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The Adventures of Harry Revel   By: (1863-1944)

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E text prepared by Lionel Sear

THE ADVENTURES OF HARRY REVEL.

by

ARTHUR THOMAS QUILLER COUCH.

1903

This e text prepared from a reprint of a version published in 1903

PREFACE

When I started to set down these early adventures of Harry Revel, I meant to dedicate them to my friend Mr. W. F. Collier of Woodtown, Horrabridge: but he died while the story was writing, and now cannot twit me with the pranks I have played among his stories of bygone Plymouth, nor send me his forgiveness as he would have done. Peace be to him for a lover of Dartmoor and true gentleman of Devon!

So now I have only to beg, by way of preface, that no one will bother himself by inquiring too curiously into the geography, topography, etc. of this tale, or of any that I have written or may write. If these tales have any sense of locality, they certainly will not square with the ordnance maps; and even the magnetic pole works loose and goes astray at times a phenomenon often observed by sailors off the sea coast of Bohemia.

It may be permissible to add that the story which follows by no means exhausts the adventures, civil and military, of Harry Revel. But the recital of his further campaigning in company with Mr. Benjamin Jope, and of the verses in which Miss Plinlimmon commemorated it, will depend upon public favour.

A.T. QUILLER COUCH.

THE HAVEN, FOWEY, March 28th, 1903.

CONTENTS.

Chapter

I. I FIND MYSELF A FOUNDLING.

II. I START IN LIFE AS AN EMINENT PERSON.

III. I AM BOUND APPRENTICE.

IV. MISS PLINLIMMON.

V. THE SHADOW OF ARCHIBOLD.

VI. I STUMBLE INTO HORRORS.

VII. I ESCAPE FROM THE JEW'S HOUSE.

VIII. POOR TOM BOWLING.

IX. SALTASH FERRY.

X. I GO ON A HONEYMOON.

XI. FLIGHT.

XII. I FALL AMONG SMUGGLERS.

XIII. THE MAN IN THE VERANDAH.

XIV. THE MOCK ORANGE BUSH.

XV. MINDEN COTTAGE.

XVI. MR. JACK ROGERS AS A MAN OF AFFAIRS.

XVII. LYDIA BELCHER INTERVENES.

XVIII. THE OWL'S CRY.

XIX. CHECKMATE.

XX. ISABEL'S REVENGE.

XXI. I GO CAMPAIGNING WITH LORD WELLINGTON.

XXII. ON THE GREATER TESSON.

XXIII. IN CIUDAD RODRIGO.

XXIV. I EXCHANGE THE LAUREL FOR THE OLIVE.

CHAPTER I.

I FIND MYSELF A FOUNDLING.

My earliest recollections are of a square courtyard surrounded by high walls and paved with blue and white pebbles in geometrical patterns circles, parallelograms, and lozenges. Two of these walls were blank, and had been coped with broken bottles; a third, similarly coped, had heavy folding doors of timber, leaden grey in colour and studded with black bolt heads. Beside them stood a leaden grey sentry box, and in this sat a red faced man with a wooden leg and a pigtail, whose business was to attend to the wicket and keep an eye on us small boys as we played. He owned two books which he read constantly: one was Foxe's Martyrs , and the other (which had no title on the binding) I opened one day and found to be The Devil on Two Sticks .

The arch over these gates bore two gilt legends. That facing the roadway ran: " Train up a Child in the Way he should Go, " which prepared the visitor to read on the inner side: " When he is Old he will not Depart from it. " But we twenty five small foundlings, who seldom evaded the wicket, and so passed our days with the second half of the quotation, found in it a particular and dreadful meaning.

The fourth and last wall was the front of the hospital, a two storeyed building of grey limestone, with a clock and a small cupola of copper, weather greened, and a steeply pitched roof of slate pierced with dormer windows, behind one of which (because of a tendency to walk in my sleep) I slept in the charge of Miss Plinlimmon, the matron. Below the eaves ran a line of eight tall windows, the three on the extreme right belonging to the chapel; and below these again a low browed colonnade, in the shelter of which we played on rainy days, but never in fine weather though its smooth limestone slabs made an excellent pitch for marbles, whereas on the pebbles in the yard expertness could only be attained by heart breaking practice... Continue reading book >>




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