The Last Boyage of The Ghost Ship
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
This story describes how a boy deepens his observation and at last how he grows out of boyhood.
The boy has become a strong new man and he wants to show how he has changed. Many years before he had seen a large ship without lights and without any sound. One night it passed by his village. It was long and tall. It sailed to the other side of the baby (sea). When the lights of the lighthouse (beacon) fell on it, it disappeared and when there were no lights it would reappear. Something must have gone wrong because it moved to the sand bank, ran on the ground, broke up and sand without a single sound. Actually after happening all this, it had to produce a large explosive noise. The next day he knew that it was his dream. He could see no sign of the ship. He could see the hunts on the seashore and the smugglers’ ships on the sea. But he didn’t tell anyone about it.
The following March he saw the ship moving in the wrong direction as in the first time. He was sure that he was awake and ran to tell his mother. She was very sad. She supposed that his brain was decayed. She had to go to town to buy a chair. So she asked a boatman to watch over her son. But he saw the fish and hairs, not the ship. The son was so stubborn and she had to promise to watch the ship the next March. She sat on the chair thinking of her dead husband. She was excited and died. After this, four other women also died when they sat on this chair and they threw the evil chair into the sea.
The boy was and orphan now. He didn’t like to live by charity. He stole fish out of the boats. His voice was becoming louder. He looked to the sea another night in March. He saw the big whale. The dogs were barking and the women were afraid. Even the oldest men remembered how their great-grandfather had crawled under their beds. Those who ran into the street didn’t see the ship which was lost again in the east and raised up the following year. But they beat the boy. They left him twisted. He was extremely angry and wanted to show who he was. He did not tell anyone about his plan next year.
On the eve of the appearance of the ghost ship, he was going to steal a boat, cross the bay and spend the evening for it. He was lost in his adventure and didn’t notice the usual thing: the ivory statuette, the Dutch Negroes and the Malayans. It was night and he was rowing in the stolen boat to the month of the bay. He didn’t light the lantern not to alert the customs police. Every fifteen seconds , the light of the lighthouse home. He was getting close to the buoys. The light looked cruel and the water sad.The night was very dark as if the stars were dead. Now the ship was there. It was very large and there was no light because there was the light of the lighthouse it all disappeared. He stayed alone not knowing what to do. When the light passed, the ship appeared again. Its compasses were out of order and it was moving to the sand bank. Suddenly it occurred to him that the sould light the lantern. When he lighted it, the ship corrected its course and it was a rebirth. The animal corpses went to the bottom and the routine of life came to normal. He was still angry. He wanted to show the cowards who he was. He rowed his boat in front of the ship. He was guiding the pilot. The ship seemed to be under his control. Even the lights of the lighthouse didn’t make it invisible.
The crosses of the church, the misery of the house, and the illusion were very dear. The ship still followed him. The pilot must have mistaken and then there was a roar of the whistle bursting forth. He was soaked with the downpour of system. His boat was about to upturn. The whole village was bright with the ship light. A second before the ship broke the ground. Then the light came out and it was no longer a March morning, but a bright a noon of Wednesday. Now he could see the surprised other one was on the ground in front of the church. It was taller and larger than the village with its name engraved in iron letters, Halaesillog. The waters of the sea of death were dripping down its sides.