The Smugglers

The Smugglers

by Iain Lawrence


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"Steer clear of that ship," warns the mysterious gentleman who shares a coach with John and his father. "Death she'll bring you," says the man. "It's the way of a ship that was christened with blood."

This is an ominous introduction to the schooner John is about to be entrusted with for a voyage to London. But he's too charmed by the pretty Dragon to heed the advice. The ship looks clever and quick, and John can hardly wait to sail her. She was a smugglers' vessel once, but now she's his Dragon, and she'll proudly carry wool for honest trade.

But soon John will be forced to consider the gentleman's warning. And to wonder what he really knows about his bonny crew.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780440415961
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 10/10/2000
Series: High Seas Trilogy , #2
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 428,548
Product dimensions: 5.19(w) x 7.69(h) x 0.48(d)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Iain Lawrence is a journalist, travel writer, and avid sailor.

Read an Excerpt

I fetched a lantern and went right to the depths of the ship, where water, brown and fetid, slurped among the timbers. I went through the darkness in a circle of light, frightening cockroaches into shelter, hearing the groans and creaks of the hull as it worked. The places where I had to go were small and cramped, and I slithered through them as the lantern made the shadows zoom and tilt.

And someone came behind me.

When I stopped, he was silent. When I moved, so did he. I heard a faint creaking of wood as he crept up, closing the distance. He was quiet as a cat. And suddenly I felt a hand touch my shoulder. I cried out, startled, as he pushed me down against the hull.

"You're in danger, boy," said he.

I tried to lift myself, to turn and see him, but the sailor held me down.

"Watch yourself," he said. "There's one aboard who'll kill you."


For a moment I only heard him breathing. He said, "The one who seems least likely."

"But who?" I asked again.

He pressed harder on my shoulder. "He'll want the dead man's secrets. See you keep them safe."

"Who are you?" I asked.

"A man you never saw." And then the hand was gone.

Table of Contents

1.The Highwayman1
2.A Warning10
3.The Old Captain17
4.The Dragon27
5.The Crew Comes Aboard35
6.An Eerie Wind46
7.A Dreadful Curse57
8.Dashing Tommy Dusker66
9.The Home of Nightmares74
10.Cannons in the Fog84
11.No Taste for Blood94
13.A Tale of Murder109
14.The Coast Is Clear119
15.The Black Guard133
16.A Gang of Men141
17.A Jerkin of Corks152
18.The Only One Left159
19.A Hangman's Noose167
20.One More Name173
Author's Note179

Customer Reviews

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Smugglers 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
cmckee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An adventurous tale with engaging, colorful characters, The Smugglers begins with a robbery staged by a highwayman and then sets sail on the high seas with Captain Crowe, a last minute replacement for the murdered captain, Dashing Tommy Dusker, and John Spencer, the sixteen-year-old protagonist and son of the ship's owner. The schooner itself, the Dragon, began with the bloody death of an innocent one and has forever carried with it this unfavorable beginning. Though the Dragon's mission is a direct trip to London with a cargo of wool, she detours to France for a second cargo of illicit liquor and encounters drifting dead bodies, ships in pursuit of her, and malicious warnings at every turn. The story's great strength is its realistic seafaring-dialogue such as "The fog's no high enough to hide the masts. Dasher, get aloft; "Ye've got the wheel." The mysterious characters, who's good and who's evil, will keep the reader guessing. In the classroom students will simply enjoy the page-turning plot; however, the story also lends itself to teaching the historial importance of the sea and its ships to powerful nations like France and England.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a good one Although not as suspenseful as the first in the series, it intrigued me none the less. Read it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a great book. very fast paced and action packed. lawrence does very well with characters and plot...basically a really good writer!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Smugglers is one of the best books that I have ever read! It is so exciting that you won't want to put it down. This book is full of suspense.
Guest More than 1 year ago
John Spencer is met by a mysteriouse man that has information for him but disappears before he can tell. John is now on a ship with five untrustworthy men and has to bribe them to stay alive. This story was a thrill seeking one that keeps me on the edge of my seat. The only problem was that at some points it was a little confusing. Over all it was a pretty good book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a wonderful book! The setting is in Kent, England, in a carriage. There were many problems and conflicts throughout the book. One was in the beginning, when a man jumps the carriage that John and his father are riding in and the man shoots his father. Worst of all, the man ends up to be a sailor on The Dragon, the ship that John and his father buy. Read the rest to discover the end of the book. It is full of mystery and adventure. I loved it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
A 4th-grader recommended this book to me when I forgot to bring my own while baby-sitting him. I was very impressed with it! It captivated my imagination to the point I couldn't put it down. I was even reading it on the way to a power plant I had to do some engineering on. I highly recommend this book for anyone of any age. :)
Guest More than 1 year ago
'The Smugglers' was an adventure story about a young boy and his fathers new ship. As it turns out the boy must face sailing the ship alone with a captain who was a mere stranger. The boy also must deal with the harsh conditions of life at sea. The boy stumbles onto some notes and decides to take the ship on a smuggling run. On the smuggling trip he encounters many dangers and enemies. The story is excellent if the your a reader that loves the sea but to a modern person the story may be quite boring.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Smugglers is an impressive epic of piracy on the high seas, the illegal act of smuggling and murder, a recipe for a mildly violent story topped off with the dream of a young boy and an appealing yet evil captain. The Smugglers is a book for any mature age. Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was the BEST I have ever read!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was the beast book I have ever read!