rolling in money. If you can give me nine pounds fifteen change. William! How you keep on taking a fellow up. and they wouldn’t in No. My people ain’t poor like yours. “Well.” “You’ve had a trip to Folkestone since class?” grinned the Bounder. if it does?” “I told you my pater had been a bear. ha!” roared the Bounder. “Oh! No! I—I met my Uncle George—. and take it where it belongs. or a bull. the registered letter. is that you.” “You ass. that’s how it was. Billy? I’ve got a tenner for you. or a rhinoceros. peevishly. it wasn’t exactly from my pater. and all of a sudden. really.” said Redwing. “I don’t mind telling a pal like you where I got this banknote. Why. but—but as he met me on the road.“Ye gods !” said Peter. Bunter was not bright: but he was bright enough to realise that it was useless to tell over again the story of the letter.” “As well as your Uncle William?” “I—I mean my Uncle William. Toddy. of course. who should I see but my Uncle George—I mean William—coming along the road from Courtfield. old chap. “He gave me this tenner.” said Bunter. my only hat and umbrella!” said Peter Todd. then. just as your uncle might give you a bob.” explained Bunter. “Think my uncle didn’t give me this tenner? Think a perfect stranger would come up to me and give me a tenner?” “Hardly!” grinned Peter. it was my uncle.” “Your pater may have been a bear. old chap. A tenner’s a trifle to him. A tenner’s nothing to my Uncle George. It never came in a letter—my Uncle William gave it to me. Smithy—. Toddy. “For goodness’ sake. or the special messenger. stop trying to change that banknote. Besides.” he said.” “I know you’ve said so. 1 Study. “Where did you get it. Toddy.” said Bunter. he didn’t come here after all—see? He said. I—I was taking a walk after class.” “Think it doesn’t belong to me?” hooted Bunter. and ——.” “As rich as your Uncle William?” asked the Bounder. But he was not at the end of his resources. He’s rich. “It was quite simple. “ My uncle tipped me this tenner. Bunter.” “Oh. “He’s got lots.” “Oh. You know I’ve got a rich uncle at Folkestone—. Not Greyfriars style. “I mean George—that is. “Blessed if I see anything to cackle at! Don’t you want me to square that five bob you lent me?” “Not particularly! I shouldn’t have lent it to you if I did. 4. or a wolf. They hadn’t believed him in No. ha. ‘Hallo.” “Uncle which?” gasped Peter.” “Ha.” “Too often!” agreed Peter. Smithy—.” said Bunter. who’d believe a chap who said that a .” said Peter Todd. I can jolly well tell you that Uncle Samuel had a dozen more like this in his pocket-book when he gave me this one. He—he was coming to see me. “I shouldn’t accept a tip from a man I didn’t know. Chuck it. “You can dry up. “Every man in the Remove knows that it doesn’t. but that tenner never came from your pater.” “Beast! I mean.” Billy Bunter paused. “Well.
really. Look here. The beaks will hear about this soon. Besides. gad!” said the Bounder.” urged Redwing. I —I forget exactly where it was—what does it matter. so far as that goes. would Quelch believe me if I told him where I got it?” Bunter shook his head. Quelch will want to know.” .” said Vernon-Smith. now I’ve told you all about it?” “There’s one thing you haven’t told us yet. “It would want some believing. and I’ll square that five bob out of it.” “Oh. scissors ! Not likely.perfect stranger gave him a tenner for nothing? You wouldn’t believe it. when he asks you. “Rot!” said Bunter. it’s not the sort of thing that often happens. I’ll lend you half-a-crown.” “No ‘if’ about that !” “I’m stony till I get this banknote changed. would he?” “Oh. “It’s a bit unusual. “We ain’t allowed to have so much. “Quelch wouldn’t change it for me. if you’ll take that banknote to Quelch and hand it over. “I tell you my pater—I——I mean my Uncle Samuel—that is. Now you’ve met him in Friardale Lane. ha !” “Oh.” “Take the whole packet to Quelch. “Do that at once. Toddy. if the beaks know.” said Smithy.” “Only the uncle’s like Bunter himself. “You can squat down here to tea—. anyhow. a few minutes ago you met him on the Courtfield Road. “Haven’t I just told you that my Uncle George—I mean Samuel—tipped me this tenner when I met him in Friardale Lane.” said Peter. Smithy! Look here.” “What’s that? “Where you got it. will you change this tenner for me. good!” “—if you take that banknote to Quelch first.” “You dithering chump.” said Bunter. old fat man. you fathead.” argued Bunter.” “Well. ha. I—I met him in Courtfield Lane—I mean Friardale Road—I—I mean. is it?” chuckled Toddy. as I’ve got the tenner?” snapped Bunter. pathetically. I haven’t even had my tea yet—only tea in Hall.” “Eh! What packet?” “Oh. Are you going to tell Quelch. that your Uncle GeorgeWilliam. if you won’t change it for me—. “You change it for me.” howled Bunter. taking a walk after class?” “You met him twice?” “Eh! No! Only once—wharrer you mean?” “Well. Better stick to the uncle. Was he in two places at once?” “I—I—I mean. and Quelch has doubted my word before this.Samuel tipped you that tenner when you met him in two places at once? Think that would do for Quelch?” “Beast!” “Look here. my Uncle Peter—I—I mean Uncle William—tipped me this tenner.” remarked the Bounder. you know. “ Have you forgotten already that you snooped that banknote from the packet you’ve found?” “I haven’t found any packet. Bunter.” “He wouldn’t even let me keep it. “He won’t wash!” “Ha.” “You silly ass!” roared Bunter. Smithy. “That’s your best guess.
” “Well. was taking a rest after tea. “Beast!” yelled Bunter through the keyhole. banged behind Bunter and his banknote.” assented Squiff. Mauly. Take it to Quelch. he was still stony—tea as far off as ever. like that of No. dear!” groaned Mauly. Field. they say possession is nine points of the law. Toddy!” “Beast!” Billy Bunter travelled without waiting for the cricket-bat. or not?” “No!” roared Bunter. he rolled in. old chap——. On the Remove landing he encountered Squiff.” “Oh. Bunter went—squeaking. if I ask Mrs. everybody knows where you got that tenner.” “Tain’t the Head’s. “I say. Having landed him in the passage.“Beast! I—I mean. don’t be a goat. old fellow—. Then he rolled dismally down the Remove passage. think she’d mention it to Quelch?” asked Bunter.” said the Bounder. Mauleverer went back into the study and closed the door. But it looked less cheerful when he saw Bunter. What’s the matter?” “You!” “Oh! You silly ass !” howled Bunter. He rose from the sofa. I’ll tea with you.” “Hand me that cricket-bat. “We won’t. “Look here.” “Yah!” Billy Bunter rolled on—his tenner still unchanged. “I’ve no use for the Head’s tenners. Mauly? You were looking as jolly as anything a minute ago—now you look as if life wasn’t worth living. wasn’t going to change that tenner. and by that ear led him out of the study. where Lord Mauleverer. With ten pounds burning a hole in his pocket. Smithy. Mauly’s noble countenance wore its usual placid and cheerful expression. are you taking that banknote to Quelch. 1. Mauly! I only want you to change this tenner for me. “I say. old chap—.” “Pack it up !” said the Australian junior. evidently. “it’s mine. And it remained unchanged. “Look here. puzzled. Third time was not lucky—Mauly. 12 Study.” answered Squiff.” howled Bunter. 12. old fat man?” “Look here. “Look here. “I say. Billy Bunter rubbed a fat ear and breathed wrath.” He blinked into No. He waved a hand.” said Bunter. stretched elegantly on his study sofa. “But what about the other tenth. It was really an extraordinary state of affairs. She’d have to. “Of course she would. “Then travel!” “I say. with a chuckle. But Billy Bunter was not to be waved away like a bluebottle. for a whole ten-pound note to be going begging. The door of No. what’s up. and we—we’ll talk it over.” Lord Mauleverer did not reply in words. Smithy. took Billy Bunter by a fat ear. as if waving away a troublesome bluebottle. Bunter. But so it was—and when the Remove went to their dormitory . Once more the worried fat Owl pondered in the Remove passage: then he headed for No. Bunter blinked at him. and paused. Mimble to change it at the tuck-shop. Twice had Lord Mauleverer refused to touch that tenner but the Owl of the Remove hoped that it might be “third time lucky. and finding no takers. 4. Bunter.
