William Below Stairs

After the double blow of having his balloon confiscated (having caused his family harm after letting it off in secret), and then being kept in half an hour after school, William decides to run away to sea. He ends up at a rather grand house where it is assumed he is the new shoe shiner. He is sent to clean the knives, manages to enrage the Butler, and makes the kitchen maid believe he’s “luny”. Fed up of blacking boots, he plays with his rediscovered balloon and then smears blacking on the investigative Butler’s face. The pair chases each other right into the dining room, where the dinner guest turns out to be none other than Mr. Brown.

Originally featured in Home Magazine February 1922

WILLIAM TOOK UP THE BRUSH, THICKLY SMEARED WITH BLACKING, AND PUSHED BACK MR. BIGGS’S FACE WITH IT.

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