The Vital Spark by Neil Munro


A collection of humorous short stories involving Captain Para Handy and his Clyde Puffer, The Vital Spark, the ‘smertest boat in the tred!’


Ever wonder what it was like to be the Captain of a Clyde Puffer — that is, a steamship on the beautiful lochs of the Scots highlands at the beginning of the twentieth century? Enter now the captivating world of Captain Para Handy and the irascible crew of The Vital Spark, called by it’s captain “the best boat in the tread.” Join Para Handy, (or, rather, Captain John Macfarlane, his real name) and his crew of characters, the wondrous Hurricane Jack, the effete engineer Dan Macphail, the superstitious ship’s mate Dougie, Colin the Tar and his cousin Davie Green. Para Handy loses command of his beloved boat — for a while. Read about a lost child, and the startling fate of a canary. Chuckle over Dougie’s payday trouble with his wife. Plus a very odd Scots recipe.

First published in 1906.
In Para Handy and Other Tales Edinburgh : Blackwood, 1931.
In Highland Harbours with Para Handy SS Vital Spark Edinburgh : Blackwood, 1911.


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