It was a summer’s evening just before sunset. Little Michael and Little Jimmy, both twelve year old boys, set out to look for birds’ nests. They were both dressed alike, except that Little Michael’s blue sweater and grey flannel trousers were of better quality than Little Jimmy’s, since the latter was the son of a farm labourer and Little Michael’s father was the magistrate and a retired army officer. They were both barefooted, with cuts on their toes, and each had a bandage on the big toe of the right foot. They skirmished along south of the village, crossing the crags, picking berries and talking about the nests they had. No use looking for a nest until one came to the hollow there beyond Red Dick’s potato garden. There was a cliff there overlooking a grassy glen. The cliff was awfully hard to climb and so was unexplored, and there was where they were going to search. It would be a great feat to climb the cliff anyway, since the only person who had climbed it was Black Peter, the bird catcher, and of course he was sold to the devil and could do anything. No boy had ever been able to climb it beyond the little ledge about a quarter of the way up, a ledge that was always covered with bird dirt and discoloured with cliff water that dripped on to it from a spring in the cliff face.
KeywordsGreat Feat Green Leaf Farm Labourer Round Hole Main Growth
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.