Skip to main content

Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

See other formats

village boys. And even the sons of the neighbouring
farmers were considered "unsuitable55—though I was
too shy and nervous to speak to them.

I do not blame my aunt for this. She was merely
conforming to her social code which divided the
world into people whom one could "call on59 and
people who were "socially impossible'*. She was mis-
taken, perhaps, in applying this code to a small,
solitary boy like myself. But the world was less demo-
cratic in those days, and it must not be thought that I
received any active unkindness from Aunt Evelyn,
who was tender-hearted and easy-going.

As a consequence of my loneliness I created in my
childish day-dreams an ideal companion who became
much more of a reality than such unfriendly boys as
I encountered at Christmas parties. (I remember a
party given by my aunt, in the course of which one of
my "little friends59 contrived to lock me in a cup-
board during a game of hide-and-seek. And, to tell
the truth, I was so glad to escape from the horrors of my
own hospitality that I kept as quiet as a mouse for the
best part of an hour, crouching on the floor of that cam-
phor-smelling cupboard.) The "ideal companion"
prbbably originated in my desire for an elder brother.
When I began these reminiscences I did not antici-
pate that I should be describing such an apparently
trivial episode—and I doubt whether such a thing
can be called an episode at all—but among a multi-
tude of blurred memories, my "dream friend" has
cropped up with an odd effect of importance which
makes me feel that he must be worth a passing men-
tion. The fact is that, as soon as I began to picture in
my mind the house and garden where I spent so
much of my early life, I caught sight of my small,
long-vanished self with this other non-existent boy