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Basil the Bold!

 Mountain CatThe Mountain Cat!

Mum told me that one day her dad had set a trap to catch a mountain lion. Basil, being the curious boy that he was, wanted to see what sort of animal was in the trap. Or so he said. He dragged the cage into his bedroom and surprise, surprise, the cat got out.

The family were alerted by the squeals of a terrified boy, and an even more petrified young animal over the sound of falling furniture. Basil’s dad came through to see what was happening. By then, the cat had trapped itself in the dry toilet. My Granddad rescued the day as was normal; the cat was disposed of and Basil got belted!

camera Click here to view a photo of
Basil Robert all grown up.

I have now reached the final escapade that I knew about my uncles. Again Basil is the star of the show and I will call this;

‘Basil the Bold’

As I sit and compile these recollections, I find myself asking whether the Mason Brigade was any different from the boys of today. They fought, they disobeyed any sort of authority whether it was parental or otherwise, they took enormous risks in their everyday play, exactly what boys do today if given the opportunities. But the girls’ life was quite a different thing.

Mum’s idea of disobedience was to jump out in front of a nun and say Boo or to pop a pile of snow in her schoolbag. How different from the liberated young female of today.

Anyway, I digress, so back to Basil.

One day, when he was about fifteen, Basil was sent to chase baboons out of a neighbour’s garden. Now baboons are omnivores and were doing a lot of damage, stealing nuts, soft fruit and young leaves off the carefully tended plants. I don’t know how easy it is to chase baboons away from an area they are foraging in but it seems Basil took it upon himself to shoot and kill biggest baboon.

Mum was in the house with my Nana when she looked out of the window.

‘Come quickly mum,’ she cried ‘something terrible must have happened. Basil is coming in carrying a man across his shoulders. I think he’s dead.’

They rushed out of the house, followed by servants. When they got close, they saw it was not a man at all, but a huge, male baboon.

‘Hello Mum. Here Gingey Blue (his pet name for his sister). See what I’ve got. That’ll stop them ruining the gardens.’

Needless to say Basil didn’t endear himself to the natives, who worshipped the baboons. He had killed the leader of the troop.

And as soon as his father came home, the pair of them immediately took the body to the hills and threw it over the precipice. And from that day, whenever the Baboon troop saw Basil, they threatened him.

I have finally reached the end of all the stories I knew about. But since working on this, I have met up with both Uncle Peter’s son Paul and his grandson Martin who have both done a lot of work on the Mason Family Tree. I have also recently had the pleasure of meeting my cousin Mary with whom I corresponded when I was a ten year old and Kathleen one of her sisters.

I am sure once family have read this, more stories will emerge and possibly some more discrepancies. So who knows, this may just be the beginning, not the end.

I hope you enjoyed this biography of my mum, Ginger Lowey :)

Frances Jane Louis

(Youngest daughter of Beatrice Mary and William Turnbull Lowey.
 Dated 2009-02-06.

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The Story of Beatrice Mary Mason. Written by F. J. Louis | Copyright © 2009