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Picked up at Sea The Gold Miners of Minturne Creek   By:

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Picked up at Sea: The Gold Miners of Minturne Creek by John C. Hutcheson is a thrilling adventure novel that captures the essence of the gold rush era in British Columbia. Hutcheson successfully transports readers to the rugged landscapes and treacherous waters surrounding Minturne Creek, where a group of diverse and spirited characters take center stage.

The story revolves around the voyage of the good-natured Captain Jack Templeton and his brigantine, the Falcon, as they set sail on a journey filled with excitement, danger, and the allure of gold. Upon rescuing three castaways stranded on a raft, the captain finds himself in the midst of an unexpected adventure. These castaways, each with their own distinct personalities and backgrounds, become an integral part of the crew and embark on a quest for untold riches.

One of the novel's strengths lies in Hutcheson's ability to create a vivid and immersive setting. From the tumultuous sea voyages to the rugged terrain of Minturne Creek, his descriptive prose paints a vivid picture of the harsh realities faced by those seeking their fortunes in the gold fields. The author's in-depth knowledge of maritime and gold mining practices shines through, lending an air of authenticity to the narrative.

The characters themselves are well-developed and colorful, providing a diverse array of perspectives and personalities that keep the reader engaged. Captain Jack Templeton is a sympathetic and credible protagonist, exemplifying qualities of leadership and bravery in the face of adversity. Alongside him, the eclectic group of castaways includes a seasoned prospector, a young city-slicker determined to prove himself, and a reclusive fur trapper with a mysterious past. The interactions and dynamics among the characters add depth and intrigue to the unfolding plot.

Furthermore, Hutcheson skillfully weaves historical details into the narrative, giving readers a glimpse into the social, economic, and political landscape of the gold rush era. The tensions and rivalries between different mining camps, the struggles of indigenous communities caught in the middle, and the influence of opportunistic individuals are portrayed with sensitivity and nuance.

Although the book contains a few minor pacing issues and occasional exposition-heavy passages, these are outweighed by the overall strengths of the novel. Picked up at Sea: The Gold Miners of Minturne Creek captures the spirit of adventure, the allure of fortune, and the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity. John C. Hutcheson's masterful storytelling and attention to historical detail make this tale a must-read for fans of historical fiction, particularly those drawn to the wild and unpredictable world of gold rush exploration.

First Page:

Picked up at Sea; or, The Gold Miners of Minturne Creek, by John Conroy Hutcheson.

This is good book, well written, and interesting throughout. It starts off at sea, aboard the Susan Jane, when a piece of floating wreckage is seen. A body is found on it, that of a boy of fifteen or so, badly injured, and struck dumb, and apparently unaware of what is going on. Yet when Seth, one of the men on board, is in danger, the boy springs to his aid. When they get to America it is time for the vessel to have a full refit, so some of the crew and the only passenger, Mr Rawlings, together with the boy, now known as Sailor Bill, go off to work a mine that Rawlings has bought.

Eventually, after all sorts of adventures and misadventures, the boy recovers his senses, and recognises a man and a dog in the camp as old family friends. The dog, of course, had previously mystified the camp by apparently recognising the boy, but this had been put down to a doggy sympathy with those not so well mentally endowed.

The mine is successful, and all go home as wealthy as they could wish.

Here we are working from the first edition, while some later editions had only the above story. There are actually three further stories, all with a nautical flavour, but totalling only half the length of the first story... Continue reading book >>

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