Karlson has been spotted! In this final Karlson book (Karlsson pa taket smygar igen, 1968, translated by Sarah Death) he and Smidge evade the bad guys who are out to get him and they play some tricks on the wretched Uncle Julius and Creepy Crawley.
Karlson remains a bully as ever, but the family has learned to deal with him — Mother has learned to keep buns around for him and Smidge has learned not to show Karlson his favorite toys – for he knows that as soon as Karlson sees Smidge’s coolest things, he will demand to have them. But underneath the family’s frustrations with Karlson, there is acceptance and even a blossoming care for the little man.
Even Miss Crawley seems to have come around. When Smidge and Karlson make a loud noise one night, awakening both her and Uncle Julius, she seems to cover for them:
“What a dreadful storm,” said Miss Crawley. “What a crack of thunder, eh? No wonder the power’s gone off.”
“Was that really thunder?” said Uncle Julius. “I thought it sounded like something quite different.” But Miss Crawley assured him that she recognized thunder when she heard it.
“What else could it have been?” she asked.
As if she doesn’t know! Yet she doesn’t rat Smidge and Karlson out and she doesn’t turn Karlson in for the reward. In fact, Karlson’s identity is revealed in a much more Karlson-like manner, which I won’t spoil: it’s a fitting end to a fun series.