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Haste and Waste; Or, the Young Pilot of Lake Champlain. a Story for Young People   By: (1822-1897)

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William Taylor Adams, American author, better known and loved by boys and girls through his pseudonym "Oliver Optic," was born July 30, 1822, in the town of Medway, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, about twenty five miles from Boston. For twenty years he was a teacher in the Public Schools of Boston, where he came in close contact with boy life. These twenty years taught him how to reach the boy's heart and interest as the popularity of his books attest.

His story writing began in 1850 when he was twenty eight years old and his first book was published in 1853. He also edited "The Oliver Optic Magazine," "The Student and Schoolmate," "Our Little Ones."

Mr. Adams died at the age of seventy five years, in Boston, March 27, 1897.

He was a prolific writer and his stories are most attractive and unobjectionable. Most of his books were published in series. Probably the most famous of these is "The Boat Club Series" which comprises the following titles:

"The Boat Club," "All Aboard," "Now or Never," "Try Again," "Poor and Proud," "Little by Little." All of these titles will be found in this edition.

Other well known series are his "Soldier Boy Series," "Sailor Boy Series," "Woodville Stories." The "Woodville Stories" will also be found in this edition.



"Stand by, Captain John!" shouted Lawry Wilford, a stout boy of fourteen, as he stood at the helm of a sloop, which was going before the wind up Lake Champlain.

"What's the matter, Lawry?" demanded the captain.

"We're going to have a squall," continued the young pilot, as he glanced at the tall peaks of the Adirondacks.

There was a squall in those clouds, in the judgment of Lawry Wilford; but having duly notified the captain of the impending danger to his craft, he did not assume any further responsibility in the management of the sloop. It was very quiet on the lake; the water was smooth, and the tiny waves sparkled in the bright sunshine. There was no roll of distant thunder to admonish the voyagers, and the youth at the helm was so much accustomed to squalls and tempests, which are of frequent occurrence on the lake, that they had no terrors to him. It was dinner time, and the young pilot, fearful that the unexpected guest might reduce the rations to a low ebb for the second table, was more concerned about this matter than about the squall.

Captain John, as he was familiarly called on board the Missisque, which was the name of the sloop, was not a man to be cheated out of any portion of his dinner by the approach of a squall; and though his jaws may have moved more rapidly after the announcement of the young pilot, he did not neglect even the green apple pies, the first of the season, prepared with care and skill by Mrs. Captain John, who resided on board, and did "doctor's" duty at the galley. Captain John did not abate a single mouthful of the meal, though he knew how rapidly the mountain showers and squalls travel over the lake. The sloop did not usually make more than four or five miles an hour, being deeply laden with lumber, which was piled up so high on the deck that the mainsail had to be reefed, to make room for it.

The passenger, Mr. Randall, was a director of a country bank, journeying to Shoreham, about twenty miles above the point where he had embarked in the Missisque . He had crossed the lake in the ferry, intending to take the steamer at Westport for his destination. Being a man who was always in a hurry, but never in season, he had reached the steamboat landing just in time to see the boat moving off. Procuring a wherry, and a boy to row it, he had boarded the Missisque as she passed up the lake; and, though the sloop was not a passenger boat, Captain John had consented to land him at Shoreham.

Mr. Randall was a landsman, and had a proper respect for squalls and tempests, even on a fresh water lake... Continue reading book >>

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