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Archibald Hughson An Arctic Story   By: (1814-1880)

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Archibald Hughson, the Young Shetlander An Arctic Story, by W.H.G. Kingston.

Archibald is a teenager living in Shetland, that group of islands to the north of Scotland. His father is dead, and his mother not very well. He longs to go to sea, and a seaman he knows aids him to stow away in a whaling ship, the "Kate", just parting for Greenland, where there is an abundance of whales.

The Captain is very kind, and accepts the situation. But one day when the boats are sent out in search of whales Archy stows away again, to see the fun. This does not work out too well, as the boat they are in is stove in, and its occupants have to jump helpless onto the ice. They are rescued by another whaling ship, the "Laplander", but this in turn is beset by the ice and broken to splinters.

Some of the people, including Archy, after walking a long way over the ice, make it back to the "Kate", now herself beset by ice. However, in spite of illness among the crew, they eventually get free, and manage to get the vessel, in a not very seaworthy condition, back to Shetland.

ARCHIBALD HUGHSON, THE YOUNG SHETLANDER AN ARCTIC STORY, BY W.H.G. KINGSTON.

CHAPTER ONE.

ARCHIBALD HUGHSON, A YOUNG SHETLAND LAD, HAVING A STRONG DESIRE TO GO TO SEA, AND HIS MOTHER WITHHOLDING HER CONSENT, DETERMINES TO RUN FROM HOME. HE IS TREACHEROUSLY ASSISTED BY MAX INKSTER, A WICKED SAILOR, WHO SUCCEEDS IN GETTING HIM STOWED AWAY ON BOARD THE "KATE," A GREENLAND WHALER.

"Where are you going, Archy?" asked Maggie Hughson, as she ran after her brother, who was stealing away from the house, evidently not wishing to be intercepted.

The young Hughson's home stood high up on the slope of a hill on the small island of Bressay, one of the Shetland group. Hence the eye ranged over the northern ocean, while to the eastward appeared the isle of Noss, with the rocky Holm of Noss beyond, the abode of numberless sea fowl, and to be reached by a rope way cradle over a broad chasm of fearful depth. The house, roofed with stone, and strongly built, as it needed to be to withstand the fierce gales blowing over that wild sea, was surrounded by patches of cultivated ground, without trench or bank, or a tree to be seen far or near.

Archy stopped when he heard his sister's voice; for, though headstrong and obstinate, he loved her more than any other human being.

"I am going over to Lerwick to see Max Inkster," he answered, looking back at her. "The `Kate' sails to morrow, and I promised him a visit before he goes."

"Oh, surely you don't forget that our mother told you she wished you would not have anything to say to that man!" exclaimed Maggie. "He is bad in many ways, and he can only do you harm."

"I am not going to be led by any one," answered Archy. "I like to hear his tales of the sea, and his adventures when chasing the whale, or hunting white bears, and those sort of things away in Greenland, and perhaps some day I may go to sea myself, and I want to know what sort of a life I am likely to lead. I am not going to be kept digging potatoes, and tending cattle and sheep all my life."

"Oh Archy! don't think of it," said Maggie. "It would break our mother's heart to have you go. You know that our father was lost at sea, and so was uncle Magnus, and many other relations and friends. God will bless you, and you will be far happier, if, in obedience to her, you give up your wild notions and stay at home."

"I am not going to be dictated to, Maggie, by mother or you," exclaimed Archy. "Max is a fine fellow, notwithstanding what you say. He is expecting me, and I am not going to break my engagement; so, good bye, Maggie. Go back home, and look after mother that's your duty, which you are so fond of talking about."

Maggie, finding that her arguments were of no avail, returned home, as she could not venture longer to leave her mother, who was ill in bed... Continue reading book >>




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