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Son Philip   By: (1831-1909)

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Son Philip, by George Manville Fenn.

Philip is the son of an old mine owner. His father and mother would have liked him to become something other than an overseer in their mine, but it is what Philip wants to be.

Some of the men are engaging in dangerous practices, and deeply resent it when Philip pulls them up over them. One of them swears that he will put his mark on Philip.

Under Philip's guidance the mine begins to run well, but still some of the men are resentful of not being allowed to smoke even though there is gas in the mine.

At this point there are a couple of those George Manville Fenn situations, which find you wondering "how ever will Philip get out of this?"

And so the book ends, with Philip running a really successful mine, with a good accident record. How does he do it?




"Well, why not be a soldier?"

Philip Hexton shook his head.

"No, father. There's something very brave in a soldier's career; but I should like to save life, not destroy it."

"You would save life in times of trouble; fight for your country, and that sort of thing."

"No, father; I shall not be a soldier."

"A sailor, then?"

"I have not sufficient love of adventure, father."

"Oh no, my boy, don't be a sailor," said Mrs Hexton piteously. "I have had sufferings enough over your father's risks in the mine."

"No, no, Phil; you must not be a sailor," said sturdy, grey haired old Hexton, laughing. "I should never get a wink of sleep if you did. Every time the wind blew your mother would be waking me up to ask me if I didn't think you were wrecked."

"No, dear; I shall not be a sailor," said Philip Hexton; and leaving his chair at the breakfast table he went round to his mother's side, sank down on one knee, passed his arm around her, and drew her to his broad breast.

It was a pleasant sight to see the look of pride come into the mother's face, as she laid one hand upon her son's shoulder, and pressed a few loose strands of hair away from his thoughtful forehead, which wrinkled slightly, and there was a look of anxiety in his face as he looked tenderly at the loving woman.

"That's right, Phil dear," she said; "don't choose any life that is full of risks."

"Don't try to make a milksop of him, mother," said Mr Hexton, laughing. "Why, one would think Phil was ten years old, instead of twenty. I say, my boy, had she aired your night cap for you last night, and warmed the bed?"

"Well, I must confess to the warm bed, father," said the young man. "A night cap I never wear."

"I thought so," said Mr Hexton, chuckling. "You must not stop at home, Phil. She'll want you to have camomile tea three times a week."

"You may joke as much as you like, Hexton," said his wife, bridling, "but no one shall ever say that I put anybody into a damp bed; and as for the camomile tea, many a time has it given you health when you have been ailing."

"Why, you don't think I ever took any of the stuff you left out for me, do you?"

"Of course, dear."

"Never took a glass of it," said Old Hexton, chuckling. "Threw it all out of the window."

"Then it was a great shame," said Mrs Hexton angrily, "and a very bad example to set to your son."

"Never mind, Phil; don't you take it," chuckled Mr Hexton. Then becoming serious he went on: "Well, there's no hurry, my boy; only now that you are back from Germany, and can talk High Dutch and Low Dutch, and French, and all the rest of it, why it is getting time to settle what you are to do. I could allow you so much a year, and let you be a gentleman, with nothing to do, if I liked; but I don't hold with a young fellow going through life and being of no use only a tailor's dummy to wear fine clothes."

"Oh no, father; I mean to take to a business life," said Philip Hexton quickly... Continue reading book >>

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