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The Cruise of the Dry Dock   By: (1881-1965)

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[Illustration: They Were at Last Under the Overhang of the Mysterious Schooner.]

The Cruise of the Dry Dock

By T.S. Stribling

Illustrated by Herbert Morton Stoops


The Cruise of the Dry Dock

Lovingly Dedicated to My Mother


I The Dry Dock II Adventure Begins III The Last of the Vulcan IV An Interrupted Meeting V Sail Ho! VI The Cul de Sac VII Trapped VIII The Mystery Ship IX A Modern Columbus X The Strange End of the Minnie B XI Caradoc Shows His Mettle XII The Return of the Vulcan XIII The Sea Serpent XIV Caradoc Wins His Fight XV Towed! XVI Caradoc Takes Command XVII The Get Away XVIII Nerve Versus Gunpowder XIX Chased by a Submarine XX The Lone Chance XXI The Battle XXII The Victoria Cross


They Were at Last Under the Overhang of the Mysterious Schooner

Out There Lay Adventure, Mystery More Than Either Dreamed

Caradoc Stands the Acid Test

The Battle



"She's movin'!" cried a voice from the crowd on the wharf side. "Watch 'er! Watch 'er!"

A dull English cheer rippled over the waterfront.

"Blarst if I see why she moves!" marveled an onlooker. "That tug looks like a water bug 'itched to a 'ouse boat it's hunreasonable!"

"Aye, but they're tur'ble stout, them tugs be," argued a companion.

"It's hunreasonable, just the same, 'Enry!"

"Everything's hunreasonable at sea, 'Arry. W'y w'en chaps put to sea they tell we're they're at by lookin' at th' sun ."

"Aw! An' not by lookin' at th' map?"

"By lookin' at th' sun, 'pon honor!"

"Don't try to jolly me like that, 'Enry, me lad; that's more hunreasonable than this."

By this time the cheers had become general and the conversation broke off. An enormous floating dry dock, towed by an ocean going tug, slowly drew away from the ship yards on the south bank of the Thames, just below London. The men on the immense metal structure, hauling in ropes, looked like spiders with gossamers. A hundred foot bridge which could be lifted for the entrance of ocean liners, spanned the open stern of the dock and braced her high side walls. These walls rose fifty or sixty feet, were some forty feet thick and housed the machinery which pumped out the pontoons and raised the two bridges, one at each end. The tug, the Vulcan , which stood some two hundred yards down stream, puffing monotonously at the end of a cable, did seem utterly inadequate to tow such a mass of metal. Nevertheless, to the admiration of the crowd, the speed of the convoy slowly increased.

Tug and dock were well under way when the onlooking line was suddenly disrupted by a well dressed youth who came bundling a large suit case through the press and did not pause until on the edge of the green moulded wharf.

"Boat!" he hailed in sharp Yankee accent, gesticulating at a public dory. "Here, put me aboard that dry dock, will you? Hustle! the thing's gathering way!"

"A little late," observed a voice at the newcomer's elbow.

"Yes, I hung around London Tower trying to see the crown jewels, then I broke for St. Paul's for a glimpse of Nelson's Monument, then I ran down to Marshalsea, where Little Dorrit's father make haste there, you slowpoke water rat! Rotton London bus service threw me six minutes late!" he concluded.

The American's explosive energy quickly made him a focus of interest.

"What are you trying to do?" smiled the Englishman, "jump out of a Cook's tour into a floating dock?"

The American turned on the joker and saw a tall, well set up young fellow with extraordinarily broad shoulders, long brown face, stubby blond mustache, who looked down on him with amused gray eyes.

"In a way," grinned the man with the suit case. "I'm knocking about all over the map, trying to see if the world is really round... Continue reading book >>

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