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The South Sea Whaler   By: (1814-1880)

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THE SOUTH SEA WHALER, BY W.H.G. KINGSTON.

A gripping story about two young children, a boy of about fourteen and his sister of about twelve, who set off with their father, a south sea whaling captain, on what is intended to be his last voyage, their mother having died during his previous three year voyage. Unfortunately some of the crew, especially the bo'sun, are not very well intentioned, and after a chapter or two about the voyage out to the Pacific, and some whale hunts of varying success, there is a mutiny. The ship ends up on fire and is abandoned with various rafts and ship's boats getting away from her.

There is a well written account of the children's drift on a raft with two of the officers, and a wonderful and kind coloured man, though the story is not quite as simple as that, since people lose one another, and lose their rafts, with considerable drama.

Finally the children's father turns up, of course, and the story ends with everybody happy, except the wicked bo'sun and his confederates, who have gone to Davy Jones' Locker on account of their devotion to the Demon Drink.

THE SOUTH SEA WHALER, W.H.G. KINGSTON.

CHAPTER ONE.

THE CHAMPION WHALER THE CAPTAIN AND HIS CHILDREN SIGHTS AT SEA FRIGATE BIRDS AND FLYING FISH A BONITO CATCHING ALBATROSSES MUTINOUS MUTTERINGS A TIMELY WARNING.

"A prosperous voyage, and a quick return, Captain Tredeagle," said the old pilot as he bade farewell to the commander of the Champion , which ship he had piloted down the Mersey on her voyage to the Pacific.

"Thank you, pilot. I suppose it will be pretty nearly three years before we are back again, with a full cargo, I hope, and plenty of dollars to keep the pot boiling at home. It's the last voyage I intend to make; for thirty years knocking about at sea is enough for any man."

"Many say that, captain; but when the time comes they generally find a reason for making one voyage more, to help them to start with a better capital. But as you have got your young ones aboard, you will have their company to cheer you."

As the old pilot stepped along the deck he shook hands with two young people, a boy and a girl, who were standing near the gangway.

"Good bye, Walter; good bye, Miss Alice; look after father, and obey him, and God will bless you. If we are all spared, I hope to see you, Walter, grown into a tall young man; and you, Miss Alice, I suppose I shan't know you again. Good bye; Heaven protect you." Saying this, the old pilot lowered himself into his boat alongside, and pulled away for his cutter, which lay hove to at a little distance.

The Champion was a South Sea whaler of about four hundred tons burden; with a crew, including Mr Andrew Lawrie, the surgeon, of fifty officers and men. The chief object of the voyage was the capture of the sperm whale, which creature is found in various parts of the Pacific Ocean; but as the war in which England had been engaged since the commencement of the century was not over, she carried eight guns, which would serve to defend her both against civilised enemies and the savage inhabitants of the islands she was likely to visit. The usual license for carrying guns, or "Letters of Marque," had been obtained for her by the owners; she was thus able not only to defend herself, but to attack and capture, if she could, any vessels of the enemy she might meet with. Captain Tredeagle, being a peace loving man, had no intention of exercising this privilege, his only wish being to dispose of the ventures he carried, and to obtain by honest exertions a full cargo of sperm oil.

Walter and Alice waved their hands to the old pilot, as his little vessel, close hauled, stood away towards the mouth of the river. It seemed to them that in parting from him the last link which bound them to their native land was severed... Continue reading book >>




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