As a conversationalist. and he’s been hawking that tenner about the school ever since. Bunter. They didn’t want to know. on beholding that beckoning hand. So it was rather a problem. As a matter of fact. On the other hand. seemed interested in Coker. When Coker was talking. “That sort of thing isn’t good enough for Greyfriars. Potter and Greene saw no reason whatever for looking at Billy Bunter. with a nod in the direction of a fat figure and a fat face adorned with a big pair of spectacles. he was blinking at the great man of the Fifth. “It’s going all round the school that Bunter’s found the packet of banknotes that was snooped from the Head’s study. “Look at him!” repeated Coker. Potter and Greene might be thinking of elevenses. he was a useful acquaintance.” “Well. Potter. would probably . Potter and Greene. “Don’t be a chump. but Coker had other matters on his mind. That young villain has found the packet and helped himself from it. “From what I hear.” “He’ll have to. Bunter’s going to hand that tenner over where it belongs. Bunter found the banknotes after class yesterday.” “No business of ours. his friends were interested in only one question —which was. Horace Coker lifted his hand. Everybody knows it.” said Greene. He generally did. and beckoned to Bunter. Horace Coker naturally adopted a tone of finality. Coker was the most “Fifth Formy” man in the Fifth and quite likely to kick a junior who had the cheek to come up and speak to him in the quad. didn’t ask him what it was that wouldn’t do. it won’t do.” “Young ass!” said Potter. I’m going to stop him. with sarcasm. Coker had plenty of money—that was all right. His pals. were in the quad—Potter and Greene surreptitiously trying to steer Coker in the direction of the tuckshop. and having no use for adverse opinions or arguments. “Do the pre’s ever spot anything?” said Coker. He did not improve the view. Billy Bunter’s banknote was still in the state of the Medic and Persian laws —unchanged and unchangeable.” Having thus disposed of argument. Bunter was debating in his fat mind whether he would ask Coker of the Fifth to change that unchangeable tenner. “Look at him!” said Coker. too. when would Coker leave off talking? It was in break the following morning.that night. Being a fellow who knew. Coker had little charm: but as a fellow whose Aunt Judy kept him liberally supplied with pocket-money. “They’ll bunk him for it. “They don’t—of course! They never know anything. Coker of the Fifth spoke with emphasis. Chapter XXXVI COKER TAKES A HAND! “THIS won’t do!” said Coker. “Don’t be an ass. But it seemed that Horace James Coker was interested in the Owl of the Remove. From a little distance. He’s been trotting a ten-pound note all over the shop trying to get it changed. when a pre spots him. Except the beaks!” added Coker.” “But—!” began Greene. Coker and Co. But Coker was not to he steered. disdainfully. dubiously. Greene.” suggested Potter. He was no ornament to the landscape. Any other Remove man.” said Coker.
“Leggo! Beast! Rescue ! I say. eagerly. on his own. will you change it for me?” “No.” he began.” growled Johnny Bull.have stared at Coker and walked off in another direction. “Leggo!” roared Bunter. hallo. Coker. “Eh? Yes! I—. Greene—kick those fags out of the way Come on. Potter. “I’m going with you now to your form-master. at the sight of a Remove man wriggling and yelling in the grasp of Coker of the Fifth. and you jolly well ain’t going to make me.” “Leggo !” yelled Bunter. you little fat scoundrel. Not so Bunter! Billy Bunter was only too glad of the chance to speak to Horace.” “I hear you’ve been trying to change a ten-pound note. You’re going to hand over that tenner at once. rescue! I say— yaroooh! Leggo. He dropped a large and heavy hand on a fat shoulder. and I’m going to see that you do it.” Billy Bunter blinked at him. Coker stared at him. “Go it. don’t. “Why. you fellows. This was the opening he wanted. I say. Potter and Greene did not want any. you men—up-end that Fifth Form fathead.” said Coker. Coker!” rapped Harry Wharton. really. make him leggo!” “We’ll make him let go fast enough. impressively. It was really common knowledge that Coker couldn’t mind his own business. surrounded Coker. Bunter. “Budge !” snorted Coker. “Oh. you fellows. followed by his friends. yes. Potter and Greene exchanged a glance.” “Old chap” from a Lower Fourth junior was rather too much for Coker of the Fifth to tolerate.” Harry Wharton and Co. you swob! Yow-ow-ow! Rescue!” “Hallo. Coker?” That was a superfluous question. Mind your own business. You got it out of that lost packet.” “Well. I’m jolly well going to see that nobody else does. Coker did not deign to answer such a frivolous question.” said Coker. “Get out of the way!” he snapped. hallo.” “Clear off !” roared Coker. Coker held on to Bunter’s fat shoulder. see? Can’t you mind your own business. Coker—. “Did you call me old chap?” he asked. “Shan’t!” yelled Bunter. “Here. Billy Bunter wriggled in one large hand—Horace Coker swayed and staggered in ten smaller but quite energetic hands. “I’m not going to Quelch. “Yes. Bunter.” said Coker. what’s the row?” Bob Cherry came up at a run. “Potter—Greene—clear those fags off. They disappeared. in wrath and alarm. That tenner isn’t yours. “I say.” “I didn’t!” yelled Bunter. “I won’t change it for you. If Horace Coker chose to mix up in a shindy with a mob of juniors in the quad. Coker gave the Famous Five a glare. Coker was welcome to get on with it. and I’m going to see you hand it over. pulling at the fat shoulder. to drag him . his eyes almost popping through his spectacles. old chap—I—I mean old fellow—that is. “Chuck that. Coker. you—you beast!” he gasped. and faded out of the picture. “I say. old chap. “It’s not much use saying you didn’t when everybody knows you did. if you don’t want to he kicked across the quad and back again. All the Famous Five grasped Coker. either. Bunter rolled up promptly.
“Urrrgh!” Coker sat up. “Not exactly ragging him. to hand over that tenner——. “What are you ragging Coker for. in a foaming state. “Only trying to persuade him to mind his own business. “or you’ll get six all round. One or two or three of the juniors Coker could have scattered before him like chaff before the wind. “You cheeky little ticks. at a fat Owl gurgling for breath and at Horace Coker. Coker struggled. He gave the Famous Five a glare. Coker was big and brawny. You chuck it too. and Coker. Wingate.” “Ooogh! I say. Fifty fellows at least gathered round to look on. But Coker held on. rolled and roared. “Well. There was a heavy bump. what’s all this about?” he rapped. “Now. all togetherfully !” “Whooop!” roared Coker. gimme a hand up!” gasped Bunter. “I’ll smash ’em!” “Gurrggh! I’ll spiflicate ’em! I’—I’ll—goooorrggh !” Coker staggered to his feet. His collar hung by a single stud —his tie was at the back of his neck—his hair was like a mop. “I’m jolly well going to take Bunter to his beak. Only the presence of a prefect restrained him from charging. and those cheeky little swobs aren’t going to stop me. They rolled him over. winded.” “No business of yours. Even Sixth Form men treated Coker with tact. Coker— you’re a Fifth Form man: you ought to have more sense than to rag with juniors in the quad. “Here comes Wingate!” gasped Bob. at last. But he still held on to Bunter.” said Wingate. But the five of them were too many for Coker. sprawling and spluttering. and the fat Owl sprawled. as he went. His rugged face was crimson. roaring. get out!” he gasped. as Coker of the Fifth landed on the cold. “I’m all—groogh—out of breath—oooogh!” Bob gave the fat Owl a hand up. Wingate frowned. unsympathetic quad. had to let go his grip on the Owl of the Remove. Chapter XXXVII BUNTER’S LATEST WINGATE of the Sixth stared at five crimson and breathless juniors. chuck it. “ ’ware pre’s!” called out Vernon-Smith.” “Up-end him !” growled Johnny Bull. “Chuck it—before we chuck you. you young ruffians?” demanded Wingate. He was wildly dishevelled. “I’m taking Bunter to your beak.” “Who’s ragging with juniors in the quad?” bawled Coker.” . “Chuck it!” And the Famous Five ceased to roll Coker as the Greyfriars captain came striding on the scene.” answered Bob. you fellows. Bunter. sat and spluttered frantically for breath: Coker. “The up-endfulness is the proper caper!” gasped Hurree Jamset Ram Singh. over Coker’s long legs.” said Bob.away from Bunter. “Well.
