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94 Works of William Wymark (W.W.) Jacobs

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The Interruption

Story type: Horror

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I The last of the funeral guests had gone and Spencer Goddard, in decent black, sat alone in his small, well-furnished study. There was a queer sense of freedom in the house since the coffin had left it; the coffin which was now hidden in its solitary grave beneath the yellow earth. The air, which […]

The Rival Beauties

Story type: Literature

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"If you hadn’t asked me," said the night watchman, "I should never havetold you; but, seeing as you’ve put the question point blank, I willtell you my experience of it. You’re the first person I’ve ever openedmy lips to upon the subject, for it was so eggstraordinary that all ourchaps swore as they’d keep it […]

I WITHOUT, the night was cold and wet, but in the small parlour of Laburnam Villa the blinds were drawn and the fire burned brightly. Father and son were at chess, the former, who possessed ideas about the game involving radical changes, putting his king into such sharp and unnecessary perils that it even provoked […]

The Money-Box

Story type: Literature

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Sailormen are not good ‘ands at saving money as a rule, said the night-watchman, as he wistfully toyed with a bad shilling on his watch-chain, though to ‘ear ’em talk of saving when they’re at sea and there isn’t a pub within a thousand miles of ’em, you might think different. It ain’t for the […]

Low Water

Story type: Literature

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It was a calm, clear evening in late summer as the Elizabeth Ann, of Pembray, scorning the expensive aid of a tug, threaded her way down theLondon river under canvas. The crew were busy forward, and the masterand part-owner—a fussy little man, deeply imbued with a sense of hisown importance and cleverness—was at the wheel […]

Jerry Bundler

Story type: Literature

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It wanted a few nights to Christmas, a festival for which the small market-town of Torchesterwas making extensive preparations. The narrow streets which had been thronged with peoplewere now almost deserted; the cheap-jack from London, with the remnant of breath left him afterhis evening’s exertions, was making feeble attempts to blow out his naphtha lamp, […]

In the Family

Story type: Literature

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The oldest inhabitant of Claybury sat beneath the sign of the “Cauliflower” and gazed with affectionate, but dim, old eyes in the direction of the village street. “No; Claybury men ain’t never been much of ones for emigrating,” he said, turning to the youthful traveller who was resting in the shade with a mug of […]

A Circular Tour

Story type: Literature

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Illness? said the night watchman, slowly. Yes, sailormen get ill sometimes, but not ‘aving the time for it that other people have, and there being no doctors at sea, they soon pick up agin. Ashore, if a man’s ill he goes to a horse-pittle and ‘as a nice nurse to wait on ‘im; at sea […]

The Changeling

Story type: Literature

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Mr. George Henshaw let himself in at the front door, and stood for some time wiping his boots on the mat. The little house was ominously still, and a faint feeling, only partially due to the lapse of time since breakfast, manifested itself behind his waistcoat. He coughed—a matter- of-fact cough—and, with an attempt to […]

Angels’ Visits

Story type: Literature

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Mr. William Jobling leaned against his door-post, smoking. The evening air, pleasant in its coolness after the heat of the day, caressed his shirt-sleeved arms. Children played noisily in the long, dreary street, and an organ sounded faintly in the distance. To Mr. Jobling, who had just consumed three herrings and a pint and a […]

Bob’s Redemption

Story type: Literature

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“GRATITOODE!” said the night-watchman, with a hard laugh. “Hmf! Don’t talk to me about gratitoode; I’ve seen too much of it. If people wot I’ve helped in my time ‘ad only done arf their dooty–arf, mind you–I should be riding in my carriage.” Forgetful of the limitations of soap-boxes he attempted to illustrate his remark […]

The Winter Offensive

Story type: Literature

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N.B.–Having regard to the eccentricities of the Law of Libel it must be distinctly understood that the following does not refer to the distinguished officer, Lieut. Troup Horne, of the Inns of Court. Anybody trying to cause mischief between a civilian of eight stone and a soldier of seventeen by a statement to the contrary […]

The Constable’s Move

Story type: Literature

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Mr. Bob Grummit sat in the kitchen with his corduroy-clad legs stretched on the fender. His wife’s half-eaten dinner was getting cold on the table; Mr. Grummit, who was badly in need of cheering up, emptied her half-empty glass of beer and wiped his lips with the back of his hand. “Come away, I tell […]

