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The Ghost Ship

John C. Hutcheson

Book Overview: 

This book intentionally veers in and out of the supernatural, as the title implies. The officers get more and more bewildered as they work out their position, and yet again encounter the same vessel going in an impossible direction. Having warned you of this, I must say that it is a well-written book about life aboard an ocean-going steamer at about the end of the nineteenth century.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .any possible damage to the ship was instantly banished from my mind by the sight that met my gaze.

In the narrow stoke-hold, lit up by the ruddy glare of the furnace fires, the light from which enabled me to see the brackish bilge water washing about beneath the hole in the flooring and gurgling up through the broken portplates there, I saw that a group of half-naked firemen, and others, were bending over a pile of empty coal sacks heaped up against the further bulkhead, dividing the occupied apartments from the main hold, as far away as possible from the blazing fires, on which one of the stokers on duty pitched occasionally a shovelful of fuel, or smoothed the surface of the glowing embers with a long-toothed rake.

I couldn’t distinguish at first any one in particular, the backs of all being towards me as I came down the slippery steel ladder, carrying the hammock, for I had taken the precaution of hoisting it on my shoulders on leaving the engine-flat above, in. . . Read More