A Serialized Novel
A Story of My Travels with…
John F. Jung
New Creation Publishing, Tipp City, Ohio.
Joseph Shepherd is a historical novel. Some of the characters are easily
recognizable as important philosophers, inventors, writers, and even geniuses.
Care was given to be true to the events of the time period, and most events are
essentially historically accurate. Interactions between the historical characters
are part of the fiction, although many of these contemporaries did actually have
a relationship and had correspondence or interacted with one another.
Published in the United States by New Creation Publishing, Tipp City, Ohio.
© 2015 by John F. Jung
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval
system, or transmitted in any form or by any means- electronic, mechanical,
photocopy, recording or any other- except for brief quotations in printed reviews
without the prior permission of the author.
(By Dr. Luke Greene)
This journal of my adventures with Joseph Shepherd has been in the
making for many years. I have compiled years of my own diaries, journals,
letters, as well as notes from others, to try to accurately describe this amazing
journey I have had with my friend, Joseph Shepherd. Indeed, some of the
descriptions of Joseph’s journey, where I was not present, are quite detailed.
I urge the reader to follow this chronicle to the end to see how that information
was preserved for this account.
Joseph changed my life and the lives of many others – indeed perhaps
the course of history. Certainly, he has influenced generations since our
adventures began. While he told me of his journeys prior to meeting me, I
suspect that there is much he left out. His journeys seemed to encompass much
of the world, for there were few places with which he did not have some
familiarity. He had met some of the most amazing people – scholars, scientists,
theologians, philosophers, etc., and he felt at ease discussing with each of them
their particular area of knowledge. At the same time, he could feel just as at
ease talking with poor, ill, broken people, and be completely engaged in their
I have compiled this journal and committed it to the form of a book in
the hope that the reader may see that life is richer when the traveling
companion is a person of trust, one who challenges us beyond our comfort,
and one who helps us in the most difficult of circumstances. I trusted Joseph
Shepherd as my traveling companion, and I am glad that I made that choice…
Dr. Luke Greene
The small boat seemed to dance in the moonlight. Seen faintly off the
starboard bow of the man o’ war HMS Intrepid, the small craft appeared to be
empty. Boatswain Thomas Kent was the first to see the boat, and he seemed
strangely excited by the sighting. He was on his first voyage, as were many of
the seamen aboard the Intrepid. “Captain Braden,” Kent yelled, “there’s a boat
off starboard.” Kent peered into the moonlight with eyes squinted, but
concluded, “I can’t see a soul on it.”
Captain Braden was an unusual commander of a British fighting
vessel. He was a veteran of several campaigns, including the historic battle
with the Spanish Armada over thirty years ago. He was only a seaman at that
time, but that encounter had changed him in many ways. He was a very astute
leader, tough when he had to be, but generally much calmer than most of his
counterparts, and for this he had suffered the indignities of fellow officers. Yet
he maintained a dignity and grace that had won his crew’s allegiance over the
“Steer to starboard, Mr. Ross,” Braden commanded to the wheelhouse.
The great ship heaved to the right, making slow progress in the calm water. As
the Intrepid approached the little boat many of the crew came on deck and
strained to see what the change in course was about. Rumbles went through
the ranks of superstitious sailors. While a little excitement might be nice for a
mission that was nothing but a shakedown for the new warship, several of the
crew, mostly the veterans, questioned the idea of approaching an unknown
vessel, no matter what the size.
As the Intrepid crawled closer, silence gripped the lumbering ship.
The little boat, which had appeared to be empty, did indeed have an occupant.
A man lay face down in the boat, motionless, bloodstained, and tattered. He
appeared to be dead. “Board the boat Mr. Kent!” Braden ordered. Turning to
me Captain Braden said, “And you too, Doctor Greene.” I was not surprised
that he had asked me to board the boat. The poor devil in the boat was probably
dead, and he wanted me to verify the fact. Besides, Kent was just a young
fellow and might be a bit taken aback by the sight of a violent death. Several
of the Intrepid’s sailors had tasted death up close, but not Kent.
Mr. Kent and I struggled over the side of the now bobbing Intrepid,
and we boarded the smaller craft. The seas had picked up a bit, and there was
a breeze, which was making the little boat jump in the waves. This action must
have shaken our poor victim in the boat, for he suddenly lurched up as we
boarded his boat. Mr. Kent went for his dagger to subdue the stranger till I
screamed at him to stop.
“Mr. Kent,” I said, “this man is no danger to you; put down your
Embarrassed, Kent sheathed the dagger, but he grabbed the stranger
and pinned him to the boat as he rolled him over on his back.
“Who are you?” demanded Kent in a voice that was at once harsh and
The dazed stranger looked up at us and tried to determine where his
senses were. The man had been in the boat for some time, maybe
several days. His clothes were ragged and torn, his face and hands
burned terribly from the sun. The blood was dry, and his hair was
caked with it. His lips were parched white. His beard was caked with
salt that had dried in the sun. This man had been through an ordeal of
exposure, and he had sustained a serious blow to the head. He might
have other injuries too, but he could die from what I saw without a
further examination. There was a sack next to him that contained a jug,
some bread and a few salted fish – the kind that most sailing ships
carried as provisions.
“We need to bring him aboard the Intrepid if he is going to have any
chance to live,” I said.
