The Cruise of the Dry Dock

T.S. Stribling
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The Cruise of the Dry Dock

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Title: The Cruise of the Dry Dock
Author: T. S. Stribling
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[Illustration: They Were at Last Under the Overhang of the Mysterious

The Cruise of the Dry Dock
By T.S. Stribling

Illustrated by Herbert Morton Stoops

The Cruise of the Dry Dock Lovingly Dedicated to My Mother


I The Dry Dock II Adventure Begins III The Last of the Vulcan IV An
Interrupted Meeting V Sail Ho! VI The Cul de Sac VII Trapped VIII
The Mystery Ship IX A Modern Columbus X The Strange End of the
Minnie B XI Caradoc Shows His Mettle XII The Return of the Vulcan
XIII The Sea Serpent XIV Caradoc Wins His Fight XV Towed! XVI
Caradoc Takes Command XVII The Get-Away XVIII Nerve Versus
Gunpowder XIX Chased by a Submarine XX The Lone Chance XXI
The Battle XXII The Victoria Cross

They Were at Last Under the Overhang of the Mysterious Schooner
Out There Lay Adventure, Mystery--More Than Either Dreamed
Caradoc Stands the Acid Test
The Battle
"She's movin'!" cried a voice from the crowd on the wharf side. "Watch
'er! Watch 'er!"
A dull English cheer rippled over the waterfront.
"Blarst if I see why she moves!" marveled an onlooker. "That tug looks
like a water bug 'itched to a 'ouse-boat--it's hunreasonable!"
"Aye, but they're tur'ble stout, them tugs be," argued a companion.
"It's hunreasonable, just the same, 'Enry!"
"Everything's hunreasonable at sea, 'Arry. W'y w'en chaps put to sea
they tell we're they're at by lookin' at th' sun."

"Aw! An' not by lookin' at th' map?"
"By lookin' at th' sun, 'pon honor!"
"Don't try to jolly me like that, 'Enry, me lad; that's more hunreasonable
than this."
By this time the cheers had become general and the conversation broke
off. An enormous floating dry dock, towed by an ocean-going tug,
slowly drew away from the ship yards on the south bank of the Thames,
just below London. The men on the immense metal structure, hauling
in ropes, looked like spiders with gossamers. A hundred foot bridge
which could be lifted for the entrance of ocean liners, spanned the open
stern of the dock and braced her high side walls. These walls rose fifty
or sixty feet, were some forty feet thick and housed the machinery
which pumped out the pontoons and raised the two bridges, one at each
end. The tug, the Vulcan, which stood some two hundred yards down
stream, puffing monotonously at the end of a cable, did seem utterly
inadequate to tow such a mass of metal. Nevertheless, to the admiration
of the crowd, the speed of the convoy slowly increased.
Tug and dock were well under way when the onlooking line was
suddenly disrupted by a well-dressed youth who came bundling a large
suit case through the press and did not pause until on the edge of the
green moulded wharf.
"Boat!" he hailed in sharp Yankee accent, gesticulating at a public dory.
"Here, put me aboard that dry dock, will you? Hustle! the thing's
gathering way!"
"A little late," observed a voice at the newcomer's elbow.
"Yes, I hung around London Tower trying to see the crown jewels, then
I broke for St. Paul's for a glimpse of Nelson's Monument, then I ran
down to Marshalsea, where Little Dorrit's father--make haste
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