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Horrid Henry Robs the Bank
By Francesca Simon, Tony Ross
Sourcebooks, Inc.Copyright © 2008 Francesca Simon
All rights reserved.
HORRID HENRY'S NEWSPAPER
"It's not fair!" howled Horrid Henry. "I want a Hip-Hop Robot dog!"
Horrid Henry needed money. Lots and lots and lots of money. His parents didn't need money, and yet they had tons more than he did. It was so unfair. Why was he so brilliant at spending money, and so bad at getting money?
And now Mom and Dad refused to buy him something he desperately needed.
"You have plenty of toys," said Mom.
"Which you never play with," said Dad.
"That's 'cause they're all so boring!" screeched Henry. "I want a robot dog!"
"Too expensive," said Mom.
"Too noisy," said Dad.
"But everyone has a Hip-Hop Robot Dog," whined Henry. "Everyone but me."
Horrid Henry stomped out of the room. How could he get some money?
Wait. Maybe he could persuade Peter to give him some. Peter always had tons of cash because he never bought anything.
Yes! He could hold Peter's Bunnykins for ransom. He could tell Peter his room was haunted and get Peter to pay him for ghostbusting. He could make Peter donate to Henry's favorite charity, Child in Need ... Hip-Hop Robot Dog, here I come, thought Horrid Henry, bursting into Peter's bedroom.
Perfect Peter and Tidy Ted were whispering together on the floor. Papers were scattered all around them.
"You can't come in my room," said Peter.
"Yes I can," said Henry, "'cause I'm already in. Pooh, your room stinks."
"That's 'cause you're in it," said Peter.
Henry decided to ignore this insult.
"Nothing," said Peter.
"We're writing our own newspaper like Mrs. Oddbod suggested in assembly," said Ted. "We've even got a Tidy with Ted column," he added proudly.
"A snooze paper, you mean," said Henry.
"It is not," said Peter.
Henry snorted. "What's it called?"
"The Best Boys' Busy Bee," said Peter.
"What a stupid name," said Henry.
"It's not a stupid name," said Peter. "Miss Lovely said it was perfect."
"Peter, I have a great idea for your paper," said Henry.
"What?" said Peter cautiously.
"You can use your newspaper for Fluffy's litter box."
"MOOOM!" wailed Peter. "Henry's being mean to me."
"Don't be horrid, Henry!" shouted Mom.
"Peter is a poopsicle, Peter is a poopsicle," chanted Henry.
But then Peter did something strange. Instead of screaming for Mom, Peter started writing.
"Now everyone who buys my newspaper will know how horrid you are," said Peter, putting down his pencil.
"We're selling it in school tomorrow," said Ted. "Miss Lovely said we could."
"Lemme see that," said Henry, yanking the paper out of Peter's hands.
The Busy Bee's headline read:
PETER IN THE GOOD AS GOLD BOOK FOR THE FOURTH TIME THIS MONTH
Horrid Henry snorted. What a worm. Then his eye caught the second headline:
COMPUTER BAN FOR HORRID BOY
Henry was banned from playing games on the computer today because he was mean to his brother Peter and called him wibble pants and poopsicle. The Busy Bee hopes Henry has learned his lesson and will stop being such a big meanie.
"You're going to ... sell this?" spluttered Henry. His name would be mud. Worse than mud. Everyone would know what a stupid toad brother he had. Worse, some people might even believe Peter's lies.
And then suddenly Horrid Henry had a brilliant, spectacular idea. He'd write his own newspaper. Everyone would want to buy it. He'd be rich!
He could call his newspaper The Hourly Howler and charge 25¢ a copy. If he could write seven editions a day, and sell each copy to 500 people, he'd make ... he'd make ... well, multiplication was never his best subject, but he could make tons of money!!!!!!
On the other hand, writing seven newspapers a day, every day, seemed an awful lot of work. An awful, awful lot of work. Perhaps The Daily Digger was the way to go. He'd charge a lot more per copy, and do a lot less work. Yes!
Hmmn. Perhaps The Weekly Warble would be better. No, The Monthly Moaner.
Maybe just The Purple Hand Basher.
The Basher! What a great name for a great paper!
Now, what should his newspaper have? News of course. All about Henry's triumphs. And gossip and quizzes and sports.
