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Hurricane Island   By: (1863-1921)

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First Page:

HURRICANE ISLAND

by

H. B. MARRIOTT WATSON

Author of "Captain Fortune," Etc.

[Illustration: "'May the Lord help you,' says he in his voice of suet."]

A. L. Burt Company, Publishers, New York

Copyright, 1904, by H. B. Marriott Watson

Copyright in Great Britain

Copyright, 1905, by Doubleday, Page & Company

Published, February, 1905

TO

RICHARD BRERETON MARRIOTT WATSON

MY KEEN YET APPRECIATIVE CRITIC, WHO PLEADED ON BEHALF OF THE VILLAINS, THIS TALE OF ADVENTURE BY SEA IS DEDICATED WITH LOVE BY ITS AUTHOR AND HIS

[Transcriber's Note: The dedication is incomplete.]

CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE

I. "The Sea Queen" 3

II. In the "Three Tuns" 15

III. Mademoiselle Trebizond 30

IV. An Amazing Proposition 45

V. The Wounded Man 57

VI. The Conference in the Cabin 73

VII. The Rising 89

VIII. The Capture of the Bridge 105

IX. The Flag of Truce 123

X. Legrand's Wink 135

XI. The Lull 144

XII. In the Saloon 157

XIII. The Fog 169

XIV. Barraclough Takes a Hand 179

XV. The Fight in the Music Room 193

XVI. Pye 205

XVII. The Third Attack 222

XVIII. At Dead of Night 237

XIX. The Tragedy 250

XX. The Escape 267

XXI. On the Island 278

XXII. Holgate's Last Hand 295

HURRICANE ISLAND

CHAPTER I

"THE SEA QUEEN"

Pember Street, E., is never very cheerful in appearance, not even in mid spring, when the dingy lilacs in the forecourts of those grimy houses bourgeon and blossom. The shrubs assimilate soon the general air of depression common to the neighbourhood. The smoke catches and turns them; they wilt or wither; and the bunches of flowers are sicklied over with the smuts and blacks of the roaring chimneys. The one open space within reach is the river, and thither I frequently repaired during the three years I practised in the East End. At least it was something to have that wide flood before one, the channel of great winds and the haunt of strange craft. The tide grew turbid under the Tower Bridge and rolled desolately about the barren wilderness of the Isle of Dogs; but it was for all that a breach in the continuity of ugly streets and houses, a wide road itself, on which tramped unknown and curious lives, passing to and fro between London and foreign parts.

Unless a man be in deadly earnest or very young, I cannot conceive a career more distressing to the imagination and crushing to the ambition than the practice of medicine in the East End. The bulk of my cases were club cases which enabled me to be sure of a living, and the rest were for the most part sordid and unpleasant subjects, springing out of the vile life of the district. Alien sailors abounded and quarrelled fiercely. Often and often have I been awakened in the dead hours to find drunken and foreign speaking men at my door, with one or more among them suffering from a dangerous knife wound. And the point of it that came nearly home to me was that this career would not only lead to nothing, but was unprofitable in itself. I had taken the position in the hope that I might make something of it, but I found that it was all I could do to maintain my place. I made no charge for advice in my consultations, but took a little money on the medicine which I made up. Is any position to be conceived more degrading to a professional man? The one bright time in my week was of a Saturday, when I donned my best coat and gloves, took down my silkiest hat, and, discarding the fumes and flavours of the East, set out for Piccadilly. I still remained a member of a decent club, and here I lunched in my glory, talked with some human creatures, exchanged views on the affairs of the world, smoked and lolled in comfortable chairs in short, took my enjoyment like a man about town, and then went back to earn my next week's holiday... Continue reading book >>




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