02- Billy Bunter's Banknote

BILLY BUNTER’S BANKNOTE

By FRANK RICHARDS
Illustrated by R. J. MACDONALD

CHARLES SKILTON LTD
LONDON

Chapter I CAKE FOR ONE! “I SAY, you fellows !” Harry Wharton and Frank Nugent, in No. 1 Study in the Greyfriars Remove, glanced round, as a fat voice squeaked in the doorway. Billy Bunter, his ample proportions almost filling the doorway from side to side, blinked in through his big spectacles. “Oh, here you are !” said Bunter, “I’ve been looking for you.” “Now go and look for somebody else !” suggested Harry Wharton. “Oh, really, Wharton—.” “And shut the door after you !” said Nugent. “Oh, really, Nugent—.” ‘Buzz off !” said both the juniors together: and they turned back to the occupation that Billy Bunter’s arrival had interrupted. It was tea-time ! There was a parcel on the study table. It was not a large parcel; but evidently it contained supplies for tea; and Billy Bunter’s eyes, and spectacles, lingered on it covetously. Wharton and Nugent were getting tea. They expected Bob Cherry, Johnny Bull, and Hurree Singh, to tea; and did not expect Billy Bunter. Neither did they seem happy to see him. Attractive fellow as Bunter knew himself to be, fellows never did seem exhilarated to see him at tea-time. Bunter was too quick a worker to be welcomed at the festive board when supplies were short. Nevertheless, had Bunter rolled in, no doubt he would have been allowed to remain, and annex his share—or rather more than his share—of what was going. But, to the surprise of the chums of the Remove, Bunter did not roll in. “If you fellows think I’ve come to tea—!” said Bunter. “Eh ! haven’t you?” “No!” roared Bunter, “ Think I want a whack in your measly two-bob cake? Fat lot there would be to go round! Besides, I never knew you had a cake. Thank goodness I’m not always thinking about grub, like some fellows.” “Oh, my hat!” “I’m going to tea with Mauly!” yapped Bunter. “Poor old Mauly!” “Well, if you haven’t come to tea, what have you come for?” asked Frank, “ Not just to spoil the view, I suppose?” “You fellows are for it! “ said Bunter, impressively, “ You’re up for a row, and I jolly well know why. I saw you knock Coker’s hat off in the quad after class.” Harry Wharton laughed. “Coker can come up and see us about it, if he likes,” he said. “ ’Tain’t Coker! It’s the Head! The Head wants to see you in his study. I fancy he saw you knock Coker’s hat off. Anyhow, he wants you. That’s why I’ve come up—not after your measly two bob cake!” added Bunter scornfully, “Head’s study at once—and you’d better pack some exercise books in your bags—he looked waxy!”

And with that, William George Bunter revolved on his axis, rolled out of the study doorway, and disappeared up the Remove passage. Harry Wharton and Frank Nugent looked at one another, across the table, in dismay. They did not want Bunter to tea—but Bunter to tea would have been better than a summons to the headmaster’s study. “Oh, rotten!” said Harry. “Putrid!” agreed Nugent. “I suppose he must have seen us from his study window!” grunted the captain of the Remove. “Blow! What does Coker’s silly hat matter anyhow?” “Bother Coker and his hat!” “Blow Coker!” It really was hard luck. Knocking off a Fifth-form man’s hat in the quad was regarded, in the Remove, merely as a harmless and necessary relaxation. Neither Horace Coker nor his hat mattered a boiled bean. Both were trifles light as air, from the point of view of the Remove. But if Dr. Locke had witnessed that trifling incident from his study window, it had a more serious aspect. Head-masters did not see eye to eye with juniors of the Lower School in such matters. “I suppose we’d better go!” grunted Wharton. “Sort of !” grinned Nugent, “Beaks don’t like Lower-Fourth fellows to keep them waiting! Only a jaw, I expect—the Old Man wouldn’t whop for that!” And the captain of the Remove and his chum left the study, and went down the passage to the stairs. From the door of No. 7 Study, further up the passage, a pair of little round eyes, and a pair of big round spectacles, watched them go. As Wharton and Nugent disappeared across the Remove landing, Billy Bunter rolled out of No. 7, grinning from ear to ear. He rolled into No. 1 study. Billy Bunter’s movements were generally slow: but on this occasion he rolled, like Iser in the poem, rapidly. “He, he, he!” chuckled Bunter, as two fat clutching hands closed on the parcel on the study table. Bunter had said that he did not want a whack in a two-bob cake. Bunter was not always veracious; but that statement was true. He didn’t want a whack in that cake. He wanted it all. Wharton had already untied the string of the parcel. Bunter proceeded to unwrap it. His happy grin grew more expansive as the cake was revealed. Bunter gloated over that cake. He was hungry. He had had tea in Hall, to make sure of something to go on with. He was going to have tea with Lord Mauleverer—if Mauly couldn’t help it. But there was plenty of room for the cake. He blinked round for a knife to cut it, found one in the table drawer, and was about to begin operations, when he gave a sudden jump. “ Hallo, hallo, hallo! “ came a cheery roar in the doorway. “Oh!” gasped Bunter. He spun round in alarm. In his keen concentration on the cake, he had not heard Bob Cherry coming. He blinked at a cheery face under a mop of flaxen hair in the doorway. Behind Bob was another Remove fellow, with a dusky smiling face and a flash of white teeth. “ Beast !” gasped Bunter. “ Making a fellow jump ! I—I say, you fellows, I—I was just coming up the passage to tell you—you’re wanted in the Head’s study. Knocking Coker’s hat off——.”

these interruptions were very annoying. before they gave it up. The Beak’s always worse if you keep him waiting—and he’s waiting now!” Oh. I see !” said a sarcastic voice in the doorway. Having tapped respectfully at the door of the Head’s study. and a solid slice. and settled down to enjoy life. and the coast was clear at last. But the Head was not there. and a fat hand grabbed the knife to cut another. “Come on.” “Well. Blow!” said Frank Nugent. It disappeared rapidly on the downward path. Bunter’s attention returned to the cake. dismally.” said Bunter. shaking his head. for knocking Coker’s hat off—he saw you from his window—. Blow Coker. Bull. but it did not last Bunter long. if the Head was not there— and Bunter was aware that the Head was not there. trailed off down the passage to the two stairs. much to Bunter’s relief. Blow!” “The blowfulness is terrific!” said Hurree Jamset Ram Singh. Once more there was a sound of champing in No. “You’ve started. Chapter II IN THE HEAD’S STUDY “BOTHER!” said Harry Wharton. or you’d have found me.” “You didn’t look in my study. He’s waiting for you” Snort from Johnny Bull. You’d better cut off. That was more than ample time for Bunter. Billy Bunter grinned again when they were gone. He did not fear any more interruptions: Harry Wharton and Co. And the two juniors. Fellows sent for to the Head’s study had to wait. 1 Study. 1 Study—and a happy fat Owl finished the cake to the last crumb and the last plum. “Where are the fellows?” Billy Bunter whirled round. “ Anyhow he sent me up to tell you. crossly : and he went down the passage with his heavy tread. It had not occurred to them that Billy Bunter. but Wharton asked me to unpack this parcel for him while he was gone. All the Famous Five were gone to the Head’s study now. we’re all in it. “And I don’t suppose the Head cares a hoot about Coker and his hat. instead of coming into No. and entered that apartment. . “Oh! They’ve gone to the Head!” gasped Bunter. “You’re wanted too. at least. had invented that message from the Head. with felonious designs on the cake. It was a large slice. Billy Bunter sliced the cake. 1 Study. If there’s going to be a row about Coker’s silly hat. and blow his hat !” he said. I’ve been looking for you to tell you—. and the most active jaws at Greyfriars School opened wide. and blinked in great exasperation at Johnny Bull of the Remove. I only kicked it after Wharton had knocked it off ——”answered Bob. The Head wants the whole lot of you.“I didn’t knock Coker’s hat off. A large slice was sliced off the cake. I fancy it’s that. cheerily. Wharton and Nugent have gone already. There was a sound of champing in No. Bunter considered. It was really disconcerting. were not likely to come back yet. they naturally expected to find the Head there—as he had sent for them.” “I—I was just coming. But at that point there was once more an interruption. Really. Inky. blow!” said Bob. having seen him go out! They would wait a quarter of an hour.

and then at the waiting juniors.” Bob Cherry sat on the edge of the Head’s writing table. in great relief.” “The esteemed and idiotic Bunter told us that the Head was waiting for us. Wharton gave him a warning look. . “Oh!” gasped Bob again. the head-master’s secretary. And they waited.” remarked Bob.” said Harry Wharton. But it was not the Head who entered. blow !” said Bob. and a pair of watery eyes that blinked through rimless pince-nez. “ The Beak can’t expect a fellow to stand around on his hind legs waiting for him. I suppose. a fellow wants to get it over.” grunted Wharton.” Tap! Johnny Bull came into the study. I suppose? If the jolly old beak is losing his jolly old memory—. Tap! The study door opened again. and they looked round.“Wait. They came in with the meek and respectful air proper to juniors entering the presence of their head-master: which. Obviously his words must have been heard as the door opened.’’ It was Mr. perhaps. “What a rotten fuss to make about knocking Coker’s hat off. expecting to see Dr.” remarked Hurree Jamset Ram Singh. as he told Bunter to send us here. when he comes in. as Bob Cherry came in. “Bunter said—. suddenly. Locke. Dash it all. hallo!” exclaimed Bob. Can’t have forgotten sending for us. Locke. followed by Hurree Jamset Ram Singh.” “Oh. so far as I can see. “Better not let the head see you there when he comes in !” he said. Oh.” he began. Wouldn’t have mattered much if we’d knocked his head off. as soon as they saw that the Head was not present. “I shan’t push for a front place. “I suppose so!” agreed Nugent. blow. “Only Twiss.” said Bob.” “Bit cheeky of the Old Man to keep fellows hanging about at tea-time. so they’re entitled to the first whops when the head blows in. a headmaster ought to keep an appointment when he makes one. Stepped out to speak to Quelch. “Join the queue. as the study door opened—without a tap this time! “Oh!” gasped Bob. a receding chin. What the thump is he keeping us waiting like this for? If it’s a whopping. dropped from them like a cloak.” Bob Cherry broke off. was alarming to contemplate. Nothing in it. “He can’t be long. hallo. He fairly bounded off the writing-table.” Johnny Bull chuckled. All the juniors spun round towards the door. and what their effect might be on Dr. “ I want my tea. a pale complexion. He stared at the Head’s writing table and empty chair. “We’re waiting for him instead. “Where’s the jolly old beak?” “Goodness knows! We’re waiting for him. the venerable Head of Greyfriars School. Hallo. I suppose.” answered Bob.” “Better not. “ Wharton and Nugent were here first.” he remarked. “Can’t tell him so. laughing. You come last.” “Same here!” “The samefulness is terrific. and swung his long legs. anyhow. Twiss. It was a little gentleman with fluffy hair.

“We came here because Bunter told us—. I have work to do here.’’ said Harry.” “Oh.” “If you have come here to play some foolish trick in your head-master’s study—.” “Lucky he did come in. Can’t you take a fellow’s word?” he demanded. Twiss closed the door after them with a snap. “ Dr. bother Twiss.” grunted Johnny Bull. He said he was going to tea with Mauly —we’ll burst him all over Mauly’s study——. they looked at one another again.” “We’ve done nothing!” growled Bob. impatiently. the better. with a deep breath. drily. Twiss gave Bob a rather severe glance. “What are you boys doing here?” he exclaimed. in startled chorus. Mr. he couldn’t have sent for them. you have no business here. “Suspicious little beast!” said Bob. Go away at once. “ You have no right to enter this study in your head-master’s absence. this evening. Equally evidently.” “Dr. at least. Twiss. Evidently.” “We were told to come here—!” stammered Nugent. “I’ve told you that Dr. Twiss. Twiss. Locke. “ Whether you came here to play some disrespectful trick.” answered Wharton. 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—.” explained Harry Wharton. was glad to see him now—instead of his head-master! Mr. He can think what he likes.” Harry Wharton and Co.” Mr. evidently surprised to find them collected in the head-master’s study. “ scoffing cake. “ He thinks we were up to something in the beak’s study—.” He was standing with his hand on the door.” “He was in your study when I saw him. Twiss was a newcomer at the school. or whether some foolish boy has deluded you. “We were told by a fellow in our form that the Head had sent for us—. curtly.” grunted Johnny Bull. “By gum !” “Will you please go?” snapped Mr. Locke in the morning. at Popper Court.” snapped Mr. If you have done anything here—.” “Wha-a-at?” ejaculated the five juniors. “If this is Bunter’s idea of a joke. “If I find anything amiss in this study. Dr. Twiss set the door wide open. Locke is dining with Sir Hilton Popper. if the Head had gone to dine at Popper Court. and he left the school an hour ago. having entered the Head’s service only that term. Mr. Locke certainly did not send for you.” We’ve been sent for.Mr. and no doubt he knew nothing whatever about the misadventures of Coker’s hat! “That fat villain Bunter—!” breathed Bob Cherry. it’s time he learned not to be so funny. Then he looked round the little crowd of juniors. please. looked at one another. I shall have no alternative but to report you to Dr.” “Please leave this study at once. “Nonsense!” Snort from Johnny Bull. Locke sent for us to come here. “Pulling our leg!” said Johnny Bull.” .” retorted Mr.” he said. “We’re waiting for Dr. In the corridor. and Mr. The juniors had seen little of him : and were not interested in him : but Bob. Twiss. Twiss seemed suspicious. and the sooner you go. he couldn’t be expecting to see five members of the Lower Fourth Form in his study. “Leave this study. “You had better go. Locke has certainly done nothing of the kind.” The juniors left the study.

“I—I say. But a change came o’er the spirit of his dream. They had not.” “Here he is!” “Where’s that cake?” “The wherefulness is terrific. While the Famous Five were wasting time in the Head’s study. after all. They left him to splutter. he was not satisfied with his plunder. It was just ill-luck that Herbert VernonSmith was coming out of the Remove passage as they rushed into it. He had lots of time—those fellows might wait an hour. standing at the open study cupboard.” “So you knew he wasn’t there. But he was not finished in Wharton’s study. They came across the Remove landing with a rush. “Oh. “Did you fellows have a cake? I never saw a cake—. Bunter thought. So there was Bunter. They rushed up the staircase. you fellows—. and rushed on to No. he hasn’t gone out in the car. after all. He understood at last. He spun round from the study cupboard in No. you fat fraud. and I never heard him tell the chauffeur to drive to Popper Court—. Not a crumb or a plum remained—not the ghost of a crumb or a plum. Bunter had finished the cake. You’ll get into an awful row if you don’t wait for him in his study—. haven’t you been to the Head?” gasped Bunter. you had to wait if he wasn’t in his study. and five fellows in a bunch burst into the study. as there was a rush of feet in the passage. Five wrathful juniors ran for the stairs.“Cake!” repeated Nugent. “ I—I say. that something more than a cake must have been provided for tea for five fellows. It was—or had been—a nice cake. it had taken the keen edge off his appetite. They did not even see him till they crashed.” “You podgy pirate—!” “I—I say. “Oh! Ow! Wharrer you up to?” The Bounder sat up and spluttered. as the poet puts it. 1 Study. 1. at least half-an-hour.” Oh! No! I never saw him go out before I came up to the studies—so far as I know. Bunter was not wasting time in No. waited very long for the Head! “Oh!” gasped Bunter. It stood to reason. with a squeak of alarm. “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. There was a yell from Smithy as he was strewn in the passage. Chapter III WHO HAD THE CAKE? BILLY BUNTER jumped. 1 Study in the Remove— he was dealing with the cake! “Come on !” roared Bob. for the Head. Bunter had enjoyed it.” “Where’s that cake?” “Eh ! What cake?” asked Bunter. and sighed for fresh worlds to conquer.” .” “You fat brigand—. Like Alexander of old. Added to tea in Hall. had to wait so long in the Head’s study as Bunter had happily calculated. in search of the something more. my hat! That’s why !” “The whyfulness is terrific!” “Oh!” exclaimed Harry. blinking into it. It seemed that they had not.

with one voice. “I—I’d rather not go and see Coker. “I say. “Yes. and he said you were an obstreperous rhinoceros.” said Harry Wharton. and so—so I had to let him walk off with the cake. The—the fact is—. after—after you were gone!” gasped Bunter. “Come on!” “Oh!” gasped Bunter.” Bunter dodged actively round the study table.” said Bunter. you fellows.” “Oh. I—I’ve got to see . while— while he was snooping the cake.” “He. “O.” “Did he?” gasped harry Wharton.” urged Bunter. you jolly well go to Coker’s study in the Fifth. In fact. “He— he collared the cake. too. I—I’d have stopped him. “You fellows go and see Coker about it.” “You fat villain. 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. you know. He—he said you were a coal-black nigger. He said. Bob. “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 —.” “We won’t make a fuss about a teeny-weeny slice—where’s the rest?” “The—the rest? “ stammered Bunter. he. “I’d jolly well rag him for it. “I—I haven’t had the cake. ‘Tell Wharton I’m bagging his cake for knocking my hat off!’ Those very words.” “That’s right!” gasped Bunter. my hat!” ejaculated Bob Cherry. If Billy Bunter hoped to get by with that. Wharton.” said Bob. “ You’ll find him and Potter and Greene scoffing that cake. Inky! I—I’d jolly well go after him. “Ananias was a fool to that chap! George Washington wasn’t in the same street with him. in alarm. he said so.” “If you fellows don’t believe me—!” “Believe you! Oh.” said Bob.” said Bunter. He called you names.“You never saw the cake you were bolting when I looked in?” asked Johnny Bull.” Harry Wharton and Co. “You sent us to wait for the Head in his study. I—I expect he did it because you knocked his hat off. But the idea of a Fifth-form senior snooping a cake in a junior study was a little too steep. crumbs!” “Well. when you knew he’d gone to Popper Court—.K. He—he said you were a stuck-up young ass.” “Eh !” “As a witness that he had the cake.” “I didn’t !” roared Bunter. he!” “And you scoffed the cake while we were gone—. in great relief. “We’ll go after him—. do listen to a chap! I never had the cake—another fellow had it. “ Oh! I—I——. if I were you. if I could—but— but Coker was too big for me to tackle. “And we’ll take you with us—. it showed that Billy Bunter was an optimist. They were not likely to believe that Coker of the Fifth had raided that cake. “Yes! He—he came into the study. old chap.” “Collar him!” “Scrag him!” “I say. with a longing blink at the door.” “Coker!” repeated the Famous Five.. gazed at William George Bunter.

“she—she ate it on the table.” “He never ate it. but he knows there were hardly any plums in it. “I—I say. ha. Kebble’s cat—he ate it—I mean she ate it. 1 Study and the Remove passage outside. “Yarooh! Leggo! Beasts! I say— whooop !” “Is he heavy?” gasped Bob Cherry. only—only I—I could see the poor thing was hungry. you know—. Kebble’s cat! That cat’s always nosing into the studies. crikey! Gurrrrgh! I say— . I— I’d have stopped her. “Plenty of room to take hold—. “Shake it out of him. 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.” “Oh.” “Ha.a chap up the passage—Mauly’s expecting me—.” “We know you’re fond of one animal. Cats don’t get much these days. 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—.” “Take hold of his ears. Cherry—. Kebble’s cat walking off with a cake!” “Ha. ha. “A fat animal named Bunter. crumbs! Help! I say. you fellows. with combined efforts.” Billy Bunter executed a backward jump. it was the cat—. really. Kebble’s cat had it—and it’s inside Bunter all the time. you fellows yaroop! Oh.” agreed Bob. Bunter. “Coker had it —and Mrs. Mrs.” said Bob. it—it wasn’t Coker! Now—now I come to think of it.” agreed Bob. “I’ve told you.” “And now. it—it wasn’t Coker at all!” “I rather thought it wasn’t. Christopher Columbus!” said Bob Cherry. “I can sort of see Mrs.” said Bob. “Ooooooogh!” spluttered Bunter.” “We shall never see that cake again. “ She had Smithy’s sardines the other day! Now—now she’s had your cake. as he blinked dizzily.” said Bob. as actively as a kangaroo. as Bunter whirled. “Ha. upside down.” “Oh. and his fat head tapped on the floor of the study. really.” hooted Bunter. you know—you know I’m fond of animals—. ha!” “She—she didn’t exactly walk it off!” stammered Bunter. But they handled it.” said Bob. A frantic yell awoke all the echoes of No.” “The cat!” yelled the Famous Five. “Ow! Oh. “Yes.” gasped Bunter. The study walls seemed to whirl round Bunter. where’s that cake?” demanded Johnny Bull. I—I was sorry for her. without an X-ray outfit. Five pairs of hands grasped Bunter. crikey Oooogh!” Even five sturdy fellows did not find it easy to handle Billy Bunter’s uncommon weight. But it booted not. ha!” “Cough it up. you know. “I mean. The fat Owl of the Remove was swept off his feet. through his spectacles. Billy Bunter’s feet went into the air. “unless we shake it out of Bunter.” “Oh. “Coker of the Fifth—I mean Mrs. hear!” “Collar him!” Billy Bunter made another backward jump. ha. What about up-ending him and shaking it out?” “Good egg!” “Hear.

and jump on him. “stand round him. “I say. and I can’t find anything in his study. have you got sardines? Good! I say. you fellows—. at all events. and Billy Bunter vanished again. I never had that cake— it was Catter of the Fifth—I mean. “I say.” said Bob.pip-pay for the kik-kik-cake! Oooogh! Leggo my legs. “Oooch! Leggo! Wooooh!” Shake! shake! shake! “Urrrrggh!” “Is that cake coming?” asked Bob. . no larks. ha. ha !” Harry Wharton shut the door after the fleeing fat Owl. When I say three. and the chums of the Remove sorted a rather sparse tea out of the study cupboard. ha. and a fat face and a big pair of spectacles blinked cautiously in. There was a howl in the Remove passage. ha. I’ll yell for a prefect! I’ll get Wingate up here. ha. crikey! Oh. Billy Bunter rolled and roared. Bob Cherry chuckled. The cake that was to have graced the festive board was gone—with Bunter : but they supposed that they were done with Bunter.” urged Bunter. all jump together!” Billy Bunter sat up. Bob Cherry picked it up—and Bunter eyed him warily. “Look here—!” he gasped. you know. “I say.” Billy Bunter made one bound to his feet.” Shake! shake! “Oh. I don’t think I should care much for it now if it did——. Five minutes later the door was cautiously opened from without. ha!” “Leggo my legs! If you don’t leggo my legs. “Gone!” he said. you fellows. if you like!” gurgled Bunter. “Now. I say. and another to the doorway. They were not quite done with Bunter. “I’m expecting a postal-order to-morrow. with a bump that shook the study. “ After all. He vanished into the passage. “One!” said Bob. and I’ll pip. “I say. But it did not seem so to Bunter. Coker of the cat——I mean—.” Whiz! It is said proverbially that half a loaf is better than no bread. I’ll pay for the cake.urrrrrrggh!” “Ha. This time he stayed vanished. and say—Yarooooooh!” Bunter’s fat legs were suddenly released. “Ha. as that half-loaf landed on a fat chin. “ I wonder if Bunter fancied we were going to jump on him!” “Ha. Mauly’s gone out. The plumpest form at Greyfriars School landed on the floor. ha!” “Ooogh! Leggo! I say. you fellows. scissors! Will you leggo my legs?” shrieked Bunter. ha!” “Gurrrrggh !” spluttered Bunter. But that was a little error.” There was a half-loaf of bread on the table.” “Ha. you fellows—!” “Two!” Bob Cherry did not get to “three. “It’s not coming!” said Bob. you beasts.

hard at work— more or less. Not that you can spell better than I can. as a matter of choice. and stared across the table at his fat study-mate. to make a good impression on Mr.” explained Bunter. as he resumed prep. “Why. All the Lower Fourth were in their studies. Quelch had set his form to prepare. still sarcastic.” Peter did cackle. “Oh. when I’ve got to get through this letter home. of course.’ Me. “So I want to make this letter jolly good. you know! That’s the sort of justice we get here. was giving prep a miss. I could spell your head off. “I know there’s one at least. a fellow wants to be sure—and I’ve forgotten. “He’s prejudiced. 7. Toddy ?” “Fathead!” “Beast!” “What about prep?” asked Peter. Bunter was busy—though not with prep. But on this occasion it was not laziness that had supervened. “How many whatter in which?” asked Peter.” said Bunter.” “That’s rot. Still. Toddy. He actually used the word ‘lazy—’. looked up from his prep. “chancing it” with Quelch in the morning. “I’ve no time for prep.” “Lazy! Now what could have put that into Quelch’s head?” asked Peter. Look it out in the dick. Prep was on in the Remove. “I shouldn’t put any. as often happened. “I’m writing home.’ Toddy?” “Eh ?” Peter Todd. as he had said. can you? I don’t want any mistakes in spelling.” “Must be hard to please !” remarked Toddy.” said Bunter.Chapter IV BUNTER WRITES HOME ! “How many K’s in ‘succeeded. The pater wasn’t awfully pleased with my last report—. He wanted. He seemed rather surprised by Bunter’s question. that a fellow might not be called on for “con” and the fat Owl hoped for the best. Often did Billy Bunter adorn the study armchair with his fat person. “ I don’t think you’ll impress your pater an awful lot with your spelling. with a deep sarcasm that was wholly and entirely lost on Bunter. and I want to be particularly careful about the spelling in this letter. Toddy?” Peter Todd chuckled. just for the moment. “K’s in ‘succeeded’. irritably. Bunter—a . said Bunter.’ Are there one or two. will you. if you sprinkle any K’s in that word. Peter Todd and Tom Dutton were giving their attention to the section of the Æneid which Mr. in a numerous form. there was always a hope.” “Oh. crumbs !” said Toddy. William George Bunter. of the Remove. Billy Bunter. Mr. how many K’s there are in ‘succeeded.” said Bunter. just to impress the pater. There won’t be any time after prep —Squiff’s going to have doughnuts in his study— I heard him tell Bob Cherry so. “He rather runs me down. Quelch really was not a form-master with whom it was safe to “chance it”: still. to begin with. Quelch wasn’t very nice about it. and still wasting his sarcasm. “ You can’t be too careful when you’re writing home for money. blow prep. In No.” he answered.” said Bunter. while Toddy and Dutton did their prep. Billy Bunter wrinkled his fat brows over that letter home. Peter Todd —you can’t spell for toffee. you know. I think I’ll put one K and chance it—I’m pretty certain that’s right. And you jolly well needn’t cackle. he even said ‘untruthful. “Well.

before the Y—. “I say. glancing at his Æneid. I heard the pater say it was going to be a bear market.” and “stags. Toddy—. sometimes a bear.’ Toddy?” “Not quite. and at home in the holidays Bunter often beard of bulls.” said Bunter. “ 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. and he ought to be when I tell him I’ve succeeded in getting Quelch’s good opinion by working hard at my lessons—.” went on Bunter. “You get the profits. blankly. . Dutton.” Tom Dutton did not look up from prep. loftily. you make lots and lots of money. Bunter. Fat lot of good asking you—you can’t spell for nuts.” “Don’t jaw. fearsome creatures that haunted the purlieus of Throgmorton Street. hopefully. without looking up.” said Bunter. “Is there a Y in ‘opinion’ ?” “Of course there is.” said Bunter. “I say. You see. “How do you spell ‘opinion’ ?” “Pinion?” repeated Dutton.” “The Y !” repeated Peter Todd. Billy Bunter blinked at him impatiently. That’s how you make money on the Stock Exchange. “Well. is there a double—N in ‘opinion’? I don’t mean at the end of the word—but in the middle. Dutton had the disadvantage—or the advantage. there’s no reason why he shouldn’t stand me a decent remittance perhaps a fiver—especially if he’s pleased with this letter.” “Sounds more like the Zoo to me. 7 Study was lost on him.” “Ye gods!” said Peter. you know. “Eh! Did you speak!” he asked. He’s a bear. and at odd times a stag. and he’s a bear. Tom Dutton looked up at that. if the pater’s making lots of profits. as he went on with his work. perhaps. Bunter was sometimes a bull. Well. you sell a lot of shares you haven’t got. I wonder if Dutton knows. you silly ass !” roared Bunter.” and “bears. 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. “Might even be a tenner. I’m going to stand a spread in the study if I get a remittance from home with this letter. Now. Exactly what the difference might be among “bulls.K. “No. thoughtfully. when you’re a bear in a bear market. There’s nothing about pinions here. The pater’s been making a lot of money lately.” said Peter. and then you get—. “I say. “No more than you do!” agreed Peter. He shook his head. Last hols. “You don’t understand these things. but he’s a bear now.” “Well.” said Toddy.” said Bunter. Not for the first time. Snort from Bunter. And Bunter was badly in want of a remittance.” “He’s a whatter?” “A bear. I think it’s a double-N. and bears. unconscious that he was being addressed. Dutton!” roared Bunter. Billy Bunter’s father was a stockbroker.” said Bunter. peevishly. and most of the conversation in No.” “Oh. and stags. and Peter Todd chuckled. crikey!” said Bunter. changing like a chameleon according to the state of the market. “No. Toddy.good impression might mean a remittance. Peter. I shouldn’t put it like that. as he was Bunter’s study-mate——of being deaf. he had been disappointed about a postal-order he was expecting.” Bunter did not quite know—but he knew that Mr.” “Run in ?” asked Peter. Now shut up. I think it will be O. “ He was a bull last year. I say.

” “I didn’t say pinion—I said opinion !” shrieked Bunter. I am sorry to say that I am short of munny as everything is now so ekspensive. Your affectshonate Sun. Quelch will drop on you.” Billy Bunter did not “jaw” any more. Blessed if I see anything to cackle at. crumbs ! Know how to spell ‘opinion’ ?” raved Bunter. “I tell you there’s nothing about a pinion here—nothing at all. and said that verry phew fellows in the Remove spelt like me. In class this morning he komplimented me on my speling. what’s the good of asking me?” said Dutton gruffly. “ There’s nothing about a spell here. and seemed satisfied. ha!” yelled Peter. I can tell you it won’t do for Quelch.” “Better let her!” repeated Dutton. Look at that. ha. Toddy?” “Ha. get on with it. ha!” gurgled Peter. I thought you wood like to heer this as it shows how hard I wurk at skool.” he said. It ran: Deer Father. William. But if you think you know better. any more than there is about a pinion.” said Dutton. I daresay Mercury had pinions. He read it through. He grunted. blinking at him. if you hand it out in con. I’ve never heard of a double-ended pinion anyway. “Utter rot !” said Torn.” said Bunter. Not better—letter. “Well. Quelch’s good opinnyon by wurking hard at my lessons. Put it that he faded into the dark night. Bunter. wich gives an edge to a fellow’s appytight. and spread them when he flew off—but Virgil doesn’t say so. while Toddy and Dutton went on with prep.’’ “If you know better. What do you think?” Peter looked at the letter. I am riting these phew lines bekawse I think you will be pleezed to hear that I am getting on verry well in form. “Jaw” was really Bunter’s long suit: but he found it fatiguing with his deaf study-mate. “A double-ended pinion? No! I keep on telling you that there’s nothing about a pinion at all. blankly. Sumtimes I am verry tired but I do not cair becawse I am keene on getting a good plaice in form. Also I am offen hungry as the phood is not reely snffishent for a fellow who is always playying strennewus games. “Who ?” “Oh. ha.’’ howled Bunter. “Now don’t jaw any more—I’ve got to get through. He gasped as he looked.” “ Eh?” “Is there a double—N in ‘opinion’ ?” yelled Bunter. and went on with his letter home. and you’d better not. What makes you think it was a spell?” “I didn’t say spell—I said spell—. “I said letter. The fat Owl had finished his letter by the time his study-mates had finished prep.“Sic fatus nocti se immiscuit atrae—is that where you are?” asked Dutton. Have you. not a spell.” “I didn’t say better. and that I have sukseeded in getting Mr. “What are you . “I’m not doing prep—I’m writing a letter. I can tell you that. I should be very glad to receeve a pownd noat. and if the mater could send me a plumm kake it would be verry welkom. and I have no dowt that my nekst report will be a reel corker. Toddy. “I fancy the pater will think my spelling’s all right this time. “Ha. Mercury appeared to Æneas in his sleep—it was a dream. “You’d better not put in rot like that.

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,

and Johnny. The frown he bestowed on the hapless five was like unto the frightful. “ I have been knocked over! Ugggh. leaned on the gate-post and spluttered for breath. so long as you don’t say any more.” But the chums of the Remove did not stay to listen to what Johnny had told them. “What? what? Certainly I am hurt—I have had a very painful shock.” said Harry. when Mr. looked at one another. Twiss jerked himself away from supporting hands. knocked over and winded by Bob as he charged out of the gateway. I am breathless! Oooooh.” “We were only taking a short cut. Mr. frantic frown of the Lord High Executioner. Harry Wharton ran forward to give Mr. He set the pince-nez straight on his nose.” We hope you’re not hurt. Twiss grabbed his hat from the Nahob. Twiss. Twiss to keep silent on the subject. “I told you so !” remarked Johnny Bull. Quelch—I am surprised— shocked—disgusted! Pah!” Mr. Nugent and Johnny Bull lent Wharton a hand in helping Mr. if it came to that: and there was a hope.” gasped Mr. Evidently he was in a very bad temper.” gasped Bob. Come on——no good being late for roll after all. and walked on up the tow-path. “I said——. and jammed it on his ruffled fluffy hair. esteemed sahib. They raced along the tow-path towards the school.” Mr. There was going to be a row. sir. grunting. Bob Cherry. that was certain. It did not occur to them. supported by the anxious juniors.” We didn’t see you. And there he was— sprawling at their feet. Still panting for breath. Prout.” “What? what? Nonsense ! I shall certainly report you to Mr.” said Bob. sir. Hurree Jamset Ram Singh ran to retrieve his hat. five rather breathless voices answered “adsum” with the rest. “Here is your estimable hat. that it was an odd circumstance that the Head’s secretary had been coming in at the gate of that disreputable inn. “I told you—. just as Gosling was about to close them.” said Hurree Jamset Ram Singh. “We’re fearfully sorry—. sir—. They were “spotted” out of bounds by someone belonging to Greyfriars: and they could hardly expect Mr. glared. “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. They were really sorry that the little man had been knocked over. And when Mr. Ugggh. “What—who—you rushed into me. not yet recovered from the shock.” “Never mind what you said. fearful. “Ooooch!” gurgled Mr. “Awfully sorry. raced after them. too. Twiss a hand to help him to rise. Twiss up.or remembered his existence. called the names in hall. He stood unsteadily. . “What a go!” murmured Bob.” “The sorrowfulness is terrific.” said Nugent. Twiss was helped to his feet. meekly. the master of the Fifth. at the five dismayed juniors. Twiss reported them: and being late for roll would not improve matters. Harry Wharton and Co. sir—. sir. Twiss. They arrived at the school gates with a burst of speed. he turned his back on them. for the moment. that kind attentions might produce a placating effect. and stared—or rather.

and somewhat severe countenance of Mr. Bunter?” “Oh! Lines. no. Mr.” “What! What was not you. Toddy. certainly. Quelch. which was a relief to the fat Owl. what had I better do?” “Cut off and take your lines to Quelch. yes.” “Have you written your lines. It was not a missing pie—it was lines. but it didn’t sound true.” “A pie!” repeated Mr. It was true. You can ask Skinner—he knows! I gave him some. old chap. would probably not have been gratified to hear himself alluded to as “Henry. It was very disconcerting. “ I—I mean. Bunter?” “Oh ! Nothing. and bring them to my study. But if they had to face that gimlet-eye. and sometimes later than that. expecting the gimlet-eye to fix on them.” “Now for the chopper !” sighed Nugent. sir! I mean. “Bunter!” rapped out Mr. That remark was not loud enough for “Henry” to hear. Obviously Quelch had not come for them—so it seemed to the breakers of bounds. sir.” gasped Bunter. Bunter—. somebody’s pie lay heavy on Billy Bunter’s guilty conscience. anything! That is. sir. I—I say. They stood waiting. fathead. The juniors certainly did not want to face Quelch’s gimlet-eye. frowning. they expected to be called in by their form-master. “Eh! You told Quelchy you’d written them. till after prep. Bunter had lines—he generally had. Quelch.” explained Bunter.” There was a chuckle in the Rag. Mr. you know. as he always left them till the last possible moment. sir—. The gimlet-eye fixed on a fat figure at a little distance. Quelch. I certainly haven’t had a pie today. with a tale that they had been out of bounds simply for the harmless and necessary purpose of taking a short cut. I haven’t had time to write them. He glared. sir. departed from the doorway. “ I—I say. “Oh. Henry Samuel Quelch. I don’t know anything about it. Go and fetch them at once. sir They’re in my study.” said Mr. sir!” Bunter blinked at his form-master in alarm. “Yes. He spun round. Quelch did not smile. To their surprise and relief. “Beast!” breathed Bunter. nothing! I—I mean. They had scraped in just in time for roll. if it’s anything about a pie. Quelch did not look at them. Evidently. Quelch appeared in the doorway. “It wasn’t me. Perhaps Twiss had not yet come in—or perhaps he had not yet taken the trouble to report to Quelch.” You should have brought them to me. “Yes. “But there ain’t any lines. sir. It was now nearly time for prep.” answered Toddy.Chapter VI THE SWORD OF DAMOCLES “HERE comes Henry!” murmured Bob Cherry. Bunter.” “Oh. “Oh. blankly. They were in the Rag. sir. think it would go down if I told Quelch I left them on the . but the call had not yet come. really. The Famous Five were not in a happy mood. The gimlet-eye roved over the crowd of juniors in the room. sir!” stammered Bunter.” “Oh! Yes! That—that was only a figure of speech. But as soon as Twiss came in from his walk. when the lean figure. They did not want the thing hanging over their heads. so that was all right. Quelch. severely. like the sword of Damocles. they wanted to get it over.” Mr. “You utterly stupid boy. “Oh!” ejaculated Bunter. master of the Greyfriars Remove. sir.

