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Follow My leader The Boys of Templeton   By: (1852-1893)

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Follow My leader The Boys of Templeton

By Talbot Baines Reed Having now read all of this author's books about school life rather dated even to me I feel that this book is the one I have enjoyed the most. It was not published as a book until seven or eight years after the author's death, but that was because the book had been published in serialised form in the Boy's Own Paper.

While the original text looked quite nice it suffered from having been typeset either by an apprentice or by someone rather eccentric. For example words with an apostrophe representing the "o" of "not" had the apostrophe consistently in the wrong place, for example "would'nt" instead of "wouldn't". We have very carefully cleaned up this class of error, and hope no more are to be found.

We have heard the audiobook, and it is good.

The main heroes of the story are all lovable gentle little chaps, but dreadful things happen, like a boat they have used goes missing, and a folding pencil one of them desperately desires in the stationer's shop goes missing from the shop. Thus throughout the book there is a constant tension as to whether the police will be called, and eventually one of the boys sends for his father to help sort matters out, as they had got far beyond his own ability to deal with things. FOLLOW MY LEADER THE BOYS OF TEMPLETON





On a raw, damp morning in early spring, a rather forlorn group of three youngsters might have been seen on the doorstep of Mountjoy Preparatory School, casting nervous glances up and down the drive, and looking anything but a picture of the life and spirits they really represented.

That they were bound on an important journey was very evident. They were muffled up in ulsters, and wore gloves and top hats a vanity no Mountjoy boy ever succumbed to, except under dire necessity. Yet it was clear they were not homeward bound, for no trunks encumbered the lobby, and no suggestion of Dulce Domum betrayed itself in their dismal features. Nor had they been expelled, for though their looks might favour the supposition, they talked about the hour they should get back that evening, and wondered if Mrs Ashford would have supper ready for them in her own parlour. And it was equally plain that, whatever their destination might be, they were not starting on a truant's expedition, for the said Mrs Ashford presently came out and handed them each a small parcel of sandwiches, and enjoined on them most particularly to keep well buttoned up, and not let their feet get wet.

"It will be a cold drive for you, boys," said she; "I've told Tom to put up at Markridge, so you will have a mile walk to warm you up before you get to Templeton."

A waggonette appeared at the end of the drive, and began to approach them.

"Ah, there's the trap; I'll tell Mr Ashford "

Mr Ashford appeared just as the vehicle reached the door.

"Well, boys, ready for the road? Good bye, and good luck. Don't forget whose son Edward the Fifth was, Coote. Keep your heads and you'll get on all right. I trust you not to get into mischief on the way. All right, Tom."

During this short harangue the three boys hoisted themselves, one by one, into the waggonette, and bade a subdued farewell to their preceptor, who stood on the doorstep, waving to them cheerily, until they turned a corner and found themselves actually on the road to Templeton.

Not to keep the reader further in suspense as to the purpose of this important expedition, our three young gentlemen, having severally attained the responsible age of fourteen summers, and having severally absorbed into their systems as much of the scholastic pabulum of Mountjoy House as that preparatory institution was in the habit of dispensing to boys destined for a higher sphere, were this morning on their way, in awe and trembling, to the examination hall of Templeton school, there to submit themselves to an ordeal which would decide whether or not they were worthy to emerge from their probationary state and take their rank among the public schoolboys of the land... Continue reading book >>

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