On the whole, Willie Winkie is fonder of play than of work in his holiday week, and elected to stay behind with Ailie when John was sent out with the new lads to dig up dockens.
He did, to be sure, try his hand at scutching thistles last summer, and left behind him many proud sorners as tall as himself. When the real summer holidays come, he will have to do his bit — isn’t he now five and a half, and eating far beyond the Devonport rations — but this one week he was to be free.
So he went bird-nesting, made hay-cocks in the loft, played spy-I with Ailie, quarrelled with her about the swing, and one afternoon disappeared with John into the field where a man was harrowing. They arrived back at tea-time very grimy and Willie’s breeks in a greater state of disrepair (and that is saying much) than they were earlier in the day.