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Famous Stories

Picciola
Many years ago there was a poor gentleman shut up in one of...

The Ungrateful Soldier
Here is another story of the bat-tle-field, and it is much ...

Arnold Winkelried
A great army was marching into Swit-zer-land. If it should ...

Sir Philip Sidney
A cruel battle was being fought. The ground was covered wit...

Whittington And His Cat
The City There was once a little boy whose name was Rich...

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

The Miller Of The Dee
Once upon a time there lived on the banks of the River Dee ...

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

Julius Caesar
Nearly two thousand years ago there lived in Rome a man who...

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

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

The Story Of William Tell
The people of Swit-zer-land were not always free and happy ...

Cornelia's Jewels
It was a bright morning in the old city of Rome many hundre...

A Laconic Answer
Many miles beyond Rome there was a famous country which we ...

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

Mignon
Here is the story of Mignon as I remember having read it in...

King Canute On The Seashore
A hundred years or more after the time of Alfred the Great ...

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

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

The Bell Of Atri
A-tri is the name of a little town in It-a-ly. It is a very...



THE INCHCAPE ROCK








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
water.

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
it.

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
sink.

"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?





Next: WHITTINGTON AND HIS CAT

Previous: MAXIMILIAN AND THE GOOSE BOY



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