A "brassbounder" is a youthful apprentice whose parents pay a premium for his appointment to a vessel, where for three years he does the work of an ordinary seaman, east no better and gets no more pay, on the theory that he is learning to be an officer. This "brassbounder" who tells this story sailed from Glasgow round the Horn and back, meeting the dangers of storm and fog.
short sailor walk, with a pause now and then to mark the steering or pass a word with the River Pilot. Of medium height, though broad to the point of ungainliness, Old Jock Leish (in his ill-fitting broadcloth shore-clothes) might have passed for a prosperous farmer, but it needed only a glance at the keen grey eyes peering from beneath bushy eyebrows, the determined set of a square lower jaw, to note a man of action, accustomed to command. A quick, alert turn of the head, the lift of shoulders as he walked--arms swinging in seaman-like balance--and the trick of pausing at a windward turn to glance at the weather sky, marked the sailing shipmaster--the man to whom thought and action must be as one.
Pausing at the binnacle to note the direction of the wind, he gives an exclamation of disgust.
"A 'dead muzzler,' Pilot. No sign o' a slant in the trend o' th' upper clouds. Sou'west, outside, I'm afraid.... Mebbe it's just as weel; we'll have t' bring up at th' Tail o' th' Bank, anyway, for these thr
I've read many books about the rigors of life in a square rigger but none can touch this one for the sense of "being there". The author must have written from his own experience of a voyage around the Horn. His use of the salty language is exceptional. If you don't follow the Scotch brogue for a while, just hang in there. You'll get it. It's a great sea story.
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