Captains All

Story type: Literature

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Every sailorman grumbles about the sea, said the night-watchman, thoughtfully. It’s human nature to grumble, and I s’pose they keep on grumbling and sticking to it because there ain’t much else they can do. There’s not many shore-going berths that a sailorman is fit for, and those that they are–such as a night-watchman’s, for instance–wants […]

The Boatswain’s Mate

Story type: Literature

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Mr. George Benn, retired boat-swain, sighed noisily, and with a despondent gesture, turned to the door and stood with the handle in his hand; Mrs. Waters, sitting behind the tiny bar in a tall Windsor-chair, eyed him with some heat. “My feelings’ll never change,” said the boatswain. “Nor mine either,” said the landlady, sharply. “It’s […]

The Four Pigeons

Story type: Literature

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The old man took up his mug and shifted along the bench until he was in the shade of the elms that stood before the Cauliflower. The action also had the advantage of bringing him opposite the two strangers who were refreshing themselves after the toils of a long walk in the sun. “My hearing […]

Dirty Work

Story type: Literature

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It was nearly high-water, and the night-watchman, who had stepped aboard a lighter lying alongside the wharf to smoke a pipe, sat with half-closed eyes enjoying the summer evening. The bustle of the day was over, the wharves were deserted, and hardly a craft moved on the river. Perfumed clouds of shag, hovering for a […]

Bedridden

Story type: Literature

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July 12, 1915.–Disquieting rumours to the effect that epidemic of Billetitis hitherto confined to the north of King’s Road shows signs of spreading. July 14.–Report that two Inns of Court men have been seen peeping over my gate. July 16.–Informed that soldier of agreeable appearance and charming manners requests interview with me. Took a dose […]

Convert

Story type: Literature

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Mr. Purnip took the arm of the new recruit and hung over him almost tenderly as they walked along; Mr. Billing, with a look of conscious virtue on his jolly face, listened with much satisfaction to his friend’s compliments. “It’s such an example,” said the latter. “Now we’ve got you the others will follow like […]

Husbandry

Story type: Literature

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Dealing with a man, said the night-watchman, thoughtfully, is as easy as a teetotaller walking along a nice wide pavement; dealing with a woman is like the same teetotaller, arter four or five whiskies, trying to get up a step that ain’t there. If a man can’t get ‘is own way he eases ‘is mind […]

An Adulteration Act

Story type: Literature

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Dr. Frank Carson had been dreaming tantalizing dreams of cooling, effervescent beverages. Over and over again in his dreams he had risen from his bed, and tripping lightly down to the surgery in his pajamas, mixed himself something long and cool and fizzy, without being able to bring the dream to a satisfactory termination. With […]

A Golden Venture

Story type: Literature

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The elders of the Tidger family sat at breakfast–Mrs. Tidger with knees wide apart and the youngest Tidger nestling in the valley of print-dress which lay between, and Mr. Tidger bearing on one moleskin knee a small copy of himself in a red flannel frock and a slipper. The larger Tidger children took the solids […]

Captain Rogers

Story type: Literature

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A man came slowly over the old stone bridge, and averting his gaze from the dark river with its silent craft, looked with some satisfaction toward the feeble lights of the small town on the other side. He walked with the painful, forced step of one who has already trudged far. His worsted hose, where […]

Cupboard Love

Story type: Literature

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In the comfortable living-room at Negget’s farm, half parlour and half kitchen, three people sat at tea in the waning light of a November afternoon. Conversation, which had been brisk, had languished somewhat, owing to Mrs. Negget glancing at frequent intervals toward the door, behind which she was convinced the servant was listening, and checking […]

In the Library

Story type: Literature

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The fire had burnt low in the library, for the night was wet and warm. It was now little more than a grey shell, and looked desolate. Trayton Burleigh, still hot, rose from his armchair, and turning out one of the gas-jets, took a cigar from a box on a side-table and resumed his seat […]

Bill’s Paper Chase

Story type: Literature

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Sailormen ‘ave their faults, said the night watchman, frankly. I’m not denying of it. I used to ‘ave myself when I was at sea, but being close with their money is a fault as can seldom be brought ag’in ’em. I saved some money once–two golden sovereigns, owing to a ‘ole in my pocket. Before […]

