The Personal History, Adventures, Experiences & Observations of Peter Leroy
Little Follies
Life on the Bolotomy
Chapter 9: Much Depends on Dinner
by Eric Kraft, as Peter Leroy
Little Follies cover



If you are planning an extended trip on the Bolotomy (or on any other river for that matter, and there is many another that you might prefer to travel), it is wise to travel light.  Don’t pack more food than you can eat, for a surplus of food around the camp is an open invitation to raccoons, skunks, and the down-and-out.
Boating on the Bolotomy

“I DON’T CARE what kind of food you bring so long as you bring plenty of it,” Raskol said when I asked him for suggestions for the menu.
 I began the planning by listing all my favorite meals.  The trouble with most of them, I saw at once, was that they required having my mother or one of my grandmothers along to cook them.  For a while, I thought that it might be possible to persuade them to meet us at points along the river, for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and whip up the things that I had in mind.  But I soon thought better of it.  For one thing, I couldn’t predict just where we would be at each of those times.  For another, I didn’t think that I’d be able to persuade them to do it, indulgent as they were.  For yet another, the picture of Gumma crashing through the brush with a picnic basket followed by Guppa lugging his collapsible camp kitchen didn’t fit with the picture of two intrepid lads, full of pluck, exploring the shadowy and mysterious upper reaches of the Bolotomy.  If no one was going to cook for us, then cooking was out.  I had tried my hand at cooking over an open fire once and had no inclination to try it again.  So I cut my list down to those of my favorite foods that I enjoyed eating cold.  I knew even at that time that a good meal is like a musical composition.  A successful meal on a grand scale is as complex a composition as a symphony.  It must have balance.  It must have a theme.  It must have variation.  It must have pace.  It must build to a climax.  A successful meal on a boat trip up a river may be more on the order of a popular song, but it is still no simple matter.  I knew that I had my work cut out for me, and I was determined to make the meals memorable.

  Little Follies Dust Jacket

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Little Follies is a work of fiction. The characters, incidents, dialogues, settings, and businesses portrayed in it are products of the author’s imagination and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. 

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the author.

“My Mother Takes a Tumble,” “Do Clams Bite?,” “Life on the Bolotomy,” “The Static of the Spheres,” “The Fox and the Clam,” “The Girl with the White Fur Muff,” “Take the Long Way Home,” and “Call Me Larry” were originally published in paperback by Apple-Wood Books.

Little Follies was first published in hardcover by Crown Publishers, Inc., 201 East 50th Street, New York, New York 10022. Member of the Crown Publishing Group.


For information about publication rights outside the U. S. A., audio rights, serial rights, screen rights, and so on, e-mail the author’s imaginary agent, Alec “Nick” Rafter.

The illustration at the top of the page is an adaptation of an illustration by Stewart Rouse that first appeared on the cover of the August 1931 issue of Modern Mechanics and Inventions. The boy at the controls of the aerocycle doesn’t particularly resemble Peter Leroy—except, perhaps, for the smile.

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