"Captains Courageous"

Chapter VIII

Notes on the text

These notes are based on those written by Leonee Ormond for the OXFORD WORLD'S CLASSICS edition of Captains Courageous (1995) with the kind permission of Oxford University Press. Except where stated otherwise, the page numbers below refer to the Macmillan Uniform Edition of Captains Courageous (1899, and frequently reprinted since).




[October 27th 2003]


[Page 174, line 15] caplin or capelin, a small fish found on the coast of Newfoundland, bait for cod.

[Page 175, line 14] Lingua Franca a language, based upon Italian, used around the Mediterranean and in the Levant.

[Page 176, line 2] dip-net small net with a long handle.

[Page 179, line 17] sinkers the weights at the bottom of the cod lines to hold them down among the cod.

[Page 179, line 18] muckles clubs.

[Page 180, line 26] kelp large seaweed.

[Page 181, line 17] scrowger a crowder, from `scrouge', to encroach.

[Page 181, line 24] Beverly a town south of Gloucester, Massachusetts.

[Page 184, line 2] Baltimore on Chesapeake Bay, between Philadelphia and Washington.

[Page 184, line 24] tarrapin North American turtle, slow moving.

[Page 185, line 10] mud-scow a large, flat-bottomed boat, used as a lighter or ferry near shore.

[Page 185, line 19] razee reduce the barque in size by removing one of her decks.

[Page 185, line 24] windward the side from which the wind blows.

[Page 186, line 20] foregaff the spar from which the foresail is suspended.

[Page 189, line 2] Hancock, Maine port on Frenchman Bay, north of Mount Desert Island.

[Page 189, line 3] Duxbury Massachusetts; on Plymouth Bay north of Plymouth.

[Page 189, line 23] 'La brigantine. ..' a song by Casimir Delavigne (17931843), from Derniers Chants: Poèmes et ballades sur Italie (Paris, 1845), 1-2.
The Brigantine
Will turn
In a circle and bow down
In order to carry me away.
O Virgin Mary
Intercede with God for me
Farewell, homeland,
Farewell, Quebec.
'Quebec' has replaced the `Provence' of the original poem.

[Page 190, line 4] bowsprit a large spar running out from the stem of a vessel.

[Page 190, line 9] top of the house the top of the cabin, probably on the skylight.

[Page 191, line 16] Arichat part of Ile Madone, just south of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia.

[Page 191, line 24] `O, Double Thatcher, how are you?. . . ' New England fishermen's song.

[Page 192, line 3] Eastport port and sardine canning centre on Cobscook Bay, Maine.

[Page 195, line 15] yo-hoes an' hollerers ghosts.

[Page 197, line 8] counter the term given to an overhanging stern.

[Page 198, line 8] work double tides work twice as hard.

[Page 198, line 26] lazarette or lazaretto, a storeroom, often right in the bows, virtually cut off from the rest of the ship; originally a hospital for lepers and so isolated.

[Page 201, line 14] `Hih! Wh! Yoho! Send your letters raound!. . . '. probably a New England fishermen's song, though it may have been made up by Kipling.

[Page 202, line 3] boy's weather pleasant weather for easy sailing.

[Page 203, line 28] Jersey salt-brigs any vessels manned from the Islands were known as Jersey men.

[Page 204, line 1] Artimon Bank one of the Grand Banks.

[Page 205, line 7] Wouverman's wharf in Gloucester where Disko sold his fish.

[Page 205, line 14] Ten Pound Island unidentified.

[Page 207, line 18] Rocky Neck trolley a trolley-car (tram) route in Gloucester; in the manuscript the trolley is in East Gloucester.

[Page 208, line 7] Pharaoh's chief butler see Genesis 40. Joseph correctly interprets the dream of Pharaoh's butler to mean that he will be released from prison and restored to his post in three days. Dan means that Disko will find that Harvey was speaking the truth.

[Page 208, line 10] green bay-tree Psalms 37: 35: `I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree.'

[Page 208, line 15] squinchin' pinching or squeezing.


[L. O.]