A Yacht Voyage Round England

Juvenile Fiction/
#Juvenile Fiction #Transportation
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Excerpt Chapter One. The Start. We had come home from school much earlier than usual, on account of illness having broken out there; but as none of the boys were dangerously ill, and those in the infirmary were very comfortable, we were not excessively unhappy. I suspect that some of us wished that fever or some other sickness would appear two or three weeks before all the holidays. However, as we had nothing to complain of at school, this, I confess, was a very unreasonable wish. The very day of our arrival home, when we were seated at dinner, and my brother Oliver and I were discussing the important subject of how we were to spend the next ten or twelve weeks, we heard our papa, who is a retired captain of the Royal Navy—and who was not attending to what we were talking about—say, as he looked across the table to mamma: “Would you object to these boys of ours taking a cruise with me round England this summer?” We pricked up our ears, you may be sure, to listen eagerly to the reply. Looking at Oliver, then at me, she said: “I should like to know what they think of it. As they have never before taken so long a cruise, they may get tired, and wish themselves home again or back at school.” “Oh no, no! we should like it amazingly. We are sure not to get tired, if papa will take us. We will work our passage; will pull and haul, and learn to reef and steer, and do everything we are told,” said Oliver. “What do you say about the matter, Harry?” asked papa. “I say ditto to Oliver,” I replied. “We will at all events try to be of use;” for I knew from previous experience that it was only when the weather was fine, and we were really not wanted, that we were likely to be able to do anything. “Then I give my consent,” said mamma; on which we both jumped up and kissed her, as we had been accustomed to do when we were little chaps; we both felt so delighted. “Well, we shall be sorry to be away from you so long,” said Oliver, when we again sat down, looking quite grave for a moment or two. “But then, you know, mamma, you will have the girls and the small boys to look after; and we shall have lots to tell you about when we come back.” “I cannot trust to your remembering everything that happens,” said mamma. “When I gave my leave I intended to make it provisional on your keeping a journal of all you see and do, and everything interesting you hear about. I do not expect it to be very long; so you must make it terse and graphic. Oliver must keep notes and help you, and one complete journal will be sufficient.” “That’s just the bargain I intended to make,” said papa. “I’ll look out that Harry keeps to his intentions. It is the most difficult matter to accomplish. Thousands of people intend to write journals, and break down after the first five or six pages.” On the morning appointed for the start a little longer time than usual was spent in prayer together, a special petition being offered that our Heavenly Father would keep us under His protection, and bring us safely home again....
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