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