Jeff Benson, or the Young Coastguardsman

Jeff Benson, or the Young Coastguardsman

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Jeff Benson, or the Young Coastguardsman by Robert Michael Ballantyne

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Jeff Benson, or the Young Coastguardsman

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Book Excerpt

aw the moral, do you? I never was good at that, though I've known fellows with that peculiar cast o' brain as could draw a moral out of a marline-spike if they were hard put to it. Seems to me that it's best to let morals draw themselves. For instance, that time when I was wrecked on the South American coast, I came to a shallow river, an' had to wade across, but was too lazy to pull off my boots, 'cause they were long fisherman's boots, right up to the hip an' rather tight; so in I went boots an' all. Just as I was gettin' to the other side, a most awful alligator seized hold o' my right foot. It's wonderful how easy my boot came off just then! Although I was used to tug, an' shove, and gasp, and pull, at that boot of a night, no sooner did the alligator lay hold on it than my leg came out like a cork out of a bottle, and I was out o' the water and up the bank like a squirrel. Now, Molly, what would you say was the moral that should be drawn from that--Never use an alligator as a boot-jack--eh?"

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