Captain's Courageous

Captain's Courageous

4.2 82
by Rudyard Kipling
     
 

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CHAPTER I

The weather door of the smoking-room had been left open to the North
Atlantic fog, as the big liner rolled and lifted, whistling to warn the
fishing-fleet.

"That Cheyne boy's the biggest nuisance aboard," said a man in a frieze
overcoat, shutting the door with a bang. "He isn't wanted here. He's
too fresh."

A

Overview

CHAPTER I

The weather door of the smoking-room had been left open to the North
Atlantic fog, as the big liner rolled and lifted, whistling to warn the
fishing-fleet.

"That Cheyne boy's the biggest nuisance aboard," said a man in a frieze
overcoat, shutting the door with a bang. "He isn't wanted here. He's
too fresh."

A white-haired German reached for a sandwich, and grunted between
bites: "I know der breed. Ameriga is full of dot kind. I dell you you
should imbort ropes' ends free under your dariff."

"Pshaw! There isn't any real harm to him. He's more to be pitied than
anything," a man from New York drawled, as he lay at full length along
the cushions under the wet skylight. "They've dragged him around from
hotel to hotel ever since he was a kid. I was talking to his mother
this morning. She's a lovely lady, but she don't pretend to manage him.
He's going to Europe to finish his education."

"Education isn't begun yet." This was a Philadelphian, curled up in a
corner. "That boy gets two hundred a month pocket-money, he told me. He
isn't sixteen either."

"Railroads, his father, aind't it?" said the German.

"Yep. That and mines and lumber and shipping. Built one place at San
Diego, the old man has; another at Los Angeles; owns half a dozen
railroads, half the lumber on the Pacific slope, and lets his wife
spend the money," the Philadelphian went on lazily. "The West don't
suit her, she says. She just tracks around with the boy and her nerves,
trying to find out what'll amuse him, I guess. Florida, Adirondacks,
Lakewood, Hot Springs, New York, and round again. He isn't much more
than a second-hand hotel clerk now. When he's finished in Europe he'll
be a holy terror."

"What's the matter with the old man attending to him personally?" said
a voice from the frieze ulster.

"Old man's piling up the rocks. 'Don't want to be disturbed, I guess.
He'll find out his error a few years from now. 'Pity, because there's a
heap of good in the boy if you could get at it."

"Mit a rope's end; mit a rope's end!" growled the German.

Once more the door banged, and a slight, slim-built boy perhaps fifteen
years old, a half-smoked cigarette hanging from one corner of his
mouth, leaned in over the high footway. His pasty yellow complexion did
not show well on a person of his years, and his look was a mixture of
irresolution, bravado, and very cheap smartness. He was dressed in a
cherry-coloured blazer, knickerbockers, red stockings, and bicycle
shoes, with a red flannel cap at the back of the head. After whistling
between his teeth, as he eyed the company, he said in a loud, high
voice: "Say, it's thick outside. You can hear the fish-boats squawking
all around us. Say, wouldn't it be great if we ran down one?"

"Shut the door, Harvey," said the New Yorker. "Shut the door and stay
outside. You're not wanted here."

"Who'll stop me?" he answered deliberately. "Did you pay for my
passage, Mister Martin? 'Guess I've as good right here as the next man."

He picked up some dice from a checker-board and began throwing, right
hand against left.

"Say, gen'elmen, this is deader'n mud. Can't we make a game of poker
between us?"

There was no answer, and he puffed his cigarette, swung his legs, and
drummed on the table with rather dirty fingers. Then he pulled out a
roll of bills as if to count them.

"How's your mamma this afternoon?" a man said. "I didn't see her at
lunch."

"In her state-room, I guess. She's 'most always sick on the ocean. I'm
going to give the stewardess fifteen dollars for looking after her. I
don't go down more 'n I can avoid. It makes me feel mysterious to pass
that butler's-pantry place. Say, this is the first time I've been on
the ocean."

"Oh, don't apologise, Harvey."

"Who's apologising? This is the first time I've crossed the ocean,
gen'elmen, and, except the first day, I haven't been sick one little
bit. No, sir!" He brought down his fist with a triumphant bang, wetted
his finger, and went on counting the bills.

"Oh, you're a high-grade machine, with the writing in plain sight," the
Philadelphian yawned. "You'll blossom into a credit to your country if
you don't take care."

"I know it. I'm an American--first, last, and all the time. I'll show
'em that when I strike Europe. Pif! My cig's out. I can't smoke the
truck the steward sells. Any gen'elman got a real Turkish cig on him?"

