Related article: Date: Tue, 23 Dec 2003 23:48:01 +0000 From: Jo Vincent Subject: Aladdin's Awakening: Part 81Usual Disclaimer: If you are not of an age to read this because of the laws of your country or district please desist. If you are a bigot or prod-nosed fundamentalist of any persuasion find your monkey-spanking literature elsewhere and keep your predilections and opinions to yourself. Everyone else welcome and comments more than welcome. Those so far have been very helpful in that they have given me the encouragement to persevere!This is a very long tale. It unfolds over a good number of years. What is true, is true: what is not is otherwise. If you have trouble with the English educational system let me know. ALADDIN'S AWAKENING By Joel CHAPTER 47 PART ONE How Life Changes C September 1948 - September 1949Things were quieter for me for the first week or so once the baby was born. Kats stayed in hospital and rested. Young Francis looked all pink and rubbery, and, really, except for one thing, looked like all the others ranged around the maternity ward. He did have black hair, masses of it. However I was told it would probably fall out and regrow. Oh, you learn something new every day! Everyone came to visit. Ma and Pa were down next day and stayed with the Buchanans. They, of course, were overjoyed with their grandson. Pa had to be dissuaded from walking off with him. He said, much to Kats' amusement that he was a typical Thomson, full of water and wind. Actually, we knew the phrase should be 'piss and Dorki Bbs wind' but Pa was being extra polite, but what a thing to say about his own family! The Marchams were also very happy. Mrs M, or mum-in-law, hugged me and kissed me soundly as soon as she came into the ward where I was sitting by Kats' bedside and said that she was so pleased with her first grandchild. This caused much amusement for the young lady in the bed next to Kats. Young? Her child was her sixth and she was thirty-two. Tony brought in a big bunch of flowers for his sister and said he hoped the boy's first words would be 'Uncle Tony'. Even Julia Ward came in. She was full of the joys of spring, or autumn, and had an announcement to make. She and Chris were getting married next Easter. I had asked her to type up my translation and she said that she had received another batch of exercise books from Ma! She brought her brother's best wishes and said he wished to be a godparent. The next afternoon I was there again with Tony. There was a bustling at the ward door and a smiling nurse, obviously buttered up with flattery, led a couple of young men up the ward. Of course, it was Cleggy and Nobbo come to visit. They had now finished their first year of medical training but had another five to go! They wanted to know all the gory details so I left them chatting to Kats and went out for a wander with Tony. I asked him how he was going to spend the rest of the vacation as we had nearly a month before term started. "I'm going up to Yorkshire tomorrow to stay with Perce Magill for a fortnight," he said, "We'll probably go walking. Never been up there before and Perce says there's plenty to see. Oh, and Cas and Phil Laker will be there as well." He said this most nonchalantly. The foursome! Playing the field, no doubt! Well, all four were usually out playing on the field, but! "And which one?" I queried. "Any, or all," was his short, laconic reply. He changed the subject. "We'll all go to Ulvescott when I get back. Aunt Mary and Miss P are itching to see the baby and I hear Dora's knitting like mad! Now you can drive you can whip us there in no time." Oh yes, another of my accomplishments, learned over the summer, was now Dorki Bbs my ability to drive. Pa had given me his old car. He said he wouldn't need it in London so I might as well pay for the petrol and any repairs. I reminded him I couldn't have it at Cambridge and he said he'd arranged with Mr Phelps that it could be left in our garage and he could drive it as well. In fact, Mr Phelps had offered to insure it. Can't look a gift horse, or gift car, in the mouth! Sean's boss at the garage had given me some lessons and I'd passed the driving test very easily. Huhn, but I still had some difficulty in doing hill starts. Thank goodness most of the road to Ulvescott was pretty level just in case I had to stop for any reason! "And what about Big Jim," I asked, "Seen anything of him recently?" Although Kats and I were living in the same house as him, Tony came and went without much interaction with us. I supposed he thought we wanted just to be together. He laughed. "Oh, yes," he said, "Saw him last week a bit. Well, more than a bit!" He jabbed me on the arm. "Went round to his house." Ah, I'd forgotten, his parents lived on the outskirts of Kerslake. "Josh there?" I enquired, wondering if the thick hanging object I'd seen at the medical had been exercised as well. "No, thank God!" he said, "He's gone to stay with that Ozzy at the old Colonel's place. His father's taken against him as he's only a squaddie but his grandfather thinks the light shines out of his arsehole - " he snickered, " - so does Josh, and if what Jim says about the pair of them there won't be many rays getting out. Josh told him poor Ozzy's been so deprived since he joined up so Jim says he bets they're fucking each other like jack-rabbits!" "And you and Jim?" I enquired sweetly. "Just like little bunnies," he replied, equally dulcetly. As both sported larger than average weaponry, 'little bunnies' would be a good example of litotes for Old Mother Riley! I was in something of a quandary. I, as a married