This is only a short book, but it is beautifully written, and it packs a punch.
The two people designated as shipmates start off at the beginning of the book as reasonably close friends, but a weakness for alcohol causes Dick Bracewell to behave more and more badly, while the real hero, Ralph Michelmore, despite being taken by the Press-gang, behaves more and more nobly as the story progresses.
Ralph is already Mate of the Amity when pressed into the Royal Navy, but he had accidentally gone out that evening without his "Protection", a document attesting to his rank in the Merchant Navy. He had that very evening become engaged to Jessie, who waits for him for years.
With a couple of curious twists it all works out well in the end; Ralph is reunited with Jessie, and the wicked shipmate, Dick, meets a suitable doom.(Athelstane)
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