In Honours Cause

George Manville Fenn

In Honour's Cause, by George Manville Fenn

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Title: In Honour's Cause A Tale of the Days of George the First
Author: George Manville Fenn
Illustrator: Lancelot Speed
Release Date: May 4, 2007 [EBook #21313]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ASCII

Produced by Nick Hodson of London, England

In Honour's Cause, by George Manville Fenn.
This book is set in the Court of George the First, a Hanoverian King who was not very popular. To make himself feel more comfortable he had introduced into his Court a number of German people, and also Dutch ones. The hero of the story is 17-year old Frank Gowan, who is a page in the ante-room of the Prince of Wales, the King's eldest son. His father is an officer in the King's Guard. Another page is Andrew, whose father is pro-Jacobite, as Andrew is himself.
One evening a German Baron deliberately insults Frank's father, and a duel ensues, in which the German is very badly wounded, but eventually recovers. However, Frank's father, who is very loyal to the King, is sentenced to be kicked out of his Regiment, and to leave the country.
The rest of the book is a series of searches for Frank's father, Sir Robert Gowan, roof-top escapes, working out who are the spies, and who the heroes in disguise. Most of the action takes place in the Palace, in the Park which is still adjacent (and a very pretty part of London), and in a house in a street just the other side of the Park from Saint James's Palace. As always with this author there are a number of close shaves. NH
A regular ringing, hearty, merry laugh--just such an outburst of mirth as a strong, healthy boy of sixteen, in the full, bright, happy time of youth, and without a trouble on his mind, can give vent to when he sees something that thoroughly tickles his fancy.
Just at the same time the heavy London clouds which had been hanging all the morning over the Park opened a little to show the blue sky, and a broad ray of sunshine struck in through the anteroom window and lit up the gloomy, handsome chamber.
Between them--the laugh and the sunshine--they completely transformed the place, as the lad who laughed threw himself into a chair, and then jumped up again in a hurry to make sure that he had not snapped in two the sword he wore in awkward fashion behind him.
The lad's companion, who seemed to be about a couple of years older, faced round suddenly from the other end of the room, glanced sharply at one of the doors, and then said hurriedly:
"I say, you mustn't laugh like that here."
"It isn't broken," said he who had helped to make the solemn place look more cheerful.
"What, your sword? Lucky for you. I told you to take care how you carried it. Easy enough when you are used to one."
The speaker laid his left hand lightly on the hilt of his own, pressed it down a little, and stood in a stiff, deportment-taught attitude, as if asking the other to study him as a model.
"But you mustn't burst out into guffaws like that in the Palace."
"Seems as if you mustn't do anything you like here," said the younger lad. "Wish I was back at Winchester."
"Pooh, schoolboy! I shall have enough to do before I make anything of you."
"You never will. I'm sick of it already: no games, no runs down by the river or over the fields; nothing to do but dress up in these things, and stand like an image all day. I feel just like a pet monkey in a cage."
"And look it," said the other contemptuously.
"What!" said the boy, flushing up to the temples, as he took a step toward the speaker, and with flashing eyes looked him up and down. "Well, if you come to that, so do you, with your broad skirts, salt-box pockets, lace, and tied-up hair. See what thin legs you've got too!"
"You insolent--No, I didn't mean that;" and an angry look gave place to a smile. "Lay your feathers down, Master Frank Gowan, and don't draw Master Frank Gowan, and don't draw your skewer; that's high treason in the King's Palace. You mustn't laugh here when you're on duty. If there's any fighting to be done, they call in the guard; and if any one wants to quarrel, he must go somewhere
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