man, would be assumed to be having sexual release regularly. As my wife had been pregnant and was now in hospital having been safely delivered of our offspring I was on the outside, as it were, and had been for quite some time, in fact since saying farewell at Easter. We had fucked, carefully, over Easter, but since then all my needs had been assuaged by my trusty right hand. Coming up to nineteen I was still coming as much as before. Almost always twice a night. I needed release and here was my best friend getting his oats and I was a solitary masturbator! I wondered if all men in my position were in the same boat? They must be! Would I be betraying any trust if I went off with Tony? Kats knew we'd fucked each other in the past. What about now? Also, I had to admit I liked fucking both Kats and Tony. Was I odd? I wondered if Cleggy and Nobbo would be able to tell me? Were all boys, or young men, like me? Tony, I knew, only craved union with other young men. There were plenty at College who consorted with each other. Charley, not a virgin as far as boys went according to Jem, seemed rather sexless. He's made comments about the May Ball but never spoke of any female involvement. I knew he was rather sensitive about his leg.... ....Oh, Oh, Oh, we all had our problems, I supposed. "You've gone all quiet," said Tony. "Just thinking," I said, "I've got lots to think about." "Yes," he said quietly, "But you've got the best of both worlds." We had stopped walking and I looked at him in silence. He looked at me and smiled. "I mean you've had the best of both worlds, eh?" he said. I nodded. "Not now?" I shook Dorki Bbs my head. "Nothing since Easter," I said, hoping I didn't sound too wistful. "Just?" He moved his right hand slightly. I nodded. "What about Charley?" he asked, "He's itching for it. The way he looks at you. Any time I would say." "Tony!" I said rather sharply. "Charley's a good friend. I've Dorki Bbs seen or heard nothing that makes me think he wants anything more. I can assure you even that night he got attacked and we kept warm together nothing happened." Tony put a hand out and stroked my arm. "Don't get rorty, old mate," he said, soothingly, "Trust me, I know the signs. Don't worry, I don't think he'll make the first move. Worships from afar he does." He giggled. "But, I'll tell you what, that pair, Jem and Sam'd have you in the sack any time, as sure as eggs! I bet they console themselves daily with images of that mighty tool of yours....." I slapped him on the arm. "Leave them out of it. They're only kids!" "Seventeen-year-old young men since August and you know they're at it. You bloody well lend them your bed!" "That's for them, not me," I expostulated. Tony was well away. "Bet they sniff your pillow or your sheets before they start! Get a bit of the old Jacko aroma. Wow! I bet that sets them off!" "Shut up you, you've got a really filthy mind!" I said giggling and secretly wondering if they did. I'd noticed my cast off underpants had once materialised in the bed after they'd been. And, I'd mopped up a load with them the night before and was sure I'd put them in the small basket with my dirty shirts and socks. "Come off it," he said. "Me, dirty mind? I didn't stand and watch your best friend being fucked and then said nothing until he confessed!" He lowered his voice. "And some of the things you, yourself, personally, have whispered in my shell-like ear when you've been having your evil way with me. Wow, wait until I ask Kats if you shout out 'f....." He stopped suddenly. Cleggy and Nobbo had materialised - like my underpants and probably just as stained with cum, dirty mind I have! - round the corner and were heading for us. "Oh, my God," said Cleggy, as they hurried up to us. "We had to get away. Bella and her mother just turned up. Old Nobbo here fancies her, I'm sure!" Nobbo gave him a punch on the arm. "But that mother! Doesn't she rabbit on. Doesn't stop for a breath. My mother says she calls it verbal diarrhoea!" "Looseness of the vowels, eh?" said Tony, quick as a flash. We all laughed. "Bella's OK," said Nobbo quietly. He turned to me. "Had a couple of dances with her at your wedding.. Got her out of the clutches of that twit. Roo found out he wasn't hung like a horse, just normal, but he did have an interesting medical condition from the description...." "....Medical condition!" interrupted Tony, "It's Jacko and me who've got medical conditions..." He didn't have a chance to say more as Nobbo turned his attention to me and carried on. "...And how's your knee? Would you mind if Cleggy and I had a look at it. We'd like to see where Mr Foljambe did the pin insertion. Had a look at the standard procedures in one of the textbooks." Oh, my God! "O.K. You can have a look. I need feeding this afternoon so I'll come round for tea. And I'm not hung like a horse either, as you well know!" I said the last emphatically. Cleggy who was obviously amused by the earnestness of his fellow student laughed. "No need to check on that with you, that thing's been waved around enough times to check. But the knee's interesting...." He paused. "....That reminds me. Your pal at college with the gammy foot..." I nodded and said 'Charley Lascelles', he nodded too, "....I asked Geoff, he's just doing his orthopaedics stint, and he asked if the lad's foot was normal size." I said I thought it was. I said I'd only really since it fully when I'd removed his boot and caliper the night he was attacked, but, I held my hands out gauging the size. I said it was deformed and twisted but as far as I could remember it seemed about the same size as