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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 185 pages of information about Half A Chance.

PART TWO

    I the wheels of justice
   II at the opera
  III A lesson in botany
   IV tides varying
    V in the park
   VI A conference
  VII incidents
 VIII A change of front
   IX away from the town
    X A contest
   XI ways and means
  XII festivities
 XIII the princess suite
  XIV an answer
   XV currents and counter currents
  XVI flight
 XVII the unexpected
XVIII through the fog
  XIX the last shift
   XX the paper
  XXI A condition
 XXII near the river
XXIII past and present

* * * * *

PART ONE

CHAPTER I

MR. GILLETT’S CHARGE

“By all means, m’deah, let’s go down between decks and have a look at them.”

“Of course, if you wish, Sir Charles, although—­Do you think we shall be edified, Mr. Gillett?”

“That depends, m’lady,”—­and the speaker, a man with official manners and ferret-like eyes, shifted from one foot to another,—­“on what degree, or particular class of criminal your ladyship would be interested in,” he added.  “If in the ordinary category of skittle sharper or thimblerigger,” with a suspicion of mild scorn, “then I do not imagine your ladyship would find much attraction in the present cargo.  But, on the other hand,” in a livelier tone, “if your ladyship has any curiosity, or shall we say, a psychological bent, regarding the real out-and-outer, the excursion should be to your liking.  For,” rubbing his hands, “a properer lot of cutthroats and bad magsmen, it has never been my privilege to escort across the equator; and this is my sixth trip to Australia!”

“How interesting!  How very interesting!” The lady’s voice floated languidly.  “Sir Charles is quite right.  We must really go down.  At any rate, it will be a change, after having been shut up so long in that terrible state-room.”

“One moment, m’lady!  There’s a little formality that must be observed first.”

“Formality?” And the lady, who was of portly appearance and uncertain age, gazed from the speaker standing deferentially before her, to a man of size, weight and importance seated in a comfortable chair at her side.  “What does he mean, Sir Charles?”

“Regulations, m’lady—­m’lord!” was the answer.  “No one allowed on the prisoners’ deck without the captain’s permission.  There he is now.”

“Then be good enough to beckon to him!” said the lady.

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