Macintosh brought a bag of sea glass to school today. He let each of us
have a piece.” Fish pulled the polished blue glass out of his pocket. “It
used to be part of a bottle, but the sand polished it as it tumbled in the
great, Fish. Why don't we go and look for our own. Where did Stephen find
it?” Harry took the glass from Fish's hand.
he found them up at Wick. We'll never find it here. We live near the loch,
not the sea.” Fish looked out the window, catching a glimpse of his
friend, Chips, running towards the house.
on a sea loch. I've seen sea glass before. It would help me on a project
I've got to do for school. I've got to make a mosaic using things I can
find on the island. Stupid project, but it's a big part of my final
grade.” Harry handed the glass back to Fish.
doorbell rang. “It's Chips. I'll answer it.” Fish opened the door and
invited her inside.
wants us to go down to the loch and help him find sea glass. Do you want
to go with us?”
smiled. “Sea glass? I suppose it's possible to find. All right. I'd love
grabbed a cloth bag and they headed down to the loch. After searching for
a while, they'd only found a few pieces.
that?” Fish pointed further ahead. Harry and Chips looked up.
ship that's been marooned. What is it doing here in our loch?” Chips ran
us.” Harry and Fish dashed along the beach.
a Corvette, lay on its side. Rusted cannons jutted from rotted holes in
the ship's wooden hull.
type of ship was used as a scouting ship centuries ago. What is it doing
here? Do either of you see the name?” Harry searched for the head piece.
“Looks like it belonged to the French.”
found it.” Chips called from the other side.
Fish ran through the shallow water to see.
is the Jamari Gaye. That's a nice name. I've never heard of it
before though.” Chips gazed for a passageway onto the ship.
never heard of it either,” Fish said.
Harry frowned. “Around 1689 a ship was spotted off the north-eastern coast
of Scotland. It apparently had stopped further down the coast, pillaging
and destroying every town it attack. History says it was on its way to
happened then? Why is it here?” Chips looked up at the mast. “It looks
harmless to me.”
knows why, but the ship rammed into the Rocks of Papillon, down the coast
from here,” Harry said.
“Papillon? That's a French word for butterfly.” Chips boasted with a smile
right. The scary part is that there have been rumors of the ghosts of this
ship coming ashore every anniversary of the date of their crash. They
pillage the nearest village and carry off damsels and any gold and jewels
they can find.” Harry's eyes furrowed as he spoke. “If this is the date of
their fatal crash that means our village is in danger.”
Chips is a damsel, isn't she?” Fish glanced at her.
just teasing you, Fish. Harry's making it all up, aren't you Harry?” Chips
refused to be afraid.
some exploring and find out for ourselves.” Harry climbed up the side of
the slanted ship. His feet gripped the decaying wood as he threw his body
over the top rail. Fish and Chips followed with care.
“I say we
find the captain's quarters and see if he kept a log.” Chips glanced about
the deck, searching for the entrance. “There it is. I'll go and look. Why
don't you the two of you go down into the hold and see what cargo they
Harry! This ship is not supposed to be here. I think it's haunted.” Fish
refused to move.
think every thing's haunted, Fish. What a baby. I was only making it up
about ghosts, Fish. You stand there if you want. I'm going exploring.”
Harry disappeared through a door.
it true, Fish? Are you afraid?” Chips opened the door to the captain's
quarters. “Harry was only trying to scare you with ghost stories. You
believe him? You stay here then. I'll be waiting for your answer while I
search the cabin.”
himself alone on the shipwreck's deck, Fish looked up. “Ah. It's a crow's
nest. I'll go up there. I'd rather take my chances above ground than
below.” He pulled himself up the wet rope, climbing cautiously. On a few
occasions his foot slipped, but he managed to catch himself before
falling. Fish eyed the crow's nets. He reached for it, tugged a few places
on the rails and finding it sturdy, he lifted his leg over. As the ship
was tipped on its side, he wasn't as high as he would have been had the
ship been upright, but it was still high enough to hurt himself if he
fell. “Ahoy mateys!” He shouted down. “Avast ye land lubbers. Ye can call
me Evil Jack, the worst pirate in the North Atlantic. Argh!”
what on earth are you doing up there? Playing pirate?”
down and saw Chips staring up at him, her arms wrapped around a
leather-bound book. “What's that? Is it the captain's log?”