his good foot. "That sounds good," said Cleggy. "Geoff said it would be difficult to do anything if the foot hadn't grown when your pal was growing 'cause you said he'd done the damage when he was twelve. He said he'd ask his tutor to have a look at it if he liked to make an appointment. Wouldn't mind having a look at it myself." The inquiring mind! I said I would talk to Charley as soon as I got back to college and see what he said and, no, he wasn't hung like a horse either! So, I was to have my knee examined at four o'clock. Tony was invited as a witness and to tea as well. They sauntered off, deep Dorki Bbs in conversation - medical matters, no doubt. Tony was laughing quietly to himself. "They're a pair, aren't they? I bet they never let Dorki Bbs up until they know something." He jabbed me on the arm. "That lad with the funny balls. Wonder what his interesting condition is? I shouldn't have interrupted. And you! 'I'm not hung like a horse'. More like a large pony, eh? Remember that time at Ulvescott? Nearly had a rosette pinned on it!" Thinking back, I'd had some marvellous times with my friends. I also noted that Tony didn't mention seeing Billy Clarke at that dinner party. Perhaps Nobbo didn't know how his brother supplemented his student grant. We went back into the hospital and found Kats in solitary state. She said she had to rest so we were dismissed with the strict Dorki Bbs injunction not to wake young Francis up if we peered int the cradle in the nursery room. He was fast asleep. Tony made some remark about him looking like me after I'd had a pint or two and were sleeping it off. I suppose he did look like me. Black hair, lovely blue eyes, dimple on the chin - Oh, Oh, Oh, he's mine - I helped to make him! I thought of Dorki Bbs all those millions and millions and millions of sperm I'd produced in my short adolescent life and here was my son - my Francis - the result of just one of those, the strongest, the fittest, I hoped, hitting that single egg inside Kats! I was so happy. But there was something I had to ask Tony. We had both cycled to the hospital so retrieved our bikes and set off back to the Marchams. It was about half past three and we didn't have to get to Nobbo's until four. I needed a pee anyway, so did Tony as it turned out. We had about ten minutes before we need set out again. Time enough to just broach the subject. I was sitting in the drawing room looking at the partially filled-in Times crossword when Tony came in from 'straining his greens' as he rather euphemistically described the good piss he's just had. "Tony," I said, "I've not said anything since, but what's happened since your mother said she knew about you - I mean, about what you liked?" He lumped down on the sofa next to me and laughed. "Runs in the bloody family, I'm sure," he said. "Mum's brother Robert obviously was the same and Dad's brother Lester must have been his boyfriend. All I know is that Uncle Lester went to America, changed his name, at least he's Lester March Dorki Bbs now and he works in Hollywood in a film studio. He's an artist of some kind and Mum says he's got a stupendous house in some hills or other. He wrote at Christmas inviting us out there but it's a long way. Perhaps we'll go sometime." He slapped me on the knee. "Wouldn't mind seeing America. I intend to! Anyway Mum's said nothing else and Dad treats me just the same so I suppose as long as I keep my nose clean they're not worried.." That was so interesting. Here was Tony - who could get into real trouble with the law if ever found out - being supported by his parents. I think I understood. Both Tony's mum and dad had lost loved ones. One had died and the other gone. Their lifestyle hadn't come into the equation - they were both loved and now missed. I think I had supplied something which could have been missing in the family. Their daughter was now married and they had a grandchild. Whatever Tony did was up to him. He was loved. If ever Tony needed me I would be there, too. Kats came home with Francis the next week. I helped as best I could with looking after the baby. He slept most of the time and I loved to hold him and watch him. Kats took over the running of the house. Mrs Marcham employed a lady to come in everyday to clean and to do some cooking and left us to it. She said I was not to worry when I went back to Cambridge. She said she wanted both her son and her son-in-law to do well. Tony came back from Yorkshire looking very fit. He said the four of them had hiked all over the moors surrounding the old hunting lodge where Percy's parents lived. However, I don't think they were over-tired after their days in the country as he winked when I asked if all had enjoyed the stay. I would have to ask more when we had more privacy back at Cambridge. I drove the four of us, Kats, Francis, Tony and me, to Ulvescott. I never imagined how much clobber a baby needed - his luggage was about three times what I packed for myself. Someone had already opened the big gates of the main drive and there, waiting, were Bran and Finbar. We all had to get out of the car and the baby was solemnly introduced to both. Bran put a paw up and touched Francis's little coat he was wearing. He was accepted as another generation within the Crossley clan. He, of course, was not only directly descended through the two lines but also through the married-in line as well. Finbar was not to be outdone. I lifted his paw and touched my son's coat with it. All was well. I hoped Francis would be able to visit Ulvescott as he grew up and come to love it as I did. Aunt Mary and Miss P were waiting