Captains Courageous

Chapter VII

Notes on the text

by Leonee Ormond

[Page 162, line 5] tinklings of invisible bells as a safety precaution, boats at anchor had to ring warning bells. The liner which sank the Jennie Cushman was not obeying the law of the sea to slow down or stop when hearing these bells.

[Page 164, line 5] a long ladder of Roman numerals the draught marks ships are required to have on the side to show every foot of depth below water.

[Page 165, line 23] The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord! Job 1: 21.

[Page 166, line 16] `Happy birds that sing and fly . . .’ from the hymn “Pleasant are thy courts above”, by H. F. Lyte (1793-1847).

[Page 166, line 1] a thousand quintal of fish Jan Montefiore notes: A quintal was a 19th century American measure, equivalent to 100 kilos. Jason Olley had lost over 100 tons of cod as well as his ship. (The We’re Here brought back eight hundred and sixty-five quintals from this trip, as tallied by Harvey—p. 232) [J.M.]

[Page 168, line 18] Stand you still and see the Salvation of the Lord! 1 Sam. 9: 27: `stand thou still a while, that I may shew thee the word of God’; Isaiah 40: 10: `the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God’; Luke 3: 6: `and all flesh shall see the salvation of God’.

[Page 168, line 22] baulky checked, as of a horse; the context here suggests fretful, jumpy.

[Page 168, line 29] the erect body … scabbard A. M. Weygandt, in Kipling’s Reading and its Influence on his Poetry (Philadelphia, 1939), suggests that this passage echoes Robert Browning’s “The Flight of the Duchess”, part xv, lines 733-7:

I spoke to her, but she merely jabbered
In the old style; both her eyes had slunk
Back to their pits; her stature shrunk;
In short, the soul in its body sunk
Like a blade sent home to its scabbard.

[Page 170, line 24] julluk just like.

[L. O.]