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Captains Courageous [Anglais] [Broché]

Rudyard Kipling

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Extrait

CHAPTER 1


The weather door of the smoking-room had been left open to the North Atlantic fog, as the big liner rolled and lifted, whistling to warn the fishing-fleet.

"That Cheyne boy's the biggest nuisance aboard," said a man in a frieze overcoat, shutting the door with a bang. "He isn't wanted here. He's too fresh."

A white-haired German reached for a sandwich, and grunted between bites: "I know der breed. Ameriga is full of dot kind. I dell you you should imbort ropes' ends free under your dariff."

"Pshaw! There isn't any real harm to him. He's more to be pitied than anything," a man from New York drawled, as he lay at full length along the cushions under the wet skylight. "They've dragged him around from hotel to hotel ever since he was a kid. I was talking to his mother this morning. She's a lovely lady, but she don't pretend to manage him. He's going to Europe to finish his education."

"Education isn't begun yet." This was a Philadelphian, curled up in a corner. "That boy gets two hundred a month pocket-money, he told me. He isn't sixteen either."

"Railroads, his father, aind't it?" said the German.

"Yep. That and mines and lumber and shipping. Built one place at San Diego, the old man has; another at Los Angeles; owns half a dozen railroads, half the lumber on the Pacific slope, and lets his wife spend the money," the Philadelphian went on lazily. "The West don't suit her, she says. She just tracks around with the boy and her nerves, trying to find out what'll amuse him, I guess. Florida, Adirondacks, Lakewood, Hot Springs, New York, and round again. He isn't much more than a second-hand hotel clerk now. When he's finished in Europe he'll be a holy terror."

"What's the matter with the old man attending to him personally?" said a voice from the frieze ulster.
"Old man's piling up the rocks. 'Don't want to be disturbed, I guess. He'll find out his error a few years from now. 'Pity, because there's a heap of good in the boy if you could get at it."

"Mit a rope's end; mit a rope's end!" growled the German.

Once more the door banged, and a slight, slim-built boy perhaps fifteen years old, a half-smoked cigarette hanging from one corner of his mouth, leaned in over the high footway. His pasty yellow complexion did not show well on a person of his years, and his look was a mixture of irresolution, bravado, and very cheap smartness. He was dressed in a cherry-coloured blazer, knickerbockers, red stockings, and bicycle shoes, with a red flannel cap at the back of the head. After whistling between his teeth, as he eyed the company, he said in a loud, high voice: "Say, it's thick outside. You can hear the fish-boats squawking all around us. Say, wouldn't it be great if we ran down one?"

"Shut the door, Harvey," said the New Yorker. "Shut the door and stay outside. You're not wanted here."

"Who'll stop me?" he answered, deliberately. "Did you pay for my passage, Mister Martin? 'Guess I've as good right here as the next man."

He picked up some dice from a checkerboard and began throwing, right hand against left.

"Say, gen'elmen, this is deader'n mud. Can't we make a game of poker between us?"

There was no answer, and he puffed his cigarette, swung his legs, and drummed on the table with rather dirty fingers. Then he pulled out a roll of bills as if to count them.

"How's your mama this afternoon?" a man said. "I didn't see her at lunch."

"In her state-room, I guess. She's 'most always sick on the ocean. I'm going to give the stewardess fifteen dollars for looking after her. I don't go down more 'n I can avoid. It makes me feel mysterious to pass that butler's-pantry place. Say, this is the first time I've been on the ocean."

"Oh, don't apologize, Harvey."

"Who's apologizing? This is the first time I've crossed the ocean, gen'elmen, and, except the first day, I haven't been sick one little bit. No, sir!" He brought down his fist with a triumphant bang, wetted his finger, and went on counting the bills.

"Oh, you're a high-grade machine, with the writing in plain sight," the Philadelphian yawned. "You'll blossom into a credit to your country if you don't take care."

"I know it. I'm an American--first, last, and all the time. I'll show 'em that when I strike Europe. Pff! My cig's out. I can't smoke the truck the steward sells. Any gen'elman got a real Turkish cig on him?"
The chief engineer entered for a moment, red, smiling, and wet. "Say, Mac," cried Harvey cheerfully, "how are we hitting it?"

