In the Belly of the Bloodhound: Being an Account of a Particularly Peculiar Adventure in the Life of Jacky Faber (Bloody Jack Adventure Series #4)

In the Belly of the Bloodhound: Being an Account of a Particularly Peculiar Adventure in the Life of Jacky Faber (Bloody Jack Adventure Series #4)

by L. A. Meyer

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The British crown has placed a price on Jacky's head, so she returns to the Lawson Peabody School for Young Girls in Boston to lay low. But the safe haven doesn't last--a school outing goes awry as Jacky and her classmates are abducted and forced into the hold of the Bloodhound, a ship bound for the slave markets on the Barbary Coast. All of Jacky's ingenuity, determination, and plain old good luck will be put to the test as she rallies her delicate classmates to fight together and become their own rescuers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780547415888
Publisher: HMH Books
Publication date: 05/01/2008
Series: Bloody Jack Adventure Series , #4
Sold by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 528
Sales rank: 379,295
Lexile: 960L (what's this?)
File size: 5 MB
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

L. A. MEYER is the author of the Bloody Jack Adventures series, which has been praised for its spirited heroine and rousing sense of adventure. Mr. Meyer lives in Corea, Maine.


L. A. Meyer (1942–2014) was the acclaimed writer of the Bloody Jack Adventure series, which follows the exploits of an impetuous heroine who has fought her way up from the squalid streets of London to become an adventurer of the highest order. Mr. Meyer was an art teacher, an illustrator, a designer, a naval officer, and a gallery owner. All of those experiences helped him in the writing of his curious tales of the beloved Jacky Faber. Visit for more information on the author and his books.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1
December 1, 1805
Any old port in a storm. That’s what I’m thinking as I carefully weave my little boat through the ships in the crowded harbor. I’ve seen many ports and I’ve weathered many storms and good old Boston Harbor is looking right good to me at this moment. Hmmm . . . be wary, though, girl. There’s three British warships lying over there at Long Wharf. Got to steer clear of them, for sure, as the men on board could have heard of the price that’s on my poor head and might be of a mind to try to collect it. My head, that is . . . Imagine that . . . a reward of two hundred and fifty pounds, and all for the body of one insignificant girl— a full Royal Navy captain’s pay for a year, and wouldn’t some lucky sailor like to nab that?
 As I clear the end of Long Wharf, I pull my cap further down over my face and sail on. Don’t mind me, Sirs. Just a simple fisher lass heading home, nothing more.
 Now I start working my way over to the land. I’m remembering that there’s an open bit of gravelly beach between Howard’s and Codman’s wharves, and that is where I’m of a mind to land. The wind is fair and my sail is drawing well and I’m cutting neatly through boats and ships that are anchored out. I pull in a bit closer and look over at the warships. They could see me from where they lay, if they cared to look. But who cares about some fishmonger’s dutiful daughter out plying her family’s trade? That’s what I’m thinking. Or hoping. But, oh Sirs— you, my fellow countrymen and fellow sailors— if only you knew what has happened at Trafalgar, you would not be sitting so peacefully here. It’s plain they haven’t gotten the word yet.
 Codman’s Wharf passes on my port side and I throw the tiller over and bring the sail in close-hauled. When I hear and feel the scrape of the bottom on my keel, I loose the sail and the Morning Star slips her nose up elegantly onto the beach. Pretty neat sailing, old girl, I’m thinking, patting her gunwale affectionately. I know it’s been a long trip for the both of us, from Trafalgar to here, that’s for sure, and now you just rest.
 For a moment I sit there in wonder at being back in Boston again, then I go forward and loosen the halyard, letting the sail and its booms collapse to the deck. I’m about to gather it in and wrap it up, when there’s a noise behind me and I spin around in alarm, my shiv out of my vest and in my hand. By God, they’re not going to take me without—
 But it is nothing but a boy. A very ragged and dirty boy, to be sure, but just a boy. He is the very picture of a wharf rat, a breed with which I am very familiar, having once been one myself, back when I lived under London’s Blackfriars Bridge as a member in good standing of the Rooster Charlie Gang of Naked Orphans. Blackfriars Bridge was real close to the docks on the Thames, so, yes, I know this kind of boy quite well.
“Need some help, Missy?” he says with hope in his voice. It’s plain from the ribs sticking out under his too-short shirt that he hasn’t eaten in a while and he looks real willin’ to earn a penny. Well, I can’t argue with that, as I’m all for youthful spunk and enterprise. I slide my knife back in my vest.
 “Well, maybe. Help me stow the sail.”
He leaps on board to help me wrap the sail around the boom, and we lash it down tight with the mainsheet and secure it to its stay post.
 “There, Missy, tight as a drum. Anything else? Polish your brass, shine up your brightwork, varnish your oars?”
This one is younger than me— maybe thirteen, fourteen. His hair is held back with a piece of old twine and I can see both his knees through the rips in the trousers that end raggedly at his calves. He is, of course, barefoot.
 “You can see, young Master Wharf Rat, that the Morning Star has neither brass work nor brightwork, nor do her oars need varnishing,” I say severely, in my best Naval Officer voice, “but you may, if you wish to earn a penny, watch over her till I return, which might be today, or might be tomorrow. If you know a place where she can be moored . . .”
“Oh, yes, Missy. See that pier over by the market? I’ll tie it up there. So many fishing boats go in and out of there that they’ll never notice us.”
 “All right,” I say. I dig in the purse that hangs by my side and pull out a penny and flip it to him. “Go spend this on something to eat first and then tend to moving her. And mark me—  This is the Morning Star and she is a her, not an it. Do you get that?”
He nods.
 “You can do it by yourself?”
 “Oh, yes, Missy, I’m a thoroughgoing seaman! I’ll get her anywhere you need her.”
 I give a quick snort. “Very well, Seaman . . . What is your name, boy?”
 “Tanner, Missy. Jim Tanner.”

