We had a company of Boy Scouts camping up here for a fortnight and I went up to see them. I would wish you were with me. They were encamped on the fell side, close to a farm you know, overlooking the whole of the valley from Scafell to the sea.
Most of them were away on a day’s outing. The master left in charge took us round the camp, showing us all the tents, the larder, the shop (just fancy; the officers occupied a shop here. They sell chocs and other sweets to the boys who have any pocket money). The master was fag that day and had the cooking to do. He had three big tins boiling on the log fire. One contained leg and shoulder of mutton, cooking for next day. Another had water to make cocoa for supper when the boys returned and in the third the dish cloths were boiling.
When we were returning from the camp we met some stragglers getting back to supper. One little chap loitered behind and pretended to stop and examine some sticks. Having a good time, I asked. He saluted and said yes, trying to look bright. “I think your feet are a little bit sore with these rough roads, I ventured. “I have got a blister on my heel,” he said. Oh why hadn’t I a slab of chocolate, or something to sooth the pain of that blister? He looked only about ten and wasn’t far from a tear or two but he was near the camp.
I saw them march through the village on their way to the train, one of them blowing a ridiculous little trumpet. They were all quite brisk. I think the blister had healed. I would have liked to call out, “Goodbye, good luck and come again.” but everybody would have stared at a woman shouting like that. So I kept silent and only waved at them.
I think it is a fine thing for the older folk to go playing and holiday-making with the younger ones. I like to see the teachers showing the little ones how to play in the morning interval. When you come I will show you the camp ground and tell you more about it.
I hear that you are not playing cricket in your off time but that you are snaring rabbits and that there were three for the larder one day. When you get 13, send me the odd one — a nice young one.
I will not expect a letter until you have caught my rabbit.