Child's Morality Story
The Strange Post Office
At Cape Horn

Adapted From Antique British Book
© James Dearmore, 2009
[Gospel Web Globe]

From Graphic Stories for Boys and Girls — published in England in the 1800's --- A series of morality stories and short stories of interest for children.

We are in a ship bound from New York to Callao. It is a long voyage, but we have just doubled Cape Horn, and soon the coast of Chili will be in sight. There is a light breeze from the south-east. Every sail is set, and the ship is gliding merrily through the water.

The captain and mate talk together, and look through a spy-glass toward the north and west. The sailors, too, put their hands above their eyes, and gaze in the same direction. Do they fear a storm? No ; the sea is quiet, and the sky is clear.

On we speed, and at last we find out what the sailors are looking for. There it is ! Only a barrel, swinging by an iron chain which is fastened to a great rock. But it is the Cape Horn post-off ee, at the western mouth of the Straits of Magellan.

What a curious post-office it is! There is not another like it anywhere in the world. The albatross, with its great white wings outspread, hovers over it, and whales roll and spout, dolphins dart, and porpoises tumble in the dark waves around, and from morning till night the sea beats upon the rock to which it is chained.

The Cape Horn office is very unlike the )ffice to which you go. It is never .. Letters and packages may be received ivered at any hour of the day or night. Then a ship comes near, as ours is doing, if the weather is fair, and the nooth, the sailors row to the office in 11 boat. They open the barrel. There ie letters in it for some of them ; and a rough hand trembles, as it lifts the id gropes in the barrel for news of ones far away.

The letters are all looked over. The sailors take any that are for them or are intended to go in the direction in which their ship is sailing. They put into the barrel any that may have been written to be sent to the port from which they have come. Then the little boat, tossing on the waves, returns to the ship.

The vessel soon sails off, and leaves the lonely post-office far out of sight. Weeks and weeks may roll by, and all that time the letters placed in that barrel will be swung to and fro and tossed up and down on the rough waves, until some other vessel passes that way and carries the letters home. - End of Story

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