"Vara much in the ordinary way," was the grave reply. "The young are as polite as ever to their elders, an' their elders are e'en tryin' to appreciate it."

A low chuckle came from a corner. The German opened his cigar-case and handed a shiny black cigar to Harvey.

"Dot is der broper apparatus to smoke, my young friendt," he said. "You vill dry it? Yes? Den you vill be efer so happy."

Harvey lit the unlovely thing with a flourish: he felt that he was getting on in grownup society.

"It would take more 'n this to keel me over," he said, ignorant that he was lighting that terrible article, a Wheeling "stogie."

"Dot we shall bresently see," said the German. "Where are we now, Mr. Mactonal'?"

"Just there or thereabouts, Mr. Schaefer," said the engineer. "We'll be on the Grand Bank to-night; but in a general way o' speakin', we're all among the fishing-fleet now. We've shaved three dories an' near skelped the boom off a Frenchman since noon, an' that's close sailin', ye may say."

"You like my cigar, eh?" the German asked, for Harvey's eyes were full of tears.

"Fine, full flavour," he answered through shut teeth. "Guess we've slowed down a little, haven't we? I'll skip out and see what the log says."

"I might if I vhas you," said the German.

Harvey staggered over the wet decks to the nearest rail. He was very unhappy; but he saw the deck-steward lashing chairs together, and, since he had boasted before the man that he was never seasick, his pride made him go aft to the second-saloon deck at the stern, which was finished in a turtle-back. The deck was deserted, and he crawled to the extreme end of it, near the flag-pole.
There he doubled up in limp agony, for the Wheeling "stogie" joined with the surge and jar of the screw to sieve out his soul. His head swelled; sparks of fire danced before his eyes; his body seemed to lose weight, while his heels wavered in the breeze. He was fainting from seasickness, and a roll of the ship tilted him over the rail on to the smooth lip of the turtle-back. Then a low, gray mother-wave swung out of the fog, tucked Harvey under one arm, so to speak, and pulled him off and away to leeward; the great green closed over him, and he went quietly to sleep.

He was roused by the sound of a dinner-horn such as they used to blow at a summer-school he had once attended in the Adirondacks. Slowly he remembered that he was Harvey Cheyne, drowned and dead in mid-ocean, but was too weak to fit things together. A new smell filled his nostrils; wet and clammy chills ran down his back, and he was helplessly full of salt water. When he opened his eyes, he perceived that he was still on the top of the sea, for it was running round him in silver-coloured hills, and he was lying on a pile of half-dead fish, looking at a broad human back clothed in a blue jersey.

"It's no good," thought the boy. "I'm dead, sure enough, and this thing is in charge."

He groaned, and the figure turned its head, showing a pair of little gold rings half hidden in curly black hair.

"Aha! You feel some pretty well now?" it said. "Lie still so: we trim better."

With a swift jerk he sculled the flickering boat-head on to a foamless sea that lifted her twenty full feet, only to slide her into a glassy pit beyond. But this mountain-climbing did not interrupt blue-jersey's talk. "Fine good job, I say, that I catch you. Eh, wha-at? Better good job, I say, your boat not catch me. How you come to fall out?"

"I was sick," said Harvey; "sick, and couldn't help it."

"Just in time I blow my horn, and your boat she yaw a little. Then I see you come all down. Eh, wha-at? I think you are cut into baits by the screw, but you dreeft--dreeft to me, and I make a big fish of you. So you shall not die this time."

"Where am I?" said Harvey, who could not see that life was particularly safe where he lay.

"You are with me in the dory--Manuel my name, and I come from schooner We're Here of Gloucester. I live to Gloucester. By-and-by we get supper. Eh, wha-at?"

He seemed to have two pairs of hands and a head of cast-iron, for, not content with blowing through a big conch-shell, he must needs stand up to it, swaying with the sway of the flat-bottomed dory, and send a grinding, thuttering shriek through the fog. How long this entertainment lasted, Harvey could not remember, for he lay back terrified at the sight of the smoking swells. He fancied he heard a gun and a horn and shouting. Something bigger than the dory, but quite as lively, loomed alongside. Several voices talked at once; he was dropped into a dark, heaving hole, where men in oilskins gave him a hot drink and took off his clothes, and he fell asleep.

