W W Jacobs

A Black Affair

“I didn’t want to bring it,” said Captain Gubson, regarding somewhat unfavourably a grey parrot whose cage was hanging against the mainmast, “but my old uncle was so set on it I had to. He said a sea-voyage would set its ‘elth up.”

“It seems to be all right at present,” said the mate, who was tenderly sucking his forefinger; “best of spirits, I should say.”

“It’s playful,” assented the skipper. “The old man thinks a rare lot of it. I think I shall have a little bit in that quarter, so keep your eye on the beggar.”

Low Water

It was a calm, clear evening in late summer as the Elizabeth Ann, of Pembray, scorning the expensive aid of a tug, threaded her way down the London river under canvas. The crew were busy forward, and the master and part-owner–a fussy little man, deeply imbued with a sense of his own importance and cleverness–was at the wheel chatting with the mate. While waiting for a portion of his cargo,

Made To Measure

Mr. Mott brought his niece home from the station with considerable pride. Although he had received a photograph to assist identification, he had been very dubious about accosting the pretty, well-dressed girl who had stepped from the train and gazed around with dove-like eyes in search of him. Now he was comfortably conscious of the admiring gaze of his younger fellow-townsmen.

Angels’ Visits

Mr. William Jobling leaned against his door-post, smoking. The evening air, pleasant in its coolness after the heat of the day, caressed his shirt-sleeved arms. Children played noisily in the long, dreary street, and an organ sounded faintly in the distance.

Husbandry

Dealing with a man, said the night-watchman, thoughtfully, is as easy as a teetotaller walking along a nice wide pavement; dealing with a woman is like the same teetotaller, arter four or five whiskies, trying to get up a step that ain’t there. If a man can’t get ‘is own way he eases ‘is mind with a little nasty language, and then forgets all about it;