Mr. Manville Fenn is always at his best in the stories for boys, that form such an important feature in Christmas book-lists. Mayne Gordon and Esau Dean, the two heroes of the present story, escape from a tyrannical master in the City, who thrashes them into a despairing rage and then prosecutes them for assault. After a good deal of trouble, the lads arrive safely in British Columbia. On the way out they pick up a one-eyed prospector, who proves their good angel in countless hair-breadth adventures, and finally--after trying unsuccessfully at gold-digging--the whole party become comfortable and prosperous settlers.
The door was banged before I could have answered. Not that I should have said anything. But as soon as the door clicked Esau went on again without subduing his voice--
"I ain't afraid of him--cheating old knocktioneer! Thinks he's a right to knock everybody down 'cause he's got a licence."
"Go on with your work," I whispered, "or he'll come back."
"Let him; I don't care. I ain't afraid. It was all your fault for going out."
"And yours for being asleep."
"I can't help my head being heavy. Mother says it's because I've got so much brains. But I'll serve him out. I'll make all the mistakes I can, and he'll have to pay for them being corrected."
"What good will that do?"
"I dunno; but I'll serve him out. He shan't hit me. I say, what did you go out to buy?"
"Nothing. I went out to speak to that gentleman who came."
"What gentleman who came?"
"While you were asleep."
"There you go! You're as bad as old Knock-'em-down. Fellow's only got to