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Under the Chilian Flag A Tale of War between Chili and Peru   By: (1851-1922)

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Under the Chilian Flag A Tale of War between Chili and Peru

By Harry Collingwood There was a state of war between Chili and Peru in the 1870s. It was all to do with a desert area that lay between Chili, Peru and Bolivia. At first this desert was not particularly claimed by any of these countries, but when it was discovered that it held rich reserves of nitrates, the three of them fell out.

Two young Englishmen, with sea going experience, were aboard a British vessel trading in nitrates and other ores. The captain was a very disagreeable character, and they determined to leave him, and sign up with the Chilian authorities for employment in the Chilian Navy, which was short of officers. They were taken on, and the rest of the book details some of the adventures they had, and the trials and tribulations they endured.

This is a very exciting and enjoyable book. There are a few Spanish words, and of course the ships have Spanish names, but you soon get used to that. I fully recommend it, especially if you can make it into an audiobook. NH. UNDER THE CHILIAN FLAG A TALE OF WAR BETWEEN CHILI AND PERU




"You, Thompson, go down and send the second mate up to me. Tell him to leave whatever he is doing and to come up here at once. I want to speak to him," growled Captain Fisher of the steamer Pericles , turning, with a menacing expression, to the grizzled old quartermaster who stood beside him on the bridge.

Thompson, as though only too glad of an excuse to leave the neighbourhood of his skipper, grunted out an assent, and, swinging round on his heel, shambled away down the ladder leading from the bridge to the spar deck, and departed on his errand.

The Pericles was an iron single screw steamer of two thousand tons or thereabout. She was employed in the carriage of nitrates, silver ore, hides, etcetera, between Chilian ports and Liverpool. She was owned by a company, which also possessed two similar vessels employed in the same trade. Captain Fisher, her skipper, had a considerable number of shares in this company, a circumstance which accounted in no small measure for the fact of his being the skipper of the Pericles ; for a man less fit to have the control of other men it would have been exceedingly difficult to find.

Fisher was a man of enormous stature and splendid physique, but his features, which would otherwise have been considered handsome, were marred by a ferocious expression, due to his chronic condition of ill humour. He was constantly "hazing" his men, and was never at a loss for an excuse for irritating them in every possible way. In this pleasing occupation he was ably seconded by his first mate, an American, named Silas Hoover. Between the pair of them they had contrived, during the course of the several voyages which they had performed together, to render their men thoroughly dissatisfied almost to the verge of mutiny; and there is little doubt that long before this the crew would have given open and forcible expression to their feelings had it not been for the efforts of the second mate, a young fellow of eighteen years of age, named James Douglas. This was the individual for whom Fisher had just sent. He had conceived a most virulent hatred for him, in consequence, probably, of the fact that Douglas was the only officer in the ship for whom the men would work willingly and for whom they showed any real respect. The lad had been left an orphan at an early age, and as he showed even from he first a predilection for a seafaring life, he had been sent by his uncle at the age of fourteen as an apprentice on board a sailing ship, and during the four following years he had gradually worked his way upward until now he was second mate of the Pericles ... Continue reading book >>

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