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A Middy in Command

A Tale of the Slave Squadron

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Author: Harry Collingwood (William Joseph Cosens Lancaster)
Published: 1909
Language: English
Wordcount: 102,012 / 284 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 47.9
LoC Category: PR
Downloads: 925
Added to site: 2007.04.14 16571

A stirring story of the sea, full of adventure, and admirably written. Richard Grenvile, a midshipman in the slave squadron on the West African coast, is put in command of a captured slave ship, with a crew of fourteen men, and instructed to make for Sierra Leone. The ship is captured by a pirate, who scuttles her and leaves her to sink, crew and all. The crew, however, take to the boats, and there are ''strange happenings" before they succeed in rejoining their own ship. Afterwards Grenvile takes despatches to Port Royal, where the Admiral sets him to pursue and destroy a pirate vessel, an adventure that has unexpected developments There is a treasure cave, of course, to be explored, and there is a young lady, too, though she is kept well in the background. The story involves excitement enough to satisfy a very exacting taste.

Show Excerpt

hat you may see going on; and let me know when the breeze reaches them, and whether they keep together when it does so."

"Ay, ay, sir!" I answered. And when the telescope came up I made myself comfortable, feeling quite prepared to remain in the cross-trees for the rest of the watch.

The breeze, meanwhile, continued steadily to freshen, and when at length it reached the two strange sail ahead of us we were buzzing along, with a long, easy, rolling motion over the low swell, at a speed of fully nine knots, with a school of porpoises gambolling under our bows--each of them apparently out-vying the others in the attempt to see which of them could shoot closest athwart our cut-water without being touched by it--and shoal after shoal of flying-fish sparking out from the bow surge and streaming away to port and starboard like so many handfuls of bright new silver coins flung hither and thither by Father Neptune.

As the strangers caught the first of the breeze they squared away before it; but I



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