Miss Jenny Leslie, a wealthy American girl, Blake, an American engineer, and Winthrop, an English gentleman, are the sole survivors of a vessel wrecked off the southern coast of Africa. These three are absolutely dependent upon each other in this strange country in which they find themselves, a land uninhabited save by the wild beasts, and are compelled to resort to the most primitive methods in order to provide themselves with the bare necessities of life. The American, Blake, a rough and uncouth individual, whom the wealthy on board the vessel had shunned, now takes the lead while the Englishman proves helpless under the trying circumstances and finds himself obliged to follow the dictates of the stronger character. The necessity for strength and courage brings out the fine character of the girl, and, despite the fact that she had been waited upon all her life, manages to adapt herself to the predicament in which they are placed. While at first despising the engineer, she grows to admire his strength of purpose and power to command, and a romance develops between these two.
pretty stiff dose for your ludship. But why in--why in frozen hades an American lady should object to an introduction to a countryman who's going to do his level best to save her pretty little self from the hyenas--well, it beats me."
Winthrope flushed redder than the girl.
"Miss Leslie, Mr. Blake," he murmured, hoping to put an end to the situation.
But yet Blake persisted. He bowed, openly exultant.
"You see, Miss," he said, "I know the correct thing quite as much as your swells. I knew all along you were Jenny Leslie. I ran a survey for your dear papa when he was manipulating the Q. T. Railroad, and he did me out of my pay."
"Oh, but Mr. Blake, I am sure it must be a mistake; I am sure that if it is explained to papa--"
"Yes; we'll cable papa to-night. Meantime, we've something else to do. Suppose you two get a hustle on yourselves, and scrape up something to eat. I'm going out to see what's left of that blamed old tub."
"Surely you'll not venture to swim ou
Sort of a takeoff on quite similar but better stories by Jack London, among others—the man and maiden stranded on a desert isle. Or in this case, on an isolated bit of African beach, and two men to a single maiden.
The girl is wealthy and refined, there's a refined Englishman, and a crude, beastly American who happens to be the only one with the knowledge and brute strength to keep all alive. Think Grace Kelly, David Niven and Ernest Borgnine.
As with all these turn of the twentieth century tales no crudities are allowed, and the delicate female must be protected from anything frightening or coarse, while lust is merely hinted at.
This story breaks a few of those rules but it's still a load of codswallop in my view. Natural history is greatly distorted, as well, with lions and leopards offering little more danger than tabby cats, with "fever" lurking in bad air, bad water and over-exertion.
Thorough suspension of disbelief is recommended.
Stumbled upon this book over 40 years ago. It's a great read, lots of adventure, romance and suspense. Has been one of my favorite books to re-read over the years. So glad to see it offered on ManyBooks and that more readers will be enjoying it.
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