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The Pilots of Pomona   By: (1859-1934)

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E text prepared by Martin Robb


A Story of the Orkney Islands




Chapter I. In Which I Am Late For School. Chapter II. Andrew Drever's School Chapter III. A Half Holiday. Chapter IV. Sandy Ericson, Pilot. Chapter V. The Hen Harrier. Chapter VI. "Better Gear Than Rats." Chapter VII. What The Shingle Revealed. Chapter VIII. Dividing The Spoil. Chapter IX. Captain Gordon. Chapter X. The Dominie Explains. Chapter XI. My Sister Jessie. Chapter XII. A Tragedy And A Transportation. Chapter XIII. In Which I Receive A Present. Chapter XIV. Thora. Chapter XV. In Which The Viking's Amulet Is Proved. Chapter XVI. Wherein I Go A Fishing. Chapter XVII. How The Golden Rule Was Kept. Chapter XVIII. The Wreck Of The "Undine." Chapter XIX. Tom Kinlay's Bargain. Chapter XX. The Opposition Boat. Chapter XXI. The Rescue. Chapter XXII. After The Accident. Chapter XXIII. Gray's Inn. Chapter XXIV. Carver Kinlay's Success. Chapter XXV. A Family Removal. Chapter XXVI. A Subterranean Adventure. Chapter XXVII. A Family Misfortune. Chapter XXVIII. Captain Flett Of The "Falcon." Chapter XXIX. In Which The "Falcon" Sets Sail. Chapter XXX. An Orcadian Voyage. Chapter XXXI. An Arctic Waif. Chapter XXXII. The Last Of The "Pilgrim." Chapter XXXIII. The Light In The Gaulton Cave. Chapter XXXIV. Colin Lothian Makes An Accusation. Chapter XXXV. A Search And A Discovery. Chapter XXXVI. Trapped In The Cave. Chapter XXXVII. In Which I Am Put Under Arrest. Chapter XXXVIII. Accused Of Murder. Chapter XXXIX. An Unprofessional Inquiry. Chapter XL. Ephraim Quendale. Chapter XLI. The Last Of The Kinlays. Chapter XLII. A Choice Among Three. Chapter XLIII. Thora's Answer. Notes.

Chapter I. In Which I Am Late For School.

On a certain bright morning in the month of May, 1843, the little port of Stromness wore an aspect of unwonted commotion. The great whaling fleet that every year sailed from this place for the Greenland fisheries was busily preparing for sea. The sun was shining over the brown hills of Orphir, and casting a golden sheen over the calm bay. Out beyond the Holms the whaling ships lay at anchor, the Blue Peter flying at each forepeak, and between them and the town many boats were passing to and fro.

I remember the day, not so much in connection with the whaling ships themselves as by the fact that their sailing fixes upon my memory the date of other more personal events which I am about to set forth in the following pages. Indeed, I was altogether unaffected by the departure of the ships. As I sat on the edge of one of the tiny stone piers that support the old houses along the shoreline, my bare feet dangling above the clear green water, I thought only of my fishing line and of the row of bright scaled sillocks that lay on a stone at my side, being quite unmindful that the school bell had long since begun to ring.

A small boat passed within a few yards of the jetty, rowed by Tom Kinlay, one of my schoolfellows.

"Now, then, Ericson," he cried out as he saw me; "d'ye not hear the bell? Hurry up, lad, or you'll be late again. Aha! I'll tell the dominie that you're sitting there fishing when you should be at the school. Come away now, or ye'll get your licks."

Without seeming to hear his warning, I drew in my line with a good young coal fish at the end of it, and quietly counted my catch. There were just three and twenty fish, and I could not resist the temptation of making up the even two dozen; so I baited my hook again and cast it into the water, meditating as I did so upon Kinlay's unnecessary interference.

Now Tom Kinlay, I must tell you, was some twelve months older than I, and, as I had reason to remember, much taller and stronger. In our early school days he had exercised a tyranny over me which I even now recall with feelings partly of indignation against him, and partly of shame in myself for having so foolishly bent under the yoke of his oppression... Continue reading book >>

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