Robert Michael Ballantyne (24 April 1825 - 8 February 1894) was a Scottish author of juvenile fiction who wrote more than 100 books. He was also an accomplished artist, and exhibited some of his water-colours at the Royal Scottish Academy.Ballantyne was born in Edinburgh on 24 April 1825, the ninth of ten children and the youngest son, to Alexander Thomson Ballantyne (1776-1847) and his wife Anne (1786-1855). Alexander was a newspaper editor and printer in the family firm of "Ballantyne & Co" based at Paul's Works on the Canongate,
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he could make no effort to save himself, as the waves rolled him inshore and sucked him back again. At this moment the sound of horses' hoofs was heard on the sands, and my young friend Kenneth Stuart dashed past us, at full gallop, into the sea! Kenneth was a splendid and a fearless rider. He kept the finest horses in the neighbourhood. On this occasion he was mounted on a large strong chestnut, which he had trained to gallop into a foaming surf. Checking his pace suddenly, when about knee- deep in the foam, he took up such a position that the next billow would wash the drowning man within his reach. The wave came on. When about a hundred yards from the spot where the young horseman stood, it fell with a prolonged roar, and the foam came sweeping in like a white wall, with the dark form of Furby tossing in the midst. The sea rushed furiously upon horse and rider, and the terrified horse, rearing almost perpendicular, wheeled round towards the land. At the same instant the coxswain was hurled against them. Kenneth seized the mane of his steed with one hand, and grasping Furby with the other, held oa The noble charger, swept irresistibly landward, made frantic efforts to regain his footing, and partially succeeded before the full force of the retreating water bore back upon him. For one moment he stood quivering with the strength of his effort. Kenneth was very strong, else he had never maintained his grasp on the collar of the coxswain. A moment more, and the horse made a plunge forward ; then a dozen hands caught him by bridle and saddle-girth, and almost dragged the trio out of the sea, while a loud cheer greeted their deliverance. I ordered four stout men to carry the coxswainto Gaff's cottage, remaining behind for a few minutes in order to congratulate my...