False Colours

Story type: Literature

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“Of course, there is a deal of bullying done at sea at times,” said the night-watchman, thoughtfully. ‘The men call it bullying an’ the officers call it discipline, but it’s the same thing under another name. Still, it’s fair in a way. It gets passed on from one to another. Everybody aboard a’most has got […]

Lady of the Barge

Story type: Literature

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The master of the barge Arabella sat in the stern of his craft with his right arm leaning on the tiller. A desultory conversation with the mate of a schooner, who was hanging over the side of his craft a few yards off, had come to a conclusion owing to a difference of opinion on […]

Sam’s Boy

Story type: Literature

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It was getting late in the afternoon as Master Jones, in a somewhat famished condition, strolled up Aldgate, with a keen eye on the gutter, in search of anything that would serve him for his tea. Too late, he wished that he had saved some of the stale bread and damaged fruit which had constituted […]

Twin Spirits

Story type: Literature

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The “Terrace,” consisting of eight gaunt houses, faced the sea, while the back rooms commanded a view of the ancient little town some half mile distant. The beach, a waste of shingle, was desolate and bare except for a ruined bathing machine and a few pieces of linen drying in the winter sunshine. In the […]

Brevet Rank

Story type: Literature

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The crew of the Elisabeth Hopkins sat on deck in the gloaming, gazing idly at the dusky shapes of the barges as they dropped silently down on the tide, or violently discussing the identity of various steamers as they came swiftly past Even with these amusements the time hung heavily, and they thought longingly of […]

To Have and to Hold

Story type: Literature

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The old man sat outside the Cauliflower Inn, looking crossly up the road. He was fond of conversation, but the pedestrian who had stopped to drink a mug of ale beneath the shade of the doors was not happy in his choice of subjects. He would only talk of the pernicious effects of beer on […]

A Marked Man

Story type: Literature

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“Tattooing is a gift,” said the night-watchman, firmly. “It ‘as to be a gift, as you can well see. A man ‘as to know wot ‘e is going to tattoo an’ ‘ow to do it; there’s no rubbing out or altering. It’s a gift, an’ it can’t be learnt. I knew a man once as […]

Mr. Sol Ketchmaid, landlord of the Ship, sat in his snug bar, rising occasionally from his seat by the taps to minister to the wants of the customers who shared this pleasant retreat with him. Forty years at sea before the mast had made Mr. Ketchmaid an authority on affairs maritime; five years in command […]

“Talking of prize-fighters, sir,” said the night-watchman, who had nearly danced himself over the edge of the wharf in illustrating one of Mr. Corbett’s most trusted blows, and was now sitting down taking in sufficient air for three, “they ain’t wot they used to be when I was a boy. They advertise in the papers […]

Private Clothes

Story type: Literature

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At half-past nine the crew of the Merman were buried in slumber, at nine thirty-two three of the members were awake with heads protruding out of their bunks, trying to peer through the gloom, while the fourth dreamt that a tea-tray was falling down a never-ending staircase. On the floor of the forecastle something was […]

A Garden Plot

Story type: Literature

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The able-bodied men of the village were at work, the children were at school singing the multiplication-table lullaby, while the wives and mothers at home nursed the baby with one hand and did the housework with the other. At the end of the village an old man past work sat at a rough deal table […]

An Odd Freak

Story type: Literature

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“Speaking o’ money,” said the night-watchman thoughtfully, as he selected an empty soapbox on the wharf for a seat, “the whole world would be different if we all ‘ad more of it. It would be a brighter and a ‘appier place for everybody.” He broke off to open a small brass tobacco-box and place a […]

Made to Measure

Story type: Literature

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Mr. Mott brought his niece home from the station with considerable pride. Although he had received a photograph to assist identification, he had been very dubious about accosting the pretty, well-dressed girl who had stepped from the train and gazed around with dove-like eyes in search of him. Now he was comfortably conscious of the […]

Old Jem Lister, of the Susannah, was possessed of two devils–the love of strong drink and avarice–and the only thing the twain had in common was to get a drink without paying for it. When Mr. Lister paid for a drink, the demon of avarice masquerading as conscience preached a teetotal lecture, and when he […]

