To see Oxford—to be lodging in college! He had to hug his mother in the midst of her packing.
“You will be going by the Great Western,” she said. “You won’t be seeing Honiton on your way.”
When the great morning came, Mr. Raymond travelled with him in the van to Truro, to see him off. Humility went upstairs to her mother’s room, and the two women prayed together—
“They also serve who only stand and wait.”
“Know you her
secret none can utter?
Hers of the Book, the tripled Crown?”
“Eight o’clock, sir!”
Taffy heard the voice speaking above a noise which his dreams confused with the rattle of yesterday’s journey. He was still in the train, rushing through the rich levels of Somersetshire. He saw the broad horizon, the cattle at pasture, the bridges and flagged pools flying past the window—and sat up rubbing his eyes. Blenkiron, the scout, stood between him and the morning sunshine emptying a can of water into the tub beside his bed.
Blenkiron wore a white waistcoat and a tie of orange and blue, the colours of the College Servants’ Cricket Club. These were signs of the Long Vacation. For the rest his presence would have become an archdeacon; and he guided Taffy’s choice of a breakfast with an air which suggested the hand of iron beneath the glove of velvet.
“And begging your pardon, sir, but will you be lunching in?”
Taffy would consult Mr. Blenkiron’s convenience.
“The fact is, sir, we’ve arranged to play Teddy `All this afternoon at Cowley, and the drag starts at one-thirty sharp.”
“Then I’ll get my lunch out of college,” said Taffy, wondering who Teddy Hall might be.
“I thank you, sir. I had, indeed, took the liberty of telling the manciple that you was not a gentleman to give more trouble than you could ’elp. Fried sole, pot of tea, toast, pot of blackberry jam, commons of bread—” Mr. Blenkiron disappeared.
Taffy sprang out of bed and ran to the open window in the next room. The gardens lay below him—smooth turf flanked with a border of gay flowers, flanked on the other side with yews, and beyond the yews with an avenue of limes, and beyond these with tall elms. A straight gravelled walk divided the turf. At the end of it two yews of magnificent spread guarded a great iron gate. Beyond these the chimneys and battlements of Wadham College stood grey against the pale eastern sky, and over them the larks were singing.