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The Star of the North. The sun sank below the horizon that evening in a blaze of ruby and gold. It flooded the whole ocean to the westward, right up to the very zenith, with a wealth of opalescent light that transformed sea and sky alike into a living glory, so grand and glorious was the glowing harmony of kaleidoscopic colouring which lit up the arc of heaven and the wide waste of water beneath, stretching out and afar beyond ken. Aye, and a... more...

PREFACE That all Defoe's novels, with the exception of "Robinson Crusoe," should have been covered with the dust of neglect for many generations, is a plain proof of how much fashions in taste affect the popularity of the British classics. It is true that three generations or so ago, Defoe's works were edited by both Sir Walter Scott and Hazlitt, and that this masterly piece of realism, "Captain Singleton," was reprinted a few years back in "The... more...

PART I The first man to climb the Almena's side-ladder from the tug was the shipping-master, and after him came the crew he had shipped. They clustered at the rail, looking around and aloft with muttered profane comments, one to the other, while the shipping-master approached a gray-eyed giant who stood with a shorter but broader man at the poop-deck steps. "Mr. Jackson—the mate here, I s'pose?" inquired the shipping-master. A nod... more...

Chapter One. True Blue—A British Seaman of the Old School. The old Terrible, 74, was ploughing her way across the waters of the Atlantic, now rolling and leaping, dark and angry, with white-crested seas which dashed against her bows and flew in masses of foam over her decks. She was under her three topsails, closely reefed; but even thus her tall masts bent, and twisted, and writhed, as if striving to leap out of her, while every timber... more...

THE SEPTEMBER-GALE STORY   nce upon a time there was a wide river that ran into the ocean, and beside it was a little city. And in that city was a wharf where great ships came from far countries. And a narrow road led down a very steep hill to that wharf, and anybody that wanted to go to the wharf had to go down the steep hill on the narrow road, for there wasn't any other way. And because ships had come there for a great many years, and... more...


A THAMES TRAGEDY. Manifold are the historic interests of the river Thames. There is scarcely a foot of its mud from London Bridge to Gravesend Reach that is not as "consecrated" as that famous bit of soil which Dr. Samuel Johnson and Mr. Richard Savage knelt and kissed on stepping ashore at Greenwich. One of the historic interests, however, threatens to perish out of the annals. It does not indeed rise to such heroic proportions as you find in... more...

Treats of our Hero and Others. If the entire circuit of a friend’s conversation were comprised in the words “Don’t” and “Do,”—it might perhaps be taken for granted that his advice was not of much value; nevertheless, it is a fact that Philosopher Jack’s most intimate and valuable—if not valued—friend never said anything to him beyond these two words. Nor did he ever condescend to... more...

Several of us, all more or less connected with the sea, were dining in a small river-hostelry not more than thirty miles from London, and less than twenty from that shallow and dangerous puddle to which our coasting men give the grandiose name of "German Ocean." And through the wide windows we had a view of the Thames; an enfilading view down the Lower Hope Reach. But the dinner was execrable, and all the feast was for the eyes. That flavour of... more...

How Roger Trevose and Harry Edgwyth made a certain Compact. “Now now, Roger, my lad; what are you thinking of?” These words were addressed to a tall, fair young man of about eighteen or nineteen years of age, who was standing on Plymouth Hoe, gazing earnestly at the Sound and the evolutions of certain vessels which had just entered it round Penlee Point. The speaker was a lad of about the same age, but shorter in height, sturdier in... more...

THE FISHERMAN AND THE DRAUG On Kvalholm, down in Helgeland,1 dwelt a poor fisherman, Elias by name, with his wife Karen, who had been in service at the parson's over at Alstad. They had built them a hut here, and he used to go out fishing by the day about the Lofotens. There could be very little doubt that the lonely Kvalholm was haunted. Whenever her husband was away, Karen heard all manner of uncanny shrieks and noises, which could mean no... more...