at the main steps. Kats handed Francis to Mrs Crossley and she held him and carried him into the house. We noted that a cradle had been found and put in Piers' room. It had originally been his nursery and as he grew up into the young man who died for his country it remained his room. Now a relation of his would have the room as his nursery for the stay. I knew Piers would be happy with that. Tony was in the Horsebox and he said it was much more suited to Kats and her love of the equine tribe. She thumped him on the arm and said if he thought he was sleeping with me and putting her in there he had another think coming. He just grinned - he and his sister understood each other exactly. Downstairs again we found Dora smiling broadly. She had knitted the most exquisite baby clothes all in blue. I thanked her profusely and gave her a hug and a big kiss - much to Mrs Browne's amusement. She produced a rattle and a small furry dog and got the same treatment. I only wish my friend Hans had been there. I had grown into that big boy he said I would! So, Francis was back in the place he'd been conceived in. He was truly a part of that ancient edifice and belonged truly to the line of soldiers and lawyers and doctors and farmers, stretching back both in England and in France. That evening, before dinner, I played the first movement of a favourite Beethoven Sonata, Opus 57, the Appassionata. I had been having lessons over the past year with the Organ Scholar of Kings College in exchange for help with his French subsidiary paper and I was able to practice almost every day on a piano in one of the tutors' rooms as he was away on a sabbatical. I played that as a thank-you to all the countless generations who had produced my son. That night we slept quietly and contentedly in that room where he had been conceived and where I had had all those wonderful experiences with my friends. I felt I was home. * On Thursday the Thirtieth of September I was nineteen. Nineteen, married and with a child. I could hardly believe it... I assumed I was now fully grown. I had a good look at myself in our bedroom mirror while Kats was bathing Francis. I had filled out somewhat in the past year. I hadn't been able to run but had exercised three times a week on the boathouse equipment and lifted the weights Mike had given me every day in my bedroom. My shoulders had broadened and my chest was well defined. I was even hairier - the trail up from my belly-button had increased and there was a dark patch of short fur across my chest. My knee was much better. No twinges for ages but I was still chary of doing anything too drastic. Certainly not running. Actually, I missed my runs. Nothing else seemed to have changed. Whenever I shot a load - which was still very frequent - there was a massive amount. I needed to fuck. Kats was still sore and I was going back to Cambridge within a week. * All too soon it was time to return to Cambridge. I was torn - but I knew my duty. I resolved to do even better this year. But first, I had to see Dr Blake. A postcard had arrived asking me to see him, if possible, the day before students would generally be arriving. So, I went up, with Tony, a day early. Also an early start as we caught a very early train as Tony had some sort of assignation with Cas lined up for the afternoon. Oh Ho!, a bit of Welsh lamb, I twitted him on the journey. He's no lamb, was Tony's reply, but would not be drawn on his attributes. Willy was on duty when I entered the Porter's Lodge later in the morning. He seemed to be more and more in charge. I knew Mr Mason liked his drink and I think loyal Willy covered up for him. There was a whole batch of letters and documents for me and as I flipped through them he filled me in on local gossip. Mr Phelips was going in the New Year. He had accepted a Chair of Geography at an expanding Northern university. I wondered how Charley would take the news. Charley would now be in his final year - I hoped he would keep on the straight and narrow. Another don had complained of a nasty smell in his rooms. This had been tracked down to three decaying kippers hung behind a valued portrait of his grandfather. He'd upset one of his students before he'd gone down after taking his degree and this was his revenge. Then, an elderly don from another college had been spotted riding his bicycle along Regent Street clad only in a deerstalker hat, cycle clips and a pair of hob-nailed climbing boots. Otherwise all was calm and quiet. Small gossip but essential in an academic world. When I saw Dr Blake at midday he congratulated me heartily on being a father but I realised straight away there was something else, much more weighty, on his mind. He was all apologetic. He was humming and hawing about something and it took quite a while before I heard what it was all about. As two of my mentor group had been awarded their degrees, they had had only the one year to do towards completion, would I be prepared to take on two newcomers? I said I would. He got very red in the face and started apologising. I wondered what on earth it was all about. "One's all right ," he began, a little more coherently, "He's a lad from down Bristol way. Nice lad, Grammar School, like you." He nodded vigorously. "But..., the other one...," he looked as if he was gritting his teeth, he shook his head vigorously this time, "....I have to tell you, ....the other one is my great-nephew.... Poor show. Couldn't do anything about it." Couldn't do anything about it? Short of strangling the mother, or, castrating the father, before conception, I don't suppose he could do anything about