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The War of 1812
Ghost Ships of Lake Ontario, Part 3



Ghost Ships of Lake Ontario, Part 3
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   3.17

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    angular, archaeology, cutlasses, figurehead, grog, near-freezing, onscreen, ration, shipmate, squall, thriller, overboard, andrews, stark, successful, exhaustion
     content words:    John Bull, Davy Jones, Jack Mallet, Sailing Master, James Trant, Ned Myers, Captain Osgood, Suddenly Ned, Sailing Master Trant, Lord Nelson


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Ghost Ships of Lake Ontario, Part 3
By Toni Lee Robinson
  

1     August 1813
 
2     "Better a prisoner of John Bull than down below with Davy Jones," Tom said as they were pulled on board. A lantern shone in Ned's face. A slash of lightning lit up the deck. Suddenly, Ned saw a face he knew.
 
3     "Jack! Jack Mallet!" Looking around, Ned saw others he knew. There was the Sailing Master. Ned had served with James Trant before. This wasn't a British ship. They weren't prisoners after all! They were aboard the Julia, a U.S. schooner.
 
4     "It's Ned Myers!" cried Jack. "We thought you were British spies, up to no good. What are you doing paddling about in the middle of the lake? Who are these men with you?"
 
5     "The storm came upon us suddenly," Ned said. "The Scourge lay over on her side. I jumped, and several with me. I saw Captain Osgood climbing out from below decks. I didn't see it, but I think Scourge went down. I couldn't find her after..." Suddenly Ned felt weak. He passed his hand over his eyes.
 
6     Mallet reached to catch him. "Steady, Ned." Ned slid down onto a nearby gun. He closed his eyes. The moments before his leap into the water replayed over and over in his head.
 
7     Sailing Master Trant was shouting orders. "Here, Mallet! Andrews! Take a boat and see what you can find. There might be more out there." Quickly, the men rowed off. Ned and the others were taken below. Dry clothes and a ration of grog warmed them.
 
8     It had stopped raining by the time Julia's boat returned. Four more men had been found clinging to bits of ship's gear in the lake. Ned ran to them, eager to greet his shipmates. But the men were strangers. "You're not from the Scourge," Ned said, puzzled. The men stumbled on board. Exhaustion and shock etched their faces.

Paragraphs 9 to 22:
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