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Old 01-28-2016, 04:21 PM
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The boys gave them to me at different times during the last month.

Well, Mr. Knapps, point out the boys who gave them.

Mr. Knapps called out eight or ten boys who came forward.

Did Barnaby Bracegirdle give you no pictures, Mr. Knapps? I said, seeing that Barnaby was not called.

No, replied Mr. Knapps.

If you please, Sir, I said to the Domine. I wrote my name on the textbook on the day that you gave it to me. But the caricature of yourself is not mine. How it came there I dont know.

You havent proved anything, Jacob, replied the Domine.

But I have, Sir. On what day was it that I asked you for the pencil to draw with? Was it not on a Saturday?

Last Saturday week, I think.

Well, then, Mr. Knapps told you the day before that I could draw.

He did.

Why didnt Mr. Knapps show you my caricature then? He says he has been collecting them for a whole month.

You are a clever boy, Jacob, replied the Domine. Answer, Mr. Knapps.

I wished to have more proofs, replied he.

Do you hear, Jacob Faithful?

Sir, did I ever speak of my poor mother unkindly?

Never, Jacob. You have always spoken of her as a good son should.

Please, sir, call up John Williams.

John Williams, come here.

Williams, said I, did you not tell me that Barnaby Bracegirdle had drawn a caricature of my mother?

Yes, I did.

I felt so indignant that I burst into tears.

Now, Sir, cried I, Do you really believe that I could draw this caricature of my mother?

And I handed the Domine the picture which Mr. Knapps had brought out together with the rest. Mr. Knapps turned pale. The Domine looked at the caricature and was silent for some time. At last he turned to Mr. Knapps.

From whom did you get this, Mr. Knapps?

Mr. Knapps replied in confusion:

From Barnaby Bracegirdle!
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But five minutes ago you said that you had received no drawings from Barnaby Bracegirdle. Jacob did not draw his mother, and the pencil is the same as that which drew the rest. Therefore I really believe that he did not draw any of them. Barnaby Bracegirdle, from whom did you get that drawing? Dont lie.

Barnaby turned red and white and then confessed that he himself had drawn it.

You boys, cried the Domine, you gave these drawings to Mr. Knapps. Tell me from whom they came?

The boys, frightened-at the Domines looks, replied:

From Barnaby Bracegirdle.

Then, Barnaby Bracegirdle, from whom did you receive them? Or did you draw them yourself?

Barnaby fell on his knees and told the whole story. As he heard the details of the plot, the Domine got very angry. I had never seen him so indignant before. Mr. Knapps was turned out of the school at once and Barnaby was cruelly whipped.

After this everything went on well. The Domine became even more kind and attentive to me, and no one plotted against me any more. I made rapid progress in my studies.

I was thirteen and a half years old when Mr. Drummond called to see how I was getting on and to discuss my future with the Domine.

All that I can do for him is to apprentice him to a boatman on the River Thames, he said to my old teacher. But that cannot be done until he is fourteen.

I like the plan, replied the Domine, and what do you say, Jacob? Do you want to return to your father Thames?

This is my greatest wish, I replied.

During the six months that I remained at the school I studied hard and the Domine did all he could to help me.

At last the time came and Mr. Drummond appeared again. I was given new clothes: a neat blue jacket and trousers. I put them on, listened to the Domines last advice, said goodbye to him and to the boys and left the school. In an hour I was once more under the friendly roof of the Drummonds. Mrs. Drummond was surprised to find me changed so much. She looked at me for a second or two as I entered the room with my hat in my hand and bowed to her. Then she held out her hand to me-and I took it respectfully.

I can hardly recognize you, Jacob, you have become quite a man, she said smiling.

Sarah stood by looking at me with surprise. I went up to her and she pressed my hand warmly.

