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The Blue Pavilions   By: (1863-1944)

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E text prepared by Lionel Sear

THE BLUE PAVILIONS.

by

Arthur Thomas Quiller Couch (Q).

This e text was prepared from a reprint of a version published in 1891.

TO A FORMER SCHOOLFELLOW.

MY DEAR ,

I will not write your name, for we have long been strangers; and I, at any rate, have no desire to renew our friendship. It is now ten years and more from the end of that summer term when we shook hands at the railway station and went east and west with swelling hearts; and since then no report has come of you. In the meantime you may have died, or grown rich and esteemed; but that you have remained the boy I knew is clearly beyond hope.

You were a genius then, and wrote epic poetry. I assume that you have found it worth while to discontinue that habit, for I never see your name among the publishers' announcements. But your poetry used to be magnificent when you recited it in the shadow of the deserted fives court; and I believe you spoke sincerely when you assured me that my stories, too, were something above contempt.

To the boy that was you I would dedicate a small tale, crammed with historical inaccuracy. To day, no doubt, you would recognise the story of Captain Seth Jermy and the Nightingale frigate, and point out that I have put it seventeen years too early. But in those days you would neither have known nor cared. And the rest of the book is far belated.

Q.

Shiplake, 20 November , 1891.

CONTENTS.

Chap.

DEDICATION.

I. CAPTAIN JOHN AND CAPTAIN JEMMY.

II. THE DICE BOX.

III. THE TWO PAVILIONS.

IV. THE TWO PAVILIONS (continued).

V. A SWARM OF BEES.

VI. THE EARL OF MARLBOROUGH SEEKS RECRUITS.

VII. THE CAPTAINS MAKE A FALSE START.

VIII. FATHER AND SON.

IX. THE FOUR MEN AT THE "WHITE LAMB".

X. THE TRIBULATIONS OF TRISTRAM.

XI. THE GALLEY "L'HEUREUSE".

XII. WILLIAM OF ORANGE.

XIII. CAPTAIN SALT EFFECTS ONE SURPRISE AND PLANS TWO MORE.

XIV. THE GALLEYS AND THE FRIGATE.

XV. BACK AT THE BLUE PAVILIONS.

THE BLUE PAVILIONS.

CHAPTER I.

CAPTAIN JOHN AND CAPTAIN JEMMY.

At noonday, on the 11th of October, 1673, the little seaport of Harwich, beside the mouth of the River Stour, presented a very lively appearance. More than a hundred tall ships, newly returned from the Dutch War, rode at anchor in the haven, their bright masts swaying in the sunshine above the thatched and red tiled roofs of the town. Tarry sailors in red and grey kersey suits, red caps and flat heeled shoes jostled in the narrow streets and hung about St. Nicholas's Churchyard, in front of the Admiralty House, wherein the pursers sat before bags and small piles of money, paying off the crews. Soldiers crowded the tavern doors men in soiled uniforms of the Admiral's regiment, the Buffs and the 1st Foot Guards; some with bandaged heads and arms, and the most still yellow after their seasickness, but all intrepidly toasting the chances of Peace and the girls in opposite windows. Above their laughter, and along every street or passage opening on the harbour from Cock and Pye Quay, from Lambard's stairs, the Castleport, and half a dozen other landing stages came wafted the shouts of captains, pilots, boatswains, caulkers, longshore men; the noise of artillery and stores unlading; the tack tack of mallets in the dockyard, where Sir Anthony Deane's new ship the Harwich was rising on the billyways, and whence the blown odours of pitch and hemp and timber, mingling with the landward breeze, drifted all day long into the townsfolk's nostrils, and filled their very kitchens with the savour of the sea.

In the thick of these scents and sounds, and within a cool doorway, before which the shadow of a barber's pole rested on the cobbles, reclined Captain John Barker a little wry necked gentleman, with a prodigious hump between his shoulders, and legs that dangled two inches off the floor... Continue reading book >>




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