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A Tall Ship by Bartimeus

"Bartimeus" is the pseudonym of Captain Lewis Ritchie, R.N.

A TALL SHIP

On Other Naval Occasions

by

"BARTIMEUS"

Author of "Naval Occasions"

. . . "All I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by, * * * And a laughing yarn from a merry fellow rover, And a quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over." JOHN MASEFIELD

Cassell and Company, Ltd London, New York, Toronto and Melbourne

First published September 1915. Reprinted September and October 1915.

To

H. M. S.

PREFACE

It is almost superfluous to observe that the following sketches contain no attempt at the portrait of an individual. The majority are etched in with the ink of pure imagination. A few are "composite" sketches of a large number of originals with whom the Author has been shipmates in the past and whose friendship he is grateful to remember.

Of these, some, alas! have finished "the long trick." To them, at no risk of breaking their quiet sleep--_Ave atque vale_.

"Crab-Pots," "The Day," and "Chummy-Ships" appeared originally in _Blackwood's Magazine_, and are reproduced here by kind permission of the Editor.

CONTENTS

1. CRAB-POTS 2. THE DRUM 3. A CAPTAIN'S FORENOON 4. THE SEVEN-BELL BOAT 5. THE KING'S PARDON 6. AN OFF-SHORE WIND 7. THE DAY 8. THE MUMMERS 9. CHUMMY-SHIPS 10. THE HIGHER CLAIM

A TALL SHIP

I

CRAB-POTS

1

In moments of crisis the disciplined human mind works as a thing detached, refusing to be hurried or flustered by outward circumstance. Time and its artificial divisions it does not acknowledge. It is concerned with preposterous details and with the ludicrous, and it is acutely solicitous of other people's welfare, whilst working at a speed mere electricity could never attain.

Thus with James Thorogood, Lieutenant, Royal Navy, when he--together with his bath, bedding, clothes, and scanty cabin furniture, revolver, first-aid outfit, and all the things that were his--was precipitated through his cabin door across the aft-deck. The ship heeled violently, and the stunning sound of the explosion died away amid the uproar of men's voices along the mess-deck and the tinkle and clatter of broken crockery in the wardroom pantry.


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