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The Boy Nihilist or, Young America in Russia   By:

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THE BOY NIHILIST, or, Young America in Russia

By ALLAN ARNOLD.

CHAPTER I.

THE UNSUSPECTING TRAVELER.

The steamship Baltic was on the point of sailing from America to Europe.

The usual scenes were visible on the wharf the rushing on board of belated freight and baggage the crush of passengers and their friends on deck, or down in the cabins, where partings were being drunk in wine; the crowd of steerage passengers forward, trying to keep out of the way of the sailors, and at the same time to salute or converse with their friends on the dock; the rattle and bustle all around; the blow of steam from the impatient boilers; the sharp, brisk orders of the junior officers; the rush of carriages with passengers, and the shouting of draymen anxious to get their loads aboard all these sights and sounds were both felt and visible as a bright looking young man, distinctly American to all appearances, alighted from a cab and walked up the steamer's gang plank, followed by a porter and the driver with trunks and parcels.

He was indeed a bright looking youth, such as you will find in New York oftener than anywhere else, and as he reached the deck his hand was grasped by several young and enthusiastic friends who had come aboard to see him off.

This was William Barnwell, a young New Yorker, slightly over twenty one years of age, who had recently inherited quite a fortune from a deceased relative, and he was now on the point of starting on a tour which he intended should encompass the globe.

He was now alone in the world, so far as relations were concerned, although he had a large circle of friends to whom he was greatly attached, as they were to him.

From boyhood up he had always been an enthusiast in almost everything, but more especially in politics and revolution, as shown in national struggles, and the pride of his life was the history of the American Revolution, and the success of the patriots in that cause.

But outside of his being an enthusiast and a lover of liberty, he was not known, and had never taken any prominent part in any of the social or political movements of the day, beyond sympathizing with the struggles of the working men and women of the world in their struggles to better themselves.

These facts were not only known to his friends, but to many men belonging to the secret societies of Ireland, Germany, and Russia. That is to say, they knew him only as a bright young fellow, possessing brains and pluck, together with enthusiasm, which, if rightly directed, would make him a valuable member of any secret organization having the liberty of the people at heart. But beyond this nothing particular was known of him.

His friends gathered around and wished him a prosperous voyage and a happy return, and with refreshments and flowers they expressed themselves as only New Yorkers do on such occasions.

And as he stood there on deck, surrounded by his friends, he looked indeed like a representative American young gentleman.

He was light complexioned, nearly six feet in height, and proportioned like an athlete; bright, smart, and intelligent.

And while the excitement of "sailing day" was at its height, and young Barnwell was in the midst of his friends, a strange man approached and tapped him on the shoulder.

The young man turned to see who it was, but he did not know him.

"Can I speak a word with you?" the stranger asked, with a strong foreign accent.

"Certainly. Excuse me a moment, my friends. I will join you presently," said Barnwell, walking away with the stranger, a little way forward of the main hatch, out of the crowd.

"You are William Barnwell, I believe?" said the stranger.

"Yes, that is my name," said Will.

"I was sure of it. You are going abroad for pleasure, I understand?"

"Yes."

"You are an American?"

"I am proud to acknowledge it," said Will, drawing himself up to his full height.

"And let me tell you, young man, I know you thoroughly know you for a thorough bred American gentleman... Continue reading book >>




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