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