Nick Carter Before The Mast

| January 18, 2013

Nick Carter Detective Library

Nick Carter Before The Mast
Or, A Sea Mystery
By Frederic Van Rensselaer Dey

This is issue #8 in the Nick Carter Detective Library, originally published September 26, 1891 by Frederic Van Rensselaer Dey.

Nick Carter never could be certain where his next case might come from. Many of them came at the request of Thomas Byrnes, the legendary inspector (later superintendent) of police in New York City. Such a one was the case that found him sailing before the mast on the yacht Water Witch owned by Gordon Cummings.

It is as complex a case as any and involves smuggling, murder and mistaken identity. Charles and Robert Gordon are brothers and are suspected of being smugglers as well. When Charles Gordon’s wife is murdered Byrnes suspects the murderer to be her own sister Lotus Benson. He also suspects that Charles Gordon and the yacht owner Charles Cummings to be one and the same. Byrnes asks Nick to investigate so the ace detective and his assistant Chick row out to the Water Witch. For once Nick is puzzled and cannot find anything on board the ship that suggests an answer to any part of the mystery.

Enter James Meredith who engages Byrnes to investigate in the belief the Gordon brothers are smugglers and responsible for the disappearance of his sister Mona. Meredith’s secretary calls on Nick to tell them that his employer has died and hires the detective to find Meredith’s sister. As soon as the secretary leaves Nick signals Chick to follow him. He then disguises himself as a sailor and proceeds to the battery. On board the Water Witch Nick encounters Chick and the two compare notes.

Nick always had a peculiar sense of humor and he is not above playing tricks on those he has been hired to observe. On board the yacht he disguises himself in the traditional red costume of the devil himself. The crew doesn’t know what to believe and doesn’t know who this strange devil figure is who follows them about.

This bizarre disguise allows Nick to make some astute observations, such as determining the differences in the manner two men put their feet down in walking and thus identifying the men. It also allows him to make discoveries about the two Gordon or Cummings brothers that he might not have made otherwise. Their real identities are startling revelations indeed.

J. Randolph Cox
Former Editor of Dime Novel Roundup.
World’s Leading Authority on the Nick Carter Detective Series.


We have recovered the full length novel of Nick Carter Before The Mast and reproduced it for immediate download in Adobe Acrobat PDF format.

Category: Nick Carter

Dave Buchanan

About the Author ()

While I'm not the author of the books on this website, I'm a treasure hunter of sorts, collecting, archiving and reproducing rare, out-of-print books from some of the most talented writers in the world. Dime Novel Castle was created to be an online library featuring some of the world’s most famous characters from the dime novel era. My goal is to create textually correct reproductions of select rare, out-of-print Dime Novels and serials, published from 1860 thru 1915. My team of researchers has searched all over the country in order to locate the original newspapers, books and manuscripts. Each page of the original publication is scanned and archived in order to preserve the author's place in history and pass these great stories on to future generations.

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