It is probable that many of these pages may be read with the comforting conviction that the scenes they depict and the lives they lightly sketch, in no way come within the range of possibility; but to any reader so little acquainted with the snares and perils, the misery and degradation that lay outside the pale of Total Abstinence, the assurance is tendered that the darkest pictures contained in this collection of stories are minutely faithful to life, and that the saddest incidents related have occurred under the personal observation, or within the knowledge of the writer.
d pimpled, and his once frank eyes now wandered furtively about.
"John's grown a fine fellow, hasn't he, Dick?" asked the mother, proudly.
"He ain't bad-looking, if that's what you mean, but he don't look up to snuff. No offence, Jack. I'll teach you a few wrinkles. Have a pipe, boy."
"Thanks," said John, replenishing his own.
"Take a glass," and Dick made a bumper of hot spirit and pushed it towards his brother.
"I don't take spirit, Dick. A glass of ale now and then is enough for me."
"Stuff and nonsense, Jack. Take it like a man. There's nothing like a glass of brandy and water for putting life into a fellow."
John took the glass, with a twinge of conscience as he thought of Ruth. But in the excitement of his brother's stirring accounts of bush life everything else was forgotten, and he not only drained the spirit before him, but finished a second glass with which Dick slyly supplied him.
"I tell you, Jack," said his brother, at the close of the eveni