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This issue of Boys of England features a story about Wildcap Will. Judging from the illustration, Will can't be older than ten or eleven. Yet according to the title he's a "Schoolboy, Lover, and Sailor." Thank God that doesn't conjure any uncomfortable mental associations.

The picture shows Will holding something at roughly waist level, which abruptly sprays a liquid substance on his teacher. The caption explains that we're seeing Wildcap Will and Jerry popping the question to Mrs. Grumby.

Look, I went to junior high. Trust me, there's no way a pubescent boy will miss the implication here. And allow me to transcribe a snippet of the actual text: "I don't call this fun," growled Esau; "We shall get whacked for it."

"Well, never mind," said Will soothingly. "Keep quiet a minute, and I'll get something to make you clean."

The next moment our hero disappeared.

In a very short time he returned with what appeared to be a wet cloth in his hand.

Face it, that's downright filthy. And it gets far more shameless.

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Text © 2005 Kris Andrews