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