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Page 49

CHAPTER IV

On the grass before the house group was a table, on which were laid out the silver trophies, by which people judged whether or no the house was a good house. At the moment, Wren's was not a good house, as there were few cups on the table. But underneath were printed the names with titles in full. It was rather an impressive house photo at the moment.
" Have some lobster," said Ockley, without looking up. " There's enough for everyone. You'd better be quick or Oliver will guzzle the lot."
" Harbord's at the bottom of the list, so he'll always be late in from absence," said Denis. Spencer-Mace undid a pot of Tiptree cherry and spread it on a layer of Ockley's butter. He was the richest of the four, but, somehow, his share of the food never turned up. He announced with an air that they were sending a special plum cake from Endleigh, and when it came, he divided it impressively into equal portions. But he disliked spending money for tea. What he liked was a plate of eggs and mashed potatoes by himself just before boy's dinner. He was always grumbling to the dame about the food at dinner.
For tea, boys were supplied with bread, butter, a pot of tea, and not quite enough milk for two cups each. They bought everything else themselves. During the war, rations had been reduced to a slice of potato bread and one pat of bright yellow margarine. The margarine smelt and tasted so strongly that they gave it to the boys' maids or threw it out of the window. Denis had thrown a pat of margarine on to Daddy Long Legs' topper one Sunday evening. But nothing had come of it. Eton was often hungry during the war ; but remained greedy and highly critical of what it ate. And so the bright yellow margarine went out of the window.

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