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Again, the setting is a lower middle class suburb of Dublin. This time the author moves away from home, to the influence of the church-schools and the rigid ideas of the priests, who run them. The boys at school seek any escape from the dull regimentation of school and escape into fantasy games or a dayís playing truant from school.
LIST OF CHARACTERS
A young boy, more studious and gentle than his friends.
An elderly rather sinister figure, with a suggestion of abusive tendencies.
The protagonistís schoolmate, whom he has always despised a little.
Joe and Leo Dillon
Two young schoolmates of the protagonist. They introduce him to Wild West fantasies and games.
The stern priest, who frowns on his students reading adventure stories.
The protagonist of this story is once again an unnamed young boy. He may or may not be the same boy as in the earlier story. He is probably in his early teens.
An old tramp who follows the boy and his friend on their excursion into the country. He is a sinister figure who punctures the bubble of their romantic fantasy of the outside world.
The meeting with the tramp, and the protagonists escape from his company.
The boy protagonistís encounter with the man and his escape from him with the help of his friend Mahony, enlarges his awareness of the world, and makes him view Mahony with a new respect.
The mood moves from an initial excitement in planning escapes from school, to a menacing fear during the encounter with the tramp. It ends on a more cheerful note with the boysí escape and new awareness of people around them.