what’s this about a tenner?” asked the Greyfriars captain. “He’s found the packet. Bunter—. but I—I couldn’t find it.” snorted Coker.” “I—I’ve got to go to the Head. The crowd of fellows gathered round the spot exchanged glances. But it was too late. “I—I—I——!” stammered Bunter.” “I’m going to make him hand over that tenner!” vociferated Coker. “Well?” rapped Wingate. “Stop!” rapped Wingate.” said Wingate. and everybody knows where he got it. where did you get it? Lower boys are not allowed to have so much money as that.” “You’re going to mind your own business. He was breathless.” “Oh. but he got into motion.” whispered Bob Cherry. had there been any doubt.” “Stop where you are! Now. “Have you found that packet missing from the Head’s study.” . “See? Everybody knows where he got it. “Oh.” “You fat ass. “Oh! No!” gasped Bunter. would have banished all doubt. and I’m going to make him cough it up. “You can leave this to me. the thing really seemed to speak for itself. “Everybody knows he’s got it. If you’ve got a ten-pound note. Wingate—. as you know very well. With a packet of banknotes missing. I—I don’t know where it is. you fellows. “I—I looked for it.” “That will do. really. A prefect was not to he denied. But where did it come from?” Billy Bunter blinked at the Greyfriars captain. and—. and pinched it. Wingate’s face grew grimmer. Bunter?” he rapped. and Bunter in sudden and inexplicable possession of a banknote. Wingate! I—I’ve got to see Quelch before class—. And—interfering ass as Coker of the Fifth was—everyone agreed with Coker’s view of the matter—the only possible explanation was that Bunter had found the “hidden treasure” and helped himself. keep him off—. crikey!” gasped Bunter. Bunter did not want to discuss that tenner with a Sixth Form prefect. and his obvious unwillingness to answer Wingate. Now. “Have you got a tenner?” “Oh ! Yes ! I—I mean—no—yes !” stuttered Bunter."I'M GOING TO MAKE HIM HAND OVER THAT TENNER!" “I say. some of them grinning. and your form-master must be told about it. And I’m jolly well going to take him to his beak. Coker. Wingate. Where else could the impecunious Owl of the Remove have obtained a tenner? The fibs he had told on the subject. There was no choice for Bunter now— he had to explain about that banknote. “You’ve got to own up now.
“A—a—a man!” gasped Bunter. Had Bunter told a tale of a tip from his pater. Wingate. which would have accounted for the mixed bag of explanations he had given in the studies. so sharply that Bunter jumped.” “A man you’d never seen before gave you ten pounds?” “Yes. “What?” almost roared the Greyfriars captain. after his experience with the doubting Thomases in the Remove. “Oh. “It—it was yesterday afternoon. staring at the fat Owl in sheer wonder. “Bunter. But he was plainly reluctant to state where that banknote had come from.” “Oh. “He—he came up to me. “Can you beat that?” “Bunter. He was right! They didn’t! “And where did this happen. even from Bunter!” remarked Johnny Bull. “ I—I mean. it’s true! I jolly well knew you wouldn’t believe it.” “Where did you get it?” rapped Wingate. of course. and when.” “What man?” “I—I don’t know !” “You don’t know what man gave you a ten--pound note!” stuttered Wingate. my Aunt Jemima!” “Ha. “The richfulness is terrific.pound note?” “I—I—I———!” Bunter spluttered helplessly.” “Great pip!” said the Bounder. where did you get a ten. or what?” said Wingate at last. as he had told it in his own form. you awful chump !” hissed Peter Todd.” “Tell the truth. the fat Owl would have preferred to let it be understood in the Remove that he came from some rich relation. that it was no use “telling the tale” to Wingate.” “Where did you get that banknote?” “I’ve told you. Wingate. and—and gave me the tenner. But a statement that a man had come up to him and given him a ten-pound note was altogether too incredible. Bunter?” asked the Greyfriars captain. The crowd of Greyfriars fellows stared at Bunter.” Wingate was staring blankly at the fat Owl. had some beneficent stranger presented Bunter with an unexpected tenner. Even Bunter realised. Truth and Bunter had long been strangers: and swank was numbered among Bunter’s charming qualities. Wingate—. Bunter’s remarkable statement seemed to have taken his breath away. Bunter had said that he knew they wouldn’t believe it. you chump—!” said Harry Wharton.“Oh. Toddy—. I’d never seen him before. but it’s true !” gasped Bunter. Wingate.” groaned Bunter. ha !” “That’s rich. I—I—I—a—a—a man gave it to me!” gasped Bunter.” “I’m waiting. “True!” murmured Skinner. “Oh. “That man gave it to me—. “I say. Cherry—. you ass—!” said Bob. believed for a moment that any beneficent stranger had done anything of the kind. No doubt. you fellows. really. really. suffering cats !” murmured Bob Cherry. I—I went out after class to look for that . “ Oh. But nobody. “If you haven’t found the packet. “Has that young ass gone crackers. Bunter!” said Wingate. ha. “I—I—it’s mine. or from his Uncle George or Uncle William. credence might have been at least possible. really.
” “It’s the sack !” said Johnny Bull. “Even that would go down better than this. The effect of such a yarn on Mr. ‘Yes. “Shut up. “Look here.” said Bob. and sat on the Cloister wall. “Only a bit ?” “Ha. “I—I’d rather not mention it to Quelch! I—I think he mightn’t believe it. “I—I’d never seen him before.” said Frank Nugent. ha. and he will deal with you. “for goodness’ sake cut in at once and hand that tenner to Quelch——. compared with the yarn he had spun Wingate. Bunter.packet——.” “Well. I think he might!” said Wingate. “Get on with it. Quelch was almost unthinkable. The yarns Bunter had already told about that banknote seemed to the Famous Five as moonlight unto sunlight. impatiently. Bunter. Bunter. ha.” remarked the Bounder. cut off to Quelch before badfulness becomes worsefulness. old fat idiot. I think this beats everything. “I say. Bunter?” “I—I know it sounds a bit unusual. to tell him the truth.’ and he said. ‘This ten-pound note is for you.” urged Harry Wharton. evidently to make his report to the Remove master without loss of time. “Do you think that anybody could possibly believe that.” “Well I couldn’t find the packet. you’ll tell Quelch the truth when he questions you. Bunter. Coker?” exclaimed Wingate.” “The mightfulness is terrific. “I advise you. gathered round Bunter. and you fancy somehow you’ve only borrowed that tenner from the packet.” “That will do !” Wingate walked away to the House. They were quite alarmed for him.” urged Hurree Jamset Ram Singh. “Ha. “Go to it.” “Why did a man you’d never seen before give you ten pounds?” “I—I don’t know. “I never found it!” roared back Bunter.” stammered Bunter. ha!” “Are you going to spin that yarn to Mr.” “Don’t lose a moment. when you see your form-master. That really was the limit. Quelch?” asked Wingate.” said Bunter. and I got tired.” mumbled Bunter. will you. don’t you believe me?” asked Bunter. Bunter?” asked Wingate. you fellows.” “I—I’ve told the truth. we all know what a howling ass you are. So——so I never told them. Wingate——. ‘Is that Mr.’ And—and he gave it to me and—and walked away. ha!” “Better have stuck to Uncle William-George-Samuel. And if you’ve got a spot of sense. “I—I rather thought the fellows wouldn’t believe it. Harry Wharton and Co. drily.” “I can sort of see him doing it!” murmured Skinner.” “Yes. “For the love of esteemed Mike. Bunter ?’ So I said. And a man came up in the lane beside the Cloisters and said. you young ass.” “A bit unusual !” said Skinner. .” said Wingate. “Bunter. “He—he might think I’d made it up. as water unto wine.” “And found it!” roared Coker. I’m going to report this to your form-master at once. but a beak will call it pinching—.” “You didn’t know the man.
