~[nautic adventure] Tom Cringle's Log by Michael Scott -ck

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Carolin
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Post by Carolin » July 15th, 2018, 6:49 am

Tom Cringle's Log by Michael Scott (1789 - 1835).
At the age of thirteen, Tom Cringle has made a definite decision about what to do with his life: he will become the successor of the great Admiral Nelson. So without much hesitation, he torments his family and everyone around him until finally, they agree to let him go and become a member of the crew of a ship of the Royal Navy. Tom keeps a journal of his travels and adventures, and there are many of those for a boy sailing the oceans. ( Carolin)
While this book has often been named as one of the best books written in the 19th century, readers will wish to know beforehand that there was lots of racism in the 1820's in the caribbean, where Tom travels.
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Post by Carolin » July 15th, 2018, 7:03 am

Chapter I - The Launching of the Log

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So we wisely hauled off, and ran up the river with the young flood for about an hour, until we anchored close to the Hanoverian bank, near a gap in the dike, where we waited till the evening.

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As soon as the night fell, a boat with muffled oars was manned, to carry the messenger on shore. I was in it; Mr Treenail, the second lieutenant, steering.
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I afterwards learned that they were the hostages seized on for the contribution of fifty millions of francs, which had been imposed on the doomed city, and that this very night they had been tom from their families, and cooped up in the way I had seen them, where, they were advertised, they must remain until the money should be forthcoming.

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As we walked along the streets, and crossed the numerous bridges over the canals and branches of the river, we found all the houses lit up, by order, as I learned, of the French marshal.

Chapter II - The Cruise of the Torch


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The Torch captured the schooner, and we left the privateer’s men at Barbadoes to meet their reward, and several of the merchant sailors were turned over to the guardship, to prove the facts in the first instance, and to serve his Majesty as impressed men in the second, but scrimp measure of justice to the poor ship’s crew.

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Anchored at Carlisle Bay, Barbadoes.—Town seemed built of cards—black faces—showy dresses of the negroes—dined at Mr C——‘s, capital dinner little breeze mill at the end of the room, that pumped a solution of saltpetre and water into a trough of tin, perforated with small holes, below which, and exposed to the breeze, were ranged the wine and liqueurs, all in cotton bags; the water then flowed into a well, where the pump was stepped, and thus was again pumped up and kept circulating.
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She was taken possession of, and proved to be the Natches, of four hundred tons burden, fully loaded with cotton.

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By the time we got the crew on board, and the second lieutenant, with a prize crew of fifteen men, had taken charge, the weather began to lour again, nevertheless we took the prize in tow, and continued on our voyage for the next three days, without any thing particular happening.

Chapter III - The Quenching of the Torch

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The second shot missed, and as it was madness to remain to be peppered, probably winged, whilst every one of ours fell short, we reluctantly kept away on our course, having the gratification of hearing a clear well-blown bugle on board the schooner play up “Yankee Doodle.”

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The second shot missed, and as it was madness to remain to be peppered, probably winged, whilst every one of ours fell short, we reluctantly kept away on our course, having the gratification of hearing a clear well-blown bugle on board the schooner play up “Yankee Doodle.”

Chapter VII - Scenes in Jamaica

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I drove on, and arrived just in time to dress for dinner, but I did not learn till next day, that the flash which paralysed me, had struck dead the Colonel’s servant and leading horse, as he ascended the bank of the ravine, by this time so much swollen, that the body of the lad was washed off the road into the neighbouring gully, where it was found, when the waters subsided, entirely covered with sand.

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I found the party congregated in the piazza around Mr Fyall, who was passing his jokes, without much regard to the feelings of his guests, and exhibiting as great a disregard of the common civilities and courtesies of life as can well be imagined.

Chapter VIII - The Chase of the Smuggler

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“What a gaff-topsail she has got—my eye!—and a ringtail with more cloths in it than our squaresail—and the breeze comes down stronger and stronger!”

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All this while I looked out equally excited, but with a very different interest. “Come, this will do,’ thought I; ‘she is after us; and if old Dick Casket brings that fiery sea-breeze he has now along with him, we shall puzzle the smuggler, for all his long start.”

Chapter IX - Cuba Fishermen

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It was evident that several boats had boarded us soon after we anchored, as I could make out part of the greetings between the strangers and Obed, in which my own name recurred more than once. In a little while all was still again, and Obed called down the companion to my guards, that I might come on deck,—a boon I was not long in availing myself of.

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We were anchored nearly in the centre of a shallow swampy lagoon, about a mile across, as near as I could judge; two very large schooners, heavily armed, were moored ahead of us, one on each bow, and another rather smaller lay close under our stern; they all had sails bent, and every thing apparently in high order, and were full of men.
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I turned in, and—what will not youth and fatigue do?—I fell once more fast asleep, and never opened my eyes until Obed shook me in my cot about eight o’clock in the morning.

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“Good morning, Lieutenant. I have sent up your breakfast, but you don’t seem inclined to eat it.”