He gave me six of the very best —.” He broke off.” “Serve you jolly well right !” grunted Johnny Bull. “We want to get it over. “If you don’t believe it. “Not us.” said Johnny Bull. “Well.” “It’s true !” snapped Wharton. “Did he believe it?” The captain of the Remove made no reply to that.” said Hurree Jamset Ram Singh. “Well. say so !” said Bob Cherry. you come with me.” murmured Bob Cherry. as the Bouncier winked.” “Bound to come. . and ran into Twiss on the tow-path. “Did you think Quelchy was after you? You looked like it ! What have you been up to?” “Nothing really. Billy Bunter yelled. and rolled out of the Rag—with the problem of those unwritten lines still unsolved. I know all about these short cuts. The Bounder laughed. imperturbably. I did tell you so—. “Did you tell Twiss you were taking a short cut?” asked Smithy. And that’s what he thinks. hopefully. dismally.” said the Bounder. old chap. Quelch would believe you—he mightn’t me— you know he makes out that I’m untruthful. Besides. Smithy. who were standing in a group by the window. put it plain—and I’ll push your nose through the hack of your head. surely. I told him so.” “Bother him!” said Harry. and they blew out of window?” “Hardly!” chuckled Peter. “He’s bound to report fellows he spots pub-crawling.” “Mightn’t be going to report us after all!” said Bob. with a nod.crawling like you do. “After all.” answered Harry Wharton.” We shouldn’t have taken that short cut. and—. look here. You can’t expect it to wash with Quelch. quietly. you men? “ Herbert Vernon-Smith joined the Famous Five. 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. I was taking a short cut myself by the ‘Cross Keys’ last week when Wingate of the Sixth spotted me. “I’ll do as much for you another time. quite !” he agreed. “Oh. “ We were late and took a short cut across the ‘Three Fishers’ grounds. “Yes !” growled Wharton.” “What’s the row.” “What?” yelled Peter. you fellows. He just kicked. “I told you so at the time. Twiss must be in by this time. “Henry hasn’t heard yet. “If you think we go pub.” “Then don’t tell us any more !” suggested Bob. and tell Quelch you saw them blow out of the window—. “The boundfulness is terrific.” “Thanks.” said Nugent. “My nose will do very well where it is. “It was too thin—but the best I could think out in the circumstances.” “That’s rot! “ said Johnny Bull. and—.study table. 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. “But the ridiculous suspense is preposterously infuriating.

” said Harry.” “How could I help it!” growled Bob.” “If that’s true—!” “If !” roared Bob.” said the Bounder. “Oh. I know we did! But if we hadn’t——. and strolled away.” Johnny Bull’s comrades glared at him. “That does it !” said Bob. gum ! That tears it. “We were putting on speed.” said Nugent.” “He turned in at the gate !” repeated Smithy.” “Blow him terrifically!” said Hurree Jamset Ram Singh. I did tell you so!” Johnny pointed out. on the Remove landing. and the juniors went up to their studies for prep. If you’ve got it right.” said Bob. look at it. He pushed hack his cuffs. and they were worried.” “What on earth was Twiss doing.” “Oh. of course. Head-master’s secretaries aren’t supposed to drop in at pubs like the ‘Three Fishers.” “Why not?” asked Nugent. and made no sign. Now bump him for being right.” said Harry Wharton. it’s rather queer. “Piffle!” said Nugent. “If we hadn’t taken that short cut—!” said Johnny Bull. blandly. come to think of it. “Twiss looks like a little tame rabbit. in the distance. hear!” “Hold on—leggo—look here—I say—Whoooo!” roared Johnny Bull. if you’ve got it right. Must have been a clumsy ass to crash into him. then. “But we did!” howled Bob. “Bosh !” said Bob. But the fact that Johnny had “told them so” was not. “Yes. and telling us so. “Blow the man!” growled Bob Cherry. Johnny Bull was right —there was no doubt about that—they oughtn’t to have taken that short cut. “ He must have come in —why can’t he put Quelch wise and get it over. “Johnny’s right— he’s always right. He had told them so—that was not to be denied. and—.” “Hear. It was exasperating. he won’t want to advertise it.” “Well.” “Oh.” “Well. as they went up—but the Remove master did not glance at them. and Twiss turned in at the gate just as I was bolting out. The suspense of waiting to be called in to Quelch was disturbing and disconcerting. he won’t say a word to Quelch. in the circumstances. “If that’s true—if you’re not making some silly mistake—you needn’t worry about Twiss reporting you to Quelch. Quelch. sighted Mr. and bumped him on the landing. “but that’s what happened— Twiss was going in as we were coming out—. as Bob crashed into him in the gateway. Harry Wharton and Co. going into a den like the ‘Three Fishers’ “You’re dreaming. The Bounder laughed. either grateful or comforting. but. don’t be a goat. uneasily. rot. staring. “ He was strewn over the tow-path. or it wouldn’t have happened. A few minutes later the bell rang. Evidently the sword of Damocles was to remain suspended over their heads. “Well. “Sure that Twiss saw you coming out?” “Not much doubt about that.“Truth is stranger than fiction. “if you tell us again that you told us so —. “I say—you mad asses—leggo —ow!” “Bump!” .” said Vernon-Smith. as his comrades suddenly grasped him. there’s more in him than meets the eye. and he told us so. “NOW look here. “Yes.’ If Twiss really was going in. in a deep voice.” said Vernon-Smith.

“Fat lot of good a fellow taking all the trouble to write home. I might as well have saved my stamp. and some of the Remove had gathered round the rack to look for letters. a note’s a note! You can’t expect to get whacking tips like I do— your people ain’t rich. Bunter really was making “lots and lots” of money as a “bear” on the Stock Exchange. ha!” The Co.” Bump! “Yooo-hoop!” roared Johnny. leaving Johnny Bull sitting on the landing. crumbs! Wow!” “Ha. “ I wrote specially to the pater a few days ago. “Now give him another for having told us so. gasping for breath. “Only a note. ha.” “One for you. went on to their studies.” “Whose stamp?” asked Peter Todd. “Well. who had opened his envelope. “Hallo. “Is the expectfulness terrific.shilling note. Bob. it could only be a pound note—and a fellow who had a pound note .” said Harry. ha!” “The fact is.’’ The captain of the Remove “chucked” it over. and it’s time he answered.” “The perhapsfulness is terrific.” said Bob. anything in your letter?” asked Bunter. and produced at least a pound note—while if Mr. “Nothing for you. “I say. Billy Bunter’s little round eves gleamed behind his big round spectacles. If it was not a ten. and taking a lot of trouble with his spelling.” said Bunter. “Good ! Chuck it over. old fat bean. “Hope springs eternal in the human chest. Among them was William George Bunter. Bob. “Well. why a fiver or a tenner should not come his way. you fellows! Is there one for me?” It was morning break. and it might be a fiver—or a tenner. hallo! Expecting a postal-order.” “Ha. like mine. that’s pretty rotten. ha. old fat man?” asked Bob Cherry. Billy Bunter blinked at the rack. there was no reason. glancing at the letters. so far Bunter could see. I’m expecting a remittance from home. hallo. my esteemed fat Bunter?” chuckled Hurree Jamset Ram Singh. “Only !” said Bunter. blinking anxiously through his big spectacles. Grunt. with its very careful spelling. and all that.” said Harry Wharton. old chap—. ought to have pleased his honoured parent. He’s making lots and lots of money on the Stock Exchange. and taken something therefrom that he had put into his pocket. you’re in luck.” answered Bob. “ Look here—ow! Oh.” he said.” “But it isn’t a ten—shilling note. turning his spectacles on Bob Cherry. 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. as the ridiculous poet remarks. from Bunter. But if your pater has coughed up a ten-shilling note. and Bob Cherry caught it.“Oooooh!” “That’s for being right!” said Bob. perhaps. It seemed to Bunter that that letter home.

warmly. you know. Nugent!” howled Bunter. “You shut up. now he’s rolling in it.” “I’m not taking it to the tuck—shop. and it’s absolutely certain to come to-morrow. Didn’t I tell you that I was expecting a postal-order?” “Did you? “ said Bob. Did you fellows know that Bunter was expecting a postal-order?” “Ha. don’t be an ass. As it happens. “You let Bob alone! Bob can lend a pal a pound note if he likes. really. “ my people ain’t rich like Bunter’s.” said Harry Wharton. old boy——.” “Hand it over. We’re pals. “Well. “You shut. A dozen fellows stared at that proceeding. Have you got so many notes that you want to chuck one away?” “You shut up. don’t walk away while a chap’s talking to you !” gasped Bunter.” “All the more reason to take care of that one. “I say. somehow.” admitted Bob. Cherry!” “Still. lend it to me. Toddy!” . “Oh. “I say. laughing.” said Bunter. Bull!” “You don’t often get a quid tip. I’ll come to the tuck—shop with you and change that note. as Bob’s hand came out of his pocket with something crumpled in it. eagerly. old fellow——. I’ve been disappointed about a postal—order. Bob put his hand in his pocket. Bob. really. “Come on.” said Harry Wharton. That Billy Bunter’s celebrated postal-order was likely to arrive. old fellow—.” said Nugent. laughing. that almost trembled with eagerness. if you’re not going to change it. you ass!” exclaimed Johnny Bull. no. Bob?” “Are we?” asked Bob. it will be for a pound. eagerly.” said Peter Todd. ha. nobody but Bunter believed—and perhaps Bunter had his doubts! And even if it did miraculously arrive. “You shut up. Bob. “ I seem to have heard something of the kind. “I’m certainly not going to change this note.” remarked Hurree Jamset Ram Singh. you men?” asked Bob. anyhow. “Look here. old chap!” said Bunter. He held out a fat hand. grabbing Bob’s sleeve with a grubby fat paw. sympathetically. “I say. look here. I say. Bull!” exclaimed Bunter. and take my postal-order when— when it comes! See?” “The whenfulness will probably be terrific.” “Oh. ain’t we. and if Bunter really wants it—. “You shut up. ha!” “I may get a big remittance from my pater any day. And a pound was a considerable sum in the Lower Fourth. “Hold on. sententiously. Bob. Cherry! I say. Bob. It sounds sort of familiar.” said Bunter. I don’t expect quid tips from home.” “Coming out. “But that postal-order’s a cert. if you want this note—. It’s from one of my titled relations.” “For the first time in your life ?” asked Bob.” said Bob.was a fellow in whom Billy Bunter was deeply interested. “Bob.” “Well.” said Bob.” “Well. up Wharton—. you lend me that note.” “Fools and their money are soon parted!” commented Johnny Bull. “First I’ve heard of it. where pocket-money was counted in shillings. old chap—. Billy Bunter was very unlikely to use it for such a purpose as the settlement of debt. though. “ I’ll let you have my postal-order for it to-morrow. old chap.

But it was not a pound note. ha. “Yes. for a moment.” And Bob Cherry thrust the crumpled paper into Bunter’s fat paw. It was a note. turned round. Bunter—. rather. old fat man. ha !” “Well. “Never mind what those fellows say.” “Ha.” said Bob. my hat!” said Harry Wharton. as he rolled in wrathful pursuit of the Famous Five. gently. “If you want it. “But you seemed to want it. “Beast! I—I mean. shaking his head. It was nothing like a pound note. “What’s the good of that to me? “ yelled Bunter. ha. leaving Skinner staring. Snell It was a note ! There was no doubt about that. evidently. The chums of the Remove looked at it. ha !” “I thought it was a pound note—you said it wasn’t a ten—shilling note. “ Hallo ! What’s the matter. “My dear chap. He rushed after the Famous Five.” “Fancy Bunter thinking that a note from Snell the shoemaker was a pound note !” said Bob. “I say. Dear Sir. Something. “Well. “I didn’t suppose it would be any good. old chap. and walked away with his friends. old fat man. I shan’t want it—I shall be getting my old—age pension by that time. if you really want it. You can trust me. a beatific grin—but only for a moment! Now it was red with wrath. you . Four of them looked astonished. and may be called for when convenient. “Look at it!” “Eh! What?” “Look !” yelled Bunter. Certainly he couldn’t have changed that note at the school shop! “Ha. Bunter’s fat face had worn. “I say—Bob Cherry—you beast—look here! What’s the good of this. “Is that how you thank a fellow for tipping you a pound note. But a note from the shoemaker’s in Friardale was not of much use to Billy Bunter. and as it’s no use to me—. can’t you old fellow?” “Not further than I can see you. “Well. so I thought —. ha !” yelled the Co.” answered Bob. was the matter. The shoes are now repaired. Yours faithfully J.” gasped Bunter. here it is. Bunter?” “Beast!” roared Bunter. It bore not the slightest resemblance to any document issued by the British Treasury. Bunter?” “Tain’t a pound note!” shrieked Bunter. here you are!” said Bob. ha. you silly idiot?” Harry Wharton and Co. I don’t get pound tips—my people ain’t rich like yours.“Well. And don’t worry about handing over your postal-order for it when it comes. some fellows are fools!” remarked Skinner. They understood now why Bob Cherry had parted with that “note” so cheerfully. slowly. you fellows !” howled Bunter. He held it up.” “Ha.” said Bob. dear old chap—.

The smiles faded from five faces. went out into the quad. “That was true. sir. when he glanced round and saw the cheery bunch of juniors.” But they became grave at once. Now they had no doubt that the “chopper” was coming down.” chuckled Hurree Jamset Ram Singh. “I have not yet spoken to your form-master. Twiss blinked from face to face through his rimless pince-nez.” His manner had been as usual in the form-room that morning. till they were reminded of it by Mr. ha. his eyes very sharp behind his pince-nez as he watched the juniors’ faces. ha. glaring after them with a glare that almost cracked his spectacles. as Mr. “Ha. and came across to them. Mr. they were rather forgetting the sword of Damocles that was still suspended over their heads. So far.” said Mr. “It was a fatheaded thing to do.” said Johnny Bull.” “I know that. made no reply to that. and I told these fellows so at the time. in his highpitched. true or false.” went on Mr. Twiss had not been “passing on the towpath” : he had been turning into the gateway.” said Harry. or the collision would never have happened. It was in fact his duty to do so. Billy Bunter was left with that “note” crumpled in a fat paw. Chapter VIII ALL CLEAR “WHARTON!” “Oh! Yes. 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. “Pulling my leg all the time—. ha !” “Beast!” roared Bunter.” “The pullfulness was terrific. and a little uneasily. But they did not want to argue the point. and they all looked very serious. With the cheery optimism of youth. “We should have been late for roll if we hadn’t.” “It was a very thoughtless action. “You told me that you had been merely taking a short cut.” .” “Ha.” Harry Wharton and Co. they had heard nothing from Mr. He could see that the juniors were expecting him to walk them directly to Quelch’s study. “But that was how it was. and very much shocked. and addressed the captain of the Remove. They capped the Head’s secretary respectfully. Twiss. Twiss came up to them in the quad.” “The truefulness is terrific. to see you coming out of such a place as the ‘Three Fishers. sir!” The Famous Five were chuckling over the incident of Billy Bunter and Bob Cherry’s “note. Twiss. squeaky voice. But it happens to he true. Quelch on the subject of that unlucky short cut at the “Three Fishers. Twiss. sir. Wharton.know. Wharton. laughing. Mr. 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 was walking under the old elms. Any boy seen in such a place might make the same explanation.’ when I was passing on the tow-path yesterday. of course. sir!” murmured Hurree Jamset Ram Singh. Mr. ha !” Harry Wharton and Co. “I have been considering the matter. and smiled faintly. I was very much surprised.

and he ought to have done it. You walloped into him face to face. “Quelch would have believed us.” “His reasons are plain enough.” said Bob. “All clear now. uneasily. “I don’t want a row with Quelch. and walked away under the elms.” “The ‘Three Fishers’ isn’t out of bounds for head-master’s secretaries. But Twiss ought to have reported us to Quelch.” “Oh.” said Johnny.” said Johnny. realise how very foolish it was to risk placing yourselves under suspicion. if you do. “Oh. Smithy said last night that he wouldn’t mention it to Quelch. is he ?” “Well.“Well. You might have thanked him too. Twiss. Much obliged to Twiss. sarcastically. You acted very thoughtlessly: and you will. well.” said Harry Wharton a little sharply. I shall say nothing about the matter—but you must let it he a warning to you.” said Mr. “Good luck!” said Bob. and he was a hit shirty at the time. Johnny. A man’s liable to get shirty if you charge him over all of a sudden.” assented Johnny. I suppose he could see that we were telling the truth. Quelch.” said Bob.” he answered “Twiss hasn’t let us off on his own account. I think. and there was really no need to drag Quelch into it. from Johnny Bull.” said Harry. Or did you want a report to Quelch and a detention or a whopping?|” Grunt. “He believes what we’ve told him. I am sure. stolidly. “Not a bad little ass. yes !” “And it would have come out. Didn’t you ?” “Well. “I’ll keep my thanks till I’ve something to thank him for. “He’s just said that he was passing the ‘Three Fishers’ when you cannoned into him. Twiss gave the juniors a nod. was he?” “Oh.” .” “The all-clearfulness is—.” said Johnny Bull.” “Only he wouldn’t want the beaks to know that he liked !” “Well.” “Oh! Thank you.” “Well. “Not to say preposterous. all the same. not for ours. “but Smithy was right. Mr. if he’d taken us to Quelch. and you can bet that Quelch would have wondered. he’s thought it over since. “ but that doesn’t alter the fact that we were out of bounds.” “Terrific!” chuckled Bob. Johnny Bull was silent. He left them feeling extremely relieved. He’s got his reasons. rot. It would have meant a detention at least. And if he hasn’t it’s for his own reasons. yes. in the circumstances. “I was very much startled and shocked at the time. but now that I have thought over the matter. I believe you. Sir!” said four voices in chorus. if we had that right —as we know we had. I think it’s jolly good natured of him to keep mum. I do not think it necessary to trouble Mr.” said Bob.” “We’re well out of it.” said Frank Nugent.” said Bob. Well. blow Smithy!” “Blow him as hard as you like. with a grin. I believe you. It was his duty.” “He didn’t believe it at the time. too. “He was coming in at the gate.’’ “Now he’s thought it over!” said Nu gent.” “I don’t ! No more than you do. “They can trickle in there if they like. he’s thought it over.” said Nugent.

” “He seems to be cultivating quite a taste for our society. and Johnny Bull’s ideas on the subject of Mr. there’s just time for ginger-pop before the bell goes for class. Twiss. then. “The Head wants us.” said Johnny Bull.” Harry Wharton and Co. A few days ago Bunter had pulled their leg in exactly that manner. affably. and they had fallen for it. and—and see that nobody snaffles it. Twiss. Cherry! I say.” The Famous Five went to the school shop. Better cut off. really. they were not likely to fall for it a second time.” “I say. Bunter rolled in from the quad. his eyes and spectacles fixed on the window. anxiously.” said Bob. “Changed that note yet. “He hopes we don’t think he’s after our tuck. Bob Cherry—.” “What ?” yelled the Famous Five. old chap—I—I mean No—. Having been disappointed about a remittance that morning. any day. ha!” “I hope you don’t think I’m after your tuck.” “Ha. gazed at Billy Bunter. They sat down round a little table. “I say. and passed into the tuck-shop with his friends. does he?” gasped Bob Cherry. you chaps—he looked rather shirty! I’ll look after your tuck while you’re gone. “The tastefulness is terrific.’’ chuckled Bob. It was not a chicken that would fight twice! But the fat and fatuous Owl evidently hoped that it would. the Head wants you in his study at once. with ginger-beer and buns thereon and a few moments later. “ You know how waxy Quelch gets if you keep him waiting—. rather!” said Bunter. I’d go at once. ha !” “I say what I think. you fellows. “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. I’m glad he’s not such a whale on duty as you think he ought to he. “Yes.” said Bunter. Bunter was in his usual stony state. So let’s cut along to the tuckshop——if Johnny’s finished his lecture on the Whole Duty of Man. if I were you!” urged Bunter. with a reproachful blink. to discuss ginger-pop and buns—much more to their taste than Mr.” “I’ll tell you what. the Owl of the Remove gazed longingly at good things that were beyond his reach. you men! What price that for a really hopeful nature?” “Oh. Bunty?” asked Bob Cherry. my hat!” ejaculated Bob. “Beast !” Bob chuckled. Really. eagerly.” said Bob. you’d better get a move on. “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.” remarked Nugent.” . Now. “I’d rather play cricket than sit in a detention class. He blinked at the juniors as they went in. all together. ha. at once—. I say.” “Ha. “You’re wanted. ha. Trust me !” “And you’ll scoff the buns.“Well. if you like. “He—he sent me to look for you. you fellows!” he exclaimed. and mop up the ginger-pop. “ And I jolly well think—. with knobs on.” “Oh. the minute we’ve turned our backs?” “Yes. Like a podgy Pen at the gate of Paradise. Billy Bunter was standing outside the little shop in the corner of the quad. old chap. “Yes. “I’d do more than that for fellows I really like. Come on.

Smithy. At that hour. no! I’m going to kick Bunter all round the shop for telling whoppers.“Quelch! Does Quelch want us. “Don’t be a goat. all Greyfriars School was dark and silent. Go to sleep. “ Quelch has had his eye on you all this term—. Reddy! I’ve got to see a man about a horse. were in bed and asleep—or should have been.” Tom Redwing peered at him in the gloom. old chap—. “We’ll all do the same. He will be in a wax if you don’t go at once. “Look here.” He rose from the table. steady Redwing. Eleven strokes had boomed out from the old Greyfriars clock-tower. Some of the beaks might be still up. in whose restless nature there seemed to be an ineradicable kink of blackguardism.” “How well you know me!” agreed Smithy. I say. and began to get his clothes on. “Fast asleep now. Do get a move on.” snapped Redwing. Reddy—and not dreamin’ of me. old chap!” Herbert Vernon-Smith gave a jump. hallo.” “Oh !” gasped Bunter. There was a faint sound of regular breathing in the long dusky dormitory and an intermittent rumble of Billy Bunter’s snore. But the Bounder did not expect to hear anything else: and a low whispering voice from the next bed startled him. you might have a little sense. “I say—. as well as the head?” “Oh! I—I mean the Head!” stammered Bunter. from the Sixth to the Second. however.” he muttered. hallo!” roared Bob. Bunter?” Billy Bunter did not stop to explain where he was going. I’ve got up and dressed myself to take a stroll in the corridor. Remove fellows wondered sometimes at the friendship between the quiet. you ass. it’s only Bunter’s gammon. he looked fierce. and the wild and reckless Bounder. there was at least one exception—the Bounder of Greyfriars was wide awake. sarcastically.” “Right!” agreed Bob. he slipped quietly from his bed. If the dear man’s dreamin’. He was anxious—but almost as angry as anxious. And as the last stroke of eleven died away. But that ill-assorted friendship was very deep and real: and it was the reason why Tom was awake that night when his chum was about to creep softly from the sleeping dormitory.” “Hallo. “I suppose it’s no good asking you to chuck this because it’s a rotten thing to do—. “You’re up.” He laughed softly. “But if you can’t be decent. in their studies : but all the forms.” “Good !” said Harry Wharton.” “Quiet ! Don’t wake the dorm. you know.” said Johnny Bull. in the glimmer of moonlight from the high windows. and his comrades stared at him. Smithy. “Reddy.” he muttered. of course. “ Where are you going.” “Dear old Quelch!” murmured the Bounder. “We’ll get a move on. it’s more likely to be of pius Æneas or the . Tom Redwing sat up in bed. “You’re not going to the Head?” “Oh.” “You’re breaking out?” “Oh! No!” said the Bounder. On this particular night. you ass !” he breathed. dully through the night. “Did I say Quelch? I—I mean the Head. He just went ! Chapter IX TWO IN THE DARK! “SMITHY. “Look here.

that seemed to make it impossible for him to toe the line as other fellows did. “I’ll tell a man he does. After all. Smithy. “Good old Smithy! He will do it once too often. Fish.” muttered Redwing.Seven Against Thebes. it was easy.” “So did I! That’s why I didn’t drop in at the ‘Cross Keys.” “I guess that guy surely does ask for it!” came a nasal yawn from Fisher T.” “Not in the least! You’re losin’ your beauty sleep for nothin’.” snapped the Bounder.’ I thought it would be safer later. hallo!” came a drowsy voice. wake the whole dorm!” snarled Vernon-Smith. and serve him jolly well right. Smithy had his good qualities : there was more good than bad in him: but he had a love of excitement. There was a door on the . He was quite cool as he crept away silently down the dark corridor. “Is that you. It was “pie” to the Bounder to carry on in his own arrogant way. regardless of authority. Smithy. That risk gave an added zest to his adventure.” “Speech may be taken as read!” yawned the Bounder.” came another voice. “It’s risky enough for Smithy anyway—. it did not influence him to the extent of restraining him from his reckless escapades. to the anxiety—not unmingled with angry disgust —of his chum Redwing. for a fellow with plenty of nerve—and Smithy had never lacked nerve.. He had boundless confidence in himself. and stared round. “Silly rotter. “Can’t you fellows keep quiet and let a fellow sleep?” “Quiet. perhaps. “Who’s that jawing?” Bolsover major was awake. and closed. without a sound. a law unto himself to delude the “beaks” and beat watchful prefects. and crossed the wide landing to the staircase. breaking out at night—you’d be sacked like a shot if they spot you—.” “The rightfulness will be terrific.” “Hallo. Smithy—!” urged Redwing. “I suppose it’s no use talking to you—. some time. too.” urged Redwing. in his cunning and resource.” “Silly ass!” said Frank Nugent. anxiously. of the thrill of danger for its own sake. “You know you’re under suspicion. one of these times.” short and sharp. But if that feeling influenced him. The whole House was buried in silence and slumber. Evidently the nabob of Bhanipur had awakened also. “ You know what it means. More and more fellows were awakening at the sound of voices. “Oh. Smithy?” “Find out. “Look here. Smithy was not insensible. I saw Wingate’s eye on you when you went out after class to-day. His luck had always been good—and he banked on his luck. for goodness’ sake.” “Smithy out on the tiles !” There was a chuckle from Skinner. don’t he a fool It’s too risky. “He’ll run into a beak or a pre. “I’ll leave you to it!” And he slipped away to the door.” “For goodness’ sake. you fellows.” And Smithy chuckled again. “Is that somebody up?” Bob Cherry lifted his head from the pillow. and the Bounder was gone. Vernon-Smith did not hear them: the door had opened. you mean!” grunted Johnny Bull. “That goat Smithy!” said Bob. He was well aware of what he was risking: he knew that “breaking out” at night had only one penalty: the “sack. hallo. earnestly.

had he even thought of it. but he knew that it was a man’s voice. silently. stared down blankly from the landing at the two sprawling figures. if a remote one. as they sprawled. step after step. Quelch had been disturbed by the sudden outbreak of uproar in the middle of the night: he had hurriedly donned his dressing-gown and come out on the landing to investigate. He would be back in an hour or so. He gave a gasp of utter amazement and alarm. stumbled over him. above and Mr. There was no glimmer of light—all was black darkness. and it was easy to do again. and rolled. inevitably. His face was very grim. unseen. Nobody—unless a fellow breaking out like Smithy—— could he supposed to be creeping down the staircase in the dark—as silently as Smithy. He gave a desperate wrench as he was grasped. to Smithy.junior lobby which he could leave unlocked for his return. grasping at the junior. That anyone could be ahead of him on the staircase would have seemed impossible. of a “beak on the prowl.” A hand in the darkness swept round. unsuspected. and bumped. and nobody the wiser. Quelch. in the darkness. as he stared down at the Bounder. Quelch. lost his footing. he was bumped and bruised and breathless. That light gleamed full on his face as he stared up at the lean figure on the landing. He had done it before. Chapter X ONCE TOO OFTEN! “VERNON-SMITH!” “Oh!” breathed the Bounder. bumped into him “Oh !” gasped the Bounder. his hand gliding clown the polished oak banister. and he met the gimlet-eyes of his form-master. A single glance took in every . his lean figure encased in a dressing-gown. Smithy did not recognise the husky. and slipped on tile stairs. Stealthily. And then. 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. evidently as wildly startled as Smithy himself. suddenly. and they sprawled on the stairs together. hardly knowing whether he was on his head or his heels. without a sound. not a boy’s. but swiftly. He descended the stairs with his right hand following the banister as a guide. and panted. going clown tile staircase silently in the dark. His gasp was echoed by a startled exclamation. he did not seem greatly surprised. And he went swiftly. And. for he heard no sound. “Vernon-Smith!” repeated Mr. “Oh Who—what———. He had had a doubtful and distrustful eye on that particular member of his form for a long time. There was always a possibility. Still. a light suddenly flashed on. He could hardly have expected to see a member of his form up at that hour. and. he went down. But he dragged himself loose from the unseen man who sprawled with him. with a wild hope of yet escaping unrecognized.” and he was keen to get out as soon as possible. moving more swiftly. He stepped stealthily down the stairs. He had rolled down two or three stairs. close to the banister. Someone. was in front of him. A master would of course have turned on the staircase light. Smithy. The unseen man. startled voice. had overtaken him. and scrambled up—just as the landing light flashed on. as he suddenly bumped into an unseen figure in the darkness. with compressed lips. it happened.

detail, noting that the junior was fully dressed, even to his collar and tie: Quelch did not need telling that Smithy had been going out of the House. The Bounder’s long run of luck had failed him at last: he was fairly caught “breaking out” at night! He realised it, as he looked up at Mr. Quelch, and his heart sank. Only a few minutes ago, Torn Redwing had been urging him to give up that reckless escapade: but the scapegrace of Greyfriars had had no use for good advice. He rather wished now that he had found a use for it. For a long moment, Mr. Quelch stared at the Bounder, his face so grim that it might have been that of the fabled Gorgon. Then his glance shifted to the figure that was still sprawling breathlessly, panting and gasping and gurgling, on the stairs. “Is that Mr. Twiss?” exclaimed the Remove master. “Twiss!” muttered Smithy, and he stared round at the man with whom he had collided in the dark—revealed now in the light. He gritted his teeth. It was Twiss—what had that little ass been doing, stealing about like a ghost in the dark? Mr. Twiss sat up dizzily. He was winded, startled almost out of his wits, spluttering for breath. The Bounder had had a shock: but Twiss, plainly, had had a greater one. He blinked up at Mr. Quelch, like an owl in the sudden light. His rimless pince-nez slanted on his nose: his fluffy hair was wildly ruffled, standing almost on end, and his usually pallid face was crimson. “Urrrggh!” gurgled Mr. Twiss. He made an effort to rise, and dragged himself up, with the aid of the banisters. “Urrgh! Mr. Quelch— urrggh!” “What has happened, Mr. Twiss?” asked the Remove master. “Did you find this junior going out? I—I hardly know,” gasped Mr. Twiss. “I— I was descending the stairs—I—I could not sleep, and I—I was going down for a book I left in Common-Room, and—and all of a sudden I felt somebody behind me— Oh, goodness gracious! I—I——I was so startled —oooogh!”

FOR A LONG MOMENT, MR. QUELCH STARED AT THE BOUNDER

Mr. Quelch eyed the fluffy little man, crimson and breathless and confused, hanging weakly on to the banister : and his lip curled ever so little. No doubt it had been startling enough for Mr. Twiss to discover somebody behind him suddenly in the dark : but it was pretty evident that Twiss had not only been startled, but frightened. I—I—I——,” burbled Mr. Twiss. “This is a boy of your form, I think, Mr. Quelch.” Holding to the banisters with one hand, Twiss set his glasses straight with the other, and

peered at Vernon-Smith. “I—I was—was quite startled—I—I may say alarmed. Surely this boy should not be out of his dormitory at this hour of the night, Mr. Quelch.” “Most assuredly he should not, sir,” answered Mr. Quelch. “I am sorry that you have had such a shock, Mr. Twiss, and that it was due to a boy in my form. I trust, sir, that you are not hurt.” “I—I think I—I am a little bruised—I——I think I stumbled over the boy—I———I fell down several stairs,” mumbled Mr. Twiss. “ I—I do not feel quite myself. I—I think I—I will return to my room.” Mr. Twiss came up the stairs unsteadily, his hand on the banister. Vernon-Smith followed him up, his face set. The Bounder had recovered from the shock now, though he was still feeling shaken. But little Mr. Twiss seemed to be nothing but a bundle of nerves. Smithy wondered savagely whether the little ass had supposed that it was a burglar behind him in the dark. The Bounder was ‘‘for it,” he knew that. But he had the courage of his delinquencies, and he was cool and collected now, ready to face what was coming to him. He felt only a savage scorn for the frightened, confused, stammering little secretary. Mr. Twiss reached the landing, still gasping, when a deep voice boomed out. “What is all this? What is this disturbance ? Quelch! What has happened?” It was the fruity voice of Mr. Prout, the master of the Fifth Form. Prout, too, had been disturbed by the noise, and had turned out, and the sound of opening doors told that others had been roused also. Mr. Quelch compressed his lips bitterly. It was bad enough to find a boy of his form breaking bounds at night: worse, for other masters to arrive on the scene. Prout, his portly figure draped in a voluminous dressing gown of many colours, rolled up, staring from Quelch to Twiss, and from Twiss to Vernon-Smith, and back to Quelch again. “What has happened, Quelch? What is this alarm? is it a fire—or———?” boomed Mr. Prout. “Nothing of the kind, Prout,” snapped Mr. Quelch, “ it is merely—.” “Is anything the matter?” came Mr. Capper’s voice, and the master of the Fourth came into the light on the landing. “I heard a noise—it sounded like someone falling downstairs.” It was the acid voice of Mr. Hacker, the master of the Shell. “ Has there been an accident?” Mr. Quelch breathed hard and deep. The Bounder’s cheeks burned. All the masters were staring at him, evidently surprised to see a junior standing there fully dressed. Smithy hardly dared look at Mr. Quelch. He could guess what his form-master was feeling like. “There is no occasion for alarm.” Mr. Quelch’s voice seemed to grind like a saw. “A boy of my form was out of his dormitory, that is all. And—.” “All?” said Mr. Hacker, very expressively. And he gave an audible snort as he whisked away. “Really,” said Mr. Capper, “it is very annoying to be disturbed in this way, at such an hour—.” “I should say so !” boomed Prout. “I should most certainly say so. I should say that it was not merely annoying—I should say that it was scandalous! We have all been disturbed—we have been brought out of our beds—.” “There is nothing to keep you out of bed, Mr. Prout,” Quelch almost yapped! “What? What? Really, Mr. Quelch! A boy of your form causes all this uproar and disturbance at midnight—. I repeat, sir, that it is scandalous! Scandalous!” boomed Prout. “Unprecedented—I may say, unparalleled!” Prout snorted, and whirled away, with a sweep of a vast dressing-gown.” “Scandalous!” he repeated, over a plump

shoulder, as he went. “Come, Capper! There is nothing the matter—nothing but a boy of Quelch’s form disturbing the House at midnight—a mere trifle, no doubt!” “Hem!” said Mr. Capper. Mr. Twiss, still gasping, was going to his room, which opened on the landing. The door closed on him and his gasps. Left alone with that delinquent of his form, Mr. Quelch fixed his gimlet-eyes on the Bounder, gleaming like cold steel. “Vernon-Smith!” His voice was low but deep. “Yes, sir,” muttered the Bounder. “Have you been out of the House?” “No, sir.” “You were going out?” Vernon-Smith made no reply to that. The Bounder was far from particular about the truth when he was dealing with “beaks” or prefects. But it was obviously futile to deny what was perfectly clear. “Very well,” said Mr. Quelch, his voice more like a saw than ever, “ I shall take you back to your dormitory now, Vernon-Smith. You will be taken before your head-master in the morning, and Dr. Locke will deal with you.” The Bounder, with all his nerve, paled a little. He had risked it a dozen times or more— now he had risked it once too often. Now that it had happened, he had the nerve to face it. But his heart was like lead at the thought of that interview with his head-master in the morning. “I hadn’t been out of the House, sir,” he muttered. “ It’s not ten minutes since I left my dormitory, and—.” “You need say nothing, Vernon-Smith. Whatever you have to say, you may say to Dr. Locke when you come before him,” said Mr. Quelch, coldly. “ Now follow me.” The Bounder, in miserable silence, followed him to the door of the Remove dormitory. Chapter XI UP BEFORE THE BEAK! I SAY, you fellows Billy Bunter rolled up to the Famous Five, in the quad, with a cheery excitement in his fat face. There were a good many serious faces in the Greyfriars Remove that morning. Even fellows who did not like Smithy were rather concerned about him. Bunter, apparently, saw no occasion to he concerned. Bunter rather liked a spot of excitement— and there was quite a large spot in the Remove that sunny morning after prayers. Harry Wharton and Co. were unusually grave. They did not pal with the Bounder, but they were on more or less friendly terms with him, and in any case they would have felt sympathy for a fellow up before the Head. Tom Redwing was with the Co., his face dark with a distress he could not conceal. Billy Bunter blinked at the troubled group of juniors quite cheerily. “I say—!” “Oh, blow away, Bunter,” said Bob Cherry, curtly. “Oh, really, Cherry! I say, Smithy’s for it,” said Bunter. “I say, Quelch took him to the Head when we came out after prayers.” “We know that, fathead.” “I expect it’s the sack,” said Bunter. “I say, ’taint often that a fellow gets bunked, is it? I say, think Smithy will be bunked, Redwing?” Redwing winced, but made no reply.

and nobody could have been more thoroughly “down” on his wild and reckless ways—but now that he was so badly up against it. Smithy won’t be bunked—he wasn’t out of the House when they nailed him. I expect we shall cut a class. hallo !” ejaculated Bob. really. of course. shut up. to answer a charge of attempted “breaking-out” at night. Many eyes turned on the head-master’s study window. really. were left to their rather glum meditations. his face cool and unconcerned.” “Dry up!” grunted Johnny Bull. The juniors would have given a good deal to know what was going on in that rather dreaded apartment. “Hallo. They had had plenty of trouble with the Bounder. Reddy. It’s the sack all right. Bob?” “I think you’re a burbling bandersnatch. There was always a touch of . He’s rather a beast. Bunter. “Turn roundfully. and he’s mean with his money—only yesterday he refused to cash a postal-order for me. and he’s got a rotten temper. if we get out of maths with Lascelles—.” “Turn round.” “Oh. You fellows may not be. to bestow the delights of his conversation on more appreciative fellows. “He’s asked for it. really.” “Beast! Of course. do you fellows think it will be an expulsion in Hall. “What do you think. standing before his headmaster. wouldn’t it? Or do you think the Head will just whiz him out quietly?” Bunter blinked inquiringly at the juniors through his big spectacles.” said Bob. “Here’s Smithy. as he came out of the House. “Oh.” murmured Bob Cherry uncomfortably.” said Bob. Wharton?” “I think you’re a fat ass!” answered the captain of the Remove.” “They know he was going out!” grunted Johnny Bull.” “The kickfulness is the proper caper. “Oh.” said Bob. now he’s up for the sack—. “Brace up. He departed.” All eyes were turned on the Bounder. “ ’taint the long jump for Smithy this time. you can take my word for that. that wouldn’t make much difference. “Bank on that. “Oh.” “Now run away and play. just because it hadn’t come—still. Wharton! What do you think.“Oh. and the whole bag of tricks?” asked Bunter. everything was washed out but concern for the luckless fellow. I hope. The minutes seemed very long. you fat ass.” agreed Hurree Jamset Ram Singh.” Redwing nodded without speaking.” said Bunter. suddenly. Reddy. with all the school lined up. and it serves him jolly well right: still.” said Bunter.” said Frank Nugent. Nugent What I mean is. at one time and another. hallo. shaking his head. I’m sorry for Smithy. Vernon-Smith was with the head—up for judgment. I’m sorry for him.” “Beast!” Billy Bunter turned round—but he did not wait to be kicked. my esteemed idiotic Bunter. “If it’s that. He never went out—. Nobody envied Herbert Vernon-Smith. He came with his hands in his pockets. Harry Wharton and Co. “You can’t bunk a man for what he was going to do—if he never did it. The Remove fellows were waiting for news. “They jolly well know he was going out on the razzle-dazzle. “Eh! What do you want me to turn round for?” “I’m going to kick you. Bull! It would be corking to get out of maths. but I’ve got a sympathetic nature.

