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The pursuit of the schooner yacht Shark by the Bride, the yacht of the mad Sir Wilfred, is seagoing writing at its best. Russell's evocation of both calms and storms at sea, and the management of the yacht are educated and expert. Sir Wilfred's wife has run off with the dashing Colonel Hope-Kennedy, and Sir Wilfred means to get her back. This isn't going to be just a confrontation between cuckold and cuckolder, Sir Wilfred has armed the Bride with a long, brass, 18-pounder. The events are many, including the unfortunate death of a Portuguese seaman at the hands of the 18-pounder, the haunting of the Bride, the fortuitous capture of the two "lovers" in mid-ocean, the duel on the quarterdeck, the wreck of the Bride on the volcanic island that wasn't supposed to be there, and, best of all, the fossilized galleon on the crest of the island that can only be inhabited by the castaways after the water is drained out of her.