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The Brassbounder A Tale of the Sea   By: (1874-1959)

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THE BRASSBOUNDER

A Tale of the Sea

by

DAVID W. BONE

AUTHOR OF "BROKEN STOWAGE"

DUCKWORTH

3 HENRIETTA STREET

LONDON, W.C.2.

All Rights Reserved

First published 1910. Reprinted (twice) 1910.

Reprinted 1911. Popular Edition printed 1913.

Reprinted 1916 and 1924.

Reprinted (New Readers Library) 1927.

Made and Printed in Great Britain by

The Camelot Press Limited

London and Southampton

TO

JAMES HAMILTON MUIR

THE NEW READERS LIBRARY

1. GREEN MANSIONS by W. H. HUDSON 2. THE POLYGLOTS by WILLIAM GERHARDI 3. THE SEA AND THE JUNGLE by H. M. TOMLINSON 4. THE ROADMENDER by MICHAEL FAIRLESS 5. THE TERROR by ARTHUR MACHEN 6. LOST DIARIES by MAURICE BARING 7. THE BONADVENTURE by EDMUND BLUNDEN 8. SUCCESS by CUNNINGHAM GRAHAM 9. BIRDS AND MAN by W. H. HUDSON 10. THE BLACK MONK by ANTON TCHEKOFF 11. GOD'S COUNTRY by JAMES OLIVER CURWOOD 12. BUCOLIC COMEDIES by EDITH SITWELL 13. THE BRASSBOUNDER by DAVID W. BONE 14. THE PURPLE LAND by W. H. HUDSON 15. CALABAN'S GUIDE TO LETTERS AND LAMKIN'S REMAINS by HILAIRE BELLOC 16. OBITER DICTA by AUGUSTINE BIRRELL 17. AMARYLLIS AT THE FAIR by RICHARD JEFFERIES 18. A CRYSTAL AGE by W. H. HUDSON 19. THE KISS by ANTON TCHEKOFF 20. GOSSIP OF THE 17TH AND 18TH CENTURIES by JOHN BERESFORD 21. FUTILITY by WILLIAM GERHARDI 22. TRIPLE FUGUE by OSBERT SITWELL 23. EL OMBÚ by W. H. HUDSON 24. SIX SHORT PLAYS by JOHN GALSWORTHY

CONTENTS

I. THE 'BLUE PETER' II. STEERSMANSHIP III. THE WAY OF THE HALF DECK IV. THE 'DEAD HORSE' V. 'SEA PRICE' VI. ROUNDING THE HORN VII. A HOT CARGO VIII. WORK! IX. IN 'FRISCO TOWN X. THE DIFFICULTY WITH THE 'TORREADOR'S' XI. THE 'CONVALESCENT' XII. ON THE SACRAMENTO XIII. HOMEWARD! XIV. A TRICK AT THE WHEEL XV. ''OLY JOES' XVI. EAST, HALF SOUTH! XVII. ADRIFT XVIII. " AFTER FORTY YEAR!" XIX. 'IN LITTLE SCOTLAND' XX. UNDER THE FLAG XXI. 'DOLDRUMS' XXII. ON SUNDAY XXIII. A LANDFALL XXIV. FALMOUTH FOR ORDERS XXV. "T' WIND'ARD!" XXVI. LIKE A MAN EPILOGUE: "1910"

THE BRASSBOUNDER

I

THE 'BLUE PETER'

Ding ... dong.... Ding ... dong. The university bells toll out in strength of tone that tells of south west winds and misty weather. On the street below my window familiar city noises, unheeded by day, strike tellingly on the ear hoof strokes and rattle of wheels, tramp of feet on the stone flags, a snatch of song from a late reveller, then silence, broken in a little by the deep mournful note of a steamer's siren, wind borne through the Kelvin Valley, or the shrilling of an engine whistle that marks a driver impatient at the junction points. Sleepless, I think of my coming voyage, of the long months years, perhaps that will come and go ere next I lie awake hearkening to the night voices of my native city. My days of holiday an all too brief spell of comfort and shore living are over; another peal or more of the familiar bells and my emissary of the fates a Gorbals cabman, belike will be at the door, ready to set me rattling over the granite setts on the direct road that leads by Bath Street, Finnieston, and Cape Horn to San Francisco. A long voyage and a hard. And where next? No one seems to know! Anywhere where wind blows and square sail can carry a freight. At the office on Saturday, the shipping clerk turned his palms out at my questioning.

"Home again, perhaps. The colonies! Up the Sound or across to Japan," he said, looking in his Murray's Diary and then at the clock, to see if there was time for him to nip home for his clubs and catch the 1.15 for Kilmacolm.

Nearly seventeen months of my apprenticeship remain to be served. Seventeen months of a hard sea life, between the masts of a starvation Scotch barque, in the roughest of seafaring, on the long voyage, the stormy track leading westward round the Horn... Continue reading book >>




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