” drawled Vernon-Smith. “O.” “You might have been turfed out.” Why couldn’t he be fast asleep in his burrow.” “Oh.” said Harry Wharton. You would have been. don’t be an ass!” said Johnny.” said Smithy. you’re in luck. it was clear that Smithy was feeling this deeply—not so much the flogging itself. I’m feeling jolly about it. of course. I’m let off with a flogging. like a sensible man? I should have given him a jolly wide berth if he had. “Sorry to disappoint you—no. “As it is.” The Bounder’s hard face softened a little.” “If that’s all. old chap. under the staring eyes of all Greyfriars : his own form. “you’re not losin’ me this time. “Sacked?” Smithy glanced round at him. sarcastically.” . sorry you’re bunked. “ He couldn’t help you walking into him in the dark. quietly.” said Bob. Whatever Smithy’s feelings were. “and if he wanted to go down mooning for a book. he laughed lightly. old fellow. you couldn’t expect much less.” But it was only for a moment that his feelings were revealed.” said the Bounder. and it was more pronounced now.” “Exactly what the Old Man said. Reddy!” “Not sacked?” asked Johnny Bull. old man.” Johnny Bull breathed hard. Smithy. 13 Study when I want a sermon. and all the other forms.’’ His eyes were smouldering as he spoke. if you’d been caught outside the House instead of inside.” “Speech may he taken as read. as the Bounder gave it a sharp rap. Smithy. “ Thanks. why couldn’t he switch on the light. eager for news. Smithy! Thank goodness it’s no worse. Pack it up till then.K. you can hardly blame Twiss.” He set his lips. With all his assumption of cool indifference. like any other rabbit?” snarled Smithy. “I’m glad you’ve got off. lined tip to witness the “execution. and if you’ve got any sense at all. “I’ll come along to No. “I wouldn’t care—I can stand a whopping—if the old bean had got on with it. “ For goodness’ sake—tell me —. The Bounder was not a fellow to wear his heart upon his sleeve. The next. as he strolled into the sunny quad. “Glad I’m up for a Beak’s flogging ?” asked Smithy.” “A flogging!” repeated Redwing.” he answered. “Sort of thing a fellow would look forward to. “Smithy.” Torn Redwing came up breathlessly.swagger about the scapegrace of Greyfriars.” said Nugent. Billy Bunter grabbed his arm with a fat grubby paw. After this—. but did not trouble to reply. “Well. 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. for he was hard as nails but the disgrace of the infliction in the crowded hall. “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. Is it going to be in Hall? Did the Head say— ow! wow! ow! wow! Beast!” Bunter jerked away that fat paw. “What rotten luck. I’d like to punch that man Twiss’s silly rabbit face. “What’s the verdict. His face fell.” he drawled. “I say. there was no sign of them in his face.” “Well. Smithy?” called out Skinner. you’ll let it be a warning to you.” “Oh. “We’re all glad.

Johnny Bull breathed very hard.” “Tell your pals the rest. leaving Johnny Bull staring. on being a law unto himself: and now he had come up against the inevitable result. and he had no use for solid common-sense from Johnny. Chapter XII THE “EXECUTION” IT was over! The last sounding swish of the birch had died away through the silent Hall.” “Well. Hall was packed. and he stood. and the culprit “hoisted” in the oldfashioned way—and no doubt it was all the more impressive for that reason. his face pale. And kind old gentleman as the Head seemed at happier moments.” Johnny left it at that. that’s rot. not a sound had come. “They may like sermons—I don’t !” And he walked away with Redwing. and Billy Bunter giggled. and he did it. and he would have disdained to allow a single cry to leave his lips. In silence. tough as it was.” he said. and they sympathised. “I wish now I’d tipped him down the staircase. The Head had felt it his duty to make a public example of Vernon-Smith—and there were few who did not think that. they crowded out of Hall. But very few fellows could have gone through that castigation in silence. Not a sound had escaped him—the Bounder was tough all through.” remarked Bob. contemptuously. and come up against it hard. Apparently Smithy was disposed to lay some of the blame for his disaster on little Mr. with grave faces: the hapless culprit. Twiss. But it was over at last. If you hadn’t gone out of the dorm—. he’s a queer little beast. From Herbert Vernon-Smith. It was a severe infliction. There was nothing of the grim old Bushy type about the headmaster of Greyfriars: but he had his duty to do. with their canes under their arms: the masters. Every fellow of every form was there.” said Vernon— Smith. from Sixth-Form seniors down to fags of the Second Form—the prefects in their places. It was over—and the school dismissed. there was no doubt that he could whop ! Skinner whispered to Snoop that he wondered where the old boy packed the muscle. But most of the fellows were grave and quiet. the Bounder was getting off cheaply. Oh. Only on very rare occasions—very rare indeed—was there a public “execution”: with the school assembled in the Hall.” interrupted the Bounder. I suppose I can’t punch a fellow’s head when he’s up for a flogging. “No good blaming Twiss because he happened to be in the way when you were kicking over the traces. Tom Redwing slipped his arm through Smithy’s and led him away. A public flogging was a rare occasion at Greyfriars. but “six on the bags” in a study was the usual limit. but with a hint of defiance in his glinting eyes. Gosling set Smithy down. a little unsteadily.” said Johnny Bull.“Queer that he didn’t. Some fellows would . and Snoop grinned. blow him. in latter days—the hard old days were long gone when that ancient hall had often echoed to the swishing of the birch in the hands of grim old head-masters and to the painful howls of the victims. “ But I’ve a good mind—a jolly good mind—. quiet and subdued. That’s not sense. Smithy prided himself on carrying on in reckless defiance of authority. Greyfriars men were “whopped” when they required the same. masters and boys all present. hard as hickory. Smithy had asked for it—and more—but it was tough.

I think I’ll go and ask Smithy how he feels. “Bet you he will! The head seemed to think he was beating carpet! I say you fellows. don’t be mad. He’s got me this! And the Head. That moon-faced rabbit Twiss won’t he wandering about in the dark next time. “ It’s rough luck.” “Better leave him alone. “For goodness’ sake. But it was not a tactful moment for saying so. “Do you think I want pi-jaw now? Leave a . but more probably from an inquisitive desire to see how Smithy was taking it. In No. 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. “Poor old Smithy !” said Bob Cherry. old chap—!” said Tom. Redwing led him away in silence. Smithy. “Fellow shouldn’t ask for what he doesn’t want !” grunted Johnny Bull. don’t jaw. you fat ass!” said Harry Wharton.” said the Bounder savagely. Tom Redwing stood silent. savagely. You’re not sympathetic. “ You’d better not know. Every mutter of pain from his chum went to his heart: and he was uneasy. between his teeth. “You think I asked for this?” he muttered. “Well. to inquire how Smithy was feeling— perhaps from kind-heartedness. ass ! But it’s tough all the same. “and others may get what they’ve asked for. in real alarm. The Bounder stirred at last. he. set. Smithy—.” said Bob. and that it might have been worse for him. dismally. “Smithy! Are you mad? What do you mean?” “Never mind what I mean. at the evil gleam in the Bounder’s eyes. “Well.have spoken to him—but the look on Smithy’s face did not encourage them. I shall he jolly careful. It was pale. “I know that.” “Don’t ‘Smithy old man’ me! That little beast Twiss—. and more: that he had deserved it. lifting a pale bitter face. in the quad. Only too plainly he could read the fierce and savage resentment that ran riot in the breast of the scapegrace. Leave Smithy alone. He was leaning on the study table.” “I haven’t got your fat head. reprovingly. He paused. and looking at him across the table. with eyes smouldering like live coals. “Smithy likes to fancy himself a fellow who doesn’t give a boiled bean for beaks and pre’s—and he will feel this. They won’t get anything on me—after it’s happened. He had succeeded in keeping up an aspect of iron endurance and indifference while many eyes were upon him. I’ve had it!” said Vernon-Smith. But it had fallen from him now like a cloak. 4 Study Smithy was not looking as if he wanted kind inquiries from a kindhearted Owl. too. aghast.” His eyes burned. All Greyfriars knew that Vernon Smith had asked for what he had received.” “The roughfulness of the luck is terrific.” “For goodness’ sake. and a little alarmed.” said Bunter.” “He.” Redwing started. Wharton. too—. “Smithy won’t be wanting to see anybody just now. And he rolled away. “Smithy.” “That’s just like you.” “Yah !” retorted Bunter. in miserable distress. “ You haven’t got my kind heart.” “I should jolly well say not!” exclaimed Redwing .” “Twiss couldn’t help—.” sneered the Bounder.” said Hurree Jamset Ram Singh.” “I don’t care whether he could help it or not. breathing in gasps. 4 Study in the Remove closed on them. Do you want to be sacked after all?” “Oh. and the door of No. thank goodness. he !” contributed Billy Bunter. old man—. too.” “Oh. if I asked for it.” jeered Smithy.

fellow alone. I hope. But after a few minutes more it re-opened. and then quietly left the study. .” said Bunter. I wouldn’t make a lot of fuss about it. encouragingly. Smithy? I say—leggo my collar—wharrer you think you’re up to—. He did make a fuss—quite a tremendous fuss—he roared. he stopped in the doorway. and yelling. sir! I mean. Tom Redwing stood looking at him in silence for a few moments. Smithy?” he asked. old chap. The Remove passage echoed to sounds of woe as the fat Owl tottered away. sir!” stammered Bob. what? He. you know. I can take it. when the Bounder pitched him into the passage and slammed the study door on him. “I wouldn’t make a fuss over a whopping. The fat Owl blinked curiously at the dark scowling face that was turned on him. his eyes burning. what’s a licking?” “What?” “A fellow ought to be able to take a licking without doing a song and dance about it. Bunter had stated that he wouldn’t make a fuss over a whopping. leave a fellow alone!” snarled Vernon-Smith. The Bounder kicked the door savagely shut after him. “Feeling a bit better. and Skinner looked in. he. “You fat fool!” Well.” “Oh ! Yes. Redwing’s face was troubled. wishing from the bottom of his fat heart that he hadn’t paid that kind-hearted visit to No. sir. that’s my advice. Chapter XIII UPSIDE DOWN! “CHERRY!” “Yes. This time it was the fat face and big spectacles of Billy Bunter that looked in. “I thought I’d give you a lookin—. 4 Study. 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. old chap! I wouldn’t! Grin and bear it. and believed. and What are you going to do with that stump.” Harold Skinner shrugged his shoulders and walked away. that when the effects of the flogging had worn off.” “Kindly refrain from shuffling your feet.” “But—old chap—. his brow black. crikey! Whooop!” Billy Bunter roared. Smithy! You might be civil when a fellow asks you a civil question. The study door opened again. really. a few minutes later. and spluttered: and he was still roaring. he. The Bounder was in no mood for the company of even his best friend—his only friend at Greyfriars. Keep that stump away—oh. no. In his present temper he was as likely to quarrel with friend as with foe. He was about to enter: but as he caught the Bounder’s look. “How are you feeling now. “Find out! And get out. and howled. I’m not soft! Brace up. and spluttering. old scout?” he asked. and yelled.” said Bunter.” “Get out!” “Oh. genially. as he went down the Remove passage: but he hoped. Smithy would forget his wild words.” said Bunter.” “Oh. and howling. Don’t feel like sitting down for a bit. He moved restlessly about the study. “After all. if I were you.

yep!” gasped Fisher T. It was not only that he was lazy—he was always that.” Fisher Tarleton Fish did not whisper again. Prout boomed. like all form-masters. It was not only that he had an instinctive repugnance to learning anything: that was . much to the fat Owl’s relief.” “Oh. Fish. Fish?” “Oh. and the gimlet-eye turned from Bunter. Fish whispered to Tom Brown. However. was on the alert. “Take fifty lines. However.” “If you do so again. I shall cane you. and the New Zealand junior nodded. Quelch. in Common-Room. but they took what interest they could in Charles. He knew. “I—I haven’t missed a word. sir. in point of fact. Quelch. yes. After that. Bob endeavoured so to do. But Billy Bunter had other matters on his mind. like the rest of the form. Quelch having rapped out to him.” A history class. he seemed satisfied with that. crikey !” ejaculated the alarmed Owl. was enough to make a stone image yawn. 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. but Quelch seemed to have uncommon keenness of hearing that afternoon.” gasped Bunter. There had been a Head’s flogging in the Remove. he did not “take it out” of the Bounder. he was disposed to think that the head had not laid it on hard enough. “I guess Quelch is sure fierce this afternoon. with a sullen brow and a glinting eye. patient with sullen looks. Billy Bunter. sir! Certainly not. and the Revolution of 1688. in fact. as a rule. was keeping his eyes fixed on Quelch. It was all very annoying. Wiggins shook his head: it was. he was exceedingly tart with the rest of the form. “Bunter !” “Oh. Even Lord Mauleverer sat up and took notice. sir! I heard everything you were saying. in alarm. in Mauly’s opinion. Even Billy Bunter made some slight effort to give attention to Quelch’s words of wisdom in that class.” Fisher T. sir. not only ignoring his scowling face. Smithy was in form. “Fish !” It had been the faintest of whispers. he knew why. sir. Fish. disliked criticism of his form : and if other beaks suddenly stopped talking when he appeared in the offing. certainly. and James. Other masters. gum! I mean. Bunter. I—I’m awfully keen on history. Bob Cherry. had endorsed the Head’s sentence with the fullest approval: if anything. however. but passing him over in the lesson. “Oh! Yaas. Mauleverer. he manfully suppressed his feelings. Quelch was not. Seventeenth-century history did not exactly thrill the Lower Fourth. of course. To Quelch’s credit. Capper and Twigg made remarks. they worried it like a dog with a bone. in a mood to answer his form-master with impertinence if picked upon. Which all the juniors thought was very decent of Quelchy.Henry Samuel Quelch was not in his bonniest mood in class that afternoon. as the gimlet-eye fixed on him. all the same. sir. commented on it—Hacker raised his eyebrows. a topic in Common-Room and when Common-Room had a topic. “You are not paying attention. while your form-master is speaking?” “Oh! No. as if he simply yearned to know about 1688 and all that! But it was almost impossible for Bob to keep still. as all the fellows did. and a glint in his gimlet-eyes.” Quelch gave him an expressive look. There was a frown upon his brow. but he could be considerate to a fellow who had been through it so severely: and he took no notice of Vernon-Smith. “Did you speak to Brown. But if Quelch did not take it out of Smithy. sir. But it was very irritating and annoying to Quelch. indeed. what was the matter with Quelch.” gasped Manly.

Billy Bunter was rubbing a plump spot where he had a pain. sir. sir !” Bunter wrinkled his fat brows in an effort of thought. what did you mean.” “Oh.” groaned Bunter. certainly. sir—I—I never forget dates—I—I shall have it in a minute. Quelch’s look did not seem to indicate that it would do. One date was much the same as another to Billy Bunter. yes. Bunter. I—I meant —. He had a vague idea that there was a double number in it. One minute!” rumbled Mr. how was a fellow to fix his attention on a dreary drone? Quelch. When Quelch began to ask questions on the lesson most of the fellows concentrated. Quelch. Quelch. did not know that Bunter regarded his instructive voice as a dreary drone. sir—. “Bunter! Did you say 1066. “1066. of which the hands seemed to crawl. 4 Study. of course. Bunter. he couldn’t. Bunter was never good at dates—he loathed all dates. sir. “ I—I mean—. Tom Brown had hastily scribbled the required date. did not realise that he was being unduly tart.” “Well. In such circumstances.” groaned Bunter. I will give you one minute. He was simply keeping an inattentive form up to the mark. leaving Bunter perspiring. I—I wonder what made me say 1066. Bunter?” “I—I—I mean—I—I know the date. Quelch. “Answer my question. He blinked at his form-master. But many eyes turned longingly on the form-room clock. Quelch’s look that it didn’t ! “I—I mean. Perhaps even Bunter could have done so but for those troublesome twinges which had monopolised his attention. sir—. They had gone over it in the lesson. that 1066 was the year of the Norman Conquest?” rumbled Mr. under cover of the desk. from hand .nothing new. Every now and then Bunter gave a painful wriggle: and only terror of Quelch made him suppress an occasional yell. of—of course. “Bunter ! I——. It was not only that he regarded a lesson as a bothering infliction that a fellow had to get through somehow. Bunter.” He gathered from Mr. cheerfully. and forget as soon afterwards as he could: that was his fixed and permanent view on the subject of education. Bunter.” said Bunter. Even Bunter knew that. and passed it along under the desks. sir! I—I didn’t mean 1066. sir. I shall give you the date to write out five hundred times after class. As it was. sir. “Bless my soul! Do you suppose that the English Revolution occurred in the same year as the Norman Conquest?” hooted Mr. I shall cane you. If you open your book. as he felt something slipped into his fat hand. “Oh. Quelch. of—of course it didn’t. But Bunter was feeling many lingering and painful twinges from the stumping in No. fortunately. and he turned his attention to other happy members of his form. It was not a happy lesson.” “If you do not answer my question. crikey! I—I—if—if you’ll give me a minute. sir. and that was all. when the gimlet-eye turned on him. and there was a double figure in that He hoped it would do. of course. He blinked down at a slip of paper on which a date was written. “Bunter !” “Oh! Yes. The fat Owl gave a start.” “Oh. “The year of the English Revolution?” That really was an easy one. sir? “ asked Bunter. and even Lord Mauleverer could have answered promptly.” he gasped. Didn’t it. Bunter? Are you not aware. except the edible variety.” It flashed on Bunter. The Bounder had laid on that stump not wisely but too well.

blinking at him.” “That will do. yes. He seemed hardly able to believe his ears. He realised now what had happened. Of course. Dates were much of a muchness to Billy Bunter: merely bothering things that had to be’ handed out when a beak asked for them. But it dawned even on Bunter’s fat brain that there was a mistake somewhere. Quelch. The Lower Fourth were not exactly in a hilarious mood that afternoon. sir. yes. sir. It was too dangerous for any fellow to whisper. and—and there’s nothing written on it. ha!” came a howl from the Remove. But Browney had found a way. and—. “Are you prepared to give me the year of the English Revolution?” “Oh. sir. ha. Bunter. “ I—I think it was 8891.” “Then what do you mean by 8891?” “Ain’t—ain’t that right. ha. that the present year is in the twentieth century?” “Oh. the way Bunter was holding it. written plainly enough in pencil: 8891. sir! Yes. “Well. His fat face was lugubrious. when the gimlet-eye turned on him again.to hand. Bunter?” “Ain’t that right. to the hapless Owl. in dismay. and that he had considerably post-dated the English Revolution. “I—I meant to say 1688. sir?” stammered Bunter. Bunter?” The gimlet-eyes transfixed the fat owl again. “you will perhaps remember at least one date in English history. Quelch. sir.” “Oh!” stuttered Bunter.” “Ha. But Bunter on dates was too much for them. He was all right now. ha!” Silence in the class ! Bunter. “ Did—did—did you say 8891. “Silence!” rapped Mr. “I—I haven’t got anything in my hand. sir?” “A date six thousand years in advance of the present date?” almost shrieked Mr. He blinked down at the paper in his fat hand. with almost ferocious sarcasm.” added Mr. sir. sir. until at last the welcome hour of dismissal came. Chapter XIV BUNTER KNOWS HOW! . full of cheery confidence now. Bunter’s fat face brightened. sir! I—I—I mean. as the clock-hand crawled slowly round. There was the date. only I had it upside down—I—I mean—. “Bunter! Is this stupidity or impertinence? Are you not aware.” The prospect of remembering at least one date in English history did not seem to console Billy Bunter very much. Quelch almost jumped. is that a paper in your hand! “Oh ! No.” babbled Bunter. “Bunter! The date is 1688—. Bunter ! You will write out the date 1688 five hundred times after class! After which. Quelch “What do you mean. They yelled. Bunter. sir. no. “WHAT!” he roared.” “Ha. Bunter?” “Oh!” gasped Bunter. He was prepared to answer Quelch’s question—the good-natured New Zealand junior had got him out of his fix. sir.” Bunter had not noticed that he was holding that slip of paper upside down! Mr. “8891. and I wasn’t holding it upside down.” answered Bunter.” said Bunter.

after all? Too bad. Are you going to use four pens all at once.” agreed Peter. have you got another pen in your desk?” demanded Bunter. you fasten four pens together. if you like.” chuckled Peter Todd.” “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. with dignity. old lazybones.” “You want four?” repeated Toddy.” “Stony!” said Peter Todd. 1688 five hundred times. “If you take my advice. Toddy—he ain’t in a good temper to day. “I want four.” explained Peter. Apparently he had. “Yah!” was Bunter’s reply to that. Peter Todd chuckled. Look here. “I’ve got those rotten dates to write for Quelch. of course. But writing a date is different. and being the same date Quelch won’t suspect a thing.” argued Bunter. when he’s rolling in money because he’s a wolf—did you say a wolf——?” “A bear. don’t be a funny ass!” howled Bunter. see? I’ve got to write the same date over and over again. and Bunter’s own.” “Yes. “1—I don’t think I’ll keep Quelch waiting. and left the study. Peter— I’m asking you to lend me a pen. You see. You can have that old exercise-book too. “ But if Quelch saw an impot with the same line written over four times——.” “I’m not asking you to give me advice. here’s a pen. “I got the tip from Fry. “You needn’t worry about advising a chap who’s got twice your brains. and proceeded to carry . really. and a bull on a rising market.” said Peter. “ That accounts for your manners. I write four at once. you won’t try to pull Quelch’s leg like that. “It must be.“LEND me—.” explained Bunter.” Toddy naturally supposed that it was a coin of the realm that Bunter wanted. “Well. sympathetically.” “It might work with Capper. “Look here. When Billy Bunter began with “Lend me. as you’ve been frowsting about doing nothing ever since class. with four pens tied together. I know. shaking his head sadly. my hat!” said Peter.” repeated Bunter. Dutton’s. All Bunter wanted was a pen—though that was rather mysterious. with a string.” agreed Peter. lend me—. Have you got a pen in your desk?” “You want some new specs. see? So the pater’s a bear——. “Wasn’t your pater pleased with your spelling. if you can’t see three pens lying right under your silly nose. but this ain’t lines. and my time’s of value. old fat man. Fry’s done lines for his beak that way. “You’re a bear on a falling market.” “Nothing doing!” “A pen—. Peter. He stared across No.” said Bunter. Toddy! Lend me—. I do it in a quarter the time. if your pater’s a bear!” “Oh. as three pens lay on a study table—Toddy’s.” “I see. one over the other.” “Oh. you silly chump!” snorted Bunter. for once. 7 Study at Bunter.” “A whatter?” ejaculated Peter Todd. in the Fourth Form. misjudged his fat study-mate. and write with them all at once. impatiently. “Well.” “Hasn’t that whacking remittance come?” asked Peter. and it worked. “Oh. blankly. Quelch is too downy for that. old brainy barrel.” added Bunter. “A pen. Billy Bunter sniffed. you frabjous owl?” “That’s it. “Three ain’t enough.

Then he dipped the four nibs into the ink. higher than before. But with dates it was different. Quelch glanced up from a pile of Latin proses. as if wiped away with a duster. somewhat inattentive. How could he? Glad to be done with it. The fat Owl blinked in great exasperation at a sea of blots. Mr. was a mild. But he could be both persistent and industrious in dodging work.out the big idea. what a chap like Fry could do. the master of the Fourth. “You may hand me your paper. It did not come easy at first. was not exactly a new idea. “Ah! Bunter!” said Mr. Quelch could expect what he liked! There was “1688” five hundred times repeated. as a rule. so that was all right. Bunter was prompt with the delivery of an impot. raising his eyebrows a little. Quelch glanced at it. and rolled down the Remove passage. For once. and started. Quelch’s expression became quite kindly. Bunter would take more time and trouble in eluding a task than would have been required to get it done. His eyebrows lifted again. “Blow!” The four pens. somehow. Capper. Mr. came apart. saw the genial expression disappear from his face. Indeed. It seemed a good thing to Bunter. He re-started after the interval. Was it possible that the beast suspected something? . He had no doubt about that. A few minutes later he was tapping at his form-master’s study door. 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. of course. The fat junior jammed the four pens together. Slowly. “Come in!” Bunter rolled in. he had only to write it one hundred and twenty-five times. Its use depended largely on the beak with whom it was worked. not merely one hundred and twentyfive times. Bunter. Still. with that dodge he had picked up from Fry of the Fourth. Billy Bunter took his paper. Then he laboured to secure the pens more securely.” Bunter handed him the paper. Quelch. quite genially. to write more than one line at a time. he got on with it. with inward trepidation. That dodge was a time-saver. Fastening several pens together. Quelch. He hoped that this was a sign of amendment in the laziest and most dilatory member of his form. “1688” gradually covered the page with endless repetitions. a really brainy fellow like Bunter evidently could do. but surely. He breathed hard through his little fat nose. and Quelch would never dream of that time-saving device. Bunter. Still. expected him to write that date five hundred times. was neither industrious nor persistent in any task. Perhaps Bunter hadn’t knotted the string very securely. to make up the total of five hundred. Bunter’s dates had to be repeated. my boy. and secured them with a knotted string. and very unsuspicious gentleman: and a Fourth-Form man could palm off on him an imposition in which lines were repeated. He seemed puzzled for a moment. It was finished at last. Bunter blinked over it with satisfaction. Bunter was quite sick of that date before he had repeated it five hundred times.

Chapter XV SMITHY’S SCHEME “IT’S mad. “ I—I’ve written it five hundred times. though no one would have supposed so. he had to admit that the total was correct—Bunter was sure of that. “This trick.” Oh! W-w-w-were you.Alas! It was! “I—I hope it’s all right. Those blocks of four puzzled Mr. A fellow couldn’t think of everything—at all events. sir!” mumbled Bunter. I did not approve of it. Quelch did not reply for a moment. “to use only one pen! You may go. Quelch for a moment. Quelch. Quelch.” said Mr. Yet he did not seem satisfied.” Billy Bunter went—with feelings too deep for words. to look at him! Still. I—I counted. “I was.” stammered the fat Owl. “You can’t do it!” . sir. “more than one line could be written at a time. Quelch must have been a boy.” added Mr. “ could sometimes be played with success upon an inattentive or absent-minded master. Smithy!” muttered Torn Redwing. Bunter couldn’t. I approve of it still less as a school-master. Bunter. “Forty years ago. in his time. “Bunter !” “Oh! Yes.” “Oh!” “And I recommend you. But he had not been quite so careful with his spacing. sir?” stammered Bunter. If he was counting. His hand strayed to his cane. He hadn’t thought about that. somehow. sir. Quelch. “Is it?” jeered the Bounder. But only for a moment. He laid down the paper. I was acquainted with a trick of fastening pens together—. His crusty face relaxed into a grim smile.” said Mr. He was scanning that paper with an eye as keen as any gimlet. 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 realised that Mr. and looked at Bunter.” Mr. Quelch. Bunter had been careful with his total.” said Mr.” said Mr. Quelch. But he withdrew it. he did not see why Quelch should tell him so. Bunter. “I was a schoolboy.” “Oh!” gasped Bunter.” “Eh !” “By which device. “and when I was in a junior form. even as a schoolboy.

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. “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.” “I’m not so sure of that.”y “Is that sixthly or seventhly?” Redwing breathed hard. his brow moody. then. Other fellows don’t have to lie themselves out of scrapes— Wharton. after prep. hotly. “Not that I care!” “They’ll think of you first thing.’ sneered Smithy. But if you will kick over the traces. Smithy! When you’re cooler. You had it hard. Who’s to prove anythin’ else?” “You were caught last night—. when his wilful mind was made up. and Tom Redwing stayed up in the study with his chum. Think I can’t see through you?” “I know I’m wasting my breath. But—.” “That’s different. Smithy. Smithy was moving restlessly about the room.“Can’t I?” They were in No. But what’s the odds—if they can’t prove anythin’? Even if they guess. and something happens in the Head’s study the next night— they’ve only got to put two and two together. what do you expect?” “Is this a lecture or a sermon ?” Torn Redwing bit his lip.” he said. “It’s as safe as houses. I shall make it midnight. It was only eleven last night when that fool Twiss was mooning about. The Head’s a good man and a just man. in his savage resentment: and now that he knew. “and it’s rottener still to rely on telling lies to see you through if you’re suspected. Vernon-Smith came to a halt.” “Can it!” “You wouldn’t tell lies among the fellows——. they’ve got to have proof. with a sneer on his hard face.” urged Redwing. and disrespectful. yes—I cannot tell a lie: I did it with my little hatchet ’?” The Bounder laughed scoffingly. Beaks are fair game. and caddish.” “It’s rotten. Smithy. you’ll see that as plainly as I do. 4 Study. “No! But anything might happen—a master might be up——. He knew that it was useless to argue with the scapegrace of Greyfriars. do you think I shall answer. “You want to stop mc.” “I know that’s how you look at it. and you know it. “It’s not so risky as you fancy. I know. if I’m questioned. A chap who’s just had a flogging wouldn’t be expected to risk another just afterwards. Anybody likely to be up at midnight? “ Redwing was silent. his hands in his pockets.’’ “I’m leaving it late to make sure.” “Don’t waste any more. ‘Oh. Tom’s eyes were on him in deep anxiety. and stood staring at his chum.” he broke out. his eyes glinting. or Maul ——. Most of the Remove had gone down to the Rag: but Smithy was not disposed to meet the crowd in the day-room.” “Think that little bunny-faced blighter Twiss will be goin’ down for a book again in the middle of the night?” jeered Smithy. “It’s a rotten game to rag the head’s study——rotten. But you’re wrong-headed about it. It evoked only mockery from the . If they ask me whether I did it. or old Bob. He knew that mood of the Bounder—a mood in which he was utterly reckless of consequences He had dreaded what Smithy might do. “Let them suspect what they like! I stick to it that I never left the dorm after lights out. because you don’t like the idea.

and you know it. “I say. “You know that I couldn’t have a hand in anything of the kind. get out!” growled Vernon-Smith. and as Redwing had said. Nobody’s going to know who shipped the Head’s study. “You don’t feel like turning out to-night. then!” said Vernon-Smith. “But I shan’t he spotted.” “It’s mad. I hear—awfully funny when he does old Prout. I don’t want any help. “I’d ask Skinner or Snoop.” “You know that I shall do that. but they haven’t the pluck. or Mauly?” mimicked the Bounder. “Oh. don’t jaw. warmly. “ and if you hear me stirring to-night. And—.” The Bounder broke off.” 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. that’s all. “You know I don’t. Reddy!” “Beast!” .” “Smithy.” said Tom. if I can help it. or old Bob.” Redwing sat silent. Wibley’s going to do some of his impersonations in the Rag. That’s easy. But—. you know——. as the study door was suddenly opened from without. I shan’t be more than ten minutes in the Beak’s study—but you can bet your Sunday hat that it will be a sight for gods and men and little fishes when I’m through with it. looking at him. Reddy—there won’t be anybody up to spot a fellow at the jolly old witchin’ time of night. Smithy—. even the Bounder would never have thought of it had he been cooler. Well.” “What?” “I never knew you had chocs in the study cupboard! How could I?” demanded Bunter. Smithy—I—I didn’t think you’d gone down. that’s all. old man—. you know—you fellows shouldn’t miss it.” “Hand me that stump. Studies had been “shipped” before.” said the Bounder. A fat figure rolled in—and stopped. and not to be reasoned with. coolly.” “It’s safe as houses.” He chuckled. “Oh!” ejaculated Billy Bunter.” “Of course not! Aren’t you a jolly old model—like Wharton. ain’t you going down?” asked Bunter. and wake the fellows. “ I tell you——. I—I looked in to speak to you.” “You fat idiot! What do you want?” “Oh! Nothing! I say. you fellows. I go down with my pyjamas tucked into my trousers—if I’m spotted. and I wasn’t after anything —.” “That’s enough! Give us a rest. Smithy! If you think I was after your chocolates——.Bounder. at Greyfriars—it was not unknown for even a master’s study to be “shipped.” said Smithy. “You don’t like the idea?” jeered Smithy. “I came up to tell you that Wharton wants to speak to you—it’s about the cricket. as you did last night.” “Oh. really. But Smithy was not cool now—he was seething with angry and passionate resentment. they can’t make out that I was going out of bounds like that.” “Lump it. “Keep mum about what I’ve told you. The Head never locks his study door. “ Haven’t you fellows gone down? I—I thought you’d be down in the Rag—I—I—I mean. “I’ve got it all cut and dried.” Keep mum. That’s what I came to tell you. to keep cave in the passage while I’m in the Beak’s study?” grinned Smithy.

In his better moments. by ill chance. He faded promptly out of No. Some fellows might have hesitated to traverse dark passages and stairs at such an hour. The Bounder guessed that his chum’s eyes were on him. His heart beat a little faster as he stopped at the door. he stood transfixed. He had had more than enough of that stump for one day. Redwing had much influence over him: but in his present mood.Billy Bunter did not wait for the stump. though he had no doubt that the coast was clear. when it was discovered that the Head’s study had been “shipped. Whether Tom Redwing was awake in the next bed. his feet noiseless on the soft carpet. he was not turning back. did not hear a sound as the door opened and closed again. Billy Bunter’s fat imagination would have peopled the shadows with lurking burglars. But such a mischance was very unlikely: what had happened the previous night could scarcely happen a second time. The darkness and the silence were nothing to him. the most belated beak had gone to bed: all Greyfriars slept. His face was set and bitter. The thought came into his mind of the tremendous “row” on the morrow. listening intently. in the corridor on which the head-master’s study opened. But there it was. If Smithy carried out his scheme of “shipping” the headmaster’s study. He stepped in. it could not be kept too secret. It was midnight: and at that hour. But the Bounder was not troubled with nerves. It was the gleam of a torch! . listening. His hand was steady as he groped for the door-handle in the blackness. What did it matter. The study was dark: the blinds drawn. Silently. and he pushed it open. But Tom did not speak —he would not risk drawing attention to Smithy’s mad escapade. he was “spotted” on his way down. shutting out the glimmer of the stars. Smithy was very cautious—caution itself. across the landing—doubly cautiously he crept down the stairs. without a sound. even in the Remove. The next moment. in the gloom. opposition only made him more stubbornly obstinate. Silently he crept down the passage. in his socks. he crept away to the door—and even the wakeful Redwing. But across the wide room. the last light was out. Smithy did not know—and he did not care. Chapter XVI STRUCK DOWN! HERBERT VERNON-SM1TH made no sound as he slipped from his bed in the dark. He did not heed. He made no sound—and no sound came to his hears in the silent House.” He knew that Redwing was right —they would think of him at once: the scapegrace who had been flogged only that day. He had expected to find it unlocked: he had not expected to find it unlatched. There was a faint stirring—and then he knew that Redwing was awake. He was taking no chances. 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. A startled gasp escaped him involuntarily. The last of twelve strokes had died away in the night. 4 Study. He did not intend to dress—if. was a twinkle of light. unconsciously. if they could prove nothing? Anyhow. at length. taking his time. the door moved under his hand—it was ajar. All was dark—but he knew every inch of the way. He stood. his heart giving a great bound. To his surprise. and the door slammed behind him. on the further side of the Head’s writing-table. as he scrambled into his trousers.

knocking him backwards. Whoever held that light had heard him. and he spun over with a cry and thudded to the floor. no more. stunned and senseless. He lifted his head from the pillow and looked round him. He was not alone in the room. A cold draught in the air told him that it was open: and in the glimmering moonlight he saw that it was wide open. catching as he fell at the invisible figure that had crashed into him. as his senses swam. It was half-past twelve. and silence: and the Bounder of Greyfriars.Only for a split second was it visible. But he heard. and knew. the scrape of a chair as someone. crashing into his face with stunning force. Vernon-Smith’s heart thumped. he realised his peril. But there was some other sound— someone was stirring. He heard. Faintly. at midnight. But it held only for a moment. But he could hear—he heard the panting breath. startled man: and he knew what that man was. in the dark. the patter of running feet in the dark corridor. His right hand closed on an arm—and held. Someone was at the Head’s desk—a panting. Something had awakened him—he hardly knew what: but he knew that somebody was moving in the dormitory. He staggered. For what else could it mean? There was a panting breath—a hurried rustle—the rustle of papers. the rustling paper. each with its black shadow on the floor. and backed swiftly to the doorway. crashed into him. and that a shadowy figure was standing there. his heart leaping and thumping. There was a low moan. was as startled as he. From the silence came the intermittent rumble of Billy Bunter’s deep snore. He was wildly startled: but the other. It was like the Bounder to carry on with his wild ways. what he could only be—a thief in the night! For the moment. Who was there—who could be there. A clenched fist lashed from the darkness. Almost at the same moment an unseen figure. hardly knowing what he did. in the glimmer of light from the high windows. The man who had struck him down was running. His eyes opened. from the night. But it rushed into his mind now. 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. Vernon-Smith could see nothing but the gleam of the light instantly extinguished. the Bounder was as if paralysed: his bulging eyes staring into the gloom. 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. inert. throwing out his hands. . He heard a panting breath in the darkness. lay in the darkness just within the doorway. The moon was high in a clear sky. His lip curled as he looked. crumpled. came the sound of a chime. moving hurriedly. Chapter XVII WHAT HAPPENED TO SMITHY? HARRY WHARTON awoke. rushing across the room to the door. It was shut off instantly. in spite of the flogging—or even because of it. unseen. But as he heard the unseen man moving. Its light glimmered in the long dormitory: he could see the many beds. knocked against it in the dark. He stared towards the door.

