The hero of this story is Walter Leigh, who takes a job as second mateaboard a gasoline-powered yacht owned by a Mrs Vansittart, whosehusband is an American industrialist. Julius Vansittart is a rathernasty 12-year-old, who, despite his life being saved by Leigh, when hehad fallen overboard, hates the English, and never misses an opportunityof being as unpleasant as possible, even to the point of stupidity.
I have not been putting you through your facings just out of sheer feminine curiosity; I've been doing it with a purpose. I am Mrs Cornelia Vansittart, wife of Julius Vansittart of New York, engineer, the inventor of the Vansittart gasoline engine. I am passionately fond of yachting, so my husband made me a present of the Stella Maris, and consented to my making a voyage in her round the world. She is a good ship, and I have a good crew; but I have only two mates, and Kennedy says that in a ship of this size, and on such a cruise as we are contemplating, I ought to have a third. At first I didn't propose to do anything of the kind, for I don't like being told by anybody what I ought to do, or to have; but somehow, when I saw you lost in admiration of my ship, I sort of took a fancy to you. I like the look of you, and thought that if I must have a third mate, I'd like one something like you; so I invited you to come aboard, that I might have a chance to talk to you and find out if you came up to sampl
Imagine being run aground on an uncharted reef in the middle of the Pacific. The foolish boy, the yacht owner's spoiled son, has just burned the signal fire, alerting the strange ship running across the horizon. The ship is a Chinese junk ,its deck crowded with pirates, and it has just turned toward you.
If you're hungry for 19-century nautical adventures with very authentic writing, Collingwood is your man. He puts you there on that boat with details that only someone who spent his life on boats would know.