During that summer, Frank grew into being an integral member of the citizens. He was accepted in different ways by the different children – most enthusiastically by Diana, least by Patricia. Enthusiasm as such did not enter into his relations with Patrick and John; they simply got to know each other better. With Patrick there was some open rivalry, friendly on Patrick’s part. They regularly took two of the three top places in their form, Patrick excelling in the science subjects and Frank in most of the rest. Mathematics was an evenly fought battle ground. In sport, Frank was no match for his rival. Patrick was a good all-round cricketer, playing for the junior House team.
He spent a lot of time at Long View; his mother mentioned this once or twice but only in mild criticism. She had come to the conclusion, he guessed, that the friendship was a good thing for him, and she had always shown more concern with his advantages than his presence. He did not resent this now; it served his purpose.
They roamed widely during the summer holidays. The Mansons all had bicycles, and they had brought with them from London a fifth, broken-down bicycle which had been John’s before he was given a new one. Patrick slaved over this to put it in a fit state of repair for Frank to use, and after that they were all released into the network of country lanes that broke away from the few main arteries. Mrs. Manson would make them up sandwich lunches, in small boxes smelling faintly of the surgery, and they would eat them in high cool beech woods, or lying at the edge of ripening corn fields, or looking out over the Irish Sea.