Excerpt from Heaton Craig’s ‘Foundling! – The Early Life of a Remittance Man’

Excerpt from Book 1 of the Kindle 2 book series by Heaton Craig – ‘Foundling! – The Early Life of a Remittance Man’ ©


I remember the Craig family being invited for one of the Jenks’ Christmas Day dinner parties. Father, Mother, my sister and I, together with the five members of their family, were all seated around the enormous oval dining table at Belsham. We had all just polished off the delicious Christmas pudding, into which Uncle Jack had stuffed a generous number of freshly minted, silver half-crown coins, and laced the pudding with a liberal dose of flaming Napoleon brandy. Normally, the practice in our family was for Father to insert into our Beechlands Christmas pudding two, or at most, three ‘threepenny bits’, but more likely and usually ‘farthings’, the smallest denomination of currency in the realm. Meanwhile, I had extricated my fifth gleaming half-crown from my helping of pudding, and was licking the sweet, sticky residue off it. I glanced up at Father., who was glaring at me with a withering look of disapproval. Uncle Jack’s three daughters all started giggling. Father never appreciated being the butt of other people’s mirth. What was more, the girls had been mimicking him. I knew Father wouldn’t be able to contain his displeasure for much longer, so it came as no surprise when he blurted out: ‘All this extravagance is only encouraging the boy to be even more revolting than usual.’

‘Well, thank your lucky stars it’s only once a year, then, Stanley!’ guffawed Uncle Jack. ‘Come along everyone, let’s all hove into the goodies!’

There were oranges and mandarins, sticky dates, mixed nuts, and a delicious assortment of crystallised fruits. Most exciting for me, was the large dish of chocolate coins – sovereigns and half sovereigns, wrapped in gold foil, all mounded up temptingly

‘Gold rush time, kids!’ yelled Uncle Jack, scooping up a couple of handfuls of the chocolate coins and hurling them randomly into the nethermost regions of the spacious dining room. My sister, the girls and I, were squealing with delight, and scrambling around on all fours in our thrilling quest to recover them. After that game was over and we were all flushed and breathless, Uncle Jack devised another.

‘Now, kids,’ he challenged, ‘you see the top row of windows, over the big bay window? Right, there’s ten bob for the first one of you to chuck a walnut at the glass – and smash it!’

We were hurling walnuts, frantically, at those top windows, and they were simply bouncing back off the glass, quite harmlessly! The room was as warm as toast, as there was a roaring log fire in the hearth, and candles flickered everywhere. The ‘fairy-lights’ on the Christmas tree were blinking merrily, and holly and mistletoe, coloured streamers, and dozens of balloons and tinsel festooned every room in the whole house. Strings of multi-coloured light bulbs were draped haphazardly around the trees and shrubs in the garden, creating a winter fairyland. It was snowing steadily. We gazed out of the dining room bay window with excitement and wonder, watching the trillions of huge, soft snowflakes drifting and swirling, making their gentle descent to ground. Spotlights mounted above the doors of the conservatory illuminated a large area of the garden.

The recent heavy fall of fresh snow had covered all traces of our afternoon frolics on the wide expanse of lawn. Uncle Jack got up out of his chair and left the room. We thought, perhaps, he had just gone to the lavatory. Then, he appeared outside, knocking on the bay window in his Santa Claus costume. He had brought a toboggan from the garage! We all dashed out of the dining room and charged outside into the garden. All five of us children piled on to the toboggan, and Uncle Jack towed us around the garden at top speed. Sometimes the sledge would tip over, and we all tumbled in a heap into the soft snow, breathless and shrieking with laughter!

So precious were those happy times with Uncle Jack and his family! Only the pure anticipation of knowing that further similar adventures awaited me with him, during the far off next school holidays, made term-time almost bearable. When life at boarding school became Hell-on-Earth, I always tried to divert my thoughts away from my suffering, and concentrated them on my Godfather and my hero – Uncle Jack.

Book 1: ‘Foundling! – The Early Life of a Remittance Man’ © by Heaton Craig
Book 2: ‘Foundling! – A Remittance Man’s Racy Road to Reform’ © by Heaton Craig


About The Author :- Heaton Craig, born in Great Britain, has lived abroad for much of his life and travelled extensively. He has drawn on his experiences to defy contemporary literary norms and categories with a brand new subject; combining risqué humour, explicit erotica, pathos, paranormal experiences, theft, revenge, violence and murder; all set in a variety of locations, world-wide.

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