When he waked he listened for the first breakfast-bell on the steamer, wondering why his state-room had grown so small. Turning, he looked into a narrow, triangular cave, lit by a lamp hung against a huge square beam. A three-cornered table within arm's reach ran fro...

Revue de presse

“The most complete man of genius I have ever known.”—Henry James
 
“Throughout the world his voice commanded more respect than any citizen other than heads of state.”—Mark Twain
 
“Of Kipling’s personal decency there can be no doubt….I for one cannot help wishing that I could offer some kind of tribute.”—George Orwell
--Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Poche .

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 étoiles sur 5  96 commentaires
46 internautes sur 46 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 grand tale of adventure and human nature 29 janvier 2003
Par jeanne-scott - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Poche
Captains Courageous is a wonderful story of a pampered and indulged boy, the son of a millionaire, named Harvey Cheyne. He has no responsibilities and is given anything he wants. He lacks respect for anyone and that includes himself. He is washed overboard from a luxury liner while on a trip with his mother and is picked up by a fisherman. The fishing boat can not return him immediately because they have a crew that needs to earn a living. Harvey's family presumes that he is dead, drowned at sea. The story of Harvey's growing up involves responsibilty, hard work, trust and honor. Rudyard Kipling tells the story marvelously. The story is brilliantly crafted and a pure delight to read. The language of the story gives it the feel of the times and helps illustrate the rough lifestyles involved. This is a grand morality tale of adventure, human nature and the value of real love. I read this as a young teenager, but now (many years later!!) I see what an awesome author Kipling truly was!!!! This is a book to be read again!
22 internautes sur 25 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Is The Captain Courageous enough for a Critique? 31 mai 2001
Par blackGT2 - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Poche
Is The Captain Courageous enough for a Critique? The book "Captains Courageous", written by Rudyard Kipling is the struggle of a young, immature boy learning what it is to be a real man through different hardships and ordeals he encounters. The young boys name is Harvey Cheyne. The book is an adventure story take takes place on the ocean. The struggle that Harvey goes through could be argued that it is similar to Kipling's life in a way. Harvey is a fifteen-year-old boy whose parents are extremely rich. He has a very demanding and strong personality that shows up early in the novel. Harvey is thrown into a situation where he has to learn to become a man so he can survive. In the beginning Harvey falls of his ship into the ocean where he is then rescued by a small New England fishing boat. He demands that the captain returns him to his home with his parents and wealth, but the captain and crew do not listen. If they were to turn around they would lose several hundred dollars. Instead the captain makes a deal with Harvey. He tells him, that they will feed and clothe him if he helps on the ship. Harvey has no other choice so he accepts the deal. When he first begins work he is clumsy and slow at getting it done. He has never really had to do physical work before, so this is all new to him. Harvey works for months on the fishing vessel and some changes finally become apparent. His hands are rough and covered in work calluses, unlike the soft and smooth hands he use to have. He also begins to realize what it is like to be a real man. He has to work not only for himself, but for others as well. He also learns that everyone has to put their best effort into everything they do so everyone benefits. Later in the book Harvey witnesses a death of a Frenchman. While watching the funeral he realizes how important life and death really is. At the end of the story Harvey is returned to his family, but not as an immature boy, but as a strong and stable man with a new look at life. Throughout the novel Harvey goes through different hardships that shape him into a new person. Kipling also went through different events that changed him into a different person. At an early age Kipling was put into a foster home where another family then took him to the South Sea where he was beaten and bullied. He was left with psychological scars and a sense of betrayal. Kipling was taken away from his family where he had no control, just like Harvey when he fell into the ocean and then had to stay on the fishing boat for several months. Kipling was also bullied in a way just like Harvey was. Harvey had to do things he wasn't use to and it wasn't his choice. He had to do this to survive and Kipling had to do things to keep progressing through his life. Kipling was also reunited with his family after some his life changing events took place. Kipling also experienced a death like Harvey, but it was a bit different. Kipling had to experience dealing with the death of his son John. His son was killed in action during World War 1. This death was different then the one Harvey saw, but it still left a huge impact on his life. After facing his childhood events and going through a war and the death of his son, Kipling had many ideas he could use in his writings. The events might not have been good ones from his life, but they stuck with him for his whole life. Throughout the novel