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Picked up at Sea The Gold Miners of Minturne Creek   By:

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Picked up at Sea; or, The Gold Miners of Minturne Creek, by John Conroy Hutcheson.

This is good book, well written, and interesting throughout. It starts off at sea, aboard the Susan Jane, when a piece of floating wreckage is seen. A body is found on it, that of a boy of fifteen or so, badly injured, and struck dumb, and apparently unaware of what is going on. Yet when Seth, one of the men on board, is in danger, the boy springs to his aid. When they get to America it is time for the vessel to have a full refit, so some of the crew and the only passenger, Mr Rawlings, together with the boy, now known as Sailor Bill, go off to work a mine that Rawlings has bought.

Eventually, after all sorts of adventures and misadventures, the boy recovers his senses, and recognises a man and a dog in the camp as old family friends. The dog, of course, had previously mystified the camp by apparently recognising the boy, but this had been put down to a doggy sympathy with those not so well mentally endowed.

The mine is successful, and all go home as wealthy as they could wish.

Here we are working from the first edition, while some later editions had only the above story. There are actually three further stories, all with a nautical flavour, but totalling only half the length of the first story. They are also interesting, and it is sad that they got left out from those later editions. You will enjoy them, either to read or in the spoken form.





"Sail ho on the weather bow!"

"What do you make it?"

"Looks like a ship's mast, with the yard attached, and a man a holding on to it and hailing us for help leastways, that's what it seems to me!"

"Jerusalem! On the weather bow, you say? Can we forereach him on this tack?"

"I reckon we can jist about do it, boss, if you put the helm up a bit kinder nearer the wind," drawled out the lookout from his post of observation in the main top, where he had stopped a moment on catching sight of the object floating in the water ahead of the vessel, as he was coming down from aloft after restowing the bunt of the main topgallantsail that had blown loose from its lashings.

The Susan Jane of and for Boston, Massachusetts, with a cargo from London, had been caught at the outset of her passage across the Atlantic by what her American skipper termed "a pretty considerable gale of wind;" and she now lay tossing about amid the broken waves of the boisterous Bay of Biscay, on the morning after the tempest, the full force of which she had fortunately escaped, trying to make some headway under her jib, close reefed topsails, and storm staysails, with a bit of her mainsail set to steady her, half brailed up although the task was difficult, with a nasty chopping cross sea and an adverse wind.

The vessel had recently passed a lot of wreckage, that betokened they were not far from the spot where some ship, less lucky than themselves, had been overwhelmed by the treacherous waters of the ill fated bay; and the news that a waif was now in sight, supporting a stray survivor, affected all hearts on board, and roused their sympathies at once.

The captain of the New England barque had already adjusted the telescope, that he carried in true sailor fashion tucked under his left arm, to his "weather eye," and was looking eagerly in the direction pointed out by the seaman, before he received the answer from aloft to his second hail. But he could not as yet see what the lookout had discovered, from the fact of the waves being still high and his place of outlook from the deck lower than the other's.

"Are you certain, Tom, you see some one?" he called out again, after a moment's pause, during which he narrowly scanned the uneven surface of the sea... Continue reading book >>

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