the creation of a great- nephew. It took him several goes before I got the whole and true story out of him. What it boiled down to was that the great-nephew, the son of his sister's daughter and thus not bearing the patronymic and thus could be kept at arm's length and not recognised as a relative, was being awarded a place, it seemed, entirely on his sporting prowess. This sport being Rugby football and why couldn't the child be safely ensconced in one of those colleges where such sports - meaning those creatures which biologists say differ from the norm - could exist without impinging on the more scholarly beings in a college such as ours? Dr Blake was getting rather worked up. But no, his sister had insisted that her favourite grandson should be placed in the best college possible. Dr Blake, I knew was under his sister's thumb. He'd made several references during the past year to her demands on his time and good will. I tried to pour oil on troubled waters. I said our college had a good sporting tradition as well as academic. He nodded, glumly. I said his great-nephew couldn't be too bad. I thought of Prosser and his prowess - both at rugby and farting - but I'd changed my mind about his general character as I had observed how helpful he was to both me and others under that bluster. Surely, I continued, the great-nephew must be a bright, hardworking specimen of young manhood, or words to that effect. "But he is Australian," countered Dr Blake gloomily as if this encapsulated all, "He's only been in the country five minutes and he's complaining it's cold and small and there's no food!" I couldn't help but laugh. Dr Blake realised he was getting rather worked up. But we were interrupted by a discreet tap on the door. It was Sam from the Buttery. He was carrying the usual covered tray and smiled at me as he placed it on the desk between us. He was rewarded by a rather distracted thank you from Dr Blake. I stood as Dr Blake had pointed to the cupboard. As Sam went past me I winked at him and he smiled again. Pointing at the cupboard had become the signal at the end of many tutorials for the nearest student to do the honours. I went over to the cupboard, opened the door, and poured two schooners of his best dry sherry. In the state he was in I thought the larger glasses most appropriate. We sat and sipped and he gave me further details. The lad's father had been exported to Australia during the 20's, around the time of the General Strike and lots of unemployment, as the family farm in Suffolk couldn't support him and his brother. Later he'd sent for his girl-friend, Dr Blake's niece, and now ensconced on a huge sheep farm which he'd helped a cousin to build up, Farley Lockhart had married her and the boy, Bruce, came along in all good time. The boy and his elder sister were educated at home until two years ago when the boy, at the age of seventeen, was sent to Sydney to complete his education. His sporting abilities were recognised and his Headmaster had sent word to his friends in Cambridge where, on his recommendation alone, plus the fact the boy had almost failed any examinations taken, he was offered an immediate place. Dr Blake looked deflated. Would I take on the task of a) keeping the boy on some sort of academic path as he was not material for the Honours School but would be taking French, God help us, as one subject, and b) keeping the boy away from Dr Blake, who though bound by blood ties and the dictates of the boy's grandmother, felt he was too old and too unable to act as nursemaid to a rugby-playing, no doubt, beer-swilling, late teenager whose conversation seemed to be devoted to....? He held his hands up in despair and shook his head. I smiled and said I would do my best. Two crisp five pound notes were pressed on me - for entertaining the lad and seeing he was kitted out decently - and would I warn young Jem he would be his scout, he had already talked to Mr Mason and Mr Roberts about him. I thought Mr Mason could be eliminated from the equation. The lad - what was his name? - Bruce, was already somewhere on the premises so Willy would have met him, no doubt. We ate the cold collation supplied by the Buttery and talked of other things. His diatribe about his great-nephew had been in English. I was now cross-questioned in French and German about the child, his mother and her welfare, what I had read, where I had been during the vacation. I think I acquitted myself quite well as he harumphed at the end and said second year work was going to be more intensive and he suggested certain lectures which were essential. He said Mrs O'Hagen had commented most favourably on my progress and Frau Metzner was equally laudatory. All I hoped was that I could carry on as before. I went straight to my rooms as I hadn't had time to unpack. Jem had obviously been apprised of my arrival as there was a merry fire blazing in the small fireplace. Cambridge, as Charley had pointed out very forcefully, was a cold place at the best of times as the winds blew across the German sea straight from the Urals! This October day was fairly blustery and, though almost cloudless, the wind was sharp. I was interrupted in putting out the books I had brought back with me by a loud thump on my outer door. I went to investigate as I thought I'd left it open. It was, but the whole of my small entrance was blocked by the figure of a huge young man. He was about two inches shorter than me but otherwise he was massive. Both John and Charlie Prosser were big and the bass-drummer, Browne with an e, at Lachs' and Flea's school was huge, but this lad was built, as