The Terror: A Novel
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The men on board HMS Terror have every expectation of finding the Northwest Passage. When the expedition's leader, Sir John Franklin, meets a terrible death, Captain Francis Crozier takes command and leads his surviving crewmen on a last, desperate attempt to flee south across the ice. But as another winter approaches, as scurvy and starvation grow more terrible, and as the Terror on the ice stalks them southward, Crozier and his men begin to fear there is no escape. A haunting, gripping story based on actual historical events, The Terror is a novel that will chill you to your core.
Wanderer. It was during those months of shorebound discussion and further tutoring that the close friendship between the two men had moved into something more resembling lovers’ interactions. The revelation that he was capable of doing such a thing astounded Peglar — dismaying him at first but then causing him to reconsider every aspect of his life, morals, faith, and sense of self. What he discovered confused him but, to his astonishment, did not change his basic sense of who Harry Peglar was.
Embarrassingly, but of course we had no Round Shot this day. The seamen scrounged a Grapple from the floating Bow of The Lady J. Franklin and some metal from the last of the empty Goldner food tins to Weigh Down the various shrouds. It took some time to pull the Nine Remaining Boats from the black water and reset the cutters and pinnaces onto Sledges. The Assembly of these Sledges and the lifting of the Boats onto them, with its concomitant Packing and Unpacking of stores, drained the skeletal
hearing. Rats, as Crozier knows from the sad experience of thirteen winters in the ice, tend to eat one’s friends quietly and efficiently, except for their frequent screeching as the blood-maddened and ravenous vermin turn on one another. It’s something else making the clawing and banging noises down on hold deck. What Crozier decides not to remind Private Wilkes of is the second simple fact: while the lowest deck would normally be cold but safe there beneath the waterline or winter line of
remind himself that there were the not-insignificant liquid remnants of four thousand five hundred gallons — gallons — of concentrated West Indian rum in the Spirit Room below, and that each jug was rated between 130 and 140 proof. The rum was doled out each day to the men in units of gills, one fourth of a pint cut with three-quarters pint of water, and there were enough gills and gallons left to swim in. A less finicky and more predatory drunkard-captain might consider the men’s rum his
Irving had heard the breathing, the gasps, something that must have been whispered alarm at the approach of his lantern, and then seen the two struggling to raise their trousers and tuck in their shirts. That would be enough to get one or both of them hanged under normal circumstances. But here, stuck in the ice, with months or years ahead of them before any chance of rescue? For the first time in many years, John Irving felt like sitting down and weeping. His life had just become complex