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Adrift in a Boat   By: (1814-1880)

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Adrift in a Boat, by W.H.G. Kingston.

This is not a very long book, but the story is a good one. Several families have met together to have a picnic on a pleasant local beach. To everyone's delight they are joined by Harry Merryweather, a midshipman home on leave. Harry and another youth, David Moreton, go for a wander round the rocks, but are cut off by the strong tide. The weather then turns very nasty, but the boys are able to swim to a passing boat containing an old man, Jefferies, and his young grandson, Tristram. The weather is now so bad they can't get back to the local harbour at Penmore.

There is an accident and young Tristram is lost overboard, and drowned.

They see a vessel, a brig, on her way down channel, but when they get to her they find she is an abandoned wreck. More bad weather. They are seen by a schooner about some bad business, who opens fire, probably to destroy an unwanted witness to some crime. The brig is sinking. They make a raft. Old Jefferies dies. They are picked up by a French schooner, which turns out to be a privateer. At this point the story gets even more convoluted, and you will have to read the book to see what happens next, and how the boys eventually get home.




Few parts of the shores of old England present more beautiful and romantic scenery than is to be found on the coast of Cornwall. There are deep bays, and bold headlands, and wild rocks, and lofty cliffs, and wooded heights, and bare downs, and yellow sands full of the most minute and delicate shells, so delicate that it is surprising how they could have existed in the rough and boisterous ocean, and been cast up whole from the depths below. In one of those beautiful bays, many years ago, a large party was collected, on a bright afternoon in the early part of autumn. Among the party were persons of all ages, but most of them were young, and all were apparently very busy. Some were engaged in tending a fire over which a pot was boiling, and others were collecting drift wood thrown up close under the cliff, with which to feed it. Two or three young ladies, under the superintendence of a venerable matron, were spreading a tablecloth, though the sand looked so smooth and clear that it did not seem as if the most dainty of people could have required one. Several were very eager in unpacking sundry hampers and baskets, and in carrying the dishes and plates, and bottles of wine, and the numerous other articles which they contained, to the tablecloth. Two young ladies had volunteered to go with a couple of pails to fetch water from a spring which gushed out of the cliff, cool and fresh, at some distance off, and two young gentlemen had offered to go and, assist them, which was very kind in the young gentlemen, as they certainly before had not thought of troubling themselves about the matter. To be sure the young ladies were very pretty and very agreeable, and it is possible that their companions might not have considered the trouble over excessive. The youngest members of the party were as busy as the rest, close down to the water collecting the beautiful shells which have been mentioned. The shells were far too small to be picked up singly, and they therefore came provided with sheets of thick letter paper, into which they swept them from off the sand where they had been left by the previous high tide. A loud shout from a hilarious old gentleman, who had constituted himself director of the entertainment, and who claimed consequently the right of making more noise than anybody else, or indeed than all the rest put together, now summoned them up to the tablecloth, to which at the sound, with no lingering steps, they came, exhibiting their treasures on their arrival to their older friends... Continue reading book >>

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