In order to become a waterman on the Thames one had to serve as apprentice from the age of fourteen to twenty one. One could serve those seven years in a barge, lighter or any other boat. So Mr. Drummond put me to work on board of one of his own lighters, but I could in time change to any other boat if I liked. I signed the necessary papers and in this way at the age of fourteen became apprentice to a waterman.
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Old 01-28-2016, 04:31 PM
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CHAPTER VI. I am Advised to Learn to Swim. A Dark Mystery on hoard the Lighter.


Jacob, this is Marables who command the Polly barge, Mr. Drummond said one day as he acquainted me with my future master. The man was tall and well-built. He had a handsome face, although his eyes were not large. His mouth was very small, and there was a good-natured smile on his lips.

Marables, he continued. I have told you that this boy is your apprentice. You must treat him kindly.

I never treated a cat badly, Marables answered holding out to me his large hand, We shall be very good friends, Sir. Ill answer for it!

Mr. Drummond gave him some more directions and left us together.

Come and see the boat, boy, said Marables; and I followed him to the river. The Polly was a large barge with one mast and two cabins: one quite small and the other large. The larger cabin was locked and I could not examine it.

You will live here, said Marables pointing to the smaller cabin. Youll have it all to yourself. The other man and I sleep in the large cabin.

Have you another man, then?

Yes, I have, Jacob, replied he, looking sad. I wish I had not.

Is your cabin large? I asked.

Yes, large enough: but I cannot show it to you now he has the key.

What, the other man under you?

Yes, replied Marables, looking away. Jacob, you better remain on shore till we start. You have nothing to do here now.
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So I remained on shore for two weeks, but I often went on board and soon became very friendly with Marables. He won me over with his kindness. One day I came on board early and found the door of the large cabin open and the other man walking up and down the deck with Marables. He was a good-looking tall young man of about thirty.1 His face was bold, but there was a sly look in his eyes. He wore clothes richer than it was usual for the people of his position.

This is our new apprentice, said Marables. Jacob, this is Fleming.

Well, young man, said Fleming, you are to sail with us, arent you? Now, if you keep your eyes open, I advise you to keep your mouth shut. Otherwise I shall throw you into the water.

I thought Marables commanded the boat, I answered, and I am to look to him for orders.

Oh, indeed, replied Fleming with an unpleasant laugh. I say, my boy, can you swim?

No, I cant, I replied.

Well, then take my advice learn to swim as fast as you can. It may happen one day that I shall want to throw you overboard to look after your father.

Fleming! Fleming! Please be quiet! said Marables, pulling him by the sleeve. He is only joking, Jacob.

Well, I replied turning round. If you are going to throw me overboard, I shall just let Mr. Drummond know where to look for my body when Im dead!

Come, come! said Fleming changing his manner. Give me your hand, my boy. I was only joking.

I shook his hand and went on shore.

However, I thought, Ill learn to swim. May be he was not at all joking.

And I took my first lesson that day and learned to swim in a very short time.

The day before the barge was to start down the river I called on my old master Domine Dobiensis and said good-bye to him.

We sailed off at six oclock next morning. The day was lovely. The sun was shining, and in its bright light hundreds of boats sailed up and down the river. The watermen were in their boats preparing them for the days work. The birds were singing in the trees and their songs added to the cheerfulness of the landscape.

Marables called me to look after the boat while they went to breakfast. He began giving me instructions but I stopped him, saying that I knew the river as well as he did.
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Old 01-28-2016, 04:32 PM
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He then disappeared in the cabin and I was left on the deck alone. In half an hour I had passed a bridge and was steering the boat clear of the shallows1 below, when Marables and Fleming came up.

How? exclaimed Marables; have we passed the bridge? Why did you not call us?

I have passed it without help many times, I replied, when I was only ten years old. I did not want to call you from your breakfast.

Well! replied Fleming with surprise. I did not know that you would be able to help us. So much the better.

Now, Jacob, said Marables, Ill steer the boat and you go and get your breakfast.

I was about to enter the cabin when Fleming caught me by the arm.

