Paul Theroux is the author of around thirty novels and short story collections, as well as sixteen works of non-fiction. His latest book is A Dead Hand: A Crime in Calcutta (2009).
Paul Theroux on Granta.com
Scouting for Boys
‘Three figures came single file over a wooded hill of the Fells carrying their rifles one-handed and keeping their heads low. They were duckwalking, hunched like Indian trackers, with the same stealth in their footfall, toeing the mushy earth of early spring. I was one of them, the last, being careful, watching for the stranger, his black hat, his blue Studebaker. Walter Herkis and Chicky DePalma were the others. When we got to the clearing where the light slanted through the bare trees and into our squinting faces you could see we were twelve years old.’