First, I need a great headline, thought Horrid Henry.
What about: PETER IS A WORM. Tempting, thought Henry, but old news: everyone already knows that Peter is a worm. What could he tell his readers that they didn't know?
After all, news didn't have to be true, did it? Just new. And boy did he have some brand-new news!
PETER SENT TO PRISON
The world's toadiest brother has been found guilty of being a worm and taken straight to prison. He was sentenced to live on bread and water for three years. The Basher says: "It should have been ten years."
SECRET CLUB COLLAPSES!!!
The Secret Club has collapsed. "Margaret is such a moody old bossy-pants no one wants to be in her club anymore," said Susan.
"Goodbye, grump-face," said Gurinder.
Right, that was the news section taken care of. Now, for some good gossip.
But what gossip? What scandal? Sadly, Horrid Henry didn't know any horrid rumors. But a gossip columnist needed to write something ...
MRS. ODDBOD BIKINI SHOCK
Mrs. Oddbod was seen strolling down Main Street wearing a new yellow polka dot bikini. Is this any way for a principal to behave?
TEACHER IN TOILET TERROR
Terrible screams rang out from the boys' bathroom yesterday. "Help! Help! There's a monster in the toilet!" screamed the crazed teacher Miss Boudicca Battle-Axe. "It's got hairy scary claws and three heads!!"
Which soggy swimming teacher was seen dancing the cha-cha-cha with which old battle-axe?
MISS LOVELY IN NOSE PICK HORROR
Oh dear, Miss Lydia Lovely picks her nose.
"I saw her do it in class," says Prisoner Peter.
"But she said it was her nose and she would pick it if she wanted to."
THE NURSE HAS LICE!
Nitty Nora, Bug Explorer was sent home from school with lice last week. Whoopee! No more bug-busting!
That's enough great gossip for one issue, thought Horrid Henry. Now, what else, what else? A bit about sports and he was done. In tomorrow's edition, he'd add a comic strip: The adventures of Peter the Diaper. And a quiz:
Who has the smelliest pants in school?
D. All of the above!
Yippee! thought Horrid Henry. I'm going to be rich, rich, rich, rich, rich.
The next morning Henry made sure he got to school bright and early. Hip-hop Robot, here I come, thought Horrid Henry, lugging a huge pile of Bashers onto the playground. Then he stopped. A terrible sight met his eyes.
Moody Margaret and Sour Susan were standing in the school playground waving big sheets of paper.
"Step right up, read all about it, Margaret made captain of the school soccer team," bellowed Moody Margaret. "Get your Daily Dagger right here. Only 25 cents!"
What a copycat, thought Horrid Henry. He was outraged.
"Who'd want to read that?" sneered Horrid Henry.
"Everyone," said Susan.
Horrid Henry snatched a copy.
"That'll be 25 cents, Henry," said Margaret.
Henry ignored her. The headline read:
Margaret, the best soccer player in school history, beat out her puny opposition to become captain of the school soccer team! Well done Margaret! Everyone cheered for hours when Mrs. Oddbod announced the glorious news.
Margaret gave an exclusive interview to the Daily Dagger:
"It's hard being as amazing as I am," said Margaret. "So many people are jealous, especially stinky pants pimples like Henry."
"What a load of garbage," said Horrid Henry, scrunching up Margaret's newspaper.
"Our customers don't think so," said Margaret. "I'm making tons of loot. Before you know it I'll have the first Hip-Hop Robot Dog. And you-ooooo won't," she chanted.
"We'll see about that," said Horrid Henry. "Teacher in toilet terror! Read all about it!" he hollered. "All the news and gossip. Only 25 cents."
"News! News!" screeched Margaret. "Step right up, step right up! Only 24 cents."
"Buy the Busy Bee!" piped Peter. "Only 5 cents."
Rude Ralph bought a Basher. So did Dizzy Dave and Jolly Josh.
Lazy Linda approached Margaret.
"Oy, Linda, don't buy that rubbish," shouted Henry. "I've got the best news and gossip." Henry whispered in Linda's ear. Her jaw dropped and she handed Henry a quarter.
"Don't listen to him!" squealed Margaret.
