Arbeat Publishers

Fortuyn’s Ghost

Written by Mark Greenwood, illus by Mark Wilson
University of West Australia Press

Old seafarers believe an ancient vessel, veiled in spray, still plies the storm-tossed waters. Once every year, on a three-quarter moon, a bell tolls, marking the minutes to midnight. And a rotted timber backbone slowly rises from a watery grave…

In 1724 the Fortuyn vanished after leaving the Cape of Africa. The Dutch East India Company ship was bound for Batavia, where a lucrative trade in exotic spices beckoned. Stowed below deck the Company’s trading cash, a rich cargo of silver ingots, bullion and coins, was sealed in ten oak money chests. Fortuyn’s Ghost imagines that fateful voyage to its likely end on Western Australia’s treacherous Shipwreck Coast, a place well known for nautical hauntings.

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