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Jack Book 2: Murder on the High Seas

Ratings:
199 pages2 hours

Summary

Book 2 is a high seas adventure that involves the main characters - Jack and Jeremy - in a romantic relationship with two young Jamaican women.
Book 1 ends with Schoolmaster Jerome Whittemore - Jack's and Jeremy's abusive, racist teacher - quitting his brief education career after a devastating classroom humiliation at the hands of Jack. In earlier times, the schoolmaster had been an un-ordained 'preacher' on slave ships sailing the Middle Passage and sermonizing to various ships' crews about the necessity of slavery in 'advanced cultures' such as that of Charleston, South Carolina, in the American South.
Whittemore tells his students on his last day of teaching that he is returning to the sea to try to find 'something of purity' and work that would enable him to restore his integrity. He admitted that Jack and Jeremy had been morally correct in opposing his racist teachings and that those 'brave' young men caused him to see how wrong he was to advance the causes of secession and racism to children and to be unfair to a whole race of innocent people. After seeing this change in their teacher, Jeremy and Jack secretly follow the schoolmaster to the ship, Helena, in Charleston Harbor, and later sign for the same voyage, unaware that it is a 'slaver'.
On the first night, they surprise Master Whittemore on the ship's main deck. Whittemore is appalled to see them aboard 'this devil ship' which by then was well beyond the northern-flowing Gulf Stream. Now, this self-proclaimed 'preacher of the deep' for 'the Church of the Holy Waters' intends to incite rebellion in his first sermon since having glorified slavery in years past on the same slave ship, and others, and having sung the praises of the southern white plantation slavery system during many maritime Sunday sermons. This enabled the crews to do their nasty work without self-incrimination and guilt. Jack and Jeremy tell him that giving abolitionist sermons aboard a slave ship is foolish and suicidal. Whittemore refuses to listen. He is on a mission.
Book 2 continues with the former schoolmaster's first sermon - an intense diatribe against the slave trade and against Captain Pendleton and his enablers, who are the crew of the Helena.
Intrigue, espionage, conspiracies, mutiny, and a hurricane plague the ship's voyage during its several-month cruise through the Caribbean Sea to various islands including Jamaica, and Cuba and, ultimately, to major slave-trading islands along the African coast.
In Jamaica, Jack and Jeremy meet two beautiful young black women - America and Mauricia - and together - while romance creates its own problems - they conspire to free 110 slaves who, it is planned, will board the Helena in Cuba.
While in the US Navy many years ago, I spent many weeks at sea, and on one cruise without seeing land for nearly a month. One of the ships on which I sailed went through a hurricane in the North Atlantic above England and that experience inspired some events in the book.

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