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A Runaway Brig; or, An Accidental Cruise   By: (1848-1912)

Book cover

First Page:

[Illustration: Harry pointed seaward, toward the brigantine, moving through the water slowly. (See page 9.)]



An Accidental Cruise.


Author of

"The Castaways," "Toby Tyler," "Mr. Stubbs' Brother," "Left Behind," "Raising the Pearl," "Silent Pete," etc., etc.








"I'm going down to the beach to find Jim Libby. If you'll come along we'll have a prime sail; and most likely this is the last chance we shall have to go out with him, for his vessel leaves in the morning."

"How can I go when I've got to mind this young one all the forenoon just 'cause the nurse must go an' have a sick headache? I don't believe she feels half as bad as I do!" And Walter Morse looked mournfully out over the blue waters with but little care for his baby sister, who was already toddling dangerously near the long flight of steps leading from the veranda of the large summer hotel.

"Can't you coax off for a couple of hours?" the first speaker, Harry Vandyne, asked.

"It's no use. Mother has gone to ride, and said I was to stay here until she came back."

Harry started toward the beach, determined not to lose a single hour of pleasure because of his friend's engagements; but before he had taken half a dozen steps a sudden, and what seemed like a very happy thought, occurred to him.

"I'll tell you how it can be fixed. Hire one of the other nurses to take care of your sister till we get back. Any of them will do it for a quarter, an' we'll be home before your mother comes."

The boys were spending the summer at the Isle of Shoals, off the New England coast. Harry's father was Robert Vandyne, the well known ship owner of New York, and Walter's was equally prominent in the wholesale dry goods business on Broadway. During their stay at this summer resort they had made the acquaintance of Jim Libby, "cook's assistant and everybody's mate" on the fishing schooner Mary Walker, a craft which visited the Shoals once each week to supply the hotels with fresh fish.

Jim was at liberty to follow the dictates of his own fancy several hours each day while in port, and the boys found him ever ready to take them out sailing in the square bowed, leaky tender belonging to the schooner. As Harry had said, this was Jim's last day on the island until the end of another cruise, and Walter was so eager to blister his hands and wet his feet once more by rowing the Sally Walker the tender was dignified with a name around the shore that he really did not stop to consider all Harry's advice implied.

He wanted to go on the water; Bessie would have even better care from one of the nurses than he could give her; and it was not difficult to convince himself that, under all the circumstances, he would be warranted in disobeying the positive commands of his mother.

"She didn't know Jim was going away in the morning, or I'm sure she'd 'a' fixed it so's I could take one more trip in the Sally."

"Of course she won't care," Harry said in such a decided tone that Walter, who was more than willing to be convinced by the most flimsy argument, made his decision at once.

"Come on; there's Mrs. Harvey's maid, and we'll ask her."

The bribe of twenty five cents was sufficient to enlist the good natured girl's sympathies, and five minutes later the two boys were running at full speed toward the shore, while Bessie, apparently well content with the change of nurses, looked so happy that Walter really began to believe he had done the child such a very great favor that his mother could not but be pleased.

The unwieldy looking Sally Walker was drawn up in a little cove which, owing to a line of rocks just outside, made a most convenient landing place, and on the bow sat Master Jim, his face striped with dirt but beaming with good nature, and his clothes as ragged as they were redolent of fish... Continue reading book >>

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