Never enter that cabin! Eat your breakfast either in your own cabin, or on deck. Do you understand?

If Mr. Marables says so, I shall obey. He commands the barge.

I looked at Marables, but he made no reply.

Youll find, Fleming continued in a low voice, that I command here, so dont be a fool.

Going into the cabin, Fleming brought me out my breakfast, and I ate it with good appetite.

After that I steered the boat again and Marables went into the cabin with Fleming, where they both talked for a long time in a low tone. When we reached Millbank, Marables came on deck and told me to go forward and drop the anchor.

Drop the anchor! said I. Why, I never knew that we were going to stop at Millbank.

Yes, Jacob, we must stop here. Drop the anchor.

I obeyed the order. Fleming came on deck and spoke to Marables in a loud voice, so that I could hear it.

Will you go on shore and take Mr. Drummonds letters, or shall I go for you?

Better go yourself, replied Marables and then both went to dinner in the cabin. I had my dinner on deck. In the evening Fleming prepared to go on shore. He was-richly dressed, so that at first I did not recognize him. I thought how strange it was that this man worked in a barge under another but sometimes wore the clothes of a gentleman. There was a little boat tied to the barge. Fleming jumped into it and pushed off. I watched him till he landed and then turned to Marables.

I cant understand all this, I said.

I can explain it if you promise not to say a word about it.

I promise if you prove to me that all is right, I answered.

Ill prove to you that there is no harm done to our master. You see, Jacob, Fleming once was rich, and when my wife was ill for a long time he helped me with money. The poor woman died, and later on it so happened that Fleming was ruined. Then he turned to me for help and I received him on board this barge. Fleming has other friends and sometimes goes on shore to see them and get some help from them in money. Now, how could I refuse to help the man who has been so kind to me? And what harm does it do to Mr. Drummond?

That may be all true, I replied, but why cant I enter the cabin, and why does he order about here as master?
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Old 01-28-2016, 04:32 PM
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Well, you see, Jacob, I still owe him money, and I allow him to use my cabin as his own. In this way I shall pay off my debt. Do you understand me now?

Yes, I understand what you have said, I replied.

Well, then, Jacob, I hope youll say nothing about it.

If Fleming does not treat me too badly, I replied. He has no business on board the barge, thats clear, and I am apprentice here.

Marables then left me telling me to go to bed. He himself was going to stay on deck till Flemings return. It seemed to me that he wanted to get rid of me. I could not sleep and lay in bed thinking over what I had heard and seen. At about two oclock in the morning I heard the sound of oars. I put my head out to see what was going on. The moon was shining, and it was almost as clear as day. I saw how Fleming lifted out of his boat a blue bag. It fell heavily on the deck. He then put out a yellow handkerchief full of something else, and jumped on the deck. Marables tied the little boat, and came up to Fleming who was standing close to the blue bag.

Is the boy in bed? Fleming asked in a low voice.

He is, Marables answered.

I returned to my bed at once, but I could not fall asleep for a long time. When I came on deck in the morning I found that the two men had weighed anchor more than two hours before, and that we were past all the bridges.

Why, Jacob, my man, youve had a good sleep, said Fleming with a kind smile. Now go and get your breakfast, it is waiting for you.

By Flemings manner I saw, that Marables had told him about our conversation. Indeed, from that time, during our whole trip, Fleming treated me with kindness. And yet he did not allow me to enter his cabin.
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Old 01-28-2016, 04:33 PM
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CHAPTER VII. The Mystery Becomes More and More Interesting. I am Locked up. Fleming Throws Me Overboard.


We stopped at Medway. I had just gone down to bed when I heard that Fleming was preparing his little boat to row ashore. I looked out. Although it was very dark I could see that Marables was handing him the bag and handkerchief. Then Fleming took them ashore. He did not return until early morning. I met him on the deck.

