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Blue Jackets The Log of the Teaser   By: (1831-1909)

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Blue Jackets; or, The Log of the Teaser, by George Manville Fenn.

Another very exciting nautical novel by this author, who is a master of suspense. HMS Teaser, a clipper gunboat, is patrolling the China Seas on the lookout for pirates. At the time of the story she has proceeded up the Nyho river, and is at anchor off the city of Nyho. The teller of the story is one of three young midshipmen, Nathaniel Herrick. A most important character is Ching, the Chinese interpreter, who would love to be much more important than he is. The boys and Ching find themselves in various situations which look pretty terrifying at the time, but the author manages to slip them out of these situations just in the nick of time. One particularly well drawn scene is where the boys beg Ching to take them to a Chinese theatre, and he decides upon something that he thinks will really interest them. Unfortunately it is a public beheading of some pirates whom the Teaser has brought to justice, but the boys do not enjoy the scene. They realise that if they tried to walk out they would most probably be beheaded themselves, so they have to sit tight.

It's a full length novel with a great deal of suspense, so there's plenty to enjoy here. NH




"Come along, boys; look sharp! Here's old Dishy coming."

"Hang old Dishipline; he's always coming when he isn't wanted. Tumble over."

We three lads, midshipmen on board HM clipper gunboat the Teaser , did "tumble over" in other words, made our way down into the boat alongside but not so quickly that the first lieutenant, Mr Reardon, who, from his slightly Hibernian pronunciation of the word discipline and constant references thereto had earned for himself among us the sobriquet of "Dishy," did catch sight of us, come to the gangway and look down just as Double B had given the order to shove off, and was settling the strap of the large telescope he carried over his shoulder. I ought to tell you our names, though, in order of seniority; and it will make matters more easy in this log if I add our second handles or nicknames, for it was a habit among us that if a fellow could by any possibility be furnished with an alias, that furnishing took place.

For instance, Bruce Barkins always went by the name of "Double B," when, in allusion to the Bark in his family name, he was not called the "Little Tanner," or "Tanner" alone; Harry Smith, being a swarthy, dark haired fellow, was "Blacksmith;" and I, Nathaniel Herrick, was dubbed the first day "Poet" I, who had never made a line in my life and later on, as I was rather diminutive, the "Gnat."

One can't start fair upon any voyage without preparations, so I must put in another word or two to tell you that there were two logs kept on board the good ship Teaser one by the chief officer, and in which the captain often put down his opinion. This is not that, but my own private log; and I'm afraid that if the skipper or Lieutenant Reardon had ever seen it he would have had a few words of a sort to say to me words which I would rather not have heard.

It was a gloriously fine morning. We had been dodging about the coast on and off for a month on the look out for piratical junks and lorchas, had found none, and were now lying at anchor in the mouth of the Nyho river, opposite the busy city of that name. Lastly, we three had leave to go ashore for the day, and were just off when the first lieutenant came and stood in the gangway, just as I have said, and the Tanner had told the coxswain to shove off.

"Stop!" cried our tyrant loudly; and the oars which were being dropped into the pea soupy water were tossed up again and held in a row.

"Oh my!" groaned Barkins... Continue reading book >>

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