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Tom, Dick and Harry   By: (1852-1893)

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Tom, Dick and Harry

By Talbot Baines Reed Another of this author's well written and entertaining school books. In this case the hero is young Master Jones. To prepare for entry to the school he had been given some tuition by a lady who was a teacher at a girls' school. Of course the other boys at the boys' school soon found out that he had come to them from a girls' school, and he became known, albeit affectionately, by the nickname of "Sarah".

But he is well respected, and enjoys his various friendships with the other boys, noticing even, at one point, that they seemed to be vieing with one another for his friendship.

Towards the end of the story his mother visits the school, and is a great hit with the other boys.

There some moments of drama, amusingly told, such as when our hero is unwittingly involved in almost blowing the school up! The boys involved off are hauled off to the magistrate by the local village policeman, who, comically, had imagined that a blazer, the top garment worn by schoolboys of that era (and mine) was a kind of lucifer, which in turn was a kind of match used before the invention of the safety match. This is a particularly amusing episode, terminating in the magistrate awarding the school keeper, who had been slightly injured, one guinea costs, to pay for his bandages, which he pays out of his own pocket.

There are no mountain side dramas as in several other books by this author, and the rowing episodes on the river are quite tame. There are no wicked local beer house owners. But it is a good story, quietly and evenly told. Best listened to rather than read. NH. TOM, DICK AND HARRY

BY TALBOT BAINES REED

CHAPTER ONE.

WHO SHOT THE DOG?

A shot! a yell! silence!

Such, as soon as I could collect myself sufficiently to form an idea at all, were my midnight sensations as I sat up in my bed, with my chin on my knees, my hair on end, my body bedewed with cold perspiration, and my limbs trembling from the tips of my fingers to the points of my toes.

I had been peacefully dreaming something about an automatic machine into which you might drop a Latin exercise and get it back faultlessly construed and written out. I had, in fact, got to the point of attempting nefariously to avail myself of its services. I had folded up the fiendish exercise on the passive subjunctive which Plummer had set us overnight, and was in the very act of consigning it to the mechanical crib, when the shot and the yell projected me, all of a heap, out of dreamland into the waking world.

At first I was convinced it must have been the sound of my exercise falling into the machine, and Plummer's howl of indignation at finding himself circumvented.

No! Machine and all had vanished, but the noises rang on in my waking ears.

Was it thunder and storm? No. The pale moonlight poured in a gentle flood through the window, and not a leaf stirred in the elms without.

Was it one of the fellows fallen out of bed? No. On every hand reigned peaceful slumber. There was Dicky Brown in the next bed, flat on his back, open mouthed, snoring monotonously, like a muffled police rattle. There was Graham minor on the other side, serenely wheezing up and down the scale, like a kettle simmering on the hob. There opposite, among the big boys, lay Faulkner, with the moonshine on his pale face, his arms above his head, smirking even in his sleep. And there was Parkin just beyond, with the sheet half throttling him, as usual, sprawling diagonally across his bed, and a bare foot sticking out at the end. And here lay

Hullo! My eyes opened and my teeth chattered faster. Where was Tempest? His bed was next to Parkin's, but it was empty. In the moonlight and in the midst of my fright I could see his shirt and waistcoat still dangling on the bed post, while the coat and trousers and slippers were gone... Continue reading book >>




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