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Manners Makyth Man - Ship's Company, Part 12. by W. W. Jacobs
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By W.W. Jacobs


The night-watchman appeared to be out of sorts. His movements were even
slower than usual, and, when he sat, the soap-box seemed to be unable to
give satisfaction. His face bore an expression of deep melancholy, but a
smouldering gleam in his eye betokened feelings deeply moved.

"Play-acting I don't hold with," he burst out, with sudden ferocity.
"Never did. I don't say I ain't been to a theayter once or twice in my
life, but I always come away with the idea that anybody could act if they
liked to try. It's a kid's game, a silly kid's game, dressing up and
pretending to be somebody else."

He cut off a piece of tobacco and, stowing it in his left cheek, sat
chewing, with his lack-lustre eyes fixed on the wharves across the river.
The offensive antics of a lighterman in mid-stream, who nearly fell
overboard in his efforts to attract his attention, he ignored.

"I might ha' known it, too," he said, after a long silence. "If I'd only
stopped to think, instead o' being in such a hurry to do good to others,
I should ha' been all right, and the pack o' monkey-faced swabs on the
Lizzie and Annie wot calls themselves sailor-men would 'ave had to 'ave
got something else to laugh about. They've told it in every pub for 'arf
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