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4 Sep

Chapter XXI

Making life on the ship a deal more complicated than it had been, women and children had now boarded. The presence of more civilians at least made my position more tenable and less isolated, but the young families in particular made my heart ache for my own. I had managed thus far to not dwell upon this lack by immersing myself in the company of military men by day, while tapping the admiral and then writing at night, so as to have something halfway decent to dispatch to the Chronicle before we sailed. Thus far all these activities and attendant mental states (observer, reporter, and drunk) had served as albeit very different distractions from a loneliness upon...
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3 Apr

Chapter I

Shark Alley - Chapter 1
  ‘I can fancy a future Author taking for his story the glorious action off Cape Danger, when, striking only to the Powers above, the Birkenhead went down; and when, with heroic courage and endurance, the men kept to their duty on deck.’ - William Makepeace Thackeray, speech to the anniversary meeting of the Royal Literary Fund Society, reported in The Morning Herald, May 13, 1852. ‘How do you like Forster’s Life of Dickens? I see he only tells half the story.’ - William Harrison Ainsworth, letter to Jack Vincent, January 25, 1872. BOOK ONE THE SHIVERING OF THE TIMBERS We were approaching the islands of Madeira, about midway in our journey, the day we lost a man and a horse. The animal belonged to Sheldon-Bond, and...
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