Tom, Dick and Harry

Talbot Baines Reed
Tom, Dick and Harry, by Talbot
Baines Reed

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Title: Tom, Dick and Harry
Author: Talbot Baines Reed
Release Date: April 5, 2007 [EBook #20992]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1

Produced by Nick Hodson of London, England

Tom, Dick and Harry
By Talbot Baines Reed

Another of this author's well-written and entertaining school books. In
this case the hero is young Master Jones. To prepare for entry to the
school he had been given some tuition by a lady who was a teacher at a
girls' school. Of course the other boys at the boys' school soon found
out that he had come to them from a girls' school, and he became
known, albeit affectionately, by the nickname of "Sarah".
But he is well respected, and enjoys his various friendships with the
other boys, noticing even, at one point, that they seemed to be vieing
with one another for his friendship.
Towards the end of the story his mother visits the school, and is a great
hit with the other boys.
There some moments of drama, amusingly told, such as when our hero
is unwittingly involved in almost blowing the school up! The boys
involved off are hauled off to the magistrate by the local village
policeman, who, comically, had imagined that a blazer, the top garment
worn by schoolboys of that era (and mine) was a kind of lucifer, which
in turn was a kind of match used before the invention of the
safety-match. This is a particularly amusing episode, terminating in the
magistrate awarding the school-keeper, who had been slightly injured,
one guinea costs, to pay for his bandages, which he pays out of his own
There are no mountain-side dramas as in several other books by this
author, and the rowing episodes on the river are quite tame. There are
no wicked local beer-house owners. But it is a good story, quietly and
evenly told. Best listened to rather than read. NH.

A shot! a yell! silence!
Such, as soon as I could collect myself sufficiently to form an idea at
all, were my midnight sensations as I sat up in my bed, with my chin on
my knees, my hair on end, my body bedewed with cold perspiration,
and my limbs trembling from the tips of my fingers to the points of my
I had been peacefully dreaming--something about an automatic
machine into which you might drop a Latin exercise and get it back
faultlessly construed and written out. I had, in fact, got to the point of
attempting nefariously to avail myself of its services. I had folded up
the fiendish exercise on the passive subjunctive which Plummer had set
us overnight, and was in the very act of consigning it to the mechanical
crib, when the shot and the yell projected me, all of a heap, out of
dreamland into the waking world.
At first I was convinced it must have been the sound of my exercise
falling into the machine, and Plummer's howl of indignation at finding
himself circumvented.
No! Machine and all had vanished, but the noises rang on in my waking
Was it thunder and storm? No. The pale moonlight poured in a gentle
flood through the window, and not a leaf stirred in the elms without.
Was it one of the fellows fallen out of bed? No. On every hand reigned
peaceful slumber. There was Dicky Brown in the next bed, flat on his
back, open-mouthed, snoring monotonously, like a muffled police rattle.
There was Graham minor on the other side, serenely wheezing up and
down the scale, like a kettle simmering on the hob. There opposite,
among the big boys, lay Faulkner, with the moonshine on his pale face,
his arms above his head, smirking even in his sleep. And there was
Parkin just beyond, with the sheet half throttling him, as usual,
sprawling diagonally across his bed, and a bare foot sticking out at the

end. And here lay--
Hullo! My eyes opened and my teeth chattered faster. Where was
Tempest? His bed was next to Parkin's, but it was empty. In the
moonlight and in the midst of my fright I could see his shirt and
waistcoat still dangling on the bed-post, while the coat and trousers and
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