In The Great Escape and Papillon, Steve McQueen embodied the tough guy on the run. But when it comes to toughness, McQueen is following in the footsteps of Captain Spar. Wrongfully accused, Spar has been condemned to Devil’s Island. But now, escaping, he’s out to kill the man who put him there. A storm is brewing, but even in the face of natural disaster, Spar discovers that nothing is more dangerous than human nature.
In 1937 L. Ron Hubbard wrote to one of his editors: “You might have noticed that I am intensely wary of becoming any kind of a story specialist. I have sold the gamut of types: air war, air western, detective, love, terror … My one passion is to build a name for variety … I like my freedom. I fight hard for independent individualism. I love to tie into a yarn and make it blaze in print.” Hubbard’s passion for writing, creativity and individualism certainly blazes across the page in stories like Hurricane.
“The entertaining story is vividly recreated.” —Booklist
Format: Unabridged, Multicast, 2 CDs
Length: Approx. 2 hours
Cast list: Audio drama performed by Thomas Silcott, Corey Burton, R.F. Daley, Christina Huntington and Jim Meskimen.
The Stories from the Golden Age series reflect the words and expressions used in the 1930s and 1940s, adding unique flavor and authenticity to the tales. While a character’s speech may often reflect regional origins, it also can convey attitudes common in the day. So that readers can better grasp such cultural and historical terms, uncommon words or expressions of the era, the following glossary has been provided.
Barbary Coast: the term used by Europeans, from the sixteenth until the nineteenth century, to refer to the coastal regions in North Africa that are now Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya. The name is derived from the Berber people of North Africa. In the West, the name commonly refers to the pirates and slave traders based there.
binnacle: a built-in housing for a ship’s compass.
blighter: a fellow, especially one held in low esteem.
bosun: a ship’s officer in charge of supervision and maintenance of the ship and its equipment.
Brobdingnagian: of or relating to a gigantic person or thing; comes from the book Gulliver’s Travels of 1726 by Jonathan Swift, wherein Gulliver meets the huge inhabitants of Brobdingnag. It is now used in reference to anything huge.
Colt .45: a .45-caliber automatic pistol manufactured by the Colt Firearms Company of Hartford, Connecticut. Colt was founded in 1847 by Samuel Colt (1814–1862), who revolutionized the firearms industry.
Devil’s Island: an island in the Caribbean Sea off French Guiana and location of a notorious French penal colony, opened in 1854 and closed in 1946. Used by France, its inmates were everything from political prisoners to the most hardened of thieves and murderers. Conditions were harsh and many prisoners sent there were never seen again. Few convicts ever managed to escape.
dodger: a canvas or wood screen to provide protection from ocean spray on a ship.
fathom: a unit of length equal to six feet (1.83 meters), used in measuring the depth of water.
Fort-de-France: the capital and largest city of Martinique, on the western coast of the island.
French Guiana: a French colony of northeast South America on the Atlantic Ocean, established in the nineteenth century and known for its penal colonies (now closed). Cayenne is the capital and the largest city.
gangway: a narrow, movable platform or ramp forming a bridge by which to board or leave a ship.
gendarme: a police officer in any of several European countries, especially a French police officer.
gingham dog and the calico cat: reference to a poem called “The Duel” by Eugene Field (1850–1895) about a gingham dog and a calico cat (both stuffed toys) who fought until they had eaten each other up and there was nothing left.
hard-boiled: tough; unsentimental.
hawse: hawse pipe; iron or steel pipe in the stem or bow of a vessel, through which an anchor cable passes.
hein?: (French) eh?
hooker: an older vessel, usually a cargo boat.
knot: a unit of speed, equal to one nautical mile, or about 1.15 miles, per hour.
lay to: to put a ship in a dock or other place of safety.
Legionnaire: a member of the French Foreign Legion, a unique elite unit within the French Army established in 1831. It was created as a unit for foreign volunteers and was primarily used to protect and expand the French colonial empire during the nineteenth century, but has also taken part in all of France’s wars with other European powers. It is known to be an elite military unit whose training focuses not only on traditional military skills, but also on the building of a strong esprit de corps amongst members. As its men come from different countries with different cultures, this is a widely accepted solution to strengthen them enough to work as a team. Training is often not only physically hard with brutal training methods, but also extremely stressful with high rates of desertion.
Martinique: an island in the eastern Caribbean; administered as an overseas region of France.
mestizo: a racially mixed person, especially in Latin America, of American Indian and European (usually Spanish or Portuguese) ancestry.
metal: mettle; spirited determination.
Monsieur: (French) Mr.
m’sieu: (French) Mr.
old, my: used as a term of cordiality and familiarity.
Paramaribo: the capital and largest city of Dutch Guiana (now Suriname) in northern South America on the Atlantic Ocean.
patois: a regional form of a language, especially of French, differing from the standard, literary form of the language.
put in: to enter a port or harbor, especially for shelter, repairs or provisions.
Qu’est-ce que c’est?: (French) What is that?
reduction gear: a set of gears in an engine used to reduce output speed relative to that of the engine while providing greater turning power.
rhum vieux: (French) aged rum; rum that has aged at least three years.
rudder: a means of steering a boat or ship, usually in the form of a pivoting blade under the water, mounted at the stern and controlled by a wheel or handle.
schooner: a fast sailing ship with at least two masts and with sails set lengthwise.
scuppers: openings in the side of a ship at deck level that allow water to run off.
seacocks: valves below the waterline in a ship’s hull, used for admitting outside water into some part of the hull.
six strength: a wind strength with large waves and foam crests, some spray and winds at 25–31 miles per hour, as classified on the Beaufort scale created in 1805 by Sir Francis Beaufort.
slop chest: locker or chest containing a supply of clothing, boots, tobacco and other personal goods for sale to the crew of a ship during a voyage.
superstructure: cabins and rooms above the deck of a ship.
telegraph: an apparatus, usually mechanical, for transmitting and receiving orders between the bridge of a ship and the engine room or some other part of the engineering department.
tender: a small boat used to ferry passengers and light cargo between ship and shore.
three sheets to the wind: in a disordered state caused by drinking; intoxicated. This expression is generally thought to refer to the sheet (a rope or chain) that holds one or both lower corners of a sail. If the sheet is allowed to go slack in the wind, the sail flaps about and the boat is tossed about much as a drunk staggers. Having three sheets loose would presumably make the situation all the worse.
transom: transom seat; a kind of bench seat, usually with a locker or drawers underneath.
weigh anchor: take up the anchor when ready to sail.
wing: bridge wing; a narrow walkway extending outward from both sides of a pilothouse to the full width of a ship.