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The Adventures of Captain Horn by Frank R. Stockton

The Adventures of Captain Horn by Frank R. Stockton

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Published by: gutenbergproject on Aug 07, 2007
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Project Gutenberg's The Adventures of Captain Horn, by Frank Richard StocktonThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and withalmost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away orre-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License includedwith this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.netTitle: The Adventures of Captain HornAuthor: Frank Richard StocktonRelease Date: April 29, 2004 [EBook #12190]Language: EnglishCharacter set encoding: ISO-8859-1*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN HORN ***Produced by Suzanne Shell, Mary Meehan and the Online DistributedProofreading Team.THE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN HORNBY FRANK R. STOCKTON1910CONTENTSCHAPTERI An Introductory DisasterII A New Face in CampIII A Change of LodgingsIV Another New FaceV The RackbirdsVI Three Weld BeastsVII Gone!
VIII The AlarmIX An Amazing NarrationX The Captain ExploresXI A New HemisphereXII A Tradition and a WaistcoatXIII "Mine!"XIV A Pile of FuelXV The Cliff-Maka SchemeXVI On a Business BasisXVII "A Fine Thing, No Matter What Happens"XVIII Mrs. Cliff is AmazedXIX Left BehindXX At the Rackbirds' CoveXXI In the CavesXXII A Pack-MuleXXIII His Present ShareXXVI His Fortune under his FeetTHE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN HORNCHAPTER IAN INTRODUCTORY DISASTEREarly in the spring of the year 1884 the three-masted schooner _Castor_,from San Francisco to Valparaiso, was struck by a tornado off the coastof Peru. The storm, which rose with frightful suddenness, was of shortduration, but it left the _Castor_ a helpless wreck. Her masts hadsnapped off and gone overboard, her rudder-post had been shattered byfalling wreckage, and she was rolling in the trough of the sea, with herfloating masts and spars thumping and bumping her sides.The _Castor_ was an American merchant-vessel, commanded by Captain PhilipHorn, an experienced navigator of about thirty-five years of age. Besides
a valuable cargo, she carried three passengers--two ladies and a boy. Oneof these, Mrs. William Cliff, a lady past middle age, was going toValparaiso to settle some business affairs of her late husband, a NewEngland merchant. The other lady was Miss Edna Markham, a school-teacherwho had just passed her twenty-fifth year, although she looked older.She was on her way to Valparaiso to take an important position in anAmerican seminary. Ralph, a boy of fifteen, was her brother, and she wastaking him with her simply because she did not want to leave him alone inSan Francisco. These two had no near relations, and the education of thebrother depended upon the exertions of the sister. Valparaiso was not theplace she would have selected for a boy's education, but there they couldbe together, and, under the circumstances, that was a point of primeimportance.But when the storm had passed, and the sky was clear, and the mad waveshad subsided into a rolling swell, there seemed no reason to believe thatany one on board the _Castor_ would ever reach Valparaiso. The vessel hadbeen badly strained by the wrenching of the masts, her sides had beenbattered by the floating wreckage, and she was taking in water rapidly.Fortunately, no one had been injured by the storm, and although thecaptain found it would be a useless waste of time and labor to attempt towork the pumps, he was convinced, after a careful examination, that theship would float some hours, and that there would, therefore, be time forthose on board to make an effort to save not only their lives, but someof their property.All the boats had been blown from their davits, but one of them wasfloating, apparently uninjured, a short distance to leeward, one of theheavy blocks by which it had been suspended having caught in the cordageof the topmast, so that it was securely moored. Another boat, a smallone, was seen, bottom upward, about an eighth of a mile to leeward. Twoseamen, each pushing an oar before him, swam out to the nearest boat,and having got on board of her, and freed her from her entanglements,they rowed out to the capsized boat, and towed it to the schooner. Whenthis boat had been righted and bailed out, it was found to be in goodcondition.The sea had become almost quiet, and there was time enough to doeverything orderly and properly, and in less than three hours after thevessel had been struck, the two boats, containing all the crew and thepassengers, besides a goodly quantity of provisions and water, and suchvaluables, clothing, rugs, and wraps as room could be found for, werepulling away from the wreck.The captain, who, with his passengers, was in the larger boat, was awarethat he was off the coast of Peru, but that was all he certainly knew ofhis position. The storm had struck the ship in the morning, before he hadtaken his daily observation, and his room, which was on deck, had beencarried away, as well as every nautical instrument on board. He did notbelieve that the storm had taken him far out of his course, but of thishe could not be sure. All that he knew with certainty was that to theeastward lay the land, and eastward, therefore, they pulled, a littlecompass attached to the captain's watch-guard being their only guide.For the rest of that day and that night, and the next day and the nextnight, the two boats moved eastward, the people on board suffering butlittle inconvenience, except from the labor of continuous rowing, atwhich everybody, excepting the two ladies, took part, even Ralph

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