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Man Overboard!

F. Marion Crawford

Book Overview: 

Peculiar happenings aboard the schooner Helen B. Jackson when one night during a storm, the small crew found themselves diminished by one. Somebody had gone overboard, and it was surmised that it was one of the twin Benton brothers. But oddly enough, it seemed that the ‘presence’ of the missing twin continued to exist on board during the following weeks. For example, one extra set of silverware was found to be used after each meal, but nobody claimed to be using them. What then did happen that stormy night, and which brother, if indeed it was one of the brothers, was the man who went overboard?

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Book Excerpt: 
. . . had his hand on her wheel till then; and he didn't know her ways. I don't mean to say that what happened was his fault. I don't know whose fault it was. Perhaps nobody was to blame. But I knew something happened somewhere on board when we shipped that sea, and you'll never get it out of my head. I hadn't any spare time myself, for I was becketing the rest of the trysail to the mast. We were on the starboard tack, and the throat-halliard came down to port as usual, and I suppose there were at least three men at it, hoisting away, while I was at the beckets.

Now I am going to tell you something. You have known me, man and boy, several voyages; and you are older than I am; and you have always been a good friend to me. Now, do you think I am the sort of man to think I hear things where there isn't anything to hear, or to think I see things when there is nothing to see? No, you don't. Thank you. Well now, I had passed the last[Pg 23] becket, and I sang out to the m. . . Read More

Community Reviews

A nautical story narrated by Mr. Torkeldsen the first mate that sailed on a four-masted schooner the Helen B. Jackson, under Captain Hackstaff. Amongst the crew there was a set of identical twin sailors named Jim and Jack Benton which no one could tell apart, except that Jim was more silent and the

-Gregory Kerkman

My new favourite ghost story. Blown away. 5 stars.

4.5 stars!
"There wasn't anything to be done, with the ship hove-to and the wheel lashed. If there was a man overboard, he must be in the water right alongside. I couldn't imagine how it could have happened, but I ran forward instinctively. I came upon the cook first, half-dressed in his shirt and tr

Absolutely compelling and well composed sailors' yarn. Mr Torkeldson (the narrator) tells you the story of a trip on the Helen B. Jackson (a sailing ship) when one of the Benton Boys (identical twins) went overboard. It seemed to be Jim who had bad luck. After this incident strange things happen abo

On first read, I thought the ending ... predictable. The reason for that, though, is that this is precisely the sort of story told in many a Ripley’s Believe It or Not horror-comic book.

But this is an early example of the form. And upon second reading, I saw its art. It is very well done.

The form i

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