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Old 01-27-2016, 06:30 PM
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Default Jacob Faithful by Frederick Marryat - book 2

CHAPTER I

The Two Toms Nearly Have an Accident. Hit My Enemy and Get Severely Punished for It

I continued to work as a clerk in Mr. Drummonds office. One morning I came to the wharf to watch the unloading of the barges, and just at this time old Toms fighter came under the crane. Now when the hook was lowered close to the deck, old Tom, instead of hooking on a box, held on by his hands and was at once lifted in the air. There was nothing unusual in Toms action: he just wanted to talk to me, and the crane could carry him over to the wharf where I was standing. But it happened that young Tom saw his father in the air and caught hold of his two wooden legs, and both Toms went up above the lighter.

Tom, Tom, what the devil are you about? cried the old man.

I am going up with you, father hope we shall go to heaven together.

We shall sooner go to the devil together, you little fool. I cant hold on much longer.

Well than, Ill let go, father. I am to blame for all this, after all.

Let go! cried old Tom, no, no Tom dont let go, my boy. Ill try a little longer.

Well, father, how much longer can you hold on?

A little very little longer, replied the old man struggling.

Well, hold fast now, cried young Tom. He raised his head above his arms and slowly shifted one of his hands to his fathers thigh, then the other. He again raised himself and caught at his fathers trousers with his teeth. He then shifted his hands round his fathers body, slowly climbed on his fathers shoulders and then caught hold of the hook above.

In the meantime the hook reached the bank of the wharf, and the father and son were safe. As soon as young Tom found himself on firm ground, he began laughing loudly.

Go on, laugh as much as you like: the whole thing has ended much better than I expected, old Tom said looking at his son.

Whats done, cant be helped, father, as Jacob says. After all, you are more frightened than hurt.

Soon young Tom was up to another trick. He played it on the clerk who was watching the unloading of the boat and noting down the number of the boxes and the kinds of goods they held. Tom pretended to be helping-the fellow in his work.

Whats that, boy? cried the clerk with his pencil in one hand and his book in the other.

Pea soup, 13, replied Tom, mens hats, 24, fish, 26.
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Old 01-27-2016, 10:32 PM
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All this was carefully noted down by the clerk, and taken to Mr. Drummond when the lighter was unloaded. There it turned out that there was flour in all the boxes. Mr. Drummond sent for young Tom, and asked him how he dared play such a trick.

I meant it as a good lesson to the clerk, Tom replied. In future he will do his own work and wont trust it to others.

To this Mr. Drummond agreed, and let young Tom go without punishment.

As the men had all gone to dinner, I went down into the lighter to have a talk with my old friends.

Well Jacob, said old Tom, Tom is not getting wiser he has played his tricks twice today.

Well, father, but none of my tricks had a bad ending.

Thats true, Tom, but what if we had both fallen from that hook?

Our conversation was interrupted by Mr. Hodgson, the head-clerk under whom I worked. The man had taken a dislike to me, and his dislike grew stronger every day, as Mr. Drummond again and again showed a friendly interest in me.

You Faithful, he shouted to me, come out of that barge directly, and go to your desk. I will have no lazy fellows under me. Come out, Sir, directly.

I say, Mr. Pen-driver, cried old Tom, do you mean to say that Jacob is a lazy fellow?

Yes, I do: and you had better keep your mouth shut or youll lose your job.

This does not exactly depend on you, old Tom replied.

Mr. Hodgson became very angry. I was also angry, and young Tom was impatient to say something.

Why, he said, I thought Jacob was apprentice to the river, but you make him sit at his desk all day long. How long do you mean to keep him there?

When the head-clerk went to the office, young Tom said to his father:

Mark my words, father, this wont last long. There is a storm coming and Jacob, quiet as he seems to be, will show his teeth soon.
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Old 01-27-2016, 10:32 PM
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Tom was right. On the same day I had a bad quarrel with the head-clerk. He began to scold me for a paper which was perfectly correct and well written. He tore it into pieces and ordered me to write it over again. I was indignant and, throwing down my pen, looked him in the face. He became furious and, catching up a heavy book, threw it at my head. Beside myself with anger, I seized a ruler and hit the man on the head. At this moment Mr. Drummond entered the room. He saw only the end of the fight.

