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The Triple Alliance Its trials and triumphs   By: (1867-1943)

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E text prepared by Lionel G. Sear of Truro, Cornwall, England, and dedicated to the memory of R. F. Mudie, who won the book used as the source for this e text as Form II First Prize for the Summer Term in 1901 at the Seafield House Preparatory School, Broughty Ferry, Scotland

THE TRIPLE ALLIANCE

ITS TRIALS AND TRIUMPHS

By HAROLD AVERY

CONTENTS.

Chapter.

I. A NEW BOY,

II. THE PHILISTINES,

III. DISCOMFITURE OF THE PHILISTINES,

IV. THE SUPPER CLUB,

V. CATCHING A TARTAR,

VI. GUNPOWDER PLOT,

VII. RONLEIGH COLLEGE,

VIII. THIRD FORM ORATORY,

IX. A HOLIDAY ADVENTURE,

X. A SCREW LOOSE IN THE SIXTH,

XI. SHADOWS OF COMING EVENTS,

XII. THE WRAXBY MATCH,

XIII. THE ELECTIONS,

XIV. A PASSAGE OF ARMS,

XV. THE READING ROOM RIOT,

XVI. THE CIPHER LETTER,

XVII. DIGGORY READS THE CIPHER,

XVIII. A SECRET SOCIETY,

XIX. A CHAPTER OF ACCIDENTS,

XX. SOWING THE WIND,

XXI. REAPING THE WHIRLWIND,

XXII. WHEN SHALL WE THREE MEET AGAIN?

CHAPTER I.

A NEW BOY.

"What's your name?"

"Diggory Trevanock."

The whole class exploded.

"Now, then," said Mr. Blake, looking up from his mark book with a broad grin on his own face "now, then, there's nothing to laugh at. Look here," he added, turning to the new boy, "how d'you spell it?"

Instead of being at all annoyed or disconcerted at the mirth of his class mates, the youngster seemed rather to enjoy the joke, and immediately rattled out a semi humorous reply to the master's question,

"D I G, dig; G O R Y, gory Diggory: T R E, tre; VAN, van; O C K, ock Trevanock." Then turning round, he smiled complacently at the occupants of the desks behind, as much as to say: "There, I've done all I can to amuse you, and I hope you're satisfied."

This incident, one of the little pleasantries occasionally permitted by a class master, and which, like a judge's jokes in court, are always welcomed as a momentary relief from the depressing monotony of the serious business in hand this little incident, I say, happened in the second class of a small preparatory school, situated on the outskirts of the market town of Chatford, and intended, according to the wording of a standing advertisement in the Denfordshire Chronicle , "for the sons of gentlemen."

This establishment, which bore the somewhat suggestive name of "The Birches," was owned and presided over by Mr. Welsby, who, with an unmarried daughter, Miss Eleanor, acting as housekeeper, and his nephew, Mr. Blake, performing the duties of assistant master, undertook the preliminary education of about a dozen juveniles whose ages ranged between ten and fourteen.

On the previous evening, returning from the Christmas holidays, exactly twelve had mustered round the big table in the dining room; no new faces had appeared, and Fred Acton, a big, strong youngster of fourteen and a half, was undisputed cock of the walk.

The school was divided into two classes. The first, containing the five elder scholars, went to sit at the feet of Mr. Welsby himself; while the second remained behind in what was known as the schoolroom, and received instruction from Mr. Blake.

It was while thus occupied on the first morning of the term that the lower division were surprised by the sudden appearance of a new boy. Miss Eleanor brought him into the room, and after a few moments' whispered conversation with her cousin, smiled round the class and then withdrew. Every one worshipped Miss Eleanor; but that's neither here nor there. A moment later Mr. Blake put the question which stands at the commencement of this chapter.

The new comer's answer made a favourable impression on the minds of his companions, and as soon as the morning's work was over, they set about the task of mutual introduction in a far more friendly manner than was customary on these occasions. He was a wiry little chap, with bright eyes, for ever on the twinkle, and black hair pasted down upon his head, so as not to show the slightest vestige of curl, while the sharp, mischievous look on his face, and the quick, comical movements of his body, suggested something between a terrier and a monkey... Continue reading book >>




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