So, I wrote this for my own enjoyment, and then I figured I may as well post it and see whether others liked it or not. I will continue to write this, but if I get positive reviews then I will post it, and if no one bothers to comment, then I shall just keep it to myself...
John sighed, gathering all his bags together as the train slid to a stop at the station. Checking Rodger had all his stuff he clambered out of the carriage with a dejected air, and set off up the path towards his school. As he climbed the old steps to the side gate, a dark cloud blotted out the sun, and a thin drizzle of rain started to coat the world in a layer of damp. The tall dark building that had served as a school for John the past few years, and Rodger too, loomed ahead of them, and John's mood sank even lower. The holidays were definitely over.
However a few moments later they had reached the front of the school, and he was being greeted by old friends, and suddenly the new term didn't look like it was going to be so hard after all. Only 12 weeks, and he would be home for Christmas. His attention was pulled back into the present as Jack asked him about his holidays, and all gloomy thoughts were banished as he described their antics that summer, producing fits of laughter from the others as he told them of how Rodger had collapsed the tent in on himself while putting it up, and of Nancy's ideas about how you should cook a hedgehog, which, he added hastily, was something they had only talked about, and had no intention of doing.
The first night passed quickly, and before long John found himself in the dormy, preparing for bed. Grabbing a pen and paper, he quickly scribbled a short note,
Arrived at the native base. All seems well, but food terrible as always. At the moment I think maybe I could eat that hedgehog. Hope you arrived safely, and they haven't laid on the torture yet! Give my love to Peggy,
Swallows and Amazons Forever,
He quickly sealed the envelope and scribbled an address, leaving it on a shelf to send the next day, before settling down to sleep.
The next few days passed quickly, filled with the rush of new timetables, new forms, new pupils, and more prep than it seemed possible to complete in a short space of time. So it seemed to John barely a day had passed before he received Nancy's response.
Good to hear you arrived safely. Our food wasn't much better than yours, but the natives packed us off with boxes of cake and barrels of lemonade, so we get by. What I miss most is fresh milk every morning, and waking to the sun on canvas, and feeling the sea beneath my feet. I don't mention these things to anyone here, they wouldn't understand, but I know you will.
Last summer was the best of my life, and though of course an amazon pirate never misses people, that would be a great weakness, I can't wait till we next meet. Counting down the weeks till Christmas occupies my spare time. Peggy sends her love back, to you and Rodger.
Swallows and Amazons Forever,
The Amazon Pirates.
Soon four weeks had passed, and many more letters been sent between the two, some short, some long, depending on the time available to write. Both pirate and explorer settled into native life, and although both looked forward constantly to the holidays, they also enjoyed the autumn term at school.
One morning, before school, when the post had just been delivered, Rodger approached John after breakfast waving a letter at him.
"John, Susan's written. You can read the letter when I have, but she say's to ask you if you know what's happened to Peggy. She says,
"Can you ask John if he has heard from Peg this term, please Rodger? Probably nothing's wrong, but she promised to write, and I haven't heard from her all term, however many letters I send. I know John maintains a regular correspondence to Nancy, and so he might have heard something."
Then the letter moves on to a hockey match last week. John, do you write to Nance? You've never shown me her letters."
"Yes, but I can't remember her saying anything about Peg… Oh, hang on; I believe she may have done. Come up to my room a sec and I'll see if I can find it. Then you can copy it and send it to Su." (I am unsure as to when Ransome's books were set, and whether photocopiers were available, so you'll have to just pretend…! The internet seems to think about 1950's for copiers, but this is fanfic, so PRETEND!)
John asked a Mr Williams, the teacher who was head of his house, for permission to leave the hall and go up to his dormy, and then the boys set off. As they reached John's room he pulled open the door and beckoned Rodger inside, for he had been hanging back, wary of the strict rules applying to entering others dorms uninvited. Curiously he searched the room with his eyes, noting the neatness and cleanliness. Obviously growing up did strange things to your brain. Then he turned his attention back to John, who was pulling a box out from under his bed.
