Afloat at Last
As he was going into such a fashionable place as Westham, the nearest county town to our parish, at mother's especial request father consented to hide the beauties of his favourite old shooting-jacket under a more clerical-looking overcoat of a greyish drab colour, or "Oxford mixture." He was induced to don, too, a black felt hat, more in keeping with the coat than the straw one he had worn in the garden; and thus "grandly costumed," as he laughingly said to mother and Nell, who watched our departure from the porch of the rectory, he and I set out to make our purchases.
Dear me! the bustle and hurry and worry that went on in the house and out of the house in getting my things ready was such that, as father said more than once in his joking way, one would have thought the whole family were emigrating to the antipodes, instead of only a mere boy like me going to sea!
And then, when everything else had been packed and repacke