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Adrift on the Pacific A Boys [sic] Story of the Sea and its Perils   By: (1840-1916)

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A Boys Story of the Sea and its Perils


Author of

"The Young Pioneers," "Fighting to Win," "Adrift in the Wilds," "The Boy Patriot," Etc.



Copyright, 1911


Adrift on the Pacific




A few hours before the sailing of the steamer Polynesia , from San Francisco to Japan, and while Captain Strathmore stood on deck watching the bustle and hurry, he was approached by a nervous, well dressed gentleman, who was leading a little girl by the hand.

"I wish you to take a passenger to Tokio for me, Captain Strathmore," said the stranger.

The honest, bluff old captain, although tender of the feelings of others, never forgot the dignity and respect due to his position, and, looking sternly at the stranger, said:

"You should know, sir, that it is the purser and not the captain whom you should see."

"I have seen him, and cannot make a satisfactory arrangement."

"And that is no reason, sir, why you should approach me."

The captain was about moving away, when the stranger placed his hand on his arm, and said, in a hurried, anxious voice:

"It is not I who wish to go it is this little girl. It is a case of life and death; she must go! You, as captain, can take her in your own cabin, and no one will be inconvenienced."

For the first time Captain Strathmore looked down at the little girl, who was staring around her with the wondering curiosity of childhood.

She was apparently about six years of age, and the picture of infantile innocence and loveliness. She was dressed with good taste, her little feet being incased in Cinderella like slippers, while the pretty stockings and dress set off the figure to perfection. She wore a fashionable straw hat, with a gay ribbon, and indeed looked like a child of wealthy parents, who had let her out for a little jaunt along some shady avenue.

When Captain Strathmore looked down upon this sweet child, a great pang went through his heart, for she was the picture of the little girl that once called him father.

Her mother died while little Inez was an infant, and, as soon as the cherished one could dispense with the care of a nurse, she joined her father, the captain, and henceforth was not separated from him. She was always on ship or steamer, sharing his room and becoming the pet of every one who met her, no less from her loveliness than from her childish, winning ways.

But there came one awful dark day, away out in the Pacific, when the sweet voice was hushed forever, and the rugged old captain was bowed by a grief such as that which smites the mountain oak to the earth.

The little girl who now looked up in the face of Captain Strathmore was the image of Inez, who years before had sunk to the bottom of the sea, carrying with her all the sunshine, music and loveliness that cheered her father's heart. With an impulse he could not resist, the captain reached out his arms and the little stranger instantly ran into them. Then she was lifted up, and the captain kissed her, saying:

"You look so much like the little girl I buried at sea that I could not help kissing you."

The child was not afraid of him, for her fairy like fingers began playing with the grizzled whiskers, while the honest blue eyes of the old sailor grew dim and misty for the moment.

The gentleman who had brought the child to the steamer saw that this was a favorable time for him to urge his plea.

"That is the little girl whom I wished to send to Tokio by you."

"Have you no friend or acquaintance on board in whose care you can place her?"

"I do not know a soul."

"Is she any relative of yours?"

"She is my niece. Her father and mother are missionaries in Japan, and have been notified of her coming on this steamer."

"If that were so, why then were not preparations made for sending her in the care of some one, instead of waiting until the last minute, and then rushing down here and making application in such an irregular manner?"

"Her uncle, the brother of my wife, expected to make the voyage with her, and came to San Francisco for that purpose... Continue reading book >>

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