 Copyright © 2006 by L. A. Meyer
 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
 Requests for permission to make copies of any part of the work should be submitted online at or mailed to the following address: Permissions Department,
Harcourt, Inc., 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, Florida 32887-6777.

Customer Reviews

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In the Belly of the Bloodhound 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 101 reviews.
Orla More than 1 year ago
While reading this book I felt like I was in the belly of the Bloodhound. I could hear the chains rattling and the ship creaking with every toss of a wave. Louis Meyer is, in my opinion, an extraordinary writer. He makes the words literally come alive. Jacky's courage and bravado are an example every girl should follow.
sadie_leona More than 1 year ago
These novels are AWESOME! Someone who DOESN'T read LA Meyer is missing something! His writing is a real treat!
Guest More than 1 year ago
When Jacky makes it back to the rebuilt Lawson Peabody School for Young Girls, she doesn't expect to be welcomed. Surprisingly, she is taken in once again. But her peace-and-quiet doesn't last long when she and her classmates are abducted and forced onto a slave ship, the Bloodhound. Jacky, not even with all her wit and craftiness, can get the girls out of this predicament without some help. And if that means help from enemies, so be it. Who knew there could be so much adventure while stuck on a slaver? Mr. Meyer's writing blows my mind, as always. This is a truly amazing tale, and I recommend it to anyone. This is definitely one of my favorite books in the series.
Guest More than 1 year ago
very fabulous. Jacky Faber is my hero. she is not shy about what she thinks and she is strong and just a great role model. plus the book is beautifully written and it just sucks you into the book. For me any book that can do that has got to be a good one. its funny, scary, exciting.... everything! Jacky Faber Rules!!!!!!
bookappeal on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Jacky Faber, wanted by the British navy for her exploits in piracy, returns to Boston to lay low at the Lawson Peabody School for Young Girls. But where Jacky goes, trouble follows. The girls embark on a science outing and end up kidnapped and on their way to being sold in slavery to Arab sheiks. Jacky, of course, develops a plan of escape, building the elements slowly while using the particular skills of each girl. High adventure, great humor, and interesting relationships.
tiamatq on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Oh Jacky Faber... even on a simple school outing, you manage to get into the worst kind of trouble. Jacky has done her best to be good and keep a low profile; she returned to Boston and has stayed at the Lawson Peabody School for Young Girls, refraining from singing and dancing in the local bars or even sneaking out for a little fun. She knows that soon, Jaimy will be coming to meet her in Boston, and they can finally get married and spend their days together... albeit hiding from anyone looking to collect on the bounty on Jacky's head after the events of the previous book. So the one little ray of fun in Jacky's life will be a school field trip to one of the nearby islands to study wildlife and have a picnic. Except... isn't there always an except? Except this little outing turns into a kidnapping, and the girls of the Lawson Peabody find themselves trapped on a slaver called The Bloodhound. Jacky rallies the girls, with the leadership of Dolly and (of all people!) Clarissa, making plans for their escape. This book is perhaps the most brutal in the series (as far as I've read), in that it deals with the realities of slavery, rape, betrayal, and the hopeless situation of the Lawson Peabody girls. Despite the heaviness of some of the subjects, I enjoyed it immensely. This is almost a character study, taking so many of the side characters from the Lawson Peabody (just how many times am I going to type that out?) and fleshing them out, giving them back-stories, and showing that you can't judge them by Jacky's initial impression. I never thought I would become so attached to Clarissa, who we learn has a dark history and a fighting spirit that rivals Jacky's. We get to see the resourcefulness of the girls, and also that Jacky