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

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 279 pages of information about The Card, a Story of Adventure in the Five Towns.
a right to a large percentage of the same profits.  And the Corporation, though it was notorious that excursionists visited the town purposely to voyage in the lifeboat, the Corporation made difficulties—­about the embarking and disembarking, about the photographic strip of beach, about the crowds on the pavement outside the photograph shop.  Denry learnt that he had committed the sin of not being a native of Llandudno.  He was a stranger, and he was taking money out of the town.  At times he wished he could have been born again.  His friend and saviour was the Local Secretary of the Lifeboat Institution, who happened to be a Town Councillor.  This worthy man, to whom Denry paid over a pound a day, was invaluable to him.  Further, Denry was invited—­nay commanded—­to contribute to nearly every church, chapel, mission, and charity in Carnarvonshire, Flintshire, and other counties.  His youthfulness was not accepted as an excuse.  And as his gross profits could be calculated by any dunce who chose to stand on the beach for half a day, it was not easy for him to pretend that he was on the brink of starvation.  He could only ward off attacks by stating with vague, convinced sadness that his expenses were much greater than any one could imagine.

In September, when the moon was red and full, and the sea glassy, he announced a series of nocturnal “Rocket Fetes.”  The lifeboat, hung with Chinese lanterns, put out in the evening (charge five shillings) and, followed by half the harbour’s fleet of rowing-boats and cutters, proceeded to the neighbourhood of the strip of beach, where a rocket apparatus had been installed by the help of the Lifeboat Secretary.  The mortar was trained; there was a flash, a whizz, a line of fire, and a rope fell out of the sky across the lifeboat.  The effect was thrilling and roused cheers.  Never did the Lifeboat Institution receive such an advertisement as Denry gave it—­gratis.

After the rocketing Denry stood alone on the slopes of the Little Orme and watched the lanterns floating home over the water, and heard the lusty mirth of his clients in the still air.  It was an emotional experience for him.

“By Jove!” he said, “I’ve wakened this town up!”


One morning, in the very last sad days of the dying season, when his receipts had dropped to the miserable figure of about fifty pounds a week, Denry had a great and pleasing surprise.  He met Nellie on the Parade.  It was a fact that the recognition of that innocent, childlike blushing face gave him joy.  Nellie was with her father, Councillor Cotterill, and her mother.  The Councillor was a speculative builder, who was erecting several streets of British homes in the new quarter above the new municipal park at Bursley.  Denry had already encountered him once or twice in the way of business.  He was a big and portly man of forty-five, with a thin face and a consciousness of prosperity.  At one moment

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