A Harbour of Refuge

Story type: Literature

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A waterman’s boat was lying in the river just below Greenwich, the waterman resting on his oars, while his fare, a small, perturbed-looking man in seaman’s attire, gazed expectantly up the river. “There she is!” he cried suddenly, as a small schooner came into view from behind a big steamer. “Take me alongside.” “Nice little […]

Matilda stood at the open door of a house attached to a wharf situated in that dreary district which bears the high-sounding name of “St. Katharine’s.” Work was over for the day. A couple of unhorsed vans were pushed up the gangway by the side of the house, and the big gate was closed. The […]

Mated

Story type: Literature

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The schooner Falcon was ready for sea. The last bale of general cargo had just been shipped, and a few hairy, unkempt seamen were busy putting on the hatches under the able profanity of the mate. “All clear?” inquired the master, a short, ruddy-faced man of about thirty-five. “Cast off there!” “Ain’t you going to […]

Outsailed

Story type: Literature

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It was a momentous occasion. The two skippers sat in the private bar of the “Old Ship,” in High Street, Wapping, solemnly sipping cold gin and smoking cigars, whose sole merit consisted in the fact that they had been smuggled. It is well known all along the waterside that this greatly improves their flavour. “Draw […]

A Case of Desertion

Story type: Literature

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The sun was just rising as the small tub-like steamer, or, to be more correct, steam-barge, the Bulldog, steamed past the sleeping town of Gravesend at a good six knots per hour. There had been a little discussion on the way between her crew and the engineer, who, down in his grimy little engine-room, did […]

A Benefit Performance

Story type: Literature

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In the small front parlour of No. 3, Mermaid Passage, Sunset Bay, Jackson Pepper, ex-pilot, sat in a state of indignant collapse, tenderly feeling a cheek on which the print of hasty fingers still lingered. The room, which was in excellent order, showed no signs of the tornado which had passed through it, and Jackson […]

All ready for sea, and no cook,” said the mate of the schooner Gannet, gloomily. “What’s become of all the cooks I can’t think.” “They most on ’em ship as mates now,” said the skipper, grinning. “But you needn’t worry about that; I’ve got one coming aboard to-night. I’m trying a new experiment, George.” “I […]

An Elaborate Elopement

Story type: Literature

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I have always had a slight suspicion that the following narrative is not quite true. It was related to me by an old seaman who, among other incidents of a somewhat adventurous career, claimed to have received Napoleon’s sword at the battle of Trafalgar, and a wound in the back at Waterloo. I prefer to […]

In Limehouse Reach

Story type: Literature

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It was the mate’s affair all through. He began by leaving the end of a line dangling over the stern, and the propeller, though quite unaccustomed to that sort of work, wound it up until only a few fathoms remained. It then stopped, and the mischief was not discovered until the skipper had called the […]

After The Inquest

Story type: Literature

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It was a still fair evening in late summer in the parish of Wapping. The hands had long since left, and the night watchman having abandoned his trust in favour of a neighbouring bar, the wharf was deserted. An elderly seaman came to the gate and paused irresolute, then, seeing all was quiet, stole cautiously […]

In Mid-atlantic

Story type: Literature

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“No, sir,” said the night-watchman, as he took a seat on a post at the end of the jetty, and stowed a huge piece of tobacco in his cheek. “No, man an’ boy, I was at sea forty years afore I took on this job, but I can’t say as ever I saw a real, […]

The Boatswain’s Watch

Story type: Literature

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Captain Polson sat in his comfortable parlour smiling benignly upon his daughter and sister. His ship, after an absence of eighteen months, was once more berthed in the small harbour of Barborough, and the captain was sitting in that state of good-natured affability which invariably characterised his first appearance after a long absence. “No news […]

In Borrowed Plumes

Story type: Literature

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The master of the Sarah Jane had been missing for two days, and all on board, with the exception of the boy, whom nobody troubled about, were full of joy at the circumstance. Twice before had the skipper, whose habits might, perhaps, be best described as irregular, missed his ship, and word had gone forth […]

It was a quarter to six in the morning as the mate of the sailing-barge Osprey came on deck and looked round for the master, who had been sleeping ashore and was somewhat overdue. Ten minutes passed before he appeared on the wharf, and the mate saw with surprise that he was leaning on the […]

