Culm Rock

Cover of book Culm Rock
Categories: Fiction » Literature

"My name is Oliver,—Noll, everybody calls me; I'm almost fifteen, and have always been at school in Hastings, and papa used to give me lessons beside. Is there a school at Culm Rock? I do wish you cou


ld have seen papa, dear Uncle Richard, he longed so for you when he died; but there is a letter for you among his papers, which will be sent to Culm Rock, if I do not come to bring it. Mr. Gray will tell you all about me, I suppose, and the affairs besides; so I will stop."Your nephew,"Noll Trafford."—And don't mind what Mr. Gray says, please, and only do as you like."Richard Trafford finished this letter with something like a grim smile on his lips."The boy has got the true Trafford spirit," he said to himself, "and some of Brother Noll's gentleness, I fancy. Ah, Noll was always a happier man than I!"He read the boy's letter again, wondering what made it seem so bright and pleasant, and feeling vexed with himself for doing it. Why should he care for this boy or this boy's letter? Had he not fled to Culm Rock to escape all knowledge of what was transpiring in the world without,—to forget friends and kin, if that was possible? He looked up and met the sweet, grave eyes of his wife looking down into his, and read something there which made his eyes fill and his lip quiver."Ah," he sighed, "why did I not try to follow after?" And with this thought in his heart, he rose and stood by the window, looking down at the crawling tide. His thoughts came back to the boy, presently, and with another grim smile upon his face, he remembered what a dull and dreary place Culm Rock would be for a lad of fourteen. He would soon tire of it, and be glad enough to go back to Hastings, he fancied. If he was a wild boy, he should go back on the return of the "White Gull;" if he could be tolerated, he might stay till he tired of it. It was poor Brother Noll's boy, after all, he thought, and he could not make his heart quite hard enough to refuse him a home. So, when Skipper Ben returned to Hastings with his next cargo of fish, he carried a letter hidden away under his pea-jacket, and this was what it contained:— --This text refers to the Kindle Edition edition.

Culm Rock
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