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The Young Buglers, A Tale of the Peninsular War is a book by British author G.A. Henty. It was published by Blackie and Son Ltd, London. It tells of the Peninsula War through the eyes of two orphaned brothers, Tom and Peter Scudamore. (source: Wikipedia)
105,500 words, with a reading time of ~ 6.4 hours (~ 422 pages), and first published in 1880. This DRM-Free edition published by epubBooks, 2010.
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Had any of the boys in the lower forms of Eton in the year 1808, been asked who were the most popular boys of their own age, they would have been almost sure to have answered, without the slightest hesitation, Tom and Peter Scudamore, and yet it is probable that no two boys were more often in disgrace. It was not that they were idle, upon the contrary, both were fairly up in their respective forms, but they were constantly getting into mischief of one sort or another; yet even with the masters they were favorites, there was never anything low, disgraceful, or ungentlemanly in their escapades, and they could be trusted never to attempt to screen themselves from the consequences by prevarication, much less by lying. If the masters heard that a party of youngsters had been seen far out of bounds, they were pretty sure that the Scudamores were among them; a farmer came in from a distance to complain that his favorite tree had been stripped of its apples—for in those days apples were looked upon by boys as fair objects of sport,—if the head–master’s favorite white poodle appeared dyed a deep blue, if Mr. Jones, the most unpopular master in the school, upon coming out of his door trod upon a quantity of tallow smeared all over the doorstep, and was laid up for a week in consequence, there was generally a strong suspicion that Tom and Peter Scudamore were concerned in the matter. One of their tricks actually came to the ears of the Provost himself, and caused quite a sensation in the place, but in this case, fortunately for them, they escaped undetected.