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The Wreckers of Sable Island   By: (1855-1907)

The Wreckers of Sable Island by James M. Oxley

First Page:

[Frontispiece: "So you're not dead after all, my hearty." Page 37 ]

[Illustration: Title page]

THE WRECKERS

OF

SABLE ISLAND

BY

J. MACDONALD OXLEY

Author of "Up Among the Ice Floes," "Diamond Rock," &c.

T. NELSON AND SONS

London, Edinburgh, and New York

1897

CONTENTS.

I. THE SETTING FORTH II. IN ROUGH WEATHER III. THE WRECK IV. ALONE AMONG STRANGERS V. ERIC LOOKS ABOUT HIM VI. BEN HARDEN VII. A SABLE ISLAND WINTER VIII. ANXIOUS TIMES IX. FAREWELL TO SABLE ISLAND X. RELEASE AND RETRIBUTION

THE WRECKERS OF SABLE ISLAND.

CHAPTER I.

THE SETTING FORTH.

A voyage across the Atlantic Ocean in the year 1799 was not the every day affair that it has come to be at the present time. There were no "ocean greyhounds" then. The passage was a long and trying one in the clumsy craft of those days, and people looked upon it as a more serious affair than they now do on a tour round the world.

In the year 1799 few people thought of travelling for mere pleasure. North, south, east, and west, the men went on missions of discovery, of conquest, or of commerce; but the women and children abode at home, save, of course, when they ventured out to seek new homes in that new world which was drawing so many to its shores.

It was therefore not to be wondered at that the notion of Eric Copeland going out to his father in far away Nova Scotia should form the subject of more than one family council at Oakdene Manor, the beautiful country seat of the Copeland family, situated in one of the prettiest parts of Warwickshire.

Eric was the only son of Doctor Copeland, surgeon in chief of the Seventh Fusiliers, the favourite regiment of the Duke of Kent, the father of Queen Victoria. This regiment formed part of the garrison at Halifax, then under the command of the royal duke himself; and the doctor had written to say that if the squire, Eric's grandfather, approved, he would like Eric to come out to him, as his term of service had been extended three years beyond what he expected, and he wanted to have his boy with him. At the same time, he left the matter entirely in the squire's hands for him to decide.

So far as the old gentleman was concerned, he decided at once.

"Send the boy out there to that wild place, and have him scalped by an Indian or gobbled by a bear before he's there a month? Not a bit of it. I won't hear of it. He's a hundred times better off here."

The squire, be it observed, held very vague notions about Nova Scotia, and indeed the American continent generally, in spite of his son's endeavours to enlighten him. He still firmly believed that there were as many wigwams as houses in New York, and that Indians in full war paint and plumes were every day seen on the streets of Philadelphia; while as for poor little Nova Scotia, it was more than his mind could take in how the Duke of Kent could ever bring himself to spend a week in such an outlandish place, not to speak of a number of years.

So soon as Eric learned of his father's request, he was not less quick in coming to a conclusion, but it was of a precisely opposite kind to the squire's. He was what the Irish would call "a broth of a boy." Fifteen last birthday, five feet six inches in height, broad of shoulder and stout of limb, yet perfectly proportioned, as nimble on his feet as a squirrel, and as quick of eye as a king bird, entirely free from any trace of nervousness or timidity, good looking in that sense of the word which means more than merely handsome, courteous in his manners, and quite up to the mark in his books, Eric represented the best type of the British boy as he looked about him with his brave brown eyes, and longed to be something more than simply a school boy, and to see a little of that great world up and down which his father had been travelling ever since he could remember... Continue reading book >>




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