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A Man Overboard
Sailors are men of rough habits, but their feelings a...

Loss Of The Amphitrite Convict Ship
The following particulars of the loss of this vessel ...

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

The Wreck Of The Grosvenor
The story of the wreck of the Grosvenor is supposed to ...

A Winter In The Frozen Ocean
One stormy winter's evening, in the year 1579, Gerhar...

Wreck Of The British Ship Sidney On A Reef Of Rocks In The South Sea
The Sidney left Port Jackson, on the coast of New Hol...

Loss Of The Catharine Venus And Piedmont Transports And Three Merchant Ships
The miseries of war are in themselves great and terri...

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Toilers Of The Sea






Victor Hugo's "Toilers of the Sea" is a story of the Channel Islands
between England and France. Gilliatt, the hero, was a seaman of
extraordinary skill and physical strength, a solitary fellow who used
to cruise about alone in his sloop, dreaming of Deruchette, the
prettiest maid of Guernsey. Deruchette was the niece of Mess
Lethierry, an old sailor who was fast growing rich from the income of
his steamboat, the Durande, which plied between Guernsey and the
French coast. One foggy night the Durande was wrecked on the Douvres,
dangerous rocks in the open sea, five leagues out from Guernsey, and
her skipper, Sieux Clubin was drowned. The Durande, however, did not
sink, but hung suspended between the two great rocks; and her valuable
machinery was safe so long as the wreck should hold together.
Deruchette promised to marry any brave man who would rescue the
engines of her uncle's boat; and for so great a prize Gilliatt
resolved to undertake the dangerous and almost hopeless task. He
sailed out to the Douvres, and for two months lived among the barren
rocks, suffering every kind of peril and privation while working on
the wreck of the Durande. At last, after superhuman efforts, he
succeeded in loading the machinery upon his sloop, and was about to
return triumphantly and claim his reward, when a fearful tempest burst
upon him, and forced him to terrible exertions in order to save
himself and his completed work from being dashed to pieces in the
caverns of the Douvres. Successful at last, but utterly exhausted by
the struggle, Gilliatt sank upon the deck of his sloop and fell into a
heavy sleep. The famous story of his adventure with the devil-fish
begins at this juncture.





Next: A Struggle With A Devil-fish

Previous: The Tempest



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