|About the Book|
You positively annoy me, Joseph, and make me feel more angry than I care to admit. The matter is a serious one, and I am deeply distressed. After thirteen years of the most careful bringing-up there is complete and absolute failure. It is a miserable reward. And then, to make matters worse, you laugh at me, and egg the lad on to even greater crimes! Fiddlesticks, sir! Humbug! A miserable reward indeed! was the spirited answer. No one but yourself would admit it. He is a fine lad, though a little wild I will own- but for all that a generous, good-hearted boy. Let him alone! Dont worry him with all these goody-goody ideas. There is plenty of time for him to settle down, and meanwhile he will come to no harm, and, Ill be bound, will bring no discredit on you. The speaker shook his head knowingly, and helped himself to a large pinch of snuff. How can you argue like that, Joseph, when you know what the lad has done? the former speaker replied with much sternness. I hold practical joking to be at any time disgraceful, but when ones adopted son is one of three who actually laid a booby-trap for the mayor of this town in broad daylight, and made him a laughing-stock for all, then discreditable is the least one can say of it. It is positively scandalous.