Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Friday 18th August 1933

Went to fetch water with others. Heard that a fierce, beer drinking gypsy lived in woods nearby, so entered in search of him. No trace of him but we found an interesting shed of machinery. Diabolical? In another wood we found a mysterious, tower shaped building. Steps to a well-like cellar! And a bat! We are returning to explore after dark.

Dinner with Papworth – rabbit stew and vicar’s vegetables. Cycled to Lincoln. The Exchange. I have to apply for transitional payments – the Means Test! My dole ends in about ten days, much sooner than I expected. This is written at camp. The shadows have grown longer; it is evening. In June (High Noon), I wrote: “Lengthening Shadows, the fun goes on but the shadows are growing longer, stealing across the lawn to the laughing young people”. How true it is! How true!

I will not say anymore. The laughing. Scouts are ready for a walk now. We go to Landworth. En route I told Hitler he was to join Westgate (up to now he has been on probation) All marched into the chip shop, Papworth as well. Enter Kathleen of the shop. We sat outside, eating. Back through the village; we made a noise, which we should not have done, and were sworn at by irate countrymen. To camp via the woods. Stan took most of his camp for supper. Joe (Papworth CM), Ernie, Wag, Beefy and I attacked the tower in the wood. Cautious approach, by Miss Gilbert’s house. Looked more mysterious by night. Footsteps! “Still!” “Lights out!” We crouched tensely in the dark. Footsteps seemed to die away. Left the tower and went across the fields. Near houses – we dare not use a light. Long grass. Fallen trees. An avenue between woods. Red daisies. The lane. Into the ditch – all of us, in a huddle. The Temple. Around the lake by Twelve Match Path (new name). Cups of cocoa and coffee at the Papworth camp. Soon my spell at Sudbrooke will be over – and these mad pranks will cease.

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