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Perils of Certain English Prisoners - Charles Dickens

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CHAPTER  I--THE ISLAND OF SILVER-STORE



It was in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and forty-
four, that I, Gill Davis to command, His Mark, having then the
honour to be a private in the Royal Marines, stood a-leaning over
the bulwarks of the armed sloop Christopher Columbus, in the South
American waters off the Mosquito shore.

My lady remarks to me, before I go any further, that there is no
such christian-name as Gill, and that her confident opinion is, that
the name given to me in the baptism wherein I was made, &c., was
Gilbert.  She is certain to be right, but I never heard of it.  I
was a foundling child, picked up somewhere or another, and I always
understood my christian-name to be Gill.  It is true that I was
called Gills when employed at Snorridge Bottom betwixt Chatham and
Maidstone to frighten birds; but that had nothing to do with the
Baptism wherein I was made, &c., and wherein a number of things were
promised for me by somebody, who let me alone ever afterwards as to
performing any of them, and who, I consider, must have been the
Beadle.  Such name of Gills was entirely owing to my cheeks, or
gills, which at that time of my life were of a raspy description.

My lady stops me again, before I go any further, by laughing exactly
in her old way and waving the feather of her pen at me.  That action
on her part, calls to my mind as I look at her hand with the rings
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