Chapter X - Vomito Prieto

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They increased until I suffered the most excruciating agony, as if my bones had been converted into red-hot tubes of iron, and the marrow in them had been dried up with fervent heat, and I was obliged to beg that a hammock might be spread on deck, on which I lay down, pleading great fatigue and want of sleep as my excuse.

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My thirst was unquenchable; the more I drank, the hotter it became. My tongue, and mouth, and throat, were burning, as if molten lead had been poured down into my stomach, while the most violent retching came on every ten minutes.

Chapter XI - More Scenes in Jamaica, part 1

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Whenever he saw me, he exclaimed, “Ah! aqui viene, el Senor Teniente—ahora sabremos ahora, ahora;” and he beckoned to me to draw near. I did so.

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“I beg pardon, Mr Cringle,” he said in Spanish, with the ease and grace of a nobleman “but I believe the interpreter to be incapable, and I am certain that what I say is not fittingly explained to the judges; neither do I believe he can give me a sound notion of what the advocate (avocado) is alleging against us. May I entreat you to solicit the bench for permission to take his place? I know you will expect no apology for the trouble from a man in my situation.”
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To get quit of their importunity, Captain Transom gave them one. “Ah, good massa, tank you, sweet massa!” And away danced John Canoe and his tail, careering up the street.

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In the same way all the other crafts and trades had their Gumbimen, Hornblowers, John Canoes, and Nondescript. The Gardeners came nearest of any thing I had seen before to the Mayday boys in London; with this advantage, that their jack-in-the—Green was incomparably more beautiful, from the superior bloom of the larger flowers used in composing it.

Chapter XII - The Cruise o the Firebrand

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We stood on, the channel narrowing still more the rocks rising to a height of at least five hundred feet from the water’s edge, as sharply and precipitously as if they had only yesterday been split asunder; the splintered projections and pinnacles on one side, having each their corresponding fissures and indentations on the other, as if the hand of a giant could have closed them together again.

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Noble trees shot out in all directions wherever they could find a little earth and a crevice to hold on by, almost meeting overhead in several places, and alive with all kinds of birds and beasts incidental to the climate; parrots of all sorts, great and small, clomb, and hung, and fluttered amongst the branches

Chapter II - The Cruise of the Torch

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“Mucho, mucho,” quoth Bang; “capital, real Havannah.”

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So now, since we had all gotten fairly into the clouds, there was no saying how long we should have remained in the seventh heaven much would have depended upon the continuance of the supply of brandy—but two female slaves presently made their appearance, each carrying a quatre.
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“Oh, my dear, dear child,” murmured Don Ricardo, “how like this was to what you were; how changed you are now from what it is—alas! alas! But come, gentlemen, my wife is ready, and my two nieces,” the pretty girls who were of our party the previous evening—“and here are the horses.”

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At this moment the little midshipman, Master Reefpoint, a great favourite of mine, by the by, reappeared, with Tailtackle behind him, carrying my bundle. I was regularly caught, as the clothes, on the chance of a lark, had been brought from the ship, although stowed out of sight under the stern-sheets of the boat.

Chapter XIV - Scenes in Cuba

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“I say, Cringle, look here—the Padre and the servants are digging a grave close to the chapel—are they going to bury the poor girl so suddenly?”

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I stepped to the door; the wind had entirely fallen—but it rained very fast—the small chapel door looked out on the still swollen, but subsiding river, and beyond that on the mountain, which rose abruptly from the opposite bank.

Chapter XV - The Cruise of the Wave, the Action with the Slaver

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The fish was let overboard again, according to his desire, and hauled in at the very moment he indicated by his watch, when, having seen him cut up and cleaned, with his own eyes—I believe I may say with his own hands—he betook himself to his small crib to dress.

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At dinner our Creole friend was very entertaining. Bang drew him out, and had him to talk on all his favourite topics in a most amusing manner. All at once Gelid lay back on his chair.
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We had scarcely finished dinner, however, when the rushing of the water past the run of the little vessel, and the steadiness with which she skimmed along, shewed that the light air had freshened.

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Presently Tailtackle came down. “The breeze has set down, sir; the strange sail has got it strong to windward, and brings it along with him cheerily.”

Chapter XVI - The Second Cruise of the Wave

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Pepperpot had all this while listened with mute attention, as if the narrative had been most moving, and I question not he thought so; but Bang—oh, the rogue!—looked also very grave and sympathizing, but there was a laughing devil in his eye, that showed he was inwardly enjoying the beautiful rise of his friends.

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We were here interrupted by a hail from the look-out man at the masthead,——‘Land right a-head.’
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Oh, who can picture to himself, without a tear, that such a creature of light, such an ethereal-looking thing, whose step ‘would ne’er wear out the everlasting flint,’ that floating gossamer on the thin air, shall one day become an anxious-looking, sharp-featured, pale-faced, loud tongued, thin-bosomed, broad bottomed wife!”

