I pointed this out to Gideon, and he said— "Of course I don't know how much your
father paid in the pound. ... were glass eyes, like life, and the mouth was open
and pink, with terrific teeth—worn smooth where the tiger had chewed his prey.
Author: Eden Phillpotts
Publisher: RICHARD CLAY & SONS, LIMITED
Example in this ebook No. I PETERS, DETECTIVE Being from the first the chum and friend of Peters, I can tell about his curious ways better than anybody. In fact we shared our pocket-money, which is always a great sign of friendship; and it was understood that if ever I got into trouble when I grew up, and was accused of murder or forgery, or anything like that, which does often happen to the most innocent people, Peters would give up anything he might be doing at the time, and devote his entire life to proving me not guilty. I remember well the day he came. I was in the big school-room at the fire, roasting chestnuts and talking to Gideon; and Shortland and Fowle were also there. The Doctor came in with a new boy and said— "Ah! There are some of the fellows by the fire, Peters." Then he called out to Shortland and me and said— "Shortland and Maydew, this is Peters. Make him welcome, and if there are chestnuts going, as I suspect, share them with him." Then the Doctor went off to have some final jaw with the mother of Peters; and Peters came down the room and said "Good-evening" in a very civil and quiet tone of voice. He was thin and dark, and when he warmed his hands at the fire it was easy to see the light through them. He also had a pin in his tie in the shape of a human skull, about as big as a filbert nut, with imitation ruby eyes. We asked him who he was, and he said he came from Surrey, and that his father had been a soldier, but was unfortunately dead. His name was Vincent Peters. Then Shortland, who is a silly beast and a bully, and only in the lower fifth, though quite old—and, in fact, his voice has broken down—asked Peters the footling question he always asks every new boy. He said, "Would you rather be a greater fool than you look, or look a greater fool than you are?" Of course, whatever you answer, you must be scored off. But young Peters seemed to know it. Anyway, instead of answering the question he asked another. He said— "Would you rather be uglier than you look, or look uglier than you are?" Gideon was interested at this, because it showed at once Peters must be a cool hand. "What are you going to be?" Gideon asked; and then came out the startling fact that Peters hoped to be a detective of crime. "If you go detecting anything here you'll get your head punched," said Shortland. "I may or I may not," answered Peters. "But it's rather useful sometimes to have a chap in a school who has made a study of detecting things." "You can begin to-night, if you like," I said; "because Johnson major's bat was found to have seven tin tacks hammered into it last week, when he took it out of the case to give it a drop more oil; and if you find out who did that, I've no doubt that Johnson major will be a good friend to you—him being in the sixth and captain of the first at cricket." "I don't know enough about things yet," answered Peters. "Besides, you have to be sure of your ground. In detecting you may make friends, or you may not; but you will make enemies to a dead certainty. In fact, that's the drawback to detecting. Look at Sherlock Holmes." "That's only a yarn," said Gideon. But Peters wouldn't allow this. He evidently felt very deeply about Sherlock Holmes. "He is founded on fact—in fact, founded on thousands of solemn facts," said Peters. "The things he does are all founded on real crimes, and if anybody is going to be a detective, he can't do better than try to be like Sherlock Holmes in every possible way." To be continue in this ebook