A bit of a backstory
This is the book notes that started all the book notes I made. Wrote this around February in 2018, and for the first time, this draft finally gets a glimpse of what’s outside my computer folders.
The time I poured into writing this now gets a chance to show off its worth and I hope that those who’d find this book notes would find all the lessons wrote down helpful.
If you want to check out all the book notes I’ve made so far, check them all out here.
To date, I have read 249 books over my lifetime (and counting). That excludes all the books I wasn’t able to record, the magazines, blog posts, long reads, academic journals, and everything with text on it.
So if you are reading this (wherever you are in the world), and stumbled over this blog post for your book report, I hope that you commit yourself to lifelong learning.
And books are a great start for learning.
The Adventures of Captain Horn is written by Frank R. Stockton, first published in 1895.
The story revolves around a tragedy at sea, during a storm that struck the ship led by Captain Horn and his surviving crew. Passengers, Mrs. Cliff, siblings Edna and Ralph Markham were also with them. It began with a series of plot twists, the loss of the surviving crew that only left Captain Horn, Mrs. Cliff, Edna and Ralph; and of discoveries concerning gold as well as the encounter of threat with the Rackbirds (a group of bandits who were vowed to kill).
In the character of Captain Horn, I learned that you should be determined to finish your goal as enthusiastically as you started it. However, you should also learn how to stop the moment you have reached your destination.
In the story, I learned about the importance of not presuming when prompted with an unexpected circumstance as it would do you no good. Instead, only act when called for.
You should also be particular in the case of planning, assessing every possible detail before going into action. Also, employ strategies.
Wealth (in this case, gold) can change a weak person for the worse but edify people who are firm in who they are.
In Mrs. Edna Markham-Horn, I learned the value of trust, faith, respect, and patience of waiting in a relationship. She sure did know how to have her complete confidence in her husband (though apparently, they were initially business-like about their marriage in this story. But soon, they became honest of their professed love to each other long before the storm wrecked the Castor Ship).
For a sailor, knowing that someone is waiting for them propels them to be fixed with their earnestness to go through storms and raging seas, just to be home with that someone. For this instance, because Captain Horn is assured that Mrs. Horn will be waiting for him, he is eager to travel the seas (settling the gold he discovered) at all cost just to be with her again.
No matter what level of wealth you can have in this life, everything is meaningless.
If you want to achieve something great, it is impossible to achieve it alone. You should learn how to trust your party no matter how untrustworthy they may seem (just be tact and wary, though). You should be sensible and know how to assess the loyalty of your people. Wisdom is needed when you are handling a team.
When you are blessed through circumstance, you should bless others, especially those who need them the most.
You should never forget to honor back those who helped you to be where you are now.
Faithful servants (such as Maka and Cheditafa) know their position. But, nevertheless, they are contented with trusting their master in providing all their wants and needs (for they are assured that their master already knows very well their wants and needs). Their loyalty and respect for their masters are so immense that I admire them for such character.
Maka – African slave; cook
Cheditafa – African slave; clergyman; butler
Mok – African slave; with a passion for drinking
Inkspot – African slave; seeks pleasure in spirits
Captain Philip Horn – a Yankee skipper from California; a businessman and captain
Mrs. Edna Markham-Horn – educated American who grew up in Paris
Ralph Markham – brother of Mrs. Horn, who have aspirations of his own
Mrs. Cliff – a nervous elderly, a widow from Plainton, and only Is concerned about her share of gold just like Ralph
Professor Barre – Ralph’s French tutor who learned a lot from the young boy and his association with him allowed the Professor to own a Spanish Castle (though his Spanish Ancestors)
Shirley – a great company with extreme loyalty and a good heart
Burke – a firm man with a curious mind
Andy McLeish – a Scottish sailor who cared for his poor mother deeply to sustain her needs to the extent that he stole some gold and died in the process (his remains later discovered by Shirley and Burke)
Mrs. McLeish – Andy’s poor mother
Nunez – a horse-dealer who only desires money even through selfish gains
Cardatas – a second-mate who is easily swayed by Nunez to take part in extorting Captain Horne
Mr. Banker – an ex-bandit under the Rackbirds who seeks selfish gains