Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors.
Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker.

Download links will be available after you disable the ad blocker and reload the page.

The Madman and the Pirate

Download options:

  • 362.72 KB
  • 990.20 KB
  • 457.27 KB



Chapter One.

A beautiful island lying like a gem on the breast of the great Pacific—a coral reef surrounding, and a calm lagoon within, on the glass-like surface of which rests a most piratical-looking schooner.

Such is the scene to which we invite our reader’s attention for a little while.

At the time of which we write it was an eminently peaceful scene. So still was the atmosphere, so unruffled the water, that the island and the piratical-looking schooner seemed to float in the centre of a duplex world, where every cloudlet in the blue above had its exact counterpart in the blue below. No sounds were heard save the dull roar of the breaker that fell, at long regular intervals, on the seaward side of the reef, and no motion was visible except the back-fin of a shark as it cut a line occasionally on the sea, or the stately sweep of an albatross, as it passed above the schooner’s masts and cast a look of solemn inquiry upon her deck.

But that schooner was not a pirate. She was an honest trader—at least so it was said—though what she traded in we have no more notion than the albatross which gazed at her with such inquisitive sagacity. Her decks were not particularly clean, her sails by no means snow-white. She had, indeed, four goodly-sized carronades, but these were not an extraordinary part of a peaceful trader’s armament in those regions, where man was, and still is, unusually savage. The familiar Union Jack hung at her peak, and some of her men were sedate-looking Englishmen, though others were Lascars and Malays, of the cut-throat type, of whom any wickedness might be expected when occasion served.

The crew seemed to have been overcome by the same somnolent influence that had subdued Nature, for they all lay about the deck sleeping or dozing in various sprawling attitudes, with the exception of the captain and the mate.

The former was a huge, rugged man of forbidding aspect, and obviously savage temper. The latter—well, it is not easy to say what were his chief characteristics, so firmly did he control the features of a fine countenance in which the tiger-like blue eyes alone seemed untamable. He was not much above the middle height; but his compact frame was wiry and full of youthful force.

“Lower away the dinghy,” said the captain, gruffly, to the mate, “and let one of these lazy lubbers get into her with a box of figs. Get into her yourself? I may want you.”

The mate replied with a stern “Ay, ay, sir,” and rose from the gun-carriage on which he had been seated, while the captain went below.

In a few minutes the latter reappeared, and soon the little boat with its three occupants was skimming over the lagoon towards the land.

On that land a strange and interesting work was going on at the time. It was no less than the erection of a church by men who had never before placed one stone upon another—at least with a view to house-building.

The tribe to which these builders belonged had at first received their missionary with yells of execration, had torn the garments from his back, had kicked him into the sea and would infallibly have drowned him if the boat from which he landed had not returned in haste and rescued him....