The Survivors of the Chancellor, by Jules Verne

Chapter 3

SEPTEMBER 29th. — Captain Huntly’s bill of lading, that is to say, the document that describes the “Chancellor’s” cargo and the conditions of transport, is couched in the following terms:—

“BRONSFIELD AND CO., AGENTS, CHARLESTON.

“I, John Silas Huntly, of Dundee, Scotland, commander of the ship ‘Chancellor,’ of about 900 tons burden, now at Charleston, do purpose, by the blessing of God, at the earliest convenient season, and by the direct route, to sail for the port of Liverpool, where I shall obtain my discharge. I do hereby acknowledge that I have received from you, Messrs. Bronsfield and Co., Commission Agents, Charleston, and have placed the same under the gun-deck of the aforesaid ship, seventeen hundred bales of cotton, of the estimated value of 26,000l., all in good condition, marked and numbered as in the margin; which goods I do undertake to transport to Liverpool, and there to deliver, free from injury (save only such injury as shall have been caused by the chances of the sea), to Messrs. Laird Brothers, or to their order, or to their representative, who shall on due delivery of the said freight pay me the sum of 2000l. inclusive, according to the charter-party and damages in addition, according to the usages and customs of the sea.

“And for the fulfilment of the above covenant, I have pledged and do pledge my person, my property, and my interest in the vessel aforesaid, with all its appurtenances. In witness whereof, I have signed three agreements, all of the same purport; on the condition that when the terms of one are accomplished, the other two shall be absolutely null and void.

“Given at Charleston, September 13th, 1869,

“J. S. HUNTLY.”

From the foregoing document it will be understood that the “Chancellor” is conveying 1700 bales of cotton to Liverpool; that the shippers are Bronsfield, of Charleston, and the consignees are Laird Brothers, of Liverpool. The ship was constructed with the especial design of carrying cotton, and the entire hold, with the exception of a very limited space reserved for passengers’ luggage, is closely packed with the bales, The lading was performed with the utmost care, each bale being pressed into its proper place by the aid of screw-jacks, so that the whole freight forms one solid and compact mass; not an inch of space is wasted, and the vessel is thus made capable of carrying her full complement of cargo.

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Last updated Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at 18:24