THE SINKING OF THE SARAH DIAMOND by William Dale Jennings

THE SINKING OF THE SARAH DIAMOND

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KIRKUS REVIEW

One of those crusty sea tales that almost make you wish ships had never been invented. By a combo of bribes, guile, and fatherly feelings toward a tough youngster in love with the sea (Martyn Bolderman), Captain MacBraugh agrees to sail a rotting, ancient tub from Salvador to Boston, little knowing that the apparently upright New Englanders who hired him plan to scuttle the Sarah Diamond on the high seas in order to collect insurance money -- of which they generously plan to give (as executor of his father's estate ) fully one third to Martyn. The latter's high blood and love for his ship will have none of that, however, nor will the Captain's outraged Scots morality, and during a death race to Boston, the Sarah Diamond's crew has to contend with sabotage, murder, wreckage on a reef, escapees from a French penal colony, revolution in San Luis, Confederate privateers (for this is during the War Between the States), as well as more mundane occurrences such as hurricanes, cockroaches, flood and fire. Predictably, the ship reaches Cape Cod before sinking, but since the crew tows it by hand into harbor, insurance money is not forthcoming and Martyn is on the verge of both bankruptcy and despair until miraculously an old sailor's tale about hidden diamonds on the vessel turns out to be true. A vaguely entertaining if seasickening adventure only slightly less credible than the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Pub Date: March 27th, 1974
Publisher: Paul S. Eriksson