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940013117266
Publisher:
SAP
Publication date:
07/25/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
149 KB

Meet the Author

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) was one of the most popular writers in the United Kingdom in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His fiction works include The Jungle Book — a classic of children’s literature — and the rousing adventure novel Kim, as well as books of poems, short stories, and essays. In 1907, at the age of 42, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

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Captains Courageous 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 82 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a very good book but you need to be able to understand some pretty difficult dialect. I've read a lot of Mark Twain before without trouble but i found this book to be extremely hard to understand during any dialog.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Oh my gosh! i was at the end of my seat when i read this novel! It was so amazing how life at sea can change one man's heart! it is really a super duper story and i recommend it to all you sea lovers out there, it is AWSOME
Anonymous 6 months ago
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Anonymous 11 months ago
I don't want you to kill yourself. I believe I have your DeviantART- and I can't imagine just waking up one day and seeing that you have no recent activities. And the next day. And the next. And slowly, I'll grow to realize that the reason why- is because your dead. So please- don't kill yourself- I can't stand it- I'll cry.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Have you ever fallen off a huge ship at night when there’s so much fog you can’t see past you hand? Well the book is about a 15 year old spoiled kid from America that gets 200 dollars a month and lives in a mansion. He fell off the boat because a German dared him to smoke a cigar; he tried and felt sick and went to the side of the where he passed out and fell off the side into the ocean! A few minutes later a fisherman picks him out of the water and puts him in a bed. He wakes up in the morning not knowing where he is, the captain tells him he is on a fishing boat that will be on the sea for about 6 months. He learns to work on the boat and gets paid 10.50$ a month for working his butt off, and his mom and dad think he’s dead somewhere in the middle of the ocean. There are hundreds of fishing boats in this one area fishing when this one guy dies. They take all of his belongings and auction them off. Danny, Harvey’s friend is a boy that has to work to get his money which is very little and loves to fish. He buys his knife and give it to Harvey, but Harvey doesn’t know if he should take it because it belonged to a dead guy. Later they have a funeral and strap an anchor on him and throw him into the ocean. Danny and Harvey were out at sea fishing miles from where they put him into the sea. They catch him on one of the lines. They freak out and throw the knife into the water so he can have it back even though he’s dead. The fishing year is finally over and they all get to go home; but will Harvey ever see his parents again because he doesn’t even know where they are? You should read this book, it was really good and it was easy to read. I would recommend it for someone to read it is 250 pages long and very easy to read. It is also one really interesting book, I enjoyed reading it.
Ausonius More than 1 year ago
Which version of CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS am I reviewing? Not the original 1897 novel by Rudyard Kipling but a 2002 Great Illustrated Classics issue adapted by Malvina Vogel and illustrated by Ken Landgraf. It is called the Library Edition, bare-boned, no notes, chapter summaries, etc. There are as many pages of pen and ink sketches as there are of text. And the Vogel text is perhaps 85 % shorter than Kipling's original. Well-known adapter Vogel aims at readers ten years old and up. *** I, who am 76 years old and blessed with six grandsons and two granddaughters, have little doubt that the Vogel-Landgraf shortened, illustrated edition will be a hit with the youngsters whom it targets. The plot is simple enough: Around 1895 Harvey ("Harve") Cheyne falls off an ocean liner, is rescued by a fishing schooner and spends three months learning to be a cod fisherman. Back in the schooner's home port of Gloucester, Massachusetts, Harve telegraphs his multi-millionaire father in San Diego, is soon reunited with his parents and plans a sea-related future. He has been transformed from a self-centered, pampered mama's boy into a thoughtful, caring young man. *** My review focuses on what there is for adults in the Vogel-Landgraf adaptation. I assume that you already know the original novel. It abounds in symbolism (sea and baptism, a bloody nose and the sacrament of Confirmation, a fishing boat as monastery with abbot (Captain Troop), prior (co-owner Uncle Salters) and eight (temporarily) celibate male monks who welcome novice Harve to their fellowship. Several religions and superstitions appear in the novel. CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS is also a critique of then rapidly rising destructive economic values of America's Gilded Age. All this is layers deeper than the simple tale of a spoiled rich kid growing up quickly through obedience and hard work, especially through male-bonded teamwork. *** Those depths are not there in the Vogel-Landgraf adaptation. Malvina Vogel adds sentences here and there, initially one that makes young Harve Cheyne look more impolite than Kipling did. She eliminates some key scenes. But she also does some things right, from an adult's point of view. Take the three film retellings of CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS. In the first, Manuel the fisherman who pulls Harve out of the Atlantic -- played for an Oscar by Spencer Tracy -- is killed off at sea. In the second Harve has no mother. In the third he has neither mother nor father. Admittedly, Kipling devotes relatively few words to the only two important female characters: Constance Cheyne, Harve's mother, and to the mother of the only other boy on the schooner We're Here. But those women exist and make a difference. To her credit Malvina retains them, and all other characters of the 1897 novel. And illustrator Landgraf sketches both of them, too. *** In the 1870s Kipling's own mother had told Kipling's Headmaster that her son had a soft feminine streak. In CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS, Kipling says that Harve inherited brains from his self-made tycoon father and sensitivity from his mother. At novel's end, previously hysterical Constance wins the hearts of every man on the We're Here and overcomes her Unitarian disdain of Catholics to make a large bequest to Harve's savior Manuel's church on the hill in Gloucester. Kipling hinted at some strengths of character in Mrs Cheyne. And the Vogel-Landgraf team keeps her very much alive, caring and credible. -OOO-
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Anonymous 24 days ago
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Anonymous 26 days ago
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Anonymous 7 months ago
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