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THE WRECK

OF THE

GOLDEN MARY.

BEING THE CAPTAIN'S ACCOUNT OF THE LOSS OF THE SHIP, AND THE MATE'S ACCOUNT OF THE GREAT DELIVERANCE OF HER PEOPLE IN
AN OPEN BOAT AT SEA.

INDEX TO THE WRECK OF THE GOLDEN MARY.

The Wreck  ... Page 1

The Beguilement in the Boats . . . " 13

The Deliverance  ... " 30

THE WRECK.

I WAS apprenticed to the Sea when I was
twelve years old, and I have encountered a
great deal of rough weather, both literal and
metaphorical. It has always been my opinion
since I first possessed such a thing as an
opinion, that the man who knows only one
subject is next tiresome to the man who
knows no subject. Therefore, in the course
of my life I have taught myself whatever I
could, and although I am not an educated
man, I am able, I am thankful to say, to have
an intelligent interest in most things.

A person might suppose, from reading the
above, that I am in the habit of holding forth
about number one. That is not the case.
Just as if I was to come into a room among
strangers, and must either be introduced or
introduce myself, so I have taken the liberty
of passing these few remarks, simply and
plainly that it may be known who and what
I am. I will add no more of the sort than
that my name is William George Ravender,
that I was born at Penrith half a year after
my own father was drowned, and that I am
on the second day of this present blessed
Christmas week of one thousand eight
hundred and fifty-six, fifty-six years of age.

When the rumour first went flying up and
down that there was gold in California
which, as most people know, was before it
was discovered in the British colony of
AustraliaI was in the West Indies, trading
among the Islands. Being in command and
likewise part-owner of a smart schooner, I
had my work cut out for me, and I was doing
it. Consequently, gold in California was no
business of mine.

But, by the time when I came home to
England again, the thing was as clear as
your hand held up before you at noon-day.
There was Californian gold in the museums
and in the goldsmithsshops, and the very
first time I went uponChange, I met a friend
of mine (a seafaring man like myself), with a
Californian nugget hanging to his watch-
chain. I handled it. It was as like a peeled
walnut with bits unevenly broken off here
and there, and then electrotyped all over, as
ever I saw anything in my life.

I am a single man (she was too good for
this world and for me, and she died six weeks
before our marriage-day), so when I am
ashore, I live in my house at Poplar. My
house at Poplar is taken care of and kept
ship-shape by, an old lady who was my
mother's maid before I was born. She is as
handsome and as upright as any old lady in
the world. She is as fond of me as if she had
ever had an only son, and I was he. Well do
I know wherever I sail that she never lays
down her head at night without having said,
Merciful Lord! bless and preserve William
George Ravender, and send him safe home,
through Christ our Saviour!” I have thought
of it in many a dangerous moment, when it
has done me no harm, I am sure.

In my house at Poplar, along with this old
lady, I lived quiet for best part of a year:
having had a long spell of it among the
Islands, and having (which was very uncommon
in me) taken the fever rather badly. At
last, being strong and hearty, and having
read every book I could lay hold of, right
out, I was walking down Leadenhall Street
in the City of London, thinking of turning-to
again, when I met what I call Smithick and