Summary of "Fifteen Captain" by Jules Verne

The summary of Jules Verne’s “Fifteen Year Old Captain” in this article helps to better understand and understand this novel by the French science fiction writer. The novel was first published in 1878.

"Pilgrim" goes to the sea

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In the novel "The Fifteen Year Captain", a brief summary of which you are reading now, events begin to unfold from the moment the schooner "Pilgrim" in 1873 sets sail from New Zealand. It is equipped with everything necessary for whaling.

The experienced captain Gul, with five experienced and many seen sailors and a 15-year-old junior sailor named Dick Send, manages everything. He is an orphan. On the ship there is also Kok Negoro and the wife of the owner of the ship - Mrs. Weldon with a five-year-old boy Jack. This company is complemented by her amusing cousin, whom everyone around calls her cousin Benedict and, finally, old nanny Nan.

Captain Goul's sailboat sails to America.The first trouble occurs a few days after the start of the journey. Jack notices the ship on its side. On his nose a hole. The crew of "Pilgrim" rescues the five starving blacks and a dog named Dingo.

From the novel “The Fifteen Year Old Captain” (read the summary more quickly than the entire work) we learn that their names are Tom, Bath, Austin, Hercules and Acteon. All of them are free US citizens. They say that they were returning from New Zealand, where they worked under contract, to America. Their ship "Waldeck" collided with another vessel, after which the captains and all crew members disappeared, leaving them alone. They continue their journey with the heroes of the novel, after a while they look completely healthy and restored.

Whale fishing

fifteen year old captain summary

In the novel "The Fifteen Year Captain", a brief summary of which helps to quickly recall the plot, mysterious events do not stop there. Dog Dingo is suspicious. Passengers "Waldeka" say that their captain picked up the dog in Africa. He constantly growls fiercely, as soon as he meets Coca Negoro. It seems that he recognized him, constantly expressing his readiness to lash out at the first opportunity. Negoro is trying not to come across a dog at all.

The summary of the book "Fifteen Year Captain" continues. Captain Gul together with sailors go fishing for whales. They sit on the boat and sail a few miles to the place where he was noticed. Expedition fails, they die.

The only one who has an idea of ​​how to steer the ship becomes, in fact, Jung Dick Send. He becomes a fifteen year old captain. A summary of the chapters in this novel helps to better understand the intent of the author.

Inexperienced captain

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Dick patiently teaches blacks sailor's craft. He is a courageous and internally mature guy, but he still lacks knowledge of navigation, the ability to navigate in the open ocean only on a compass and a device that measures the speed of the vessel.

In addition, he can not determine the location of the stars, which is immediately used by the treacherous Negoro. Kok breaks one of the compasses and imperceptibly changes the readings on the second one. After that, he disables the lot. All this leads to the fact that the ship, instead of sailing to America, turns out to be near the coast of Angola. The ship is stranded.

Travelers in Africa

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In the novel "The Fifteen-Year Captain" (a brief summary allows you to get acquainted with the main points of the work) Negoro manages to slip away from the ship unnoticed. Only he alone reliably knows where they sailed.

Dick, went in search of local residents, is faced with an American Harris. He conspires with coca, so he assures our heroes that they actually sailed to Bolivia. Promising them shelter and a roof over his head, he lured them deep into the mainland for about a hundred kilometers. Only after some time, Dick and Tom realize that somehow they did end up in Africa, not in South America. Harris, realizing that they had opened him, immediately disappears into the forest and sets off to meet Negoro.

Only at this place for readers of Fifteen-Year-Old Captain Vern (the summary does not replace the work itself) begins to clarify something. Harris is in fact a slave trader; Negoro used to do underground business as well. It all ended when the authorities of his native Portugal sentenced coca to life penal servitude. He managed to escape after two weeks and was soon accepted at the Pilgrim.After that, he immediately began to look for a moment to be in Africa again.

The death of the captain and the inexperience of Dick Sand played into his hands. Now nearby is a slave caravan that is heading to Kazonde.


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As soon as Garris disappears, Dick realizes that they have been betrayed. He decides to go along the creek, until he comes to a major river. Assuming such a plan, on this path they are waiting for Garris and Negoro, who expect to take travelers by surprise.

But so far they have not met the villains, the heroes of the novel "The Fifteen Year Captain" Jules Verne, a brief summary of which we are now considering, will have to test the forces of nature. The rain and thunderstorm falls on them. The river overflows its banks, rising several feet above the ground.

Travelers are trying to wait out the element in the empty termitary with thick clay walls. But, having got out of there, they immediately find themselves in captivity. Dick, Nan and blacks are sent along the caravan. Only resourceful Hercules manages to escape. Mrs. Weldon and her relative are led away in an unknown direction.

The way in the caravan

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By joining the caravan, Dick and his comrades will survive terrible hardships. They witness the brutal treatment of slaves. Old Nan, unable to endure the suffering, dies.

