The Honourable Mr. Tawnish (Chapter 1, page 1 of 18)


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Chapter 1

Myself and Bentley, who, though a good fellow in many ways, is yet a fool in more (hence the prominence of the personal pronoun, for, as every one knows, a fool should give place to his betters)--myself and Bentley, then, were riding home from Hadlow, whither we had been to witness a dog-fight (and I may say a better fight I never saw, the dog I had backed disabling his opponent very effectively in something less than three-quarters of an hour--whereby Bentley owes me a hundred guineas)--we were riding home as I say, and were within a half-mile or so of Tonbridge, when young Harry Raikes came up behind us at his usual wild gallop, and passing with a curt nod, disappeared down the hill in a cloud of dust.

"Were I but ten years younger," says I, looking after him, "Tonbridge Town would be too small to hold yonder fellow and myself--he is becoming a positive pest."

"True," says Bentley, "he's forever embroiling some one or other."

"Only last week," says I, "while you were away in London, he ran young Richards through the lungs over some triviality, and they say he lies a-dying."

"Poor lad! poor lad!" says Bentley. "I mind, too, there was Tom Adams--shot dead in the Miller's Field not above a month ago; and before that, young Oatlands, and many others besides--"

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