Well, Jacob, said he, youve caught me. Ive been on shore to see my girl; but you are too young to know about such things. Tie the boat, theres a good boy.

One night I was woken up by the sound of voices. It was then about twelve oclock. I looked out and saw two men come on board and enter the cabin with bags on their shoulders. They remained there about ten minutes and then left the barge together with Fleming.

When our trip was at an end, Marables came up to me and said:

Now, Jacob, I have told you the secret and I hope that you will not tell a word to Mr. Drummond.

I had before decided to say nothing to my master until I found out something more definite, so I gave my promise. But I had also decided to talk to the old Domine and ask him for his advice.

Jacob, said he, You did the wrong thing when you gave the promise. I ought to take you to Mr. Drummond, so that you could tell him the whole story. I dont like it. Evil deeds are done in darkness. Still, as you say, nothing is yet proved. Watch therefore, Jacob, watch and be careful and honest.

I followed his advice.
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Old 01-28-2016, 04:33 PM
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Marables and Fleming, finding that I had not said a word to Mr. Drummond, treated me with every kindness. Fleming once offered me money, but I refused to take it, saying that I had no use for it. We made many trips during several months and I watched the two men all the time. Fleming went on shore at night at certain places, taking with him bags and bundles. He usually returned with others, which were taken into the cabin. Sometimes people came at night, and remained in the cabin with him. All that took place when they thought that I was asleep. The large cabin was always locked when Fleming was on shore, and I was never allowed to enter it. Marables continued to obey Flemings orders, and from their conversations I learned that Fleming was not at all going to leave us. I felt that I could not find out anything unless I took some risk. My chief wish was to get into the cabin, but it was very difficult.

One night I came on deck in my shirt. It was a dark night with rain. Suddenly I saw a light still burning in the cabin, and heard the voices of Marables and Fleming. I was without my shoes and walked softly on the wet deck to the cabin door. I looked through a little hole into the cabin and saw that Marables and Fleming were sitting opposite each other at a little table. There were some papers before them, and they were dividing some money. Fearing that they might see me, I silently returned to my cabin. I had done well because just as I had left the deck the cabin door was thrown open and Fleming came out. I thought over what I had seen, and felt sure that the story about Fleming told me by Marables was not true. The cabin occupied now all my thoughts. I watched for a chance to enter it and see what was inside it.

One night Fleming had left the barge, and I came up from my cabin. Marables was on deck sitting on a box with his head on his hands as if in deep thought. The cabin doors were closed, but the light still remained in it. I watched for some time, and seeing that Marables did not move, walked softly up to him. He was fast asleep. I did not lose a single moment and went to the cabin door. It was not locked. With a beating heart I opened the door and walked in. A lamp hung over the table that stood in the centre of the room. On each side were the two beds of Marables and Fleming. Near the beds were two lockers. I tried them; they were not locked, but there were only clothes in them. At the farther wall of the cabin were three cupboards. I opened the middle one and found tea and dinner things, knives and forks inside. I tried the one on the left side.

It was locked, but the key was in it. I turned it carefully, but the lock opened with a loud noise. I listened with fear, but Marables still slept. The cupboard had three shelves, and every shelf was full of silver spoons, forks, all kinds of plate as well as watches, bracelets and other things. I turned to the cupboard opposite and opened it. There I found silk handkerchiefs and other fine things; on the lower shelf were laid six pistols. Now I knew all. Closing the last cupboard, I was about to go back when I remembered that I had not relocked the first cupboard. I turned the key, and it made a louder noise than before. I heard that Marables woke up on the deck. In a moment I blew out the lamp and remained quiet. Marables got up, walked up to the cabin and opened the doer a little. Seeing that it was dark inside, he closed the door again and turned the key. There I was, locked up in the dark. I did not know what to do. At last I decided to call Marables, for I was less afraid of him than of Fleming. But suddenly I heard the sound of oars: Fleming was returning to the barge.
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Old 01-28-2016, 04:33 PM
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Quick, he said to Marables as he came to the cabin door, we have no time to lose, we must get up the bags and throw everything overboard. Two policemen have followed me, they may come any moment.

