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“Are you sure your name is Manton?"

Captain Gilbert looked keenly across the table. The light in the little room was not good, and the expression on the Captain's face was one of intense interest and bewilderment.

"Quite sure, sir—John Manton," answered the man standing at the further side of the table.

Manton was one of a number of recruits who had that day presented themselves at the Ryde Recruiting Office—a tall, well-poised man of twenty-six, dark-haired, blue-eyed, firm-lipped and vigorous-looking, despite the fact that his countenance was somewhat pale. He wore a well-brushed blue serge suit, noticeably the worse for wear. His bowler hat, too, had seen long service.

Captain Gilbert, still looking at him, drew forth a sheet of paper, and took up his pen.

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