Robert Baden-Powell (kaldet BP) var en god soldat og en god historie-fortæller. I 1908 skrev han bogen "Scouting for Boys", der grundlagde spejderne.
Lyn-hurtigt kommer der 100.000 spejdere. Men den mere praktisk anlagte BP kæmper med at organisere dem. Til sit held får han hjælp af Eric Sherbrooke Walker. Eric er uddannet som præst, men drømmer om eventyr og spænding. Og så er han god til at organisere. Han bliver BP's første privatsekretær.
I 1914 udbryder 1. verdenskrig og Eric melder sig til hærens flyvende enhed, The Royal Flying Corps. På et halvt år bliver han uddannet til pilot og flyver mange ture ind over fjendens besatte områder. Men pludselig en dag sætter motoren ud, og Eric må lande flyet bag fjendens linjer. Hvordan klarer BPs privatsekretær sig der? Jo, Eric er beredt og han har gå-på-mod og idéer nok… En ting er sikkert: Det bliver i hvert fald ikke kedeligt!
I Spejderliv Podcast kan du høre hele den fantastiske historie, om hvordan det går Eric bag fjendens linjer.
Hvis du har hørt afsnittet, så fortsæt roligt. Hvis du ikke har hørt afsnittet - så STOP! Du snyder dig selv for en rigtig fed historie. Og det skal du ikke… Rul tilbage og lyt!
Ok, når du nu har lyttet, så ved du også at Eric sender nogle kodede breve hjem til Baden-Powell. Vi er meget taknemmelige overfor journalist og forfatter Nicholas Best, for at vi kan bringe en håndfuld af brevene her. Forsøg selv at løse dem:
Dear Miss Soames,
I must begin this long delayed letter, by saying how grateful I am to you for your occasional letters from home and also the summaries of your doings. Naturally such home news is very welcome to me now and as we may recieve lists of casualites I can keep track of nearly all friends at home and the various fronts despite the fact that I am inside this place.
You kindly promised some jam, butter, or honey; I do not care to remind you, probably it’s not necessary, but if any should come, like everything coming from you, it would be opened and eaten with more enjoyment than things from other sources.
You have not mentioned in your letter the one and only Douggie. I trust he is wounded superficially only?
The optician you recommended me, examined me and gave me the best monocles I have ever used. It was plain that those I had before had glass of inferior quality. I have found no other as good, and find his lenses are certainly the best.
At the end of my last flight my glass was broken, and as that eye is troubling me, I would be so grateful if you would order me another. I forget the address, hence me troubling you. He knows the lense, but not the exact size, so he might send two each of several sizes. As you know, I wear a small black cord attached.
Many congratulations to Peter on reaching his seventh year. I suppose when I return he will have arrived at the stage when he demands fairy stories from all comers, in which case I shall come off badly, as the only one I can remember at all is the one about Jack the Giant Killer and his famous boots, but there is plenty of time to think out some more.
Do you know that our mutal friend Professor Smythe Stephenson has written a book on butterflies?
Tell him I hope he will think I have benefitted from it.
But you will find this letter, like the design on the cover of the book, dull and uninteresting, so I will stop before I bore you.
I am beginning to settle down comfortably; will you please tell Archie I've met here the son of Mrs. Hamilton, who is perfectly well. Please write or cable Heather to this effect. A recently caught skipper had her as passenger last year. I expect she'll remember him. The old boy told us she was distressed about him. For the eleventh time (or it may have been the twelth) since that sad and memorable occasion last March, she had a premonition he was ill and might die. Stupid sentimental woman! After the second false alarm she should have known better.
Last Monday I was hard at work packing; on Tuesday I was packed and what's more, remembered everything. Now I'm comfortably installed here [and] any subsequent move is, I hope a long month ahead, and will, I hope mean the end of the barbed wire for me,- Holland or the end of the war.Best wishes to Peter on his eight birthday.
My dear professor,
I have all the books I want, so reading and looking backwards at the pleasant times in the past, is one's chief occupation.
I have most distressing new from Douggie about our friend "B", who has apparantly got tied up about some trust money.
It's a finish to his career of D has really stated the exact truth with absolutely no exageration as I fear is the case.
How D got hold of such a piece of private information heaven only knows. If caught and he escaped with a year's jug he'd be lucky; none of the family know they've such a black sheep.
Apparently the Robinsons gave and enourmous party recently, which from all accounts went of succesfully. She's one of those people who have tried to be a social success and she's already [quite] triumphant in spite of her husband's blindness. Poor fellow! I hear it is now total and the doctors say it will be permanent without any hope of a cure.
What wholesale misery that overpowering desire for success and produce Sir George, despite that his admirable pluck can never really overcome such a [very] terrible enemy.
He overworked himself as he would no animals (being humane) and although all his journalistic experiments all came off, he's practically outed twenty years before his time.
But I'm pessimistic. and after all, perhaps my views [quite generally] begin to degenerate after three years of idleness.
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