is not necessarily unique in her strength and quick wits.If there was anything that bothered me about this book, it was Jacky's Cheapside stories. In an effort to keep up a daily routine, the girls schedule all sorts of things for themselves, including a bed-time story from Jacky. At first, she tells them of her previous adventures before returning to Boston. Then she goes on to talk about her old gang and adventures with Rooster Charlie. I suspect we're learning these stories for future events (after all, Jacky seems to constantly be running into old friends all over the world, including on the Bloodhound), and it gets a little tiresome. I was much more excited about the plans and events on the Bloodhound and didn't want to hear this history.Okay, so the short version (after all that typing), is that this is an amazing book in the series and well worth reading. If for nothing else, read this for Clarissa!
abbylibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another installment in the adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, expertly narrated by the inimitable Katherine Kellgren. This is an audiobook series I always turn to when I need a REALLY GOOD listen. Lots of adventure and mayhem as Jacky and the girls from the Lawson Peabody School for Young Girls are abducted by slavers and have to figure out how to rescue themselves from the belly of The Bloodhound.
Jessica_Brianne on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another great installment in the series about Jacky Faber, ship's boy, fine lady, privateer, and possible slave? This completely unbelievable adventure (really, how much trouble can one girl get into?) is highly entertaining. L. A. Meyer has no trouble keeping up the status quo with Jacky's misadventures and does not disappoint in the fourth book of the series.
hoosgracie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is Jacky's most harrowing adventure yet, when she and the girls of the Lawson Peabody are kidnapped and put on a slave ship.
lilibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The fourth adventure of Jacky Faber, pirate, sailor, schoolgirl and entrepreneur.
eenerd on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The fourth book in the Bloody Jack series by L.A. Meyer. Slightly darker, as Jacky gets older. In this adventure the ladies of the Lawson Peabody School for Young Girls are abducted by a notorious slaver in the guise of a pleasure-boat captain. Jacky & her arch nemesis, Clarissa Worthington Howe, must join forces to save themselves & the rest of teh girls from the slave markets of North Africa.
maryloudinon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Jackie Faber, pirate and wanted by the king of England, is kidnapped, along with 31 other students, to be sold into slavery in North Africa. She organizes the women and contrives to overtake the ship.
knielsen83 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
These books are simply amazing. The characters are complex and interesting, the adventures heart-stopping and Meyer leaves you constantly wanting more. The book once again ends with a cliffhanger that made me want to run to every library to see if they have the latest copy. Jacky is a girl who you can't help but love although her ways are a bit... peculiar. I hope this series never ends!
exa137 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
another exciting entry in the series. go girl power!
la_librarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Slow, slow start but fabulous through the middle and end. Can't wait till the next adventure...
snapplechick on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love all of these books and this may be one of the best!!! Different from the other books in a surprising and funny way. When Jacky and the girls are kidnapped by slave traders they have to band together to get out of it! JAcky has to use all her wit, cunning-and patience- to get these girls back home!
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The previous book in this series really slowed down and lost the charm of the original for me, but this one picks it right back up again! It took a bit to get to the capture part, but for me, when the story got slow it didn't take long to once again be hard to put down. Gotta love those Lawson ladies!
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