Captains Courageous

Captains Courageous

4.2 82
by Rudyard Kipling
     
 

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A pampered millionaire's son tumbles overboard from a luxury liner and falls into good fortune, disguised in the form of a fishing boat. The gruff and hearty crew teach the young man to be worth his salt as they fish the waters off the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. Brimming with adventure and humor, this classic tale of youthful initiation has delighted readers of all

Overview

A pampered millionaire's son tumbles overboard from a luxury liner and falls into good fortune, disguised in the form of a fishing boat. The gruff and hearty crew teach the young man to be worth his salt as they fish the waters off the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. Brimming with adventure and humor, this classic tale of youthful initiation has delighted readers of all ages since 1897.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 5 Up-When Rudyard Kipling took up residence in the U.S., he found intriguing characters in the sailing men of New England. This dramatization of his classic novel focuses on a good-humored, hard-working Gloucester fisherman who rescues a spoiled rich boy, Harvey Cheynen, when he falls off a passing steamship. Unconvinced by Harvey's story that his father is a millionaire, Captain Disko Troop and the crew of the We're Here teach the boy the value of a job well done. When the ship returns to port several months later, Harvey is reunited with his exultant parents and there are happy surprises for everyone. Toni Jourdan's adaptation uses key elements of the original text, and the story is presented with enough gusto to give young listeners a taste of Kipling's style. Though some accents lack authenticity and a few performances are uneven, the use of appropriate sound effects enhances this generally well done production by the St. Charles Players. Repeating the last line on the next side of the cassette interrupts the flow of the story but may help youngsters keep their place. The cover art has eye appeal, but the box is made of lightweight cardboard. Playing portions of this dramatization would make an excellent book talk; using it as a whole would give upper elementary and middle school students additional exposure to the works of Kipling.-Barbara S. Wysocki, Cora J. Belden Library, Rocky Hill, CT Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
From the Publisher
“The most complete man of genius I have ever known.”—Henry James
 
“Throughout the world his voice commanded more respect than any citizen other than heads of state.”—Mark Twain
 
“Of Kipling’s personal decency there can be no doubt….I for one cannot help wishing that I could offer some kind of tribute.”—George Orwell

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780451515735
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/01/1964
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 5.00(h) x 1.00(d)

Read an Excerpt

Captains Courageous


By Rudyard Kipling

Random House

Rudyard Kipling
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0553211900


Chapter One



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 letshis 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 checkerboard 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 mama 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 apologize, Harvey."

"Who's apologizing? 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. Pff! My cig's out. I can't smoke the truck the steward sells. Any gen'elman got a real Turkish cig on him?"
The chief engineer entered for a moment, red, smiling, and wet. "Say, Mac," cried Harvey cheerfully, "how are we hitting it?"

"Vara much in the ordinary way," was the grave reply. "The young are as polite as ever to their elders, an' their elders are e'en tryin' to appreciate it."

A low chuckle came from a corner. The German opened his cigar-case and handed a shiny black cigar to Harvey.

"Dot is der broper apparatus to smoke, my young friendt," he said. "You vill dry it? Yes? Den you vill be efer so happy."

Harvey lit the unlovely thing with a flourish: he felt that he was getting on in grownup society.

"It would take more 'n this to keel me over," he said, ignorant that he was lighting that terrible article, a Wheeling "stogie."

"Dot we shall bresently see," said the German. "Where are we now, Mr. Mactonal'?"

"Just there or thereabouts, Mr. Schaefer," said the engineer. "We'll be on the Grand Bank to-night; but in a general way o' speakin', we're all among the fishing-fleet now. We've shaved three dories an' near skelped the boom off a Frenchman since noon, an' that's close sailin', ye may say."

"You like my cigar, eh?" the German asked, for Harvey's eyes were full of tears.

"Fine, full flavour," he answered through shut teeth. "Guess we've slowed down a little, haven't we? I'll skip out and see what the log says."

"I might if I vhas you," said the German.

Harvey staggered over the wet decks to the nearest rail. He was very unhappy; but he saw the deck-steward lashing chairs together, and, since he had boasted before the man that he was never seasick, his pride made him go aft to the second-saloon deck at the stern, which was finished in a turtle-back. The deck was deserted, and he crawled to the extreme end of it, near the flag-pole.
There he doubled up in limp agony, for the Wheeling "stogie" joined with the surge and jar of the screw to sieve out his soul. His head swelled; sparks of fire danced before his eyes; his body seemed to lose weight, while his heels wavered in the breeze. He was fainting from seasickness, and a roll of the ship tilted him over the rail on to the smooth lip of the turtle-back. Then a low, gray mother-wave swung out of the fog, tucked Harvey under one arm, so to speak, and pulled him off and away to leeward; the great green closed over him, and he went quietly to sleep.

