will be boys.
the garden of a house in Rotten Row just a few yards
from the house where Jimmy Wilson our Bobby lived grew a
pear tree. Jems my partner in crime and I had marked it
for a raid when the pears ripened and our moment of
opportunity presented itself. This tree was a late
ripening variety so the hours of daylight were short and
it got dark about five o'clock when the day of our
plan was that my brother Noel, being three years younger
than me, would be our lookout. We would station him at
the corner of the bend in Rotten Row so he could see and
warn us if anyone approached our clandestine operation.
The garden of our target had a wall all around it with a
garden gate that was always kept locked. Alongside of
the tree was a heavy cast iron clothes pole that Jems
would climb up on and stand on and I would climb to the
top of the tree where the ripest pears would be and hand
them down to Jems. Finally our moment arrived. At about
seven o'clock in the evening Jems, Noel and I were a
mile away at the Elie end of the village. There was
Wilson patrolling his beat. Right . . . let's go. The three
of us high-tailed it to the Ferry and put our plan into
action. Noel in position, Jems and I climbed over the
wall and up the tree I went. With Wilson safely a mile
away there was no need to rush. For a few minutes all
went well. I handed the biggest pears to Jems who loaded
up his pockets. Suddenly from right below us a blinding
flashlight shone right up in our faces. "All right you
pair, you just get the hell down out of this tree."
Holy smoke and jumpin Jehosephat! Wilson was right below us. Caught in the act.
Red handed. How in no time and without him making the
slightest sound was Wilson right below us?
a great flair Wilson got out his notebook and proceeded
in a very official manner to "write us up." How could
this have happened? Wilson was safely a mile away and
our lookout was in place. "You pair are in for it this
time." Wilson was a lot more observant than we
gave him credit for. Looking back now, I'm sure he knew
the every movement of his charges. To this day Noel
claims that he shouted a warning to us when Wilson
appeared. Anyway, he fled the scene. In these days it
was the custom of Ferry men to stand at the Ferry
Corner (called the Gyle which was in sight of the
Rotten Row) in the evenings and to smoke their pipes as
they walked a few steps backwards and forwards
conversing as they went.
father called to Noel as homeward Noel flashed past him.
On getting no response from Noel he walked to the Rotten
Row where Wilson was in the last stages of frisking us
to see what other contraband he might find. Wilson
released us to the custody of my father and admonished
us that our summons before the magistrates of the
village would be soon.
I can just imagine
Wilson's laughter as, on taking off his uniform, hanging up
his helmet, tearing the page out of his notebook and
throwing it in his fireplace, he related the
events of the evening to his wife. "
Ha ha, ha ha,
ha ha. I just scared the hell out of young Reekie
and young Linton to night, ha, ha, ha."