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The Second String   By: (1857-1919)

The Second String by Nat Gould

First Page:

THE SECOND STRING

BY NAT GOULD

AUTHOR OF "THE DOUBLE EVENT," "A RACECOURSE TRAGEDY," "THE GOLD WHIP," ETC., ETC.

LONDON R. A. EVERETT & CO., LTD. 42 ESSEX STREET, STRAND, W.C.

[ All Rights Reserved. ]

CONTENTS

I. THE FAILURE

II. JACK'S RESOLVE

III. A SCHOOL CHUM

IV. AN OLD TIME SKIPPER

V. TOPSY TURVY

VI. TAPPING

VII. WEATHERING THE STORM

VIII. BARRY TUXFORD

IX. IN SHARK'S BAY

X. THE TWO BLACK DIVERS

XI. TURNING TURTLE AND AFTER

XII. JACOB'S YARN

XIII. THE DIVERS AT WORK

XIV. THE BLACK PEARL

XV. A CLEVER THIEF

XVI. JACK DISCOVERS HIS LOSS

XVII. THE PEARL DEALER

XVIII. ON HORSEBACK AGAIN

XIX. A STAB IN THE DARK

XX. THE TRAINER'S SUGGESTION

XXI. BRICKY FINDS A JOB

XXII. BLACK BOY'S OWNER

XXIII. BARRY WAXES ELOQUENT

XXIV. BADLY RIDDEN

XXV. SOMETHING ABOUT WINIFRED

XXVI. A PUZZLE

XXVII. THE SECOND STRING

XXVIII. THE NEW CLAIMS

XXIX. BOUND FOR HOME

XXX. REALISATION

THE SECOND STRING

CHAPTER FIRST

THE FAILURE

"There goes the failure of the family, yet I like him, there's real grit in him if it was brought out."

The speaker was Sir Lester Dyke, and the remark was made to his daughter, Winifred.

"The failure" did not seem unhappy, he walked across the field with a free and easy stride, whistling softly to himself, enjoying the beauties of nature, taking in everything at a glance, drinking deep of the many good things that mother earth provided for the entertainment of mankind. To look at him seemed to give a great denial to Sir Lester's remark. Failure was not written on his face, he was apparently an active, well bred, strong, able bodied young man, and yet Jack Redland was a failure, for he had done nothing to advance himself in life, and had tried his hand at many things without success. His brothers had done well in life, his two sisters had married rich men, and were more or less happy, according to the lot of such people. His father left him exactly two thousand pounds and he spent it in a year. How he had lived since that time no one knew, but he was always well dressed and never seemed in want of money.

As all the Redlands had done well in life, "the failure" stood out more conspicuously. Had his many friends been questioned they would have endorsed Sir Lester's remarks concerning him.

His family concern this story in no wise, it is with him we have to deal. It suffices to say that his father was an old friend of Sir Lester Dyke's, who had a small estate in Sussex and a house at Brighton.

Jack Redland was a frequent visitor at The Downs, where he was always made welcome, despite his failures. Perhaps it was Winifred's championship of him had much to do with her father's partiality. She was his only child and he adored her. Sir Lester had just given Jack a few words of advice, administered in somewhat strong doses, in the hope that it would act as a tonic and brace him up to contemplate some decisive line of action that would obliterate past failures. The recipient of the tonic did not seem to be troubled by it. During the five and twenty years of his life he had accepted a vast amount of advice, which could not have been of the right sort, as it failed to produce any effect. Advice is cheap, much cheaper than practical assistance, and, therefore, easier to part with. Some people consider themselves born advisers, they little know what bores they are. Jack was a difficult subject to bore, he was a patient listener, because he never showed in any way that his thoughts were elsewhere as his adviser rambled on in dreary discourse. Maiden ladies of a certain age with grievances, found him sympathetic; they thought it wonderful he possessed such a knowledge of the sex. Men with hobbies ran them hard at Jack's expense, but he did not mind it in the least... Continue reading book >>




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