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Accident or Destiny?

A Thrilling Incident on an Atlantic Liner

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Published: 1899
Language: English
Wordcount: 3,439 / 10 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 78.2
LoC Category: PN
Downloads: 3,732
Added to site: 2009.10.01 25437
Genre: Short Story

--spell-bound, it seemed--his eyes fixed in a wild, unearthly stare upon that threatening mountain of ice.

As I faced round again towards the bows, someone dashed past me and made for the bridge. It was the second officer. But I had no thought now for anything save the sight before me--a sight which I can only describe as one of stupendous and appalling grandeur. The berg had already drifted into the fringe of light which surrounded the ship. Its jagged crags, its smooth, glass-like slopes, its dark caverns, and the great towering spur that shot up into the blackness of the night, were all distinctly visible. And towards it, like some blinded creature rushing to its doom, the huge liner was tearing at full speed.

I heard a shout from the second officer, who was now on the bridge. I heard the engine-room signal click; but it was too late to avert the disaster. A minute or two of breathless, thrilling expectancy, and then, with a horrible, grinding crash, the Dominion struck.

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 3.5 from 2 reviews: ****
Henry L. Ratliff

Plot bullets

  • A beautiful woman on board an ocean liner, has harsh words for the captain: 'Captain Kennedy-Edwards, in the hour of your greatest need may your false heart fail you!'

  • A crisis comes, an iceberg.

  • Clear thinking and quick action is wanted.

  • The great need has come.

  • Will the false heart endure?

  • Has the captain to deal with an accident or his destiny?

From 'The Harmsworth Magazine,' Vol. II, Feb. - JULY 1899.


Written 13 years before the Titanic sank, this story presages some of the tragic events that would later take place on that great ocean liner. While the striking of an iceberg by a passenger ship isn't the real story, here, it IS the most interesting aspect of it. Otherwise, a fair but unremarkable what-might-have-been tale. Quick, harmless read.



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