Today's vintage thingy is newly acquired, I bought it at the op (thrift) shop on Monday for $1. And a charming thingy it is, all pre-loved and worn out, well read by "Ted" back in 1939. A present from Auntie Het, no less. This book is full of the usual prep-school stories about English boys being terribly jolly and morally upright, finding treasure, playing sport and having a go, with lots of fagging and ragging going on as well. Alas no colour plates, but lots of quaint drawings:
I've not read the story, so the Lower School secret will have to remain one. Those two boys do look a bit 'Brideshead Revisted' though...
I've left some of the story on this one so that you can experience the quality writing and stereotyping...naturally the "pale, bespectacled bookworm" was a clever clogs, but he "loathed cricket." Of course, clever people can't be athletic as well can they? And "his innings was always the signal for general slackness." Goodness me. Amazingly Tracey manages to connect the bat with the ball and the next thing we know he's hit Dane, the captain of the first Eleven, in the head with his ball (!) Tracey "dropped on his knees by the captain whom he had secretly worshipped ever since that hero had rescued him...from a group of bullies." " "Oh I say Dane!" he ejaculated, "I'm most frightfully sorry." " Luckily by the end of the story, Tracey turns out to be a hero and Dane doesn't die from concussion. Phew.
And here's Winckles (I'm thinking everyone gets called by their surname.) He sounds so adorable, I want to adopt him. Of course, he was a wag in the history and language classes, but "at mechanical science, chemistry, and laboratory experiments, Winckles was both ingenious and original." This story results in Winckles getting punished for "the most glorious rag of the term"... something involving Winckles switching his home made battery "into action, giving the invaders intermittent galvanic shocks, which produced the most indescribable effects." "The fire bell was rung for an immediate assembly and roll-call, for the potent odour of suphuretted hydrogen, which, in the confusion had been released in the corridor, had filled [the Head's] mind with a new foreboding." Oh, that Winckles! What a loveable scamp!
This last drawing somewhat explains where some of those Monty Python S&M-ish sketches came from.
For more Vintage thingys on a Thursday, check out here.