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Famous Stories

Socrates And His House
There once lived in Greece a very wise man whose name was S...

The King And His Hawk
Gen'ghis Khan was a great king and war-rior. He led his ...

Three Men Of Gotham
There is a town in England called Go-tham, and many merry s...

He Never Smiled Again
The bark that held the prince went down, The sweep...

Horatius At The Bridge
Once there was a war between the Roman people and the E-tru...

The Sons Of William The Conqueror
There was once a great king of England who was called Wil-l...

Sir Humphrey Gilbert
More than three hundred years ago there lived in England a ...

Antonio Canova
A good many years ago there lived in Italy a little boy who...

Damon And Pythias
A young man whose name was Pyth'i-as had done something whi...

The Story Of Regulus
On the other side of the sea from Rome there was once a gre...

Bruce And The Spider
There was once a king of Scot-land whose name was Robert Br...

How Napoleon Crossed The Alps
About a hundred years ago there lived a great gen-er-al who...

The White Ship
King Henry, the Handsome Scholar, had one son, named Willia...

The Brave Three Hundred
All Greece was in danger. A mighty army, led by the great K...

There was a great battle at sea. One could hear nothing but...

The Endless Tale
In the Far East there was a great king who had no work to d...

Grace Darling
It was a dark Sep-tem-ber morning. There was a storm at sea...

Doctor Goldsmith
There was once a kind man whose name was Oliver Gold-smith....

Other Wise Men Of Gotham
One day, news was brought to Gotham that the king was comin...

The Black Douglas
In Scotland, in the time of King Robert Bruce, there lived ...


In the North Sea there is a great rock called the Inch-cape Rock. It
is twelve miles from any land, and is covered most of the time with

Many boats and ships have been wrecked on that rock; for it is so near
the top of the water that no vessel can sail over it without striking

More than a hundred years ago there lived not far away a kind-heart-ed
man who was called the Abbot of Ab-er-broth-ock.

"It is a pity," he said, "that so many brave sailors should lose their
lives on that hidden rock."

So the abbot caused a buoy to be fastened to the rock. The buoy
floated back and forth in the shallow water. A strong chain kept it
from floating away.

On the top of the buoy the abbot placed a bell; and when the waves
dashed against it, the bell would ring out loud and clear.

Sailors, now, were no longer afraid to cross the sea at that place.
When they heard the bell ringing, they knew just where the rock was,
and they steered their vessels around it.

"God bless the good Abbot of Ab-er-broth-ock!" they all said.

One calm summer day, a ship with a black flag happened to sail not far
from the Inch-cape Rock. The ship belonged to a sea robber called
Ralph the Rover; and she was a terror to all honest people both on sea
and shore.

There was but little wind that day, and the sea was as smooth as
glass. The ship stood almost still; there was hardly a breath of air
to fill her sails.

Ralph the Rover was walking on the deck. He looked out upon the glassy
sea. He saw the buoy floating above the Inchcape Rock. It looked like
a big black speck upon the water. But the bell was not ringing that
day. There were no waves to set it in motion.

"Boys!" cried Ralph the Rover; "put out the boat, and row me to the
Inchcape Rock. We will play a trick on the old abbot."

The boat was low-ered. Strong arms soon rowed it to the Inchcape Rock.
Then the robber, with a heavy ax, broke the chain that held the buoy.

He cut the fas-ten-ings of the bell. It fell into the water. There
was a gur-gling sound as it sank out of sight.

"The next one that comes this way will not bless the abbot," said
Ralph the Rover.

Soon a breeze sprang up, and the black ship sailed away. The sea
robber laughed as he looked back and saw that there was nothing to
mark the place of the hidden rock.

For many days, Ralph the Rover scoured the seas, and many were the
ships that he plun-dered. At last he chanced to sail back toward the
place from which he had started.

The wind had blown hard all day. The waves rolled high. The ship was
moving swiftly. But in the evening the wind died away, and a thick fog
came on.

Ralph the Rover walked the deck. He could not see where the ship was
going. "If the fog would only clear away!" he said.

"I thought I heard the roar of breakers," said the pilot. "We must be
near the shore."

"I cannot tell," said Ralph the Rover; "but I think we are not far
from the Inchcape Rock. I wish we could hear the good abbot's bell."

The next moment there was a great crash. "It is the Inchcape Rock!"
the sailors cried, as the ship gave a lurch to one side, and began to

"Oh, what a wretch am I!" cried Ralph the Rover. "This is what comes
of the joke that I played on the good abbot!"

What was it that he heard as the waves rushed over him? Was it the
abbot's bell, ringing for him far down at the bottom of the sea?



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