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Frank Oldfield Lost and Found   By:

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Frank Oldfield, or Lost and Found by the Reverend T.P. Wilson, M.A., Rector of Smethcote

Published by T. Nelson and Sons, London, Edinburgh and New York, 1872.

Also by W. Tweedie, 337 Strand, London, and at The Office of the United Kingdom Band of Hope Union, 5 Red Lion Square, London.


The Committee of the United Kingdom Band of Hope Union having offered prizes of One Hundred Pounds, and Fifty Pounds respectively, for the two best tales illustrative of Temperance in its relation to the young, the present tale, "Frank Oldfield," was selected from eighty four tales as the one entitled to the first prize. The second tale, "Tim Maloney," was written by Miss M.A. Paull, of Plymouth, and will shortly be published. Appended is the report of the adjudicators:

We the adjudicators appointed by the Committee of the United Kingdom Band of Hope Union, to decide upon the Prize Tales for which premiums of One Hundred Pounds, and Fifty Pounds, were offered by advertisement, hereby declare that we have selected the tale with the motto "Nothing extenuate, or set down aught in malice," as that entitled to the First Prize of One Hundred Pounds; and the tale with the motto "Hope on, Hope ever," as that entitled to the Second Prize of Fifty Pounds.

As witness our hands, Thomas Cash, T. Geo. Rooke, B.A., John Clifford, M.A., Ll.B., &c.

United Kingdom Band of Hope Union Office, 5 Red Lion Square, London. August 3, 1869.

This book was well written, and generally exciting throughout, although one of the early chapters was a bit lacking in action (people seated round the dinner table). The action was credible and well described. The whole thing rang very true, and for that reason might be read by someone wishing to gain more knowledge of life two thirds of the way through the nineteenth century. The Reverend Wilson writes well, and it would be pleasant to seek out and read other books from his pen. N.H. (transcriber)




"Have you seen anything of our Sammul?" These words were addressed in a very excited voice to a tall rough looking collier, who, with Davy lamp in hand, was dressed ready for the night shift in the Bank Pit of the Langhurst Colliery. Langhurst was a populous village in the south of Lancashire. The speaker was a woman, the regularity of whose features showed that she had once been good looking, but from whose face every trace of beauty had been scorched out by intemperance. Her hair uncombed, and prematurely grey, straggled out into the wind. Her dress, all patches, scarcely served for decent covering; while her poor half naked feet seemed rather galled than protected by the miserable slippers in which she clattered along the pavement, and which just revealed some filthy fragments of stockings.

"No, Alice," was the man's reply; "I haven't seen anything of your Sammul." He was turning away towards the pit, when he looked back and added, "I've heard that you and Thomas are for making him break his teetottal; have a care, Alice, have a care you'll lose him for good and all if you don't mind."

She made him no answer, but turning to another collier, who had lately come from his work, and was sauntering across the road, she repeated her question,

"Jim, have you seen anything of our Sammul?"

"No, I know nothing about him; but what's amiss, Alice? you're not afraid that he's slipped off to the `George'?"

"The `George!' no, Jim, but I can't make it out; there must be summut wrong, he came home about an hour since, and stripped and washed him, then he goes right up into the chamber, and after a bit comes down into the house with his best shoes and cap on. `Where art going, Sammul?' says I. He says nothing, but crouches him down by the hearth stone, and stares into the fire as if he seed summat strange there. Then he looks all about him, just as if he were reckoning up the odd bits of things; still he says nothing... Continue reading book >>

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