This exciting tale was presented to 'Charles Morgan' at the Shaftesbury Congregational Sunday School in 1922. Telling of a locked room, and a boy's efforts to discover its secret, the final page reveals the moral - don't pry into what doesn't concern you!
Harold Avery (1867–1943) was an English author of children's literature. In 1879, his family left England for Australia. En route, the ship was allegedly hijacked by Malay pirates in the Strait of Malacca, and forced to run aground; although Avery survived, his parents did not. After 3 years living with a native people in Malaysia, in 1882 he was rescued by a Dutch naval ship and reunited with his aunt Hanna Avery, his only living relative. After school at Eton College he later moved with his aunt to Edinburgh, and a job in the city's water department. Avery began writing in his early twenties, and in 1894 published "The Orderly Officer". Thomas Nelson and Sons published "The Triple Alliance" in 1897 and remained Avery's main publisher for the next 30 years.
Avery wrote mainly school stories, popular among both boys and girls in the later half of the 19th and earlier part of the 20th centuries, and described life in public and private schools in England, drawing mainly on his experiences at Eton. He also wrote several adventure books and stories, often featuring pirates and again drawing on his childhood experiences in Malaysia. He was extremely prolific, writing over 50 books within a 45 year period.
Our book is in very good condition, bound in illustrated blue cloth (no dust jacket - possibly as issued), with only minor damp spotting on the back cover, minimal bumping of corners, and slight shelf wear to top & bottom of the spine, which is also illustrated. Inside, the beige free endpapers are badly browned, and there is some foxing on some pages (but not much); pages are otherwise clean and clear, and the binding is firm. A bookseller's label is pasted inside the front cover, and the presentation citation is ink-written on the front fep.