Captains Courageous (Saddleback Classics) by Rudyard Kipling, Nadia May, Inc. Blackstone Audio

By Rudyard Kipling, Nadia May, Inc. Blackstone Audio

The elements door of the smoking-room have been left open to the North Atlantic fog, because the mammoth liner rolled and lifted, whistling to warn the fishing-fleet. "That Cheyne boy's the largest nuisance aboard," acknowledged a guy in a frieze overcoat, shutting the door with a bang. "He is not sought after the following. he is too fresh." A white-haired German reached for a sandwich, and grunted among bites: "I be aware of der breed. Ameriga is filled with dot type. I dell you you want to imbort ropes' ends loose lower than your dariff."

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In the tiny galley, the cook balanced himself over the stove. The pots and pans rattled and shook. “There’s no chores to do in this weather,” Long Jack said. After breakfast, he went back to his bunk and smoked. The crew passed the time with stories and songs. Dan played the accordion. Tom Platt brought out an old, white fiddle. Manuel played a tiny, guitar-like thing he called a machette. Dan started up a lively tune: It’s six and twenty Sundays since last we saw the land . . ” roared Tom Platt.

We always can—until we dress down,” Dan explained. “After that the heads and guts in the water would scare the fish. ” It was rather back-breaking work. But when the fish stopped biting, the boys had a big pile of cod on the deck. When the fish were cleaned, the guts were set aside. Then the boys used pieces of gut to bait long trawl lines. These long lines would be dragged behind the dories. Along the way the cod would bite at the moving bait. There was a big hook between every few feet of line.

Their last touch with earth was lost! “It’s just a whale-hole,” Manuel said as he hauled in the line. Soon after they rowed back to the 40 Captains Courageous 09/26/06 8:57 AM Page 41 Days of Fish and Fog • 5 schooner, the We’re Here moved on to more shallow waters. Again, Harvey went out with Manuel. And this time something happened that made the hair on his head stand up. Through the fog he saw a great white shape, whiter than the fog. At the same time, he felt a puff of cold air, like a breath from the grave.

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