A nineteenth-century volume of nautical lore provides the following story of a strange incident at sea. In 1818 there was a ship—its name is not recorded by the tale’s author—on its homeward voyage from Jamaica to Whitehaven, England. One of the passengers was a young mother with her infant child, who was only several weeks old. One day, the ship’s captain saw something on the horizon, and offered his spyglass to the mother, so that she might for herself see what it was. She wrapped her child in her shawl and placed it carefully on the seat where she had been sitting.
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