"Buy the Busy Bee," trilled Perfect Peter. "Free vegetable chart."
"Margaret, did you see what Henry wrote about you?" gasped Gorgeous Gurinder.
"What?" said Margaret, grabbing a Basher.
SHOCKING SOCCER NEWS
There was shock all around when Henry wasn't made captain of the school soccer team.
"It's an outrage," said Dave.
"Disgusting," said Soraya.
The Basher was lucky enough to get an exclusive interview with Henry.
"Not making me captain just goes to show what an idiot that old carrot-nose Miss Battle-Axe is," says Henry.
The Basher says: Make Henry captain!
"What!" screamed Margaret. "Dave and Soraya never said that."
"They thought it," said Henry. He glared at Moody Margaret.
Moody Margaret glared at Horrid Henry.
Henry's hand reached out to pull Margaret's hair.
Margaret's foot reached out to kick Henry's leg.
Suddenly Mrs. Oddbod walked onto the playground. There was a stern-looking man with her, wearing a suit and carrying a notebook. Miss Battle-Axe and Miss Lovely followed.
Aha, new customers, thought Horrid Henry, as they headed toward him.
"Get your school paper here!" hollered Henry. "Only 50 cents."
"News! News!" screeched Margaret. "Step right up, step right up! 49 cents."
"Buy the Busy Bee!" trilled Peter. "Only 5 cents."
"Well, well," said the strange man. "What have we here, Mrs. Oddbod?"
Mrs. Oddbod beamed. "Just three of our best students showing how enterprising they are," she said.
Horrid Henry thought his ears had fallen off. Best student? And why was Mrs. Oddbod smiling at him? Mrs. Oddbod never smiled at him.
"Peter, why don't you tell the inspector what you're doing," said Miss Lovely.
"I've written my own newspaper to raise money for the school," said Perfect Peter.
"Very impressive, Mrs. Oddbod," said the school inspector, smiling. "Very impressive. And what about you, young man?" he added, turning to Henry.
"I'm selling my newspaper for a Child in Need," said Horrid Henry. In need of a Hip-Hop Robot, he thought. "How many do you want to buy?"
The school inspector handed over 50¢ and took a paper.
"I love school newspapers," he said, starting to read. "You find out so much about what's really happening at a school."
The school inspector gasped. Then he turned to Mrs. Oddbod.
"What do you know about a yellow polka dot bikini?" said the Inspector.
"Yellow ... polka ... dot ... bikini?" said Mrs. Oddbod.
"Cha-cha-cha?" choked Miss Battle-Axe.
"Nose-picking?" gasped Miss Lovely.
"But what's the point of writing news that everyone knows?" protested Horrid Henry afterwards in Mrs. Oddbod's office. "News should be new."
Just wait until tomorrow's edition ...CHAPTER 2
MOODY MARGARET'S SCHOOL
"Pay attention, Susan," shrieked Moody Margaret, "or you'll go straight to the principal."
"I am paying attention," said Sour Susan.
"This is boring," said Horrid Henry. "I want to play pirates."
"Silence," said Moody Margaret, whacking her ruler on the table.
"I want to be the teacher," said Susan.
"No," said Margaret.
"I'll be the teacher," said Horrid Henry. He'd send the class straight out for play-time, and tell them to run for their lives.
"Are you out of your mind?" snapped Margaret.
"Can I be the teacher?" asked Perfect Peter.
"NO!" shouted Margaret, Susan, and Henry.
"Why can't I be the principal?" said Susan sourly.
"Because," said Margaret.
"'cause why?" said Susan.
"'cause I'm the principal."
"But you're the principal and the teacher," said Susan. "It's not fair."
"It is too fair, 'cause you'd make a terrible principal," said Margaret.
"I think we should take turns being principal," said Susan.
"That," said Margaret, "is the dumbest idea I've ever heard. Do you see Mrs. Oddbod taking turns being principal? I don't think so."
Margaret's class grumbled mutinously on the carpet inside the Secret Club tent.
"Class, I will now take roll," intoned Margaret. "Susan?"
"In the toilet."
"We'll try that again. Henry?"
"Last chance," said Margaret severely. "Henry?"
Margaret made a big cross in her notebook.
"I will deal with you later."
