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