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Fifteen-year-old Thach goes to work for the great Donald McKay making drawings of his plans for the clipper ship Flying Cloud. The ship completed, Thach becomes an apprentice, sails around the Horn, is initiated by “Neptune,” contends with mutineers, and nearly loses his life in a shipboard fire.
Despite years of living with country relatives, Walter is determined not to let his lame leg stand in his way once he is at home again. This lively, fictionalized biography transports readers to late eighteenth-century Edinburgh, Scotland, and offers an engrossing introduction to the life of the famous novelist.