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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 221 pages of information about Nicky-Nan, Reservist.

The Custom-house Officer moved about from one brake to another, calling out names and distributing blue papers.  “Nicholas Nanjivell!”

There was a shout of laughter as Nicky-Nan put his best face upon it and limped forward.  “Why, the man’s no use.  Look at his leg!” The young officer scanned Nicky, suspiciously at first.

“Well, you’ll have to take your paper anyway,” said he—­and Nicky took it.  “You’d best see the doctor and get a certificate.”

The two officers climbed in at the tail of the hindmost brake, and the drivers waved their whips for a cheer, which was given.  As the procession started, all on board waved their caps and broke out singing.  They were Cornish-men and knew no music-hall songs—­“It’s a long way to Tipperary” or anything of the sort.  Led by a fugleman in the first brake, they started—­singing it in fine harmonies—­

     “He’s the Lily—­of the Valley,
      O—­my—­soul!”

So the first batch of men from Polpier were rattled through the street and away up the hill.  The crowd lingered awhile and dispersed, gossiping, to Church or Chapel.

Nicky-Nan, seated on the parapet of the bridge, unfolded the blue paper which the young officer had thrust into his hand.  He was alone and could study it at leisure.

It was headed by the Royal Arms, and it ran as follows:—­

R.V. 53. 
Actual Service Form.

From To
The Registrar of Naval Reserve, Royal Navy Reserve Man,
Port of Troy.  NICHOLAS NANJIVELL,
                                     Polpier.

NOTICE TO MEN OF ROYAL NAVAL RESERVE TO JOIN THE ROYAL NAVY.

HIS MAJESTY THE KING having issued His Proclamation calling into Active Service, under the Act 22 & 23 Vict. c. 40, the ROYAL NAVAL RESERVE FORCE in which you are enrolled, you are required to report yourself at once in uniform and with your Certificate R.V. 2 at 12 noon o’clock on August 2nd at the Custom House, St Martin’s, Cornwall.

You will be forthwith despatched to the Naval Depot and should bring with you any necessary articles.

Should absence from home prevent your receiving this notice in time to attend at once or at the hour specified, you should on its receipt proceed forthwith to the Mercantile Marine Office named.

Failure to report yourself without delay will render you liable to arrest as a Deserter.

Note.—­Reasonable expenses incurred in travelling from your home will be allowed.

By command,
Joshua Johns, Registrar. 
Dated this Second day of August 1914.

CHAPTER IV.

THE FIRST SERMON.

Some ten minutes after the brakes had departed, Mrs Polsue and Miss Oliver, bound for divine service, encountered at the corner where Jolly Hill unites with Bridge Street, and continued their way together up the Valley road.

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