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In the Old Fen-Land. “Oh, how sweet the pines smell, Marion! I declare it’s quite bliss to get down here in these wilds, with the free wind blowing the London smoke out of your back hair, and no one to criticise and make remarks. I won’t go to the sea-side any more: pier and band, and esplanade and promenade; in pink to-day and in blue to-morrow, and the next day in green; and then a bow here and a ‘de-do’ there;... more...

Lodestars. Ben Hayle, keeper, stepped out of his rose-covered cottage in Thoreby Wood; big, black-whiskered, dark-eyed and handsome, with the sun-tanned look of a sturdy Englishman, his brown velveteen coat and vest and tawny leggings setting off his stalwart form. As he cleared the porch, he half-turned and set down his carefully kept double-barrelled gun against the rough trellis-work; as, at the sound of his foot, there arose from a long,... more...

The Diver’s Rock. Boom! with a noise like thunder. Plash! directly after; but the sounds those two words express, multiplied and squared if you like, till the effect upon the senses is, on the first hearing, one of dread mingled with awe at the mightiness of the power of the sea. For this is not “how the waters come down at Lodore,” but how they come in at Carn Du, a little fishing town on the Cornish coast. There’s a... more...

Chapter One. In Benchers’ Inn. “My darling! Mine at last!” Ting-tang; ting-tang; ting-tang. Malcolm Stratton, F.Z.S., naturalist, a handsome, dark-complexioned man of eight-and-twenty, started and flushed like a girl as he hurriedly thrust the photograph he had been apostrophising into his breast pocket, and ran to the deep, dingy window of his chambers to look at the clock over the old hall of Bencher’s Inn, E.C. It... more...

Introduces Will and his Henchman, Josh. “You don’t know it, Master Will, lad, but Natur’ couldn’t ha’ done no better for you if she’d tried.” “Why, Josh?” “Why, lad? There’s a queshton to ask! Why? Warn’t you born in Co’rn’all, the finest country in all England, and ain’t you going to grow into a Cornishman, as all old books says is giants, when... more...


Flies and Boys. Hot as hot. Through the open window, where a couple of long shoots of one of the grapevines hung down, partially shading the room within, a broad, glowing ray of light, which made the shadows near look purply black, streamed right across the head of Marcus, a Roman lad of about eighteen, making his close, curly, brown hair glisten as if some of the threads were of gold, while the light twinkled on the tiny dew-like drops that... more...

Medical and Legal. “But it seems so shocking, sir.” “Yes, madam,” said the doctor, “very sad indeed. You had better get that prescription made up at once.” “And him drenched with physic!” cried Mrs Dunn; “when it doesn’t do him a bit of good.” “Not very complimentary to me, Mrs Dunn,” said the doctor smiling. “Which I didn’t mean any harm, sir; but... more...

WITH TWENTY-THREE ILLUSTRATIONS Sit still, will you? I never saw such a boy: wriggling about like a young eel." "I can't help it, David," said the little fellow so roughly spoken to by a sour-looking serving man; "the horse does jog so, and it's so slippery. If I didn't keep moving I should go off." "You'll soon go off if you don't keep a little quieter," growled the man angrily, "for I'll pitch you among the bushes." "No, you won't," said... more...

Down in the Country. “Here, I say, Josh, such a game!” “What is it?” The first speaker pointed down the gorge, tried to utter words, but began to choke with laughter, pointed again, and then stood stamping his feet, and wiping his eyes. “Well,” cried the other, addressed as Josh, “what is it? Don’t stand pointing there like an old finger-post! I can’t see anything.”... more...

“Two bad Boys”—Sergeant Ripsy. “Oh, bother!” The utterer of these two impatient words threw down a sheet of notepaper from which he had been reading, carefully smoothed out the folds to make it flat, and then, balancing it upon one finger as he sat back in a cane chair with his heels upon the table, gave the paper a flip with his nail and sent it skimming out of the window of his military quarters at Campong Dang,... more...