Come down from there before you break your neck.” Chips sat with her back
against a nailed down wooden box.
down the ropes, landing on his bottom near Chips. “Where's Harry?”
down in the hold, I imagine. Let's look at this first and then we'll go
and find him.” Chips blew dust off the cover. “The Jamari Gaye.”
She opened the book. “Wow! It's got everything the ship did from the first
day it sailed. The captain's name was Geoffrey Sinjin Cooper. Captain
Cooper! Very dignified. It looks as though he was the captain from day
one. Looks like he had a crew of forty-five men.”
must have been cramped together. This ship isn't that big.” Fish turned to
look from one end to the other. “It's quite small actually.”
turn to the end and see what the last entry was.” She rolled the book so
the back was facing up and lifted the back cover. “The last entry was made
March 29,1831. That's not that long ago. This ship isn't as old as Harry
thought it was.”
does it say?” Fish leaned over to look.
written in ink and thank goodness it's not smeared by the water. Let me
read it for a while. I'll have to go back to the last journey. Why don't
you go and find Harry. I'll read this and tell you all about it when you
and he come back.”
shook his head. “I'd rather stay here.”
scowled. “Fish! Go and find your brother. He might be hurt or something.”
as he was told, leaving through the same door as Harry had. “Harry! Harry!
Where are you?”
here. Watch out for the skeletons. I've found some cases. I thought there
might be gold, but they're full of guns.” Harry whistled. “Over here,
eyes adjusted to the dark. He saw the light from Harry's torch and headed
towards it. Skeletons in ratty clothes lay scattered about. “This is
disgusting, Harry. I'm walking on top of dead people.”
being so dramatic, Fish. They've been dead for at least a couple of
centuries.” Harry scoffed and opened another chest.
died around March 29,1831. That's when the last entry is to the captain's
log.” Fish stepped over a pile of cannonballs. “Those are cannonballs. Are
they real? Will they explode?”
Come and look at these guns. They're pistols. There's even some gunpowder.
I don't think it's dry though. Everything here is moldy and damp.” Harry
pried the lid off a box. “This one's full of pelts.” He pulled a few out.
look like bear skins. That one,” Fish said as Harry lifted it up, “looks
like it came from a fox.”
are some moose antlers in here. They must have been going to trade these
things. Don't let Mum know. She's against fur trading of any kind.” Harry
dropped the pelts.
no gold, silver, jewels, or even wine. I think I'll take one of these
guns. Don't tell Chips. She'll have a fit.” Harry slipped the gun into a
deep pocket on his pants leg.
shouldn't take any of this stuff. It belongs to the men who sailed on this
ship, or at least a museum.” Fish glared at his brother. “Put the gun
your high horse, Fish. You're not my boss. Keep your big mouth shut. We
might as well take one of these bear skins. Maybe Dad can do something
with it.” Harry slipped it over his back. “Weighs a ton.”
don't.” Fish looked at one of the skeletons, expecting it to stand up and
fight for it's belongings. “I'm going back up top.” He found Chips in the
same place as he'd left her. “Did you find out anything?”
ship's last voyage was Nova Scotia. It was on its way back to Leith,
Scotland, when it was caught in a violent storm on the North Sea on March
29,1831. That's the last entry.” Chips looked up at Fish. “What's wrong
is full of skeletons. All the crew's bones are scattered all over. Some of
them are in their clothes still. It's disturbing. Harry's been plundering
and found a bear skin and some guns. He took one.” Fish shook his head
back and forth. “It's not right.”
has a list of the crew. I think we should take this log with us and show
our parents. I imagine all these crew members had wives and children, who
never knew what happened to their men,” Fish said, wiping a tear from the
corner of her eye.
wives and kids will be long dead by now,” Harry said, bursting into the
cabin. “Did I hear you say Nova Scotia? That's where the bear skins came
from and moose antlers.”
great grandchildren of these men won't be dead. I'm taking it. If you can
take a gun and a bear skin and not feel guilty, then I certainly can take
the captain's log.” Chips stood, holding the book in her arms. “Let's go
home. I'm sure Captain Cooper would have approved of this. He'll finally
get the honor he deserves.”
climbed off the ship, Harry sneered. “Captain Cooper? Honor? His boat
crashed and every man on it died, including him. That's not honorable.”
have died, but he was still a captain and deserves credit for all the good
things he did. I read his log. He's a very brave man and he loved his men.
