Author: G. A. Henty
Publisher: Preston Speed Publications; Hardcover
Period: 19th century, 2nd Afghan War; Fiction
William Gale, so named by the guardians of the workhouse where he was left as a small child, knows nothing of his origins. Apprenticed at fifteen to the owner of a fishing smack, he survives shipwrecks and attacks by Malay pirates, finally reaching Calcutta, where he joins up with a British regiment that is on its way to Afghanistan. His resourcefulness and bravery under fire enable him to survive capture and imprisonment, ambush and attack. He is recommended for the Victoria Cross as a result of his heroics in defense of a convoy of wounded, and he gains an unexpected boon as a result of his rescue of Colonel Ripon from an assault by three Afghans in the streets of Candahar.