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In the Wilds of Florida A Tale of Warfare and Hunting   By: (1814-1880)

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In the Wilds of Florida, by W.H.G. Kingston.

In this book by Kingston we are introduced to Florida in the mid 19th century, when the tail end of the wars between the Cherokee and Seminole Indians was still rumbling on, and the white man was still occasionally disturbed by attacks by Indians.

Large areas of the territory are swamp, water, and densely overgrown plains. All this is described in detail.

Our hero this time is a "school leaver" from Ireland, whose father seems to have had just one too many sons for him to be able to provide for all of them. His estate is a little encumbered by debt: he is what was known as a squireen. While trying to make up his mind what to do the boy decides to visit relatives in the USA, and that is why he went to Florida.

It must be said that he appeared quite thankful to get back more or less in one piece!

As an audiobook this will play for about ten hours.

IN THE WILDS OF FLORIDA, BY W.H.G. KINGSTON.

CHAPTER ONE.

WITHOUT A PROFESSION AN IRISH "SQUIREEN" NEWS FROM ABROAD UNCLE NICHOLAS AND HIS FAMILY PREPARATIONS FOR THE VOYAGE TIM FLANAGAN PARTING CALLS ON BOARD THE "LIBERTY" OUR FELLOW PASSENGERS TABLE TALK A FRIENDLY HINT A SAIL ON THE STARBOARD BOW MONSIEUR LEJOILLIE LITTLE PAUL OVERBOARD GALLANTRY OF ROCHFORD THE LION OF THE DAY.

I had just left school, in a very undecided state of mind as to what profession I should select. The honest truth is, that I had no great fancy for one more than for another. I should have preferred that of a gentleman at large, with an independent fortune. But it had been so ordained that I should not possess the latter very satisfactory means of subsistence; and it was necessary, if I wished to support myself like a gentleman, that I should choose some calling by which I could at least obtain an income, supposing that I had not the talent to realise a large fortune.

My father, Captain Michael Kearney, had a small estate, but it was slightly encumbered, like many another in old Ireland; and he had no intention of beggaring my brother and sister in order to benefit me. In a certain sense, it is true, they were provided for. Ellen had married Captain Patrick Maloney of the Rangers, who had, however, little beyond his pay to live on. My younger brother, Barry, had entered the navy; but as he drew fifty pounds a year and occasionally other sums from my father's pocket, it cannot be said that he was off his hands. I also had once thought of becoming a sailor, for the sake of visiting foreign lands; but I had allowed the time to pass, and was now considered too old to go to sea. I then took a fancy for the army; but my father declared that he could not afford to purchase a commission for me, and I had no chance of getting one in any other way. I talked of the law; but when I heard of the dry books I should have to study, and the drier parchments over which I should have to pore, I shuddered at the thought, and hastily abandoned the idea.

My kind aunt, Honor Molloy, the sister of my mother, who had been dead some years, pathetically urged me to enter the church, in the hope, as she said, that that would keep me in the right way; but I honestly felt that the church was not my vocation, and that I was much more likely to go the wrong way if I assumed an office for which I was unfit. Then she proposed that I should become a doctor; but I declared that I hated physic, and could never bring myself to drug my fellow creatures with stuff which I would not take myself. My father offered to try to get me into a government office, though he acknowledged that he had but slight interest with people in authority, and that I might have a long time to wait before I could obtain a satisfactory appointment. He suggested, in the meantime, that I might become a clerk in a mercantile house, and that I might one day become a partner; but that day seemed so very far off in the perspective, that I begged he would not trouble himself about the matter, deciding rather to seek for some government appointment, either at home or abroad... Continue reading book >>




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