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Fitz the Filibuster   By: (1831-1909)

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Fitz the Filibuster, by George Manville Fenn.

Another well written book of nautical adventure by a writer who is a master of suspense. Our hero is a young midshipman called Fitzgerald Burnett, but always known as Fitz. The warship in which he serves is on Channel Patrol, and they are on the lookout for a smuggler who is running arms to a friendly Central American small Republic. They get more caught up in the struggle that is going on in that country, and so take part in several small fights and other tense situations.

The book is full of well drawn characters, especially some of the old seamen that Fitz has to deal with. NH




"Well, Mr Burnett, what is it?"

"Beg pardon, sir."

"Now, my good boy, have I not told you always to speak out in a sharp, business like way? How in the world do you expect to get on in your profession and become a smart officer, one who can give orders promptly to his men, if you begin in that stammering, hesitating style? Here, I'm busy; what do you want?"

"I beg pardon, sir, I "

"Will you speak out!"

"Yes, sir; Mr Storks is going off to night with an armed boat's crew "

"Thank you, Mr Burnett, I am much obliged; but allow me to tell you that your news is very stale, for I was perfectly aware of that fact, and gave the orders to Mr Storks myself."

"Yes, sir; of course, sir; but "

"My good boy, what do you want?"

"To go with them, sir."

"Oh! Then why didn't you say so at first?"

"I didn't know how you'd take it, sir."

"Then you know now: very badly. No; the boat's going on important business, and I don't want her packed full of useless boys. What good do you expect you could do there?"

"Learn my profession, sir."

"Oh! Ah! H'm! Well that's smart. Yes, I like that, Mr Burnett, much better. Well, I don't know what to say. There's no danger. Perhaps you will be away all the night and get no sleep."

"Shouldn't mind that, sir. Mr Storks said that he wouldn't mind."

"Doesn't matter whether Mr Storks minds or not. Well yes; you may go. There, there, no thanks; and er and er don't take any notice, Mr Burnett; I am a little irritable this evening maddening toothache, and that sort of thing. Don't get into mischief. That'll do."

Commander Glossop, R.N., generally known as Captain of H.M. Gunboat Tonans , on special duty from the Channel Squadron, went below to his cabin, and Fitzgerald Burnett Fitz for short midshipman, seemed suddenly to have grown an inch taller, and comparatively stouter, as he seemed to swell out with satisfaction, while his keen grey eyes literally sparkled as he looked all a boy.

"Thought he was going to snap my head off," he mattered, as he began to walk up and down, noticing sundry little preparations that were in progress in connection with one of the quarter boats, in which, as she swung from the davits, a couple of the smart, barefooted sailors, whose toes looked very pink in the chill air, were overhauling and re arranging oars, and the little mast, yard and sail, none of which needed touching, for everything was already in naval apple pie order.

Fitz Burnett ended his walk by stopping and looking on.

"Going along with us, sir?" said one of the sailors.

"Yes," said the lad shortly, and sharply enough to have satisfied his superior if he had overheard.

"That's right, sir," said the man, so earnestly that the boy looked pleased.

"Know where we are going, sir?" the other man ventured to ask.

"Is it likely?" was the reply; "and if I did know do you suppose that I would tell you?"

"No, sir, of course not. But it's going to be something desperate, sir, because we have got to take all our tools."

"Ah, you'll see soon enough," said the boy, and full of the importance of being one in some expedition that was to break the monotony of the everyday routine, as well as to avoid further questioning, and any approach to familiarity on the part of the men, Fitz continued his walk, to come in contact directly after with another superior officer in the shape of the lieutenant... Continue reading book >>

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