Sea Urchins

Sea Urchins


(2 Reviews)
Sea Urchins by W. W. Jacobs







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Sea Urchins


(2 Reviews)
Smoked skipper -- A safety match -- A rash experiment -- The cabin passenger -- "Choice spirits" -- A disciplinarian -- Brother Hutchins -- The disbursement sheet -- Rule of three -- Pickled herring -- Two of a trade -- An intervention -- The grey parrot -- Money-changers -- The lost ship.

Book Excerpt

in a more wholesome frame of mind. On the fifth morning they stood in towards Fairhaven, and to his great joy he saw trees and houses again.

They stayed at Fairhaven just long enough to put out a small portion of their cargo, Ralph, stripped to his shirt and trousers, having to work in the hold with the rest, and proceeded to Lowport, a little place some thirty miles distant, to put out their powder.

It was evening before they arrived, and, the tide being out, anchored in the mouth of the river on which the town stands.

"Git in about four o'clock," said the skipper to the mate, as he looked over the side towards the little cluster of houses on the shore. "Do you feel better now I've knocked some o' that nonsense out o' you, boy?"

"Much better, sir," said Ralph respectfully.

"Be a good boy," said the skipper, pausing on the companion-ladder, "and you can stay with us if you like. Better turn in now, as you'll have to make yourself useful again in the morning working out the

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One of my favorite ways of finding good books from the 19th and early 20th centuries is through mentions in other books. A character in Rose Macaulay's disappointing novel "The Furnace" reads this collection of sea stories as a distraction from worries. There was no description of the book, so I decided to check it out. Nautical yarns aren't my thing as a rule, but these are lively, wry and mostly pretty funny. You might not want to read them all at once, but taken in small doses, they are indeed cheering.
WOW, was I ever wrong about W.W. Jacobs! All these years I had only thought of the author of "The Monkey's Paw" only as a master of the macabre on the same level as Le Fanu, but it turns out that horror isn't really even his metier: it's humor.

Fortunately, ManyBooks has lots of Jacobs's works available and for the most part the summaries and descriptions already provided are quite accurate, if only one reads them.

Up to a certain point, Jacobs's short stories of riparian life appeared in Jerome K. Jerome's Idler, later in the Strand.

I was afraid they might be a little too nautical for my taste or current mood, but no fear. "Men who go down to the sea in ships of moderate tonnage" Punch

VERY very very highly recommended.