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Dr. Jolliffe's Boys   By:

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Doctor Jolliffe's Boys

by Lewis Hough This a very enjoyable book about life in a boy's boarding school in the late nineteenth century. Despite school rules, the boys get out of bounds for a number of reasons, for instance visiting a forbidden tuck shop; engaging in various cruel country sports, like rat baiting; going skating on a frozen lake, especially near the thin ice; poaching on a large nearby estate; and suchlike attractions.

Every scene is beautifully drawn, and I have wondered many times why the author did not write more, and indeed why this book is not more well known than it is. Until I found a copy in an old book shop I had never heard of either the author or of the book.

The characters of the various principal actors in the story are very well drawn, and one feels one knows them all quite well by the end of the book.

There was in fact another contemporary author of the same name, who was an expert in economic and currency affairs, and who also wrote using, and about, a novel way of getting books printed. N.H.






"Well cut, Saurin, well cut! Run it out! Four!" The ball was delivered again to the bowler, who meditated a shooter, but being a little tired, failed in his amiable intention, and gave the chance of a half volley, which the batsman timed accurately, and caught on the right inch of the bat, with the whole swing of his arms and body thrown into the drive, so that the ball went clean into the scorer's tent, as if desirous of marking the runs for itself.

"Well hit indeed! Well hit!"

The Westonians roared with delight, and their voices were fresh, for they had had little opportunity of exercising them hitherto. Crawley, the captain of their eleven, the hero in whom they delighted, had been declared out, leg before wicket, when he had only contributed five to the score. Only two of the Westonians believed that the decision was just, Crawley himself, and the youth who had taken his place, and was now so triumphant. But he hated Crawley, and rejoiced in his discomfiture, even though it told against his own side, so his opinion went for nothing.

Well, no more did anybody's else except the umpire's, who after all is the only person capable of judging.

"Saurin has got his eye in; we may put together a respectable score yet."

"He is the best player we have got, when he only takes the trouble; don't you think so?" said Edwards, who believed in Saurin with a faith which would have been quite touching if it had not been so irritating.

"He thinks so himself at any rate," replied the boy addressed, "and we are a shocking bad lot if he is right. Anyhow he seems to be in form to day, and I only hope that it will last."

The batsman under discussion hoped so too. If he could only make an unprecedented score, restore the fortunes of the day, and show the world what a mistake it was to think Crawley his superior in anything whatever, it would be a glorious triumph. He was not of a patriotic disposition, and did not care for the success of his school except as it might minister to his own personal vanity and gain, for he had a bet of half a crown on his own side. But his egotism was quite strong enough to rival the public spirit of the others, and raise his interest to the general pitch.

The match between Weston and Hillsborough was an annual affair, and excited great emulation, being for each school the principal event of the cricketing season. One year it was played at Weston and the next at Hillsborough, and it was the Westonians' turn to play on their own ground on this occasion.

Hillsborough went in first and put together 94 runs. Then Weston went to the wickets and could make nothing of it. There was a certain left handed Hillsburian bowler who proved very fatal to them; it was one of his twists which found Crawley's leg where his bat should have been... Continue reading book >>

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