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The Little Clown   By: (1854-1932)

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First Page:

THE LITTLE CLOWN

BY THOMAS COBB

AUTHOR OF 'THE BOUNTIFUL LADY,' 'COOPER'S FIRST TERM,' ETC.

LONDON: GRANT RICHARDS 1901

CONTENTS

1. How it began

2. Jimmy goes to London

3. At Aunt Selina's

4. Aunt Selina at Home

5. At the Railway Station

6. The Journey

7. Jimmy is taken into Custody

8. Jimmy runs away

9. The Circus

10. On the Road

11. Jimmy runs away again

12. Jimmy sleeps in a Windmill

13. The Last

The Little Clown

CHAPTER I

HOW IT BEGAN

Jimmy was nearly eight years of age when these strange things happened to him. His full name was James Orchardson Sinclair Wilmot, and he had been at Miss Lawson's small school at Ramsgate since he was six.

There were only five boys besides himself, and Miss Roberts was the only governess besides Miss Lawson. The half term had just passed, and they did not expect to go home for the Christmas holidays for another four or five weeks, until one day Miss Lawson became very ill, and her sister, Miss Rosina, was sent for.

It was on Friday that Miss Rosina told the boys that she had written to their parents and that they would all be sent home on Tuesday, and no doubt Jimmy might have felt as glad as the rest if he had had a home to be sent to.

But the fact was that he had never seen his father or mother or at least he had no recollection of them. And he had never seen his sister Winnie, who was born in the West Indies. One of the boys had told Jimmy she must be a little black girl, and Jimmy did not quite know whether to believe him or not.

When he was two years of age, his father and mother left England, and although that was nearly six years ago, they had not been back since.

Jimmy had lived with his Aunt Ellen at Chesterham until he came to school, but afterwards his holidays were spent with another uncle and aunt in London.

His mother wrote to him every month, nice long letters, which Jimmy always answered, although he did not always know quite what to say to her. But last month there had come no letter, and the month before that Mrs. Wilmot had said something about seeing Jimmy soon.

When he heard the other boys talk about their fathers and mothers and sisters it seemed strange that he did not know what his own were like. For you cannot always tell what a person is like from her photograph; and although his mother looked young and pretty in hers, Jimmy did not know whether she was tall or short or dark or fair, but sometimes, especially after the gas was turned out at night, he felt that he should very much like to know.

On Monday evening, whilst Jimmy was sitting at the desk in the school room sticking some postage stamps in his Album, he was told to go to the drawing room, where he found Miss Rosina sitting beside a large fire.

'Is your name Wilmot?' she asked, for she had not learnt all the boys' names yet.

'James Orchardson Sinclair Wilmot,' he answered.

'A long name for such a small boy,' said Miss Rosina. 'It is very strange,' she continued, 'that all the boys' parents have answered my letters but yours.'

'Mine couldn't answer,' said Jimmy.

'Why not?' asked Miss Rosina.

'Because they live such a long way off.'

'I remember,' said Miss Rosina; 'it was to your uncle that I wrote. I asked him to send someone to meet you at Victoria Station at one o'clock to morrow. But he has not answered my letter, and it is very inconvenient.'

'Is it?' asked Jimmy solemnly, with his eyes fixed on her face.

'Why, of course it is,' said Miss Rosina. 'Suppose I don't have a letter before you start to morrow morning! I shall not know whether any one is coming to meet you or not. And what would Miss Roberts do with you in that case?'

'I don't know,' answered Jimmy, beginning to look rather anxious.

'I'm sure I don't know either,' said Miss Rosina. 'But,' she added, 'I trust I may hear from your uncle before you start to morrow morning.'

'I hope you will,' cried Jimmy; and he went back to the school room wondering what would happen to him if his Uncle Henry did not write... Continue reading book >>




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