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Chapter One. “Mind what you’re doing! Come down directly, you young dog! Ah, I thought as much. There, doctor: a job for you.” It was on board the great steamer Chusan, outward bound from the port of London for Rockhampton, Moreton Bay, and Sydney, by the north route, with a heavy cargo of assorted goods such as are wanted in the far south Colonies, and some fifty passengers, for the most part returning from a visit to the Old... more...

Chapter One. “I wish I wasn’t such a fool!” Tom Blount said this to himself as he balanced that self upon a high stool at a desk in his uncle’s office in Gray’s Inn. There was a big book lying open, one which he had to study, but it did not interest him; and though he tried very hard to keep his attention fixed upon its learned words, invaluable to one who would some day bloom into a family solicitor, that book... more...

In a Fog. “Ugh! what a night! And I used to grumble about Hogley Marsh! Why, it’s like living in a drain!” Ramillies Street, W.C., was certainly not attractive at twelve o’clock on that December night, for it had been snowing in the early part of the evening; that snow was suffering from a fall of blacks: and as evil communications corrupt good manners, the evil communication of the London soot was corrupting the good... more...

Part of the Garrison. “Hullo, Claude, going for a walk?” “Yes, papa.” “Alone?” “No: Mary is going with me.” “Humph! If you were as giddy as Mary, I’d—I’d—” “What, papa?” “Don’t know; something bad. But, Claude, my girl.” “Yes, dear?” “Why the dickens don’t you dress better? Look at you!” The girl admonished turned merrily round, and stood facing an old bevelled-glass cabinet in the... more...

Chapter One. H.M.S. “Seafowl.” “Dicky, dear boy, it’s my impression that we shall see no blackbird’s cage to-day.” “And it’s my impression, Frank Murray, that if you call me Dicky again I shall punch your head.” “Poor fellow! Liver, decidedly,” said the first speaker, in a mock sympathetic tone. “Look here, old chap, if I were you, I’d go and ask Jones to give me a... more...


Aboard a gunboat. “Well, Mr Burnett, what is it?” “Beg pardon, sir.” “Now, my good boy, have I not told you always to speak out in a sharp, business-like way? How in the world do you expect to get on in your profession and become a smart officer, one who can give orders promptly to his men, if you begin in that stammering, hesitating style? Here, I’m busy; what do you want?” “I beg pardon, sir,... more...

A Feather in his Cap. “Oh, I say, what a jolly shame!” “Get out; it’s all gammon. Likely.” “I believe it’s true. Dick Darrell’s a regular pet of Sir George Hemsworth.” “Yes; the old story—kissing goes by favour.” “I shall cut the service. It’s rank favouritism.” “I shall write home and tell my father to get the thing shown up in the House of Commons.” “Why, he’s only been out here a year.” Richard... more...

Just before Dinner. Mark jumped up. “You there, father! I did not hear you come in.” Doctor Robertson, tutor, half rose from his seat by the glowing library fire. “No, my boy, and I did not hear you come in.” “Why, uncle, you have been sitting there listening!” cried Dean. “To be sure I have. How could I help it, sir? I came in tired, and thought I would have a nap in my own chair till it was time... more...

Chapter One. “Yes, James; this is my last dying speech and confession.” “Oh, papa!” with a burst of sobbing. “Be quiet, Kitty, and don’t make me so miserable. Dying is only going to sleep when a man’s tired out, as I am, with the worries of the world, money-making, fighting for one’s own, and disappointment. I know as well as old Jermingham that it’s pretty nearly all over. I’m sorry to leave you, darling, but I’m worn... more...

Down in Devon. “Then you’re a villain!” “Nonsense, Mary; be reasonable.” “Reasonable, Captain Armstrong! I am reasonable, and I am telling you the truth. You are a villain!” “Why, you foolish girl, what did you expect?” “That you would be an officer and a gentleman. Once more, is it true that you are going to be married to that lady?” “Well, you see—” “Answer me, sir.” “Oh, well, then, yes, I suppose I... more...