Titty in a more delicate mode might have said, like two brick conveniences. His massive shoulders almost touched either side of the door frame. In fact, he blocked the light so his features were in semi-darkness. A vast, meaty paw was thrust at me. "G'dye to yu," he said loudly, but in a curiously rather high-pitched voice, "I'm Bruce, you must be Jacko, ....Mr Thomson, I mean." The paw crushed mine. I stepped back and he followed, still gripping my hand. Once in he let go and looked around my room. "God Almighty!" he said as his eyes took in his surroundings, "This is a fuckin' sight bigger than the fuckin' mingy little bastard I'm fuckin' holed up in. Too bloody small to swing a bleedin' cat. And it's up all those bleedin' stairs as well and I'm up and down them all the bastard day, up and down, up and down, like a fuckin' whore's drawers!" He grinned at me amiably. "Mustn't fuckin' grumble though, that bloody boat was the real shits!" I grunted something about would he like to sit down, mentally wondering if my decaying furniture, or any furniture, would withstand his weight. He sat and the chair withstood! I mentally calculated. He was, from what Dr Blake had said, somewhere between nineteen and twenty. And he was huge. I knew the boxing Prosser at school had weighed in at five feet ten and fifteen stone as that was printed on one of the boxing programmes. This behemoth was two inches taller but must be nineteen or twenty stone to match his age! "Uncle Will said you'd show me the fuckin' ropes," he continued. I didn't think 'Uncle Will' would have used the adjective but this seemed a standard insertion on the part of his Dorki Bbs great-nephew. "Godda get used to all this fuckin' palaver." He was holding the usual sheaf of documents issued to new students in his other massive paw. I said that Dr Blake had asked me to take him around if he was agreeable. He nodded then looked at me closely. "D'yu play footie?" he asked. I said I had played rugger at school until I busted my knee, but I did exercise at the college boathouse. "You married?" the interrogation went on, "Uncle Will said you fuckin' was." I said I was and displayed the gold band I now wore on the third finger of my left hand. I said, very proudly, I also had a son. "Fuc....kin' hell!" he said breathing out loudly, "You were fuckin' getting it away early, weren't you? Girl up the fuckin' pod when you married her?" I said very quietly that I objected to his questions. Perhaps it would be better for his great-uncle, of whom I had the greatest respect, to find another willing student to act as his guide and mentor. My little speech made him collapse. "Sorry," he said, most abjectly, "I didn't mean no harm. Always shootin' my fuckin' mouth off. Comes of being with those bastard jackaroos all the time." He smiled as I must have looked puzzled. "They're the hands on the ranch. Lots a fuckin' sheep and a whole crew a fuckin' jackaroos to keep 'em steady. My dad said I had to earn my fuckin' keep so I bunked in with them most of the fuckin' time. I grew big when I was about fourteen and he put me to fuckin' work then. Played footie for the fuckin' team when I was fifteen. Now I'm fuckin' here!" I said it was OK. I realised he'd only just arrived in the country but he'd better watch what he said. On the other hand, I thought to myself, there weren't going to be many who would argue with him at his size! He was off again. "Fuckin' poke hole I've got. There was some kid in there making the fuckin' bed. Said he was a fuckin' Boy Scout or bastard something. I told him to rub two sodding sticks together and make a fuckin' fire as my arsehole was clamped shut with the bastard cold, then fuck off as I didn't want no fuckin' Boy Scout around sniffing my undies." I explained, carefully, that Jem was his scout, or gyp, not a Boy Scout. That he was a college servant and would look after his room and also, if he didn't want a lady bedder, to make his bed. I said Jem was most trustworthy and he would find him very helpful. "Bloody Sheila," was his comment, "Got me own bloody Wambo!" I found out that Wambo was the aborigine boy who, between disappearing on walkabouts, kept the jackaroo's bunkhouse in some semblance of tidiness and order. We then went through the lists of regulations and required dress. He was much put out about having to wear a square and an undergraduate gown on any college business or when in the town. Looking at him, I hoped Ede's would have one in his size. I offered to take him to the shop and arrange for him to be tailored - I explained about subfusc and the arcane ceremonies when in hall. He nodded sagely and said the school he'd attended in Sydney had gowned beaks and a High Table at meal times. How the English system had been exported to the Colonies!! We made an incongruous pair as we walked along King's Parade to Ede's. He had on a vast, multi-coloured knitted pullover, made by an adoring mother so he said, brown corduroy trousers and large tan boots with a brown brimmed hat on his head and me, taller but slimmer, in undergraduate gown and mortar-board, suit and neat black shoes. I still couldn't get over his voice. It didn't match his size. I had expected, each time he opened his mouth, for a deep rumble, but there was this adolescent high tenor, plus, of course, the endless stream of obscenities. Most of us swore at times but his output was the highest I'd ever encountered. I remembered Billy Clarke's description of the general barrack-room talk with the 'fuck' inserted even between syllables. Ede's, of course, had gowns of all sizes and, not to be outdone, young