This is a curious book by Reed. It does not surprise us, because it has a long school-life section, but then it goes on to describe in rather frightening detail the life of a young clerk in London, trying to survive on a miserable pittance, living in a cheap lodging-house, and trying to keep up socially with his contemporaries. He is loyal to his friends, and in particular to his friend Smith, whom he had met at school, which had been a school for troublesome and backward boys.
day came at last, and with my little box corded up, with Mrs Hudson as an escort, and a pair of brand-new knickerbockers upon my manly person, I started off from my uncle's house in the coach for Stonebridge, with all the world before me.
I had taken a rather gloomy farewell of my affectionate relative in his study. He had cautioned me as to my conduct, and given me to understand that at Stonebridge House I should be a good deal more strictly looked after than I had ever been with him. Saying which he had bestowed on me a threepenny-bit as "pocket-money" for the term, and wished me good-bye. Under the circumstances I was not greatly overcome by this leave- taking, and settled down to make myself comfortable for my long drive with Mrs Hudson to Stonebridge.
Mrs Hudson had been my nurse ever since I could remember, and now the poor old soul and I were to part for good. For she was to see me safely inside the doors of Stonebridge House, and then go back, not to my uncle's (where she would no longer