Books > Old Books > Decent Fellows (1930)


Page 60

CHAPTER VI

Monday morning. The May sun shone on the deep red brick of Eton buildings and warmed their cold exterior. The limes, that stood sentry before chapel, were throwing off frail, inconsequent leaves. Summertime trailed the purple grey shadows of the houses at long, flat angles across the street. A milk cart clattered over Barnspool Bridge. Several cars sped through on their way to London and their echoes came back from the chapel walls. A waking puff of steam hung solidly over the distant station. Labourers were already out in the fields and the early morning business train was filling fast. A bugle sounded from Windsor barracks. At half-past six the school woke up to a new week's work.
One after another, boys in pinkish uniform, puttees, and cap emerged from their houses and wandered off to early school. As seven o'clock came nearer, the footsteps in the streets began to hurry. Boys came running from dark narrow passages, and the streets were suddenly full. There was a wild clatter. The clock struck seven and all was still.
Every Monday morning the O.T.C. paraded for one hour, marched into the playing fields and tied and untied improbable knots of military semblance.
Denis hated Monday morning and he hated the corps. To have to get out of bed with the knowledge of the boring and humiliating sweat before him, was as much as he could bear. He got up and sponged his face. He took out his corps clothes and puttees from the ottoman and a khaki shirt from a drawer of his burry. Eton alone among O.T.C.'s wore a uniform of its own. It varied from deep chocolate, when it was new, to a pale pink grey, and it had Eton blue

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