You're so negative, Harry. Don't talk to me any more.” Chips jumped into
the sand and ran away from the brothers.
what you've done, Harry. You've upset Chips.” Fish turned around. “Wait
for me, Chips.” He ran after her. “Wait. Let's take it to my house. My
dad's home and he's computer literate. He can look things up for us.”
stopped. “That's true. My dad's not going to be home till late tonight.
All right. To your house then.”
and Chips walked in the door, Hugh Ross stood at the kitchen sink. “Fish
and Chips. Fancy the two of you coming home this early. What's that you
have there?” He put his empty coffee cup in the sink.
not going to believe this, Dad. Down at the beach, over past Kyle
Peninsula, we found a shipwreck.”
I've never heard of this. Fish, are you sure?”
went on it and I even went up into the crow's nest. Harry and Chips came
too.” Fish pleaded with his dad to believe him.
true, Mr. Ross. We found a shipwreck and I've got the ship's log. I think
you'll find it interesting. It tells all about how the ship floundered in
a storm and has the entire history of the ship. It was called the
Jamari Gaye and the captain's name was Geoffrey Sinjin Cooper.” She
handed Fish's father the ship's log.
it from her and sat at the table. “This is marvelous, Chips. The ink is in
perfect condition. There's no smearing or mold.”
lists the crew for every journey. I was thinking that the descendants of
these crew members would like to know what happened to their ancestor.”
Chips sat next to Mr. Ross.
you know so much about that sort of thing, Chips?” Mr. Ross gazed at her
with a smile.
does genealogy. I know she's thrilled when she finds out anything about
our ancestors. If she's like that, I'm sure others out there are too.”
Chips grinned back at him.
right about that. I think we need to contact a museum, but first, I want
to get as much information off this as possible. I'm going to photocopy
it. I'm used to handling rare documents, so I'll be gentle with it. Then
I'll set up a website on the Internet with the information I get from the
log. As soon as I've copied it, I'll call Miss Brodie at the Inverlarich
Museum and let her take it from there.”
should tell you that Harry took some things from the ship.” Fish gulped
when he saw Harry standing at the door.
little tattle tale. I was going to tell you, Dad, until the big mouth
blabbered.” Harry showed him the bear skin. “There were lots of others,
including fox and beaver and even moose antlers.”
about the gun, Harry?” Fish stepped behind his dad for protection.
it there.” Harry's face blushed with lies. “I didn't feel right about
“Very well,” Mr. Ross said. You two go and wash up. Chips, would you like
to stay and have lunch with us? Mrs. Ross has gone to town, but I can cook
would be nice, Mr. Ross,” Chips said. She followed Fish to his room to
wash her hands.
eating pickle and cheese sandwiches, Mr. Ross said, “Tomorrow morning I'd
like to go and see this ship for myself. I have a lot of work to do this
afternoon. Will you show me where it is, or is it a secret?”
show you, Dad.” Fish ate the last bite of sandwich and washed it down with
an Ir'n Bru. “Oh, I forgot to show you. I picked up a few pieces of sea
glass while we were on the beach. Do you know much about it, Dad?”
took a piece from Fish's hand. “This is lovely. What a pleasant shade of
green. You know each piece of this glass has a history, just like the
ship. Someone, at some time, maybe hundreds of years ago, maybe thousands,
tossed something glass into the sea. Maybe the glass was washed into the
sea during a storm. Whatever the reason, it was tumbled about on the sand
and caught in the waves, washing up on the shores of our loch. It's a
blessing to have our loch be a sea loch. Think of the adventures you've
had because of that. I'd hold onto these pieces of glass and when you've
nothing better to do, try to imagine where each peace came from.” He
handed the glass back to his son, who put them in his pocket.
night Mr. Ross spent hours copying the log. He made sure each page was
handled with the utmost care and dignity. When he finished, he wrapped the
log in a plastic bag. He stayed up until the wee hours of the morning
making up a list of the crew members and putting the data on the computer.
