Yankee Ships and Yankee Sailors

Yankee Ships and Yankee Sailors

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Excerpt: ... flame that leaped from the Armstrong's side, arose a great shout from the spectators. The bow of the pinnace was stove in, and she pitched forward into the water like an angry bull brought to his knees by a rifle shot. Men absolutely boiled out of her. The moonlit water was dotted with black objects; some threshing with their arms, others silent and motionless. There came a rattling reply of small-arms from the boats, and the long nines answered them. The action was on in earnest. No one can gainsay the courage that was displayed by the attacking force. They were Englishmen; it is not necessary to say more. The firing became incessant. The men on the Armstrong had scarce time to reload their guns. They would snatch up a pistol here and a musket there and fire out at the water that was crisscrossed with the red flashes of the answering shots. More than once a boat had reached the side. On two occasions men had sprung to the bulwarks, and clung to the boarding-nettings until shot away. Every now and then the Long Tom would let go a half-bucketful of grape and scrap iron, hurling death into the boats. Every one of the privateer's crew seemed gifted with four arms. From one point of attack to another they chased about the deck. It seemed as if she numbered three times her complement. Bill Copeland was fighting like a demon. Twice had he run along the top of the bulwarks, exposed to every aim. Suddenly he saw that one of the boats had worked around to the starboard side. Giving the alarm, and followed by a half-score of the after-guard, he ran across to meet this unexpected danger. One of the men who followed him caught up a twenty-four-pound solid shot in his arms as he ran. Another followed his example. Both shot crashed through the bottom of the boat, and a volley was poured down into them. But three or four of the men had already reached the chains. "There was a figure crawling up below him." Copeland sprang to the bulwarks with his cutlass in his...show more

Product details

  • Paperback
  • 189 x 246 x 3mm | 122g
  • Rarebooksclub.com
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236733592
  • 9781236733597