Page:Paine--Lost ships and lonely seas.djvu/106

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CHAPTER IV

THE WRECK OF THE BLENDEN HALL, EAST INDIAMAN

IN this harassing modern age of a world turned upside down and bedeviled with one more problem after another, fancy turns with fond regret to those lucky sailormen who lingered on little, sea-girt isles and lorded it as monarchs of all they surveyed. Many an old forecastle had a [[Robinson Crusoe (Defoe)|], hairy and brown and tattooed, who could spin strange yarns of years serenely passed among the untutored natives of the Indian Ocean or the South Seas. Now and then one of them had lived in more solitary fashion on some remote, unpeopled strand, a hermit cast up by the sea, and was actually contented because he had freed himself of the tyranny of bosses and wages and trousers and all the other shackles of civilization.

Alas! there are no more realms like these. The wireless mast lifts above the palm-trees, and the steamer whistle blows to recall the tourists from the beaches where the trade-winds sweep. There are still some very lonely places on the watery globe, however, and one of them is the tiny group of three

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