Trustee from the Toolroom
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When his sister’s boat is wrecked in the Pacific, Keith Steward becomes the trustee for his little niece. In order to save her from destitution he has to embark on a voyage in a small yacht in inhospitable waters.
here and steer her on. I’ll join you down below as soon as she strikes. It’s our best chance. I don’t think she’ll break up.’ ‘If she breaks up, she’ll stay on the reef, won’t she?’ He knew what was in her mind. ‘The keel will, and probably the frames.’ He paused, and then leaned across and kissed her. ‘Now go below. I’m sorry to have got you into this.’ She kissed him in return. ‘It’s not your fault.’ She stood up, waited her chance, opened the hatch and slipped down below, leaving it open
carrying the duck in a paper bag. He had thought of stopping at the store in Ealing Broadway and discussing the position across the counter with Katie in the Household Linen, but he had abandoned that idea. Katie would want to come home early in order to be at home when Janice got back from school, and it did not seem quite fair to him to throw all the dirty work on Katie. He felt that he would rather tell Janice himself and get the back of the job broken before Katie got home; enough would fall
verandah furnished with wicker chairs and table. The door of the room was louvred for the full height, permitting the cool trade wind to blow through the room continuously. ‘I’m for a shower,’ said Dick King, throwing off his clothes and making for it. Keith Stewart had never had a shower in the whole of his life. He had seen them in shop windows and had read about them, but one had never come his way. As a boy and a young man in Renfrew he had had a bath once a week, and though he had
long did it take you?’ ‘ ’Bout five years. Worked in the lumber mill some of the time, get dough for fastenings and that.’ Keith ran his eye over the ship with a new interest. There was nothing that a patient woodworker could not have done over the years … except … his eye fell on the seams of the deck planking. Each plank was twelve or fifteen feet long and tailored in plan form to fit the washboard and the bulwarks at the outside of the deck, the curvature reducing to a straight edge towards
towards the entrance. He took in the leeside bow and stern warps and led the doubled end of the bow warp from the weather bow pile to the stern. Then everything happened in a rush, so quickly that Keith had difficulty in appreciating what was going on. Jack cast off the weather stern warp and then he was everywhere at once, a big, nimble man stripped to the waist, hauling on ropes and casting them off. The Mary Belle moved forward smothly from her berth into the fairway, turned as the jib broke