He was roused by the sound of a dinner-horn such as they used to blow at a summer-school he had once attended in the Adirondacks. Slowly he remembered that he was Harvey Cheyne, drowned and dead in mid-ocean, but was too weak to fit things together. A new smell filled his nostrils; wet and clammy chills ran down his back, and he was helplessly full of salt water. When he opened his eyes, he perceived that he was still on the top of the sea, for it was running round him in silver-coloured hills, and he was lying on a pile of half-dead fish, looking at a broad human back clothed in a blue jersey.

"It's no good," thought the boy. "I'm dead, sure enough, and this thing is in charge."

He groaned, and the figure turned its head, showing a pair of little gold rings half hidden in curly black hair.

"Aha! You feel some pretty well now?" it said. "Lie still so: we trim better."

With a swift jerk he sculled the flickering boat-head on to a foamless sea that lifted her twenty full feet, only to slide her into a glassy pit beyond. But this mountain-climbing did not interrupt blue-jersey's talk. "Fine good job, I say, that I catch you. Eh, wha-at? Better good job, I say, your boat not catch me. How you come to fall out?"

"I was sick," said Harvey; "sick, and couldn't help it."

"Just in time I blow my horn, and your boat she yaw a little. Then I see you come all down. Eh, wha-at? I think you are cut into baits by the screw, but you dreeft-dreeft to me, and I make a big fish of you. So you shall not die this time."

"Where am I?" said Harvey, who could not see that life was particularly safe where he lay.

"You are with me in the dory-Manuel my name, and I come from schooner We're Here of Gloucester. I live to Gloucester. By-and-by we get supper. Eh, wha-at?"

He seemed to have two pairs of hands and a head of cast-iron, for, not content with blowing through a big conch-shell, he must needs stand up to it, swaying with the sway of the flat-bottomed dory, and send a grinding, thuttering shriek through the fog. How long this entertainment lasted, Harvey could not remember, for he lay back terrified at the sight of the smoking swells. He fancied he heard a gun and a horn and shouting. Something bigger than the dory, but quite as lively, loomed alongside. Several voices talked at once; he was dropped into a dark, heaving hole, where men in oilskins gave him a hot drink and took off his clothes, and he fell asleep.

When he waked he listened for the first breakfast-bell on the steamer, wondering why his state-room had grown so small. Turning, he looked into a narrow, triangular cave, lit by a lamp hung against a huge square beam. A three-cornered table within arm's reach ran from the angle of the bows to the foremast. At the after end, behind a well-used Plymouth stove, sat a boy about his own age, with a flat red face and a pair of twinkling gray eyes. He was dressed in a blue jersey and high rubber boots. Several pairs of the same sort of foot-wear, an old cap, and some worn-out woollen socks lay on the floor, and black and yellow oilskins swayed to and fro beside the bunks. The place was packed as full of smells as a bale is of cotton. The oilskins had a peculiarly thick flavour of their own which made a sort of background to the smells of fried fish, burnt grease, paint, pepper, and stale tobacco; but these, again, were all hooped together by one encircling smell of ship and salt water. Harvey saw with disgust that there were no sheets on his bed-place. He was lying on a piece of dingy ticking full of lumps and nubbles. Then, too, the boat's motion was not that of a steamer.

She was neither sliding nor rolling, but rather wriggling herself about in a silly, aimless way, like a colt at the end of a halter. Water-noises ran by close to his ear, and beams creaked and whined about him. All these things made him grunt despairingly and think of his mother.

"Feelin' better?" said the boy, with a grin. "Hev some coffee?" He brought a tin cup full and sweetened it with molasses.

"Isn't there milk?" said Harvey, looking round the dark double tier of bunks as if he expected to find a cow there.

"Well, no," said the boy. "Ner there ain't likely to be till 'baout mid-September. 'Tain't bad coffee. I made it."

Harvey drank in silence, and the boy handed him a plate full of pieces of crisp fried pork, which he ate ravenously.

"I've dried your clothes. Guess they've shrunk some," said the boy. "They ain't our style much-none of 'em. Twist round an' see if you're hurt any."

Harvey stretched himself in every direction, but could not report any injuries.

"That's good," the boy said heartily. "Fix yerself an' go on deck. Dad wants to see you. I'm his son,-Dan, they call me,-an' I'm cook's helper an' everything else aboard that's too dirty for the men. There ain't no boy here 'cep' me sence Otto went overboard-an' he was only a Dutchy, an' twenty year old at that. How d'you come to fall off in a dead flat ca'am?"

" 'Twasn't a calm," said Harvey, sulkily. "It was a gale, and I was seasick. Guess I must have rolled over the rail."

"There was a little common swell yes'day an' last night," said the boy. "But ef thet's your notion of a gale-" He whistled. "You'll know more 'fore you're through. Hurry! Dad's waitin'."

Like many other unfortunate young people, Harvey had never in all his life received a direct order-never, at least, without long, and sometimes tearful, explanations of the advantages of obedience and the reasons for the request. Mrs. Cheyne lived in fear of breaking his spirit, which, perhaps, was the reason that she herself walked on the edge of nervous prostration. He could not see why he should be expected to hurry for any man's pleasure, and said so. "Your dad can come down here if he's so anxious to talk to me. I want him to take me to New York right away. It'll pay him."

