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Sea Stories

The Launch Etcetera

Ships begin life with a retrograde movement; they im...

Early American Heroism
During one of the former wars, between France and Eng...

Wooden And Iron Walls

The birth of the British Navy may be said to have ta...

The Lost Sheep
The glass had gone down with a thump during the afterno...

Third Day
The morning of the third day dawned fair and fresh, and...

The Landing On The Island
For many days we had been tempest-tossed. Six times h...

The Rival Life-savers
It was February, the year after the war. The month ha...

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The Pilot






The hero of Cooper's stirring sea-tale is a mysterious Pilot known as
Mr. Gray, who, during the American Revolution, came aboard the Yankee
frigate Alliance one stormy night to guide her in a privateering
expedition along the east coast of England. Captain Munson had been
intrusted by Congress with the dangerous errand of venturing into the
enemy's own waters in order to capture prize ships and prisoners of
war, who were to be held for exchange. Inspired by the Pilot's
presence, the daring Yankee bluejackets captured the British cutter
Alacrity, in a sharp contest near the shore. Following this victory,
the frigate's officers in council determined upon an invasion of the
enemy's country. Accordingly, one night a party of officers and
marines from the Alliance, headed by the Pilot himself, landed near
the abbey of St. Ruth, and after many exciting adventures and narrow
escapes, secured as prisoners Captain Borroughcliffe of the king's
service, Colonel Howard, a wealthy Tory recently returned from
America, and the latter's nieces, Cecilia Howard and Katherine
Plowden. Before leaving America the girls had become engaged to
Griffith and Barnstaple, young lieutenants on this very frigate; and
it was to separate them from their Yankee lovers that Colonel Howard
had brought his wards to England, guarding them like prisoners at St.
Ruth. Moreover, Merry, the midshipman on board the Alliance was the
girls' favorite cousin. They therefore willingly accepted the
situation, and were not sorry to be transported to the frigate,
preparing to enjoy a sea voyage in pleasant company. But the officers
knew that reports of the Yankee cruiser must have spread abroad and
that pursuit was to be expected. The following pages describe the
narrow escape of the Alliance from a British man-of-war.





Next: The Escape Of The American Frigate Alliance

Previous: Going To Sea A Hundred Years Ago



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