A Black Affair

Story type: Literature

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“I didn’t want to bring it,” said Captain Gubson, regarding somewhat unfavourably a grey parrot whose cage was hanging against the mainmast, “but my old uncle was so set on it I had to. He said a sea-voyage would set its ‘elth up.” “It seems to be all right at present,” said the mate, who […]

Contraband of War

Story type: Literature

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A small but strong lamp was burning in the fo’c’sle of the schooner Greyhound, by the light of which a middle-aged seaman of sedate appearance sat crocheting an antimacassar. Two other men were snoring with deep content in their bunks, while a small, bright-eyed boy sat up in his, reading adventurous fiction. “Here comes old […]

The Captain’s Exploit

Story type: Literature

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It was a wet, dreary night in that cheerless part of the great metropolis known as Wapping. The rain, which had been falling heavily for hours, still fell steadily on to the sloppy pavements and roads, and joining forces in the gutter, rushed impetuously to the nearest sewer. The two or three streets which had […]

A Love Passage

Story type: Literature

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The mate was leaning against the side of the schooner, idly watching a few red-coated linesmen lounging on the Tower Quay. Careful mariners were getting out their side-lights, and careless lightermen were progressing by easy bumps from craft to craft on their way up the river. A tug, half burying itself in its own swell, […]

A Change of Treatment

Story type: Literature

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“Yes, I’ve sailed under some ‘cute skippers in my time,” said the night- watchman; “them that go down in big ships see the wonders o’ the deep, you know,” he added with a sudden chuckle, “but the one I’m going to tell you about ought never to have been trusted out without ‘is ma. A […]

Matrimonial Openings

Story type: Literature

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Mr. Dowson sat by the kitchen fire smoking and turning a docile and well- trained ear to the heated words which fell from his wife’s lips. “She’ll go and do the same as her sister Jenny done,” said Mrs. Dowson, with a side glance at her daughter Flora; “marry a man and then ‘ave to […]

A Mixed Proposal

Story type: Literature

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Major Brill, late of the Fenshire Volununteers, stood in front of the small piece of glass in the hatstand, and with a firm and experienced hand gave his new silk hat a slight tilt over the right eye. Then he took his cane and a new pair of gloves, and with a military but squeaky […]

The Lost Ship

Story type: Literature

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On a fine spring morning in the early part of the present century, Tetby, a small port on the east coast, was keeping high holiday. Tradesmen left their shops, and labourers their work, and flocked down to join the maritime element collected on the quay. In the usual way Tetby was a quiet, dull little […]

Money Changers

Story type: Literature

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“Tain’t no use waiting any longer,” said Harry Pilchard, looking over the side of the brig towards the Tower stairs. “‘E’s either waiting for the money or else ‘e’s a-spending of it. Who’s coming ashore?” “Give ‘im another five minutes, Harry,” said another seaman persuasively; “it ‘ud be uncommon ‘ard on ‘im if ‘e come […]

The Grey Parrot

Story type: Literature

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The Chief Engineer and the Third sat at tea on the s.s. Curlew in the East India Docks. The small and not over-clean steward having placed everything he could think of upon the table, and then added everything the Chief could think of, had assiduously poured out two cups of tea and withdrawn by request. […]

An Intervention

Story type: Literature

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There was bad blood between the captain and mate who comprised the officers and crew of the sailing-barge “Swallow”; and the outset of their voyage from London to Littleport was conducted in glum silence. As far as the Nore they had scarcely spoken, and what little did pass was mainly in the shape of threats […]

Two of a Trade

Story type: Literature

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“‘E’s a nero, that’s wot ‘e is, sir,” said the cook, as he emptied a boiler of dirty water overboard. “A what?” said the skipper. “A nero,” said the cook, speaking very slowly and distinctly. “A nero in real life, a chap wot, speaking for all for’ard, we’re proud to have aboard along with us.” […]

Pickled Herring

Story type: Literature

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There was a sudden uproar on deck, and angry shouts, accompanied by an incessant barking; the master of the brig Arethusa stopped with his knife midway to his mouth, and exchanging glances with the mate, put it down and rose to his feet. “They’re chevying that poor animal again,” he said hotly. “It’s scandalous.” “Rupert […]

