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Mugby Junction   By: (1812-1870)

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This ebook was transcribed by Les Bowler.

CHRISTMAS STORIES FROM “HOUSEHOLD WORDS” AND “ALL THE YEAR ROUND” EDITED BY CHARLES DICKENS

Mugby Junction

[Picture: Frontispiece]

[Picture: Title page]

RICHARD CLAY & SONS, LIMITED, LONDON & BUNGAY.

MUGBY JUNCTION: BY CHARLES DICKENS, ANDREW HALLIDAY, CHARLES COLLINS, HESBA STRETTON, AND AMELIA B. EDWARDS: BEING THE EXTRA CHRISTMAS NUMBER OF “ALL THE YEAR ROUND,” 1866. WITH A FRONTISPIECE BY A. JULES GOODMAN. LONDON: CHAPMAN AND HALL, LTD. 1898.

INDEX TO MUGBY JUNCTION

PAGE BARBOX BROTHERS. BY CHARLES DICKENS 1 BARBOX BROTHERS & CO. BY CHARLES DICKENS 43 MAIN LINE: THE BOY AT MUGBY. BY CHARLES DICKENS 72 No. 1 BRANCH LINE: THE SIGNALMAN. BY CHARLES DICKENS 89 No. 2 BRANCH LINE: THE ENGINE BY ANDREW HALLIDAY 111 DRIVER. No. 3 BRANCH LINE: THE BY CHARLES COLLINS 125 COMPENSATION HOUSE. No. 4 BRANCH LINE: THE TRAVELLING BY HESBA STRETTON 154 POST OFFICE. No. 5 BRANCH LINE: THE ENGINEER. BY AMELIA B. EDWARDS 187

BARBOX BROTHERS

I

“Guard! What place is this?”

“Mugby Junction, sir.”

“A windy place!”

“Yes, it mostly is, sir.”

“And looks comfortless indeed!”

“Yes, it generally does, sir.”

“Is it a rainy night still?”

“Pours, sir.”

“Open the door. I’ll get out.”

“You’ll have, sir,” said the guard, glistening with drops of wet, and looking at the tearful face of his watch by the light of his lantern as the traveller descended, “three minutes here.”

“More, I think.—For I am not going on.”

“Thought you had a through ticket, sir?”

“So I have, but I shall sacrifice the rest of it. I want my luggage.”

“Please to come to the van and point it out, sir. Be good enough to look very sharp, sir. Not a moment to spare.”

The guard hurried to the luggage van, and the traveller hurried after him. The guard got into it, and the traveller looked into it.

“Those two large black portmanteaus in the corner where your light shines. Those are mine.”

“Name upon ’em, sir?”

“Barbox Brothers.”

“Stand clear, sir, if you please. One. Two. Right!”

Lamp waved. Signal lights ahead already changing. Shriek from engine. Train gone.

“Mugby Junction!” said the traveller, pulling up the woollen muffler round his throat with both hands. “At past three o’clock of a tempestuous morning! So!”

He spoke to himself. There was no one else to speak to. Perhaps, though there had been any one else to speak to, he would have preferred to speak to himself. Speaking to himself, he spoke to a man within five years of fifty either way, who had turned grey too soon, like a neglected fire; a man of pondering habit, brooding carriage of the head, and suppressed internal voice; a man with many indications on him of having been much alone.

He stood unnoticed on the dreary platform, except by the rain and by the wind. Those two vigilant assailants made a rush at him. “Very well,” said he, yielding. “It signifies nothing to me, to what quarter I turn my face.”

Thus, at Mugby Junction, at past three o’clock of a tempestuous morning, the traveller went where the weather drove him... Continue reading book >>




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