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The next day, or rather in the same night, his Majesty’s ship Rabo arrived, and the first tidings we had of it in the morning were communicated by Captain Qeuedechat himself, an honest, uproarious sailor, who chose to begin, as many a worthy ends, by driving up to the door of the lodging in a cart.
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A most vivid flash—it almost blinded me. Presently the Firebrand burnt another blue light, whereby we saw that her maintopmast was gone close by the cap, with the topsail, and upper spars, and yards, and gear, all hanging down in a lumbering mass of confused wreck; she had been struck by the levin brand, which had killed four men, and stunned several more.

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By this time the cold grey streaks of morning appeared in the eastern horizon, and soon after the day broke; and by two o’clock in the afternoon, both corvette and schooner were at anchor at Conaives.
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“Then, Tummas, my man, you know a deuced deal more than I do. As for the tail, conceditur—but devilish few horses have four legs nowadays, take my word for it. However, here comes Transom; I am off to have a lounge with him, and I will finish the veterinary lecture at some more convenient season. Tol lol de rol.”—Exit singing.

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The morning after this I went ashore at daylight, and, guided by the sound of military music, proceeded to the Place Republicain, or square before President Petion’s palaces where I found eight regiments of foot under arms, with their bands playing, and in the act of defiling before General Boyer who commanded the arrondissement.

Chapter XVII - The Third Cruise of the Wave

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I did not like this ominous “but,” nevertheless we rode on. No more did Massa Aaron. The guide repeated his mais again. “Mais, mon filo,” said Bang, “mais—que meanez vous by baaing comme un sheep, eh? Que vizzy vous, eh?”

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We were at this time riding in a bridle-road, to which the worst sheep paths in Westmoreland would have been a railway, with our horses every now and then stumbling and coming down on their noses on the deep red earth, while we as often stood a chance of being pitched bodily against some tree on the path-side.
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First, when they lay back to the strain, they jumped backwards and upwards on to the thwart with their feet, and then, as they once more feathered their paddles again, they came crack down on their bottoms with a loud skelp on the seats, upon which they again mounted at the next stroke, and so on.

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When we cleared the harbour it was fine and serene, but about noon it came on to blow violently from the northeast. All this while we were coasting it along about pistol-shot from the white coral beach, with the clear light green swell on our right hand, and beyond it the dark and stormy waters of the blue rolling ocean; and the snow-white roaring surf on our left.

Chapter XVIII - Tropical High-links

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and, accordingly, we proceeded next morning, with the canoe in tow, but towards the afternoon it came on to blow, which forced us into a small cove, where we remained for the night in a very uncomfortable situation, as the awning proved an indifferent shelter from the rain, that descended in torrents.

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We had made ourselves as snug as it was possible to be in such weather, under an awning of boat sails, and had kindled a fire in a tub at the bottom of the boat, at which we had made ready some slices of beef, and roasted some yams, and were, all hands, master and men, making ourselves comfortable with a glass of grog
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and fine steel, and cut glass, and cool green finger-glasses with lime leaves floating within, and tall wax lights shaded from the breeze in thin glass barrels, and an epergne filled with flowers, with a fragrant fresh-gathered lime in each of the small leaf-like branches, and salt-cellars with red peppers in them, &c. &c. all of which made the tout ensemble the most captivating imaginable to a hungry man.

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I found a large party assembled in the piazza and the dark hall, to whom I was introduced in due form. In Jamaica, of all countries I ever was in, it is a most difficult matter for a stranger to ascertain the real names of the guests at a bachelor dinner like the present, where all the parties were intimate—there were so many soubriquets amongst them; for instance, a highly respectable merchant of the place, with some fine young women for daughters, by the way

Chapter XIX - The Last of the Log, Tom Cringle’s Farewell

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On our left foamed the roaring river, and on the other brink the opposite bank rose equally precipitously, clothed also with superb trees, that spread their blending boughs over the chasm, until they wove themselves together with those that grew on the side we were on, qualifying the noonday fierceness of a Jamaica sun into a green cool twilight, while the long misty reaches of the blue river, with white foaming rapids here and there, and the cattle wading in them, lengthened out beneath in the distance. Oh! the very look of it refreshed one unspeakably.

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Presently a group of half-a-dozen country Buccras-overseers, or coffee-planters, most likely, or possibly larger fish than either—hove in sight, all in their blue-white jean trowsers, and long Hessian boots pulled up over them, and new blue square-cut, bright-buttoned coatees, and thread-bare silk broad-brimmed hats.
Carolin

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Post by Carolin » July 19th, 2018, 12:12 am

this project is now ready to go! this is a fun book, well-written, often named one of the best books of the 19th century. I think a lot of our readers will love it.

all readers and a dpl are most welcome! :D
Carolin

Carolin
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Post by Carolin » July 19th, 2018, 11:41 pm

Off we go to readers wanted :thumbs:
Carolin

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