Rule of Three

Story type: Literature

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The long summer day had gone and twilight was just merging into night. A ray of light from the lantern at the end of the quay went trembling across the sea, and in the little harbour the dusky shapes of a few small craft lay motionless on the dark water. The master of the schooner […]

The Disbursement Sheet

Story type: Literature

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The old man was dead, and his son Edward reigned in his stead. The old man had risen from a humble position in life; his rule was easy, and his manner of conducting business eminently approved of by the rough old seamen who sailed his small craft round the coast, and by that sharp clerk […]

Brother Hutchins

Story type: Literature

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“I’ve got a friend coming down with us this trip, George,” said the master of the Wave, as they sat on deck after tea watching the river. “One of our new members, Brother Hutchins.” “From the Mission, I s’pose?” said the mate coldly. “From the Mission,” confirmed the skipper. “You’ll like him, George; he’s been […]

A Disciplinarian

Story type: Literature

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“There’s no doubt about it,” said the night watchman, “but what dissipline’s a very good thing, but it don’t always act well. For instance, I ain’t allowed to smoke on this wharf, so when I want a pipe I either ‘ave to go over to the ‘Queen’s ‘ed,’ or sit in a lighter. If I’m […]

"Choice Spirits"

Story type: Literature

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The day was fine, and the breeze so light that the old patched sails were taking the schooner along at a gentle three knots per hour. A sail or two shone like snow in the offing, and a gull hovered in the air astern. From the cabin to the galley, and from the galley to […]

The Cabin Passenger

Story type: Literature

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The captain of the Fearless came on to the wharf in a manner more suggestive of deer-stalking than that of a prosaic shipmaster returning to his craft. He dodged round an empty van, lurked behind an empty barrel, flitted from that to a post, and finally from the interior of a steam crane peeped melodramatically […]

Safety Match

Story type: Literature

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Mr. Boom, late of the mercantile marine, had the last word, but only by the cowardly expedient of getting out of earshot of his daughter first, and then hurling it at her with a voice trained to compete with hurricanes. Miss Boom avoided a complete defeat by leaning forward with her head on one side […]

A Rash Experiment

Story type: Literature

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The hands on the wharf had been working all Saturday night and well into the Sunday morning to finish the Foam, and now, at ten o’clock, with hatches down and freshly-scrubbed decks, the skipper and mate stood watching the tide as it rose slowly over the smooth Thames mud. “What time’s she coming?” inquired the […]

Smoked Skipper

Story type: Literature

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“Wapping Old Stairs?” said the rough individual, shouldering the bran-new sea-chest, and starting off at a trot with it; “yus, I know the place, captin. Fust v’y’ge, sir?” “Ay, ay, my hearty,” replied the owner of the chest, a small, ill-looking lad of fourteen. “Not so fast with those timbers of yours. D’ye hear?” “All […]

The Nest Egg

Story type: Literature

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“Artfulness,” said the night-watch-man, smoking placidly, “is a gift; but it don’t pay always. I’ve met some artful ones in my time–plenty of ’em; but I can’t truthfully say as ‘ow any of them was the better for meeting me.” He rose slowly from the packing-case on which he had been sitting and, stamping down […]

Keeping Watch

Story type: Literature

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“Human natur’!” said the night-watchman, gazing fixedly at a pretty girl in a passing waterman’s skiff. “Human natur’!” He sighed, and, striking a match, applied it to his pipe and sat smoking thoughtfully. “The young fellow is pretending that his arm is at the back of her by accident,” he continued; “and she’s pretending not […]

Easy Money

Story type: Literature

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A lad of about twenty stepped ashore from the schooner Jane, and joining a girl, who had been avoiding for some ten minutes the ardent gaze of the night-watchman, set off arm-in-arm. The watchman rolled his eyes and shook his head slowly. Nearly all his money on ‘is back, he said, and what little bit […]

His Other Self

Story type: Literature

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“They’re as like as two peas, him and ‘is brother,” said the night- watchman, gazing blandly at the indignant face of the lighterman on the barge below; “and the on’y way I know this one is Sam is because Bill don’t use bad langwidge. Twins they are, but the likeness is only outside; Bill’s ‘art […]