Peter Todd gave his fat study-mate a final whisper of warning as he went to his desk. “Yes. But now it did indubitably look uncommonly grim. There was no doubt that Henry Samuel Quelch looked grim. Bunter. as he rustled to the door of the Remove room to let in his form for third school. Quelch look his very grimmest. ha.” “You are aware. ha!” “Beast!” Bunter rolled away. But he did not roll in the direction of Mr. accordingly. Quelch had heard Wingate’s report: and knew. in a deep voice. Quelch. “It appears. and helped himself from the contents. They almost bored into the fat junior. that a member of his form had found the missing packet. sir !” groaned Bunter. Friendly counsel seemed a sheer waste on Bunter: and the Removites could only wonder what was going to happen to him when he saw Quelch. It was plain that Quelch was going to inquire.” “Oh ! Yes. was not to be saved from himself! He was going to repeat his “latest” to Quelch. sir!” mumbled Bunter. Never had they seemed so much like gimlets. Quelch was hardly likely to believe that a man Bunter had never seen before had given him ten pounds for nothing. Bunter.” “You benighted chump—!” “Yah!” Peter gave it up. of course. scissors !” “I say. among .” “He did. sir. knew why. that man really gave me the tenner——. and the Remove went to their form-room. anyway. Quelch.“Believe you ! Oh. Such a tale would have taxed his credulity had it come from the member of his form whom he trusted most. They knew that the thunder was going to roll before the lesson began. That was more than enough to make Mr. Bob was careful not to let “Henry” hear that murmur. “Ha. “ It—it—it’s mine. that a packet is supposed to be hidden somewhere about the school containing a number of notes purloined from the head-master’s study. “Own up. “I have heard a most extraordinary report from a prefect—Wingate of the Sixth Form !” said Mr. There was a thrill of excitement when the bell clanged for third school. you fat ass!” “Beast!” “Tell Quelch where you found the packet. and he tipped you a tenner in Friardale Lane?” asked the Bounder. Quelch’s severe countenance was a little inclined to grimness.” “I never found it. Quelch’s eyes fixed on Bunter. it seemed. Chapter XXXVIII WITNESS WANTED! “HENRY looks grim!” murmured Bob Cherry. And the fat Owl was the member he trusted least! The Remove fellows filed to their places in suppressed excitement. “Bunter!” said Mr. “Was that before it came in a registered letter from your pater. Quelch’s study. Everybody. Bunter. did he?” snorted Johnny Bull. that you are in possession of a Bank of England note for the sum of ten pounds. or after it came by special messenger?” “Or was it about the time you met your uncle on the Courtfield Road. if Quelch inquired.
Quelch. Bunter!” he rapped. As plainly as if he had told them.” “Have you found it. His fat face was worried and lugubrious. Quelch. sir!” “You have not found the packet. We shall now commence. The prospect of that interview with his head-master seemed to weigh on Bunter.” “It—it’s mine. “Bunter. Bunter?” asked Mr. Wingate has informed me. that you told him that a man with whom you were unacquainted gave you that banknote yesterday. for nothing. Bunter?” Peter Todd gave the fat Owl an almost beseeching look. “Answer me. Benevolent old gentleman as Dr. and without explanation. sir. Peter did not want to see him sacked. sir. And Quelch gave him no time for thinking out new inventions. Quelch. take any further notice of Billy Bunter’s fat existence till the hour of dismissal came. “You will now explain to me how a banknote for ten pounds came into your possession. “N-no. no fellow really liked being taken to his study to see him—Bunter least of all. even to Bunter. Quelch thought of the story of a beneficent stranger with tenners to give away. if—if I could. Third hour was not a happy hour for Billy Bunter.” said the Remove master.” And the Remove commenced: the subject dropping there and then.” groaned Bunter. His answer came: “No. All eyes were on his fat face.” said Mr. Bunter. Which was a sufficient indication of what Mr. joined with other boys in searching for that packet of banknotes. Then he rapped out : . or a tip from his uncle. Quelch considerately passed him over. Mr.them ten-pound notes?” “I—I’ve heard so. Was it a relative who sent you this banknote. Still. “I trust so. sir!” gasped Bunter. Perhaps he thought that Bunter had enough coming to him ! Quelch did not. Is that what you are about to tell me?” “Yes. “Then who was it?” “A—a—a man. in fact. He was neither useful nor ornamental.” “Very well.note is yours. as I trust. that if he named a relative Quelch would inquire of that relative.” stammered Bunter. sir. and the matter will pass into Dr. Bunter. But the Owl of the Remove did not heed that beseeching look. sir!” faltered Bunter. “Then you need say nothing. “If the bank. the Remove fellows could see that he was debating in his fat mind whether a story of a tip from his pater. Quelch held up his hand. Bunter did not add to the joy of existence in No. I shall communicate with the relative who sent it to you and explain that junior boys at this school are not permitted to have such large sums of money. sir!” stammered Bunter. Locke’s hands. “It—it——it wasn’t a relative. sir! I—I thought the Head might like me to find it for him. 7 Study.” said Mr. Locke undoubtedly was. I believe. Bunter. Bunter?” Bunter did not reply at once. But it was obvious. He gave no attention whatever to the lesson—he couldn’t! But Mr. I shall take you to your headmaster after third hour. Bunter.” “Oh! Yes. “You have. would he good enough for Quelch.
“Oh! Well. Wharton! Look here. you men. of course. quite gently. Quelch with papers at his desk. you’d be twice as clever as you are!” yapped Bunter. “Wingate didn’t believe me—I could see that! You fellows don’t either.” said Bunter. Bunter. it’s only necessary for you to saw you say—I mean. and back me up. leaving Mr.” said Harry.” “But I didn’t!” shrieked Wharton. See?” “What else can he think?” gasped Bob. “You can see that you’re up against it. apparently having had enough of Bunter. it’s pretty thick.” said Harry. if anything could save Bunter now. you’re Quelch’s Head Boy. Still. “ That’s what worries me. we’ve always been pals. “But very likely the Head won’t believe it. “do try to have a little sense—. “Bunter. but Mr. “I’ll do as much for you another time. he does take yours. really. Bunter?” “You pays your money and you takes your choice!” remarked the Bounder. and his Uncle George in Friardale Lane—and then he puts the lid on with a stranger coming up and giving it to him for nothing! Which of the lot do you want us to believe. “I’m going to.” said Bunter. He had to wait in the corridor for Quelch—and then go to the Head—and if he had been going to execution he could hardly have looked more dismal. I don’t know why—he hardly ever takes mine.” said Bunter. When I leave this form-room I shall take you to Dr. peevishly. There was. and nothing but the truth. never mind that.” “Wha-a-a-t?” stuttered the captain of the Remove.” said Bunter. sir!” groaned Bunter. Tell the Head the truth about that packet and he may go easy with you. Wharton. Matters were bad enough: but obviously.“Bunter!” “Yes. He may think my banknote came from his packet. and then he told Smithy that his Uncle William gave it to him on the Courtfield road. eagerly.” “Ain’t he a cough-drop?” said Bob Cherry. “I—I say.” “It’s your only chance.” “Oh. the whole truth.” “Oh.” urged Frank Nugent. then in a registered letter. as I’ve got in my little finger. You just say you saw—” “You fat villain !” “Oh. Some of the juniors remained with him in the corridor. “ If you fellows are trying to make out that I don’t tell the truth—. and he always takes your word. and if you say you saw that man give me the tenner when I was sitting on the Cloister wall—. haven’t we? Look here. “That’s the worst of you fellows—you never can keep to the point. Wharton. it was the truth. Locke. old chap. He’s told us that that tenner came in a letter. you stand by a fellow. Wharton. only one chance for Bunter: to own up to the truth without telling any more fibs. to say you saw—. then by special messenger. old chap!” said Bunter.” “Oh. old man. when Quelch may come out any minute and take me to the Beak. “Well. You needn’t deny it—you jolly well don’t. “I—I say. so far as they could see. “I wish you’d keep to the point. Quelch had not emerged yet.” Bunter cast an uneasy blink towards the form-room door. and the . lor!” Bunter rolled dismally into the corridor. “You will wait in the corridor. you fellows. “You just tell Quelch you saw the whole thing—. fan me!” murmured Bob Cherry.” said Harry Wharton.” “Yah! If you had as much sense in your head. come on.
Chapter XXXIX A PAINFUL PARTING! DR. leaving the fat Owl yelping and rubbing the fattest head at Greyfriars School. really. sir. Quelch.” He paused. Bunter. sir—. lor’! Is—I mean. “No good asking a decent chap: but you’ll do it. “but—. There seems to me only one conclusion to be drawn. Locke’s eyes turned on him and fixed him with a penetrating gaze. you ain’t particular about telling whoppers. sir. has told an absurd story to account for the banknote. habitually untruthful. “Bunter certainly has joined in the search for the packet. But that was what Smithy did. yes. “Oh. Smithy—I say.” said Mr.” said Mr. and for this reason I attach no importance to the story he has told—in itself incredible.” “Eh?” “It’s in your line.” “But—!” said the Head. won’t you. Bunter did not know. of course.” “I—I didn’t—!” gasped Bunter. Quelch came out of the form-room. Twiss naturally makes a note of such details.” said Mr. He now has a ten-pound note. Locke.” “I—I say. I say. “Mr. after all I’ve done for you. Quelch had to tell him. Quelch. But the matter is. LOCKE raised his eyebrows as he listened to what Mr. old chap.” “Quite so.” “You need not speak.” said Mr. blinking at him. “Bunter! Follow me. He gasped as Dr. He was still rubbing it when Mr. and very many boys have searched for it —including Bunter. I am reluctant—very reluctant—to believe that any boy in my form could be capable of filching—.” In the lowest spirits.” “Place the banknote on the table. “Letting a chap down. Quelch. sir. He is. and from the other to the one. Quelch. Billy Bunter followed Quelch to his head-master’s study. there has been some excitement on the subject. “Most extraordinary!” said the Head. very simply put to the test by reference to the number of the banknote. “Since the story has spread that the packet of banknotes is concealed somewhere about the school. Smithy — hold on a minute.” said Dr. I am sorry to say. having found the packet. Quelch. “Bunter. “—of filching one of the banknotes.” “It—it’s mine. a list of the numbers of the missing banknotes has been supplied to Inspector Grimes. will you tell Quelch that you saw that man give me the tenner yesterday—?” “Will I?” grinned the Bounder. Billy Bunter stood uneasily. for the possession of which he cannot account.” . “I mean to say. Smithy—.” said Bunter. “No doubt. “Bunter!” snapped Mr.Famous Five went out into the quad. “Beast!” hissed Bunter. sir—. “But —.” “Oh !” said the Head. and he walked away after the rest of the form. Smithy?” Why Herbert Vernon-Smith took him by the collar and banged his head on the passage wall. shifting from one fat leg to the other. sir.
