Books Should Be Free
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

The Long Trick   By: (1886-1967)

Book cover

First Page:

E text prepared by Al Haines

Transcriber's note:

"Bartimeus" is the pseudonym of Captain Lewis Anselm da Costa Ritchie, R.N.

THE LONG TRICK

by

"BARTIMEUS"

Author of "A Tall Ship," "Naval Occasions," etc.

"Much of what you have done, as far as the public eye is concerned, may almost be said to have been done in the twilight." Extract from address delivered by the Prime Minister on board the Fleet Flagship, Aug. , 1915.

Cassell and Company, Ltd London, New York, Toronto and Melbourne

First Published. October 1917. Reprinted (Twice) October 1917, November 1917.

TO one CHUNKS Who, in moments of frenzy, is called HUNKS and answers readily to TUNKS, TINKS or TONKS, This Book is INSCRIBED

FOREWORD

DEAR N AND M,

This is the first opportunity I have had of answering your letter, although I am hardly to blame since you chose to write anonymously and leave me with no better clue to your address than the Tunbridge Wells postmark.

Fee! Fi! Fo! Fum! I am sorry about Torps, though. I admit his death was a mistake, and I fancy my Publisher thought so too: but we cannot very well bring him to life again, like Sherlock Holmes. So please cheer up, and remember that there are just as many fine fellows in the ink pot as ever came out of it.

I have borne in mind the final paragraph of your letter, which said, "We do beseech you not to kill the India rubber Man." In fact, I originally meant him to be the hero of this book. But as the book progressed I found the melancholy conviction growing on me that the India rubber Man had become infernally dull. A pair of cynical bachelors like you will, I know, attribute this to marriage and poor Betty. For my part I am inclined to put it down to advancing years.

I have just finished the book, and, turning over the pages, found myself wondering how you will like it. It has been written in so many different moods and places and noises and temperatures that the general effect is rather patchwork. But, after all, it was written chiefly for the amusement of two people, and (as I believe all story books ought to be written) out of some curiosity on the Author's part to know "what happened next."

Thus, you see, I strive to disarm all critics at the outset by the assumption of an ingenuous indifference to anything they can say. But there is one portion of the book on which I have expended so much thought and care that I am willing to defy criticism on the subject. I refer to the Dedication.

You probably skip Dedications, but they interest me, and I have studied them a good deal. They are generally arranged in columns like untidy addition sums, and no two lines are the same length. This is very important. At the end you arrive, as it were by a series of stepping stones, at the climax. And there you are.

No. Let the critics say what they will about the book: but I hold that the Dedication is It.

Yours sincerely,

"Bartimeus"

October , 1917.

CONTENTS

FOREWORD

CHAPTER

1. BACK FROM THE LAND 2. THE "NAVY SPECIAL" 3. ULTIMA THULE 4. WAR BABIES 5. UNCLE BILL 6. WET BOBS 7. CARRYING ON 8. "ARMA VIRUMQUE..." 9. "SWEETHEARTS AND WIVES" 10. THE BATTLE OF THE MIST 11. THE AFTERMATH 12. "GOOD HUNTING" 13. SPELL O! 14. INTO THE WAY OF PEACE

NOTE

The Chapters headed "Wet Bobs" and "Carrying On" appeared originally in Blackwood's Magazine and are included in the book by kind permission of the Editor.

THE LONG TRICK

CHAPTER I

BACK FROM THE LAND

Towards eight o'clock the fog that had hung threateningly over the City all the afternoon descended like a pall.

It was a mild evening in February, and inside the huge echoing vault of King's Cross station the shaded arc lamps threw little pools of light along the departure platform where the Highland Express stood. The blinds of the carriage windows were already drawn, but here and there a circle of subdued light strayed out and was engulfed almost at once by the murky darkness... Continue reading book >>




eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book



Popular Genres
More Genres
Languages
Paid Books