Back to Back

Story type: Literature

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Mrs. Scutts, concealed behind the curtain, gazed at the cab in uneasy amazement. The cabman clambered down from the box and, opening the door, stood by with his hands extended ready for any help that might be needed. A stranger was the first to alight, and, with his back towards Mrs. Scutts, seemed to be […]

Admiral Peters

Story type: Literature

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Mr. George Burton, naval pensioner, sat at the door of his lodgings gazing in placid content at the sea. It was early summer, and the air was heavy with the scent of flowers; Mr. Burton’s pipe was cold and empty, and his pouch upstairs. He shook his head gently as he realised this, and, yielding […]

The Changing Numbers

Story type: Literature

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The tall clock in the corner of the small living-room had just struck eight as Mr. Samuel Gunnill came stealthily down the winding staircase and, opening the door at the foot, stepped with an appearance of great care and humility into the room. He noticed with some anxiety that his daughter Selina was apparently engrossed […]

Odd Charges

Story type: Literature

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Seated at his ease in the warm tap-room of the Cauliflower, the stranger had been eating and drinking for some time, apparently unconscious of the presence of the withered ancient who, huddled up in that corner of the settle which was nearer to the fire, fidgeted restlessly with an empty mug and blew with pathetic […]

Dixon’s Return

Story type: Literature

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Talking about eddication, said the night-watchman, thoughtfully, the finest eddication you can give a lad is to send ‘im to sea. School is all right up to a certain p’int, but arter that comes the sea. I’ve been there myself and I know wot I’m talking about. All that I am I owe to ‘aving […]

Establishing Relations

Story type: Literature

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Mr. Richard Catesby, second officer of the ss. Wizard, emerged from the dock-gates in high good-humour to spend an evening ashore. The bustle of the day had departed, and the inhabitants of Wapping, in search of coolness and fresh air, were sitting at open doors and windows indulging in general conversation with any-body within earshot. […]

Breaking a Spell

Story type: Literature

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“Witchcraft?” said the old man, thoughtfully, as he scratched his scanty whiskers. No, I ain’t heard o’ none in these parts for a long time. There used to be a little of it about when I was a boy, and there was some talk of it arter I’d growed up, but Claybury folk never took […]

Lawyer Quince

Story type: Literature

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Lawyer Quince, so called by his neighbours in Little Haven from his readiness at all times to place at their disposal the legal lore he had acquired from a few old books while following his useful occupation of making boots, sat in a kind of wooden hutch at the side of his cottage plying his […]

Bill’s Lapse

Story type: Literature

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Strength and good-nature–said the night-watchman, musingly, as he felt his biceps–strength and good-nature always go together. Sometimes you find a strong man who is not good-natured, but then, as everybody he comes in contack with is, it comes to the same thing. The strongest and kindest-‘earted man I ever come across was a man o’ […]

Venia Turnbull in a quiet, unobtrusive fashion was enjoying herself. The cool living-room at Turnbull’s farm was a delightful contrast to the hot sunshine without, and the drowsy humming of bees floating in at the open window was charged with hints of slumber to the middle-aged. From her seat by the window she watched with […]

The Castaway

Story type: Literature

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Mrs. John Boxer stood at the door of the shop with her hands clasped on her apron. The short day had drawn to a close, and the lamps in the narrow little thorough-fares of Shinglesea were already lit. For a time she stood listening to the regular beat of the sea on the beach some […]

Over The Side

Story type: Literature

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Of all classes of men, those who follow the sea are probably the most prone to superstition. Afloat upon the black waste of waters, at the mercy of wind and sea, with vast depths and strange creatures below them, a belief in the supernatural is easier than ashore, under the cheerful gas-lamps. Strange stories of […]

Paying Off

Story type: Literature

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My biggest fault, said the night-watchman, gloomily, has been good nature. I’ve spent the best part of my life trying to do my fellow- creeturs a good turn. And what do I get for it? If all the people I’ve helped was to come ‘ere now there wouldn’t be standing room for them on this […]

The old man sat on his accustomed bench outside the Cauliflower. A generous measure of beer stood in a blue and white jug by his elbow, and little wisps of smoke curled slowly upward from the bowl of his churchwarden pipe. The knapsacks of two young men lay where they were flung on the table, […]