In Kazonde, slaves are distributed in barracks. Harris informs Dick that Mrs. Weldon and her son are dead. But it was deception again. Sand, not knowing this, desperately grabs his dagger and kills the slaver.

Slave fair

One of the climaxes of the novel The Fifteen-Year Captain (a brief summary for the reader’s diary can be found in this article) is a slave fair. After it should be the execution of Dick. Negoro had already agreed on this with influential people in Kazonde, who saw the scene of the murder of his American comrade and now reasonably fear for his own safety.

The owner of a slave caravan named Alvets promises fireplaces to the local tzark Muani Lungu in case of a successful execution. He willingly agrees, because for a long time he can not do without alcohol. It turns out that it was a sophisticated execution for Muani Lungu himself. Alvets gives him too strong a punch. When the leader begins to drink, he sets fire to the drink.Through the use of the king’s body, it burns up, and it decays to the very bones.

His wife, Queen Muan, has a magnificent funeral. During the ceremony, according to tradition, all the other wives of the kings are killed, so that they follow him to the afterlife. They are dumped into the pit and filled with water. In the same trench is Dick, who was previously tied to a pole.

Hostages from "Pilgrim"

fifteen year old captain a summary for readers

At the same time, Mrs. Weldon, along with her son and cousin, live in Kazonde near Alvets. They were taken hostage, Negoro expects to receive a substantial ransom from the shipowner.

At his insistence, Mrs. Weldon wrote a letter to her husband, with whom Negoro went to San Francisco. Meanwhile, the hostages live more or less at ease. Cousin Benedict, who has always been keen on collecting insects, somehow pursues a particularly rare ground beetle. In this pursuit, he accidentally enters a mole hole and is free. Initially, without noticing this, he runs for two more miles through the forest in the hope of overtaking an insect. At the end of his journey, Benedict meets Hercules, who has been around all this time, hoping to somehow help his friends.

Rainfall in the village

In the novel “The Fifteen Year Captain”, rare and abnormal events often occur. The next one is an atypically heavy and long-lasting rain that floods the fields and threatens to destroy the entire crop.

Queen Muan calls sorcerers to help. Hercules catches one of these elders in the forest. Having taken his clothes, he pretends to be a mute shaman who drives the clouds away. He takes the queen by the hand and aggressively leads to the estate of Alvets. With signs, he points out that a white woman and a little boy should answer for all the troubles of her people. So he helps them free themselves from the village. Alvets tries to resist this, but retreats before the onslaught of savages.

Only after having traveled eight miles through the jungle and freed from accompanying ones, Hercules is revealed to Mrs. Weldon and her son. Here they meet Dick, who was also saved by Hercules, as well as Benedict and Dingo's dog. In conclusion, only the negros remain, who have already been sold and driven away from the village.

Path to the ocean

The heroes of The Fifteen Year Captain, a brief summary of which will remind you of the main peripeties of the novel in a few minutes, make another attempt to reach the ocean.In their boat, they go down the river.

Soon they meet the village of cannibals. But due to the fact that their boat was disguised as a floating island, they manage to sail past.

During the next stop, Dingo, barely on the shore, rushes forward, smelling someone's mark. He leads them to a hut over which human bones are scattered. On the wall are two bloody letters - "S.V.". The same letters are engraved on the dog's collar. In the shack there is also a note from which travelers learn that Samuel Vernon suffered at the hands of Negoro, who was his guide. A cunning villain mortally wounded him and robbed him.

At the same moment, Dingo takes off and clings to Negoro’s crest. Before sailing to America, he decided to return to the scene of the crime in order to collect money stolen from Vernon from the cache. Negoro wounds the dog with a knife, he dies, having failed to avenge his master. But Negoro still fails to escape from fair punishment.

Meeting with savages

But this is not all the tests for the characters in the novel "The Fifteen Year Captain". In the brief content it is necessary to mention the episode of a meeting with cannibals.

Having dealt with Negoro, Dick decides to cross over to the right bank, fearing his fellow Coca from Pilgrim. But there he was attacked by cannibals, whom they met a few days ago and were not aware that they were pursued by land. They noticed a boat with people, but at the very last moment, when she was already far away.

A hail of arrows falls on Dick, savages jump straight into his boat. It rapidly carries to the waterfall. All savages die, and only 15-year-old captain escapes, taking refuge in a boat.

Finally travelers get to the ocean. They manage to get on a ship and sail to California. Dick is accepted as a son to the Weldon family. At the age of 18 he graduated from the courses and became a captain on one of the schooners Weldon.

Hercules and the Negroes, who can be ransomed from slavery and set free, remain a family friend. The novel ends with a date of November 15, 1877. It was then that the four Negro, who endured so many dangers, finally find themselves in the friendly embrace of the Weldon.

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