The oftener I hear from him the more I am convinced that my young friend and kinsman, Bobby J., is possessed of a diplomacy that, when it grows less crude as his years increase, will serve him well in those troubled adult years when the exercise of a subtle diplomacy smooths the way for its possessor along the labyrinthine ways of a grown man's fevered existence.
Many of those who were boys when I was a boy were endowed with such a nascent quality, and I have watched them develop and grow into business men and politicians of rare ability, and, in some cases, of considerable wealth.
The rest of us became writers and actors, or adopted other professions in which a measure of peace and content must perforce take the place of material well-being.
I feel convinced, particularly on the evidence of his latest letter, that bobby will never become one of those futile dreamers, seeking praise before profit and courting dreams before material desire.
Bobby's path has been clearly marked for him; his history written almost before it has begun.
It may be remembered that some little time ago Bobby wrote for me a brief history of Victoria for which he received payment in kind in the form of a much coveted bicycle.
Since then I heard nothing from him until a few days after Easter when the following characteristic epistle appeared amongst my mail:-
"Dear Uncle" (he writes)
"My mother says I ought to write to you more often than I do, specially when I don't want anything from you, and I was thinking peraps she is right.
"Well, uncle, I hope you enjoyed the Easter holidays and they did not cost you too much ixpence, because it is always nice to have some money to help others who might be in need of some help.
"I am very well indeed myself, ixcep that my bicicle needs a new tube, but don't you worry about that, becos my mother says I must not ask you to send the money, and I expect she is about right again.
"But I hope you did injoy your holidays. All my chums went to picnicks or something, but or corse I could not on account of my bike tube being torn.
"The rain is making everything look green, and the autumn leaves are looking very nice. One heavy storm loosened the stones on the roads, which makes it bad for bike riding. But of course that does not matter to me, as I haven't got any tube.
"I am sorry I have to close now, but I must becos I have to walk to the post office, and that takes much longer than riding the bicicle.
"If I only had a new tube I could a wrote a lot more and some very interesting bits, too, that you might like. But of course I will have to leave them out on account of having to walk.
"Your loving nephew,
"P.S. - At one of our shops they sell tubes for 3/6 instead of 4/4 so it will not take me so long to save if I reely have to. - B.J."
Somehow I feel that Bobby will soon get his new tube without having to save for it. His ingenuity surely deserves it.
|Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2003|