He took the key from Marables and opened the door. Fleming entered, stopped by the locker on the left side, and Marables followed him and sat down on the right locker. It was impossible for me to escape. I heard Fleming strike a match to light the lamp. Suddenly he saw me. The match fell out of his hand and all was dark as before. But the darkness was of no use to me now.

Jacob! cried Marables.

Will not live to tell the story, added Fleming in a firm Voice as he struck another match and lit the lamp.

Come, Fleming continued angrily, out of the cabin at once!

I prepared to obey him. Fleming went out, and I was following him round his side of the table when Marables spoke:

Stop, Fleming! What are you going to do?

It is useless to talk. It is now his life or mine. And I want to live!

You shall not by God, Fleming, you shall not! cried Marables, seizing me and holding me fast.

Fleming took a pistol from his pocket and struck Marables on the head. Marables fell senseless on the deck. Lifting me up in his arms, Fleming dragged me to the side of the barge and threw me into the dark water.

I had done well to learn to swim. I had no other clothes on but my shirt in which I had come on deck. Still I had little hope of saving myself in a dark night and at nearly a quarter of a mile from shore. I swam for some time but soon I felt that my strength was leaving me. Suddenly I heard the sound of oars: a second or two more and I saw them over my head.

Help! I cried, seizing one of the oars.

What the devil! Heres somebody overboard, said a mans voice.

I felt that many hands seized me and dragged me into the boat. I was half dead with cold. They had to cover me with a coat and pour some alcohol down my throat before I could speak.

To what ship do you belong? one of the men asked me.

The Polly barge.

The very one we are looking for. Where is she, my boy?

I directed them. The boat belonged to the River Police. The officer who steered her, then said:

How did you come overboard?

I was thrown overboard, I replied, by a man called Fleming.

Thats him, cried the officer. He tried to kill the boy. Forward!
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Old 01-28-2016, 04:33 PM
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In a quarter of an hour we caught up with the barge. The officer and four men jumped upon the deck, leaving the other two and myself in the boat.

Whats all this? cried Fleming as he met the policemen on the deck. Marables stood behind him.

Give us the key of your cabin, replied the officer as he tried the door and found it locked.

With all my heart, replied Fleming, but you will not find anything there. Marables, hand them the key.

Marables handed the key to the officer, who went into the cabin leaving two of the men on the deck. But he could find nothing, and soon came out again.

Well, said Fleming sarcastically, have you found anything?

Wait a little, said the officer, how many men have you in this barge?

You see them, replied Fleming.

Yes, but you have a boy. Where is he?

We have no boy, replied Fleming, two men are quite enough for this boat.

Still I ask you what has happened to the boy? He was on your deck this afternoon.

If there was one, I believe he has gone on shore again.

Answer me another question: which of you threw him overboard?

At this question Fleming turned pale, while Marables cried out:

It was not I. I wanted to save him. I wish the boy were here to prove it.

I am here, Marables, said I, coming on the deck. It is true that you tried to save me, until you were struck senseless by that man Fleming. He threw me overboard because I saw the silver and gold in the cabin.

Fleming did not say a word, but held out his hands for the handcuffs, which the officer had already taken out of his pocket. Marables jumped forward as soon as I had finished to speak and caught me in his arms.

My fine, honest boy! All that he has said is true, Sir! You will find the goods sunk in bags; the rope to them is tied to the barge. Jacob, thank God, you are safe! I little thought to see you again. There, Sir, continued he to the officer, holding out his hands. I must be punished. I had not strength enough to be honest.

The handcuffs were put on Marables as well as on Fleming, and the officer ordered the men to pull the bags out of the water. Then, leaving two men on the barge, the policemen rowed ashore with us all in the boat.
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