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A Prisoner of Morro

Upton Sinclair

Book Overview: 

A Prisoner of Morrow is set through a span of ten-week during the Spanish–American War which occurred in 1898. Revolts against Spanish rule had been prevalent for decades in Cuba and were closely watched by Americans. The main issue of the war was Cuban independence from Spain. The war was notable for a series of one-sided American naval and military victories and led to the downfall of Spain as a colonial power. Clif Faraday, a naval cadet, is the main character in this novel. Stationed on a gunboat off the Cuban island as part of the U. S. naval blockade, Clif survives a series of confrontations at sea and treacheries on land. He is captured while on the island during a mission and lands in a Cuban prison called Morro, renowned for its cruelty. Clif receives aid from an unlikely source when all seems lost and survives to show commendable leadership and canny judgment.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .The only thing to vary matters was when some extra high[Pg 35] wave would fling itself over the bow in a shower of spray.

But that was not a welcome incident, for it made it harder for the weary sailors to keep the course straight.

The cadet paced up and down the deck; he had been doing that for perhaps the last half hour, stopping only to say a cheery word to the lookouts and once to prop up Ignacio, who was being rolled unceremoniously about the deck.

The cunning Spaniard looked so bedraggled and miserable that Clif would have felt sorry for him if he had not known what a villain he was.

"He'd stab me again if he got a chance," he mused.

For Clif had saved that fellow's life once; but it had not made the least difference in his vindictive hatred.

"I'm afraid," Clif muttered, "that Ignacio will have to suffer this time."

The Spaniard must have heard him, for he muttered an oath under his breath.

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