That very afternoon I had to answer for my behaviour. I was told that Mr. Drummond wanted to speak to me on important business. I walked up to the drawing-room, where I found Mr. and Mrs. Drummond, and little Sarah, whose eyes were red with crying.2 Mrs. Drummond looked upset, Mr. Drummond severe.

Jacob Faithful, I have sent for you to tell you that you can ho longer remain under my roof. You have quite forgotten your duty. Your behaviour today shows that the friendship with that drunken old man and his son has told badly on you. You may say that it was not your wish to remain on shore, and all the time you wanted to go back to the river. Well, I was hoping to find a better place for you in society. Now I see that I was mistaken in you. It appears that you are ungrateful.

I am not, interrupted I, calmly.

You are. I have seen your rough behaviour with my own eyes today. But no more of that. You return as an apprentice to the river. Do not expect anything from me: you must now work your own way up in the world and I trust that you will reform and do well. You may return to the lighter until I find you a situation in another boat. You shall not remain with the old man and his son. One thing more. You have been in my office for some months here are ten pounds for your services. (Mr. Drummond laid the money on the table.) Remember that I have some more money belonging to you. Ill keep it for you until your apprenticeship is over. Well, Jacob, I trust that the severe lesson you are now about to receive will do you good. Do not try to say anything in your defence, its useless.

Mr. Drummond then rose, and left the room. At first I wanted to explain everything, but the last words of my master filled me with indignation. Therefore I stood still, and firmly met his look as he passed me. Mrs. Drummond looked upon me in silence. There was sympathy in her eyes.

Have you nothing to say, Jacob? Mrs. Drummond began at last. What shall I tell Mr. Drummond when his anger is not so great?
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Old 01-27-2016, 10:32 PM
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Nothing, madam, I replied.

This reply offended the kind Mrs. Drummond. She rose from her chair. Come, Sarah, said she, good-bye, Jacob. And she walked out of the room.

I was blinded by tears. I tried to answer Mrs. Drummond, but I could not speak because my heart was too full. Little Sarah remained with me in the room. She was now nearly fourteen years old, and I had known her as a companion and friend for five years. We had become still more friendly during the last six months that I had lived in the house. I loved her as a dear sister, but I never knew how great my love was until now that I was about to leave her. Tears were running down my cheeks as I stood there holding the door handle. Suddenly I felt Sarah touch my hand.

Jacob! she whispered, and then burst into tears. We wept together for a while and then, when we calmed down at last, I told her all that had passed. I complained to her that I had been treated unjustly, and she understood me. I had just-finished when a servant interrupted us: he was sent by Mrs. Drummond, who wanted to speak to her daughter. Sarah threw herself into my arms and said good-bye to me. When she was about to leave the room she noticed the money still upon the table.

Your money, Jacob, she said, pointing to it.

No, Sarah, I will not take it I would take anything from those who treated me kindly, but I cannot take this

Sarah saw that I was firm, and she understood my feelings. So she did not insist, but said good-bye to me once more, and quickly walked away.
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Old 01-27-2016, 10:32 PM
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After that I packed up my clothes, and in less than ten minutes I was on board the lighter. Old Tom and his son were just going to have supper. They knew a part of what had happened, and I told them the rest.

Well, replied old Tom after I had finished my story,I dont know that I have done you any harm, Jacob. I am sorry that Mr. Drummond thinks so. Im fond of a drink, thats true; but I never force it on you. And then, dont I always try to stop my boy when he wants to have a drink? Well, I know that I am to blame, after all, that Tom is so fond of grog. I often think to myself that if Tom gets punished because of grog, he will think of his father and curse him in his heart

Ill curse myself. But Ill be hanged5 if ever I curse you, who have been so kind to me, replied Tom, taking his fathers hand.

