The Gilpins and their Fortunes
1st World Library - Literary Society
Publication date: December 2007
Digital Book format: PDF (Adobe DRM)
Andrew Bedient, at the age of seventeen, in a single afternoon,-indeed, in one moment of a single afternoon,-performed an action which brought him financial abundance for his mature years. Although this narrative less concerns the boy Bedient than the man as he approaches twice seventeen, the action is worthy of account, beyond the riches that it brought, because it seems to draw him into somewhat clearer vision from the shadows of a very strange boyhood. April, 1895, the Truxton, of which Andrew was cook, found herself becalmed in the China Sea, midway between Manila and Hong Kong, her nose to the North. She was a smart clipper of sixty tons burden, with a slightly uptilted stern, and as clever a line forward as a pleasure yacht. She was English, comparatively new, and, properly used by the weather, was as swift and sprightly of service as an affectionate woman. Her master was Captain Carreras, a tubby little man of forty-five, bald, modest, and known among the shipping as "a perfect lady." He wore a skull-cap out of port; and as constantly, except during meals, carried one of a set of rarely-colored meerschaum-bowls, to which were attachable, bamboo-stems, amber-tipped and of various lengths.