Book Review of By Conduct and Courage [Henty]
By Calico Zak — January 05, 2010
One day in county Yorkshire, England, a wandering musician known only by the name of "Gilmore" breezes into Scarcombe with a violin, a small boy, and a ring emblazoned with a coat of arms. A few months later his son runs out of the house crying and saying that his father went to sleep and would not wake up. His father is dead, and the boy is left alone in the world without any known relatives, or friends. After a thorough examination of the house, it is found that he has only twenty British pounds to his name. The boy is adopted by an old couple who, when the time comes, send him to school. While studying, the parson's sixteen year old daughter takes a liking to the orphan and commits herself to teach young William Gilmore. Will takes to books like a fish to water, and soon surpasses all of his colleagues.
After some extraordinary events he and his friend, Tom Stevens, enter the Royal Navy, serving on board the HMS Furious. Will, thanks to his intellectual achievements, as well as certain services to the lieutenant, is soon promoted.
After taking several prizes in the Mediterranean, the captain of the Furious is ordered to the West Indies, where Will proves his metal again. Soon his actions attract the attention of the Admiral, and Will is made the commander of a small schooner recently captured. His mission is to police the British West Indies, and rid it of any piratical operations.
Within a few months Will captures several small prizes. According to previous orders, he hangs the piratical crews on the spot, so they wouldn't slow the ship down taking the prisoners nor restrain his crew to guard them. Will also captures two schooners bigger than him in the same fight, earning him great renown.
Will gets captured a total of three times in this story, and manages to escape by his conduct and courage. In the end he marries a girl he saved from pirates, and lives to be a very old man with many children.
— Calico Zak