ORG Volume 5, page 2390 gives this story the number 166 and records the first publication in the Civil and Military Gazette of 13 July 1889; it is also included in Turnovers, Volume 7, where it also has the confusing title “Abaft the Funnel (VI)” See Martindell, pp. 31 and 122, and the Sussex Edition, Volume 3 page 277, from which we have taken the text of the tale.
See Charles Allen's Kipling Sahib, p. 148 passim, for Kipling’s return to India and work on the Civil and Military Gazette.
See KJ 325/50 for a copy of the text and Notes and KJ 327/40 for further Notes by Alastair Wilson.
the China Seas an arm of the Pacific Ocean, off the eastern and south-eastern coasts of Asia, extending from Japan to the eastern end of Borneo and the southern end of the Malay Peninsula. The island of Taiwan divides the China Sea into two parts; the north is called the East China Sea and the south, the South China Sea, or, frequently, simply the China Sea.
horn usually called the foghorn – a steam whistle here used as a signalling device in thick weather.
Kurile Islands an archipelago stretching some 700 miles (1,300 km) North - East from Hokkaido, Japan, to Kamchatka, Russia, separating the Sea of Okhotsk from the North Pacific Ocean.
a cable’s length one hundred fathoms (183m.)
Saigon now called Ho Chi Minh City, the chief port of southern Vietnam.
smoking-room a comfortably-furnished apartment with a bar once provided in ships, hotels and large country-houses where gentlemen could relax with a drink and a smoke. One figures in Chapter One of Captains Courageous.
Eric …. Strathnairn ... Sigismumd disasters at sea that we have not traced
Sandy Hook a peninsula with a lighthouse on the approaches to New York.
Massageries boat a famous French shipping-line which adopted this name in 1871 "Compagnie des Messageries Maritimes". boat in this context is used incorrectly for a larger vessel.
Geordie tramp a small vessel operating from a Northumberland port in North-West England
a screw in this context the ship’s propeller
bowsprit a spar protruding from the bow of a (usually) sailing-vessel See “Their Lawful Occasions Part II, page 131.
a ram in this context is the strengthened portion of a warship’s bow below the waterline, designed to sink enemy vessels
ironclad a warship built of iron or with a wooden hull protected by iron plates. The first such vessel in the Royal Navy was HMS Warrior (1860).
[J H McG]
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