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Captains Courageous is an 1897 novel, by Rudyard Kipling, that follows the adventures of fifteen-year-old Harvey Cheyne Jr., the spoiled son of a railroad tycoon, after he is saved from drowning by a fishing boat in the north Atlantic. The novel originally appeared as a serialization in McClure's, beginning with the November 1896 edition.
The book's title comes from the ballad "Mary Ambree", which starts, "When captains courageous, whom death could not daunt". Kipling had previously used the same title for an article on businessmen as the new adventurers, published in The Times of 23 November 1892.
Plot Harvey Cheyne is the son of a wealthy railroad magnate and his wife, who are over-indulgent parents in San Diego, California. Washed overboard from a transatlantic steamship and rescued by fishermen off the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, the young Harvey Cheyne can neither persuade them to take him quickly to port, nor convince them of his wealth. Disko Troop, captain of the We're Here, offers him a job as part of the crew until they return to port. With no other choice, Harvey accepts.
Through a series of trials and adventures, the youth learns to adjust to his rough new life and, with the help of his friend, the captain's son Dan Troop, he makes progress. Eventually, the schooner returns to port and Harvey wires his parents. They rush cross-country by their private rail car, given priority over commercial traffic, to Boston, Massachusetts. From there they go to the fishing town of Gloucester to find that their son has matured to become an industrious, serious and considerate young man.
Harvey's mother rewards the seaman who initially rescued her son. Harvey's father rewards Captain Troop by hiring his son Dan to work on his prestigious tea clipper fleet. He is delighted at his son's new maturity and their relationship improves, even as Harvey decides to begin his career with his father's shipping lines.
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- BK Publishers, April 2013
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