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Old 01-06-2009, 08:18 AM   #1
mtravellerh
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Post Collingwood, Harry: The Pirate Island epub v1 6 jan 2009

Harry Collingwood (1851-1922). Pseudonym of William Joseph Cosens Lancaster, a civil engineer who specialised in seas and harbours.

A very exciting story. It starts with a severe gale on the Essex coast of England. A rescue is effected, as a result of which one of the local fishermen generously adopts an orphan boy they find on the sinking ship.

Years later a number of young people set out on a return voyage by sea to Australia. On the return voyage there is a disastrous fire on board their ship, the Galatea, as a result of which they and the crew take to the boats.

They are rescued by a vessel that turns out to be a pirate ship, the captain of which takes them to his island, where he has a number of ships of various kinds that he has captured. Discovering that one of his prisoners has designed and built his own fast-sailing yacht, the pirate commands the people to build him a new fast ship, which they set about doing, and succeed in doing so.

Just as the ship is completed two of the party find, in a well-written episode, that there is a major reef of gold on the island. However they press on with plans to escape, which involves making off with the new fast ship they have just completed.

Just as they are departing there is an earthquake, leading to a volcanic eruption in the island. This results in the death of their pursuers.

Putting two and two together it is realised that one of the people in this story, who had originally been the boy adopted at the very start of the book, is the lost child of the uncle of another of the passengers. The uncle has been miserable ever since the loss of his wife and child, though he did not know from what ship, and where, they had been lost. There is a perfectly good reason for this. Needless to say, it all ends happily, with various marriages, and with the intention of getting back to the Pirate Island, to see if it has survived the eruption, and if so, if the gold can be mined.

Great cover by ravenne, entertaining illustrated book. Source Athelstane.
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