Saturday, March 24, 2007

Evening and Morning 20th – 21st October 1934

Ford, Withey missed the others – my fault.

Windsor Park; bright moonlight filtered through the trees onto the path – like sunshine at noon. Around Virginia Water and across the Falls, which bought keen memories. I was sulky and often left my friends to wander by myself.

But we liked it as we sat resting on a bench beside the Water. (Water behind, trees and the moon before us). Out of the Park. My sulkiness seemed to be spoiling the walk. Through woods. We seemed to be lost but I felt certain of the way. However they plodded off, unheeding, in the wrong direction. Sullenly uncaring, I sat down on a bank at a woodland cross roads, smoking.

They returned at last and we set off along the correct track. At a railway line I left them to climb a signal post, where I lit another cigarette on a shaky lamp platform. Meanwhile, Ford and Withey paused at a signpost, then walked away into the darkness. I lounged at the foot of this signpost, very much alone but not lonely. Damn them! Let them go without me! What did it matter? Almost finished my cigarette when I remembered that through my fault we had missed the others. Suddenly became anxious to overtake them; no need to spoil their night still more. Walked fast along the road, my shoes clattering loudly in the stillness. Yes, clattering and echoing!

Found them in the end, waiting for me where the road forked. Told them how I felt and they laughed and all was well. We marched on together, not again separating. Striding comrades in the quietness. Through dead-seeming Chertsey. Found a path across fields and reached Staines in the faint light of early morning.

As clocks chimed six, I got into bed and almost instantly fell into delicious slumber.

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