was in and out very fast before he could be hit. While Mark used his ability in rough fighting not as skilful but very effective, they would stop schoolyard fights.
Harry and Josh started cross country running in the wooded area, setting up obstacles to be overcome. Soon all the people who remained at the weekend joined in, because it helped to fill the time. Due to all the physical activities and the age of boys growing into teenagers they all grew tall and strong. Peter helped arrange the course adding distance and more obstacles until they were running ten miles in an afternoon, ending in a river dip and sprint for the showers. The masters joined in the fun runs organised by Josh and Harry, Josh took the lead and tor safety Harry was last man. One of the obstacles Maurice and Peter created for team work was to abseil down a 40 foot rocky cliff, then a scramble out at the other end of the ravine, four teams at a time.
Mr Grimly, the Headmaster sporting a head of grey hair asked if he could try one of the cross country runs and the abseil. Worry showed on the faces of the boys. This course is for young fit boys that’s why we beat the teachers Sir.
‘I will take that as a challenge young man, I will take on six of your best members for a real race if that is fine with you, shall we say Saturday morning eight o’ clock at the Gym and there will be a prize at the end for the winner.’
Three boys set up side betting with seven names on the list sixpence a try all going to the winner, most of the boys in the school bet on Josh or Harry to win, then a big gap Rupert and close Mark then another gap, Maurice and a boy called Tucker who had just joined the club. The last name on the list was Mr Grimly with two votes, one was the sports master the other himself.
Peter organized check points which all the runners had to pass and be timed and recorded, after all runners had passed the recorders had time to move to the rim above the abseil to watch the scramble out, while others spread mud on the rocks.
To finish they had to run in the river down a stretch with a sandy bottom out on the other bank and finish at the Gym.
Friday evening at dinner the dining room there was a buzz of anticipation , the contenders for the race walked in, each one receiving a cheer, the headmaster, second last received a few boos in a good hearted way Mr Grimly grinning as he waved. The last one in was Josh to a rousing cheer, a very popular favourite with the school pupils.
The cooks had prepared roast beef far more than the usual ration and venison from an injured deer this had been delivered ready butchered and placed in the doorway to the kitchen with a feather. Four boys knew where it had come from, Martha came to mind.
Some of the boys came from farms with arable land, collectively; they had organized the grounds into vegetable sections to supply the school based on commercial growing. These were cleverly hidden among the trees creating wind breaks with small hedges, to protect the crops.
The flavour of the home grown vegetables, the gravy made from juices of the roast beef, Yorkshire puddings some had never tasted the treat, everything devoured with gusto. A plague of locust could not have done a cleaner job of eating the food.