After being sent to the country "to learn to be good", the Bastable children and their two friends form the Society of the Wouldbegoods, but continue to become involved in adventures.
Children are like jam: all very well in the proper place, but you can't stand them all over the shop—eh, what?' These were the dreadful words of our Indian uncle. They made us feel very young and angry; and yet we could not be comforted by calling him names to ourselves, as you do when nasty grown–ups say nasty things, because he is not nasty, but quite the exact opposite when not irritated. And we could not think it ungentlemanly of him to say we were like jam, because, as Alice says, jam is very nice indeed—only not on furniture and improper places like that. My father said, 'Perhaps they had better go to boarding–school.' And that was awful, because we know Father disapproves of boarding–schools. And he looked at us and said, 'I am ashamed of them, sir!' Your lot is indeed a dark and terrible one when your father is ashamed of you. And we all knew this, so that we felt in our chests just as if we had swallowed a hard–boiled egg whole. At least, this is what Oswald felt, and Father said once that Oswald, as the eldest, was the representative of the family, so, of course, the others felt the same.