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Paul the Courageous   By: (1866-1924)

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E text prepared by Lionel Sear

PAUL THE COURAGEOUS.

by

MABEL QUILLER COUCH

1901 This e text was prepared from a reprint of a version published in 1901.

CONTENTS.

Chap.

I. A DISAPPOINTMENT.

II. HOW PAUL BORE IT.

III. PAUL'S HOPES RISE.

IV. THE REWARD OF OVER CONFIDENCE.

V. THE RESCUE.

VI. A SLOW LEARNER.

VII. A TROUBLESOME PAIR OF BOOTS.

VIII. A MIDNIGHT SEARCH.

IX. THE OPEN WINDOW.

X. RUMOUR AND APPREHENSION.

XI. A TEST OF BRAVERY.

XII. STELLA'S ADVENTURE.

XIII. PAUL CONFESSES.

CHAPTER I.

A DISAPPOINTMENT.

Slewbury was a very fine town in its way; a little quiet and sleepy perhaps, as country towns often are, but it was large and handsome, and beautifully situated on the side of a steep hill. It had a grand market place, a large town hall where concerts were often given, and some well kept public gardens, of all of which the Slewbury people were very proud, and justly so.

But then, as Paul Anketell and his friends often remarked, "What was there for boys?" There was absolutely nothing. No river, no sea, no mountains, or anything. All there was for them in the way of amusement was to go for walks and pick flowers, and wander about a field or two. Certainly one could climb a tree, and whittle sticks or make whistles, but one could not be doing that all the time. No, Paul had long since come to the conclusion that Slewbury was a miserable place in which to live; he hated it; and he could not understand why his father had ever settled there.

When he was a man, he declared over and over again to Stella and Michael, he would have a house close to a river, a mountain, and the sea, then he would have boats and rods, and a sailing boat, so that he would never be hard up for something to do. To a great extent Paul was right; Slewbury was a dull, sleepy and prim old town, but boys ought to be able to make amusements for themselves anywhere; they should have resources within themselves. Paul had loads of toys, and books, and tools, and a nice large garden to play in when the weather was fine. But he was a restless boy, full of longing for adventure and travel, and new sights, and sounds, and experiences, and the happiest time of the whole year to him was the summer holiday when all the family went away to the sea, or to some beautiful spot amongst the mountains.

True, the sea had always been the English sea at least it had come to them at an English seaside town and the mountains had been either Welsh or Scotch mountains, but the three little Anketells were true British children and were quite sure there could be no more beautiful mountains or coasts anywhere in the world.

As soon as the Christmas holidays were over and school work had set in, the children began to think of where they should go when the summer holidays came, and what they would do, and many and many a discussion they had as to their favourite spots, and whether they should go to an old favourite, or try a new one. Plans were made, toys collected, and boxes packed long before the happy day came, but it all added to the pleasure and excitement and importance of the long looked forward to event.

But dearly as they loved their own country, they had no objection to going further afield, and when one day Mr. Anketell suggested that that year they should spend their holiday in Norway, their excitement knew no bounds. All previous travels and expeditions seemed to sink into insignificance beside this. To be actually going to live, and sleep, and eat, on board a real steamer, and to cross the sea to another land seemed to them a splendid outlook. Every book and picture that could tell them anything about Norway was eagerly hunted up, all the Norwegian fairy tales were read again and again, until Stella and Michael at last felt quite sure that they would meet fairies, and dwarfs, and Vikings wherever they went. They had no idea what a Viking was like, but they thought it must be something between a giant and a knight, with all the good qualities of both... Continue reading book >>




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