BLTC Press Titles


available for Kindle at Amazon.com


The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

A. Conan Doyle


The Art of Worldly Wisdom

Baltasar Gracian


Tao Te Ching

Lao Tzu, James Legge (trans.)


Paradoxes of the Highest Science

Eliphas Levi


Frank, the young naturalist

by Harry Castlemon

Excerpt:

her name, was soon plowing the river, in the direction of the island.

So intent were the coast-guards upon catching the Alert, that they thought of nothing else; and Frank rounded the head of the island, and landed, without being discovered.

Meanwhile, George and Harry were leading their pursuers a long chase. Under their skillful management—standing first on one tack and then on the other—they had succeeded in outmaneuvering several of the swiftest-sailing vessels in the squadron.

Two or three small sloops had succeeded in getting between the Alert and the island; but Harry, who was at the helm, did not deem them worthy a moment's notice. He was confident that his schooner, by her superior sailing qualities, would soon leave these behind also.

The smugglers began to grow jubilant over their success, and George called out,

" Where are your men-o'-war now ? Throw us a line, and we '11 tow you."

" Come on, you coast-guards," chimed in Harry. " You will never catch us, at this rate."

If the smugglers had succeeded in eluding their pursuers, it would, indeed, have been an achievement worth boasting of; but they had to deal with those who were as cunning and skillful as themselves. Charles was not to be beaten so easily; and, although he said nothing, the smugglers saw him smile and shake his head, as if he were certain that he could yet win the day.

" Can you discover any fast boats ahead of us, George ?" inquired Harry.

George rose to his feet to take a survey of the squadron, and answered,

" No, there are only two or three little things standing across our bows, but we '11 soon— We 're caught, sure as shooting !" he suddenly exclaimed, changing his tone. " Bring her around before the wind—quick ! There's the North Star, Sunshine, and Sampson. We might as well haul down the sails."

James Porter's division, which had been " laying to" at the foot of Glen's Island, now bore down upon the Alert, and George had just discovered them ; and they were coming on in such a manner that escape was impossible.

" Yes," answered Harry, as soon as he had noted the positions of the approaching vessels, " we are caught. We began to brag too soon.''

" Well, we do n't lose any thing," said George. " Frank has landed the provisions long before this."

" I know it; but still I wish we could have beaten them."

" What do you think now, Harry ?" asked Charles, whose boat was following close in the wake of the Alert.

" I think we are done for."

And, as Harry " luffed in the wind," George drew down the sails, and gave up the struggle.

In a moment the little fleet closed about the smuggler, and, to prevent accident, the sails were all hauled down, and the boats lay motionless on the water.

" I tell you," said Charles, " you fellows worked it pretty well."

" Yes," answered George, as if a little crestfallen at their defeat. " We did the best we could."

" I thought we had more provisions than this," said one of the captains of the squadron, pulling his boat alongside of the Alert. " I did n't think you could get them all in here."

And he pulled up the covering, and looked under it.

" They are packed in tight, you see," said Harry, who wished to keep up the " sell," as he called it, as long as possible.

" What are in these bags ?" inquired one.

" Shavings," answered George. " We thought we might want to kindle a fire for something."

" I say, George," said James Porter, standing up in his boat to get a good view of the things in the Alert. " I wish you would feel in my basket, and get a cup that is in there, and pass it over this way. I 'm thirsty. I was so excited," he continued, taking off his hat and wiping the perspiration from his forehead, " that I sweat as if I had been dumped in the river. There is n't a dry rag on me."


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