First Published 1955 by Blackwell

A short story in the Michael and Mary series. Unusual in that it was published as a book in its own right.

1966 edition cover. Click to enlarge
1966 edition cover
Courtesy of Steven Handy)
The Easter holidays, and Mike and Mary decide to spend the day exploring a place they have never been before.
Their choice is made by getting on a bus for somewhere they don't know and getting off it when it goes no further . . .

First edition 1955: [acquired 1956 by BL] small book, 30pp; 3 illus; ? d/w.

Reprinted 1959 according to Beyond the Lone Pine.
Reprinted 1966: a slim book, 5½ by 7 inches (130x185mm); red cloth.
The front board has title, authors signature and publisher in black, and the figures of Mary, Michael and the dog Dougal. These are repeats of the illustrations in the text.
This slim book has thirty pages of story and a short note about the author on page 31.

The three illustrations are taken from the earlier Mike and Mary book The Riddle of the Painted Box published by Transatlantic Arts in 1947 and the original drawings are by Lunt Roberts. These three appear to have been 'lifted' from the original artwork, but with Mike's right arm being drawn in later as it is concealed in the original picture. For some reason Dougal's tail has been docked at the same time !
Lunt Roberts is not credited with these illustrations (but might have been in the earlier editions).

It is likely that this book was issued with a dustwrapper, but we have no information on that as yet.
[For information on this edition, thanks to Steven Handy]


The same year it was included in the anthology Six of the Best, a collection edited by Geoffrey Trease and published by Blackwell.

This was issued in a dustwrapper - as can be seen in the pictures, and was presumably for sale in the shops, whereas the 'stand alone' book which has never (yet?) been seen within a wrapper might well have been for school use only.

The collection contains short pieces by:
Kitty Barne, Cynthia Harnett, Wilfrid Robertson, Malcolm Saville, Geoffrey Trease,and Stephen Tring.

Click to enlarge and see full wrapper
Six of the Best dustwrapper
Blackwell 1955
picture courtesy of Roy Notley

This page is part of the Malcolm Saville Centenary Website. To enter this site by the front door, click here.
Illustrations copyright the respective Publishers
Text copyright John Allsup
Last updated 29th May 2013