Excerpt from Peter Priggins, the College Scout
I was his deputy from the time his hand forgot its cunning, after the twelfth bottle - for port wine was drunk in those days, and so were some of its drinkers -but that's parenthetic - and tea was scarce then, if not unknown. As tea has cheapened, humbug has progressed.
My mother was fortunately a very pretty woman, and my father fell so suddenly and desperately in love with her one day on visiting the village where she dwelt, which was the favourite summer's residence of one of his masters, that he married her in less than a week, and was blessed with my appearance in rather less than seven months. The young squire did not forget his prote'gee, who had been lady's-maid at the Hall, and promised to provide for her first born, if it proved a boy. Well! I was a boy, and reckoned more like the squire than my own mother's husband; and he, the squire, kept his word, for he sent mother half a bacon-hog, as a delicacy during her recovery; and me, a basket of cherries and plums, which being administered injudiciously, stones and all, had very nearly provided for me for ever.
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