Dan opened his eyes as the size and beauty of this joke dawned on him. "Say, Dad!" he shouted up the foc'sle hatch, "he says you kin slip down an' see him ef you're anxious that way. 'Hear, Dad?"

The answer came back in the deepest voice Harvey had ever heard from a human chest: "Quit foolin', Dan, and send him to me."

Dan sniggered, and threw Harvey his warped bicycle shoes. There was something in the tones on the deck that made the boy dissemble his extreme rage and console himself with the thought of gradually unfolding the tale of his own and his father's wealth on the voyage home. This rescue would certainly make him a hero among his friends for life. He hoisted himself on deck up a perpendicular ladder, and stumbled aft, over a score of obstructions, to where a small, thick-set, clean-shaven man with gray eyebrows sat on a step that led up to the quarterdeck. The swell had passed in the night, leaving a long, oily sea, dotted round the horizon with the sails of a dozen fishing-boats. Between them lay little black specks, showing where the dories were out fishing. The schooner, with a triangular riding-sail on the mainmast, played easily at anchor, and except for the man by the cabin-roof-"house" they call it-she was deserted.


Excerpted from Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“The most complete man of genius I have ever known.”—Henry James
 
“Throughout the world his voice commanded more respect than any citizen other than heads of state.”—Mark Twain
 
“Of Kipling’s personal decency there can be no doubt….I for one cannot help wishing that I could offer some kind of tribute.”—George Orwell

Meet the Author

Rudyard Kipling was the author of The Jungle Book, Captains Courageous, and Kim.

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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
Two toms pushed their way through sone ferns. Both of their noses were pointed earnestly up. "What do you think, Micah?" A pale orange tabby asked his brother, a sturdy charcoal gray tabby. Micah grunted. "Definitely cats nearby. Smell strange." Suddenly, an angry hiss interrupted them. A bundle of blue-tinted silver fur tumbled into them. "Oh, just leave me, will you!?" A rather beautiful she-cat snarled at them, blue eyes blaring. "Relax, Jay!" The orange tabby spat at his sister. "We weren't leaving you. You're just too slow." "Shut up, Olliver." Jay growled back. "Let's just find these cats you two are mooning over." Olliver and Micah opened their mouths to protest, but she silenced them with a glare. (New peep up in here. :3 Hai guys)
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-
Anonymous 9 days ago
Jesus Christ, guys!! The app works for me and I can actually see headlines, but coding doesn't work, so I can see all the things you guys censor. XD Email isn't a lockout word, fam. Neither is die. Anyways, I've missed yall a hella lot and hopefully now I won't even need my Nook!! I know it's only been a few days but thinking that I wouldn't be able to get back left me hopeless. I love y'all, you know that? School starts tomorrow for me. Boo. - Demi
Anonymous 24 days ago
My loveliessss. I apologize for my absense and lack of socialness. I won't be on nook a lot, so add my kik or wp to talk. I can't use sc right now. Anyway, kik is lyyfewonders and wp is Soulful Peck.
Anonymous 25 days ago
(Yay! Im back!) Sits there and cleans herself
Anonymous 3 months ago
Do you guys need a member? My name is arrow and i want to join a evil clan. When is the next raid?
Anonymous 4 months ago
[Shyly walks forward] . Is this the well known BloodClan? If it is... may i please join?
Anonymous 4 months ago
What kind or rp is this? And where are bios?
Anonymous 5 months ago
Join today! Based on the best anime tv show! Located at "ciel". -Elizabeth Midford :) P.S. the rules are located at res.1
Anonymous 5 months ago
Haha im back!
Anonymous 5 months ago
"Can i join?" She said as she padded in
Anonymous 5 months ago
How do I join?
Anonymous 6 months ago
She padded in. "Hello, I need a place to stay and every other clan rejected me."
Anonymous 6 months ago
Padds in and sits proudly on the ground. She hides her beautiflu black wings and hides her amulet in her wings.
Anonymous 6 months ago
I've been poking around awhile, and it doesn' t look like this is a very good clan. For the BEST CLAN EVER go to udb res. 1-infinity. Res. 1 has the welcome.
Anonymous 7 months ago
Got my noook taken away when I got grounded. I am on my brothers to type this. I will be ungrounded by monday so hopefully I can get it back then. BBS I PROMISE!!!! love you all!! &hearts
Anonymous 7 months ago
XD XD XD
Anonymous 7 months ago
Hell..oo any one here?
Anonymous 8 months ago
Oh I am sad to see all that I see. Shouldn't have left so long ago. I miss NOOK so much.
Anonymous 8 months ago
If i can my name will be Wolftail.
Anonymous 8 months ago
My name is firefur and i would be useful as a medicine cat but could i also be a warrior I have bright orange fur and deep blue