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The Madman And The Pirate

The Madman And The Pirate by Robert Michael Ballantyne
By: (1825-1894)

R. M. Ballantyne (April 24, 1825 – February 8, 1894) was a Scottish juvenile fiction writer.

Born Robert Michael Ballantyne in Edinburgh, he was part of a famous family of printers and publishers. At the age of 16 he went to Canada and was six years in the service of the Hudson’s Bay Company. He returned to Scotland in 1847, and published his first book the following year, Hudson’s Bay: or, Life in the Wilds of North America. For some time he was employed by Messrs Constable, the publishers, but in 1856 he gave up business for the profession of literature, and began the series of adventure stories for the young with which his name is popularly associated.

First Page:

THE MADMAN AND THE PIRATE, BY R.M. BALLANTYNE.

CHAPTER ONE.

A beautiful island lying like a gem on the breast of the great Pacific a coral reef surrounding, and a calm lagoon within, on the glass like surface of which rests a most piratical looking schooner.

Such is the scene to which we invite our reader's attention for a little while.

At the time of which we write it was an eminently peaceful scene. So still was the atmosphere, so unruffled the water, that the island and the piratical looking schooner seemed to float in the centre of a duplex world, where every cloudlet in the blue above had its exact counterpart in the blue below. No sounds were heard save the dull roar of the breaker that fell, at long regular intervals, on the seaward side of the reef, and no motion was visible except the back fin of a shark as it cut a line occasionally on the sea, or the stately sweep of an albatross, as it passed above the schooner's masts and cast a look of solemn inquiry upon her deck.

But that schooner was not a pirate. She was an honest trader at least so it was said though what she traded in we have no more notion than the albatross which gazed at her with such inquisitive sagacity... Continue reading book >>


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