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Two Gallant Sons of Devon A Tale of the Days of Queen Bess   By: (1851-1922)

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Two Gallant Sons of Devon, by Harry Collingwood.

The story opens in the town of Devonport, now a naval dockyard, in the year 1577, on a light June evening. Two young men, close friends, meet after work, and go for a sail in a lugger borrowed from a boat builder, but while they are out, there is a violent change in the weather, with the wind reversing and increasing to a point in which the lugger is swamped, and about to sink. They are picked up by a passing vessel, which turns out to be a privateer, and her captain refuses to waste time by landing them. So they are found positions in the crew, and take part in the subsequent events. They do battle with a Spanish vessel, loot her, and let her go. Then they arrive at Cartagena in the West Indies, where they also capture a Spanish galleon carrying a valuable cargo.

By accident the two young men get separated from the English privateer, and this is where their adventures get even more exciting. They are captured by Peruvian Indians, and condemned to a painful death, but are reprieved on the intercession of the wives of the men they killed, who demand them as slaves. They escape, and their adventures become ever more singular as time goes on. Eventually they persuade the locals that one of them is a reincarnation of the Inca, and get them to show where the gold, silver and jewels are hidden. They then say that it is imperative that they get these to their home, meaning England. This is accomplished, and they use their great wealth to buy large estates.

Collingwood has extraordinary powers of description, and you will enjoy this book very much, especially if you make an audiobook of it.

TWO GALLANT SONS OF DEVON, BY HARRY COLLINGWOOD.

CHAPTER ONE.

HOW PHIL STUKELY AND DICK CHICHESTER NARROWLY ESCAPED DROWNING.

It was a little after seven o'clock on June 19 in the year of Our Lord 1577, and business was practically over for the day. The taverns and alehouses were, of course, still open, and would so remain for three or four hours to come, for the evening was then, as it is now, their most busy time; but nearly all the shops in Fore Street of the good town of Devonport were closed, one of the few exceptions being that of Master John Summers, "Apothecary, and Dealer in all sorts of Herbs and Simples", as was announced by the sign which swung over the still open door of the little, low browed establishment.

The shop was empty of customers for the moment, its only occupants being two persons, both of whom were employees of Master John Summers. One the tall, thin, dark, dreamy eyed individual behind the counter who was with much deliberation and care completing the preparation of a prescription was Philip Stukely, the apothecary's only assistant; while the other was one Colin Dunster, a pallid, raw boned youth whose business it was to distribute the medicines to his master's customers. He was slouching now, outside the counter, beside a basket three parts full of bottles, each neatly enwrapped in white paper and inscribed with the name and address of the customer to whom it was to be delivered in due course. Apparently the package then in course of preparation would complete the tale of those to be delivered that night; for as Stukely tied the string and wrote the address in a clear, clerkly hand, the lad Dunster straightened himself up and laid a hand upon the basket, as though suddenly impatient to be gone.

At this moment another youth, with blue grey eyes, curly, flaxen hair, tall, broad chested, and with the limbs of a young Hercules, burst into the shop, taking at a stride the two steps which led down into it from the street, as he exclaimed:

"Heyday, Master Phil, how is this? Hast not yet finished compounding thy potions? My day's work ended an hour and more ago; and the evening is a perfect one for a sail upon the Sound... Continue reading book >>




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