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Charlie Scott or, There's Time Enough   By:

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[Illustration: CHARLIE RESCUED.]



"This has been a hard month for me," thought Morley Scott, the pilot, as he stood shading his eyes from the sun, and gazing anxiously out at sea. He hoped to have caught a glimpse of ships in the distance, for the winds had been very contrary lately. Many ships had been obliged to pass by the harbour, unable to get in, and the pilots had found very little to do.

"That looks well," he thought, brightening up, as he saw a busy little steam tug puffing along with a ship in tow; he knew a pilot would soon be wanted to bring it safely into the docks. He had not stood many minutes, trying to make out the ship, when he heard his name called, and turning round, he saw a boy running towards him.

"Here's the Refuge at last, Morley Scott," said the boy; "they want you on board directly, because they are coming in to night."

Morley Scott put his hand in his pocket, and gave the lad the customary sixpence for his good tidings. "It's almost the last," he said with a smile, pointing to the sixpence; "but still the news is cheap at that."

"I should think it is," said the boy, as he ran off laughing.

Morley Scott walked quickly along the pier until he came up to a row of boys, who were sitting on the edge of the wall, fishing. He stood for a moment to watch them with an expression of amusement in his good natured face. They sat perfectly still, afraid to speak or move, and scarcely daring to breathe, lest they should frighten away the fish; each boy watching his own and his neighbour's line with feverish anxiety. Suddenly one little fellow, in a state of great excitement, began tugging at his line.

"Now then, Charlie Scott," called a big boy, who seemed to be the head of the party, "what are you pulling in that line for again? That is the third time in less than ten minutes; how is it likely we can catch anything?"

All the boys joined in a low chorus of "Yes, indeed!" "A pretty fellow he is to fish!" "Serves us right for letting him come with us." The fact was, the boys had been very unsuccessful that afternoon; they had taken nothing, and it was a relief to have some one to lay the blame upon.

"I am sure there's something this time, though," said Charlie, still pulling away. His manner was so confident, that the boys became interested in spite of themselves, and several nearly lost their balance, craning out their necks to see beyond each other.

At last up came the hook, with a jerk that sent Charlie backwards; it had been entangled in a large piece of seaweed, that gave way suddenly just as he got it to the surface. "It's very strange," he said, as he examined the hook minutely, longing to find something alive, no matter how small. "It's very strange; I'm always feeling something, and yet I never catch anything."

"I tell you what it is, young Scott, if you don't mind what you're about, you'll both feel something and catch something soon that you won't like, perhaps," grumbled the big boy.

"Here, Charlie," called Morley Scott, seeing there was likely to be a quarrel, "I want you to run on an errand for me."

Charlie looked round, and seeing his father, he jumped up readily. To tell the truth, he was not sorry of the excuse to give up his fishing; he had been thoroughly tired of it for the last quarter of an hour, although he did not like to own it to the other boys. He was a bright, happy looking little fellow, about eight years of age, with light, waving hair, merry blue eyes, and sunburnt face.

"What is it, father?" he asked.

"I want you to run and find uncle John; tell him that the Refuge is lying off at sea, waiting for us. Ask him to come with you, because they want to be into the docks to night... Continue reading book >>

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