John Deane was a real person, and I hope that the readers of this my book about him will be as much pleased with it as I was with the history of his adventures, placed in my hands by a friend who long resided at Nottingham. He was born at that town A.D. 1679. Though of gentle parentage, in his early days he followed the occupation of a drover. He then went to sea, and became a Captain in the Navy; after that he was a Merchant Adventurer. He next took service under Peter the Great, and commanded a Russian ship-of-war. On leaving Russia, he obtained the post of British Consul at Ostend, held by him for many years. Returning home, he was made a Burgess of his native town, and took up his abode at the neighbouring village of Wilford, where, in 1760, he died.
pproached, stood two well-grown unmistakably English girls, their dresses ornamented with cherry-coloured ribbons, just then in fashion: the eldest, Catherine, or Kate, as she was called, a brunette, tall and slight, with a somewhat grave and retiring manner, and far more refined than her rosy-cheeked, merry-looking younger sister Polly, who gave promise of some day growing into the goodly proportions of her mother. Mr Deane, with full wig, lace coat, and sword by his side, stood in the old oak hall, accompanied by his son Jasper, ready to hand the ladies from their sedan-chairs as they were brought into the hall. The last to arrive, who was received with all due honour, was a Dr Nathaniel Deane, a cousin of Mr Deane's, the only physician, and one of the greatest men, in Nottingham. Jack was the last to enter the house, and had but little time to slip into his room, and put on his grey dress suit, before dinner was announced. For a few minutes he was seen standing behind the door, unwilling to enter and go th