The Cruise of the Dazzler
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Joe Bronson, dissatisfied with his dull life at school, runs away and joins the crew of a sloop he sees in San Francisco Bay. Only that very morning he had been a school-boy and now he was a sailor, shipped on the Dazzler and bound he knew not whither. His fifteen years increased to twenty at the thought of it and he felt every inch a man -- a sailorman at that. He wished Charley and Fred could see him now. Well, they would hear of it soon enough. He could see them talking it over and the other boys crowding around. "Who?" "Oh, Joe Bronson; he's gone to sea. Used to chum with us." Joe pictured the scene proudly. Then he softened at the thought of his mother worrying, but hardened again at the recollection of his father. Not that his father was not good and kind; but he did not understand boys, Joe thought. That was where the trouble lay. Only that morning he had said that the world wasn't a play-ground and that the boys who thought it was were liable to make sore mistakes and be glad to get home again. Well, he knew that there was plenty of hard work and rough experience in the world; but he also thought boys had some rights. He'd show him he could take care of himself; and, anyway, he could write home after he got settled down to his new life.