John pulled the box out and put it on the bed next to it, before searching through all the letters he had in it. Finally he found the one he wanted and pulled it out, flicking through it.
"Here we go..." He said to Rodger, then proceeded to read the following.
I write to tell you of the latest antics of my galoot of a sister. One week into returning from school, and already she is in bed with an injury. It seems she was missing home, and Wildcat Island, and being free to do what she liked. One morning she set off with a group of friends for a walk, as we are allowed to, you know, if we promise to be sensible and back in time for breakfast. Well, as she was walking, she came across a massive pine which grows in the school grounds. Looking up at the top branches of this tree, it seems she was reminded of the lighthouse tree back home, and wanted to climb it. When her friends told her it was too high, and she would be stupid to even try and get up it, she laughed, and apparently told them 'If John can climb the tree on Wildcat, I can climb this one.' So you see, it is all your fault. Well, apparently she did quite well at first, and her friends all got to thinking maybe she would make it and be alright. However, they hadn't reckoned on a weak branch, about half way up the tree. Peggy grabbed hold of it, putting all her weight on it as she tried to pull her feet up to a higher position, and the whole lot came down. Surprisingly, the only damage sustained to Peggy was a broken arm, which she commented, when she had come round and was more herself again, 'was probably the trees revenge, as I broke one of his arms'. I wonder whether Peg didn't plan it all along, for she is right as rain, apart from her arm, and she cleverly broke the arm she writes with, so she can't do any work. The teachers here despair of her, but they have to seem supportive and kind towards us because nobody wants the great aunt after them, and even though she is horrid to us, she is also overly protective, and paying our school fees, so we could quite easily go elsewhere. It's good to know she has some uses, other than getting in the way. Here John turned the page and continued reading the next sheet. Do you remember..." Here John broke off, reading ahead silently, and Rodger looked at him curiously.
"Do you remember what?" He asked, and John looked up, his face turning a strange shade of red.
"Nothing important. Swallowdale, and how she kept getting in the way. Here, take this sheet and send a copy to Su."
"Right you are. I'll bring you back the original later."
"Okay. Now, we'd better get to classes, else we'll be late."
It was a week later when John received a letter from Susan. It read:
Thank you for sending on the information about Peggy. Rodger sent a most interesting message with it. It went like this:
Hello Susan, I have attached the document you sent for. John acted most peculiar when he read it. The sheet attached he read aloud, for me to hear what Nancy'd written, but when he turned the page he read three words, 'Do you remember' then broke off abruptly. When I asked him what it said he turned a most interesting shade of scarlet, and responded 'Nothing important. Swallowdale, and how she kept getting in the way." I couldn't make heads or tails of it.
You are lucky your younger brother is still quite naive sometimes, otherwise your well kept secret would be out. I wondered how long it would take you to get together, and never suspected you'd already done so! Don't worry, I won't pass it on to anyone, you can trust me. But tell me, when and how? I thought I would have noticed, but obviously not. Seems I don't know my brother as well as I thought I did.
Please write soon,
John read through the note a couple of times, then reached for a pen and paper. He would reply now, and get it done. To his surprise he found it quite a relief to be able to talk to someone about how he was feeling, and he found himself feeling pleased that she had worked it out.
It was good to hear from you. You guessed correct, but I don't know how to answer your question, 'when and how?', as I can't give you a set day, or minute. It sort of grew, out of a friendship, so that neither of us knew we were loving the other until we were right in the middle of doing so. I wish I could give you a better description, but I can't. Try writing to Nance, she might be able to tell you more. Girls understand how to talk of affaires of the heart more than men do. As to knowing me, nobody else has worked it out either, and so far as I am aware, you are the first, other than me and herself, to know about this. So I would say you know me pretty well!
I hope your term is going well, and look forward to seeing you at Christmas. Only a few weeks left now.
Signing it, he put a stamp on it and posted it, before preparing for another day of class.
So, there you go. Opinions?
Also, I really really need a new title for this fic, and I am open to suggestions. No, I am on my knees begging for ideas.
I appreciate it,