The Card, a Story of Adventure in the Five Towns eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 220 pages of information about The Card, a Story of Adventure in the Five Towns.

By the first post, which arrived at half-past seven, there came a brown package.  “The ring!” he thought, starting horribly.  But the package was a cube of three inches, and would have held a hundred rings.  He undid the cover, and saw on half a sheet of notepaper the words:—­

  “Thank you so much for the lovely time you gave me.  I hope you will
  like this, NELLIE.”

He was touched.  If Ruth was hard, mercenary, costly, her young and ingenuous companion could at any rate be grateful and sympathetic.  Yes, he was touched.  He had imagined himself to be dead to all human affections, but it was not so.  The package contained chocolate, and his nose at once perceived that it was chocolate impregnated with lemon—­the surprising but agreeable compound accidentally invented by Nellie on the previous day at the pier buffet.  The little thing must have spent a part of the previous afternoon in preparing it, and she must have put the package in the post at Crewe.  Secretive and delightful little thing!  After his recent experience beyond the bay he had imagined himself to be incapable of ever eating again, but it was not so.  The lemon gave a peculiar astringent, appetising, settling quality to the chocolate.  And he ate even with gusto.  The result was that, instead of waiting for the nine o’clock boarding-house breakfast, he hurried energetically into the streets and called on a jobbing printer whom he had seen on the previous evening.  As Ruth had said, “There is nothing like chocolate for sustaining you.”

III

At ten o’clock two Norwegian sailors, who could only smile in answer to the questions which assailed them, were distributing the following handbill on the Parade:—­

  WRECK OF THE HJALMAR

  HEROISM AT LLANDUDNO

  Every hour, at 11, 12, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 o’oclock,[sic] THE IDENTICAL
  (guaranteed) LIFEBOAT which rescued the crew of the

  HJALMAR

  will leave the beach for the scene of the wreck Manned by Simeon
  Edwards, the oldest boatman in LLANDUDNO, and by members of the
  rescued crew, genuine Norwegians (guaranteed)

  SIMEON EDWARDS, Coxswain.

  Return Fare, with use of Cork Belt and Life-lines if desired, 2s. 6d.

  A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY

  A UNIQUE EXPERIENCE

  P.S.—­The bravery of the lifeboatmen has been the theme of the
  Press throughout the Principality and neighbouring counties.

  E.D.  MACHIN.

At eleven o’clock there was an eager crowd down on the beach where, with some planks and a piece of rock, Simeon had arranged an embarkation pier for the lifeboat.  One man, in overalls, stood up to his knees in the water and escorted passengers up the planks, while Simeon’s confidence-generating beard received them into the broad waist of the boat.  The rowers wore sou’westers and were secured to the craft by life-lines, and these conveniences were also offered, with life-belts, to the intrepid excursionists.  A paper was pinned in the stern:  “Licensed to carry Fourteen.” (Denry had just paid the fee.) But quite forty people were anxious to make the first voyage.

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The Card, a Story of Adventure in the Five Towns from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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