Well, we must hope for the best, my dear boy, replied old Tom, but, Jacob, they have treated you unjustly, thats certain. Its true that master took you as an orphan, and helped you, but thats no reason why he should take away your free will. First he apprenticed you to the river, and then put you up on a high stool. and made you work hard at the desk. If he was so kind to you only to make you a slave, why then there was no kindness at all in my opinion. And then he had no right to punish you without hearing what you had to say in your own defence. Now you see, Jacob, Mr. Drummond had done a great deal for you, and now he has undone a great deal. You dont owe him much, for what thanks is there if you take a boat in tow, and then leave her alone, half way, when she most needs your help? But what hurts me most is his saying that you shant stay in the lighter with us. Never mind. Tom, my boy, bring out the bottle hang care: it killed the cat.
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Old 01-27-2016, 10:33 PM
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CHAPTER II

Turn a Sportsman and Poacher. A Quarrel with the Keeper

In half an hour we left the wharf and started on another trip down the river. I cannot say that I felt happy, but I certainly felt glad that I was away from the house of my master. Looking at the river and its busy scene, I felt as if all ties on shore were now cut off, and I was again married to the Thames: my ideas, my wishes, the whole of my future lay with it. I was sure that I would never leave it again.

My friends were also gloomy. They were too kind of heart not to feel my situation and anger at the injustice with which my master had treated me. The work we had to do on board the boat made us forget our sad thoughts. We dropped anchor above Putney Bridge a little after twelve oclock, and young Tom proposed that we should go on shore and walk.

Ah! Go, my lads, go on shore it will do you good, Jacob. You need not stay on board while we are at anchor. Ill take care of the barge. Tom, take an empty bottle and bring it back full. Ill have the supper ready before you come back. Heres the money.

Get the boat ready, Jacob, quick! said Tom, as his father went into the cabin to fetch an empty bottle. Tom slipped down below, and brought up an old gun, which he hid in our boat before his father came out on deck. We then took the bottle from him, and Tom called out for the dog Tommy.

Why, youre not going to take the dog. Whats the use of that? I want him here to keep watch with me, said old Tom.

Pooh! father; why cant you let the poor devil have a run on shore? He wants to eat grass, Im sure, for I have watched him this day or two. We shall be back before dark.

Well, well, just as you please, Tom. Tommy jumped into the boat, and we rowed to shore.

And now, Tom, what are you after? said I, as soon as we were ten yards from the lighter.

We are going to have a little shooting on Wimbledon Common; but father does not allow me to use a gun. Are you a good shot?

Never fired a gun in my life.

Well then, well fire in turns.
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Old 01-27-2016, 10:33 PM
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We landed, carried the oars to the public-house, and left the bottle to be filled. Soon we were among the bushes on Wimbledon Common. Tommy was running before us. The first shot was mine. I took good aim at a small bird and fired. Tommy barked loudly, and the bird flew away.

Never mind, said I, better luck next time.

Tom then shot a bird, and handed the gun to me again. This time I was more successful, and another bird fell off a bush three yards away as I fired my gun. I never felt more happy in my life. We slowly walked across the common, trying to avoid swamps and sometimes falling in with pits half full of water. We fired the gun again and again, but missed more often than hit. After every shot Tommy barked for half a minute.

At last we began to feel tired, and agreed to rest a little among the bushes. We sat down, and pulled out of our bags the birds which we had shot. There were seven of them lying on the ground before us. All of a sudden we heard a noise in the bushes. It was the dog who had caught a hare wounded by some other sportsman. We took the hare away from Tommy and laid it on the ground, too. It was quite a large animal, and we were happy about it. Suddenly we heard a voice close to us:

There you are, young poachers. Ive caught you, havent I?

We looked up and saw the keeper of Wimbledon Common.

Come come along with me. We have a nice prison at Wandsworth. Its just for you. Ive been watching you for some time. Hand your gun here.

I shall not, replied I. The gun belongs to us and not to you. And I took the gun and pointed it at him.

What! do you mean to kill me?

Do you mean to rob us? I replied angrily. Shall I shoot him, Tom?

No, Jacob, no. You mustnt shoot men, Tom said. Indeed, you cant, he continued, whispering to me, the gun is not loaded.

Do you mean to refuse to give me up your gun? repeated the man.

Yes, I do. So keep off.

Oh! You young criminals youll answer for this. Do you refuse to come with me?

We do, I replied.

You refuse, do you? Remember, Ive caught you in the fact, poaching, with a dead hare on your hands.

Well, its no use crying about it. Whats done cant be helped, I replied.

Dont you know that everything on this common belongs to Earl Spencer?

And all the birds too, I suppose? replied I.
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Old 01-27-2016, 10:34 PM
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They do and I am keeper here. Now, youll give me up that hare at once.

