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A Night On Scafell Pike
by [?]

Off at last! Hard work to get off, though; as if a fellow of fifteen wasn’t old enough to take care of himself. Mother cut up as much as if I’d asked leave to go to my own funeral–said I was too young, and knew nothing of the world, and all that sort of thing. But I don’t see what knowing the world has to do with a week’s tramp in the Lakes; not much of the world there–anyhow, where I mean to go.

I’ve got it all up in the guide-book, and written out my programme, and given them my address for every day, and promised to keep a diary, and always sleep between blankets, for fear the sheets shouldn’t be aired– and what more can a fellow do?

Well, then mother said I must promise to keep in the valleys, and not attempt to climb any of the mountains. Oh, ah! lively work that would be. I might just as well stay at home and walk round Russell Square fifty times a day; and I said so, and repeated off from memory what the guide-book says about the way up Helvellyn. This last fetched them rather, and convinced them I wasn’t undertaking what I didn’t know all about. So at last father said, “Let the boy go, it may do him good and teach him self-reliance.”

“But what’ll be the good of that,” sobs mother, “if my Bartholomew falls over a precipice and never comes home?”

“Oh, I’ll promise not to fall over a precipice,” said I.

And at last it was settled, and here I am in the train, half-way to Windermere.

Just been looking through my knapsack. Frightful nuisance! Had it weighed at Euston, and it weighs 4 pounds 8 ounces. I wanted to keep it under 4 pounds! Must be the spare shirt the girls insisted on my bringing, as if I couldn’t wash the one I’ve got on in half a dozen waterfalls a day, and just run myself dry afterwards! Don’t see what I can throw out. Must take the guide-book, and boot-laces, and needle and worsted for my blisters, and a collar for Sunday, and a match-box, and this diary book and a night-shirt. Bother that extra eight ounces.

I’m certain it will drag me down. By the way there are the sandwiches and apples! Suppose I eat them now, that’ll make it all right. Good thought that. Here goes!

Getting near Windermere now–be there in an hour. May as well put on my knapsack, so as to be ready. By the way, I hope my money’s all right, and I hope father’s given me enough. He paid for my return ticket down here, and he’s given me 6 shillings a day for the rest of the time. Says he did the Lakes once on 5 shillings a day when he was a boy. Somehow don’t fancy there’ll be much change for me out of the 6 shillings, if the guide-book says right; but you won’t catch me spending more! Shan’t ride anywhere where I can walk, and don’t mean to tip any waiters all the time! Shall have to shut up now and look at the scenery at page 52 of the guide-book.

8 p.m., Ambleside.–The “Green Unicorn.” Here at last, very fagged. I mean to have a row with the shoemaker when I get home about the hobs on my boots. Two of them are clean out, and all the rest are beginning to get worn already. Anyhow, I sold the coach people by walking. They thought I was bound to drive, but I didn’t. Wouldn’t have minded it, though, once or twice between Windermere and here, for of course I’m not in training yet.