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to look round at the wide expanse of sea before him, and to speculate upon the whereabouts of the ship Neptune at that moment. The wind had moderated during the night, and there was a gentle breeze now blowing off the land. The day was clear, and ships could be distinctly seen upon the horizon. It was just possible, Tom thought, that the ship in which his mother was might yet be in sight, and he looked with great interest upon one particular speck of white, upon which the sun was shining, and which betokened the position of a three-masted vessel in the extreme distance, hull down. It was no use giving way to such thoughts, however; his present business was to make the best use of his time as a schoolboy, and it was with that resolution that he turned and entered the boarding-house, on the books of which his name had been inscribed, at Abbotscliff. Chaffin followed him. Tom had begun to be a little suspicious
a of Chaffin; he felt inclined to give him half of one of his cakes and get rid of him, but the boy stuck closely to him. He could not follow him into the head master's presence, however, to which he was presently summoned for a short interview, nor into the house-master's study, in which he was afterwards received with great kindness by the tutor under whom he was to be placed. Dr. Piercey asked him a few questions, and with some words of kindness and encouragement dismissed him; but Mr. Grantly detained him to ask particulars of his previous history, and about his friends, and won the boy's heart at once by the interest he manifested in all belonging to him.
“Have you any friends in the school ?” Mr. Grantly asked.
Tom answered in the negative, but, on second thoughts, he doubted whether that was a sufficiently correct answer, and went on to explain in what manner he had been introduced to Marmaduke Chaffin.
“The Dook ?" Mr. Grantly said, laughing; "have you made
his acquaintance? Well, there are plenty of other boys nearer your own age, and you will soon get friendly with them. But don't take up too much with any till you know them.”
Tom soon found out by what means his new acquaintance had gained for himself the nickname of the Dook. Chaflin was not a favourite with any of the boys; he was too pretentious. His father had risen from a comparatively humble position by his own energy, and would not have been ashamed to acknowledge it. But his son considered himself a gentleman born, and was rather obtrusive in asserting his position. Chaffin the elder was clever and industrious, a stirring practical man, who knew how to push his way in the world; not oversensitive nor over-scrupulous, but one who would not be guilty of anything absolutely false or dishonest if he knew it. Chaffin the younger was idle and self-indulgent, and did not see the use of work, considering that his way was made for him, and that he would have nothing to do but to take care of his inheritance and to enjoy it. He had been brought up at an inferior school, and had been sent for a year or two to finish at Abbotscliff. At the former place he had been a triton among minnows; at the latter he was nobody. He sank into his natural position, and did not like it.
Boys are anything but particular, as a rule, where their schoolfellows come from, or what their origin may have been, if only they themselves are generous and genial. Marmaduke Chaffin had indulged in a great deal of boasting about his father's riches and importance. He gave such wonderful accounts of the paternal mansion, horses, carriages, and servants, that his schoolfellows set him down at once as an impostor. It was true that the contractor possessed a great many vehicles of a heavy, lumbering kind, on which his name was written at full length, and these, with some latitude of expression, might be called carriages; and he had a great many powerful horses
to draw them, and nobody could deny that they were horses; and he had clerks, and foremen, and labourers, who served him for their weekly hire, and, in that sense, were servants. Young Chaffin gave his descriptions in outline, and did not consider that he was guilty of falsehood in calling things by names too great for them. But the boys found him out, and turned his high-flown pretensions to ridicule. He went, therefore, by the name of the Dook. If a heavy cart passed along the road laden with bricks or rubbish, it was “one of the Dook's vehicles," and he was invited to get up and “roll in his carriage ;” if a team of dray-horses appeared it was the Dook's hunting stud ; if a labourer, covered with soil or whitewash,
1 came to the College on a job, Chaffin was sure to be told that one of his father's servants was there in livery. The little boys were the authors of these jokes; the seniors took no notice of Chaffin, and would have nothing to say to him. unfortunate for our friend Tom Howard that he should have made his first appearance at Abbotscliff under such auspices; but he knew nothing of “Marmadook's” character or antecedents, and was anxious to be on friendly terms with the youth on account of the kindness which his father had shown him at the Old Ship.
Mr. Grantly was careful to say nothing which might prejudice one boy against another; but having heard how matters stood between Chaffin and our hero, he determined to watch over the new boy, to direct him, without appearing to do so, in the choice of companions, and quietly to bring him under better influences. He kept him with him till the bell rang for dinner, and then, with a few kind words, dismissed him. Tom thought he was again very fortunate in having met with such a friend. It was wonderful, he said to himself, how kind everybody was; he had not been twenty-four hours on shore in this new part of the world, and yet he had already made so