Kipling used many descriptive words to help give me the whole idea of what was going on. At times it was like I was there and was experiencing it in first person. Kipling did a good job at keeping me interested throughout the book. He didn't leave the story hanging, or have many slow and boring points in the book. There was always something to keep my interest. I also like how it was easy to understand and I didn't have to analyze everything to make sure I knew what was happening. I like how he seemed to base some of his ideas for this story on his own life. I think in doing this he gave the story extra thought into how it was wrote. I also think because he bases some of it on his own real life experiences he knew how to describe the events in the story better. The book, "Captains Courageous", is a well-written adventure story about boy and how he changes through part of his life. With well describe scenes and a good story line; Kipling keeps the reader interested through the whole book. If you are a person that likes a good adventure story or likes to read about opinions on how some people change throughout their lives then I recommend this book. I think that the story would have been a bit better if at the end the story had continued a bit into Harvey's life once he was back with his family with his new knowledge. Overall, I think that Kipling did a good job with the descriptions and whole idea of the story.
18 internautes sur 20 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A wonderful story about diligence, sea faring and fun! 14 août 1999
Par Nicole C - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Poche
Many people say this is a boring book, or has no story line, or is just about someone working their b---- off, but I found it to be a *wonderful* book.
Harvey Cheyne is a spoiled brat who falls off a ship and is picked up by a small fishing boat. Since the boat can't possibly go back to port without getting a full load of fish Harvey will have to wait. Meanwhile, since he _is_ eating their food (the man who does not work shall not eat...), they quickly have him join in on the work aboard ship. He goes against it at first, but gradually comes to see what really matters in life. It's not how much money you have- but how you affect those around you. Harvey learns diligence and plain, hard work. Sure- it's not always a ton of fun, but no one said life was pure fun. He learns many lessons through different experiences. I found this to be *very* enjoyable. I also liked reading about the different descriptions of how fishing was done back then.
All in all, this made for a very fascinating read, and I recommend it to anyone!
11 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Arrogance Overboard 17 novembre 2005
Par bo jones - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Cahier
The main character of this book,15-year-old Harvey, is one year older than I am, so I am in a unique position to know that he was very fortunate to be taught the life lesson he learned. I know some people who would benefit from this lesson. This book tells of a story where arrogance must be tossed overboard to survive the challenges of life. Harvey learned about that the hard way. It paid off tremendously. He finally appreciated his parents instead of torturing them emotionally. He learned how to fish and to earn his keep. Harvey became a genuine person to his father, to his mother, to the crew on the We're Here, and to himself. Perhaps you should read Captains Courageous, too.
8 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 An exciting, sea-faring adventure for all ages. 14 août 1999
Par topangajack - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Poche
An exciting, sea-faring adventure, Captains Courageous was first published in 1896. It takes place in the North Atlantic in the late 1800s. The main characters are:
Harvey Cheyne, a 15-year-old boy raised in high society who has been indulged with the best of everything;
Disko Troop, captain of a small fishing boat, the We're Here, who teaches Harvey some important lessons; Dan Troop, Disko's son and Harvey's comrade while stranded on the ship.
Summary:
The rich and spoiled Harvey Cheyne was on a large ship with his adoring mother in the middle of the sea when he tumbled overboard. His own ship couldn't find him in the thick fog. Luckily, a Portuguese fisherman hauled him into his dory and brought him safely back to a fishing boat, the We're Here. Harvey told the captain of the boat, Disko Troop, how he had fallen overboard and that he would be generously rewarded by his father, the rich Mr. Cheyne, when he took him home. Disko thought Harvey had "swallowed too much seawater." Instead, he put the boy to work. At first, Harvey did not accept this as he had never done a days work in his life, but Disko Troop made it clear that unless he wanted to swim home, he would work for his stay. So Harvey worked. At first, he got the most undesirable jobs like cleaning and salting the cod they caught, as well as mopping the deck. Gradually, as Harvey began to prove himself a hard worker, Disko Troop gave him jobs that required more responsibility. As Harvey learned the ropes of the fishermen, he grew to like it and began to be accepted as one of them. But, when will he get home? Will he want to go home? What will the fishermen say when they find out who he really is?
On a scale of 1 to 10, Captains Courageous deserves a solid 9 because it's a great adventure and the characters become real people in one's mind.
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