The Captain

The Captain's Toll-Gate

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Captain's Toll-Gate, by Frank R. Stockton This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net Title: The Captain's Toll-Gate Author: Frank R. Stockton Release Date: September 2, 2004 [EBook #13356] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE CAPTAIN'S TOLL-GATE *** Produced by Stephen Schulze and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team. THE CAPTAIN'S TOLL-GATE By FRANK R. STOCKTON With a Memorial Sketch by Mrs. Stockton 1903 CONTENTS I. II. III. IV. V. VI. VII. VIII. IX. X. XI. XII. XIII. XIV. XV. XVI. XVII. XVIII. XIX. XX. XXI. XXII. XXIII. XXIV. XXV. XXVI. XXVII. XXVIII. XXIX. XXX. XXXI. XXXII. XXXIII. XXXIV. XXXV. XXXVI. XXXVII. XXXVIII. OLIVE MARIA PORT MRS. EASTERFIELD THE SON OF AN OLD SHIPMATE OLIVE PAYS TOLL MR. CLAUDE LOCKER THE CAPTAIN AND HIS GUEST GO FISHING AND COME HOME HAPPY CAPTAIN ASHER IS NOT IN A GOOD HUMOR MISS PORT TAKES A DRIVE WITH THE BUTCHER MRS. EASTERFIELD WRITES A LETTER MR. LOCKER IS RELEASED ON BAIL MR. RUPERT HEMPHILL MR. LANCASTER'S BACKERS A LETTER FOR OLIVE OLIVE'S BICYCLE TRIP MR. LANCASTER ACCEPTS A MISSION DICK IS NOT A PROMPT BEARER OF NEWS WHAT OLIVE DETERMINED TO DO THE CAPTAIN AND DICK LANCASTER DESERT THE TOLL-GATE MR. LOCKER DETERMINES TO RUSH THE ENEMY'S POSITION MISS RALEIGH ENJOYS A RARE PRIVILEGE THE CONFLICTING SERENADES THE CAPTAIN AND MARIA MR. TOM ARRIVES AT BROADSTONE THE CAPTAIN AND MR. TOM A STOP AT THE TOLL-GATE BY PROXY HERE WE GO! LOVERS THREE! TWO PIECES OF NEWS BY THE SEA AS GOOD AS A MAN THE STOCK-MARKET IS SAFE DICK LANCASTER DOES NOT WRITE MISS PORT PUTS IN AN APPEARANCE THE DORCAS ON GUARD COLD TINDER IN WHICH SOME GREAT CHANGES ARE RECORDED "IT HAS JUST BEGUN!" LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS Portrait of Prank B. Stockton Etching by Jacques Reich from a photograph. The Holt, Mr. Stockton's home near Convent, N.J. Claymont, Mr. Stockton's home near Charles Town, West Virginia. A corner in Mr. Stockton's study at Claymont. The upper terraces of Mr. Stockton's garden at Claymont. A MEMORIAL SKETCH As this—The Captain's Toll-Gate—is the last of the works of Frank R. Stockton that will be given to the public, it is fitting that it be accompanied by some account of the man whose bright spirit illumined them all. It is proper, also, that something be said of the stories themselves; of the circumstances in which they were written, the influences that determined their direction, and the history of their evolution. It seems appropriate that this should be done by the one who knew him best; the one who lived with him through a long and beautiful life; the one who walked hand in hand with him along the whole of a wonderful road of ever-changing scenes: now through forests peopled with fairies and dryads, griffins and wizards; now skirting the edges of an ocean with its strange monsters and remarkable shipwrecks; now on the beaten track of European tourists, sharing their novel adventures and amused by their mistakes; now resting in lovely gardens imbued with human interest; now helping the young to make happy homes for themselves; now sympathizing with the old as they look longingly toward a heavenly home; and, oftenest, perhaps, watching girls and young men as they were trying to work out the problems of their lives. All this, and much more, crowded the busy years until the Angel of Death stood in the path; and the journey was ended. In regard to the present story—The Captain's Toll-Gate—although it is now after his death first published, it was all written and completed by Mr. Stockton himself. No other hand has been allowed to add to, or to take from it. Mr. Stockton had so strong a feeling upon the literary ethics involved in such matters that he once refused to complete a book which a popular and brilliant author, whose style was thought to resemble his own, had left unfinished. Mr. Stockton regarded the proposed act in the light of a sacrilege. The book, he said, should be published as the author left it. Knowing this fact, readers of the present volume may feel assured that no one has been permitted to tamper with it. Although the last book by Mr. Stockton to be published, it is not the last that he wrote. He had completed The Captain's Toll-Gate, and was considering its publication, when he was asked to write another novel dealing with the buccaneers. He had already produced a book entitled Buccaneers and Pirates of our Coasts. The idea of writing a novel while the incidents were fresh in his mind pleased him, and he put aside The Captain's Toll-Gate, as the other book—Kate Bonnet —was wanted soon, and he did not wish the two works to conflict in publication. Steve Bonnet, the crazyheaded pirate, was a historical character, and performed the acts attributed to him. But the charming Kate, and her lover, and Ben Greenaway were inventions. Francis Richard Stockton, born in Philadelphia in 1834, was, on his father's side, of purely English ancestry; on his mother's side, there was a mixture of English, French, and Irish. When he began to write stories these three nationalities were combined in them: the peculiar kind of inventiveness of the French; the point of view, and the humor that we find in the old English humorists; and the capacity of the Irish for comical situations. Soon after arriving in this country the eldest son of the first American Stockton settled in Princeton, N.J., and founded that branch of the family; while the father, with the other sons, settled in Burlington County, in the same State, and founded the Burlington branch of the family, from which Frank R. Stockton was descended. On the female side he was descended from the Gardiners, also of New Jersey. His was a family with literary proclivities. His father was widely known for his religious writings, mostly of a polemical character, which had a powerful influence in the denomination to which he belonged. His half-brother (much older than Frank) was a preacher of great eloquence, famous a generation ago as a pulpit orator. When Frank and his brother John, two years younger, came to the age to begin life for themselves, they both showed such decided artistic genius that it was thought best to start them in that direction, and to have them taught engraving; an art then held in