Charlie to the Rescue by R M Ballantyne Page 1 of 171

R.M. Ballantyne "Charlie to the Rescue"
Chapter One.
Introduces the Hero.

To be generally helpful was one of the chief points in the character of Charlie Brooke.

He was evidently born to aid mankind. He began by helping himself to everything in life that seemed at all desirable. This was natural, not selfish.

At first there were few things, apparently, that did seem to his infant mind desirable, for his earliest days were marked by a sort of chronic crossness that seemed quite unaccountable in one so healthy; but this was eventually traced to the influence of pins injudiciously disposed about the person by nurse. Possibly this experience may have tended to develop a spirit of brave endurance, and might perhaps account for the beautiful modifications of character that were subsequently observed in him.

At all events, sweet, patient amiability was a prevailing feature in the boy long before the years of infancy were over, and this heavenly aspect of him was pleasantly diversified, in course of time, by occasional displays of resolute --we might almost say heroic --self-will, which proved a constant source of mingled pride and alarm to his widowed mother.

From a very early period of life little Charlie manifested an intense desire, purpose, and capacity for what may be called his life-work of rescuing human beings from trouble and danger. It became a passion with him as years rolled on, and was among the chief means that brought about the changes in his chequered career.

Appropriately enough he began --almost in babyhood --by rescuing himself!

It happened thus.

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