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The Adventures of Dick Maitland A Tale of Unknown Africa   By: (1851-1922)

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Dick Maitland A Tale of Unknown Africa

By Harry Collingwood Dick Maitland is working as a doctor's apprentice in the East End of London, at that time a place of great poverty. The doctor with whom he is studying is rather a philanthropist for, instead of setting up trade for the wealthy, in Harley Street, he is curing the poor for practically nothing.

Dick's family circumstances take a turn for the worse, and he goes down to the docks to work his passage to South Africa. He has no idea how he will proceed when he gets there, having no money, but he meets a rich young man called Grosvenor on the ship, and, striking up a friendship, they decide upon going together on a voyage of exploration.

After meeting a tribe whom this author, Collingwood, had written about in a previous book, and sorting out various problems there, they proceed on their way. They had heard rumours of a mysterious white race living not too far away, and they decide to investigate. These turn out to be one of the lost tribes of Israel. They are eventually accepted there as friends, after initially being taken prisoners. Here again they are able to sort out various problems. Grosvenor marries the Queen, and Dick, who in the course of these travels has managed to find some very valuable jewels, eventually returns home with them. He converts them to cash, and is able to provide his poor old mother, whom he had left in abject poverty, with a luxurious style of life. He also puts lots of money in the account of the doctor with whom he had been working before these adventures began. DICK MAITLAND A TALE OF UNKNOWN AFRICA




Doctor Julian Humphreys was spoken of by those who believed that they knew him best as an eccentric; because, being a physician and surgeon of quite unusual ability, he chose possessing a small independence amounting to a bare three hundred pounds per annum to establish himself in the East End of London, and there devote himself with zeal and enthusiasm to the amelioration of the sufferings of the very poor, instead of capitalising his income and setting up in Harley Street, where his exceptional qualifications would speedily and inevitably have brought him a handsome fortune.

An income of three hundred pounds per annum out of which one has to feed, clothe, and house oneself does not afford very much scope for the practice of philanthropy, as Dr Humphreys very well knew; his establishment, therefore, was of very modest dimensions, consisting merely of three rooms with the usual domestic offices, one room the front and largest one being fitted up as surgery, dispensary, and consulting room, while, of the other two, one served as a sleeping apartment for himself and his pupil, Mr Richard Maitland, the third being sacred to Polly Nevis, a sturdy and willing, but somewhat untidy person, who discharged the united functions of parlour maid, housemaid, chamber maid, cook, and scullery maid to the establishment.

The large red lamp which shone over Dr Humphreys' door at night was the one and only picturesque feature of Paradise Street surely so named by an individual of singularly caustic and sardonic humour, for anything less suggestive of the delights of Paradise than the squalid and malodorous street so named it would indeed be difficult to conceive and in the course of the four years during which it had been in position that lamp had become a familiar object to every man, woman, and child within a radius of at least a mile; for the Doctor's fame had soon spread, and his clientele comprised practically everybody within that radius.

The apparently insignificant event that initiated the extraordinary series of adventures, of which this is the narrative, occurred about the hour of 8 a... Continue reading book >>

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