I’ve been listening all the time—there hasn’t been a sound—he can’t have been nailed. yes. “What’s up. standing with his back to the room. or anything like that—. but he would get through as quickly as he could—and get safe back. the captain of the Remove could not imagine. Ten . and spun round towards him. Reddy?” he asked. Quietly. and recognized Tom Redwing. and joined Redwing at the doorway.” he muttered. He could read the trouble and anxiety in Redwing’s face. and he did not need telling that it was something to do with Smithy. if that’s what you’re thinking. Why doesn’t he come?” Wharton shook his head. He turned his glance towards Vernon-Smith’s bed. It was not Smithy: but it was a Remove man. Smithy’s not the fellow to tumble downstairs in the dark. softly. They’ve not got him—there hasn’t been a sound—but something—something. “Keep it dark! Smithy was wild—you know him!” muttered Redwing. in a low whisper.” “Hardly. Quiet. “I know! But—but—he said he would be ten minutes. He was as perplexed as the Bounder’s chum. Dimly as he made it out. Every minute that Vernon-Smith was out of his dormitory added to the danger of discovery.” “No! But—if he’s only gone down to a study——.” Harry Wharton sat silent. All was silent—still. staring at the shadowy form. “Quiet!” came a breathless whisper. looking out into the passage. staring at him. “He’s a reckless ass. he saw. “Who’s that?” he called out. “What’s up?” The half-seen junior at the door gave a sudden start.” “The mad ass!” breathed Wharton. Redwing would not have been out of bed at that hour on his own account.” “But why—? I can’t make it out. watching the dark passage outside and listening— why. He sat up in bed. that it was not Smithy’s. “Smithy breaking out again?” “No! No! It’s not that! It’s a rag—.” muttered Redwing. and now that he looked at it he could see that it was unoccupied. he could understand Redwing’s anxiety. He hardly knew what he feared—but he knew that something must have delayed the Bounder—something must have happened: he could not begin to guess what. “He was going to ship the Head’s study—. so soon after the offence for which he had been flogged in Hall. after a moment or two. The reckless scapegrace was hardly worth being concerned about: but Tom was concerned about him.” “Um! Yes! But—. all the same.” “That’s what I can’t understand. staring into the blackness of the passage. He can’t be all this time in the Head’s study—but what——?” “Sure that was his game?” asked Harry. “Yes. But—but why hasn’t he come back?” Redwing put his head out of the doorway again. he slipped from his own bed. Why did not Smithy return? “I can’t understand it. he said so.” “A rag?” repeated Harry.But was it Smithy? He made out a figure in pyjamas. “He can’t have gone out. “Redwing—!” “Quiet! Don’t wake anyone. Then Wharton saw his face in the moon-glimmer. If Smithy was out of bounds again.” Harry Wharton paused. He couldn’t go out of the House in his trousers and socks. That was enough—but—but why doesn’t he come back? He’s been gone half an hour.

old man!” Wharton could only stare. and then stepped out quietly into the passage.” said Harry. a strange sound came—low and faint: a low. All was dark arid silent there. with starting eyes.” There was no answer from the blackness. Then.” “You’re not going alone. his face upturned. “answer if you’re there. and the lower staircase was a black well. and his hand met open space. as they listened with anxious intentness. to listen. In a minute more. the blood rushing to his heart. There was no sound from the study—if the Bounder was there. Harry Wharton started.” muttered Redwing. They groped down to the ground floor. And he had been gone half an hour: and there was still no sound or sign of his return. As quietly as the Bounder half an hour before them. at the foot of the staircase. “He must be still in the Head’s study. But there was no sound from the gloom—the Bounder was not coming.” he breathed. at the scene in the study—Redwing. and they were in the corridor outside the door of the head-master’s study. In the silence they could hear each other’s suppressed breathing.” “It will mean a row for you. “The door’s open. Some accident—something—he wouldn’t be staying all this time. with a great black bruise on the forehead. on his knees beside the still form stretched on the carpet: the Bounder. And they were careful to wake no one as they slipped on trousers and socks. A startled cry broke from him. they were crossing the landing to the staircase—stepping lightly and softly. “He’s hurt. Wharton found the switch inside the doorway and flashed on the light. if—if———. stumbled over something that lay in the darkness.” Harry Wharton nodded. “I can’t make it out any more than you can. for Mr. The Bounder lay unconscious under the eyes of the .minutes would have been ample—a quarter of an hour more than ample. and almost fell. “Good heavens! Smithy—.” whispered Wharton. But—I’m going down to look for him! I can’t make it out—but something’s wrong. “Did you hear—?” His voice came in a gasp. quick! Redwing was groping at the unseen form over which he had stumbled. He peered into the dark interior of the room. Reddy. he was silent. “Smithy!” “Smithy. if you’re going. He stared. and there they stopped.” A minute more. He could see nothing. you ass!” muttered Wharton. But it’s jolly queer. colourless. “Smithy!” panted Redwing. barely audible moan. stupefied. Redwing groped for the door. “Then he must be here. if he could help it. He caught Redwing’s arm. they crept down the stairs to the study landing below.” “What is it?” gasped Harry Wharton. “But why—?” “Goodness knows! We shall soon see. “Smithy. “Get a light—quick! It’s Smithy—it must be Smithy—lying here—switch on the light. I’ll come down with you. “What could have happened?” “I don’t know.” groaned Redwing. He ran into the study. They had been speaking in low voices at the door: no one else in the Remove dormitory had awakened. Quelch’s room was near at hand. “Something must have happened to him.” “Smithy!” whispered Redwing.

in silence. or suspected. His dizzy eyes flickered in the light.” “I know! I thought I heard him running. “Look at the Head’s desk—I expect you’ll see signs of him. and caught his breath. faint. Smithy. for a long minute. You’re hurt——. hallo!” “Something’s up!” said Billy Bunter. and another faint moan escaped him. Quelch. roused from sleep. you fellows. as he saw that one of them was pulled open—a rough gash in the wood showing that the lock had been forced. And as Redwing lifted the sagging head. “Yes. The Famous Five. “Smithy—here—at this time of night—. “I’m here. Chapter XVIII SOMETHING UP ! “I SAY. and looked round it. They had been discussing it when Billy Bunter rolled up to them in the quad after breakfast.two horrified juniors. The table had a column of drawers on either side—and Wharton started. and rested it against his knee.” “This can’t be kept dark now—the Head’s been robbed—. “Reddy!” he muttered. hard look.” “Smithy!” “Can’t you understand? The thief was here— he knocked me out and ran—he was at the Head’s desk—do you think I’m wandering in my mind.” “I had a knock. “There’s nobody here. Almost every fellow at Greyfriars School knew. The fat . hallo. But he was recovering a little—a faint flush of colour came back into his white face. without stirring. was listening with a startled face to what he had to tell. he crossed the study to the head-master’s writing-table. as I went down. rather. “Not really?” asked Bob Cherry. “He’s gone?” “He—who?” “The man who knocked me out. “Well?” came an impatient mutter from the Bounder. that something was “up” that sunny morning. quietly. A couple of minutes later Mr.” said Harry.” Wharton stared. “I’ll call Quelch.” “Hallo. old fellow. as a matter of fact. Reddy—you go and call Quelch. Smithy. knew more about it than most fellows. “I can jolly well tell you fellows that something’s up!” At which the Famous Five smiled. He hurried from the study. His voice came again.” There was silence again. Then.” Harry Wharton gave the Bounder a long. The Bounder lay with his aching head resting on Redwing’s knee. you fool?” snarled the Bounder. Wharton. but stronger than before. Harry Wharton had told his chums of the strange happening in the night.” “The man who knocked you out!” repeated Harry Wharton. But he was coming to—the moan they had heard was the first sign of returning consciousness.” Billy Bunter nodded his fat head sagely. Stick to me. Apparently it had now dawned upon the powerful intellect of William George Bunter.” “Call Quelch—. Vernon-Smith’s eyes opened.

“Well. I’m sure Smithy hasn’t been out of bounds. And I heard Hacker speaking to Twiss. but this morning he looks like—like—like a Gorger. and Smithy was ratty. it only shows what duffers you are.” “Ha. “Ha. And the other beaks. blankly. and got into a scrap with some of his precious pals at the ‘Cross Keys’ ? That might be it. perhaps not exactly a row.” said Bunter. you fellows?” “Better ask Loder—he would know. “Blessed if I can see anything to cackle at.” “Think so?” asked Bob. “I heard him.” he remarked.” “Loder!” repeated the Famous Five. “but they were jolly well arguing over something. haven’t you seen him this morning?” asked Bunter. and if it isn’t Smithy. and that jolly well shows that something happened. “I heard Prout say to Capper that it was unpara— unpara—I mean.” “Smithy been scrapping?” asked Frank Nugent. Quelch must have noticed it—. he would sack him like a shot.” “Think it was Redwing?” asked Bunter. “ And what is it that’s up.” suggested Bob Cherry. I fancy. my hat!” gasped Harry Wharton. something’s up. But it’s pretty plain that something’s up. Think he was out of bounds last night. “I don’t fancy that Smithy’s in a row at all. you can cackle. he’s got a rotten temper. Bunter. Bunter.” “That settles it!” said Harry Wharton. it stands to reason——he’s seen him at prayers. You fellows never hear anything. what’s that long word he uses? Oh. triumphantly.” said Bunter. Smithy’s got a jolt from somewhere. I know—unparallelogrammed—. “Well. ha. I thought they’d gone down when I went to No. That’s what Prout said to Capper. If the Head knew. Cherry!” Bunter sniffed. “Well. “We all know the sort of man Loder is. when I dropped in for a chat with Smithy——. You can take my word for that. ha.” “Like a whatter?” gasped Bob Cherry. “Oh! Do you mean Gorgon?” “I don’t care whether it’s a gorger or a gorgon.” said Bunter. too. what is it?” asked Bunter.” said Bunter. You can wash that out. “He’s got a lump over his eye as if a mule had kicked him—. old fat man?” “It’s something to do with Smithy.” argued Bunter. “I wonder if it’s Loder of the Sixth——. really. “Anyhow. suppose the beaks have spotted him?” suggested Bunter. wisely.Owl blinked at them seriously through his big spectacles. 4 to look for the chocolates—I mean.” declared Bunter. “I hardly think so. Think Loder’s up for the sack. and Twiss said he hadn’t. ha!” yelled the Famous Five. Wharton?” Harry Wharton laughed.” “Rot!” said Johnny Bull. ha!” “Oh. “No. They were having a row in their study after prep last night——.” Well. “You fellows wouldn’t know. but I can tell you that Smithy was in a beastly temper as usual— he was simply insulting. and at brekker. “I mean to say. ha. “He’s been fighting.” “Oh. “Well. and I’ve often wondered why Redwing doesn’t punch his head. “If you fellows can’t see that something’s up. but that’s what Quelch looks like. ha!” “Well. “ I expect I should have heard . gravely. too—he said he’d heard nothing during the night. Try again. “Think Smithy’s up for another flogging.” he answered.” “Ha. see?” said Bunter. I know. Didn’t you see Quelch’s face—he always looks like a grim old gargoyle. so he must have noticed it.

” said Harry. “I shouldn’t think so. and I had to move on. Not much chance of that. you fellows! What do you think?” exclaimed the fat Owl. “I’d like to meet the man who handed it out—I’d give him something back. “That drawer in the Head’s desk had been forced open—a chisel or something—a cracksman could have picked the lock easily enough. if you did the same. however.” said Nugent.” “Hallo. I believe he’s been making investigations. “Yes.” said Vernon-Smith.” “Grimey will find that out. and his eyes glinted as the juniors involuntarily glanced at his disfigured forehead. He was hard as nails. I came to tell you that you’re wanted.” “They won’t do much good here. I keep my eyes open. We can’t tell him anything of any use. that sportsman last night must have given him a whale of a jolt. Many eyes that morning had turned on the Bounder’s disfigured face. The heavy blackand-bluish bruise on his forehead leaped to every eye. hallo. the Bounder showed few if any signs of what he had been through.” “And the listenfulness was not terrific?” grinned Hurree Jamset Ram Singh. His expression was far from pleasant as he came up to the Famous Five. That’s about as far as he’ll get. what?” grinned Bob. but I suppose he wants to take notes.” 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. I expect the Johnny who knocked Smithy out is far enough away by this time. I say. “It must have been a bit of a shock. I expect.” answered Bob. slowly. “The police must have been here.” Well. You know the Acid Drop! He’d make out that a fellow was listening to what he was saying. You fellows never know a thing. It’s a matter for the police. Wharton—you and I and Redwing—Grimey wants to hear anything we can tell him. then?” asked Nugent. “Local talent. Wharton.” remarked Bob Cherry. “Looks pretty. doesn’t it?” he sneered. Come on. “Fat lot of good. with what he snaffled from the Head’s desk. The Co. “The esteemed Bunter hears these things without listening. remained in the quad. It was broken open in the clumsiest way. Quelch to the head’s study. most likely. between his teeth. “You fellows would know more about what goes on. Apart from that ugly bruise. only Hacker saw me. “I told you yesterday. seen Skinner? Skinner may know something about it. and he wouldn’t risk making a noise breaking it open. May he here now for all we know— or Bunter knows.” said Bob. and the three of them followed Mr.” said Bob. “Yes. Bunter rolled up with an excited fat face.” he said. it was a bit of a knock.the next minute what it was.” said Bunter.” “I believe Quelch phoned to Inspector Grimes at Courtfield after he sent us back to the dorm last night. They joined Tom Redwing.” The captain of the Remove went into the House with Smithy. in the Head’s study.” “Is Grimes here.” The Bounder sneered again. I suppose—he had lots of time to get clear before I was found. Harry Wharton shook his head. Only too plainly. perhaps! Some jolly old tramp— I wonder how he got in. old fat . hallo! Here’s Smithy! By gum. “I suppose it will be all over the school soon. “I think you’re a burbling bandersnatch. from what I saw. “I say. he had received a terrific jolt from the unknown man in the Head’s study. “It can’t be kept dark about burgling the Head’s study.” “Some cracksman from London. where they were once more favoured with the attention of Billy Bunter.” “Not professional work.

after all: for which he was now duly thankful. His glance turned on the three juniors as they followed the Remove master into the study. He had greeted Inspector Grimes. Cherry! I say. Locke’s placid existence. or feel. you can take my word for it that something’s up. it’s true about Grimes—two or three fellows have seen him— and he’s jolly well in the Head’s study now. he can’t have come here to run Smithy in. chuckling. Dr. especially after the injury he had received. Plump and red as his face was. Vernon-Smith.” And Billy Bunter rolled off again in search of further thrilling items of news. Grimes did not stir or speak. as it were. why you came down to this study. his eyes were very keen: and they scanned the three juniors with a very penetrating look. Locke was seated at his writing-table. Mind.man. of Courtfield. there jolly well is something up. Wharton and Redwing. “I understand: but I do not understand. almost sleepy. sir. in the first place. really. Grimes may have some questions to put to you. “Mark my words. and Mr. “You know why I have sent for you. of Courtfield. and cannibals in Central Africa. Dr. “I say. There was a stocky figure standing by the study window—Inspector Grimes. as I told you!” exclaimed Bunter. in the scholastic calm of Greyfriars. What had happened was a great shock to him. what about Grimes being here?” “Grimes!” repeated Bob. Mr. you fellows—before you’re much older you’ll hear that there’s something up. Locke knew that there were head-hunters in Borneo. My belief is that something must have happened last night. with his usual urbane courtesy: but he would almost as soon have seen a grisly spectre in his study. I say. “I’ve found it all out. The three juniors stood quietly before their head-master. Chapter XIX INSPECTOR GRIMES INVESTIGATES “HERE are the boys. He had no doubt of coming through easily. A robbery had taken place—an unheard-of occurrence in Dr. with the underworld. It had had to come out about his surreptitious nocturnal visit to his head-master’s study. It appears that you.” “Yes. at midnight.” “Oh. uneasy. and came to this study— . sir!” said Mr. The Head’s kind old face was clouded. Quelch. and he frowned a little as he looked at the Bounder.” said Harry. But he had never anticipated rubbing shoulders. The Bounder did not look. The present state of affairs was very disturbing to him. and there was a wrinkle in his brow. You can jolly well cackle as much as you jolly well like. “I shouldn’t wonder if that’s why Grimey has come over from Courtfield. “Well. and the juniors hardly noticed that he was there. came down in the night to look for Vernon-Smith. But his reckless scheme of “shipping” the study had not been carried out. plump and red-faced. my boys. can he?” “Oh. suffering cats! Hardly!” gasped Bob. “Your form-master has told me all the circumstances: but I desire to hear what you have to say. “Yes.” said Bunter. You left your dormitory. but you’ll jolly well find that I’m right—there’s something up!” declared Bunter. leaving the Co. rather! Inspector Grimes from Courtfield police-station!” trilled Bunter. No doubt.” said the Head.

” “I’m very sorry. Let this be a lesson to you. “It was your intention. sir. “What do you mean by a ‘lark. sir. just to remind the Head that he had been injured. But for the unexpected encounter with the midnight pilferer. yes. Vernon-Smith. blankly. There was a pause. exactly what occurred. to play a foolish. sir.” “What happened then?” “I realised that it must be a burglar.why?” The head-master’s voice grew sterner as he put that question. “Your reckless action placed you in actual danger. and backed to the door. “Bless my soul!” repeated the Head. sir. “I know it was silly. what the Bounder’s intentions had been. “I’m sorry.” Mr.” said the Bounder. only too well. I had no idea that anyone was here. Grimes stepped from the window. as it happened—I was knocked out as soon as I got into the room.’ Vernon-Smith?” “I—I was going to put some gum in your ink-pot. and I caught at him as I was knocked over. Master Vernon-Smith. I shall not do so.” “What! Bless my soul!” exclaimed the Head. unreflecting. sir. And I never did it. Locke glanced across at Mr. “It was a lark. at last. for he rushed into me.” Smithy passed a hand over the black bruise on his forehead.” “You came down in the dark?” “Yes. sir. Locke. Then he gave me—this. At what time precisely did you leave your dormitory?” “Midnight had just struck. VernonSmith. sir—I see that quite plainly now. “ I should like to hear from you. “You were stunned?” . sir—. disrespectful prank. sir.” “Thank you. In view of the injury you received.” “Oh. Smithy could be meek. “but for the consequences of your act I should request your form-master to administer a severe punishment for such a foolish. till I saw the light of a torch as I came into the room. But the Remove master did not speak. Tom Redwing compressed his lips a little. He must have rushed for the door at the same time. He thought it worth while to keep that in Dr.” “Certainly. the study would have been “shipped. Mr. sir. of course.” said Dr. Quelch fixed gimlet-eyes very sharply on Smithy. 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.” “You saw nothing at all of him?” “Nothing whatever.” Smithy was meakness itself. when he liked. as it transpired.” and found in the morning in a state of the wildest disorder. Locke’s mind. “Vernon-Smith!” said the Head.” murmured the Bounder. sir—I can see now how silly it was—but ——.” “A lark!” repeated the Head. meekly. sir. Grimes. “If you desire to question the boys. “No doubt what has occurred will he a warning to you. He did not know what Redwing knew: but he had no doubt—not the slightest doubt— that the scapegrace of Greyfriars had planned something much more serious and damaging than a fag trick of putting gum into an inkpot. sir.” Dr.” “You did not see the man who held the torch?” “No: it was put out instantly. He knew.

Master Redwing. Cherry! I’ve found it all out!” gasped Bunter. Grimes spoke at last. sir. I suppose?” “Yes. “What do you fellows think of that?” Bub-bub-burglars. Locke’s desk. and Mr. and they were waiting for the bell when Bunter rolled up. Grimes smiled.” answered Tom.” said Harry. apparently. “At what time was this ?” “Some minutes after half—past twelve.“I must have been. I don’t know anything afterwards till Wharton and Redwing found me here. Did you see. Master Wharton?” “No sound of anyone stirring? “No. his little round eyes almost popping through his big round spectacles. they did not know. of course. Master Wharton. or whether he was utterly at a loss. Dr.” And Dr. Quelch to the Remove: and Mr. Mr. Evidently the Owl of the Remove had news—startling and thrilling news. “I was startled. Harry Wharton had rejoined his friends in the quad. Grimes was left to his meditation and investigations.” was it?” asked Bob. disdainfully. “Now. Quelch.” “Thank you.” The Head made a sign. “I’ve got it from Wingate of . he wouldn’t have knocked me out like that. sir. Locke and Mr.” “What?” “Bub-bub—bub——. Locke proceeded to the Sixth-Form room.” “You found Master Vernon-Smith unconscious here?” “I stumbled over him.” “Then Master Vernon-Smith must have lain here unconscious for at least half an hour. sir.” Mr.” he answered. whatever they were. The Bounder gave him a look. “What sort of burglar is a bub-bub-burglar?” “Oh. I have some investigations to make which will be better carried out while the boys are in class. You too came down in the dark. I may have something to tell you later—I certainly hope so.” “As frightened as you were. in his excitement. Inspector Grimes stood with a deeply thoughtful expression on his face. and then we saw him. Chapter XX BUNTER WANTS TO KNOW! IT’S bub-bub-bub——. and the three juniors left the study.” said Redwing.” Billy Bunter stuttered. sir. “I called to Wharton to switch on the light. “Bub-bub-burglars!” gasped Bunter. He was just beginning to come to. “Then I looked at Dr. anything unusual as you came down?” “Nothing at all.” said Mr. If I’d had a chance.” He got it out at last. it appears that you came down to look for your friend. as I fell—I am sure of that. sir. and saw that a drawer had been broken open. as he did not return to the dormitory. He ran down the corridor. or hear.” “Or you. It was only a few minutes now to class. Quelch regarded him in silence. spluttering with excitement.” “You saw no sign of a burglar?” “Not till Smithy told us to call Mr. “ It’s bub-bub-bub— burglars. really. “I will take up no more of your time now. Whether the Courtfield inspector was cogitating deeply. as a bell began to ring. Grimes. That is all— at present. “I was not frightened. But I heard him running.

the burglar bolted after knocking out Smithy with the butt of his automatic——. “Ha.” “You don’t say so!” “I jolly well do!” asserted Bunter. scissors! “Smithy got it on the nut. that’s all you know!” retorted Bunter. “Well. “Ha. ha. too—Quelch called them up. some fellows went down in the middle of the night and found Smithy lying in the Head’s study.” said Bunter. Rolls of banknotes—stacks of them— heaps ! A regular pile of banknotes. “I wasn’t listening. I should think. gravely.” said Bunter. the Head wouldn’t be likely to have millions of pounds in his study. you ass—found Smithy. “Yes—I expect the burglar knocked him out with his jemmy. he didn’t exactly tell me—I heard him talking with Gwynne. So you can take it from me that Smithy got that cosh in the Beak’s study last night. it’s straight. when I’d stopped to tie my shoe-lace. “Not millions ?” “No—thousands. in the burglary.” said Bob. and he got it from the burglar. I know. Quelch was up. ha.” “As bad as that?” gasped Wharton. ha!” “You can cackle. you fathead—not in the banknotes.” said Bunter. you beast—I couldn’t help hearing what they said.” “Smithy’s a tough nut.” . ha.” explained Bunter.” said Nugent. “I say. and the window was open and I happened to hear him.” chuckled Hurree Jamset Ram Singh. “Well. Some fellows came down and found him—. There’s been a burglary in the Head’s study.” “Found Wingate?” “No. Smithy’s mixed up in it. “He looks pretty fit this morning for a chap who’s been weltering in his gore over-night. ha!” “No.’’ “Oh. “Well. I’d like to know who the fellows were. “Wingate mentioned his name.” “Ha.” “And he’s told you all about it?” grinned Bob. I wonder who those fellows were who came down and found Smithy?” “I wonder!” said Harry. Quelch came down——. anyway. “You fellows go about with your eyes shut. Thousands!” “That all?” asked Frank Nugent.” said Bunter. Some of the beaks. laughing. “Burglars use jemmies. And I say.” “Mixed up in the pile of banknotes?” asked Bob. “Of course.” “Not by listening under open windows.” explained Bunter. “Thousands of pounds gone. Nugent. and you don’t. you know—they’re a sort of what-do-you-call-it that they use for busting open thingummybobs——. and never find out anything. That’s where he got that cosh on his cocoanut.” “About as likely as thousands.” “And caught the burglar?” asked Johnny Bull. covered with blood—. “They were up last night. breathlessly. “No——as far as I can make out.” said Harry Wharton.the Sixth—he knows. being just under the window. but I tell you. weltering in his gore—. could I? I say. He seems to have walked right into the burglar—silly ass ! That’s how it happened—I’ve got it straight from Wingate—he was talking to Gwynne in the Prefects’ Room. ha!” “The welterfulness was probably not terrific. All the prefects were up.

” went on Bunter. “I mean.” “Ha. “You seem to have heard quite a lot while you were tying up your shoe-lace. ha!” “Hallo. and spectacles.” said Bob. He looks in a beastly temper this morning. I say.” “Gammon!” said Bunter.” “I say. and they searched the House. And on this unusually thrilling occasion. “Still.” said Bob. “Let’s have the next instalment of the thriller in break. then! You jolly well knew there was something up all the time. “I say.” “Ha. 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. ain’t it exciting. hallo. Know where he is?” “He’s gone up to his study. I expect that’s how he got in. and then he must have bolted with the banknotes. Think he’s going to look for clues?” Billy Bunter eyed the plump inspector inquisitively. if Gwynne hadn’t shut the window.” “You!” said Bunter. it’s pretty rotten to have to go in to class with all this going on. ha. almost hungrily.“As well as with his jemmy?” asked Bob. you beast.” “But I say. ha!” “Quelch called up the prefects.” “Come on. too. Bunty. I can tell you. “Suppose a fellow never heard the bell. where’s Smithy? I’m going to ask him. “I say.” Bunter was getting a little mixed. “Why. “Bunter’s the man for the news. you fellows?” “Thrilling. “They found a window open—the Window of the Sixth-Form lobby—that’s how the burglar went. the jemmy of his automatic—I mean —. or forgot the time—. He told us there was something up ! And there is. 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 fellows—. “Eh? I—I meant the butt of his jemmy—I mean.” “I should have heard the rest. if I hadn’t told you. a fellow might be late !” argued Bunter. he coshed Smithy on the cocoanut with his jemmy. you fellows. . “Who were they?” “Redwing and I. And the Famous Five headed for the Remove form-room. “Rot! You never know anything. more than ever did Bunter want to know. there’s old Grimes. “Better not bother Smithy—he’s not in the best of tempers. laughing. Bunty. hallo. there’s the bell !” exclaimed Bob Cherry. you beast——. Seen Smithy? I heard somebody say that he was let off classes this morning because of that cosh. you fat duffer.” said Harry Wharton. if you want to know. of course. you know all about it. but I’m jolly well going to ask him. Inquisitiveness was Bunter’s besetting sin : he always wanted to know.” said Bunter. “Henry doesn’t like to be kept waiting—even on the morning after the night before.” “Come on. ain’t it? I say. fixed on a stocky figure emerging from the House. “I say. you fellows. you know. You wouldn’t have known there was something up at all. I’d like to know who those fellows were who came down and found Smithy. curiously. I expect. Besides. Why. Grimey’s here because of the burglary.” “Oh!” gasped Bunter. But Billy Bunter did not follow them. think a fellow might risk cutting a class?” “I wouldn’t risk it with Quelch !” chuckled Bob. ha.” Billy Bunter’s eyes.” said Harry.

He knew that that window had been found open in the night. if not an official one. Grimes. Mr. “G-g-good morning.Instead of following the other fellows in. a faint smile came over his stolid red face. Mr. He had had the pleasure. Grimes seemed oblivious to him. or otherwise. from a spot of cigarette-ash. concentrated on his search. . Grimes had not. Evidently he remembered him. Grimes.” Good morning. Indeed. Obviously. which seemed. and of everything but his task. there was a sporting chance that he might believe that a fellow hadn’t heard the bell. Mr. Billy Bunter had read a good many detective novels. Bunter was breathlessly interested.” “Master Bunter. Chapter XXI NO LUCK FOR BUNTER! INSPECTOR GRIMES was busy. an official detective-officer. Bunter was a fellow not easily forgotten. Grimes. I think. But objects were rather dim to the Owl of the Remove at a distance. Grimes was rooting about at the window of the Sixth-Form lobby.” said Mr. the inspector was looking for clues. of making Billy Bunter’s acquaintance long ago. He knew all about clues. his plump figure rather suggesting a barrage-balloon.” said Mr. and a pair of big round spectacles. he proceeded to scan the earth under the window. N—n—nice morning. Mr. Billy Bunter rolled off in quite another direction. Quelch gathered his flock in the formroom. watched from a respectful distance. Circumferentially. Bunter knew why. It dawned on Bunter that Mr. occasionally stirring the grass with a plump finger. the fattest member of his form was conspicuous by his absence. “Oh! Yes!” gasped Bunter. But suddenly he resumed the perpendicular. glanced round. Grimes spent quite a long time at the sill. Grimes give a grunt. Mr. but the size of his feet. at least. to Bunter. He heard Mr. Quelch was strict on punctuality: still. Still. couldn’t be expected to do wonderful things like that. and his style in neckties. Grimes did not look angry. He goggled at Mr. ain’t it?” said Bunter. and the interpretation thereof. Mr. when Quelch had called up the prefects to search the House. could deduce. bent double. He had something in his hand—Bunter wondered whether it was a magnifying glass. to have a note of satisfaction in it. at first. Billy Bunter was going to risk it: and when Mr. been unconscious of the fat junior blinking at him: he had known that Bunter was there all the time. Of course. “I—I say—. and stared at Bunter. He seemed unaware that he was under observation. and gradually he edged nearer. To his relief. But he was! From a little distance a pair of little round eyes. “Oh !” repeated Bunter. What had he discovered? Nearer and nearer the inquisitive fat Ow! edged. “Oh!” gasped Bunter. or had forgotten the time. Grimes. till he was only a few yards behind the inspector’s plump back. not only who had committed the crime. Grimey might find out something—and Billy Bunter fairly burned with curiosity to know what. He was taken quite by surprise: he hadn’t expected that sudden move. Billy Bunter watched him breathlessly. He was well aware that an amateur detective. or both. Then. with the disadvantage of practical training and experience. Grimes was making a most meticulous examination of the stone sill under that window. Bunter did not need telling that that was where the burglar had made his exit after knocking Smithy out in the Head’s study. the colour of his hair. Bunter. were fastened on the plump gentleman from Courtfield. politely. after all.

being on the spot. “ It’s rather high from the ground. Even with the aid of his big spectacles. it was a chance for Bunter to view the scene of the burglary. “I’m considered pretty good at picking up signs. .” “Indeed!” said Mr. “It’s very kind of you. I daresay I could help!” said Bunter. and wondered whether Mr. the fat junior was unable to spot a single trace of anyone having jumped from that window. Trust me! I fancy I could pick up any sign you’ve missed. Grimes did not reply. Quelch. Having gazed at Bunter. Grimes. Grimes had been able to deduce as much. He concluded that the fleeing burglar must have climbed out very carefully instead of jumping out. “Eh?” “I’m a Greyfriars Scout. Bunter was blind and deaf to sarcasm. He was fifteen minutes late for class. and rolled in. turned the door-handle.” said the fatuous fat Owl. But Mr. added to his knowledge of scoutcraft. but not to the Remove room. Bunter was left blinking. He was surprised by this sudden departure of Mr. Grimes. not at all.“Very!” agreed Mr. Grimes gazed at William George Bunter. he turned away. “I say. “If you haven’t. While masters and boys were in form. Grimes!” he squeaked. Grimes.” said Bunter. Master Bunter.” explained Bunter. It did not occur to Bunter that he was considering whether to box Bunter’s fat ears for his cheek or not. isn’t it? I expect you’ve spotted it. “Must have left some sign when he jumped out.” “Oh!” “I’d be jolly glad to help!” said Bunter. It really looked as if Mr.” “Ah!” said Mr. Mr. I’ll be jolly glad. “They found it open when they searched the House. From the corner of the corridor he blinked cautiously in the direction of the Head’s study. Bunter made none. But if the Courtfield inspector had made any discovery there. He disappeared into the lobby. deep sarcasm that was a sheer waste on Billy Bunter. The coast was clear: and the fat Owl rolled up the corridor to the head’s door. Mr. “I expect you’ve found the footsteps—I mean the footprints?” ventured Bunter. Grimes. “Well. However. and he decided not. and the Head with the Sixth. Grimes had no use for Bunter’s kind assistance in the execution of his official duties. “Oh. Grimes. “Do you?” said Mr. Grimes. Mr. which he was intensely curious to do. Bunter blinked after him. that’s the window where the burglar got out last night. He looked very thoughtful. The chime of the quarter caused the fat Owl to blink up at the clock-tower. to offer to expend your valuable time in assisting the police in their duties. “Anything I can do. Bunter proceeded to look for “signs” under the lobby window. But Bunter did not turn his steps immediately in the direction of the form-room. He rolled into the House. you know. Grimes. and blink at the burgled desk.” said Bunter. with a deep.” said Mr.” Mr. when they had been getting on so nicely with their chat. you know. Grimes was an amiable and good-tempered plump gentleman. A quarter of an hour late was rather a good allowance in dealing with a master like Mr. and went into the House by the lobby door. I don’t miss much. and shut the door after him.

” “Oh. Mr. looking round. and stared—or rather glared—at him. Grimes. which is a much more serious matter. and a good many other fellows had gathered. He picked up the cane from his desk. of the Shell.” Billy Bunter’s voice trailed away.” “Oh! Yes. Bunter. Bunter jumped. and I forgot the time. where Harry Wharton and Co. for the time.” “And. “Oh!” stuttered Bunter. you fellows!” Billy Bunter blinked into the changing-room. His speaking countenance indicated only too plainly that it was not good enough. “You will take fifty lines for unpunctuality. lor’!” “What are you doing here?” snapped Mr. “He won’t be in the Head’s study then. in fact. Bunter. “I—I thought—I—I mean—I—I didn’t—I—I wasn’t—I—I mean to say—oh. long ago.” “Oh! Yes. sir! I never heard the time. and I forgot the bell—. “Seen Grimey?” he asked. “You are twenty minutes late for class. After which. “Grimey?” repeated Bob Cherry. Quelch. grimly.” gasped Bunter. He had hoped that this would be good enough for Quelch. “Beast!” he breathed.” Billy Bunter went to his place—wriggling. Chapter XXII CORNERED! “I SAY. minor matters like burglaries naturally took a very secondary place: and the Co. It was a half-holiday that afternoon. “I shall cane you for untruthfulness.” said Mr. where all the Remove stared at him as he rolled in. had. Bunter thought so. Really.” added Mr. When cricket was the order of the day. I never heard the bell. But it was not vacant. as he rolled down the corridor. Grimes. and Mr. Quelch fixed him with a grim gimlet-eye. Bend over that chair. Bunter decided that he had better turn up for class. and the heroes of the Remove were hooked for cricket with Hobson and Co. Bunter. Grimes was there. lor’!” Whop! “Wow! ow-ow-wow! Wow!” “You may go to your place. blow him. Quelch. “Bunter!” rumbled Mr. where Billy Bunter was concerned. He had taken it for granted that the Head’s study would be vacant. “Not knowing the bell. it was high time. too: and he went. good !” said Bunter. Billy Bunter reminded them of it. sir. He was . perhaps making some examination of the burgled drawer in which Billy Bunter was so keenly interested. He rolled off to the form-room. forgotten all about the exciting incident of the night. sir—I mean the time—I—I——. But Quelch was always rather a doubting Thomas. with the head-master in the Sixth-Form room. “He’s gone.” “Oh. “Oh! Nothing! I—I mean—” “You had better go. The inspector was leaning over the Head’s writing-table. But he jerked upright as Bunter rolled in.“Well?” That monosyllable came like a shot.” “What?” “I—I mean.

I offered to help——.” “I’m used to jealousy. with a grin. I fancy.” “You’d better not let the Head spot you prying in his study. “Well.” “You looked in at the head’s study !” exclaimed Harry Wharton.” chuckled Hurree Jamset Ram Singh. what?” asked Johnny Bull. “I was going to give that desk the once-over—where the burglar burgled it.” said Bunter. with my knowledge of scoutcraft. you fat chump. Billy Bunter winked. a fellow wants to see what’s happened.” snapped Bunter. of course—but he shouldn’t he slacking in his study. where’s Smithy?” Bunter blinked over the crowd of faces in the changing-room. “That’s all right. is he sticking in his study. “I’m wide. “I’m jolly well going to see where the burglar boggled—I mean burgled—. curtly. jawing to Twiss. “Too jolly wide to be spotted by a beak. “Blessed if I see anything to cackle at. but of course. if you want him!” said Tom Redwing.” grunted . Bob Cherry.” “Ha. at least. if Bunter couldn’t. with a nod. I’m wide. “Didn’t Grimey jump at your offer. when I went in. ha. all right. you couldn’t pick up a sign if it stuck out a mile.” assented Bunter. The Head won’t spot me.” “Something that Grimey has missed. “Well.” “The widefulness is terrific. “Never saw a wider chap. ha !” yelled the juniors. Redwing?” “Smithy’s in his study.” said Bunter. I can tell you.” he said. you know. you know.” said Bob.” said Peter Todd. “I wouldn’t! I hope he ain’t sticking in his study this afternoon—I—I mean. a fat wink. ha!” “But if he’s cleared off.there when I looked in this morning—. I say. sarcastically.” said Bunter.” said Bunter. he was civil. Grimes had been indulging in sarcasm. “Well. Then he walked off—I don’t know why. I fancy. I might be jolly useful in picking up sign—.” “You are!” agreed Toddy. I’ve had an eye open for the Head—he’s in his garden now. I saw him. I shouldn’t wonder if I found a clue. Why.” “Your which of whatter?” gasped Bob. Bunter? asked Squiff. “I didn’t know he had gone to the Beak’s study—but there he was.’ “Bit soppy. ha.” said Bunter. and he glared at me like a Gorger—I mean a Gorgonzola—.” “What?” yelled Bob. that Mr. you know. you fat chump. I don’t want him.” “Double—width. “I’m a pretty good Scout. “Ain’t Smithy going to play cricket?” “Not with a lump like a duck’s egg on his frontispiece. “Smithy’s taking a rest. “He said it was kind of me to offer to assist the police in their duties——. with a sniff. “You silly ass. You couldn’t trail anything but a jam-tart or a dough-nut. to make such a fuss about a cosh on the conk. “That’s it. “I mean.” “The fancifulness is terrific. He was rooting about under the lobby window this morning. Toddy. I don’t mean wide.” “Ha. They could guess.” said Bunter. he never spotted anything.” said Bob Cherry. “ Grimey’s rather an old donkey.