” “Oh!” said Mr. You—you see. “That. where you obtained the banknote. glancing at it. But as he had taken it for granted that that simple test would clear up the matter beyond any possible doubt.” “What? Do you mean that the missing packet was concealed on the Cloister wall and that you found it there?” “Oh! No.” “Yes. lingered on it. or—or why he did—but—but he did. “I asked you.” “Bunter!” The Head’s voice was very deep. sir. sir. sir. “Then it remains only to question Bunter. Quelch. Locke coughed.” said the head. and as it cannot be found. “You were sitting on the Cloister wall! repeated the Head. Quelch. “Tell me at once where you obtained that banknote. “I am afraid. sir.” rapped Mr. It was not for a member of the Staff to reveal annoyance in the presence of his Chief. with a look that made Bunter jump. sir! “ groaned Bunter. I— I was sitting on the Cloister wall when that man came up in the lane—. Billy Bunter’s eyes. “Quite so.” said Mr. Quelch.” “I—I didn’t—I—I never—I—I wasn’t—. blankly. I fear.” said the Head. added somewhat to Inspector Grimes’s difficulties. Bunter’s tattered wallet came into view. sir. that’s where.” Dr. Quelch concealed the fact that he was annoyed. Quelch.” “What man?” . and I gather that the general impression among his schoolfellows is that he has found the missing packet and abstracted a bank-note from it. sir!” gasped Bunter. “It is. If this be so. the numbers of the missing banknotes are not available.” “Oh! Yes. I was sitting on the Cloister wall. of course.” “Bless my soul!” said the Head. “ I—I—I——. A—a man gave it to me. If Mr. “It is an awkward circumstance and has. Quelch’s turn to raise his eyebrows. Twiss’s custom to note the numbers of all banknotes passing through his hands as my secretary.” “On—on the Cloister wall. sir. “I—I don’t know who he was. in extenuation of his conduct. is the story Bunter told a prefect and repeated to me.“Place it on the table at once. perhaps I may be allowed to say. that the matter cannot he put to the test so simply as you have naturally supposed. “Bunter. he was very much annoyed indeed. and the £10 note was extracted therefrom and laid on the head-master’s writing-table. “Bunter has been in possession of that banknote since some time yesterday. you will explain to me precisely how this banknote came into your possession.” he said. Mr. “ In point of fact.” he said.” gasped Bunter. sir. Bunter. Quelch.” “I warn you. “is 000222468. sir. sir. to tell your head-master the truth.” said Mr. But it unfortunately happens that the list was placed in the same drawer as the money. Bunter. sir. Mr.” It was Mr.” said Mr. and spectacles. Mr. that he is a very obtuse boy—extraordinarily obtuse —and may not have fully realised the iniquity of his action. Quelch. “I—I’m going to. there can be no doubt that it was taken at the same time as the banknotes by the unknown pilferer. Twiss’s list is available——. “The number. sir!” “Then what do you mean?” “I—I mean.
Quelch.” There was silence again. For a brief period the Owl of the Remove had been in possession of a £10 note—unchangeable.” “Bless my soul!” said Dr. But in so serious a matter we must proceed with care. Quelch.” “Utterly!” agreed Mr.” he said. within the bounds of possibility.” said Mr. folded the bank-note and placed it therein. leaving head-master and form-master in consultation. There was a silence in the study.” “Who was he?” “I—I don’t know. Mr. sir!” groaned Bunter. but still a tenner—and now it was gone from his gaze like a beautiful dream. Locke picked up the £10 note. it is true. “This is extraordinary.“The—the man who gave me the banknote. There was going to he a painful—a very painful— parting! The Head spoke at last. Bunter?” asked the Head. For the present the boy may go. Quelch. he had fallen from his high estate. Locke gazed at Bunter. sir. Sadly and sorrowfully he rolled away. “N-n-no. Son of the Morning. Bunter?” “Oh! Nothing. “Are you telling me. Quelch. It did not seem to him even within the bounds of possibility. He seemed unable to take his spectacles off it.” he said. Mr. sir! N-n-nothing!” gasped Bunter. and great was the fall thereof. “I will take charge of this. Dr. “It is. “Oh! Yes. It disappeared. Chapter XL BEASTLY FOR BUNTER! .” “You may go.” He opened his pocket-hook. Bunter. sir. It was borne in upon Billy Bunter’s fat mind that his riches were about to take unto themselves wings and fly away. Dr. His blink at the banknote was longing—in fact. thoughtful face. Mr. “Very!” said Mr. Locke. sir?” stammered Bunter. Quelch! Bunter’s story is so extraordinary as to seem quite—quite incredible. Quelch’s lips shut in a tight line. sir! C-c-c-can I tut-tut-take my bub-bub-bank-note. “and retain it till the ownership is established. Dr. A dismal Owl rolled out of the head’s study. that a man you do not know came up to you and gave you a banknote for ten-pounds? “Yes. Quelch pointed to the door. “You have nothing more to tell me. “What did you say. Like Lucifer. The sad eyes of Dido did not follow the departing sails of Æneas so longingly as Billy Bunter’s eyes and spectacles followed that departing banknote. Bunter blinked uneasily at the Head’s puzzled. yearning. Long and lugubrious was the fat countenance of William George Bunter. “Mr. Quelch waited for Dr. Billy Bunter’s dismayed gaze followed it as it disappeared. Quelch made no rejoinder to that. then at the grim countenance of his form-master—then at the banknote on the table. for the present. “Such a story is utterly incredible. Then Dr. I suppose. Bunter.” said the Head. Locke gazed at Bunter as if the fat junior had hypnotized him. Locke to speak. Locke turned to the Remove master. Mr. transferring his gaze once more to the hapless Owl. “What!” Quelch almost thundered. “But—.” Mr.
Sammy Bunter. “How could you snoop a tenner out of it if you don’t know where it is ?” Bunter. when they came out after tea. breathing fury.” Billy Bunter gave them a reproachful blink. ha!” “Bunter’s got the spot-light!” remarked Bob Cherry. “Ha. why not take the packet to the Head and have done with it?” asked Johnny Bull. When he walked in the quad. “I don’t know anything about it. stared at. Bunter. There was no doubt that Bunter had! Bunter had tea’d in Hall that day. And all you fellows can do is to cackle. Haven’t I told you that a man—?” . like the seed in the parable. ha. Harry Wharton and Co. he was as good as the head of a procession. Billy!” urged Sammy Bunter. Mimble’s tuck-shop. Bunter had fallen in a stony place. In Hall. “You might tell me where it is. But even Bunter did not enjoy fame as a snapper-up of lost tenners. liked any amount of limelight that might come his way. Now all was changed—all sorts and conditions of fellows seemed to haunt him. Bunter blinked round at his followers.” howled Bunter. Bunter was glanced at. Gladly he would have swanked as the proprietor of the only ten-pound note in the Lower School. and suspected that he might pay it another visit—now that the Head had taken away the tenner. “I never left it. If he did. rolled on. “Well. Once more. you fellows. “Look at those grubby little beasts —they think they’ll find the packet if they keep me in sight. took it for granted that the tenner had come from the lost packet. as the man who had found the “treasure” and was keeping it dark to help himself from it. blow you?” “Forgotten where you left it?” asked Bob. fairly dogging his footsteps.” “Well. Tubb and Co. this is too jolly thick!” he said. that’s rot. had he chosen so to do. “Well. “I say. “How can I when I don’t know where it is. where’s that packet?” asked Tubb. pointed at. could not help grinning at the sight of Bunter and his followers—walking like a Highland chief of ancient times followed by his “tail.. or more. His ten-pound note was gone. did he cast a most unbrotherly glare. “Will you gerraway?” he howled.“GERRAWAY!” hissed Billy Bunter. His fat face wore a frown when he rolled out of Hall—but in the quad he received as much attention. He glared at Tubb and Paget of the Third—he glared at Gatty and Myers of the Second—even at his own minor. continued to haunt his footsteps. Why the Head didn’t make him cough up that packet was a puzzle to most fellows—but nobody doubted that Bunter could have coughed it up. “I don’t know where it is!” shrieked Bunter. and his postal-order had not come: and his weekly half-crown of pocket-money was safe in the till at Mrs. Everybody. It was not on record that any fellow quite of his own accord had ever sought Billy Bunter’s society before. a whole crowd of fellows were going to be at his heels. innumerable eyes had turned on Bunter—all the school knew now about that tenner. as a rule. I can’t move a step without bumping into a beastly fag. On a half-holiday fellows were free to do as they liked—and quite a large number seemed to like to keep an eye on Bunter—the man who knew where the “treasure” was! In deep ire.” said Sammy. of course. Obviously they were convinced that Bunter knew where that packet was. But he did not enjoy it now. Fags of the Second and Third were specially interested in him and they followed wherever Bunter went.
