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Bill's Paper Chase - Lady of the Barge and Others, Part 3. by W. W. Jacobs
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THE LADY OF THE BARGE

AND OTHER STORIES

By W. W. Jacobs




BILL'S PAPER CHASE


Sailormen 'ave their faults, said the night watchman, frankly. I'm not
denying of it. I used to 'ave myself when I was at sea, but being close
with their money is a fault as can seldom be brought ag'in 'em.

I saved some money once--two golden sovereigns, owing to a 'ole in my
pocket. Before I got another ship I slept two nights on a doorstep and
'ad nothing to eat, and I found them two sovereigns in the lining o' my
coat when I was over two thousand miles away from the nearest pub.

I on'y knew one miser all the years I was at sea. Thomas Geary 'is name
was, and we was shipmates aboard the barque _Grenada,_ homeward bound from
Sydney to London.

Thomas was a man that was getting into years; sixty, I think 'e was, and
old enough to know better. 'E'd been saving 'ard for over forty years,
and as near as we could make out 'e was worth a matter o' six 'undered
pounds. He used to be fond o' talking about it, and letting us know how
much better off 'e was than any of the rest of us.