The burglar did not seem to have played up.Bunter. but I don’t believe in slacking and frowsting about. that a fellow shouldn’t be soppy.” “Ha. he knew a lot about detective work from the detective-novels he had read. you beast! Wharrer you shoving that bat at me for?” yelled Bunter. if he’s got a headache. and make a song and a dance about a bit of a tap on the crumpet. as it were. I’ve a jolly good mind to go up and say to Smithy— Whoooop! Keep that bat away. Bunter was bold as a lion. and the Head and his secretary both in the Head’s garden. and empty. the former was evidently out of reach of his fat fingers —so the fat Owl gave his attention to the latter. as Bunter departed. Billy Bunter arrived at his headmaster’s study. I call it! A fellow may have a bit of a headache. There was absolutely nothing to be seen but an oaken drawer that had been roughly wrenched open with a chisel. if he asked. Leaving the fellows in the changing-room laughing. Tom Redwing shoved again: and the fat Owl faded out of the doorway of the changing-room. One was the box of chocolates in Smithy’s study—the other was his curiosity to pry at the burgled desk. really. and when there was no danger. The lock. 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. and the wood surrounding it. opened the door and blinked in. and it could not be wholly shut again till it was repaired.” “Bunter doesn’t believe in slacking and frowsting about!” said Bob Cherry. “Beast!” floated back. Besides. Bunter would have been very bucked to pick up a clue: and if there was a clue to be spotted. “Oh. ha. Bunter had to admit that if a clue was there. He rolled in and shut the door after him.” All the other drawers were shut and locked—but the burgled drawer was partly open. Redwing?” “Fathead!” “Is there anything to eat in Smithy’s study?” asked Bob Cherry. ha!” “What I think is. “Ha. Billy Bunter rolled away in the direction of the Head’s study.” It was easy enough to spot the drawer that had been “burgled. It was rather a risky game to pay a surreptitious visit to that awesome apartment: but Billy Bunter had taken his precautions. staring at the fat Owl suspiciously.” It seemed to Bunter safe as houses. There were two important matters on Billy Bunter’s fat mind that afternoon. Without explaining why he was shoving his bat at Bunter. Bunter had no high opinion of Inspector Grimes and his abilities—but considerable faith in his own. But after ten minutes of industrious blinking. Then he proceeded to give the Head’s writing. he had little doubt that he would spot it. and then rolled in. had been crudely and roughly broken by the instrument that had forced open the drawer. ha. Cherry! If you think I know anything about that box of chocs in Smithy’s study——.” said Bunter. “Soppy. he couldn’t locate it. With Smithy taking a rest in No. He blinked at it from very angle. it would be much better for him to lie down. as burglars do in detective novels. Redwing. Billy Bunter blinked at it wisely through his big spectacles. Why not cut up to the study and tell him. . The coast was clear this time: with Inspector Grimes gone from Greyfriars. 4 in the Remove. “Quelch would give him leave to go up to dorm. ha!” “Besides. and he had great faith in his own “wideness.table the “once-over.

“I am afraid it may he a shock to you. “I don’t quite understand Mr. He knew many languages and many other things.” repeated the inspector. and seen what was to be seen. Bunter’s fat head almost swam. sir—not a case of burglary from outside. faintly. and his only thought was to get out of sight—escape might come later if they didn’t spot him there. when the boy Vernon-Smith unexpectedly interrupted him. He rolled towards the door. That beast Grimes had come back. and the Head had brought him to the study. Some person belonging to this establishment was pilfering here. Grimes. “Oh. high-backed armchair that stood in a corner. a . There was no escape. Chapter XXIII “AN INSIDE JOB!” “AN inside job.” It was the Head’s voice.” said Mr. or the robbery could not have taken place. crikey!” breathed Bunter. with a nod.” They had come to stay! And if they found Bunter there—! Billy Bunter could only hope that they wouldn’t. The footsteps were approaching the study door— footsteps of more than one person. Inspector Grimes let that pass. palpitating with terror. Grimes. The Head’s learning was great—his erudition wide and deep. Surely some extraneous person must have entered the House. Grimes. his fat hand was almost on the door handle. when a sound came from the corridor without—a sound of footsteps. Not a case of housebreaking. But there is no doubt about it in my mind. he had gratified his inquisitive curiosity. sir. He stood transfixed.” Then he gave a little start. But he did not know what an “ inside job” was. waiting for the schoolmaster to assimilate what he had told him. That meant that they were going to “jaw. when Bunter crammed himself desperately behind a massive.” He broke off. “You do not mean to imply that some person resident in the house could have—. sir. “A job done from the inside. little as it was: and that was something. “An inside job. sir. “I have every confidence in every servant employed at this school. He was hardly out of sight when the door opened. in sheer terror. sir. Was it the Head coming in? If he were caught in that study—! His fat heart palpitated as he listened.Bunter grunted. “Exactly. Locke looked inquiringly at Inspector Grimes. blankly. Locke blinked at him. But I must apprise you of the facts. He stopped suddenly. The footsteps were almost at the door. sir. His fat ears pricked up like those of a startled rabbit.” Dr. Nobody entered this building last night. The pilferer is to be looked for in this school.” “Bless my soul !” said the Head. “I am sorry. They were coming—and there was Bunter. Still. 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. “Pray step in. He sat stolid. sir!” Dr.” “Impossible!” said the Head. Mr.” said the Head.

” “ But—. LOCKE BLINKED AT HIM “Then it was a—a trick?” “A simple trick. sir. “Mr. but stating facts. sir. I was aware that it was an inside job. The person who robbed your desk desired. Locke.” “Oh!” murmured Dr.” murmured the Head. a childish one: but all that he could do to give the hoped-for impression that the pilferer had come from outside. It is.” But I have supposed. The result is the assurance that no one either entered or left the house by that window last night. sir.” “He knew—?” “Obviously. sir—everyone has supposed—that the burglar escaped by that open window—. no doubt. There is no more reason to suspect a servant than to suspect any other person here.” said Mr. “and I can make the matter clear to you in a few words. to give the impression that a burglary had occurred.” “I am not supposing. Inside information is an indication of an inside job.” “Bless my soul!” repeated Dr. sir. “At the moment. Locke gazed at him. no one can be excluded. as I have said. But this—this is beyond credence. Even before examining the window for traces. Locke. sir.” DR. Grimes. sir—or rather. A window was left open for that purpose. money .” Precisely what he intended you to suppose. quite aghast. sir.little warmly. sir. Grimes! I cannot. some reason for supposing—. There are dozens of drawers in your desk here. the perpetrator is absolutely unknown. the sill outside.” Dr. At the present moment. of course. The person—man or boy or whatever he was —knew where to look for the money. You have. and the grass below the sill. “No doubt. an inside job—and the wanted man is here—here under this roof. of the window. In one of them. “I have made the most careful and meticulous examination. sir. of course. and no doubt hoped that the police would suppose. doubt your professional skill and efficiency.

sir. is obviously still here—and the money also: and a search —.” “Here?” repeated the Head. to reconstruct the affair.” “Oh! Quite! But—. at hand—somewhere in the school. cheerfully. “In short. that money was there. aware that cash was habitually kept in that particular drawer? “I—I hardly know. sir. if he kept it there—which he would not do.” said Mr. Grimes. in so simple a matter as this. was merely to escape—to escape unrecognized. and I have no doubt whatever that the money is still here. supposed that anyone would be interested in the matter. knew where to find it. with a faint smile. He crept down in the night. . That may be known to many persons in this building. stole into this study.” “Quite unnecessary. But it was the money-drawer that was broken open. Certainly it was no secret. “Quite possibly. sir— impossible. “he may have intended. sir. of course. Grimes almost in horror. this is not. five ten-pound notes. happened on the right drawer by sheer chance. I imagine.” said the inspector.” “I——I had not thought of that—.” “Certainly: though I had not. The whole sum is missing.” “Some person in need of money might be extremely interested. “I mean.” “Oh!” We can hardly suppose. was to avoid being seen—and identified. It is very easy. He gazed at Mr. Grimes. “ It is everyday work to me. was silent.” “Then a good many persons may have known——. sir. in need of cash. after securing his plunder.” Mr. in strange surroundings.” said the Head. and ran. sir. In the dark. Some unscrupulous person. to break open other drawers. naturally. knocked out the boy who was in his way. drily. But the person. “I was about to say that a search would reveal the pilfered money in the pilferer’s room. at all events. Whoever broke open that drawer knew that it was there—knew. in knowing where to lay his hands on it. But he was interrupted suddenly by a foolish boy coming into the room to play a thoughtless prank. with a deeply clouded brow. “A search. if he had his wits about him—or any wits at all. I have frequently had occasion to take cash from the drawer in the presence of others. sir. The pilferer shut off his light instantly—his chief concern. sir.” “A search?” repeated Dr. Grimes paused.” said the inspector.” “Oh!” said the Head.is kept. “ Cash for various requirements is kept there. to add colour to the pretence of a burglary. sir. sir. The Head. Are many persons in this House. or even knew that there was money in any of the drawers at all. but it could not be known to any extraneous person.” “In that drawer. from what you have told me. In that he succeeded.” said Mr.” “Oh !” breathed Dr. broke open the moneydrawer. a case of burglary—but a case of pilfering. and helped himself to all that was there. as it appeared at the first glance. The thief is still here. “We know from Master Vernon-Smith what happened next. sir. that a stranger.” “This is not your line of country. His first thought. he rushed for the door. there was a considerable sum in cash —ten five-pound notes. and fifty pound notes—one hundred and fifty pounds in all. Locke. Locke. and has always been kept there. opened a ground-floor window to give an impression of an intruder from outside.

” “Bow-wow !” “I say. Grimes. Between excitement and terror. as there was no immediate alarm. “In the meantime I suggest that nothing of what I have told you shall be mentioned outside this study. and tiptoed to the door. thinking it over. He crept round from behind the armchair.” “Brr-r-r-r” “But I say.” Mr. to have further information for you. sir! I need take up no more of your time at present.” Dr. if it was found. long minutes. but the less he is put upon his guard the better. Chapter XXIV CHOCS FOR BUNTER ! “TODDY. slowly. For long. But an “inside job”— some untrustworthy person in his very household—that was much more discomfiting and distressing. He would not dare to keep the plunder in his own quarters in case of a search. It was Bunter’s chance to escape. The pilferer cannot fail to guess that I suspect an inside job. 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.” “Very good. sir. Grimes. take certain measures. “Bob. and blinked into the corridor. especially as Vernon-Smith’s interruption prevented him from adding plausible details as he may have intended. Billy Bunter’s little round eyes were almost popping through his big round spectacles. Whatever the fat . wherever the money may be. The door closed behind him.” Dr.” “Can it. But it would be useless also: for I have no doubt whatever that. “Oh. that a general search would be extremely repugnant to you. sir. He lost no time—anxious to get clear before some other beast came into the study. sir. Inky—. old chap—. he rolled rapidly. He had had a shock. “ I shall hope soon. sir. Locke sat with a troubled face after the plump inspector had left him. Locke nodded. that the—the person hoped that the theft would he attributed to an outside burglar.” said Mr. I shall.’’ said Peter Todd. it could throw no suspicion upon himself. the boy Vernon-Smith having been knocked unconscious. the Head sat in silence. Mr. Even that startling statement did not draw attention to Billy Bunter.” “Oh !” “I am aware. crikey!” breathed Bunter. I’ve found it all out!” gasped Bunter.“It is clear. at last. But he could not feel sure of that. I imagine that the pilferer crept out of his room again. with your concurrence. he rose and left the study. from the head-master’s point of view. All was clear: and Bunter rolled out of the study.” “But what—?” “It was easy. Grimes rose.” “Nothing shall be said. and rolled away. At last. and like Iser in the poem. He opened the door a few inches. it is not in the quarters of the person who purloined it. and concealed the bundle of notes in some hidden recess. Finding that there was no alarm. old fellow—. where.

He had a lingering headache. sit up and take notice and the Remove batsmen waiting at the pavilion were interested in the batting and in the bowling. and the dark bruise on his forehead showed up to great advantage in the bright sunshine. “I say. as he faced Hobson of the Shell for the last ball of the over. Cricket was going on. the newest item of gossip. my esteemed Bunter. Inky. old fat man. Grimes—what Bunter knew! He was fairly bursting with news and excitement. I say. “Dry up. Bull—. Hazel—. “But Browney will put paid to him. barrel. as the English proverb remarks. so to speak.Owl might or might not have found out.” “I say. and buzz somewhere else.” “A still tongue is a stitch in the side that saves ninepence. Wibley—. disgruntled. three: and brought Torn Brown to the batting end. After getting out of the Head’s study Bunter had found the House almost deserted: most of the fellows were on the cricket ground. and to relate the same to fellows who hadn’t heard. Harry Wharton and Tom Brown were at the wickets.” “You silly ass! I say. and I’ll jolly well tell you——.” “Well hit!” roared Bob Cherry. Redwing—. So thither rolled Bunter to impart his thrilling news.” The batsmen were running. old chap. He was full of news—packed with news—he was the fellow who knew! Nobody else knew— except the Head and Mr. I’ve found it all out. 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. “Good man! Bet you that’s three. Head better?” The Bounder grunted in reply to that inquiry.” “Go and tell somebody else. as he felt. Smithy— squat down here. “Buzz off. here comes Smithy!” exclaimed Tom Redwing. “Give us a rest. “Oh. old chap—.” “But I say—. It was.” “Don’t bother. and did not even look at Bunter. but not in the least in William George Bunter. you fellows——!” hooted Bunter.” “The talkfulness is too terrific. He found plenty of fellows there to whom to tell his startling tale—but they all turned deaf ears. Ogilvy—.” “Roll away. for goodness’ sake.” “Is that fat bluebottle still buzzing!” exclaimed Bob Cherry. “Jolly good innings. “I say. All eyes were on the New Zealand junior.” “I say. Bunter.’’ “Hobby’s a good man with the leather. He was not looking amiable. on Little Side. really. looking round. and come down from the House to see how the cricket was going on. and he looked.” said Squiff. . and Hobson of the Shell was putting in some really good bowling that made the captain of the Remove. They watched Harry Wharton dealing with Hobby’s bowling.” “I say.” “Beast! I say. you see. Nugent—.” said Hazeldene. Bunter liked to be the fellow with the news. Billy Bunter gave an angry snort. But evidently he had tired of his own company. ruthlessly regardless of Bunter.” remarked Johnny Bull. He liked to know the latest happening.” said the Australian junior.” “Hallo. Field! I say. as Bob predicted. nobody wanted to know.

evidently. Billy Bunter’s thoughts turned to that box of chocolates in No. If Smithy came hack to his study. with his startling tale.” “Good old Browney!” roared Bob Cherry. he gave a jump. 4—Smithy might come hack. Smithy. “I say. . Then he sat down on a big trunk that belonged to Lord Mauleverer. rarest of all in Bunter’s. accessible now that Smithy wasn’t there. jerking his sleeve away. But he was still more anxious to scoff those chocs. and started on the chocolates. I heard old Grimey say to the Head—Beast! You jolly well kick me. it was certain that he would miss the box at once. when Bunter grabbed off the lid. I heard old Grimey talking to the Head. and he was safe in the box-room.” It was a boundary and the Remove crowd gave Tom Brown a cheer. get out !” grunted Smithy. Smithy often had nice things like that—rare in other studies.” Leave me alone.” “ Don’t tell me what you’ve heard at a keyhole. do listen to a chap. “It wasn’t at a keyhole. Neither did he linger in the Remove passage. and almost choked over a chocolate half-way on the downward path. if they were still available. to go on with. He grabbed Vernon-Smith’s sleeve. “I say. as the man who had encountered the pilferer in the Head’s study. The Bounder. A few minutes later. which Bunter promptly secured. was sure to be interested in Bunter’s startling tale. All was clear in the Remove passage. whatever it was. apparently. Smithy might go back to the house any minute—the tale could wait. If Smithy had not yet scoffed those chocolates—! Bunter was anxious to thrill anyone who would listen. 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. “But I say—. “That’s a boundary. Staying only to cram a couple of fat chocolates into a capacious mouth. you fat prying owl!” growled VernonSmith. Bunter grabbed the box. The fat Owl rolled away to the house. Billy Bunter was not interested in boundaries. will you?” snapped Smithy. and his spectacles. The Owl of the Remove did not linger in No. A minute more.“I say.” Bunter grabbed Smithy’s sleeve again. but the chocs couldn’t. “I’ve found it all out. was not in a good temper: and nobody seemed to have any use for Bunter’s news. It had been opened. and rolled out of the study. Smithy!” bleated Bunter. There was a bolt on the door. 4 Study— and the first object that met his eyes. “But I say. Billy Bunter rolled into No. in case of pursuit. The Bounder. Smithy. and I’ll jolly well— yaroop!” Billy Bunter retired from the scene. old chap—. Bunter was glad that he had taken the precaution of shooting the bolt. had been sampling the contents. Now that Smithy had gone out.” gasped Bunter. This was Bunter’s chance. he gazed ecstatically at the stack of chocolates. as he heard a light step on the box-room stair.” “Oh. And now that Vernon-Smith was on the cricket ground. But the box was still nearly full. was that box of chocolates on the study table. “I say —. 4 Study—inaccessible so long as Smithy was there. not a fellow remained in the studies that sunny half-holiday.

fixed in alarm on the door. Dabney and Co. ha. smacked it. and Stott. Sammy of the Second.” “First I’ve heard of it. Ha. you can’t get in. The box-room window overlooked flat leads. I jolly well have. Bunter had found some listeners. “I say. you’d jolly well sit up and take notice. 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. to scramble down to the ground with the aid of a massive old rain-pipe. “Beast!” breathed Bunter. Smithy—if it was Smithy—seemed to suppose that the door had jammed somehow. He had told his minor. the pressure on the door ceased instantly. I didn’t know you had one at all. however. “I mean. and paused to hear—and then Coker told Bunter that he was a grubby little eavesdropping tick. “Yes. on further consideration. so yah !” To his surprise and relief. of the Remove. rolling into the Rag. Coker of the Fifth came along with Potter and Greene while he was telling Skinner and Co. not that it was bolted inside. The wood creaked under a strong and heavy pressure from without. and he resumed enjoying life. and spectacles. Having beaten the Shell. if you knew what I know.The door-handle turned. He had told Tubb of the Third. Billy Bunter’s eyes. Billy Bunter’s attention returned to the chocolates. Billy Bunter. A hundred and fifty pounds spotted about the school——. 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. There were many chocolates in the box: but there could not be too many for Bunter. He had no doubt it was Smithy. you fellows. Smithy.’’ “Thanks !” said Harry Wharton. There was a sound of a quick light footstep that died away down the box-room stair. from which it was easy. let alone a good one. He had a safe line of retreat—and that beast. Why don’t you use it sometimes? “Yah! I say. a fat chuckle. Bunter was rubbing a fat ear as he rolled into the Rag: and snorted as “cricket jaw” fell on both his fat ears from all sides. found them talking cricket—playing the Form match over again. after him and the chocs—who else could it be? Whoever it was. to catch him as he came down. Temple. Bunter’s fat heart palpitated. as it were. even for Bunter. the heroes of the Remove were feeling pleased with themselves and things generally. Billy Bunter chuckled. of the Fourth Form had condescended to listen and then he told Skinner. and still absolutely without interest in Bunter and the tale he had to tell. ha !” There was a cheery crowd in the Rag. and Snoop. Smith—if it was Smithy—was gone: but Bunter had little doubt that the beast would be waiting for him below.” “Eh !” . Creak ! creak ! “Oh. But the fat Owl knew a trick worth two of that. you beast—it’s no use shoving. “You’ve got a good mind?” asked Bob Cherry. I’ve a good mind not to tell you !” amended Bunter. crikey !” gasped Bunter. and ought to have his head smacked—and. in terror that the bolt might give. he seemed surprised to find that the door did not budge. politely.

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

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

He was willing. But things were not as they ought to have been. Quelch gazed at the fat ornament of his form. Mr.” Billy Bunter was the most eager of all. He could see that something was “on” in the Remove. there was hardly a man at Greyfriars who had not heard the startling story. Grimes. “I—I wasn’t speaking to Toddy.” gasped Bunter. Billy Bunter blinked at him in dismay. Something of great interest. my only summer hat!” murmured Bob Cherry. He heard me. and he had enjoyed spreading the startling tale of a bundle of cash hidden in some secret nook about the school. Chapter XXVI A SPOT OF EXCITEMENT MR.” “Bunter! Repeat to me at once what you were saying to Todd!” rapped Mr. Bunter. he could not begin to guess what all this excitement was about.” “You were whispering to Todd. Attention in the form-room ought to have been wholly concentrated on the acquirements of geographical knowledge. it was plain. It booted not—there was Bunter whispering again. was putting his form wise about the latest fashions in European frontiers. sir. Quelch had rapped out at Bunter for whispering in class. Twice. That was by no means uncommon—but now quite an unusual number of the Lower Fourth seemed interested in the time.The day-room was in a buzz now. stirred the Greyfriars Remove. Quelch. The mere idea of a “hidden treasure” somewhere about Greyfriars was exciting.” “I—I—I said—. Quelch. in order to begin a “treasure-hunt. But he did not want to confide that to Quelch. Then he picked up the cane from his desk. sir! You can ask Todd. Bunter. “Bunter!” rapped out Mr. and did not know that a bundle of tenners and fivers and pound notes was “spotted” somewhere about the school. QUELCH glanced over his form in class the following morning with a sharp suspicious eve. The fattest member of the form seemed hardly able to keep still. sir. sir. indeed eager.” “Well. sir. had been happily unaware of a fat Owl drinking in every word behind the armchair in the corner.” gasped Bunter “Oh. which could only mean that they were unusually anxious to get out.” “Oh! No. when he advised the Head that nothing should he said outside the study. The lesson was geography: Mr. . I—I only said——. Before prep that evening. Quelch frowned. “I—I never spoke to Toddy. He gazed at him like the fabled basilisk. But only too clearly it was not geography that was exciting his form. “ If Bunter thinks that that will do for Quelchy—” Mr. Many glances turned on the form-room clock. Nearly every fellow in the Remove was eager for break. Mr.” rapped Mr. Bunter loved to be the fellow with the news.” “Tell me at once what you said. and thrice. in a deep rumbling voice. “Do you hear me. Bunter?” inquired Mr. with the aid of a large map spread on the blackboard. Quelch was going to get to the bottom of this. But it was out of place in the form-room. There were many signs of suppressed excitement. “I—I said it was a—a fine morning. to tell the tale to any Greyfriars man. Quelch. But he didn’t want to tell it to a beak—very much indeed he didn’t. Mr. Fellows whispered to one another. Quelch. Quelch. “Oh! Yes. sir.

Mr. “Oh! Yes. Fishy’s reply let in no light on the mysterious excitement in his form. lor’! I—I only said I—I was going to look in the Cloisters in break. sir. sir. sir. Bunter. sir!” gasped Bunter. knew all about Inspector Grimes’s belief that the purloined notes were hidden in the school. sir. “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! You should not discuss such matters in class. Once more there was a respite from whispering.” he said. “You are not paying attention. Quelch.” “Answer me at once. “Hazeldene!” “Oh! Yes. Bunter?” “I—I didn’t mean—I—I mean I never—I—I—I——. of course. But it was only too clear that the Remove weren’t interested in geography. that was plain. Fish!” “I—I was jest remarking. are you whispering to Snoop?” “Oh. Quelch a little attention. Every fellow in the Remove and almost every fellow in every other form at Greyfriars. sir. that on the Noo Yark exchange an English fiver would be worth about fifteen dollars in genooine spondulics.” “Is that what Bunter said to you. had been calculating the value in American money of the fivers in the hidden bundle.” stammered Fisher T.” answered Peter.” stammered Hazel. “Upon my word!” said Mr. so far as Mr. I have pointed out the city of Prague. Where is the city of Prague situated. But thoughts were straying.“Bunter! If you do not immediately give me a truthful answer. “Fish!” rapped out Mr. For some minutes even Bunter gave Mr. Bunter?” . But the Head. sir. Hazeldene. “You will take fifty lines for talking in class. suddenly. where the city of Prague is situated. Quelch could see. Upon my word— Bunter. Quelch. at last. Fisher T. “We—we’re allowed in the Cloisters. puzzled.” Geography re-started after the interval. Fish. had said nothing on the subject. Hazeldene?” “I—I—I think—.” Geography resumed the tenor of its way. What did you say to Todd?” “Oh. Fish?” “I—I—I guess—. Todd?” “Yes. Fish. could not guess that one. crikey!” “Bunter! Tell me this instant what you said to Snoop!” thundered Mr. I shall cane you. as requested by Mr. Hazeldene. “I——I only said I wondered whether it was in Gosling’s wood-shed. as his name was shot at him like a bullet. “What were you saying to Skinner. so the beaks were still in the dark. There were grinning faces in the Remove. Mr. evidently. Fish gave quite a jump. That the Remove were all excited about something. But there was nothing particularly exciting about taking a walk in the old Cloisters.” gasped Bunter. “Aw! Yep.” “Is this an impertinent jest. But Mr. sir!” he gasped. Grimes. Take fifty lines. Quelch stared at them both.” “I have asked you. Quelch’s eyes were beginning to look like glittering gimlet-points. and Bunter most excited of all. Quelch. more puzzled than ever. was clear. Quelch.

” Cecil Reginald Temple was saying. passed him. Mr. “Wingate! There seems to be some excitement among the boys. Mr. sir! Yes. Quelch stood looking after them with a puzzled frowning brow. Coker. “Wow-ow!” “Silence. “Only. a senior form.” said the Remove master. “Like looking for a needle in a haystack.” They passed on.” “Dear me !” said Mr.“Oh! No. and Mr. “Just about. It dawned on him that the excitement that morning was not confined to the Remove. Quelch walked out. Quelch’s pointer. Quelch.. sir! Yow-ow-ow-ow! Wow!” “If you continue to make those ridiculous noises.” said Wingate.” “All the fags are after it. Dabney and Co. and perhaps to their form-master’s also. “I do not understand it. I imagine !” he answered. He sucked his fat knuckles in silent anguish. Temple. and the juniors got out in break: to their great relief. “The fags are all going treasure-hunting. at long last. of the Fourth.” answered Wingate. whatever it was: but the Greyfriars captain turned politely as Mr. ain’t it? Sort of treasure—hunt. Chapter XXVII THE TREASURE-HUNTERS! “WHAT about our box-room?” asked the Bounder. sir. leaving Mr. with a smile. sir! Oh. came out with a rush. “As likely as any other spot. Any special . “Plenty of places to choose from—about a million or so. All three seemed deeply interested in their topic.” said Potter. sir. lor’! Wow!” roared Bunter. It was shared in other forms—even the Fifth. “We’re on this. They fairly scampered out into the quad when freedom came.’’ Billy Bunter made a great effort to suppress the ridiculous noises. it did. of the Fifth. going out of the House with his pals Potter and Greene.” “Bless my soul! Who could have set such a rumour in circulation!” “I have no idea. He went back into the House. as Mr. Quelch gazing at their backs. “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. hitherto used on the map. was now used on his fat knuckles. Harry Wharton laughed. Quelch heard from Coker: “Bit exciting. But. Quelch stopped to speak. of the Sixth.” grinned Bob Cherry. to see the Head about it.” “The jolly old bundle must be somewhere. but everybody seems to have heard it—it’s all over the school.” remarked Frank Nugent. where?” said Johnny Bull. What was “on” in his form that morning? Clearly something was. “Oh. “ Might have a shot at it ourselves.” said Dabney. I believe. It seemed to the Remove that the form-room clock never would indicate 10. rather. Bunter. “Bless my soul!” said Mr. and stopped to speak to Wingate. who was discussing something with Gwynne and Sykes of that form. I shall cane you.45. Bunter!” “Yes. Have you any idea of its cause?” “Oh! I—I think so. Quelch. you men.

” “ Many hands make the cracked pitcher go longest to a bird in the bush. But why our box-room specially?” “Because the door’s fastened.” agreed Hurree Jamset Ram Singh.” even though it would not appertain to the finder. “I suppose it might be in a boxroom as likely as anywhere else.” “And so the poor dog had none!” sighed Bob Cherry. But it had to he admitted that the chances of success were slight. “Hidden treasure. So far as they could see. Whoever did it must have got out by the window. “And it won’t take us ten minutes to root through the box-room—half-a-dozen of us. Well.reason for looking in our box-room.” “Good egg !” said Bob.” said Harry.” said Smithy. Descent was an easy matter.” said Vernon-Smith. 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. that enterprise would have been nipped in the bud.” And the bunch of juniors walked away. “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. The chums of the Remove gave him attention at once. to circle round the school buildings—with an eye open for “beaks” and “pre’s. “No end of a catch if we bag the giddy treasure—one up for the Remove Come on. 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. It might have been hidden almost anywhere: and in a rambling.” remarked Bob Cherry. I cut up before class to see if Skinner was right. “It’s a jolly old sporting chance. ha!” . “We can get in by the window—if there’s no beaks about. were rooting about in odd corners.” “Exactly” “We’ll draw that box-room for a start. was a magnetic attraction. that jolly old moonshee who taught you English at Bhanipur must have been a real whale on proverbs. and the door wouldn’t open—it’s been bolted inside. ha. “Cough it up. there was absolutely no clue. there were innumerable nooks and crannies where a small packet could be concealed. ready to climb in their turn. “Looks as if somebody or other wants to keep fellows from wandering into that box-room.” “By gum.” said the captain of the Remove. Smithy?” “Yes !” said Vernon-Smith. anyhow. to the hideout of the bundle of notes. “Ha. “Why should anybody fasten the door of our box-room?” “That’s what I wondered. “But that’s odd. then. Smithy. “It can’t be locked—the key’s been missing for ages —but there’s a bolt on it. They stopped by the massive old rain-pipe that gave access to the flat leads under the box-room window. as Billy Bunter had found—ascent was more difficult.” said Bob. why?” “The whyfulness is terrific.” Clambering up to high windows was very much against all rules: and had the eye of authority fallen upon them in the act. old man.” said Harry Wharton. “Inky. The Famous Five stood watching him. and even some of the high and mighty Sixth. no hint of a clue. They were all in an eager mood now.” chuckled Bob.

sir.” said Harry Wharton. “Eh! What? Yes. “I shall report your impertinence to your form-master. “Better chuck it. was angry: and they expected him to walk away in quest of Mr. Wharton! You are well aware that Mr. All the party were irritated by Mr. “Vernon-Smith! You are impertinent!” exclaimed Mr. Quelch would not allow anything of the kind. Twiss. Vernon-Smith?” “They haven’t made you master of the Remove by any chance?” said the Bounder. Twiss. Twiss. sharply. sir. sir?” asked Bob. Twiss. . was a nervous little rabbit of a man. “Smithy. For a moment he had feared that it was a “beak”——which would have meant lines or a gating. “Smithy’s all right. “Break doesn’t last long—and we’re after the treasure. “No doubt Gosling could enter by his ladder and unfasten the door. Smithy.” The Bounder. “We’re getting up to our box-room.” “The—the what?” ejaculated Mr. old man—!” murmured Bob. Harry Wharton and Co. “I cannot allow this. clinging to the rain-pipe. Twiss. “Hem! We—we thought of looking in the box-room. as if touched by the same spring.” “Well. 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. sir—. Who the dickens was Twiss? “Do you hear me. Now come down at once. and a row. regardless of Twiss.” said Mr.” said Bob. “Whatever does this mean? What are you boys doing here?” The Famous Five spun round. he resumed clambering up the rain-pipe. “Rats!” said Smithy. Vernon-Smith. we’re rather pushed for time. Twiss’s interference: but it was evidently injudicious to carry on. What do you mean.” “Dear me!” said a high-pitched voice behind the juniors. “It’s all over the school that they’re hidden somewhere about Greyfriars. stood in dismay. half-way up the rain-pipe. looked to him in a perilous position. The Famous Five exchanged glances. The Bounder was the man for rows! Twiss.” “What? What? I tell you to come down. clinging to the rain-pipe. Quelch at once.” said Harry. twisted to look down.“My esteemed Bob—. Twiss. and really had no right to interfere: but evidently he was going to do so.” said Mr. Vernon-Smith?” “Aren’t you our head-master’s secretary. Twiss. gave Mr.” “You’ve no right to give me orders. and glared at him. “It’s all right. with cool impertinence.” “Dear me! Surely it would be better to speak to your form-master. Vernon-Smith.” “Vernon-Smith! Come down at once! You are risking life and limb. old chap—!” said Nugent. and very likely the Bounder. Twiss.” “Smithy. “Haven’t you heard about the Head’s banknotes. Mr.” said Bob. sir?” asked Vernon-Smith. evidently. And with cool disregard of Twiss. Twiss a dogged look. come down at once. They stared at little Mr. staring at him. Some sportsman has bolted the door on the inside. in their opinion. This meant a report to Quelch.” “Nonsense!” snapped Mr. Twiss. He was not a master. Only the Bounder thought of doing so. Mr.

would certainly not have poured oil on the troubled waters. “ Yon can’t row with Twiss. “Smithy—!” exclaimed Harry Wharton. if he had made one. He made a stride towards the rain-pipe. “Come down at once!” he snapped. but he suffered the chums of the Remove to lead him away: perhaps realising that he couldn’t row with Twiss. Do you want another head’s flogging?” “Why couldn’t the meddling little beast mind his own business ?” hissed the Bounder. “Smithy.” “Let him rip. Twiss stood blinking after them as they went.” Vernon-Smith’s reply. as he landed.” “Look out!” roared Bob. Harry Wharton and Co. you fatheads! Look here. All his obstinacy was roused now. He came suddenly slithering down the rain-pipe. ran to help the Bounder up. anyhow. and Smithy’s hold was too precarious for that. Mr. “Oh. reached up. soothingly. Mr. Twiss. “Will you come down. and grasped Vernon-Smith’s ankle. don’t be a goat. if Twiss goes to Quelch. There’s not much left of break now. He’s always shovin’ in where he’s not wanted. “Who’s that dashed little ass to butt in?” “Kim on!” said Bob Cherry.” growled Johnny Bull. my hat! Oh. But the Famous Five gave him no opportunity of checking Mr.” The Bounder grunted angrily. Smithy.” “My esteemed Smithy—. you ass—. He was still rubbing sore . “I’ve got a bushel of aches and pains from that bump. “Leave go.” “Oh. I’m goin’ up that pipe !” snarled the Bounder.” said Bob. We’ll have another shot after third school. suffering cats and crocodiles!” Mr. “You’re up for six already. in alarm. They surrounded him and hustled him away. He hung on to the rainpipe. “Dear me !” gasped Mr. The Bounder set his teeth. Twiss was jerking angrily at the Bounder’s ankle. "COME DOWN AR ONCE !" HE SNAPPED “You foolish boy! I hope you are not hurt! It was wholly your own fault! Such recklessness——. “I tell you—. Vernon-Smith’s face was furious. and landed with a heavy bump. Vernon-Smith?” “No!” snapped the Bounder. on the earth. sprawling. Twiss did not walk away. Twiss blinked at him through his rimless pince-nez. Twiss any further.But Mr. “Oh!” he roared.

“You fat. of course—. he! I did!” “You !” roared all the Famous Five together. “He. foozling. “He. “I say. he! Oh. After third school. you fellows are enough to make a cat laugh. “He. Chapter XX VIII BUNTER IS AMUSED “HE. I jolly well know who bolted that box-room door. and you fancied —he. how . They intended to have another “shot” at the Remove box-room. and the Remove trooped hack to their form-room. Don’t you get telling Smithy I had his chocs. and bolted the door? He. Bob Cherry looked round.” he said. “It looks like it. “Eh! I haven’t got an alarm-clock! Wharrer you mean?” “Well. he. he—and I bolted it yesterday afternoon—he. so far as I know. They could guess that Twiss had spoken to Quelch. “What the thump did you bolt that door for. Bunter’s fat face was irradiated by a wide grin—a grin so wide that it seemed almost to extend from one fat ear to the other. he!” Thus William George Bunter. he. he.Smith. were in the quad. “You silly ass !” hooted Bunter. Billy Bunter gave a fat ear to the talk among the Famous Five as they waited for Vernon. with a scowling brow.” “You had Smithy’s chocs—?” “No!” roared Bunter. crikey! You’ve been clambering up to the window after the banknotes— he. he. Bunter seemed amused. he. you burbling bloater?” “He. staring. he—because the door was bolted—he. he. “Think the snooper parked the banknotes in the boxroom. Harry Wharton and Co.” “What is that fat chump cackling at?” asked Johnny Bull. he. he!” Bunter almost wept with mirth. He never had any chocs. when the bell rang for third school. if you did bolt it?” “Because that beast Smithy was after me. And he chuckled explosively.” “You do!” exclaimed Harry Wharton. but they were waiting for Smithy. and that Quelch had something to say to Smithy on the subject.” giggled Bunter. he. shut it off !” said Bob. he. “Nothing of the kind.” Bunter spluttered with merriment. he. footling frump!” said Bob Cherry. realising that it was his fat cachinnation to which Bob alluded. whatever it is. he!” Bunter chortled. and they weren’t in a box. crumbs! He. he!” “Who did it then?” demanded Frank Nugent. doesn’t it.spots. Quelch when the Remove came out. “Shut off that alarm-clock. Bunter. who had been kept back by Mr. Mean to say you’ve been clambering up to the box-room window because the door was bolted. “You see. “See? Not that I had the chocs from his study. he!” Bunter gurgled. he. he. frumptious. he. 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. and the box wasn’t on his study table when he went down to Little Side—and if it had been.