all stared at Bunter. Think a jolly old philanthropist is wandering about giving away tenners ?” Redwing made no reply to that. he had intended to revisit the hiding-place of the missing packet. Twiss. was looking from the window and his eyes fixed on Bunter with disapproval. with Prout’s boom echoing behind him. ha!” Billy Bunter snorted and rolled on. The fags had to give it up also—though some of them continued to keep an eye open for Bunter in case he came out again. He was still the cynosure of all eyes. In the Rag a crowd of fellows stared at Bunter as he came in. Bunter?” “No!” howled Bunter. “Amazing!” said Mr. do you? You’re an old hand—you can make up a better one than that!” “Ha. There was no comfort for Bunter in the Rag. Mr. “ He must know that Bunter knows where the packet is. disconsolate—Tubb and Co. with a stare. “I say. don’t you?” “What I can’t make out is why the Head hasn’t sacked him already.” “That is he!” said Prout. “Got any more tenners. he had to give it up.” “It is all right!” agreed Tom Brown. “Do you believe Bunter’s latest?” he asked. “Losing your inventive powers. Really. ha. . “Why not?” asked Snoop. it was not easy to believe. “That is the boy who has found the packet of banknotes—.” “There’s no proof. still on his trail.” “Beast !” “Well. Smithy!” said Redwing. Prout. Capper. 2. “That is the boy!” boomed Prout. Evidently they had been talking of it in Common-Room—everybody knew about it now and was discussing it. Wiggins. as Tubb and Co. old fat man? it’s time you had a new story. be reasonable!” urged Bob. “Here lie is. He rolled into the House to take refuge in the Rag. Billy Bunter’s fat ears burned as he rolled on. “Beasts!” breathed Bunter. “Unparalleled!” boomed Prout. Hacker. Capper. stood open and within sat Tom Brown and Hazeldene at the study table slicing a pineapple and disposing of the slices. evidently surmised.Are you still spinning the same yarn?” asked Bob. The Bounder gave a scoffing laugh. Bunter liked pineapple. you fellows—!” he squeaked. “I say. He rolled away again and headed for the Remove studies. Bunter came to a halt. as he passed it. that pineapple looks all right. He was getting too much attention in the quad and was more than tired of the attentions of Tubb and Co. “You know where to find them. “Ah!” said Mr. Wiggins.” chuckled Skinner. master of the Fifth. where a deep booming voice caused him to blink round. Mr. Several other faces joined Prout’s in the window. Twiss and Mr. He rolled past the big bay window of Common-Room. Mr. “It is common knowledge! Yet he has not produced the packet !” “Extraordinary!” said Mr. The door of No. Mr. “Very extraordinary!” said Mr.” remarked VernonSmith. If. mildly. “You don’t really expect anyone to believe that somebody’s going about giving ten-pound notes away for nothing. Hacker.
GRIMES hardly breathed. Bunter?” he asked. with hardly the faintest sound. “Have you taken that packet to the Head. Black against the starlight was the silhouette of a man stopping at the window. Grimes was there now. rather!” gasped Bunter. “It’s all right! If it’s all right. supposed or dreamed that Mr.” added the New Zealand junior. It required about a minute for Bunter’s powerful brain to assimilate that this was a joke.” “Yes. On the lower landing there was a gleam of starlight from the big window. A door had opened—and closed again. Mr. how can any of it be left?” Hazel chuckled and Bunter stared. 7 Study. I’ve heard that Grimey is about the school to-day. “If you’ll tell us where to find that packet——. “ I’ve never even seen the rotten packet!” yelled Bunter. as you’ve got a lot left. But there was Mr. “I know you too jolly well. Grimes: noiseless. invisible. Then came a faint creak. listening. Bunter——. Peter picked up a cushion and eyed the fat Owl. Everybody’s talking about that banknote and Grimey will hear of it sooner or later. Bunter. 7 Study again! Chapter XLI CAUGHT! MR.” said Tom Brown. Do you want Grimey on your track? Go and get that packet at once—. you might ask a fellow if he’d like a slice. He found Peter Todd in No.” “I tell you the man came up to me and said—Beast! Don’t you chuck that cushion at me! If you chuck that cushion at me I’ll jolly well—yarooop!” Bunter rolled out of No. Certainly the unseen man who was stepping so stealthily down the stairs did not dream that a portly figure was behind him in the dark. knowing me as you do.” “We’ll take it to the Head without borrowing any of the tenners. really. Some of the Greyfriars fellows had heard that the Courtfield inspector was about the school again.” “Yes—don’t tell me again. Go and get the packet——. Someone unseen had emerged and. shaking his head. Grimes could see nothing—but his ears were keen: and faintly. you might take a fellow’s word. “Beast!” Bunter rolled on. Grimes’s feet were of substantial size and weight—but in rubber shoes they made no sound at all. .” added Tom Brown sarcastically.” said Toddy.“Well. old fat fraud. “You can have the lot if you like. Mr. motionless. Cautious feet in socks were almost noiseless. Toddy. “But look here.” “Oh. For a full minute it stood there—silent. Browney—. Now look here. “Look here. certainly. It was nearly midnight and all Greyfriars was sunk in silence and slumber. he heard in the silence the sound of a softly-opening door.” “That’s the trouble. A casement was being opened. was crossing to the stairs.” said Bunter warmly. still less that he was keeping silent and vigilant watch on the dark landing. But nobody.” “I’ve told you a man gave me that tenner ——. On the landing it was densely dark. and Peter gave him a far-frompally or welcoming look as he deposited his weight in the study armchair. with red plump ears cocked to listen. “None of it left. barely audible.
