15 January 1954
Post # 50
From the tone of your dear mater’s voice when she greeted me at the airfield, I deduced that your motoring trip to the [school] was not without incident. It seemed a bit thick and chancy as she described it, rather on the mucky side, I gathered.
Reminded me a bit of a spring I spent in Bechuanaland during the latter days of the Widow’s tenure on the throne. Gumbo was so thick after the rains that your Uncle Freddy Thwistlestop disappeared with fifty head of Cape cattle while crossing Cranford Road to the pub for a spot of neat gin. He groped about rather fruitlessly and it must have been somewhat deeper than he supposed for he was not heard from until next Knight Rupert’s Visiting Day, not less than three months hence, in a Buffalo Wallow not far from Benares on the river Ganges. Came up on a religious Festival, too, and was taken by the assembled natives as Vishnu, back from some backwoods Buddhist Valhalla. That’s why cattle are sacred in India and why your Uncle Freddy after his death was stuffed with bay-leaves and spices and enshrined in a hilltop temple built with cement carried in pilgrims’ mouths all the way from Delhi. We dropped in there on our last visit to the Malay States and it was quite touching to see the devout kissing old Freddy’s class ring. Freddy was the one who hung the bursar’s braces over the sacristy while at Oxford.
Our aereoplane circled the Phoenix Air-drome for two and a half hours of the very best, looking for a hole large enough to insert a DC-6. Finally found one too and dodged through it only to find ourselves over Tucson. Neat trick, but not where we really wanted to be so the pilot decided to follow the railroad. All right so far, except that we soon found ourselves at Gila Bend. Well, the Gila Bend air-drome is set up to accept nothing larger than a Link trainer so we headed back to Tucson for a fresh try. Went down and checked road-signs this time—good move and wise, too—then followed the Phoenix bus in. Pleasant trip.
Best to R…… and others who merit such.
Your adoring papa
F. Coulson, A.I.P.I.