He sent several messages to historical groups who spent their time looking
for wrecked ships and also added data to the genealogical places he'd
sun rose the next morning, bringing with it a fiery red sky, Mr. Ross woke
up his sons. They didn't wait for breakfast, but rushed out before Maureen
we take a few more things off the ship? I know it belongs in a museum, but
it would be grand to have some of the things for ourselves.” Harry ran
behind his father.
only natural for you to want to keep things, Harry, but it belongs to the
world, not to us. Now, where's that ship.” Mr. Ross stood on a huge
boulder. The loch's waves lapped at the base of it.
the ship, Fish? I thought it was right here?” Harry glanced from side to
side. “I'm sure this is the place. I remember it well.”
the right place. The ship is gone.” Fish shaded his eyes from the morning
“Nonsense. How could it just disappear? There was no high tide last night,
nor any storms.” Mr. Ross put his hand on Fish's shoulder. “Are you sure
this is the right place?”
Dad. It's gone. Look on the beach. You can see where it was. It's left an
indentation.” Fish pointed.
This is very strange.” Hugh's mind traveled back to the night before when
he sat with the ship's log in his hands. “This might sound odd, but
perhaps this happened because the people on that ship wanted that log book
to come to the world. They wanted to let their ancestors know. Stranger
things have happened.”
Fish didn't say a word, but thought of what their father had said. “You're
right, Dad. It seems that way, doesn't it.” Fish took his dad's hand.
“Let's go home and see if anyone's responded to the emails you sent out.”
walked home, Harry stopped and tugged at his dad's arm. “Dad, I've got a
confession. I took the gun. I didn't mean to steal or anything, but, well,
I have it at home.”
for telling me, Harry. Both it, and the log will go to the Inverlarich
Museum.” Hugh put his arm around Harry's shoulder.
Ross logged on, he had a few emails regarding the ship's discovery. A few
days later one of the people showed up at his door. “Welcome, Mr. Cooper.
I'm so glad you could make it up here.” Hugh invited his guest inside.
you and thank you too, lads. You see, Geoffrey Sinjin Cooper was my great,
great, great, grandfather. His wife, Janet Elizabeth Dunn, never knew what
happened to her husband. He just didn't come home ever again. They had
five children together. My great grandfather, Robert Cooper, was six years
old when his father disappeared. None of the men in our family ever took
to the sea again. When I saw your website on the ship, my heart fluttered
and when I saw the log had been found, well, I had to come right up here.
May I see it?”
the museum, but since your great, great, great grandfather was the
captain, I will give you this photocopy of the book.” Mr. Ross picked it
up off the table and handed it to the elderly man.
trickled down Joseph Cooper's cheek. “Thank you.” He wiped it away with
his hand. “When I called your father,” Mr. Cooper said to Fish, who stood
nearby, “he told me about your sea glass collection. I brought a few
pieces for you.” He put his hand into his pocket and pulled out a handful
of smooth glass. “There's purple, pink, green, blue, clear, white, brown
and even black. You can keep them all.”
you, Mr. Cooper. I saw the ship, you know. My brother, Harry and my friend
Chips all went on it. If you want to stay a while, I'll tell you all about
it.” Fish smiled.
that. I'm an artist and if you don't mind, I'd like to draw the ship as
you describe it to me. The Jamari Gaye sounds like it was a
beautiful ship in its day.” Mr. Cooper touched Fish's arm. “I'll stay for
a while, if you don't mind.”
with Mr. Cooper the rest of the day. Chips showed up and Harry joined in
the conversation later, each adding their thoughts and descriptions of the
weeks later a package came addressed to the family. Hugh opened it with
his family gathered around. A drawing of the Jamari Gaye sailing
through the seas sat inside a wooden frame.
exactly what it looked like, Dad. That's the ship!” Fish giggled with
attached note read:
Harry, Fish and Chips,
for bringing my ancestor, Geoffrey Sinjin Cooper home at last. A painting
identical to this one sits on the wall above my fireplace, reminding me
daily of my proud heritage. I read the ship's log and I will treasure it
forever. My son will inherit it after my passing and keep the traditions
and honor alive for eternity. Once again, thank you. I'm sure others will
contact you as they discover their ancestor's names on the Internet.