The Water Witch
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Alderman Myndert Van Beverout is Alida's uncle and steward, and he intends to have her marry the Patroon of Kindhook. He takes the whole wedding party on a boat to cross the river, but to his dismay they speak little to each other. When the boat is mismanaged by the crew, a young unnamed stranger takes over and expertly handles the small boat until the danger passes. While he does this, discourse ensues and they hear the story of "The Water-Witch," a brigantine that sails the rivers so expertly that it must be manned by a supernatural crew -- or so the story goes. But it was also said that "The Water-Witch" was also a boatload of buccaneers, pirating goods and selling them elsewhere. Alida is fascinated by this stranger who knows so much about the sea, but she is too much a lady to ask any more questions of this knowledgeable stranger.
She thinks nothing more of him after they leave the boat. Until he reappears into her life -- and she learns that the stranger is much more dangerous than she ever imagined.
James Fenimore Cooper was a 19th century writer best known for writing seafaring stories as well as romantic novels. His most celebrated work is "The Last of the Mohicans,"
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