Leper's telegram read:
I have escaped and need help. I am at Christmas location. You understand. No need to risk address here. My safety depends on you coming at once. Your best friend, Elwin Leper Lepellier
In the edition of the book I am using, this text is on page 129.
Obviously, Leper's telegram was sent while he was in a disturbed state of mind, filled with paranoia and anxiety regarding what he had seen and experienced since joining the military and what would happen to him now that he had run away from that commitment.
For the boys at Devon, the telegram was completely out of the character for both the Leper they had known as a schoolmate, the quiet, dreamy individual who never got excited about anything, and for the heroic warrior Leper they had created in their fantasies since he dropped out of school to enter the war effort. The telegram shocked them into considering the sober realities of what becoming involved with the war effort first hand might mean and how it might affect them.