"The Brushwood Boy"
(by Roger Lancelyn Green)
...under a system of compulsory cricket, football and paper-chases, from four to five days a week, which provided for three lawful cuts of a ground-ash if any boy absented himself from these entertainments with- out medical certificate or master's written excuse...and that he
... was transplanted to the world of three hundred boys in the big dormitories below the hill... (where, in due time, he) ... sat at the Prefects' table with the right to carry a cane and, under re- strictions, to use it.To clinch the matter, however, we are told, after the description of his responsibility 'for that thing called the tone of the school' , with his unconscious debt to the Head for his ability to control boys, that:
... on the other side—Georgie did not realise this till later—was the wiry drill-sergeant, contemptuously aware of all the tricks of ten generations of boys, who ruled the gymnasium through the long winter evenings when the squads were at work. There, among the rattle of the single- sticks, the click of the foils, the jar of the spring-bayonet sent home on the plaston, and the incessant bat- bat of the gloves, little Schofield would cool off on the vaulting-horse, and explain to the head of the School by what mysterious ways the worth of a boy could be gauged between half-shut eyes.George Cottar, then, was educated at Westward Ho !—he was there indeed for ten years, since he began in the junior house. The next question is to discover when he was there.
So thoroughly had he come to know the place of his dreams that even waking he accepted it as a real country, and made a rough sketch of it ... the dreams would come in batches of five or six, and next morning the map that he kept in his writing-case would be written up to date, for Georgie was a most methodical person": (in the magazine is added) A still rougher copy of the sketch is given in this place for the better understanding of geography.The map is carefully dated, and the last of the many, many dates entered upon it is 9 September, 1891. After this Cottar went on his winter campaign in the Border, and returned to England in the Spring ; the memorable night in the Bay of Biscay when Mrs. Zuleika kissed him through his dream is given in the text : 'It was the 26th of May', says Miriam (even in the book version), and Georgie agrees : therefore, that date was in 1892. We can confidently assume that he went to India not later than the beginning of 1885—the length of time is given by Mrs. Cottar's remark that Miriam and her mother 'came after you went to India. . . . They bought The Firs on the Bassett Road,' and Georgie's rather supercilious reflection about them as 'pushing persons who had been only seven years in the county.'