The Cruise of the Make-Believes

The Cruise of the Make-Believes

Tom Gallon

Fiction / Classics

The thin young man with the glossy hat got out of the cab at the end of the street, and looked somewhat distrustfully down that street; glanced with equal distrust at the cabman. A man lounging against the corner public-house, as though to keep that British institution from falling, and leaving him without refreshment, got away from it, and inserted himself between the driver and the fare, ready to give information or advice to both, on the strength of being a local resident."Are you quite sure that this is Arcadia Street?" asked the young man in the glossy hat. He had a thin, meagre, precise sort of voice—delicate and mincing."Carn't yer see it wrote up?" demanded the driver, pointing with his whip to the blank wall that formed one side of the street. "Wotjer think I should want to drop yer in the wrong place for?" He was a cross driver, for he had already been driving about in the wilds of Islington in search of Arcadia Street for a long time, and he was doubtful whether or not that fact would be remembered in the fare."Yus—this is Arcadia Street, guv'nor," said the man from the public-house. "You take it from me; I've bin 'ere, man an' boy, since before I could remember. Wot part of it was you wantin', sir?"But the young man had already given the cabman a substantial fare, and had turned away. The man from the public-house jogged along a little behind him, eager to be of service for a consideration to a man to whom a shilling or two seemed to mean nothing at all; a few bedraggled staring children had sprung up, as if by magic, and were also lending assistance, by the simple expedient of walking backwards in front of the stranger, and stumbling over each other, and allowing him to stumble over them. And still the young man said nothing, but only glanced anxiously at the houses.He did not fit Arcadia Street at all. For he was particularly well dressed, with a neatness that made one fear almost to brush against him; while Arcadia Street, Islington, is not a place given to careful dressing, or even to neatness. Moreover, silk hats are not generally seen there, save on a Monday morning, when a gentleman of sad countenance goes round with a small book and a pencil, in the somewhat cheerless endeavour to collect rents; and his silk hat is one that has seen better days. So that it is small wonder that the young man was regarded with awe and surprise, not only by the straggling children,[3] but also by several women who peered at him from behind doubtful-looking blinds and curtains.Still appearing utterly oblivious of the questions showered upon him by the now frantic man who had constituted himself as guide, the young man had got midway up the street, and was still searching with his eyes the windows of the houses. If you know Arcadia Street at all, you will understand that in order to search the windows he had but to keep his head turned in one direction; for the habitable part of the street lies only on the left-hand side, the other being formed by a high blank wall, shutting in what is locally known as "The Works." From behind this wall a noise of hammering and of the clang of metal floats sometimes to the ears of Arcadia Street, and teaches them that there is business going on, although they cannot see it.
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Dead Mans Love

Dead Man's Love

Tom Gallon

Fiction / Classics

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The Second Dandy Chater

The Second Dandy Chater

Tom Gallon

Fiction / Classics

This is a reproduction of a book published before 1923. This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process. We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections, have elected to bring it back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide. We appreciate your understanding of the imperfections in the preservation process, and hope you enjoy this valuable book.
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