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Humphrey Bold A Story of the Times of Benbow   By:

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A Story of the Time of Benbow





Chapter 1: The Wyle Cop. Chapter 2: Joe Breaks His Indentures. Chapter 3: I Meet The Mohocks. Chapter 4: Captain John Benbow. Chapter 5: I Lose My Best Friend. Chapter 6: I Take Articles. Chapter 7: A Crown Piece. Chapter 8: I Fall Among Thieves. Chapter 9: Good Samaritans. Chapter 10: The Shuttered Coach. Chapter 11: I Hold A Turnpike. Chapter 12: I Come To Bristowe And Leave Unwillingly. Chapter 13: Duguay Trouin. Chapter 14: Harmony And Some Discord. Chapter 15: The Bass Viol. Chapter 16: Across The Moat. Chapter 17: Exchanges. Chapter 18: In The Name Of King Lewis. Chapter 19: I Fight Duguay Trouin. Chapter 20: The King's Commission. Chapter 21: I Meet Dick Cludde. Chapter 22: I Walk Into A Snare. Chapter 23: Uncle Moses. Chapter 24: I Make A Bid For Liberty. Chapter 25: I Spend Cludde's Crown Piece. Chapter 26: We Hold A Council Of War. Chapter 27: Some Successes And A Rebuff. Chapter 28: I Cut The Enemy's Cables. Chapter 29: We Bombard The Brig. Chapter 30: The Six Days' Battle. Chapter 31: The Cockpit. Chapter 32: I Become Bold.

Chapter 1: The Wyle Cop.

'Tis said that as a man declines towards old age his mind dwells ever more and more on the events of his childhood. Whether that be true of all men or not, certain it is that my memory of things that happened fifty years ago is very clear and bright, and the little incidents of my boyhood are more to me, because they touch me more nearly, than such great matters as the late rebellion against His Majesty King George, whom God preserve.

Especially does my thought run back to a day, fifty six years ago this very summer, when by mere chance, as it would appear to men's eyes, my fortunes became linked with those of Joe Punchard, who is now at this moment, I warrant, smoking his pipe in the lodge at my park gates. I was eleven years old, a thin slip of a boy, small for my age, and giving no promise, to be sure, of my present stature and girth. The neighbors shook their heads sometimes as they looked at me, and wondered why Mr. John Ellery, if he must adopt a boy a strange thing, they thought, for a bachelor to do did not choose one of a sturdier make than poor little Humphrey Bold. They even joked about my name, averring that names assuredly must go by contraries, for I was Bold by name, and timid by nature. The joke seemed to me, even then, a very poor one, for a boy must have the name he is born with, and I have known very delicate and white handed folk of the name of Smith.

Mr. Ellery, a bachelor, as I have said, adopted me when my own father and mother died, which happened when I was still an infant and, mercifully, too young to understand my loss. My father, as I called him, was a substantial yeoman whose farm and holding lay some three miles on the English side of Shrewsbury. He was well on in years when he adopted me, and dwells in my memory as a strong, silent man who, when his day's work was done, would sit in the inglenook with a book upon his knees. This taste for reading marked him out from the neighboring farmers, with whom, indeed, he had little in common in any way, so that he was rather respected than liked by them. But he was wonderfully kind to me, and if my love for him was qualified with awe, it was from reverence, and not from fear.

My frail appearance, on which the neighbors jested, caused my father to look on me sometimes with an anxious eye, and he would question the housekeeper and the maids about my appetite, and whether I slept well o' nights. On these matters he need not have had any concern, since I ate four hearty meals a day, with perhaps an apple or a hunk of bread in between; while as for sleeping, Mistress Pennyquick was wont to declare, five out of the seven mornings in the week, when she woke me, that she knew I would sleep my brains away. This prediction scarcely troubled me, and since the motherly creature never disturbed me until I had slept a good nine hours by the clock, I do not think she was really distressed on this score... Continue reading book >>

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