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Across the Spanish Main A Tale of the Sea in the Days of Queen Bess   By: (1851-1922)

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Across the Spanish Main, by Harry Collingwood.

This book, of average length, is set at the end of the sixteenth century, when the English were in a state of war against the Spanish. The heroes of the story are two boys from Devon, a county in the south west of England. They set off with a view to repairing the fortunes of the family of one of them, by chasing and capturing Spanish treasure ships.

Their adventures are many and various, and include being captured by a famous pirate. They are also, later on in the book, condemned to be burnt to death by the Inquisition. Luckily they are able to escape this disagreeable outcome.

They also come across a cryptogram, which is rather difficult to solve, but which eventually they manage to decypher, and which leads them to the treasure hoarded by the pirate, who by that time has met his end.

This is a good book, and one which makes a very nice audiobook.




"Now now, Roger, my lad; what are you thinking of?" These words were addressed to a tall, fair young man of about eighteen or nineteen years of age, who was standing on Plymouth Hoe, gazing earnestly at the Sound and the evolutions of certain vessels which had just entered it round Penlee Point.

The speaker was a lad of about the same age, but shorter in height, sturdier in build, and altogether more robust and healthy looking than his companion, who belonged rather to the class of dreamers than that of workers.

The time was a bright summer morning in the month of June, in the year 1586; and although the great Armada which Philip of Spain fondly believed was to crush England was as yet undreamed of, war was even then being carried on in a somewhat desultory manner between England and Spain, very much to the disadvantage of the latter country.

English gentlemen, who called themselves "gentlemen adventurers", were fitting out merchant vessels as warships, and sailing for the Spanish Main and the Indies in the hope of securing some of the splendid prizes that were at that time to be obtained through pluck and audacity, in the shape of Spanish galleons richly and heavily laden with spices and gold from Manila, plate from Acapulco, or costly silks and fabrics and treasure untold from the new Spanish colony of Mexico.

It was of these stirring deeds and adventures that Roger Trevose of Pentillie Manor, on the river Tamar, in the county of Devon fairest and sweetest of all English counties, was thinking when his friend Harry Edgwyth, who had just arrived upon the scene, put his question: "How now, Roger, my lad; what are you thinking of?"

"I was thinking, Harry, what a splendid thing it would be if you and I could join some of these gentlemen adventurers (heroes I call them), and try our luck in the Spanish seas, fighting for our fortunes, and the glory of dear old England. Just think of it, lad! That is a life for a man to lead; is't not so, Harry? Pentillie Castle, as you know well, is heavily mortgaged; and my poor father and mother are very hardly put to it to make sufficient money to keep the old place up; and what would be more fitting, Harry, I ask you, than for the only son, the heir to those fair estates and that grand old mansion, to sail in some ship going to the Indies, and endeavour to retrieve the fortunes of his house? Think for a moment, Harry; who knows but that we might sight some rich Spanish galleon, laden almost to the water's edge with plate, and, having sighted her, chase and capture her! Why, a share of one of those splendid cargoes that the plate galleons carry would probably be sufficient to enable me to restore the fortunes of the dear old home, pay off its mortgages, and free my dearly loved parents from the load of care that is now oppressing them... Continue reading book >>

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