And there weren’t very many. he!” The Famous Five stared at Bunter. rats! Corning up to the box-room?” snapped the Bounder. “The mixfulness is terrific. he. Smithy had not mentioned the subject of chocolates. either. “It’s open now. Billy Bunter sidled behind the Famous Five as he came up. my hat!” “I never touched that box. But it was Smithy who thought the bolted door might be a clue—.” It was quite mystifying to the Famous Five.” . I jolly well knew he’d he waiting for me.” “Well. I was down in the Rag when I went to Smithy’s study—I mean when I didn’t went—I mean—.” “Rot!” said Bunter. you know. he. so far: but the fat Owl could not feel quite easy in his fat mind. Besides. as you jolly well know! So I thought I’d bolt the box-room door in case he came up. but it was bolted. I hope.” Herbert Vernon-Smith came out of the House. you fat brigand?” “Oh. and when he came up after me. should I have fancied that the snooper did it. “It wasn’t there when I went in. hastily. “I’m a bit too particular for that. and took them up to the box-room to scoff. and the door’s unbolted now. hallo! Here’s Smithy. “That rabbit Twiss has told Quelch. really. “Suspicious beast! It would be like him to think of me when he missed his chocs. “I don’t make this out. then?” snapped Vernon-Smith. “Nothing to do with chocs—. warmly. he!” “Bunter says that he bolted that door yesterday.” grunted the Bounder. see?” “Smithy came up after you!” said Harry Wharton. I left it without even touching it. “Oh. and I got away by the window. “You bagged Smithy’s chocs. “That’s how the door was left bolted. and pushed at the door. “And you fellows thought—!” chuckled Bunter. as I never went to the study?” “Oh. “What?” yelled Smithy. “Yes. blankly.” grinned Bunter.” said Bob.” “Ha. Quelch has given me a detention for cheeking Twiss. and you know what that looked like. Not that I went there.” said Bunter.” said Harry. and I jolly well told him it was no good shoving.should I know. “He doesn’t go there to smoke. “You footling ass. ha!” “But you know Smithy!” said Bunter. too. hallo.” “He. this is a bit mixed. “Smithy jolly well knew. you blithering fat ass?” “Oh ! Nothing !” said Bunter.” said Bob. “Hallo. Is that it. I tell you he came up after me.” “Might have given you six!” said Johnny Bull. Fellows do. “If Smithy got after Bunter. “No need to climb in at the window. and Gosling got in with his ladder while we were in class. with a sullen brow. he must have known the door was bolted. disdainfully. ha.” “I know what you mean. and couldn’t get into the box-room. he couldn’t get in. “You didn’t know?” asked Bob.” “What was Bunter doing in the box-room. Cherry! I’ve told you I never touched Smithy’s chocs—as if I’d touch his chocs !” said Bunter. What were you there for. if I’d known Bunter did it? Talk sense. We can walk in if we like. like Skinner. they didn’t last me ten minutes———. see? He. that’s why I cleared by the window.” said Bob.

” said Bob. Chapter XXIX TOO LATE? “THAT fool Twiss !” said the Bounder. you fathead! No. because 1 thought you’d be waiting outside! Not that I had the chocs. “Oh.” “No ! Nothing of the kind.” “Might have been Skinner after his smokes. let’s go and draw the jolly old box-room. all together. . “You know as well as I do that nobody outside the form ever goes up to our box-room. all right. and wanted to help himself from the packet—and sneaked off quietly when he found that somebody was in the box-room——. I thought it was you. I—I—I haven’t tasted chocs for weeks.” “Somebody else.” “Oh ! If you ain’t going to make a fuss about the chocs. too.” “Hold on a minute !” said Vernon-Smith.” “Didn’t he speak?” “Not a word! Just sneaked down the box-room stairs as soon as I spoke. and Bunter thought Smithy was after him !” said Bob. You were in the box-room scoffing my chocs. between his teeth. you know! Nothing of the kind. of course——. with a sneer. “I never shoved at the door. What do you mean?” “Oh !” ejaculated Bunter. six juniors tore into the House leaving Billy Bunter blinking after them blankly through his big spectacles. For a moment. “Let’s have this clear. “ Of course. I thought it was you. you ass! No.” said Nugent. “Oh! I see! That’s where my box of chocolates went. “ You came up after me. and I jolly well cleared by the window. “wasn’t it you? I—I wondered why you didn’t say anything —a fellow would expect you to blow off steam. “Nobody at all—unless it was somebody who had a special reason—somebody who might have hidden a packet there. unpleasantly. “Well. “Well. I—I went there to look for a—a—a book—.” “You howling ass. “Nobody else ever goes there. never mind the chocs ! I want to know what happened. The next moment.” Vernon-Smith stared at the fat Owl. they stared at the Bounder. what the dickens do you mean?” exclaimed Nugent. is it?” “No.” “WHAT!” gasped the Famous Five. “Eh! What about Twiss?” asked Bob Cherry. and it ain’t there now. I thought it was you. you fathead! I never went up to the box-room at all yesterday.” “Oh.“Chocs!” repeated Vernon-Smith. and shoved at the door.” “Oh. Bunter—. you prize porker! Now tell me what happened while you were in the box-room. “I wasn’t eating chocs when you shoved at the door. it ain’t!” roared Bunter.” “What a brain!” said the Bounder.” said Bunter. quite!” jeered the Bounder.” “No. nobody but a Remove man would go up to our box-room.” said Bunter. waiting syrup-stitiously for a chap to come out—. now it’s open. There was a glint in his eyes. Smithy—not that I had them. and I never hid the box behind Mauly’s trunk. and I jolly well told you you couldn’t shove it open. I mean.” snapped Vernon-Smith. It was somebody. don’t be an ass! Skinner would have slanged the fat chump for bolting him out— so would I—so would any Remove man. “Well.

after all. and unbolted the door. after that. Smithy’s quick brain had jumped to it. “Oh!” exclaimed Harry Wharton. What the Bounder stated was probable enough. savagely. as the thing isn’t here after all?” asked Johnny Bull. I suppose. and looked at one another. He wasn’t going to risk being bolted out a second time.” Harry Wharton and Co. to see whether it could be moved—and found that it could. we should have found it here in break. so far as they could see. sarcastically. They were disappointed— but not so bitterly as the Bounder. of the box-room was scanned. “Well. “No luck !” said Frank Nugent. “If he hadn’t barged in this morning. at last. “The meddlin’ little ass! He had to barge in and queer the pitch! If he hadn’t meddled this morning. But they did not root it out. Bob Cherry winked at his comrades. looked at the Bounder. the snooper could walk in when he liked. But they no longer expected to find anything.” “Not now !” snarled Smithy. Eagerly they searched. Well.” said Harry Wharton. and they smiled. If indeed the bundle of notes had been there the previous day. his hands in his pockets. 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. If the packet had ever been there. why it should not still be there. “Still. Smithy—!” said Harry. and scrutinized—every box looked into and over and under and round about. in that very boxroom. a scowl on his face. stood staring at a little ventilator in the wall—a little rusty iron grid about the size of a brick.” “What good would it have done.” growled Vernon-Smith. we should have had it. “But for him and his meddling. An empty chocolate-box rewarded the eager seekers—but nothing else.” They were still looking about the room. there was no reason. He came here and took it away. All the fellows were keen to discover the “treasure. it looked jolly likely. “You think—?” “I don’t think—I know! Gosling came up on his ladder and got in.” “No doubt about that. There seemed no other possible hide-out in the room. and it seemed very likely to the Famous Five. the hide-out was. “That fool Twiss!” he repeated. and there was nobody about during class.“What has Twiss got to do with it?” “Only that he’s dished us !” snapped Vernon-Smith. Sherlock Holmes?” asked Johnny Bull. Mr. in its hiding-place: and they were going to root it out. But there was nothing in the orifice behind it but dust and cobwebs. certainly it had been taken away—but had it ever been there? “That fool Twiss has dished the whole thing. The absurd packet is not here—. If that was so. Bob Cherry had jerked at it. “Fathead !” “Thanks!” said Johnny. Every foot.’’ but with Smithy it was a personal matter—as a hit back at the unknown “snooper” who had knocked him out in the dark. Of a packet of notes there was no sign. or rather every inch. while we were in third school. drily “I don’t quite see. Smithy isn’t quite such a Sherlock Holmes as he fancied !” remarked Johnny Bull.” They were in the Remove box-room.” remarked Hurree Jamset Ram Singh. we should have got in at the window—. to put in a safer place. unless under or in one of the many boxes—but every box had now been explored inside and out by the Famous Five. still . Herbert Vernon-Smith. “The seefulness of my esteemed self is not terrific. in itself: but they could see no evidence of it. “You wouldn’t!” snapped the Bounder. there’s nothing here.

Wharton turning on the light of a flash-lamp. He scowled after them. do tell us that!” said the sarcastic Johnny. He pointed to the little ventilator in the wall. walking in the quad with Hacker. Harry Wharton and Co.” “But it doesn’t get us any forrarder!” remarked Bob. Smithy—you can look on us as a lot of Dr. “Go it.” said Bob. and several long trails of broken cobweb hung about. “ There !” “Nothing there but dust and cobwebs. . Now that they examined it more closely. it’s gone. you might notice that the dust has been disturbed. Holmes. and tramped away down the stairs. In the quad. “Lots of nooks and crannies there where a packet might he hidden. “I suppose you know just where the snooper parked it?” “So would you. the master of the Shell. ass.” “Um !” said Johnny Bull. I wish I’d landed out with my boot when that interferin’ tick grabbed me on the rain-pipe this mornin’. “Well.” “Yes let’s.” snapped Smithy. Herbert Vernon-Smith walked. Smithy was disappointed and angry and in such a mood. or rather stamped. “I’ve looked. and they stared into the dusty cobwebby opening. we can’t be sure— !” said Harry.” sneered Smithy.” snapped the Bounder. “It looks—. “They seem to have forgotten you and your pals when brains were served out. and goodness knows where it’s parked now—outside the house. Most certainly it looked as if that dusty recess had been recently groped into.” said Bob. Where was it hidden?” “Yes. they passed Herbert Vernon-Smith.” “Well. Watsons. and explain the jolly old mystery like Mr. “It was there. For which they were not exactly sorry. A glitter came into Vernon-Smith’s eyes. Twiss. if the Bounder was right. most likely. if you used your eyes. Smithy knows all about it. for the Bounder looked in one of his worst tempers. had spoiled the whole thing by his interference. I see!” grinned Bob Cherry. “No.” said Harry.” said Nugent. they could see the traces the Bounder’s keen eye had detected. Smithy would have been glad to tell Mr. and the cobwebs torn. Twiss. The chums of the Remove smiled at one another. out of the boxroom.” said Nugent. “It does certainly look as if somebody has been groping in that ventilator. as they went.sarcastic. I daresay. but he did not join them. Johnny seemed unconvinced: perhaps because he did not like being called a fathead and an ass.” “Might draw the old Cloisters. as he glanced at little Mr. “No ! Let’s get out. his manners were never very polished. “No ‘if ’ about it. and we should have had it in break but for that rabbit-faced idiot Twiss. “By gum !” said Bob. gathered under the ventilator.” “Well. Now it’s been removed. The dust undoubtedly had been disturbed. “Smithy may be right. if it was here.’’ snapped the Bounder. “Think some fellow came up here and shoved his paw into that hole in the wall just to rake up the dust and set the spiders running? “Oh!” exclaimed Bob. Twiss exactly what he thought of him. Bob jerked out the little iron grid again.” “If you looked again. on their way to the Cloisters. but took no other heed of their existence. “You can’t.” With that polite rejoinder.

and I mean orthology. He made it with a serious fat face. “I was expecting another postal-order. “Well. and it’s a bear market. Really. he stood watching Mr. Billy Bunter made that announcement after class. so far. “Anyhow it’s done no good. He’s a bear. At the present moment I’m actually stony. with a massive trunk behind them and shady branches overhead. It’s a bit thick. 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. “Oh!” muttered Smithy. GRIMES HEARS BUNTER’S OPINION “MY postal-order hasn’t come!” Five fellows chuckled. Strange and startling thoughts were working in his mind. After class. I don’t know he can know what Quelch really thinks. sympathetically. the Bounder savagely reflected——he had to barge in where he was not wanted. Billy Bunter. “I said orthology. And I haven’t even had a postal-order for five bob!” added Bunter. gravely. expected the arrival of that postal-order. And I mentioned that Quelch had a very high opinion of me this term—that ought to have pleased him. Chapter XXX MR. “The wetfulness is terrific. you know. The Famous Five were now taking a rest: sitting in a cheery row on one of the old oaken benches under the elms. “I wrote the pater a special letter last week. till he gets my next report !” argued Bunter. At which the chums of the Remove chuckled. and had gone on merrily. through his big spectacles.” “Wet prospect!” said Bob Cherry. I thought he’d be pleased to see that my orthology was all right—. as the little man trotted by the side of the long. and when you’re a bear in a bear market. “But it’s a bit awkward. “Well. lean Hacker. too. because he’s jawed me about it. intensely.’’ said Bunter. Twiss—intently. he caught his breath. “Well it’s pretty rotten. “Orthography. as a matter of fact. blinking very seriously at Harry Wharton and Co. I rather fancied it might mean a fiver. you just rake it in. Nobody else did—and perhaps even Bunter had his doubts. Fellows searched and quested and rooted in every possible and impossible corner for the hidden packet.” retorted Bunter. thinking more of tea than of treasure. Nobody. sorrowfully. “That means spelling. That tame little rabbit—that footling little bunny—couldn’t mind his own business. perhaps !” suggested Harry Wharton.He watched the Head’s secretary. had had any luck. you can cackle. with a sudden start. with a black scowl. if you don’t happen to know. now the pater’s making tons of money. and made his announcement respecting the celebrated postal-order which he had been so long expecting. when Bunter rolled up. taking no end of trouble about the spelling. perhaps. As it was getting near tea-time. 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.” “Your whatter?” ejaculated Bob. from one of my titled relations. his heart beating. the “treasure-hunt” had been resumed.” “What does it feel like to he stony for the first time in your life. Hardly breathing in his sudden excitement.” “Perhaps he guessed that it was bunkum !” suggested Johnny Bull. too. but—it hasn’t . Bunter?” asked Frank Nugent. they were.” said Bunter morosely.

Billy.” “Why.” “You needn’t call me names. Harry Wharton and Co. Wharton?” “I think you’d better not look for that packet any more. of course. my hat!” “And I haven’t been able to find that beastly packet yet.” “Thank you. and I’ll let you have it back out of my postal-order. ha!” “Oh. it only shows that you’ve got a rotten suspicious mind like Smithy. “Well.” “Is Grimey here?” asked Bob. or out of my fiver if the pater shells out—whichever comes first. Skinner said so. in disgust. Wharton. But I don’t feel so jolly sure it’s hidden about Greyfriars at all —I’ve looked all over the shop. “Skinner said he saw him. “I’ve hunted everywhere. Grimey’s rooting about the place now—but he won’t find anything.” “I am!” contradicted Nugent. and I asked him to lend it to me. in fact. “Smithy’s too clever by half.” “If you think I’d touch it. I expect it’s only Smithy’s rot. “Fat lot of good he is.” said Bob. you fat villain——. all stared round. ha. mixing with such a lot. Selfishness all round I wonder sometimes that I don’t grow selfish myself. because I’m too honourable to touch the tin in that packet if I found it. The Head would be bound to stand a fellow something out of it. “Only temporarily. if you don’t want to put in next term at Borstal. when he heard about it. he might borrow one of the pound notes—?” “What?” “Temporarily. really.” “Well. Master Bunter. “One of you fellows lend me ten bob. at the back of the bench.” “What about you.” said Bunter. which of you fellows is lending me ten bob?” “The whichfulness is terrific. hastily. Grimey’s an old donkey.” said an unexpected voice.come. and he said he wanted it himself. Never saw such an old donkey. “Worse. and then just pounced on it.” “What about you. Cherry! What I mean is this. old fat man. Nugent? You’re not so jolly mean as Cherry. A real detective would have spotted it long ago—he would have found some cigarette-ash or something.” said Bunter. old chap?” “Nothing about me.” went on Bunter. “I don’t think much of Grimey. Bob. and ring up the Duke de Bunter. He doesn’t even know what Smithy found out in our box-room. That’s my opinion of him. you fellows are a stingy lot here. From behind the massive elm. shaking his head.” said Bunter. old chap. See? Now.” answered Bunter. Inky?” “The worsefulness of my esteemed self is terrific. Don’t you fellows think so? Do you fellows think that if a fellow found the packet. Not that it would be much good telling Grimey. a plump red face looked. Wharton.” “Oh. “Why not ask Quelch to let you use his phone. Billy Bunter jumped almost clear of the ground.” “Smithy ought to tell him. “Toddy had half-acrown to-day. or the Marquis de Grunter—?” ~ “Ha.” “What about you. isn’t he?” Bunter sniffed. leaning up against one of the elms.” said Bunter. .” “The nobility are a bit forgetful at times.” said Bob Cherry. What do you think. if he found it. if he really thinks there’s anything in it.

But what Redwing thought mattered little to the Bounder: he was sure in his own mind.” said Tom. I Suppose you ought to pass it on to him. Grimes. and that might make you think—. dubiously. Perhaps he had not been pleased by Billy Bunter’s remarks! He glared at the fat Owl. “Oh. Anyhow. he was disappointed. you fat chump!” breathed Bob Cherry. Skinner had told him that he had seen Inspector Grimes leaning up against one of the elms. “Meddlin’ little beast. and walked away to the House to tea. Evidently.” Grunt ! “The apologize for the preposterous manners of the idiotic Bunter is terrific. and raised his eyebrows. “and—and you dislike the man. you fathead!” breathed Wharton. with a grin. Grimes. leaving Tom Redwing looking. what?” “Well. Mr. “Is—is—is that you. “I— I was speaking of another old donkey! Not you at all. anyhow. really.” he said. and another expressive grunt followed them as they went.” The Bounder left his chum.” gasped Bunter. Smithy. The Bounder laughed. There was a grim frown on Mr. but another old donkey altogether——. Chapter XXXI WHAT SMITHY SUSPECTED “BUT——!” said Torn Redwing. as he came. though it looks like one.” murmured Hurree Jamset Ram Singh.’’ ventured Bob. very dubious. Wharton! I tell you I didn’t mean Grimey. “You think there’s nothin’ in it. But —. and grunted. rose from the old bench. “Don’t mind Bunter. revolved upon his axis. The plump inspector came round the elm. was so grim that Billy Bunter backed away in alarm. and feeling. if he’s nothing worse.” “I’m goin’ to. it was! “Oh!” gasped Bunter. “I heard what you said !” he rapped. as .” “Shut up. sir? I—I wasn’t calling you an old donkey. and walked across to the elms. Grimes.” “Oh.and Billy Bunter blinked at it in great dismay. and his look. Inspector Grimes glared after him. Mr. esteemed Mr. He had taken plenty of time to think over the sudden and startling suspicion that had shot into his mind that morning. “I—I didn’t mean you. and departed hurriedly for the open spaces. Inspector Grimes dropped on the bench they had vacated. Grunt ! The Famous Five exchanged glances.” “Quite!” said Smithy. it’s all pretty vague. “I’ve told you. Grimes’s plump face. Smithy. “Look under the elms—that object on the bench isn’t a sack of coke. I’m goin’ to pass it on to Grimey.” “Is he here?” asked Tom.” “If you think you’ve got it right. slowly. the more assured he felt that he had put his finger on the facts. but it had not occurred to Bunter that it might be that particular elm.” If Billy Bunter expected that to placate Mr. Grimes. and the more he pondered over it. “He can’t help being a silly ass. Inspector Grimes glanced at Vernon Smith as he came.

while the Bounder. “I can show you the place. quite !” said Mr. “Did the man explain why he was up late that night?” he asked. “that it happened to be the same man who was up late one night. yes. “If anything has come to your knowledge. “Not quite so natural to go down in the dark.” “I’m not a goat like Bunter. slowly. Grimes. in the same slow way. drily. “Several fellows remarked that it was queer he was going down in the dark. with a sneer. How it had got out he did not know. “Oh. They put on speed. There was a row when I barged him on the stairs. That did not disconcert Smithy in any way.’’ said the inspector. He couldn’t sleep.” said Mr. Grimes. I believed it at the time. and into whom I ran in the dark when I left my dormitory for my own reasons. “I have already had an offer of assistance from Master Bunter. Grimes’s eyes narrowed.” “Oh. and that “treasure. He was in no mood for a schoolboy’s company or conversation: and his look at Vernon-Smith told as much. I should think. “And suppose. in a few succinct words. as a matter of fact. weighing his words as he spoke. “and left it till midnight to make it safer. and stopped. Why couldn’t he have switched on the light?” Mr. keeping so quiet that a fellow butted into him. Grimes. And I believe I can point out the man who snooped it on Tuesday night. Master Vernon-Smith.” “Is that all?” “Not quite all yet. A mere coincidence. in the best of tempers. but it was out: and the inspector’s task. Certainly I will hear what you have to say.Smithy dropped on the bench beside him. and was going down for a book. and that we should have found it in break this morning by getting in at the window—only we were interrupted. “I suppose if a fellow hit on something that looked suspicious. seemed doubly difficult now that the mysterious “snooper” was put so thoroughly upon his guard. I know why now. “Excuse me.” said the Bounder. “I shall examine the spot. Grimes.” said the Bounder. long look. I think. They .” He listened with attention. by a man who is not a master and had no right to interfere. Grimes made no rejoinder to that.” Inspector Grimes’s keen eyes fixed on his face. “Quite possibly.hunting” was going on far and wide. The discovery that the story of the hidden loot was all over the school.” “Quite a natural proceeding. Mr. with heavy sarcasm. as the officer in charge of the case. of course. told him of the search in the Remove box-room. it is of course your duty to report it to me.” The Bounder spoke quietly. Grimes. perhaps. “Is that all?” “Not quite ! Suppose. though it’s been taken away since. he ought to mention it to you.” said the Bounder. “suppose that the packet was there. Grimes was not. and then answered.” Mr. He had to leave the job till the following night!” sneered the Bounder. some fellows in my form took a short cut at the ‘Three Fishers.” said Mr. had deeply displeased and disgruntled Mr. I hope. and ran into this same man—coming in at the gate. if you like. that it gave the snooper an opportunity of getting the packet away to a safer place.” said Smithy. A week or two ago. where the packet was hidden. He gave Herbert Vernon-Smith a long. after everybody else was in bed. and my beak came out. and his reasons for believing that the packet had been concealed in the ventilator. Mr. already far from easy.’ You know the place—rather juicy: out of bounds for Greyfriars men.

“We know all about the ‘inside job. Official reticence was strong with Mr. “Especially if it’s all moonshine. he dabbles in it—or those fellows wouldn’t have seen him where they saw him.” Mr. please.” Mr. at last.” said Mr.” repeated Mr. The man I’m speaking of would know better than anyone else. and I’ve told you. Grimes did not speak. He looked very long and very hard at the Bounder. and pick out a horse that came in eleventh .K.” sneered the Bounder. Grimes. But his stolid plump face gave no clue to what impression might have been made on him. then. if they’d really seen him going into the ‘Three Fishers.” Smithy turned away again. Grimes sat silent. Grimes.” Still no rejoinder from Mr. Grimes. “Well?” “Have you told this to anyone else?” “Only my pal Redwing. Obviously he did not wish to utter a single word that might reveal his thoughts on the subject. If it’s all moonshine. drily. quietly. “One moment. forget it. “Not at all unlikely. “You have not told me the name of the man you have referred to. Perhaps he hadn’t had luck on a horse.” The Bounder’s eyes glinted.” Joe Banks at the ‘Three Fishers’ would know ! Just the silly ass to fancy he could spot winners.” sneered Smithy. Mr. you don’t want any more moonshine. “Well.’ since the story got out. Grimes.” Vernon-Smith moved away “One moment. Master Vernon-Smith” “O.expected him to report them to Quelch. Grimes breathed very hard through his stubby nose. “You can’t have it both ways. “A man has connections at a den of racing men—he goes down in the dark when he wants a book. his lip curling. He had listened attentively and patiently to the Bounder. “I’ve wasted too much of your time already. Anyhow.” “Leave it at that.” The Bounder set his lips.” added the Bounder. slowly and . That’s all I had to tell you. But he did want to know that name. “Precisely. “I know now who gave me this—I’ve been thinking it over ever since this morning. “I thought you ought to know.” went on Smithy.” “What?” “If I’m a silly schoolboy fancying things. you don’t want to hear any more of my fancies. please. and the snooper moves it to a safe place.” “Certainly it would be very inadvisable to spread such a story about the school. and rose from the bench.” There was a mocking glimmer in his eyes. Grimes. instead of switching on a light—and he barges in when the hidden loot’s just going to be found. he didn’t. and that I’ve let my fancy run away with me. and he passed his hand over the dark bruise on his forehead.” said Mr. “You think it’s all moonshine. If you think there’s something in it. you can say so.” said the Bounder.” he said. “I think what you have told me may be worth investigating. because the man’s meddled with me and I don’t like him?” he snapped. “That’s all. “Somebody was hard pushed for cash—and knew where to lay his hands on it. Grimes. and I’ll give you the name. Herbert Vernon-Smith gave him a hard look.” Mr.’ He wouldn’t want that talked about among the beaks.” “And—?” “I told them he wouldn’t.” “Oh. I’m not a fool.” said Vernon-Smith. and I’ve got it clear—it all fits in. He’s mum.

He looked.” said Mr. Little Mr. only too often. In class that afternoon the fat Owl. Micky Desmond. Tom Redwing caught his breath. Mr. Often. Grimes looked after him with a grim disapproving stare. passing by his remarks like the idle wind which they regarded not. “That’s good enough.” But plainly little Mr. Bunter’s stony state was well known. The Bounder laughed again. thinking less of his lessons than of methods of raising the wind.reluctantly. Then Mr. and the Bounder burst into a scoffing laugh. and risen again to find him still in quest of a little loan to tide him over till his postal-order came. up and down the Remove.” Inspector Grimes almost jumped off the bench. “Did—did——did you say Twiss?” “T-W-I-S-S. Tom Brown. Squiff. Chapter XXXII WHOSE TENNER? “I SAY. chatting by the window. and propounded that startling question that caused every eye in the junior day-room to turn upon him. Now all was changed—Bunter was the cynosure of all eyes. T for Thomas—W for Walter—I for Isaac—. and a dozen other fellows. That stony state. or rather bounded. did fellows turn a deaf ear to Billy Bunter. who were playing chess. Mr. Peter Todd jumped. forgot all about chess and stared at Bunter. And now—! Now he rolled into the Rag. in the eyes of all Greyfriars fellows. That morning Bunter had been trying to borrow any little sum from threepence to halfa-crown. Never had he had so much success as now. He liked to make fellows sit up and take notice. seeking what he might devour. In break he had succeeded in extracting a half-crown from Lord Mauleverer. a harmless rabbit of a little man. a cheery grin on his fat face. Bunter was as hard up as ever—going to and fro. The Bounder laughed. That question seemed to electrify every fellow in the Rag. Was there more in little Mr. Wibley. continued. which he had confided to the Famous Five under the elms the previous day. Quelch’s tongue several times. Fisher T. Bolsover major. had had the acid edge of Mr. all suspended conversation. you fellows! Can you change a tenner for me? “ Billy Bunter liked to attract attention when he spoke. The Famous Five. For once. Twiss than met the eye? Long and keenly the inspector’s scrutinizing eyes dwelt on him. No doubt he had pondered long and deeply over the mystery of the identity of the unknown “snooper” who had performed that inside job. The sun had gone down on a stony Bunter.” The Bounder spelt it out. and had not been seen for some time. Hazel. and he wondered. Twiss was taking a walk in the quad. In break he had blinked in vain for a letter in the rack—his celebrated postal-order seemed to be still delayed in transit. Fish ejaculated “Gee-whizz !” Russell and Ogilvy. After class.” “That will do. gruffly.” he said. Grimes was startled out of his stolid official calm. Skinner winked at Snoop and Stott. he had wandered forth on his own. Morgan. Grimes’s eyes fixed on a dapper figure at a distance. who giggled. Grimes. or their various . Twiss had never entered his thoughts. spun round. “Your head-master’s secretary !” he stuttered. his rimless pince-nez gleaming back the sunshine. and walked away. which disappeared at once in the tuck-shop. “The name’s Twiss. like the lion of old. After third school. once more treasure-hunting.

“Exactly. Even Lord Mauleverer sat upright in his armchair. and opened his eyes wide. “Did—did you say a tenner. But he would hardly have been prepared to give six-pence for that particular tenner. old chap! Got some change?” “You’ve got a ten-pound note !” exclaimed Harry Wharton. for he drew it from his tattered wallet: which seldom had a ten-shilling note in it. and feeling. I’d rather not take it to the tuck-shop. quite aghast. Bunter blinked at him. and waltz away with the Peek Frean?” “What did I tell you?” sneered Vernon-Smith. “If you found that banknote in the packet. “Yes. At Bunter Court——.occupations.” said Harold Skinner. “Of course not! I’ve been looking for it. is there—for me. “You’ve got tons of oof. But has he?” “Oh. He stared at the banknote. at least where I looked. Bunter had the house ! He did not seem to mind. “Nothing wonderful in having a tenner.” “Has he really got a tenner. It might get to Quelch. and he would ask questions. Smithy was one of the few fellows in the Remove who might have had change for a tenner. really. let alone a ten-pound one. “Well. It wasn’t in the Cloisters. Bull—.” “Oh.” That Bunter had a tenner was soon demonstrated. Bunter liked the spot-light. Bunter?” asked Hazel. He blinked cheerily at a sea of staring faces through his big spectacles. “Bunter’s found it—and endings are keepings with Bunter. really. “If he has.” “Where did you find the packet. “Doesn’t he take the biscuit? Doesn’t he prance off with the Huntley and Palmer. but I haven’t found it. “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. to gaze at the fat Owl.” said Harry Wharton. if I hadn’t. but did not offer to take it. take it to Quelch at once. should I?” asked Bunter. we know where he got it. Can you change it for me?” “Isn’t he the jolly old limit!” said Bob Cherry. with a whistle. Mimble might be inquisitive about it. you see. Mrs. “Eh! I haven’t found any packet. Hazel!” “You haven’t?” roared Bolsover major.” “Bank on that !” chuckled Smithy. Wharrer you mean?” “You haven’t found the packet—but you’ve got a tenner!” exclaimed Frank Nugent. Bunter. “You unutterable idiot.” . I mean? I know you fellows never have tenners—your people ain’t rich like mine. But there it was! Tenners were seldom seen in the Remove—but they knew one when they saw it! And here was one. Bunter held it out to the Bounder. “I guess I’ve given every pesky spot in the whole shebang the once-over.” said Fisher T. old chap.” “Why not?” grinned the Bounder. Fish. Bunter?” gasped Bob Cherry. Smithy—. or is he pulling our leg?” grunted Johnny Bull. “You can change it for me.” “This beats the band.” Smithy. 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. “Eh ! I shouldn’t ask you to change it. and then some. The captain of the Remove was looking.

he will get Bunter.“I didn’t!” roared Bunter. cough it up.” That that ten-pound note came from the missing packet could hardly he doubted by any fellow present. Why. independently. he! Tenners aren’t so much to my people as they may be to yours. “You jolly well won’t.” “Yah!” “For goodness’ sake. 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. Now he had a tenner. Peter Todd’s concern went to the length of taking Bunter by a fat ear—eliciting a howl of anguish from the proprietor thereof. “Ain’t I your keeper. at Bunter Court—. “ I don’t want to go to chokey with you.” said Bunter. Most of the fellows had been down on the Bounder’s suggestion that if Bunter found the treasure. “And as soon as Grimey hears of it. “Beast!” retorted Bunter. Haven’t you ever seen a tenner before? Why.” But they could hardly help agreeing with the Bounder now.” retorted Bunter. are you going to change this tenner for me or not?” “Not!” grinned Smithy.” said Bunter. I can’t. old fat man.” “Cough it up!” roared Peter. from the way you fellows stare. “Home for idiots is more likely.” said Skinner. “ If you don’t say where you got it. glaring at Peter with a glare that almost cracked his spectacles. Not that you have one very often— he. He jerked his fat ear away and rubbed it. “Anybody would think that I don’t get lots of remittances.” said Peter. and ask him to change it!” suggested Skinner. “it would not he safe from his fat fingers.” said Peter Todd. “Ow! Leggo! Beast!” howled Bunter.” “Take it to Quelch. are you making out that this tenner ain’t mine?” demanded Bunter. you awful beasts—.” “I’ll jolly well please myself about that!” retorted Bunter. Bunter had been hunting for the packet. A few hours ago he had been trying to borrow sixpences.” “Well.” “It can’t be yours. so yah!” “Where did you get it?” shrieked Peter. you fat chump. “I don’t ask you where you get a ten-bob note. you beasts. “Find out! Look here. unless you want me to take a stump to you.” “You howling ass !” hooted Bob Cherry. Bunter!” exclaimed Harry Wharton. “and you’ve jolly well got to tell us where you got it. indignantly. he. as you . “You can mind your own business. haven’t I?” “Bunter’s got it.” “Borstal for Bunter!” said Snoop. when you have one. “We ain’t allowed to have tenners in the Remove. “Then where did you get it?” “Like your cheek to ask a fellow where he gets a tip.” grinned Smithy.” “Why. “Keep off. “Oh. you beast! I was going to lend you something out of this—and now I jolly well won’t. Skinner cynically amused: but most of the fellows were alarmed and concerned for the fat and fatuous Owl. you potty porpoise? Now. The Bounder was scoffing. Toddy. “Quelch would be frightfully interested in that tenner. do you think anybody will believe it’s yours?” “It’s mine ! I’ve got it. they won’t send him there. Smithy. There were ten-pound notes in the missing packet.

You needn’t deny it —you have!” “Guilty. At Bunter Court—. what have you done with the rest. The fact was that Harry Wharton and his friends were anxious about Bunter. I jolly well won’t! It’s my business.” The obvious explanation was that he had . all the same. Quelch would be down like a ton of bricks on a man who had ten pounds. this is pretty thick. “Find out! If you won’t change it for me. Bob Cherry cordially invited him to roll in. He blinked indignantly round the Rag. not yours. they had most things in common. And you can jolly well go and eat coke !” hooted Bunter. Wharton and Nugent provided toast. if he knew it. dodging Peter’s hand as it reached for a fat ear again. “No. It was not exactly a festive board for five schoolboys blessed with healthy. The chums of the Remove had pooled their resources—like the Early Christians. you fellows. hallo ! Roll in. And with that. the fat Owl of the Remove. “ Say. and Hurree Jamset Ram Singh a bag of biscuits. Chapter XXXIII NO CHANGE! “HALLO. had gathered there for tea—rather a frugal tea. my lord!” said Peter. Nevertheless. youthful appetites: and certainly an energetic trencherman like Bunter was likely to make short work of it. Smithy—. Bob Cherry brought a tin of sardines. Fish. “I have—many a time and oft. No. 13. 1 Study seemed actually glad to see him. That tenner had alarmed them.” “Where did you get that tenner?” yelled Peter. But on this occasion.” “I guess you sure do not!” chuckled Fisher T. if I did—you’ve doubted my word before. Harry Wharton and Co. Peter Todd. hallo. and the other four all nodded assent. Funds were a little low. and a ghost of butter thereon: Johnny Bull brought along a cake from his study. as may occasionally happen in the best-regulated study.” “I tell you I never—. Making out a fellow snooped a tenner—a tenner ain’t so much to me as it is to you. barrel!” It was rather unusual for William George Bunter to receive so cordial an invitation when he presented his fat person in a study doorway at teatime. No. then—Temple’s got lots of dough. 14: and from No. big boy?” “Eh! The rest of what?” “Aw. rolled out of the Rag—leaving that apartment in a buzz behind him.” “Not in these trousers!” said Smithy. when only that day he had been scrounging up and down the Remove for a humble “tanner. ain’t it? I daresay you wouldn’t believe me. I guess you cinched the whole packet? That tenner wasn’t lying around on its lonesome. “I’ll ask a Fourth Form man. It was practically impossible to believe that it belonged to the impecunious Owl—how could it. especially in times of dearth.jolly well know. “I say. I don’t want Quelch to know anything about it.” “Shan’t!” retorted Bunter. But get it off your chest.” “Will you tell us where you got that bank-note?” hooted Peter Todd.

“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. brightly. I’m not doing this simply because I can’t get the tenner changed——I’m doing it because I’m a generous chap. “O. I ain’t the man to owe a grudge. no larks. Nothing mean about me.” “I don’t!” admitted Bob. He grinned. my esteemed fat Bunter. now. “The fact is. I say. you fellows.” he said. So for once the Fatuous Five were glad to see Bunter roll in. “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. and be blowed to him.” murmured Hurree Jamset Ram Singh. I hope. “The larkfulness is not terrific. “Oh. Bunter was just the fellow to persuade himself. of course.” said Bunter. with a blink of ineffable scorn.” said Bunter.” “I say. Bob Cherry. “Oh.” “Steady the Buffs!” said Bob Cherry. as you know” “Oh! You can’t get the tenner changed?” asked Bob. or a police-inspector was quite alarming to think of. what? Well. you bloated bloater!” roared Johnny Bull. Kindest friend and noblest foe.” “Look here. “Your honorific presence is a boonful blessing. Only yesterday you refused to lend me ten bob. you won’t see much of my tenner. “Supersquilious means putting on airs. . 1 Study.” said Bunter. because I know your game. cheerfully. draw it mild ! If that’s the way you talk. If he wants to go to chokey.” “Too much of a whatter?” gurgled Bob. You know you did! Well. “But the bootfulness is not the proper caper. He blinked a little suspiciously at the juniors in No. I’m going to stand you fellows a spread—best you can get at the tuck-shop. Mind.K. “Is that all you’ve got? Hard up.” “The Bunterfulness is truly terrific. let him go. hoping to be able to save himself from himself. “Yes—it’s happened at times. “I see. Bull—.” assured Hurree Jamset Ram Singh. though. You’ll have to change the tenner for me. I intend to treat you fellows generously now that I’m in funds.” Bunter thought he saw.” “Oh !” ejaculated Bunter. I’ve been hard up occasionally—. “That’s the sort of thing the benighted chump would think. you fellows.” “You unspeakable idiot——!” said Harry Wharton. really. Look here. “I say. if you don’t happen to know. by some fatuous mental process.” “Only occasionally?” remarked Frank Nugent. 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. what have you got for tea?” Bunter blinked at the frugal tea-table. Bunter seemed surprised by that cordial welcome. he.chanced upon the hidden packet. But the view that would be taken of such a proceeding by the head-master. boot him out!” snorted Johnny. as it were. you know —that’s me. “Putting on airs. I promise you. he!” “Why. you needn’t get your rag out. He can’t help Buntering. 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. my esteemed Johnny.

