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Captain January   By: (1850-1943)

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"Melody," "Marie," "Rosin, the Beau," "The Hildegarde Margaret Series," "Three Minute Stories," "Five Minute Stories," etc.



I. Star Bright II. The Story III. Introducing Imogen and Bob IV. The Visit V. Captain January's Star VI. The Signal



The Captain had sold all his lobsters. They had been particularly fine ones, and had gone off "like hot cakes," everyone who passed by the wharf stopping to buy one or two. Now the red dory was empty, and the Captain had washed her out with his usual scrupulous care, and was making preparations for his homeward voyage, when he was hailed by a cheery voice from the street.

"Hillo, January!" said the voice. "Is that you? How goes it?" and the owner of the voice, a sturdy man in a blue coat with brass buttons, came down the wharf and greeted the Captain with a hearty shake of the hand.

"How goes it?" he repeated. "I haven't seen ye for a dog's age."

"I'm hearty, Cap'n Nazro!" replied Captain January. "Hearty, that's what I am, an' hopin' you're the same."

"That's right!" said the first speaker. "'Tain't often we set eyes on you, you stick so close to your light. And the little gal, she's well, I expect? She looks a picture, when I take a squint at her through the glass sometimes. Never misses running out and shaking her apron when we go by!"

"Cap'n Nazro," said January, speaking with emphasis, "if there is a pictur in this world, o' health, and pootiness, and goodness, it's that child. It's that little un, sir. Not to be beat in this country, nor yet any other 'cordin' as I've voyaged."

"Nice little gal!" said Captain Nazro, assenting. "Mighty nice little gal! Ain't it time she was going to school, January? My wife and I were speaking about it only the other day. Seems as if she'd oughter be round with other children now, and learning what they do. Mis Nazro would be real pleased to have her stop with us a spell, and go to school with our gals. What do you say?" He spoke very heartily, but looked doubtfully at the old man, as if hardly expecting a favourable answer.

Captain January shook his head emphatically, "You're real kind, Cap'n Nazro!" he said; "real kind, you and Mis Nazro both are! and she makin' the little un's frocks and pinafores, as is a great help. But I can't feel to let her out o' my sight, nohow; and as for school, she ain't the kind to bear it, nor yet I couldn't for her. She's learnin'!" he added, proudly. "Learnin' well! I'll bet there ain't no gal in your school knows more nor that little un does. Won'erful, the way she walks ahead!"

"Get the school readers, hey! and teach her yourself do you?" queried Captain Nazro.

"No, sir!" replied the old man; "I don't have no school readers. The child learns out o' the two best books in the world, the Bible, and William Shakespeare's book; them's all the books she ever seed saw , I should say."

"William Shak " began Captain Nazro; and then he broke off in sheer amazement, and said, simply, "Well, I'm blowed!"

"The minister giv 'em to me," said Captain January. "I reckon he knows. There's a dictionary, too," he added, rather sadly; "but I can't make her take to that, nohow, though there's a power o' fine words in it."

Then, as the other man remained silent and openmouthed, he said: "But I must be goin', Cap'n Nazro, sir! The little un'll be lookin' for me. Good day, sir, and thank ye kindly, all the same as if it was to be, which it ain't!" And with a friendly gesture, the old man stepped into his red dory, and rowed away with long, sturdy strokes.

Captain Nazro gazed after him meditatively, took out his pipe and looked at it, then gazed again. "January's cracked," he said; "that's what's the matter with him. He's a good man, and a good lighthouse keeper, and he's been an able seaman in his day, none better; but he's cracked!"

There is an island off a certain part of the coast of Maine, a little rocky island, heaped and tumbled together as if Dame Nature had shaken down a heap of stones at random from her apron, when she had finished making the larger islands which lie between it and the mainland... Continue reading book >>

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