Bruce paraded back to college clad Dorki Bbs in sombre black over his vast frame. "Fuck me!" he said, as we entered my rooms again, "Look a right fuckin' poncy tart in all this!" This announcement was made before he noticed that Jem was tending the fire and had a pot ready to make tea. "Fuck me!" he went on. "It's Wambo!" He marched over to Jem who had stood upright now and turned to gape at the gown- clad giant. He thrust out his large paw again. "Sorry old mate," he said, "Got me bastard scouts up the fuckin' chute. I'm Bruce and you're Jem, eh? You're me own fuckin' Wambo so Jackaroo here tells me!" Oh God! Here was I - a helping hand, no doubt. I introduced Jem, who with an absolutely straight face, shook hands and said he was delighted to welcome Mr Lockhart to the college. "Huhn," said Bruce, "That's what that fuckin' black-hat said yesterday in that fuckin' poke-hole." He did a good imitation of Willy's orotund phrasing. "'Welcome to the College, Mr Lockhart. We hope your sojourn with us will be happy and profitable.' Fuck me, 'sojourn' he said!" He turned to me. "I ain't used to that fuckin' shit! Then he said there was a fuckin' invite from some Charley Squeals for fuckin' sherry on Thursday. Who's this fuckin' Charley Squeals?" I laughed and said that he'd misheard what Willy had said. It was Charley Lascelles, who had the rooms opposite me. But he'd better learn the important thing, here I winked at Jem, was not to alienate the Porters. We sat and had tea. I explained about Charley and the invite was probably because his family knew Bruce's. We would have to see. Invites to partake of sherry were a Cambridge institution. I explained about dons' breakfasts and tea with friends and so on. He listened almost open-mouthed. Jem on his own initiative had got some crumpets and had scrounged some margarine from the Buttery and he joined us. There were six crumpets. Bruce scoffed four and I and Jem had one each. I wondered if he was more used to a half a sheep for tea and possibly a whole one for breakfast. What he was going to make of Buttery stodge was a moot point. He'd already complained of lack of food. I certainly wasn't going to risk a visit to the Blue Boar on Lord Harford's account with Bruce in tow. Old Bert would have apoplexy if Bruce demanded not only a whole shepherd's pie but the shepherd to go with it. I whispered to Jem at a convenient point that he'd better warn Sam and the kitchen staff - double the potatoes at dinner! Too fuckin' true! There were only about twenty in for dinner that night and Bruce almost caused a riot when he ladled about half the tray of roast potatoes onto an already laden plate of carrots and over-boiled cabbage with the small pork chop balanced on top. I vowed to keep my distance at other meal-times. Let my compatriots deal with him. He went off, replete, and said he'd have an early night as he intended to go for a little run in the morning. I went to my rooms, read through the lecture lists again and went to bed to dream of Kats, Francis, Piers and a huge multi-coloured amiable giant who ambled unconcernedly through all my own multi-coloured dream world. * "Mr Thomson, sir," were the first words I heard next day. It was Jem, bless him, mug of tea in hand. "What are we to do?" he went on. "We can't have language like that in college, can we?" Some Dorki Bbs of the ex-military types we had around had very colourful language at times but nothing to match Bruce's. I turned in bed and grinned up at him. "He'll learn, young Wambo," I said. Jem might have felt like pouring the hot tea over me if I hadn't laughed and he joined in and wrinkled his nose. He composed his face. "But what if Dr Blake hears him?" said Jem concernedly. "More like, what if his gran ever hears him," I said. "I'll talk to him any way. And, anyway those rugger types swear like troopers most of the time." "But not in polite company," countered Sam. "Mr Johnson was most put out when he asked was that all the..." He paused. " ....the effing chops he was getting!" Mr Johnson was chef on duty last night - a very prim and prissy little man, much given to small portions for those of whom he didn't approve. "I did say that meat was rationed here," I said, "I got an effing mouthful as well. Don't worry, Jem, we'll cope." I climbed out of bed and stretched. Jem looked at me appraisingly. He turned and went out of the bedroom but returned as I was idly scratching a delicate part of my anatomy before asking for the kettle of hot water for my basin. He handed me two small parcels. "My mother sent this for your boy with our congratulations and this is from us to thank you for all you did for Sam and me last year." The present for Francis was a delicately knitted and embroidered top coat and mine was a pocket-sized university diary. I thanked him profusely for both and, much to his embarrassment, but I hoped, secret pleasure, hugged him close and ruffled his hair. I guessed he'd relate that to Sam and the pair of them would wank together with the image, or the description for Sam's benefit, of the nude Jackaroo with his morning stiffy. There was a thump on my door at about eight o'clock just as I was going to Hall for breakfast. It was a red-faced and sweating Bruce, in very short running shorts, showing off his strangely hairless massive thighs and legs with huge calves, and a thin white singlet barely covering his well-developed chest. "Ran along that fuckin' road outta town. What's that Grantchester? Isn't that where that poet fucker lived?" I said that Rupert Brooke had lived in and written about Grantchester. Bruce nodded. "And