quickly hand in hand we made our way home: "they'll be angry with me", said Gertie, "for being so late, it's after midnight". "When you tell them what you've seen!" I replied, "they won't wonder that we waited". As we parted I said, "Gertie dear, I want to thank you—" "What for" she said shortly. "You know", I said cunningly, "it was so kind of you" she made a face at me and ran up the steps into her house.
Slowly I returned to my lodgings, only to find myself the hero of the house when I told the story in the morning.
That experience in common made Gertie and myself great friends. She used to kiss me and say I was sweet: once even she let me see her breasts when I told her a girl (I didn't say who it was) had shown hers to me once: her breasts were nearly as large as my sister's and very pretty. Gertie even let me touch her legs right up to the knee; but as soon as I tried to go further, she would pull down her dress with a frown. Still I was always going higher, making progress; persistence brings one closer to any goal; but alas, it was near the end of the Christmas holidays and though I returned to Rhyl at Easter, I never saw Gertie again.
When I was just over thirteen I tried mainly out of pity to get up a revolt of the fags, and at first had a partial success, but some of the little fellows talked and as a ringleader I got a trouncing. The Monitors threw me down on my face on a long desk: one sixth form boy sat on my head and another on my feet, and a third, it was Jones, laid on with an ashplant. I bore it without a groan but I can never describe the storm of rage and hate that boiled in me. Do English fathers really believe that such work is a part of education? It made me murderous. When