“Looks as if the Snooper may have blued the pound notes. you know now I’ve told you. to explain precisely how. all you’ve got to do is to sell shares you haven’t got. 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. 1 Study as the Famous Five gazed at Bunter. and then where will you be”? Bunter blinked at him.” “Why. he asked me where I’d found the packet— as if I know anything about the packet. What I meant was that I wouldn’t!” explained Bunter. But I don’t suppose you fellows know much about the City.” remarked Johnny. To judge by the looks of the Co. “I told you fellows he had been a bear and was raking it in. this ain’t a pound note ! It’s a tenner Talk sense.” “Is it possible that that banknote does belong to Bunter?” asked Bob Cherry. will you fellows change it for me?” he asked. is it?” “That’s it.” said Bunter. as I told you—well. apparently. It’s a tip from my pater. It’s a queer thing. you fellows.” went on Bunter. “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.” “Eh! How do you make that out?” asked Bunter. you fellows. it will be all over the school soon that you’ve found that packet. “and instead of changing the tenner. Bunter.” said Johnny Bull.” Billy Bunter held out the ten-pound note to the captain of the Remove.“Well.” “From what we’ve heard. Wharton—you get it changed for me.” explained Bunter. we’ll get it changed all right.” said Bunter. and the beaks will get wise to it before long. If Billy Bunter had come by that tenner honestly he did not choose. That alone was enough to banish any . old chap. “I wrote him a very special letter more than a week ago. “Look here. “Well. of Course. with a nod.” said harry Wharton. it wasn’t! Chapter XXXIV BUNTER EXPLAINS! THERE was silence in No. If you don’t. “If it’s yours. you can say how you came by it. thinks at once that I’ve found that packet. “So that tenner’s a tip from your pater. but everybody who hears that I’ve got a tenner. “Yah! Then I asked Hobson of the Shell. just try hard not to be such a benighted ass. I say. “Well. apparent to all. “But I wouldn’t soil my hands on the fellow. If that tenner’s yours.” “You’ve soiled them on something. gazing at the fat Owl in wonder. for some mysterious reason. supposed that it was all plain sailing now. “Because you’ve got a banknote. The Famous Five gazed at him.” “Not much more than you do. That Bunter was not telling the truth was. Here you are. if I tell you. there were a lot of pound notes in the packet.” agreed Bob Cherry.” said Bunter. I don’t mind telling pals like you fellows. and the oof rolls in in oodles. Bunter. “I’d have Punched his head for his cheek. that cad Temple said he wouldn’t touch my tenner with a barge-pole. and left only the banknotes. now I’ve told you where it came from. “Besides. you beast——. he’s coughed up a tip. you know. When you’re a bear in a bear market.

I chucked the envelope into the fire. He won’t for me. what do you mean?” I—I mean. it wasn’t in the rack this morning. I can tell you. and that will settle it.” “You’ve still got the registered envelope?” “Eh! Yes! No! I chucked it into the wastepaper basket in my study.” Billy Bunter belonged to the class that should. see?” “Oh. “Look here. But there were no takers. “Let’s have the fact! Facts from Bunter are worth hearing—we don’t get many. it was a—a registered letter. that I should have chucked it into the waste-paper basket if I’d been in my study. are you going to get this changed for me?” he demanded. have good memories.” said Bob. Wharton. crumbs !” said Bob. if you asked him. you know. He sent for me to his study. evidently cudgelling his fat brain for a fact that would do. What’s the good of the envelope?” “All clear. old chap! Now you take this tenner to Mauly—.” “There wasn’t a fire in the Rag to-day. ‘here’s a registered letter for you.” “Oh !” gasped Bunter. proverbially.” explained Bunter. See?” “So you had a registered letter?” “That’s it. of course” “You never had a letter this morning. a tip from my pater. “Go it!” said Bob. 7. and said. You see. into the grate.” . “What I meant was. Tenners ain’t so jolly scarce at Bunter Court as they are at Wharton Lodge. “I’m going to stand a spread in this study when it’s changed. Bunter!’ Those very words. “We’ll rouse it out of the grate in the Rag instead of the wastepaper basket in No. I remember now.” Bunter paused. You keep on taking a fellow up.” gasped Bunter. I—I chucked it out of the window.” “And how did it get here from your pater?” “Eh! In a letter. “I’ll cut along to No.” “Did Quelch hand it to you? “Yes of—of course.” “I—I mean. “It’s a pip from my tater—I mean. Think it walked?” “And when did the letter come?” “I got it in the rack this morning. Mauly would change it for you.” “I mean.” said Harry. 7 and get that registered envelope out of the waste-paper basket. then.” “Eh?” “You nosed over the rack as usual. He blinked impatiently at staring faces. “That’s what I really meant to say. I didn’t chuck it into the wastepaper basket in my study. to make sure. “ I—I—I mean—the— the fact is—.doubts the juniors might have had as to the source of the fat Owl’s newfound wealth. “I—I mean—. Bunter was holding out the ten-pound note. now I come to think of it. and there was no letter for you. But Bunter had a bad one! “Well. “I was in the Rag.” “Oh!” stammered Bunter. What about it?” “Where did you get it?” “Haven’t I told you?” hooted Bunter. and asked Bob to look.” “Oh ! I—I mean. of course. The pater’s careful with tenners—of course. Only I—I wasn’t.” “Then it’s still there. he registered the letter.

Do you mind if I ask Quelch whether you had a registered letter to-day?” Billy Bunter’s plump jaw dropped. at any rate. and not so much jaw. the—the pater decided to send it by— by messenger. He grinned.” “Bank on that!” said Johnny Bull. “It’s no good asking Quelch anything. you know.” said Harry. it wasn’t a registered letter.” “It—it blew away!” gasped Bunter.” said Bob. Have another go!” “Ha. if you don’t believe me—!” “Oh. “The bankfulness is terrific. “There was a—a sudden gust of—of wind. he means the grate. he means the window. “You fat fraud. Gig-gog-Gosling?” stuttered Bunter. now I’ve told you all about it. Wharton?” “I think you’d better tell us a little more first.” “Well. “The—the posts are so slow now.” said the captain of the Remove. really. you fellows.” “Oh!” gasped Bunter His fat face was a study. you never had a registered letter. crumbs !” “I wonder if that chap could tell the truth if he tried !” said Johnny Bull. you fat ass!” exclaimed Harry Wharton. Wharton?” “Not unless I know where it came from.” howled Bunter. crikey! Don’t you go saying anything to Quelch!” he stuttered. Gosling must have let the messenger in. as—as he doesn’t know. staring at the fat Owl. “Are you going to get this banknote changed for me. all together. Now just get on with it. ha!” “Look here. “You’re going to take it to Manly?” he asked. as he’s a suspicious beast— you can tell him your uncle sent it to you—.” said Bob.” “I’ll ask Gosling instead. so yah!” Bunter revolved in the doorway “Hold on. “Oh.” explained Bunter.” “What?” yelled the Famous Five. “You can see for yourself that the messenger won’t wash. “Look here. Bunter blinked round again.” roared Bunter. are you going to take this banknote to Mauly and get it changed. “And if you can’t take a fellow’s word you can go and eat coke. One of us had better cut down and pick up that jolly old registered envelope that’s lying around under the Rag window.“We’re getting it clear. and it— it blew right away! I—I don’t think you fellows could find it.” “I can take Quelchy’s. “I—I say. ha. “Goodness knows! It’s not on record that he’s ever tried. You fellows are like a sheep’s head—all jaw! You needn’t tell Mauly it’s my banknote. “He. he.” “I’ve told you. “When Bunter says the fire. “Try again!” said Bob Cherry.” “Oh!” gasped Wharton. “Yes.” “Oh.” stammered Bunter. he! I rather thought you’d come round as I’m going to stand a spread in the study. Wharton! I hope you can take my word.” “Great pip!” “So—so Quelch doesn’t know anything about it. and when he says the grate. “Can I?” . encouragingly. That’s how it was. Not—not exactly a registered letter. now I— I come to think of it.

The three juniors looked at him as he blinked in—Torn Redwing very grave. Smithy. you blithering bander-snatch. with the selfishness to which Bunter was so sadly accustomed. 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. hoping against hope for the arrival of a postal-order that never seemed to materialise. where he found Peter at tea with Smithy and Tom Redwing. that might he best. I say. Billy Bunter was peeved.” “You’ve still got it?” asked Smithy. pondered over that peculiar position. “It’s no good talking to him.” “What?” “It’s mine. the Bounder with a cynical grin. the fat Owl. Dutton with Squiff in No. he might as well have been tenner-less. “Let’s!” “Why. dazzled Bunter. you cheeky beast!” gasped Bunter.” said Bunter. ain’t it?” “Oh. even in times of dearth. Peter Todd was teaing with the Bounder. I—I’ve come here to settle up—I’m not the fellow to owe money. Now he was ready—more than ready —for tea in a study.” “You fat chump!” roared Wharton. so long as he shells out the change. Bunter was now in possession of a tenner—such a sum as was seldom seen in the Lower Fourth. 4 at last.” “Slaughter him. 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. Generally the most impecunious fellow at Greyfriars School. to make sure of something to go on with. they seemed to forget that Bunter wanted his tea. 7. old chap. His position was. suffering cats and crocodiles!” exclaimed Bob Cherry. with a frowning brow.” said Johnny Bull. Bunter rolled along to No.” . “ I’m not taking that banknote to Mauly! You’re taking it to Quelch !” “I’ll watch it !” “Can’t you understand. “Yes. After his rapid exodus from No. enough to peeve anyone. He flew. He wanted his tea. There was nothing doing in No. Bull—. as it were. “Oh. as you know. so long as you get it changed. 1 Study. and that everybody will know where you got it!” “I don’t mind—. tell him anything you like—I don’t mind what you tell him. 14. He had had tea in Hall—provisionally. The mere thought made his capacious mouth water. And for all the use it was to him. and Peter Todd with a question to which Bunter could only reply “Beast. I owe you five bob. that it will soon be all over the school that you’ve got a tenner. When Toddy and Dutton tea’d out. That’s the point really—get it changed —it doesn’t matter much what you tell Mauly. The study door banged behind Bunter and his banknote. indeed. “Still. his own study. Chapter XXXV NO TAKERS! “BEEN to Quelch with that tenner?” “ Beast!” Peter Todd asked the question: Bunter made the reply. really.“Well.

really.” explained Bunter. Bunter was not bright: but he was bright enough to realise that it was useless to tell over again the story of the letter. of course. Bunter. But he was not at the end of his resources. “Well.” “You ass.” said Redwing. “For goodness’ sake.’ Those very words.” “Too often!” agreed Peter. peevishly. Toddy. and take it where it belongs.” “Uncle which?” gasped Peter. and ——. Besides. then. and all of a sudden. that’s how it was. 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. or a rhinoceros.” said Peter Todd. “Oh! No! I—I met my Uncle George—.” “Oh.” Billy Bunter paused.” said Bunter. if it does?” “I told you my pater had been a bear. “Where did you get it. Why. They hadn’t believed him in No. Not Greyfriars style.” “As rich as your Uncle William?” asked the Bounder. I—I was taking a walk after class. but—but as he met me on the road. Toddy. If you can give me nine pounds fifteen change. but that tenner never came from your pater. is that you. it was my uncle. ha!” roared the Bounder. “Well. ‘Hallo.” “I know you’ve said so. “I don’t mind telling a pal like you where I got this banknote. my only hat and umbrella!” said Peter Todd. Smithy—. “I mean George—that is. the registered letter. “He’s got lots. old chap. stop trying to change that banknote.” “Your pater may have been a bear.” “As well as your Uncle William?” “I—I mean my Uncle William.” said Bunter.” “You’ve had a trip to Folkestone since class?” grinned the Bounder. Chuck it. ha. “He gave me this tenner. “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’ve told you often enough that my uncle’s rolling in money.” “Oh. It never came in a letter—my Uncle William gave it to me. or the special messenger. My people ain’t poor like yours. old chap.” “Think it doesn’t belong to me?” hooted Bunter. Smithy—. “ My uncle tipped me this tenner. who should I see but my Uncle George—I mean William—coming along the road from Courtfield. You know I’ve got a rich uncle at Folkestone—. and they wouldn’t in No. A tenner’s nothing to my Uncle George. 4.” he said. William! How you keep on taking a fellow up. 1 Study. “I shouldn’t accept a tip from a man I didn’t know. “Eh? Yes—I—I mean my Uncle William. A tenner’s a trifle to him.” “Beast! I mean. he didn’t come here after all—see? He said. “You can dry up. “Every man in the Remove knows that it doesn’t. “It was quite simple. He—he was coming to see me. it wasn’t exactly from my pater. who’d believe a chap who said that a . Toddy. Billy? I’ve got a tenner for you. or a bull. “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. just as your uncle might give you a bob. or a wolf.“Ye gods !” said Peter.” said Bunter.” “Ha. He’s rich.

“That’s your best guess. ha !” “Oh. “You change it for me.” “What’s that? “Where you got it. Are you going to tell Quelch.” howled Bunter. gad!” said the Bounder. Was he in two places at once?” “I—I—I mean. you fathead.” said Vernon-Smith. “Do that at once. I haven’t even had my tea yet—only tea in Hall. Now you’ve met him in Friardale Lane. “He won’t wash!” “Ha. Smithy! Look here. I—I met him in Courtfield Lane—I mean Friardale Road—I—I mean. pathetically. old fat man. Better stick to the uncle. “We ain’t allowed to have so much.” “You dithering chump. Bunter.” said Peter. Besides. as I’ve got the tenner?” snapped Bunter.” said Smithy.” argued Bunter. “ Have you forgotten already that you snooped that banknote from the packet you’ve found?” “I haven’t found any packet. taking a walk after class?” “You met him twice?” “Eh! No! Only once—wharrer you mean?” “Well. “It’s a bit unusual.” “Take the whole packet to Quelch. it’s not the sort of thing that often happens. Toddy. Quelch will want to know.” said Bunter.” “Eh! What packet?” “Oh. a few minutes ago you met him on the Courtfield Road. you know. if you’ll take that banknote to Quelch and hand it over. anyhow. really.” “Well. “It would want some believing. when he asks you. Look here. and I’ll square that five bob out of it. ha.” . so far as that goes. would Quelch believe me if I told him where I got it?” Bunter shook his head. “Quelch wouldn’t change it for me. if you won’t change it for me—.” “No ‘if’ about that !” “I’m stony till I get this banknote changed.” remarked the Bounder.” “You silly ass!” roared Bunter. scissors ! Not likely. good!” “—if you take that banknote to Quelch first.” “Only the uncle’s like Bunter himself. “Rot!” said Bunter. if the beaks know. now I’ve told you all about it?” “There’s one thing you haven’t told us yet. “Haven’t I just told you that my Uncle George—I mean Samuel—tipped me this tenner when I met him in Friardale Lane. “You can squat down here to tea—.” urged Redwing. I —I forget exactly where it was—what does it matter.Samuel tipped you that tenner when you met him in two places at once? Think that would do for Quelch?” “Beast!” “Look here.perfect stranger gave him a tenner for nothing? You wouldn’t believe it. and Quelch has doubted my word before this.” “Oh. will you change this tenner for me. I’ll lend you half-a-crown.” “He wouldn’t even let me keep it. Smithy. my Uncle Peter—I—I mean Uncle William—tipped me this tenner. is it?” chuckled Toddy. “I tell you my pater—I——I mean my Uncle Samuel—that is. that your Uncle GeorgeWilliam. would he?” “Oh. The beaks will hear about this soon.

“Beast! I—I mean. What’s the matter?” “You!” “Oh! You silly ass !” howled Bunter. Smithy. I’ll tea with you. On the Remove landing he encountered Squiff. and by that ear led him out of the study. like that of No.” assented Squiff. Bunter went—squeaking. they say possession is nine points of the law.” He blinked into No. took Billy Bunter by a fat ear.” “Pack it up !” said the Australian junior. Once more the worried fat Owl pondered in the Remove passage: then he headed for No. Mauly’s noble countenance wore its usual placid and cheerful expression. Bunter blinked at him. “Look here. Mauleverer went back into the study and closed the door. Then he rolled dismally down the Remove passage. Mauly! I only want you to change this tenner for me. Smithy. think she’d mention it to Quelch?” asked Bunter. everybody knows where you got that tenner. “Look here. Bunter. what’s up. “I’ve no use for the Head’s tenners. don’t be a goat. 1. But Billy Bunter was not to be waved away like a bluebottle. are you taking that banknote to Quelch. as if waving away a troublesome bluebottle. “But what about the other tenth. 4. And it remained unchanged. old chap——. and finding no takers. “I say. Twice had Lord Mauleverer refused to touch that tenner but the Owl of the Remove hoped that it might be “third time lucky. wasn’t going to change that tenner. But it looked less cheerful when he saw Bunter. Having landed him in the passage. evidently. with a chuckle. banged behind Bunter and his banknote. Toddy!” “Beast!” Billy Bunter travelled without waiting for the cricket-bat. 12. and we—we’ll talk it over. or not?” “No!” roared Bunter.” “Hand me that cricket-bat. Mauly? You were looking as jolly as anything a minute ago—now you look as if life wasn’t worth living.” Lord Mauleverer did not reply in words. “Then travel!” “I say. old fat man?” “Look here. Take it to Quelch. “I say.” said Bunter. Field. With ten pounds burning a hole in his pocket. he was still stony—tea as far off as ever. Mauly. It was really an extraordinary state of affairs. He waved a hand. where Lord Mauleverer. Billy Bunter rubbed a fat ear and breathed wrath. for a whole ten-pound note to be going begging. was taking a rest after tea. The door of No. He rose from the sofa.” “Oh. and paused.” said the Bounder. “Look here. old fellow—. “Of course she would. he rolled in. Bunter.” “Yah!” Billy Bunter rolled on—his tenner still unchanged. if I ask Mrs.” “Tain’t the Head’s. old chap—. stretched elegantly on his study sofa. “Beast!” yelled Bunter through the keyhole. Mimble to change it at the tuck-shop. “I say. “it’s mine.” howled Bunter. “We won’t. 12 Study. She’d have to. Third time was not lucky—Mauly.” answered Squiff. But so it was—and when the Remove went to their dormitory .” “Well. puzzled. dear!” groaned Mauly.

but Coker had other matters on his mind. “They don’t—of course! They never know anything. Except the beaks!” added Coker. “It’s going all round the school that Bunter’s found the packet of banknotes that was snooped from the Head’s study. He generally did. Potter and Greene saw no reason whatever for looking at Billy Bunter. when a pre spots him. Everybody knows it. Coker had plenty of money—that was all right. disdainfully. He’s been trotting a ten-pound note all over the shop trying to get it changed. and beckoned to Bunter. He was no ornament to the landscape. with sarcasm. he was blinking at the great man of the Fifth. Coker of the Fifth spoke with emphasis. Horace Coker lifted his hand. On the other hand. with a nod in the direction of a fat figure and a fat face adorned with a big pair of spectacles. his friends were interested in only one question —which was. dubiously. Potter and Greene might be thinking of elevenses. As a matter of fact.” suggested Potter. Coker had little charm: but as a fellow whose Aunt Judy kept him liberally supplied with pocket-money. Any other Remove man. Chapter XXXVI COKER TAKES A HAND! “THIS won’t do!” said Coker. he was a useful acquaintance.” “But—!” began Greene. seemed interested in Coker. From a little distance. His pals. “From what I hear. Bunter found the banknotes after class yesterday. Billy Bunter’s banknote was still in the state of the Medic and Persian laws —unchanged and unchangeable.” said Coker. They didn’t want to know. Potter and Greene. didn’t ask him what it was that wouldn’t do. “Look at him!” said Coker.” “Well. Potter. when would Coker leave off talking? It was in break the following morning. “Look at him!” repeated Coker. Bunter was debating in his fat mind whether he would ask Coker of the Fifth to change that unchangeable tenner. “Don’t be an ass. Coker and Co. Bunter. on beholding that beckoning hand. “They’ll bunk him for it. it won’t do. I’m going to stop him. Greene. 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. “Do the pre’s ever spot anything?” said Coker. and he’s been hawking that tenner about the school ever since. That young villain has found the packet and helped himself from it.” said Greene. Being a fellow who knew.” Having thus disposed of argument. Bunter’s going to hand that tenner over where it belongs. too. But it seemed that Horace James Coker was interested in the Owl of the Remove. So it was rather a problem. When Coker was talking. and having no use for adverse opinions or arguments. were in the quad—Potter and Greene surreptitiously trying to steer Coker in the direction of the tuckshop.” “He’ll have to. But Coker was not to he steered.that night. He did not improve the view. “That sort of thing isn’t good enough for Greyfriars.” “No business of ours.” “Young ass!” said Potter. “Don’t be a chump. would probably . As a conversationalist. Horace Coker naturally adopted a tone of finality.

Coker—. I’m jolly well going to see that nobody else does. if you don’t want to he kicked across the quad and back again. They disappeared. “Budge !” snorted Coker. Mind your own business. “Chuck that. really. either.” he began. hallo. you little fat scoundrel. Coker was welcome to get on with it.” “Old chap” from a Lower Fourth junior was rather too much for Coker of the Fifth to tolerate. you men—up-end that Fifth Form fathead. “I say. “Eh? Yes! I—. hallo. Coker!” rapped Harry Wharton. If Horace Coker chose to mix up in a shindy with a mob of juniors in the quad. Not so Bunter! Billy Bunter was only too glad of the chance to speak to Horace. “Get out of the way!” he snapped. and I’m going to see that you do it. Potter and Greene exchanged a glance.” Harry Wharton and Co. You got it out of that lost packet.have stared at Coker and walked off in another direction. you swob! Yow-ow-ow! Rescue!” “Hallo. on his own. Coker. don’t. “I’m going with you now to your form-master. old chap. impressively. “Leggo! Beast! Rescue ! I say. old chap—I—I mean old fellow—that is. rescue! I say— yaroooh! Leggo. “I say. in wrath and alarm. All the Famous Five grasped Coker. “Go it. “I won’t change it for you.” “Leggo !” yelled Bunter. “Here. and you jolly well ain’t going to make me.” growled Johnny Bull. “Yes. Potter and Greene did not want any. Coker.” said Coker. Bunter. and faded out of the picture. This was the opening he wanted. you—you beast!” he gasped. “Did you call me old chap?” he asked. He dropped a large and heavy hand on a fat shoulder. what’s the row?” Bob Cherry came up at a run. will you change it for me?” “No. make him leggo!” “We’ll make him let go fast enough. to drag him . followed by his friends. Potter.” “Clear off !” roared Coker. at the sight of a Remove man wriggling and yelling in the grasp of Coker of the Fifth. You’re going to hand over that tenner at once. “Potter—Greene—clear those fags off. “It’s not much use saying you didn’t when everybody knows you did. “Leggo!” roared Bunter. Billy Bunter wriggled in one large hand—Horace Coker swayed and staggered in ten smaller but quite energetic hands. yes.” said Coker. you fellows. “Oh. Coker held on to Bunter’s fat shoulder.” “I hear you’ve been trying to change a ten-pound note. Bunter rolled up promptly. That tenner isn’t yours.” Billy Bunter blinked at him. Coker?” That was a superfluous question. his eyes almost popping through his spectacles. “I’m not going to Quelch. Greene—kick those fags out of the way Come on. pulling at the fat shoulder. see? Can’t you mind your own business. I say. you fellows. “Shan’t!” yelled Bunter.” said Coker. Bunter.” “Well. “Why. surrounded Coker. and I’m going to see you hand it over. Coker gave the Famous Five a glare. Coker stared at him.” “I didn’t!” yelled Bunter. eagerly. Coker did not deign to answer such a frivolous question. It was really common knowledge that Coker couldn’t mind his own business.

roaring.” . had to let go his grip on the Owl of the Remove. to hand over that tenner——. Fifty fellows at least gathered round to look on. you fellows. He gave the Famous Five a glare. sat and spluttered frantically for breath: Coker. “The up-endfulness is the proper caper!” gasped Hurree Jamset Ram Singh. Wingate. and those cheeky little swobs aren’t going to stop me.” said Wingate. chuck it. His rugged face was crimson.” “Ooogh! I say. at a fat Owl gurgling for breath and at Horace Coker. and the fat Owl sprawled. as he went. “I’m taking Bunter to your beak. at last. They rolled him over. But he still held on to Bunter. all togetherfully !” “Whooop!” roared Coker. “Now. “What are you ragging Coker for.” “Up-end him !” growled Johnny Bull. One or two or three of the juniors Coker could have scattered before him like chaff before the wind. Chapter XXXVII BUNTER’S LATEST WINGATE of the Sixth stared at five crimson and breathless juniors. get out!” he gasped. “Chuck it—before we chuck you. Coker was big and brawny. “Well. you young ruffians?” demanded Wingate. “Not exactly ragging him. what’s all this about?” he rapped. “Here comes Wingate!” gasped Bob.” said Bob.” “No business of yours. winded. “I’m all—groogh—out of breath—oooogh!” Bob gave the fat Owl a hand up. Even Sixth Form men treated Coker with tact. “Well. But Coker held on. as Coker of the Fifth landed on the cold. “Chuck it!” And the Famous Five ceased to roll Coker as the Greyfriars captain came striding on the scene. “I’m jolly well going to take Bunter to his beak. rolled and roared. “You cheeky little ticks. “or you’ll get six all round. “I’ll smash ’em!” “Gurrggh! I’ll spiflicate ’em! I’—I’ll—goooorrggh !” Coker staggered to his feet. Only the presence of a prefect restrained him from charging.” “Who’s ragging with juniors in the quad?” bawled Coker. He was wildly dishevelled. “ ’ware pre’s!” called out Vernon-Smith. and Coker. sprawling and spluttering. Coker— you’re a Fifth Form man: you ought to have more sense than to rag with juniors in the quad. gimme a hand up!” gasped Bunter. over Coker’s long legs. Bunter.” answered Bob. There was a heavy bump. Wingate frowned. Coker struggled. But the five of them were too many for Coker.away from Bunter. You chuck it too. in a foaming state. unsympathetic quad. “Urrrgh!” Coker sat up. “Only trying to persuade him to mind his own business. His collar hung by a single stud —his tie was at the back of his neck—his hair was like a mop.

Where else could the impecunious Owl of the Remove have obtained a tenner? The fibs he had told on the subject. as you know very well. “I—I looked for it.” “You fat ass. Bunter—. and pinched it. Wingate. some of them grinning. “Oh. “See? Everybody knows where he got it. “Stop!” rapped Wingate. If you’ve got a ten-pound note. Wingate—. where did you get it? Lower boys are not allowed to have so much money as that.” . “Have you got a tenner?” “Oh ! Yes ! I—I mean—no—yes !” stuttered Bunter. Bunter?” he rapped. Wingate’s face grew grimmer. “You’ve got to own up now. “You can leave this to me. keep him off—.” “I’m going to make him hand over that tenner!” vociferated Coker. With a packet of banknotes missing. Now. And I’m jolly well going to take him to his beak. The crowd of fellows gathered round the spot exchanged glances. would have banished all doubt.” whispered Bob Cherry. had there been any doubt. but he got into motion. “He’s found the packet. “Have you found that packet missing from the Head’s study.” “You’re going to mind your own business. “Oh! No!” gasped Bunter. A prefect was not to he denied."I'M GOING TO MAKE HIM HAND OVER THAT TENNER!" “I say. and everybody knows where he got it. and I’m going to make him cough it up.” “Stop where you are! Now. but I—I couldn’t find it.” “I—I’ve got to go to the Head.” said Wingate. He was breathless. and—. 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. But it was too late. Wingate! I—I’ve got to see Quelch before class—. But where did it come from?” Billy Bunter blinked at the Greyfriars captain. and Bunter in sudden and inexplicable possession of a banknote. what’s this about a tenner?” asked the Greyfriars captain. I—I don’t know where it is. “Everybody knows he’s got it. “Well?” rapped Wingate. the thing really seemed to speak for itself. Bunter did not want to discuss that tenner with a Sixth Form prefect. There was no choice for Bunter now— he had to explain about that banknote. and your form-master must be told about it.” “Oh.” “That will do. Coker. “I—I—I——!” stammered Bunter. and his obvious unwillingness to answer Wingate. really.” snorted Coker. crikey!” gasped Bunter. you fellows.

where did you get a ten. Wingate—. even from Bunter!” remarked Johnny Bull.” Wingate was staring blankly at the fat Owl. had some beneficent stranger presented Bunter with an unexpected tenner. or from his Uncle George or Uncle William. I—I went out after class to look for that .” “Where did you get that banknote?” “I’ve told you. No doubt. which would have accounted for the mixed bag of explanations he had given in the studies. believed for a moment that any beneficent stranger had done anything of the kind. But he was plainly reluctant to state where that banknote had come from. you awful chump !” hissed Peter Todd. “The richfulness is terrific. that it was no use “telling the tale” to Wingate. “Bunter. “A—a—a man!” gasped Bunter. “I say. Cherry—. Even Bunter realised. and—and gave me the tenner. But a statement that a man had come up to him and given him a ten-pound note was altogether too incredible. “Oh. really. credence might have been at least possible. you fellows. really.” “A man you’d never seen before gave you ten pounds?” “Yes. you ass—!” said Bob. “ I—I mean. Truth and Bunter had long been strangers: and swank was numbered among Bunter’s charming qualities.” “Where did you get it?” rapped Wingate.” “What man?” “I—I don’t know !” “You don’t know what man gave you a ten--pound note!” stuttered Wingate. it’s true! I jolly well knew you wouldn’t believe it. the fat Owl would have preferred to let it be understood in the Remove that he came from some rich relation. “It—it was yesterday afternoon. Bunter!” said Wingate.” “Tell the truth. staring at the fat Owl in sheer wonder. “True!” murmured Skinner. you chump—!” said Harry Wharton. “Has that young ass gone crackers. “I—I—it’s mine. or what?” said Wingate at last. I’d never seen him before. The crowd of Greyfriars fellows stared at Bunter. suffering cats !” murmured Bob Cherry. “What?” almost roared the Greyfriars captain. my Aunt Jemima!” “Ha.“Oh. “That man gave it to me—. as he had told it in his own form.” “Oh. but it’s true !” gasped Bunter. Toddy—. Had Bunter told a tale of a tip from his pater. “Can you beat that?” “Bunter. after his experience with the doubting Thomases in the Remove. But nobody. and when. so sharply that Bunter jumped. Bunter had said that he knew they wouldn’t believe it. Wingate.pound note?” “I—I—I———!” Bunter spluttered helplessly. Bunter?” asked the Greyfriars captain. of course. Wingate. He was right! They didn’t! “And where did this happen. “If you haven’t found the packet. I—I—I—a—a—a man gave it to me!” gasped Bunter.” groaned Bunter.” “I’m waiting. ha. “ Oh. Bunter’s remarkable statement seemed to have taken his breath away. Wingate. ha !” “That’s rich.” “Great pip!” said the Bounder. “He—he came up to me. “Oh. really.

” said Frank Nugent.” urged Hurree Jamset Ram Singh. we all know what a howling ass you are. compared with the yarn he had spun Wingate. “He—he might think I’d made it up. evidently to make his report to the Remove master without loss of time. you fellows. Bunter.’ and he said. and I got tired. So——so I never told them. don’t you believe me?” asked Bunter. ‘Is that Mr. The yarns Bunter had already told about that banknote seemed to the Famous Five as moonlight unto sunlight. ha!” “Are you going to spin that yarn to Mr. you young ass. .” stammered Bunter.” said Wingate. “Even that would go down better than this. but a beak will call it pinching—. “Ha. and he will deal with you. “I say. “Only a bit ?” “Ha. “for goodness’ sake cut in at once and hand that tenner to Quelch——. Bunter ?’ So I said.” urged Harry Wharton.packet——.” “Why did a man you’d never seen before give you ten pounds?” “I—I don’t know. ha.” “Well I couldn’t find the packet.” remarked the Bounder.” “I can sort of see him doing it!” murmured Skinner. And if you’ve got a spot of sense. “Get on with it. And a man came up in the lane beside the Cloisters and said.” “Don’t lose a moment.” said Bob.’ And—and he gave it to me and—and walked away. to tell him the truth. ha!” “Better have stuck to Uncle William-George-Samuel.” “It’s the sack !” said Johnny Bull. and sat on the Cloister wall. “I—I rather thought the fellows wouldn’t believe it. “Go to it. “I—I’d never seen him before. “Look here. when you see your form-master. will you. impatiently. “Do you think that anybody could possibly believe that. and you fancy somehow you’ve only borrowed that tenner from the packet. old fat idiot. I think he might!” said Wingate. They were quite alarmed for him. That really was the limit. I think this beats everything. drily. gathered round Bunter. Bunter.” “The mightfulness is terrific. “Bunter. “Shut up. Bunter?” “I—I know it sounds a bit unusual.” “You didn’t know the man. Bunter.” “And found it!” roared Coker. Coker?” exclaimed Wingate. “I—I’d rather not mention it to Quelch! I—I think he mightn’t believe it. cut off to Quelch before badfulness becomes worsefulness.” mumbled Bunter.” “That will do !” Wingate walked away to the House. Quelch was almost unthinkable. Quelch?” asked Wingate.” “Well. ‘This ten-pound note is for you. “I never found it!” roared back Bunter. Wingate——. you’ll tell Quelch the truth when he questions you.” said Bunter. Harry Wharton and Co.” “A bit unusual !” said Skinner.” “Yes. as water unto wine.” “I—I’ve told the truth. Bunter?” asked Wingate. “I advise you. Bunter. “For the love of esteemed Mike. ha. The effect of such a yarn on Mr. ‘Yes. I’m going to report this to your form-master at once.

that you are in possession of a Bank of England note for the sum of ten pounds. Such a tale would have taxed his credulity had it come from the member of his form whom he trusted most. But he did not roll in the direction of Mr. knew why. in a deep voice. Bob was careful not to let “Henry” hear that murmur. “ It—it—it’s mine. Bunter. Quelch. and helped himself from the contents.” “You benighted chump—!” “Yah!” Peter gave it up. Bunter.” “Oh ! Yes. Peter Todd gave his fat study-mate a final whisper of warning as he went to his desk. Quelch look his very grimmest. and he tipped you a tenner in Friardale Lane?” asked the Bounder.“Believe you ! Oh. among . “Was that before it came in a registered letter from your pater.” “I never found it. Quelch was hardly likely to believe that a man Bunter had never seen before had given him ten pounds for nothing. They almost bored into the fat junior.” “He did. But now it did indubitably look uncommonly grim. “Own up. Chapter XXXVIII WITNESS WANTED! “HENRY looks grim!” murmured Bob Cherry. and the Remove went to their form-room. as he rustled to the door of the Remove room to let in his form for third school. “Bunter!” said Mr. Bunter. There was no doubt that Henry Samuel Quelch looked grim. you fat ass!” “Beast!” “Tell Quelch where you found the packet. accordingly. anyway. ha!” “Beast!” Bunter rolled away. There was a thrill of excitement when the bell clanged for third school. Quelch’s eyes fixed on Bunter. And the fat Owl was the member he trusted least! The Remove fellows filed to their places in suppressed excitement. Quelch’s study. ha. Quelch’s severe countenance was a little inclined to grimness. sir. Quelch had heard Wingate’s report: and knew. or after it came by special messenger?” “Or was it about the time you met your uncle on the Courtfield Road. That was more than enough to make Mr. was not to be saved from himself! He was going to repeat his “latest” to Quelch. sir!” mumbled Bunter. if Quelch inquired. it seemed. “It appears. that a member of his form had found the missing packet. that man really gave me the tenner——. did he?” snorted Johnny Bull. “Yes. Everybody.” “You are aware. “I have heard a most extraordinary report from a prefect—Wingate of the Sixth Form !” said Mr. It was plain that Quelch was going to inquire. sir !” groaned Bunter. scissors !” “I say. “Ha. Quelch. 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. of course. Never had they seemed so much like gimlets. They knew that the thunder was going to roll before the lesson began. that a packet is supposed to be hidden somewhere about the school containing a number of notes purloined from the head-master’s study.

