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A Middy of the Slave Squadron A West African Story   By: (1851-1922)

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A Middy of the Slave Squadron A West African Story

By Harry Collingwood This was one of the last books written by "Harry Collingwood". The copy we worked from was very clearly printed, but with one very major problem the text was printed far too close to the centre of the book. Therefore the book could not be scanned using the regular book scanner, but rather it was done using the scanner in flat bed mode. However, the results were quite good, with the text coming through very clearly, and only the hyphens needing a good amount of checking. The hyphens get affected by the cleaning up process which takes out the unwanted dark patches on the scans.

The book is exactly according to the title. Remembering that "Harry Collingwood" was in real life a naval architect, you can take good note of the way he handles nautical terminology. Other contemporary authors were good, but in this respect Collingwood is a real master.

It makes a good audiobook, so you ought to enjoy it very greatly. NH. A MIDDY OF THE SLAVE SQUADRON A WEST AFRICAN STORY




"Phew!" ejaculated Mr Perry, first lieutenant of His Britannic Majesty's corvette Psyche , as he removed his hat and mopped the perspiration from his streaming forehead with an enormous spotted pocket handkerchief. "I believe it's getting hotter instead of cooler; although, by all the laws that are supposed to govern this pestiferous climate, we ought to be close upon the coolest hour of the twenty four! Just step aft to the skylight, Mr Fortescue, and see what the time is, will ye? It must surely be nearing two bells."

"Ay, ay, sir!" I dutifully answered; and, moving aft to the skylight, raised the canvas cover which had been placed over it to mask the light of the low turned lamp which was kept burning all night in the fore cabin, and glanced at the clock which, screwed to the coaming on one side of the tell tale compass, balanced the barometer which, hung in gimbals, was suspended on the other side. The clock marked the time as two minutes to five a.m., or within two minutes of two bells in the morning watch.

Dropping the canvas screen back into place, I was about to announce the time to my superior officer, when I thought I caught, through the faint creak of the ship's timbers and the light rustling of the canvas aloft, a slight, far off sound, like the squeak of a sheave on a rusty pin. Therefore, instead of proclaiming the time aloud, I stepped quietly to the side of the first luff, and asked, almost in a whisper

"Did you hear anything just then, sir?"

"Hear anything?" reiterated Mr Perry, unconsciously lowering his usually stentorian voice in response to the suggestion of secrecy conveyed by my whisper; "no, I can't say that I did. What d'ye mean, Mr Fortescue?"

"I mean, sir," I replied, "that I thought I caught, a moment ago, a sound like that of ah! did you hear that , then, sir?" as a voice, uttering some words of command, apparently in the Spanish language, came floating to us, faint but clear, across the invisible water upon which the Psyche lay rolling almost imperceptibly.

"Ay, I did," answered Mr Perry, modulating his voice still further. "No mistake about that, eh? There's a craft of some sort out there, less than a mile distant, I should say. Did you catch the words? They sounded to me like some foreign lingo."

"No, sir," I replied, "I did not quite catch them, but, as you say, they appeared to be foreign, and I believe they were Spanish. What about striking two bells, sir? It only wanted two minutes "

"On no account whatever, Mr Fortescue," hastily interrupted my companion. "On the contrary, have the kindness to slip for'ard and caution the watch not to sing out, or make the slightest noise, on any account, but to come quietly aft if they happen to have anything to report... Continue reading book >>

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