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The Wrong Box

The Wrong Box by Robert Louis Stevenson

The Wrong Box is a comedy about the ending of a tontine (a tontine is an arrangement whereby a number of young people subscribe to a fund which is then closed and invested until all but one of the subscribers have died. That last subscriber then receives the whole of the proceeds). The story involves the last two such survivors and their relations, a train crash, missing uncles, surplus dead bodies and innocent bystanders. A farce really.

First Page:


By Robert Louis Stevenson And Lloyd Osbourne


'Nothing like a little judicious levity,' says Michael Finsbury in the text: nor can any better excuse be found for the volume in the reader's hand. The authors can but add that one of them is old enough to be ashamed of himself, and the other young enough to learn better.

R. L. S. L. O.

CHAPTER I. In Which Morris Suspects

How very little does the amateur, dwelling at home at ease, comprehend the labours and perils of the author, and, when he smilingly skims the surface of a work of fiction, how little does he consider the hours of toil, consultation of authorities, researches in the Bodleian, correspondence with learned and illegible Germans in one word, the vast scaffolding that was first built up and then knocked down, to while away an hour for him in a railway train! Thus I might begin this tale with a biography of Tonti birthplace, parentage, genius probably inherited from his mother, remarkable instance of precocity, etc and a complete treatise on the system to which he bequeathed his name... Continue reading book >>

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