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Devon Boys
A Tale of the North Shore

written by "Fenn, George Manville, 1831-1909"
... so well, and quite accepting the position. He used to send money, but now Bigley had ceased to use it, for he received a regular payment from my father, and this other money used to be sent to a bank. The mine was fairly productive, but I knew that my father had been compelled to borrow a good deal, and this preyed upon his mind so much that one day he said to me: “Sep, I think I shall be obliged to sell the Gap, with the mine and all it holds. I don’t like this life of debt, and the prospect of years of toil before I can clear it off.” “But it would be such a pity, father,” I exclaimed. “It would, my boy, but I am not so sanguine as I was. That terrible night shook me a great deal, and if it were not for the thought of you I should give up at once.” He repeated this to me two or three times, and it made a very unpleasant impression that troubled me a very great deal. Bob Chowne, who was shortly going up to London to study at one of the hospitals, came over one evening, and we all three, as in the old days, had tea at the smuggler’s cottage, Mother Bonnet beaming upon us, and never looking so pleased as when we wanted more of one of her home-made loaves. Then after tea we decided, as the sea was so calm, to have a few hours’ fishing, and taking the boat we rowed out as far as the Goat and Kids, the grapnel was thrown out, and we began to fish. It was a glorious evening, and we took rock-whiting, pout, and small conger at such a rate that I cried, “Hold, enough!” “No, no, keep on,” said Bob Chowne. “Let’s see how many we can catch.” “It will be a good feast for the work-people,” said Bigley, as I hesitated; and knowing how glad they all were of a bit of fish I turned to again, throwing in my baited hooks, and hauling in the fine fellows every minute or two. But at last the darkness forbade further work, so the lines were reeled-up, the fish counted ...

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