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    Martin Rattler R. M. Ballantyne       EDITOR‘S NOTE “MARTIN RATTLER” was one of, Robert Michael Ballantyne‘s early books. Born at Edinburgh in 1825, he was sent to Rupert‘s Land as atrading-clerk in the Hudson Bay Fur Company‘s service when he leftschool, a boy of sixteen. There, to relieve his home-sickness, he firstpractised his pen in long letters home to his mother. Soon after hisreturn to Scotland in 1848 he published a first book on Hudson‘sBay. Then he passed some years in a Scottish publisher‘s office; andin 1855 a chance suggestion from another publisher led to his writinghis first book for boys—“Snowflakes and Sunbeams, or The YoungFur Traders.” That story showed he had found his vocation, and hepoured forth its successors to the tune in all of some fourscorevolumes. “Martin Rattler” appeared in 1858. In his “PersonalReminiscences” Ballantyne wrote: “How many thousands of ladshave an intense liking for the idea of a sailor‘s life!” and he pointedout there the other side of the romantic picture: the long watches “indirty unromantic weather,” and the hard work of holystoning thedecks, scraping down the masts and cleaning out the coal-hole. Butthough his books show something of this reverse side too, there is nodoubt they have helped to set many boys dreaming of“Wrecks, buccaneers, black flags, and desert landsOn which, alone, the second Crusoe stands.”Among these persuasions to the life of adventure “Martin Rattler” isstill one of the favourite among all his books. Ballantyne himself wasfated to die on foreign soil in 1894, at Rome, where he lies buried inthe English Protestant cemetery.The following is a list of Ballantyne‘s chief romances, tales ofadventure, and descriptive works:—“Hudson‘s Bay, or Every-day Life in the Wilds of North America,”etc., 1848; “Snowflakes and Sunbeams, or the Young Fur Traders,”1856. In 1857 and 1858 appeared, under the pseudonym of “Comus”:“The Butterfly‘s Ball and the Grasshopper‘s Feast” (in verse byRoscoe), ed. with music, coloured illustrations, and a prose version;“Mister Fox”; “My Mother”; “The Robber Kitten” (by the author of“Three Little Kittens”). “The Coral Island, a Tale of the PacificOcean” (with a preface subscribed “Ralph Rover”), 1858 (1857);   “Ungava, a Tale of Esquimaux Land,” 1858 (1857); “Martin Rattler,or a Boy‘s Adventures in the Forests of Brazil,” 1858; “Ships, the Great Eastern and lesser Craft” (with illustrations), 1859; “Mee-a-ow!or Good Advice to Cats and Kittens,” 1859; “The World of Ice, orAdventures in the Polar Regions,” 1860 (1859); “The Dog Crusoe, aTale of the Western Prairies,” 1861 (1860); “The Golden Dream, orAdventures in the Far West,” 1861 (1860); “The Gorilla Hunters, aTale of the Wilds of Africa,” 1861; “The Red Eric, or the Whaler‘sLast Cruise,” 1861; “Man on the Ocean, a Book for Boys,” 1863(1862); “The Wild Man of the West, a Tale of the Rocky Mountains,”1863 (1862); “Gascoyne, the Sandal-wood Trader, a Tale of thePacific,” 1864 (1863); “The Lifeboat, a Tale of our Coast Heroes,”1864; “Freaks on the Fells, or Three Months’ Rustication,” and “WhyI did not become a Sailor,” etc., 1865 (1861); “The Lighthouse, beingthe Story of a Great Fight between Man and the Sea,” etc., 1865;“Shifting Winds, a Tough Yarn,” etc., 1866; “Silver Lake, or Lost inthe Snow,” 1867; “A Rescue in the Rocky Mountains,” 1867;“Fighting the Flames, a Tale of the London Fire Brigade,” 1868;“Away in the Wilderness, or Life among the Red Indians and FurTraders of North America,” 1869; “Erling the Bold, a Tale of theNorse Sea-kings,” with illustrations by the author, 1869; “DeepDown, a Tale of the Cornish Mines,” 1869; “The Floating Light of theGoodwin Sands,” with illustrations by the author, 1870; “The IronHorse, or Life on the Line, a Tale of the Grand National TrunkRailway,” 1871; “The Norsemen in the West, or America beforeColumbus,” 1872; “The Pioneers, a Tale of the Western Wilderness,illustrative of the Adventures and Discoveries of Sir A. Mackenzie,”1872; “Black Ivory, a Tale of Adventure among the Slaves of EastAfrica,” 1873; “Life in the Red Brigade, a Story for Boys,” 1873; “TheOcean and its Wonders,” 1874; “The Pirate City, an Algerine Tale,”1875; “Under the Waves, or Diving in Deep Waters,” 1876; “Rivers ofIce, a Tale illustrative of Alpine Adventure and Glacier Action,”1876; “The Settler and the Savage, a Tale of Peace and War in SouthAfrica,” 1877; “Jarwin and Cuffy” (Incident and Adventure Library),1878; “In the Track of the Troops, a Tale of Modern War,” 1878; “SixMonths at the Cape, or Letters to Periwinkle from South Africa,”1879 (1878); “Post Haste, a Tale of Her Majesty‘s Mails,” 1880 (1879);“The Red Man‘s Revenge, a Tale of the Red River Flood,” 1880;“Philosopher Jack, a Tale of the Southern Seas,” 1880; “The LonelyIsland, or the Refuge of the Mutineers,” 1880; “The Robber Kitten”(in volume of tales by two or three authors), 1880; “The CollectedWorks of Ensign Sopht, late of the Volunteers, illustrated byhimself,” 1881; “My Doggie and I,” etc., 1881; “The Giant of the
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