Outside was a faint stirring of the thick ivy that clustered round the window—tough old ivy, almost as old as Greyfriars itself. An arm was stretched from the window and a hand was groping in the ivy. The hand came back with something in it. Then the tiny beam of a small torch was flashed on. Inspector Grimes, from the darkness, watched a strange sight. With a packet in one hand, the flash-light in the other, the stealthy man was peering through rimless pince-nez—examining the packet. “Thank you, Mr. Twiss!” said Inspector Grimes. The torch and the packet fell to the floor together: the man spun round with a startled squeal. A hand, plump but with a grip like steel, fastened on his shoulder. Chapter XLII MR. GRIMES EXPLAINS “BUT——” stammered Dr. Locke. The morning sunlight falling in at the study window showed his face clouded and troubled. In Inspector Grimes’s plump, solid countenance it revealed a quiet stolid satisfaction. Mr. Grimes had “got his man,” which was naturally very satisfactory to Mr. Grimes. “A shock to you, no doubt, sir,” said Mr. Grimes. “But it was to be expected when it turned out to be an inside job, sir.” “But Mr. Twiss—!” murmured the Head. I should never have dreamed—. He has not been long in my service, but—but———.” “From information received, sir, my attention was directed to Mr. Twiss,” said Inspector Grimes. Dr. Locke certainly did not guess or dream that that “ information” had been “received” from a Greyfriars junior. Mr. Grimes had no intention of mentioning Herbert Vernon-Smith. “For that reason, sir, I asked you for a key so that I could, when necessary, keep watch inside the House,” said Mr. Grimes. “I understand that, Mr. Grimes. But I do not understand why you should have expected the wretched man to visit the hiding place of the packet last night and thus fall into your hands.” Mr. Grimes smiled—a smile of satisfaction— almost fatuous self-satisfaction. Undoubtedly Mr. Grimes was very pleased with himself. “That, sir, was the outcome of measures I had taken,” he said. “The man was led to believe that the packet had been discovered and a part of its contents abstracted by a schoolboy. Naturally he was very much alarmed. Yesterday the whole school, including Mr. Twiss, knew of this supposed discovery. One can imagine his feelings—his fear and his anxiety. His impulse would be to revisit the hide-out and ascertain whether the packet was safe, to examine it and to remove it to yet another hiding-place if he found that it had been tampered with.” “Oh!” exclaimed the Head. “On a previous occasion, I have reason to believe, he did actually change the hidingplace of the packet in fear of its discovery by some junior schoolboys, and this was done during morning school,” said Mr. Grimes. “Yesterday, however, he did not venture to act in the daytime—no doubt because he was aware that I was about the school and because I made it a point to contact him several times during the day. Had he done so, I have no doubt that I should have detected him—but it was obviously safer to leave it till a late hour. This he did—and when he made his move I was prepared for
it.” “I understand. But—.” The Head looked perplexed. “Now that the packet has been examined it has been ascertained that only a number of the one-pound notes are missing from it——.” “Twenty-five, sir, doubtless expended by the man on some of his miserable racing speculations. The banknotes are intact.” “Then the banknote in the possession of the boy Bunter did not, after all, belong to the packet.’’ “It did not, sir.” “I am glad of that, at least—it is a great relief,” said Dr. Locke. “ The story told by the boy to account for its possession was extraordinary—indeed incredible. Can it have been true?” “Quite so, sir.” “It is amazing,” said the Head. “According to the boy, a stranger whom he had never seen before sought him out and handed him a £10 note. And it was this extraordinary circumstance that gave the alarm to the pilferer and caused him to revisit the hidingplace of the packet and thus betray himself—.” “The pilferer, sir, was no more likely to believe Bunter’s strange story than anyone else. He, like all others, took it for granted that Bunter had discovered the packet and helped himself from it. That, sir, is why the stranger gave Bunter the £10 note—in order to give Mr. Twiss exactly that impression.” “Eh ?” Inspector Grimes’s stolid face melted into a grin. But that grin vanished under the surprised stare of the Head. Mr. Grimes coughed. “I must explain, sir. The stranger who sought out Master Bunter and handed him the £10 note was a plain-clothes officer acting under my instruct ions.” “Bless my soul !” ejaculated the Head. “You will realise, sir, that the pilferer’s identity was unknown—that even had the lost packet been found and the money recovered, the pilferer would still have remained unknown—still here, sir, and enjoying undeserved confidence, with opportunities for repeating his action at another time. There was only one way to nail him—ahem! I should say, only one way to establish the facts—and that was by taking him in the very act of handling the packet he had hidden. For this purpose it was necessary to alarm him with the impression that the hiding-place of the packet had become known to another person—.” “Mr. Grimes !” “I have some acquaintance with Master Bunter, sir,” continued the inspector stolidly, “and I did not doubt that a banknote in his possession would soon become known to every one and that it would be attributed to what would seem the only possible source —the hidden packet. The matter, in fact, worked out exactly as I had anticipated.” Dr. Locke gazed fixedly at Mr. Grimes. Mr. Grimes seemed to have taken his breath away. “Obviously, sir,” continued Mr. Grimes, “the boy would not he able to change the banknote acquired in such dubious circumstances and no harm would he done. Now that the matter has come to a satisfactory conclusion it can, of course, be explained—.” “Upon my word!” said the Head. “ Then— then the banknote I have taken charge of is your property, Mr. Grimes?” “Precisely, sir.” Mr. Grimes coughed again. “But as it was given to the boy, and as he may be considered perhaps entitled to some reward for his unconscious and inadvertent assistance to the law—hem——.”
“Had you consulted me in the matter, Mr. Grimes, I could never have approved of this —this —this most extraordinary proceeding—,” said Dr. Locke. Mr. Grimes did not explain that that was precisely why he hadn’t consulted him in the matter! He merely gave a propitiatory murmur. “However—!” said the Head. “However—!” agreed Mr. Grimes. “Your banknote will be returned to you, Mr. Grimes. But in the circumstances I feel that the boy ought not to be the loser.” “Quite so, sir!” agreed Mr. Grimes. “But really—!” said the Head. “Really——.” He left it at that! Chapter XLIII WANTED BY THE BEAK “BUNTER!” “It—it wasn’t me, sir !” stammered Bunter. Mr. Quelch was addressing William George Bunter in form on Monday morning. Bunter blinked at him uneasily. What Quelch was going to say Bunter did not know—but he denied it provisionally as it were. Quelch gave him a look. “I was about to say, Bunter, that your headmaster desires to see you in his study after third school!” he rapped. “Oh, crikey!” moaned Bunter. Skinner winked at Snoop. The Bounder shrugged his shoulders. Harry Wharton and Co. exchanged glances. Peter Todd knitted his brows. All the Remove took note of Quelch’s words, in one way or another. From those words they could draw only one conclusion—that the game was up for Billy Bunter. The lesson proceeded, Bunter sitting with a worried fat face. Bunter did not want to pay that call on his head-master. Very much indeed he did not. He dreaded it with a deep dread. When he blinked at the other fellows he could read in their faces the general opinion—that he was “for it.” He could not help sharing that opinion. It was a dismaying prospect. In that worried frame of mind Bunter was not likely to shine in class. He gave even less attention than usual to Quelch’s valuable instruction. But Quelch was unusually patient with him that morning. The lesson was English Literature: and Bunter gave Shakespeare as the author of the “Elegy in a Country Churchyard”: then, seeing in Quelch’s face that that wouldn’t do, hastily amended it to Milton: and discerning that this was not a winner, desperately made it Tennyson. But the thunder did not roll—Quelch merely gave him an expressive glance. Bunter rolled out in break with an expression on his fat face which indicated that all the troubles in the universe, and a few over, had landed on his plump shoulders.
you fat duffer?” “I asked you to tell Quelch you saw that man give me the tenner. you can tell him you saw it all——. ha!” “It’s all Wharton’s fault!” groaned Bunter. you heard what Quelch said !—I’ve got to see the Beak after third school !” Bunter blinked dolorously at a crowd of more or less sympathetic faces. my hat!” “Ha. “I say.” “Oh. So would Quelch. ha. ha. “I say. “Why didn’t you take that packet to the Head while there was time? I did my best to make you.” “Ha. “—I wonder—. Bob. “How is it my fault. if Wharton won’t. “Why.” “I tell you I never—.” said Bob Cherry. ha !” . that Bunter’s told the truth and that it did happen?” “How could anything have happened if Bunter said it did?” inquired Johnny Bull. what do you think’s up?” “Your number!” said Skinner. “I keep on telling you that a man gave me that tenner and that I never found the packet at all. you fellows. “Go and get the packet now and for goodness’ sake don’t spin that yarn again. “Can’t you see it won’t wash?” “ ’Tain’t fair!” wailed Bunter.” “Oh. “ The Head would believe you if you told him. quite a new idea coming into his mind.” chuckled Hurree Jamset Ram Singh. “Perhaps a man will come up and give us a tenner each. while the other fellows yelled with laughter. and if I had I’d no more have touched it than I’d touch a fellow’s cake—. I’ll say it was my Uncle William after all—.“I say.” “Take the packet with you after third school. “I—I mean. ha!” “A man came up and gave me that tenner while I was sitting on the Cloister wall——. Is it possible. crumbs!” “And you’ll say that you saw Uncle William hand me the tenner that that man gave me on the Cloister wall—. “Mine!” exclaimed the captain of the Remove in astonishment. “You fat chump.” “How can I when I don’t know where it is?” wailed Bunter. “Ha. old chap.” snorted Bunter. “Beast!” groaned Bunter. You’ll come with me to the Head. I kicked you on Saturday—a fellow couldn’t do more.” “Well.” Bob looked hard at Bunter’s worried fat face. if you think it will go down better with the Head. it would be true if I told him. you—you—you!” gasped Wharton.” said Peter Todd.” “The perhapsfulness is terrific. you men.” said Bunter warmly.” “What would be the good of that?” asked Bob. old chap.” “Let’s all go and sit on the Cloister wall!” suggested Skinner. Bunter. But—. You jolly well know I did. you’ll back up a pal.” “What?” “And—and look here.” said Harry Wharton. ha. “Blessed if I see anything to cackle at when a fellow’s going up to the Head. “That’s the best thing you can do now.
