The Bulletin of 
the Center for Children's Books Image

0901 Image The Bulletin
of the Center for Children's Books

Each month we choose a favorite quote--something fun or something to make you think. See the archive for quotes from previous months.

"All right," says I, not to be put off, "let's have it. Just why are we here, then, if not to be taught our seamanship?"

After some silence, Hardy sees that I'm startin' to get really steamed at all this, and he says, "Well, Jack, it's this way, and it's nothing' personal, but when a boat goes off out of sight of the mother ship it always carries a couple of boys 'cause..." He hesitates.

"Oh, for Chris'sakes," booms out a seaman named Javerts, "I'll tell the boy. It's 'cause the ship's boys is the first ones eaten if the boat gets lost and can't find its way back."

I look for signs that they're jokin' with Tink and me, but their faces don't betray it.

"You've got to see the wisdom of it, lads," says Hardy. "We wouldn't want to be eatin' a sailor what could pull a decent oar, now, would we?"

           --L. A. Meyer, Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy (Harcourt, 2002)

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This page was last updated on December 1, 2002.