Series: Written as Stephen Hockaby
The restless nature of sailor Tom Mansey pushes him to trade his work on a Thames dredger for a place on a coal cargo ship running the continental coast. A born boxer with the power to charm when he wishes, Tom's colorful family is left to its own devices when he's away: brother Leonard builds his life around the redemption of the Salvation Army and his kid sister Violet--who without exception is known as Vi-lert--is a serious contender to become an Olympics-caliber swimmer. Also left on shore is ex-girlfriend Daisy, who Tom has forcibly reunited with another paternal candidate so he could slip the knot himself, and Nancy, a meek girl who has fallen harder for the sailor than she would like. Tom's plans to pursue Nancy further are complicated when he is abandoned on the island of Madeira--with no tears shed by the bruisers on the ship's crew--and encouraged by the local bar owner to marry his daughter. Though he is fond of the kind and lovely Lucia, it's not part of Tom's plan, and he works as a mountain sled runner for the tourists until he can catch a ship and leave the impoverished island.
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