It looks to me—. lor’! Now he’s seen me——. He merely glanced at Bunter when the Remove were dismissed and said: “You will now go to your head-master’s study. “ I—I say. too—though not with merriment. “I—I ain’t going. was speaking to Tom Redwing. sir!” groaned Bunter. clear! Yes. He rolled out into the quad after the Famous Five. “I say. He shook and shook and shook again. you fellows—. keep in front of me!” gasped Bunter. Quelch. and finally sat Bunter down on the hard. Bunter. Apparently taking silence for consent.” “Is he?” said Redwing. For the first time in his fat career Bunter would have been glad had the lesson lasted longer. you fat ass. looking out. and Billy Bunter yelling. He watched the form-room clock: the hand. “I say. now seemed to race. so long as we say the same thing. unsympathetic earth with a resounding bump. though that circumstance did not seem to occur to the fat Owl. really. It seemed as if his fat little legs refused to carry him thither. ha. An angular figure appeared in the doorway of the House. he might forget. Locke’s study.” “Why have you not gone to your head-master? Go at once!” rapped Mr. Beasts!” hooted Bunter at five departing backs. which usually seemed to Bunter’s eyes to crawl. of course. I—I jolly well ain’t going. You see that? You can’t he too careful with a beak. sir. ha!” yelled the Bounder. “He’s rather an old donkey. heedless of Bunter.” “I say.” “Go to the Head. He would even have been glad to have been kept in when the hour was up. ha. You come with me to the Head and say—Leggo my neck!” “Ha. “Yes—and Grimey seems to be finished here. so that Quelch won’t see me——. leaving the crowd of juniors yelling with merriment.Bob Cherry stared blankly at the Owl of the Remove.” said Johnny Bull. who. desperately. He seemed dumbfounded. ha!” Bob Cherry did not let go the fat neck. did not seem to think of it on this particular morning.” said Bunter. He went out with the Remove. It doesn’t matter what. don’t walk away while a chap’s talking to you —. But Quelch.” argued Bunter. Bunter rattled on eagerly: “Only. Keeping in front of Bunter would have left a considerable portion of that plump youth visible on either side of Smithy. I say. hut did not head for Dr. you fellows. Smithy. we shall have to fix up what we’re going to say. . Every tick of the clock brought nearer that dreaded visit to the dreaded study. “I hear that Twiss is gone.” “Bunter!” “Oh. Then he stalked away. Reddy. Third school that morning was not a happy hour for Billy Bunter. “Bunter!” “Oh. who sometimes kept him in for inattention or carelessness or laziness.” “Ha. think the Head will forget about it if —if I don’t go?” “Fathead!” “Well. you know.” “Yes. Bunter could guess for whom Quelch was looking and he made a strategic movement to screen himself behind Vernon-Smith. keep just in front.
“You’re not sacked?” exclaimed the Bounder. he didn’t want the packet. “Oh. in less than ten minutes he came out again with a wide grin on his fat countenance—a grin so wide that it almost looked like meeting round the back of his neck. If he said intact he meant they were all there—I expect that’s what ‘intact’ means. He looked happy and glorious.” grinned Bunter. “Yes. Anyhow. and I suppose he knows. hallo.” And now—! “ You’ve seen the Head?” asked Harry Wharton.” “What!” exclaimed a dozen fellows. And the Greyfriars fellows stared at him in astonishment. “So the Head said. And a crowd of Remove fellows and fellows of other Forms. we had a chat. Every fellow—including Bunter himself—had taken it for granted that the fat Owl was “for it. Undoubtedly he was the fellow with the news! “Has that packet been found. quite puzzled. “Anyhow.” “Intact. Smithy! You see. Certainly he did not look like a fellow who was bunked. In the lowest of spirits. derisively. “Do I look whopped?” asked Bunter. Scores of fellows stared at him as he reappeared— dozens of voices hailed him. or sacked. . that was it. Billy Bunter’s grin became. and with reluctant feet trod the corridor to his headmaster’s study. he’s got it. “Oh. but he told me that the packet has been found and that the banknotes in it were tacked—I think he said tacked—. It was quite a startling change in Bunter. hallo!” “Here he is!” “Bunked?” “Sacked?” “Whopped?” “What’s the jolly old verdict?” Billy Bunter rolled out of the house. or whopped. Bunter was enjoying this. waited for him to emerge. wondering what was going to happen to the fat Owl.” “And what did he say?” demanded Bob. he. “The whopfulness does not seem to have been terrific.There was no help for it. Bunter was grinning! He had gone into the house looking as if he found life at Greyfriars barely worth living. Billy Bunter rolled into the House.” agreed Bunter. he!” cachinnated Bunter. perhaps!” suggested Nugent. Chapter XLIV ALL RIGHT FOR BUNTER! “HALLO. “ He didn’t go into particulars. “Isn’t that why he sent for you?” “He. wider still.” remarked Hurree Jamset Ram Singh. “No. “But what—?” “Didn’t the Head want that packet?” demanded Vernon-Smith. He almost strutted into the quad. if possible. “He. yes.” said Bunter. he! Do I look sacked?” “Or whopped?” asked Johnny Bull. he meant that they were all there. then?” exclaimed Bob Cherry. to hear the verdict. I’ve seen the old boy. he. Bunter nodded carelessly.
It was clear from his looks that his interview with the Head had gone off satisfactorily. “Oh. And I’m jolly well going to. “You needn’t deny it——you didn’t !” “We jolly well didn’t !” agreed Bob. I told you where it came from. and that’s jolly well that !” . only—.’ See?” “Oh. “He said. “He said that he was now acquainted with all the circumstances—that’s the way he talks. the Head gave me the quids. But this was the limit! “Mean to say you’ve got the banknote.” said Bunter. if he said you could keep it?” demanded half-a. “He said something about being careful in the explenditure of so much money——.” “I say. ha!” “Well. blinking reproachfully at the Famous Five through his big spectacles. “Yah! Anyhow. ha. “Well.” “In the whatter?” “Expenditure. “If the packet’s been found with the banknotes intact. “He would have. “Well.” “Ha. the head knows me better than you fellows do. “Pulling our leg all the time.” said Harry Wharton. really. perhaps. I haven’t exactly got the banknote.” said Bunter. laughing. Smithy—. ha. ha!” “No more than we do!” agreed Bob. ‘That tenner’s yours and you can stick to it.” “Well. of course—but he meant that he knew all about it. he approved of my keeping the banknote. if you fellows don’t. What he actually said was that.” “Oh!” “And he jolly well did!” said Bunter triumphantly.dozen fellows.” said Bunter. “ He said it was a large sum for a junior to have. then?” demanded Smithy “Well. He knows a fellow who would scorn to tell a lie.” “What?” came a general gasp.” “Oh.” “Only!” grinned Skinner. “Of course. “You fellows never believed me. or what?” asked Johnny Bull.” hooted Bunter. “A man came up to me when I was sitting on the Cloister wall—. Of course.” admitted Bunter.” said Bunter.” “Gammon!” “Don’t tell us that one again !” implored Skinner.that was what the Head meant. “I can sort of hear the Head saying that!” “Ha. ha. you fellows.” said the Bounder. ha!” “Is he pulling our leg. where did Bunter’s banknote come from?” “The wherefulness is terrific. “Only I asked him to give me pound notes instead——. And he jolly well said that in the circumstances I could retain possession of the ten-pound note—which means that I can keep it. why didn’t the Head hand it to you. not those exact words!” yapped Bunter.” The juniors gazed at Bunter. “That’s what he said!” trilled Bunter. “The Head takes my word. “ fancied not!” grinned Skinner. my hat!” gasped Bob. I think the Head said explenditure.” “Ha. he doesn’t know about the whopping remittances I get from Bunter Court—. he was long-winded. great pip!” “And I believe he jolly well knows who the man was. being acquainted with all the circumstances.
like a homing pigeon. But he did not linger. A fat hand went into a sticky pocket. still sceptical. a fragment of an ancient bullseye adhering to one of them. Evidently there was going to be a sticky end for Billy Bunter’s Banknote. “What about that?” trilled Bunter. The tuck-shop called—a call irresistible to Bunter. “Look!” chirruped Bunter. THE END . It emerged with a wad of pound notes in it. Greater enjoyments were in store. Bunter had no time to waste. He headed for the place where there were foodstuffs.“Got ’em about you?” asked Skinner. It was the climax! Billy Bunter enjoyed that climax. With that windfall in his sticky fingers.
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