Look you, replied Tom, we didnt kill that hare, the dog caught it. If he lets you take it, well and good. Here, Tommy, this gentleman says (Tom pointed to the keeper) that this hare (Tom pointed to the hare) is not yours. Now will you watch it or let him take it?

At the word watch it Tommy stood over the hare and, showing his teeth at the man, growled.

You see what he says; now you may do as you please, continued Tom, addressing the man.

Yes very well youll be hanged, I see that. But Ill just go and fetch a few men to help me. Then Ill take you both to prison.

Then, be quick, replied I, jumping up and pointing the gun at him. Tommy jumped up also to fly at the man, but Tom caught him in time. The keeper started1 running away. As soon as he was out of gun-shot he turned round, shook his fist and then hastened away.

I am sorry the gun was not loaded, said I.

Why, Jacob, whats come over you? The man is only doing his duty. We have no business here.

I think differently, replied I. A hare on a common is as much mine as Lord Spencers. A common belongs to everybody.

Thats my opinion, too; but if he catches us, hell put us in prison. We had better run as fast as we can.

We started at once. But it so happened that when we turned round after a quarter of an hours walk, we saw the man coming back with three or four others.

Lets run to the bushes, cried Tom, and then hide ourselves.

In ten minutes we reached a swampy place and entered a thick growth of bushes which quite hid us. Tommy followed us, and there we lay.

Now they will never find us, said Tom, If I can only keep the dog quiet. Lie down, Tommy. Watch, and lie down.

The dog appeared to understand: he lay between us perfectly still. We had remained there about half an hour when we heard voices. They were coming nearer. Tommy gave a low growl. Tom held his mouth with his hand. At last they were close to the bushes, and we heard the keeper say:

They didnt go over the hill, thats for certain. They cant be far off come along.
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Old 01-27-2016, 10:34 PM
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But Im up to my knees in the swamp, cried one of the men, Ill not go further, hang me if I do.

Well then, lets try the side of the swamp, replied the keeper. Ill show you the way. And the voices died away in the distance. We remained in our hiding-place for half an hour, when it became nearly dark. We decided to return as fast as we could. But we were hardly clear of the bushes when it became still darker and a heavy snowfall began. The wind rose, and it threw the wet snow into our faces until we were blinded. Still we walked on, and expected every minute to be on the road. I was carrying the gun, Tom had the hare thrown over his shoulder, and Tommy followed behind. For about an hour we went on, but could find no road. Above us all was dark, the wind howled, our clothes were covered with snow, and we began to feel very tired. At last, tired out, we stopped.

Tom, said I, Im sure we have lost our way. What the devil shall we do?

We must go until we find the road, replied Tom.

Come on, then, I said.

It was very difficult to walk. We slipped on the wet ground and often fell over stones hidden among the bushes. The wind was so strong that we could hardly walk against it.

This will never do, said I, feeling quite tired out. I think we had better get into the bushes and wait till the storm is over.

Toms teeth chattered with cold; but before he could reply, they chattered with fear. We heard a loud scream overhead.

What was that? he cried.

I must say that I was as frightened as Tom. The scream was repeated. I looked up, but the snow blinded me so much that I could see nothing. The horrible sound rang in our ears again and again. We did not speak a word, neither of us moved; the gun had fallen from my hand, the hare lay at Toms feet; we held each others hand in silence, and there we remained for more than a quarter of an hour.

At last the storm was over. The snow stopped falling, the sky cleared and the stars came out. I looked around and saw a post within two yards of us. Looking up, I saw, to my horror, a body swinging in chains over our heads. As soon as I recovered from the shock, I pointed it out to Tom. He looked up and started back. But then he stopped and broke into a laugh.
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Old 01-27-2016, 10:34 PM
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Its Jerry Abershaw, said he, I know him well, and now I know where we are. About three years ago Abershaw was hanged in chains on Wimbledon Common. The sound that frightened us came from the rusty chain as the body was swung by the wind. Alls right Jacob. Well be on the road in five minutes.

Tom took the hare, I picked up the gun, and we started off.

Well, this has been a pretty adventure, Tom said again, father must be worried about our long absence.

Better luck next time, Tom, I replied. Its all because of that keeper. I wish we had him here.

Why, what would you do with him?

I would take down old Abershaw, and hang him up in his place, thats what I would do!
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