Polly had prepared an excellent dinner in honour of the day, and I did full justice to it. Then I determined to walk to Staithes, and to spend the rest of the day in seeing the country. I had always been accustomed, to paint on Sunday, but only one of the artists seemed to be at work, and Duncan and Polly had been so much shocked by seeing him, that I did not venture to do the same. I enjoyed the walk along the cliffs, and came back in good spirits, having completely shaken off, as I imagined, the remembrance of the speaker’s words.
THE RUNSWICK SPORTS
‘I’ve got a big favour to ask of you, sir,’ said Duncan the next day. ‘You’ll not think I’m taking a liberty, will you?’
‘Certainly not, Duncan,’ I said. ‘What do you want?’
’Well, it’s just here, sir—me and my mates, we get up some sports every year on the green. We have ’em in August, sir, just when the visitors are here. They all turn out to see them, and there’s lots of them is very good in subscribing to the prizes. You see, sir, there is a many young fellows here, young chaps who must have something to keep them out of mischief; when they’re not fishing, they’re bound to be after the beer, if they haven’t something to turn their minds and keep them going a bit. And these sports, why, they like ’em, sir; and a man must keep sober if he’s to win a prize—you understand, sir?’
‘Yes, Duncan, I understand,’ I said; ’it’s first-rate for these young lads, and for the old lads too, for the matter of that. I suppose you want a subscription for your prizes?’ I added, as I handed him half a sovereign.
’Thank ye kindly, sir, I won’t refuse it, and it’s very good of you to help us so largely; but that isn’t what I came to ask of you. I hardly like to bother you, sir,’ he said doubtfully.
‘Never mind the bother, Duncan; let’s hear what you want.’
’Well, it’s just here, sir. Could you, do you think, make for us some sort of a programme to hang up by the post office there, for visitors to see? You draw them pictures so quick, sir, and—’
’I see, Duncan; you want the programme to be illustrated. I’m your man; I’ll do it at once.’ I was really only too glad to oblige the dear, honest fellow.
He was wonderfully pleased at my ready consent, and went off at once to procure a board upon which my programme might be fastened. We soon made out together a list of attractions, and I had great pleasure in beautifying and illustrating the catalogue of sports.
I headed it thus:—
RUNSWICK ATHLETIC SPORTS.
Then, from the R of Runswick I hung a long fishing net, covered with floats, and falling down over a fish basket, and some lobster-pots, whilst on the ground were lying a number of fish which had been emptied out of the basket.