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Coffin Ship to America, Part 2



Coffin Ship to America, Part 2
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   3.3

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    gaunt, hair-that, matron, quay, possibility, coffin, domestic, infirmary, hailed, crossing, possibly, sheer, clutched, among, port, date
     content words:    Patrick Morran, Brigit Morran


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Coffin Ship to America, Part 2
By Mary Lynn Bushong
  

1     Patrick Morran waited on the Philadelphia quay. His thick cloak was wrapped warmly around him against the cold October wind that ruffled his red hair. Gray clouds hanging low over the city suggested a possibility of snow.
 
2     He had been told the Raven's Wing would be at port around this time. No one could be sure of the exact date. He scanned the nearby ships. Many were in a terrible state. The sick were being unloaded from one on stretchers. Some of the other gaunt passengers struggled from the ship, barely able to hold their possessions, never mind take in where they were.
 
3     Compassion rose in Patrick's heart. This must have been a coffin ship. How terrible their crossing must have been.
 
4     It was then he spied the name of the next ship over. It was the ship he was looking for. It looked even worse than the one he'd just seen. Worse still, there were no passengers to be seen. Where was his family?
 
5     Patrick hailed the single sailor he saw on deck, "When did you make port? Where are the passengers?"
 
6     "We got in two days ago. The passengers were put off when we arrived. Those that could walk off, of course. The rest were taken to the nearest hospital."
 
7     "What about the Morran family? Do you remember them?" asked Patrick urgently.
 
8     "They all died save one, a young girl with red hair. I remember the hair. I don't know where she went, though."

Paragraphs 9 to 19:
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