where's the fuckin' baths? I ain't a goin' to dive into that fuckin' river today, it's fuckin' freezing enough to....." I never heard the ending to that as a smaller figure materialised behind him. "Mr Lockhart," came Jem's much deeper voice, "Allow me to escort you to the bathroom." "Hi ya, Wambo!" said Bruce, revolving like a huge totem pole. He left my door at a rate of knots pursuing a very fleet youngster. I breathed a sigh of relief and went to breakfast. My first visit that morning was to Heffer's bookshop where I bought the main books for study this term. On return I passed the old Rolls Royce I recognised from last year with Jem and Sam busily unloading a multitude of cases and packages. I found Charley in the Porters' Lodge chatting to Willy. He wheeled round and grabbed me, dropping his stick in the process. "Congratulations," he shouted, "Got a boy have you! Knew you'd got it in you!" He let go and clapped his hand to his mouth. Willy, behind him, had a silly grin on his face. "Meant Dorki Bbs to say.... "Oh, Christ!" he muttered, "Here's come the Pater!" Lord Harford came bustling in, eyes twinkling. He grasped my hand. "Good lad!" he intoned, "Your father's pleased as Punch. Saw him last week at the Ministry. He's doing a grand job. Boy, isn't it?" I Dorki Bbs nodded. "Got his name down for Eton, yet? Fat lot of good it did that last one of mine. Scallywag! He says it's only thanks to you he didn't get the push last year as well!" He winked. "Thanks for getting his things for him." "Pater!" came the aggrieved tones from Charley, "Who told you?" Lord Harford put his finger against his nose. "Little bird. My secret." He turned to Willy who was standing at attention now, bowler hat on his head. "This is for the boy." He handed over a new crisp white five pound note. "That's off your allowance this term, you rascal," he said, addressing his almost cowering son. "Come and check all your clobber's off." He looked at me. "Lunch at one, Blue Boar, bring that Antipodean with you and the King's lad!" He stumped off, followed by a rather subdued Charley. I looked at Willy. He closed his eyes slightly and pursed his lips. "Little bird, eh? You told him?" I said. Willy nodded. "My family have always looked after them. Grandad was Porter when his Lordship was here. Had to get him out of a scrape or two...., or three." "And how does he know about Bruce Lockhart?" "Oh, the Harfords are related to the Lockharts, Mr Mason explained yesterday. He knows them all off by heart. Lad's uncle was here in the 20's sometime as well." Willy removed his bowler hat. "And what is your impression of Mr Lockhart?" "Very large, foul-mouthed, but basically good-natured, I would say," I replied. "Needs a steady hand," said Willy philosophically, "Otherwise he'll come a cropper. Can you do it?" "Little bird again, eh?" I said, "And what did Dr Blake say?" Willy smiled. "Got to keep an eye on you both." "And the spy in the camp?" Willy nodded. "Young Wambo!" Lunch was hilarious. Bruce was evidently on his best behaviour but even Lord Harford was taken somewhat aback by his size and the outlandishness of his clothing. Luckily the gown was much in evidence. He was now clearly attached to it and I wondered if he might even go on his morning runs in it! Old Bert was commanded to bring triple helpings for the boy by his Lordship. Cottage pie Dorki Bbs by the dollop, no thatch though! I had fish and so did Tony who chatted to Bruce and then was eloquent about his trip to Yorkshire where Lord Harford had walked many times and, seemingly, shot half the wild life. Charley kept silent and Dorki Bbs just munched away. Not a word out of place to jeopardise his allowance. The injunction as we walked out, replete, was that I had not availed myself of the calling-card enough and he expected to hear I had done so this year. I sent Jem for more crumpets for tea, a dozen this time, and Charley and Tony came and we discussed various things and managed two each before the vast figure of Bruce loomed in the doorway. "Good man, your father," he said to Charley as soon as he entered the room. "Knows the best way to a boy's heart is through his belly!" I was astounded. "Bruce, how did you manage that sentence without swearing?" "I'm at Cambridge now. Young Wambo told me off while I was having a bath." He laughed. "Told him I'd give him a job as a jackaroo on the old ranch anytime if Dorki Bbs he could rub down a horse as well as he scrubbed my back." Young Wambo would be questioned in the morning. We then heard that the swearing and bluster was all put on. He'd started it when he went to the school in Sydney as it kept him from being ragged by the older boys. Anyway, he was the biggest lad in the school in the end and that was saying something as he said half the Sixth Form were awesome Rugby players and expected to be chosen for trials for the Australian side. He said, with all modesty, he wasn't too bad himself. Looking at him, I would think he'd flatten any opposition. Actually, at dinner that evening in Hall, there Dorki Bbs was a special tray of boiled potatoes which were pushed in his direction by Sam who could barely conceal the laughter I could see was bubbling underneath. Young Wambo's wank-buddy would have to be spoken to as well. Still, a kind thought - it did mean the rest of us didn't starve, especially as the Hall this evening was filled with returning students.To Be Continued:..........................Best wishes to all for the holiday season and the New Year. There is still plenty more of AA to come. Jo.

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