School Days! Was there ever a happier time? I was sent to Dr. Bodey's in West Kensington.
The name was on the door - "Dryburgh." You could not mistake it.
Although a martyr to kidney trouble for
years, Dr. Bodey was a powerful man and an adept at all outdoor sports.
He had married a Swiss, a lady as active as himself,
and together they held the championship at Spiro-pole.
A lenient and generous teacher, the Doctor took us often to the Crystal Palace
or to the Zoo.
Our favourite game was leapfrog.
I was at this time a handsome boy of fourteen.
Among my school fellows were some delightful lads,
chiefly the sons of the nobility and clergy.
My closest friend was Eustace Bleek-Wether with whom I often spent the vacations;
and my bête noire was the Hon. Harold Crumpton, who made my life at school a perfect hell for the first three months.
His father was a learned and interesting man, with, alas, one sad and only too common failing,
They lived in a beautiful home nestling in the Surrey hills.
We both adored the matron.
In spite of this rivalry we were friends, and remained so after leaving Dr. Bodey's and passing through the 'Varsity.
Eustace was brilliant in every way. A wonderful fisherman;
and a crack shot, rarely bringing down his birds singly.
Once, however, (I remember) he missed his quarry. Time after time he fired, but the bird was still there.
Poor Eustace! a fatal fascination for the Pole gripped him,
and he now lies in a silent grave beneath the Arctic star.
To return to my own story, I left school when I was eighteen and went to Oxford College,
and at the age of twenty-two I became a man about town with a latch-key of my own.