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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...

A break-down. “It’s a lie! I don’t and I won’t believe it.” The speaker half whispered that, and then he shouted, “Do you hear?” There was a pause, and then from the face of a huge white snow-cliff there came back the word “hear.” “Well done, echo!” cried the speaker. “Echo,” came back. “Thankye; that’s quite cheering; anything’s better than that... more...

Mr John Dempster. “What would I do, sir? Why, if I were as poor as you say you are, and couldn’t get on here, I’d go abroad.” “But where, sir? where to?” “Anywhere. Don’t ask me. The world’s big enough and round enough for you, isn’t it?” “But without means, Mr Dempster?” “Yes, sir, without means. Work, sir—work. The same as I have done. I pay my poor... more...

Why we were there. The captain of the steamer stopped by where I was watching the flying fish fizz out of the blue-ink-like water, skim along for some distance, and drop in again, often, I believe, to be snapped up by some bigger fish; and he gave me a poke in the shoulder with one finger, so hard, that it hurt. “Yes?” I said, for he stood looking hard in my face, while I looked back harder in his, for it seemed such a peculiar way... more...

The Mackhai of Dun Roe. “Look here, Scoodrach, if you call me she again, I’ll kick you!” “I didna ca’ you she. I only said if she’d come ten the hoose aifter she had the parritch—” “Well, what did I say?” “Say? Why, she got in a passion.” Whop! Flop! The sound of a back-handed slap in the chest, followed by a kick, both delivered by Kenneth Mackhai, the recipient being... more...


Off at last! “Ahoy, there! All on board?” “Yes; all right.” “Got all your tackle?” “I think so.” “Haven’t forgotten your cartridges!” “No; here they are.” “I’ll be bound to say you’ve forgotten something. Yes: fishing-tackle?” “That we haven’t, Mr Wilson,” said a fresh voice, that of a bright-looking lad of sixteen, as... more...

Two Middies and a Monkey. “We’ve done wrong, Van. There’ll be a jolly row about it.” “Get out! What’s the good of talking now? You were as ready to have him as I was. Lie still, will you? or I’ll pitch you overboard.” Two middies talking in the stern-sheets of the cutter belonging to Her Majesty’s fast little cruiser Nautilus, stationed on the west coast of Africa... more...

Their Boy. “Well, why not be a soldier?” Philip Hexton shook his head. “No, father. There’s something very brave in a soldier’s career; but I should like to save life, not destroy it.” “You would save life in times of trouble; fight for your country, and that sort of thing.” “No, father; I shall not be a soldier.” “A sailor, then?” “I have not sufficient love of... 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...