John G. Manuel
10and Thristly Cross to Beltonford. Another road ran up past Bourhouse and Hurkle to Little Spott etc while another ran East past Parkend, and Cleek-im in, to Broxburn. I wonder if you call to mind a little clump of woods that used to be on that corner. The trees were thick and dark, mostly spruce and pine, and a great place for cushie's nests. There was always a deathly silence in the place, which in my day was hent as "The Bullet". There were three of us, and we would "dreip the dyke" timidly, and would scout, and crawl in the Feinmore Cooper style, all over the place to mkae sure there were no dummy-doctors, or other hostiles lying in wait for us. What fun we used to have playing Indians, and when it was cut down to add to the tillage our hearts were nigh unto the breaking. In11fact even now, there are times I thnk of its cool shade and quiet, and regret it's being cut down. it was on such excursions that we saw and heard the larks, and we would watch them till out of sight, just exactly as you describe. It is all so simple, but realistic. You speak of Belhaven. My few short years of happiness were spent there, and the Saturdays were divided between the country, and the sea. It was not all play, for I had to gather driftwood at the sea for the house, as no wood was ever bought. Then with a wheelbarrow I would go sometimes as far as Hester Broomhouse, to get the horse manure on the roads for the garden. There would be days I would be forbidden to leave the garden, but, well you have described it all, not forgetting the leatherins. Just a word
1913 Apr 8
Original letter dimensions: 20.5 x 25 cm.
Reel 21, Image 0297
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