” “It—it’s mine. in fact.” “Oh! Yes. even to Bunter.” stammered Bunter. Bunter. for nothing. “Then you need say nothing. Then he rapped out : . sir!” “You have not found the packet. sir. “If the bank.” said the Remove master. sir!” gasped Bunter. Perhaps he thought that Bunter had enough coming to him ! Quelch did not. sir!” stammered Bunter. Wingate has informed me. “Answer me. “I trust so. joined with other boys in searching for that packet of banknotes. Benevolent old gentleman as Dr. Quelch thought of the story of a beneficent stranger with tenners to give away. “You have. that if he named a relative Quelch would inquire of that relative. Quelch. sir!” faltered Bunter. I believe. Peter did not want to see him sacked. He was neither useful nor ornamental.” “Have you found it.them ten-pound notes?” “I—I’ve heard so. sir! I—I thought the Head might like me to find it for him. Bunter. or a tip from his uncle. that you told him that a man with whom you were unacquainted gave you that banknote yesterday. We shall now commence. and without explanation. His answer came: “No. Quelch considerately passed him over. Quelch. take any further notice of Billy Bunter’s fat existence till the hour of dismissal came. would he good enough for Quelch. if—if I could. Which was a sufficient indication of what Mr. Mr. Third hour was not a happy hour for Billy Bunter.” “Very well.” said Mr. Bunter. But the Owl of the Remove did not heed that beseeching look. Locke undoubtedly was. Bunter.note is yours. As plainly as if he had told them. His fat face was worried and lugubrious. “You will now explain to me how a banknote for ten pounds came into your possession. “Bunter. Still. Is that what you are about to tell me?” “Yes. “N-no. Bunter!” he rapped. “Then who was it?” “A—a—a man. I shall take you to your headmaster after third hour. And Quelch gave him no time for thinking out new inventions. 7 Study. Was it a relative who sent you this banknote. the Remove fellows could see that he was debating in his fat mind whether a story of a tip from his pater. All eyes were on his fat face. Locke’s hands. The prospect of that interview with his head-master seemed to weigh on Bunter. Quelch held up his hand. Bunter?” asked Mr. He gave no attention whatever to the lesson—he couldn’t! But Mr. But it was obvious. Bunter?” Bunter did not reply at once. Quelch. as I trust.” groaned Bunter. “It—it——it wasn’t a relative.” And the Remove commenced: the subject dropping there and then. and the matter will pass into Dr. Bunter did not add to the joy of existence in No.” said Mr. sir. no fellow really liked being taken to his study to see him—Bunter least of all. sir. I shall communicate with the relative who sent it to you and explain that junior boys at this school are not permitted to have such large sums of money. Bunter?” Peter Todd gave the fat Owl an almost beseeching look.

Locke.” said Bunter. Tell the Head the truth about that packet and he may go easy with you. and he always takes your word. “I’m going to.” “It’s your only chance. 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. it’s only necessary for you to saw you say—I mean. Matters were bad enough: but obviously. Some of the juniors remained with him in the corridor. “I wish you’d keep to the point. eagerly. “I—I say. You just say you saw—” “You fat villain !” “Oh. He’s told us that that tenner came in a letter. “Bunter.” said Bunter. When I leave this form-room I shall take you to Dr. “Oh! Well. and if you say you saw that man give me the tenner when I was sitting on the Cloister wall—. 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.” “Wha-a-a-t?” stuttered the captain of the Remove. apparently having had enough of Bunter. “I—I say. haven’t we? Look here. “But very likely the Head won’t believe it. it’s pretty thick.” “Ain’t he a cough-drop?” said Bob Cherry. really.” urged Frank Nugent. and nothing but the truth. then in a registered letter.” “Yah! If you had as much sense in your head. There was. you fellows. and back me up. and the . Bunter. to say you saw—.” said Harry. if anything could save Bunter now. never mind that. He may think my banknote came from his packet. sir!” groaned Bunter. the whole truth.” said Harry. when Quelch may come out any minute and take me to the Beak. and then he told Smithy that his Uncle William gave it to him on the Courtfield road. Wharton! Look here.” “Oh. “do try to have a little sense—.“Bunter!” “Yes. fan me!” murmured Bob Cherry. “Well.” said Harry Wharton. I don’t know why—he hardly ever takes mine. “Wingate didn’t believe me—I could see that! You fellows don’t either. “That’s the worst of you fellows—you never can keep to the point. of course. but Mr. peevishly. See?” “What else can he think?” gasped Bob.” Bunter cast an uneasy blink towards the form-room door. you men. “ If you fellows are trying to make out that I don’t tell the truth—. Bunter?” “You pays your money and you takes your choice!” remarked the Bounder. he does take yours. quite gently. only one chance for Bunter: to own up to the truth without telling any more fibs. leaving Mr. “You will wait in the corridor. Quelch with papers at his desk.” said Bunter.” “But I didn’t!” shrieked Wharton. as I’ve got in my little finger. you’d be twice as clever as you are!” yapped Bunter. old chap. Wharton. old man. you stand by a fellow. Wharton. Quelch had not emerged yet.” “Oh.” “Oh.” said Bunter. lor!” Bunter rolled dismally into the corridor. “ That’s what worries me. Wharton. Still. old chap!” said Bunter. then by special messenger. “I’ll do as much for you another time. “You can see that you’re up against it. we’ve always been pals. come on. so far as they could see. You needn’t deny it—you jolly well don’t. you’re Quelch’s Head Boy. “You just tell Quelch you saw the whole thing—. it was the truth.

But the matter is. old chap. of course. habitually untruthful. Quelch. “No doubt. “No good asking a decent chap: but you’ll do it. leaving the fat Owl yelping and rubbing the fattest head at Greyfriars School. will you tell Quelch that you saw that man give me the tenner yesterday—?” “Will I?” grinned the Bounder.” “You need not speak. and very many boys have searched for it —including Bunter. Locke’s eyes turned on him and fixed him with a penetrating gaze. a list of the numbers of the missing banknotes has been supplied to Inspector Grimes. very simply put to the test by reference to the number of the banknote. sir.” said Bunter. there has been some excitement on the subject. “I mean to say. But that was what Smithy did. for the possession of which he cannot account. I am sorry to say. and for this reason I attach no importance to the story he has told—in itself incredible. Smithy — hold on a minute. Quelch. has told an absurd story to account for the banknote.” “I—I didn’t—!” gasped Bunter.” said Mr. “Mr. and from the other to the one. Smithy—I say.” . Smithy?” Why Herbert Vernon-Smith took him by the collar and banged his head on the passage wall. “Since the story has spread that the packet of banknotes is concealed somewhere about the school. sir. I am reluctant—very reluctant—to believe that any boy in my form could be capable of filching—.Famous Five went out into the quad. lor’! Is—I mean. “Bunter certainly has joined in the search for the packet. He now has a ten-pound note.” said Dr. “Letting a chap down.” In the lowest spirits. Bunter did not know. “but—. sir—.” “Quite so. “Bunter. “Bunter!” snapped Mr. you ain’t particular about telling whoppers. Quelch.” “Oh !” said the Head. sir. “Beast!” hissed Bunter. “Oh. Locke. He gasped as Dr. He was still rubbing it when Mr. I say. yes. Billy Bunter stood uneasily.” said Mr.” “Place the banknote on the table. Quelch. Billy Bunter followed Quelch to his head-master’s study.” “I—I say. Twiss naturally makes a note of such details. sir. blinking at him. Chapter XXXIX A PAINFUL PARTING! DR. LOCKE raised his eyebrows as he listened to what Mr. “Bunter! Follow me. having found the packet. really. Bunter. Quelch came out of the form-room.” “But—!” said the Head. sir—. won’t you.” “It—it’s mine. Quelch. Quelch had to tell him.” said Mr.” “Eh?” “It’s in your line. He is. after all I’ve done for you. “Most extraordinary!” said the Head. There seems to me only one conclusion to be drawn. “But —. “—of filching one of the banknotes. Smithy—. and he walked away after the rest of the form. shifting from one fat leg to the other.” He paused.” said Mr.

the numbers of the missing banknotes are not available.” “On—on the Cloister wall. I fear. sir. glancing at it. “It is an awkward circumstance and has. But it unfortunately happens that the list was placed in the same drawer as the money. “I—I don’t know who he was. sir. sir. 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.” “Bless my soul!” said the Head.” gasped Bunter. If this be so.” said Mr. sir. Quelch. Bunter. in extenuation of his conduct. Mr. to tell your head-master the truth. “It is. of course.” said the head. Locke coughed. Quelch. Quelch. I— I was sitting on the Cloister wall when that man came up in the lane—.” “Oh!” said Mr.” said the Head. “Bunter. sir! “ groaned Bunter. “Tell me at once where you obtained that banknote. “Then it remains only to question Bunter.“Place it on the table at once.” he said.” Dr. Twiss’s list is available——.” said Mr. Bunter. “I asked you. there can be no doubt that it was taken at the same time as the banknotes by the unknown pilferer. Mr. Twiss’s custom to note the numbers of all banknotes passing through his hands as my secretary. added somewhat to Inspector Grimes’s difficulties. is the story Bunter told a prefect and repeated to me. Quelch. where you obtained the banknote.” “Bunter!” The Head’s voice was very deep.” rapped Mr.” he said.” “What man?” .” “What? Do you mean that the missing packet was concealed on the Cloister wall and that you found it there?” “Oh! No. he was very much annoyed indeed. and the £10 note was extracted therefrom and laid on the head-master’s writing-table. “Quite so. A—a man gave it to me. Bunter’s tattered wallet came into view. Billy Bunter’s eyes. and spectacles. You—you see. “That. “The number. “ I—I—I——. Quelch. blankly. or—or why he did—but—but he did.” “I warn you. you will explain to me precisely how this banknote came into your possession. If Mr. lingered on it. 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. sir. Quelch. “is 000222468.” said Mr.” It was Mr. sir.” “Oh! Yes. Mr. sir!” gasped Bunter. perhaps I may be allowed to say. Quelch’s turn to raise his eyebrows. sir. that the matter cannot he put to the test so simply as you have naturally supposed. sir. It was not for a member of the Staff to reveal annoyance in the presence of his Chief. that’s where. “Bunter has been in possession of that banknote since some time yesterday.” “I—I didn’t—I—I never—I—I wasn’t—. I was sitting on the Cloister wall. “I am afraid. and as it cannot be found.” “Yes. “You were sitting on the Cloister wall! repeated the Head. “I—I’m going to. Quelch concealed the fact that he was annoyed. But as he had taken it for granted that that simple test would clear up the matter beyond any possible doubt. sir!” “Then what do you mean?” “I—I mean. sir. sir. “ In point of fact.

” “Utterly!” agreed Mr. within the bounds of possibility. sir! C-c-c-can I tut-tut-take my bub-bub-bank-note. There was going to he a painful—a very painful— parting! The Head spoke at last.” There was silence again. sir. Mr. Dr.” said the Head. Locke gazed at Bunter. “Are you telling me. it is true. leaving head-master and form-master in consultation. It was borne in upon Billy Bunter’s fat mind that his riches were about to take unto themselves wings and fly away. he had fallen from his high estate. “Such a story is utterly incredible. But in so serious a matter we must proceed with care. Quelch made no rejoinder to that. I suppose. Bunter?” asked the Head. Locke turned to the Remove master. Dr. transferring his gaze once more to the hapless Owl. Quelch.” “You may go. “It is. Quelch. Locke to speak. sir!” groaned Bunter. “Oh! Yes. folded the bank-note and placed it therein. “This is extraordinary. “What did you say. Bunter. Then Dr. then at the grim countenance of his form-master—then at the banknote on the table. Mr. Quelch. Quelch’s lips shut in a tight line.” “Bless my soul!” said Dr.“The—the man who gave me the banknote. and great was the fall thereof. that a man you do not know came up to you and gave you a banknote for ten-pounds? “Yes. Like Lucifer. Mr. Mr. Bunter?” “Oh! Nothing. “I will take charge of this. Quelch! Bunter’s story is so extraordinary as to seem quite—quite incredible. Locke. For the present the boy may go. thoughtful face. “What!” Quelch almost thundered. but still a tenner—and now it was gone from his gaze like a beautiful dream. Quelch. Dr. Quelch waited for Dr. “Mr.” said Mr. Chapter XL BEASTLY FOR BUNTER! . His blink at the banknote was longing—in fact. Quelch pointed to the door. Locke gazed at Bunter as if the fat junior had hypnotized him. Sadly and sorrowfully he rolled away. There was a silence in the study. “and retain it till the ownership is established.” he said.” He opened his pocket-hook. “N-n-no. for the present.” Mr. sir. yearning. For a brief period the Owl of the Remove had been in possession of a £10 note—unchangeable.” he said. Bunter. “But—. “Very!” said Mr. Son of the Morning. It disappeared. Billy Bunter’s dismayed gaze followed it as it disappeared. sir! N-n-nothing!” gasped Bunter. The sad eyes of Dido did not follow the departing sails of Æneas so longingly as Billy Bunter’s eyes and spectacles followed that departing banknote. A dismal Owl rolled out of the head’s study. Locke picked up the £10 note. It did not seem to him even within the bounds of possibility. “You have nothing more to tell me. Long and lugubrious was the fat countenance of William George Bunter.” “Who was he?” “I—I don’t know. sir?” stammered Bunter. Bunter blinked uneasily at the Head’s puzzled. He seemed unable to take his spectacles off it.

Gladly he would have swanked as the proprietor of the only ten-pound note in the Lower School. If he did. “Will you gerraway?” he howled. But even Bunter did not enjoy fame as a snapper-up of lost tenners. He glared at Tubb and Paget of the Third—he glared at Gatty and Myers of the Second—even at his own minor. he was as good as the head of a procession. Obviously they were convinced that Bunter knew where that packet was. “You might tell me where it is. why not take the packet to the Head and have done with it?” asked Johnny Bull. you fellows. where’s that packet?” asked Tubb. as a rule. pointed at. fairly dogging his footsteps. When he walked in the quad. blow you?” “Forgotten where you left it?” asked Bob. liked any amount of limelight that might come his way. There was no doubt that Bunter had! Bunter had tea’d in Hall that day. of course. I can’t move a step without bumping into a beastly fag. Bunter had fallen in a stony place. It was not on record that any fellow quite of his own accord had ever sought Billy Bunter’s society before. Bunter blinked round at his followers. “I don’t know where it is!” shrieked Bunter. “Ha. that’s rot. continued to haunt his footsteps. did he cast a most unbrotherly glare. Haven’t I told you that a man—?” . when they came out after tea. 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. “Look at those grubby little beasts —they think they’ll find the packet if they keep me in sight.” Billy Bunter gave them a reproachful blink. “How could you snoop a tenner out of it if you don’t know where it is ?” Bunter. and suspected that he might pay it another visit—now that the Head had taken away the tenner. this is too jolly thick!” he said.” “Well. “Well. like the seed in the parable. rolled on.. as the man who had found the “treasure” and was keeping it dark to help himself from it. ha!” “Bunter’s got the spot-light!” remarked Bob Cherry. Now all was changed—all sorts and conditions of fellows seemed to haunt him. Mimble’s tuck-shop. Sammy Bunter. Billy!” urged Sammy Bunter. Why the Head didn’t make him cough up that packet was a puzzle to most fellows—but nobody doubted that Bunter could have coughed it up. could not help grinning at the sight of Bunter and his followers—walking like a Highland chief of ancient times followed by his “tail. and his postal-order had not come: and his weekly half-crown of pocket-money was safe in the till at Mrs. took it for granted that the tenner had come from the lost packet. a whole crowd of fellows were going to be at his heels. “I don’t know anything about it.” howled Bunter. But he did not enjoy it now. His ten-pound note was gone. Bunter. ha. innumerable eyes had turned on Bunter—all the school knew now about that tenner. Tubb and Co. His fat face wore a frown when he rolled out of Hall—but in the quad he received as much attention. “How can I when I don’t know where it is. “I never left it. Everybody. “I say. or more. “Well. In Hall. Harry Wharton and Co. Bunter was glanced at. had he chosen so to do. And all you fellows can do is to cackle.“GERRAWAY!” hissed Billy Bunter. Once more. breathing fury. Fags of the Second and Third were specially interested in him and they followed wherever Bunter went. stared at.” said Sammy.

He was getting too much attention in the quad and was more than tired of the attentions of Tubb and Co. he had to give it up. “It is common knowledge! Yet he has not produced the packet !” “Extraordinary!” said Mr. Mr. do you? You’re an old hand—you can make up a better one than that!” “Ha. Bunter?” “No!” howled Bunter. “Unparalleled!” boomed Prout. Twiss. Think a jolly old philanthropist is wandering about giving away tenners ?” Redwing made no reply to that. Wiggins. “I say. Bunter liked pineapple.” “It is all right!” agreed Tom Brown. “Got any more tenners. Mr. “Beasts!” breathed Bunter. Evidently they had been talking of it in Common-Room—everybody knew about it now and was discussing it. with a stare. ha. He rolled away again and headed for the Remove studies. In the Rag a crowd of fellows stared at Bunter as he came in. Smithy!” said Redwing. He rolled into the House to take refuge in the Rag. “Amazing!” said Mr. where a deep booming voice caused him to blink round. The door of No. “Losing your inventive powers.” “Beast !” “Well. “Very extraordinary!” said Mr. Capper. Really. Capper.” remarked VernonSmith. The Bounder gave a scoffing laugh.Are you still spinning the same yarn?” asked Bob. Wiggins. 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. 2. stood open and within sat Tom Brown and Hazeldene at the study table slicing a pineapple and disposing of the slices. it was not easy to believe. “That is the boy who has found the packet of banknotes—. Several other faces joined Prout’s in the window. “ He must know that Bunter knows where the packet is. ha!” Billy Bunter snorted and rolled on. He was still the cynosure of all eyes. that pineapple looks all right. Billy Bunter’s fat ears burned as he rolled on. “Here lie is. “Why not?” asked Snoop. as he passed it.” chuckled Skinner. he had intended to revisit the hiding-place of the missing packet. Twiss and Mr. Mr. He rolled past the big bay window of Common-Room. “Do you believe Bunter’s latest?” he asked. all stared at Bunter.” “There’s no proof. disconsolate—Tubb and Co. “Ah!” said Mr. as Tubb and Co. evidently surmised. “That is the boy!” boomed Prout. “You know where to find them. Bunter came to a halt. Hacker. be reasonable!” urged Bob. Mr. you fellows—!” he squeaked. was looking from the window and his eyes fixed on Bunter with disapproval. If. still on his trail. Prout. master of the Fifth. There was no comfort for Bunter in the Rag. don’t you?” “What I can’t make out is why the Head hasn’t sacked him already. “I say. with Prout’s boom echoing behind him. .” “That is he!” said Prout. mildly. Hacker. old fat man? it’s time you had a new story. “You don’t really expect anyone to believe that somebody’s going about giving ten-pound notes away for nothing.

Toddy. Then came a faint creak. Grimes could see nothing—but his ears were keen: and faintly.” “That’s the trouble.” “I’ve told you a man gave me that tenner ——. On the landing it was densely dark. motionless. But nobody.” “We’ll take it to the Head without borrowing any of the tenners. I’ve heard that Grimey is about the school to-day.” said Bunter warmly. “Beast!” Bunter rolled on. “ I’ve never even seen the rotten packet!” yelled Bunter. Some of the Greyfriars fellows had heard that the Courtfield inspector was about the school again. On the lower landing there was a gleam of starlight from the big window. how can any of it be left?” Hazel chuckled and Bunter stared. Mr. Now look here. shaking his head. you might take a fellow’s word. rather!” gasped Bunter. invisible. 7 Study again! Chapter XLI CAUGHT! MR. A door had opened—and closed again.” added the New Zealand junior. with hardly the faintest sound. you might ask a fellow if he’d like a slice.” “Yes. “You can have the lot if you like. “Have you taken that packet to the Head. Bunter?” he asked.” “Oh. “None of it left. Bunter——. For a full minute it stood there—silent.” “Yes—don’t tell me again. old fat fraud. as you’ve got a lot left. Grimes: noiseless. Go and get the packet——. “It’s all right! If it’s all right. Grimes’s feet were of substantial size and weight—but in rubber shoes they made no sound at all. But there was Mr. Black against the starlight was the silhouette of a man stopping at the window. knowing me as you do. Cautious feet in socks were almost noiseless.” “I tell you the man came up to me and said—Beast! Don’t you chuck that cushion at me! If you chuck that cushion at me I’ll jolly well—yarooop!” Bunter rolled out of No. Certainly the unseen man who was stepping so stealthily down the stairs did not dream that a portly figure was behind him in the dark. Bunter. A casement was being opened. “But look here. It was nearly midnight and all Greyfriars was sunk in silence and slumber. listening. “I know you too jolly well. certainly. GRIMES hardly breathed. Everybody’s talking about that banknote and Grimey will hear of it sooner or later. “Look here. Peter picked up a cushion and eyed the fat Owl. barely audible.“Well. with red plump ears cocked to listen. It required about a minute for Bunter’s powerful brain to assimilate that this was a joke.” said Toddy. Browney—. Do you want Grimey on your track? Go and get that packet at once—. Grimes was there now. .” added Tom Brown sarcastically. was crossing to the stairs. still less that he was keeping silent and vigilant watch on the dark landing. He found Peter Todd in No. and Peter gave him a far-frompally or welcoming look as he deposited his weight in the study armchair. he heard in the silence the sound of a softly-opening door.” said Tom Brown. “If you’ll tell us where to find that packet——. 7 Study. supposed or dreamed that Mr. really. Mr. Someone unseen had emerged and.

Outside was a faint stirring of the thick ivy that clustered round the window—tough old ivy, almost as old as Greyfriars itself. An arm was stretched from the window and a hand was groping in the ivy. The hand came back with something in it. Then the tiny beam of a small torch was flashed on. Inspector Grimes, from the darkness, watched a strange sight. With a packet in one hand, the flash-light in the other, the stealthy man was peering through rimless pince-nez—examining the packet. “Thank you, Mr. Twiss!” said Inspector Grimes. The torch and the packet fell to the floor together: the man spun round with a startled squeal. A hand, plump but with a grip like steel, fastened on his shoulder. Chapter XLII MR. GRIMES EXPLAINS “BUT——” stammered Dr. Locke. The morning sunlight falling in at the study window showed his face clouded and troubled. In Inspector Grimes’s plump, solid countenance it revealed a quiet stolid satisfaction. Mr. Grimes had “got his man,” which was naturally very satisfactory to Mr. Grimes. “A shock to you, no doubt, sir,” said Mr. Grimes. “But it was to be expected when it turned out to be an inside job, sir.” “But Mr. Twiss—!” murmured the Head. I should never have dreamed—. He has not been long in my service, but—but———.” “From information received, sir, my attention was directed to Mr. Twiss,” said Inspector Grimes. Dr. Locke certainly did not guess or dream that that “ information” had been “received” from a Greyfriars junior. Mr. Grimes had no intention of mentioning Herbert Vernon-Smith. “For that reason, sir, I asked you for a key so that I could, when necessary, keep watch inside the House,” said Mr. Grimes. “I understand that, Mr. Grimes. But I do not understand why you should have expected the wretched man to visit the hiding place of the packet last night and thus fall into your hands.” Mr. Grimes smiled—a smile of satisfaction— almost fatuous self-satisfaction. Undoubtedly Mr. Grimes was very pleased with himself. “That, sir, was the outcome of measures I had taken,” he said. “The man was led to believe that the packet had been discovered and a part of its contents abstracted by a schoolboy. Naturally he was very much alarmed. Yesterday the whole school, including Mr. Twiss, knew of this supposed discovery. One can imagine his feelings—his fear and his anxiety. His impulse would be to revisit the hide-out and ascertain whether the packet was safe, to examine it and to remove it to yet another hiding-place if he found that it had been tampered with.” “Oh!” exclaimed the Head. “On a previous occasion, I have reason to believe, he did actually change the hidingplace of the packet in fear of its discovery by some junior schoolboys, and this was done during morning school,” said Mr. Grimes. “Yesterday, however, he did not venture to act in the daytime—no doubt because he was aware that I was about the school and because I made it a point to contact him several times during the day. Had he done so, I have no doubt that I should have detected him—but it was obviously safer to leave it till a late hour. This he did—and when he made his move I was prepared for

it.” “I understand. But—.” The Head looked perplexed. “Now that the packet has been examined it has been ascertained that only a number of the one-pound notes are missing from it——.” “Twenty-five, sir, doubtless expended by the man on some of his miserable racing speculations. The banknotes are intact.” “Then the banknote in the possession of the boy Bunter did not, after all, belong to the packet.’’ “It did not, sir.” “I am glad of that, at least—it is a great relief,” said Dr. Locke. “ The story told by the boy to account for its possession was extraordinary—indeed incredible. Can it have been true?” “Quite so, sir.” “It is amazing,” said the Head. “According to the boy, a stranger whom he had never seen before sought him out and handed him a £10 note. And it was this extraordinary circumstance that gave the alarm to the pilferer and caused him to revisit the hidingplace of the packet and thus betray himself—.” “The pilferer, sir, was no more likely to believe Bunter’s strange story than anyone else. He, like all others, took it for granted that Bunter had discovered the packet and helped himself from it. That, sir, is why the stranger gave Bunter the £10 note—in order to give Mr. Twiss exactly that impression.” “Eh ?” Inspector Grimes’s stolid face melted into a grin. But that grin vanished under the surprised stare of the Head. Mr. Grimes coughed. “I must explain, sir. The stranger who sought out Master Bunter and handed him the £10 note was a plain-clothes officer acting under my instruct ions.” “Bless my soul !” ejaculated the Head. “You will realise, sir, that the pilferer’s identity was unknown—that even had the lost packet been found and the money recovered, the pilferer would still have remained unknown—still here, sir, and enjoying undeserved confidence, with opportunities for repeating his action at another time. There was only one way to nail him—ahem! I should say, only one way to establish the facts—and that was by taking him in the very act of handling the packet he had hidden. For this purpose it was necessary to alarm him with the impression that the hiding-place of the packet had become known to another person—.” “Mr. Grimes !” “I have some acquaintance with Master Bunter, sir,” continued the inspector stolidly, “and I did not doubt that a banknote in his possession would soon become known to every one and that it would be attributed to what would seem the only possible source —the hidden packet. The matter, in fact, worked out exactly as I had anticipated.” Dr. Locke gazed fixedly at Mr. Grimes. Mr. Grimes seemed to have taken his breath away. “Obviously, sir,” continued Mr. Grimes, “the boy would not he able to change the banknote acquired in such dubious circumstances and no harm would he done. Now that the matter has come to a satisfactory conclusion it can, of course, be explained—.” “Upon my word!” said the Head. “ Then— then the banknote I have taken charge of is your property, Mr. Grimes?” “Precisely, sir.” Mr. Grimes coughed again. “But as it was given to the boy, and as he may be considered perhaps entitled to some reward for his unconscious and inadvertent assistance to the law—hem——.”

“Had you consulted me in the matter, Mr. Grimes, I could never have approved of this —this —this most extraordinary proceeding—,” said Dr. Locke. Mr. Grimes did not explain that that was precisely why he hadn’t consulted him in the matter! He merely gave a propitiatory murmur. “However—!” said the Head. “However—!” agreed Mr. Grimes. “Your banknote will be returned to you, Mr. Grimes. But in the circumstances I feel that the boy ought not to be the loser.” “Quite so, sir!” agreed Mr. Grimes. “But really—!” said the Head. “Really——.” He left it at that! Chapter XLIII WANTED BY THE BEAK “BUNTER!” “It—it wasn’t me, sir !” stammered Bunter. Mr. Quelch was addressing William George Bunter in form on Monday morning. Bunter blinked at him uneasily. What Quelch was going to say Bunter did not know—but he denied it provisionally as it were. Quelch gave him a look. “I was about to say, Bunter, that your headmaster desires to see you in his study after third school!” he rapped. “Oh, crikey!” moaned Bunter. Skinner winked at Snoop. The Bounder shrugged his shoulders. Harry Wharton and Co. exchanged glances. Peter Todd knitted his brows. All the Remove took note of Quelch’s words, in one way or another. From those words they could draw only one conclusion—that the game was up for Billy Bunter. The lesson proceeded, Bunter sitting with a worried fat face. Bunter did not want to pay that call on his head-master. Very much indeed he did not. He dreaded it with a deep dread. When he blinked at the other fellows he could read in their faces the general opinion—that he was “for it.” He could not help sharing that opinion. It was a dismaying prospect. In that worried frame of mind Bunter was not likely to shine in class. He gave even less attention than usual to Quelch’s valuable instruction. But Quelch was unusually patient with him that morning. The lesson was English Literature: and Bunter gave Shakespeare as the author of the “Elegy in a Country Churchyard”: then, seeing in Quelch’s face that that wouldn’t do, hastily amended it to Milton: and discerning that this was not a winner, desperately made it Tennyson. But the thunder did not roll—Quelch merely gave him an expressive glance. Bunter rolled out in break with an expression on his fat face which indicated that all the troubles in the universe, and a few over, had landed on his plump shoulders.

you can tell him you saw it all——. what do you think’s up?” “Your number!” said Skinner. But—.” “What would be the good of that?” asked Bob. You’ll come with me to the Head. “I say. “How is it my fault.” “What?” “And—and look here.” “Well. ha!” “It’s all Wharton’s fault!” groaned Bunter.” “How can I when I don’t know where it is?” wailed Bunter. ha. you men. my hat!” “Ha.” said Harry Wharton. “Can’t you see it won’t wash?” “ ’Tain’t fair!” wailed Bunter. “I keep on telling you that a man gave me that tenner and that I never found the packet at all.” “Ha.” snorted Bunter. “Ha. ha. “Blessed if I see anything to cackle at when a fellow’s going up to the Head. “Go and get the packet now and for goodness’ sake don’t spin that yarn again.” “Oh. “Perhaps a man will come up and give us a tenner each.” Bob looked hard at Bunter’s worried fat face. I kicked you on Saturday—a fellow couldn’t do more. “Why.“I say. if you think it will go down better with the Head. that Bunter’s told the truth and that it did happen?” “How could anything have happened if Bunter said it did?” inquired Johnny Bull. while the other fellows yelled with laughter. I’ll say it was my Uncle William after all—. “I—I mean. it would be true if I told him. So would Quelch. ha !” . you fellows. ha. “Mine!” exclaimed the captain of the Remove in astonishment. Is it possible. “You fat chump. Bob. 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.” said Peter Todd.” “The perhapsfulness is terrific. you—you—you!” gasped Wharton. You jolly well know I did. if Wharton won’t. quite a new idea coming into his mind. “Beast!” groaned Bunter. you’ll back up a pal.” “Take the packet with you after third school. “ The Head would believe you if you told him.” said Bob Cherry. old chap. you fat duffer?” “I asked you to tell Quelch you saw that man give me the tenner.” “I tell you I never—. ha!” “A man came up and gave me that tenner while I was sitting on the Cloister wall——. “—I wonder—. “I say. crumbs!” “And you’ll say that you saw Uncle William hand me the tenner that that man gave me on the Cloister wall—.” said Bunter warmly.” “Let’s all go and sit on the Cloister wall!” suggested Skinner. Bunter.” chuckled Hurree Jamset Ram Singh.” “Oh. “That’s the best thing you can do now. “Why didn’t you take that packet to the Head while there was time? I did my best to make you. and if I had I’d no more have touched it than I’d touch a fellow’s cake—.

. Bunter rattled on eagerly: “Only. ha. “ I—I say. ha. of course. leaving the crowd of juniors yelling with merriment. looking out. too—though not with merriment. don’t walk away while a chap’s talking to you —. Smithy. keep in front of me!” gasped Bunter. He rolled out into the quad after the Famous Five. clear! Yes. you fat ass.” “Go to the Head.” “Why have you not gone to your head-master? Go at once!” rapped Mr.” “Ha. He merely glanced at Bunter when the Remove were dismissed and said: “You will now go to your head-master’s study. though that circumstance did not seem to occur to the fat Owl. “I say. you fellows—. He shook and shook and shook again. hut did not head for Dr.” said Bunter. Beasts!” hooted Bunter at five departing backs. now seemed to race. “I—I ain’t going. For the first time in his fat career Bunter would have been glad had the lesson lasted longer. who. think the Head will forget about it if —if I don’t go?” “Fathead!” “Well. But Quelch.” argued Bunter. “Yes—and Grimey seems to be finished here.Bob Cherry stared blankly at the Owl of the Remove. Bunter. you fellows. really. It looks to me—. He went out with the Remove.” “I say. Bunter could guess for whom Quelch was looking and he made a strategic movement to screen himself behind Vernon-Smith. Quelch. ha!” yelled the Bounder. desperately. which usually seemed to Bunter’s eyes to crawl. Locke’s study. Third school that morning was not a happy hour for Billy Bunter. I—I jolly well ain’t going. was speaking to Tom Redwing. so long as we say the same thing. I say. sir.” “Bunter!” “Oh. “He’s rather an old donkey. Apparently taking silence for consent. Keeping in front of Bunter would have left a considerable portion of that plump youth visible on either side of Smithy. You see that? You can’t he too careful with a beak. did not seem to think of it on this particular morning. who sometimes kept him in for inattention or carelessness or laziness. lor’! Now he’s seen me——.” “Is he?” said Redwing. Every tick of the clock brought nearer that dreaded visit to the dreaded study. It doesn’t matter what. ha!” Bob Cherry did not let go the fat neck. he might forget. He watched the form-room clock: the hand. He seemed dumbfounded.” said Johnny Bull. we shall have to fix up what we’re going to say. Then he stalked away. “I say. unsympathetic earth with a resounding bump. He would even have been glad to have been kept in when the hour was up. An angular figure appeared in the doorway of the House. Reddy. “Bunter!” “Oh. “I hear that Twiss is gone. you know. so that Quelch won’t see me——. keep just in front. heedless of Bunter. It seemed as if his fat little legs refused to carry him thither. and finally sat Bunter down on the hard. and Billy Bunter yelling. sir!” groaned Bunter. You come with me to the Head and say—Leggo my neck!” “Ha.” “Yes.

then?” exclaimed Bob Cherry. he!” cachinnated Bunter. “But what—?” “Didn’t the Head want that packet?” demanded Vernon-Smith. and I suppose he knows. “So the Head said.” “And what did he say?” demanded Bob. Chapter XLIV ALL RIGHT FOR BUNTER! “HALLO. He looked happy and glorious.” agreed Bunter.” grinned Bunter. He almost strutted into the quad. Bunter nodded carelessly. “The whopfulness does not seem to have been terrific. “Do I look whopped?” asked Bunter. or whopped. “He. In the lowest of spirits. wondering what was going to happen to the fat Owl. he didn’t want the packet.” “What!” exclaimed a dozen fellows. he. he’s got it. Undoubtedly he was the fellow with the news! “Has that packet been found. Anyhow. If he said intact he meant they were all there—I expect that’s what ‘intact’ means. Smithy! You see. Certainly he did not look like a fellow who was bunked. . “Yes. wider still. if possible. he! Do I look sacked?” “Or whopped?” asked Johnny Bull. Scores of fellows stared at him as he reappeared— dozens of voices hailed him. “Anyhow. that was it. he. to hear the verdict. yes. quite puzzled. Billy Bunter rolled into the House.” “Intact. “Oh. “Isn’t that why he sent for you?” “He. And the Greyfriars fellows stared at him in astonishment. Bunter was enjoying this. Bunter was grinning! He had gone into the house looking as if he found life at Greyfriars barely worth living. perhaps!” suggested Nugent. “No. and with reluctant feet trod the corridor to his headmaster’s study. hallo!” “Here he is!” “Bunked?” “Sacked?” “Whopped?” “What’s the jolly old verdict?” Billy Bunter rolled out of the house.There was no help for it. “You’re not sacked?” exclaimed the Bounder. waited for him to emerge.” said Bunter. 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. I’ve seen the old boy. but he told me that the packet has been found and that the banknotes in it were tacked—I think he said tacked—. or sacked. “ He didn’t go into particulars. derisively. we had a chat. Billy Bunter’s grin became. It was quite a startling change in Bunter. he meant that they were all there.” remarked Hurree Jamset Ram Singh.” And now—! “ You’ve seen the Head?” asked Harry Wharton. hallo. “Oh. And a crowd of Remove fellows and fellows of other Forms. Every fellow—including Bunter himself—had taken it for granted that the fat Owl was “for it.

” “I say. I think the Head said explenditure.that was what the Head meant. “A man came up to me when I was sitting on the Cloister wall—. or what?” asked Johnny Bull. you fellows. “ fancied not!” grinned Skinner.” “Ha. he approved of my keeping the banknote. It was clear from his looks that his interview with the Head had gone off satisfactorily. Of course. “You needn’t deny it——you didn’t !” “We jolly well didn’t !” agreed Bob. “The Head takes my word. “I can sort of hear the Head saying that!” “Ha. really. What he actually said was that. “He said something about being careful in the explenditure of so much money——. “Well.” “Well.” “Gammon!” “Don’t tell us that one again !” implored Skinner. ha. where did Bunter’s banknote come from?” “The wherefulness is terrific. But this was the limit! “Mean to say you’ve got the banknote.” “What?” came a general gasp. if you fellows don’t. not those exact words!” yapped Bunter. “Only I asked him to give me pound notes instead——. He knows a fellow who would scorn to tell a lie. my hat!” gasped Bob. ha!” “Well. 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.” hooted Bunter. the head knows me better than you fellows do. laughing. ha.” “In the whatter?” “Expenditure. of course—but he meant that he knew all about it. “Pulling our leg all the time. ha!” “No more than we do!” agreed Bob.” admitted Bunter. only—. I told you where it came from.” said Bunter. blinking reproachfully at the Famous Five through his big spectacles. he doesn’t know about the whopping remittances I get from Bunter Court—. And I’m jolly well going to.” said the Bounder. “That’s what he said!” trilled Bunter. the Head gave me the quids. being acquainted with all the circumstances. “Well. Smithy—. ‘That tenner’s yours and you can stick to it. “Oh. “He said that he was now acquainted with all the circumstances—that’s the way he talks.” said Harry Wharton.” said Bunter.” “Ha. and that’s jolly well that !” .” said Bunter. “Of course. “He said.” “Oh!” “And he jolly well did!” said Bunter triumphantly. “Yah! Anyhow. “He would have.” “Oh. “ He said it was a large sum for a junior to have.” said Bunter. if he said you could keep it?” demanded half-a.’ See?” “Oh. perhaps. “If the packet’s been found with the banknotes intact.dozen fellows. then?” demanded Smithy “Well. great pip!” “And I believe he jolly well knows who the man was. ha. “You fellows never believed me. why didn’t the Head hand it to you. ha!” “Is he pulling our leg. he was long-winded.” “Only!” grinned Skinner. I haven’t exactly got the banknote.” The juniors gazed at Bunter.

“Got ’em about you?” asked Skinner. The tuck-shop called—a call irresistible to Bunter. Evidently there was going to be a sticky end for Billy Bunter’s Banknote. He headed for the place where there were foodstuffs. But he did not linger. It was the climax! Billy Bunter enjoyed that climax. Greater enjoyments were in store. “What about that?” trilled Bunter. “Look!” chirruped Bunter. still sceptical. THE END . A fat hand went into a sticky pocket. like a homing pigeon. It emerged with a wad of pound notes in it. a fragment of an ancient bullseye adhering to one of them. With that windfall in his sticky fingers. Bunter had no time to waste.

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