"No one made you the big boss," muttered Horrid Henry.
"It's my house and we'll play what I want," said Moody Margaret. "And I want to play school."
Horrid Henry scowled. Whenever Margaret came to his house she was the guest and he had to play what she wanted. But whenever Henry went to her house Margaret was the boss 'cause it was her house. Ugggh. Why oh why did he have to live next door to Moody Margaret?
Mom had important work to do, and needed total peace and quiet, so Henry and Peter had been dumped at Margaret's. Henry had begged to go to Ralph's, but Ralph was visiting his grandparents. Now he was trapped all day with a horrible, moody old grouch. Wasn't it bad enough being with Miss Battle-Axe all week without having to spend his whole precious Saturday stuck at Margaret's? And, even worse, playing school?
"Come on, let's play pirates," said Henry. "I'm Captain Hook. Peter, walk the plank!"
"No," said Margaret. "I don't want to."
"But I'm the guest," protested Henry.
"So?" said Margaret. "This is my house and we play by my rules."
"Yeah, Henry," said Sour Susan.
"And I love playing school," said Perfect Peter. "It's such fun doing math."
Grrr. If only Henry could just go home. "I want a good report," Mom had said, "or you won't be going to Dave's bowling party tonight. It's very kind of Margaret and her mom to have you boys over to play."
"But I don't want to go to Margaret's!" howled Henry. "I want to stay home and watch TV!"
"N-O spells no," said Mom, and sent him kicking and screaming next door. "You can come home at five o'clock to get ready for Dave's party and not a minute before."
Horrid Henry gazed longingly over the wall. His house looked so inviting. There was his bedroom window, twinkling at him. And his lonesome TV, stuck all by itself in the living room, just begging him to come over and turn it on. And all his wonderful toys, just waiting to be played with. Funny, thought Horrid Henry, his toys seemed so boring when he was in his room. But now that he was trapped at Margaret's, there was so much he longed to do at home.
Wait. He could hide out in his fort until five. Yes! Then he'd stroll into his house as if he'd been at Margaret's all day. But then Margaret's mom would be sure to call his mom to say that Henry had vanished and Henry would get into trouble. Big, big trouble. Big, big, banned from Dave's party trouble.
Or, he'd pretend to be sick. Margaret's mom was such an old fusspot she'd be sure to send him home immediately. Yippee. He was a genius. This would be easy. A few loud coughs, a few dramatic clutches at his stomach, a dash to the bathroom, and he'd be sent straight home and ... oops. He'd be put to bed. No party. No pizza. No bowling. And what was the point of pretending to be sick on the weekend? He was trapped.
Moody Margaret whacked her ruler on the table.
"I want everyone to write a story," said Margaret.
Write a story! Boy would Horrid Henry write a story. He seized a piece of paper and a pencil and scribbled away.
"Who'd like to read their story to the class?" said Margaret.
"I will," said Henry.
Once upon a time there was a moody old grouch named Margaret. Margaret had been born a frog but an ugly wizard cursed the frog and turned it into Margaret.
"That's enough, Henry," snapped Margaret. Henry ignored her.
"Ribbet ribbet," said Margaret Frog. "Ribbet ribbet ribbet." Everyone in the kingdom tried to get rid of this horrible croaking moody monster. But she smelled so awful that no one could get near her. And then one day a hero named Heroic Henry came, and he held his nose, grabbed the Margaret Monster and hurled her into outer space where she exploded and was never seen again.
Susan giggled. Margaret glared.
"F," said Margaret.
"Why?" said Horrid Henry innocently.
"'Cause," said Margaret. "I'm the teacher and I say it was boring."
"Did you think my story was boring, Peter?" demanded Henry.
Peter looked nervous.
"Did you?" said Margaret.
"Well, uhm, uhmm, I think mine is better," said Peter.
Once upon a time there was a dish towel named Terry. He was a very sad dish towel because he didn't have any dishes to dry. One day he found a lot of wet dishes. Swish swish swish, they were dry in no time. "Yippee", said Terry the Towel, "I wonder when–"
Excerpted from Horrid Henry Robs the Bank by Francesca Simon, Tony Ross. Copyright © 2008 Francesca Simon. Excerpted by permission of Sourcebooks, Inc..
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