Mr. Kent looked at me and said, “The Captain will make that
“I know that, Mr. Kent,” I said with growing anger. “Captain,
permission to bring this man aboard,” I yelled up to him.
Captain Braden did not hesitate to order the man brought aboard the
ship. Kent glared at me, with an expression that reflected some of the odd
superstition that prevailed on ships. Findings such as this were seen as bad
luck. Adding another soul on board, a stranger found in the middle of the night,
was surely a bad omen. I sighed as I stared at Kent and I said, “You will obey
the Captain’s order now, Mr. Kent.”
The man was hoisted up onto the Intrepid and brought to the infirmary,
which was next to my quarters. The stranger seemed to be coming to his senses
as I slipped a cup of water to his lips. He tried to drink heartily – a good sign,
but a bad idea, for he would surely vomit it out if he continued to gulp as he
did. I pulled his clothes off, and he was even able to assist me some in that
endeavor – another good sign. The man was of slight build, bearded, with very
dark hair, which was rather long and unkempt, matted with blood. It was
difficult to determine his age given his disheveled and broken appearance. He
was not the most attractive of men, but his eyes were expressive and piercing.
His dark, ruddy complexion was evident despite terrible sunburn from
exposure in the boat. He was somewhat small in stature, but muscular. I finally
judged him to be in his early to mid-thirties, about my age, but it was a little
hard to determine. As I looked him over I saw bruises over much of his body
and a few telltale marks of a lash on his back. The blow to the head had not
fractured his skull, and I could not determine any other external injuries. If
there were internal injuries, I suspected that he probably would already have
died from them. I also determined that he had not been unconscious the entire
time he was on the boat, because he had been drinking water from the jug.
Even though he was dehydrated, he had obviously drunk some water over the
past several days.
“What is your name, sir?” I asked, hoping to determine his level of
clarity of mind as well as to find out more about him. He looked blankly at me
for a moment as if I had asked him to name the stars.
“Shepherd,” he said softly. “Joseph Shepherd.”
“Where are you from, and what were you doing in that boat?” I
inquired. He struggled to come up with the energy to speak. “No,” I said, “you
do not need to talk. I’m sorry that I asked you so much so quickly. You just
rest now, and in the morning I will bring you something to eat.”
I spent the rest of the night in the infirmary with him to make sure that
he would make it until the morning. I had seen cases before where men had
looked like they were going to recover, and then they just slipped away into a
coma. Where was this man from, and what was he doing in that boat? I was
very curious about this man’s past. Was he a criminal? What did he do to get
such a beating? He had apparently been cast from a ship, but what had he done
to deserve this fate?
The Intrepid had proceeded smoothly through her maiden voyage up
until this point. The seas had been calm through this summer cruise into the
mid-Atlantic. The Intrepid had performed well as the crew put her through her
paces. The guns had been fired without incident, and the sailors were awed at
the firepower of these new cannon. The larger sails and the sleeker hull design
of this ship made her the fastest of her class of warships. The latest navigation
equipment was on board, including the latest clock design, which allowed
more precise guidance from the stars to better determine longitude. Her crew
was beginning to gain confidence in the performance of this vessel. The
Intrepid could hold her own against any ship on the sea. Now it appeared that
she would have to show her ability to handle her first storm.
The crew was growing wary of the brewing storm, but they only talked
about the new passenger. It was not good luck to discuss a storm, so they talked
about Mr. Shepherd, though they, and I, knew nothing about him. As I came
into the mess, I heard the crude remarks of Seaman Pratt about the addition of
our passenger. “I been sailing for twenty years and never seen good out of
picking up the dregs of another ship,” he snorted. “I say we should have let the
bastard die like he was supposed to!”
“Mr. Pratt,” I called, “do you know where Mr. Shepherd has come
“Who is Mr. Shepherd?” yelled Pratt.
“I see you do not even know his name, but you know where he is from
and what he did!” I said. Several sailors laughed at Pratt, as I had hoped. Pratt
was a rather loathsome sort, and in need of someone to occasionally remind
him of it. I enjoyed this job greatly, and the crew often enjoyed it as well.
“Doctor Greene knows something about this new man,” said Pratt.
“Tell us what you know!” he demanded.
“I know that his name is Joseph Shepherd and that he is an injured
man. It is my duty to treat him, and that is all I know about him. The difference
between you and me, Mr. Pratt, is that when I do not know something, I do not
make up wild tales about the things of which I am ignorant.” At that I left the
mess area to the laughter of the crew and the curses of Pratt.
I went back to the infirmary on the lower deck, and found the footing
a little harder due to the pitch and roll of the ship. Upon entering the infirmary,
I found Shepherd vomiting up the little water I had given him. I had seen this
before with men who had sustained blows to the head. Mr. Shepherd was
suffering, but he was silent, and was not calling out to me in curses as other
sailors I had often treated. As I approached Mr. Shepherd, I saw Captain
Braden enter the infirmary. He looked pale, and he complained of aches and a
fever. I bid him to sit for an examination. He was indeed warm to the touch,
and he winced as he lifted his arms for my examination for swelling in the
limbs. I told him to lie down and rest, but he declined, stating that he had no
time for rest as a storm approached. He asked me for some medicine to relieve
the pain in his neck. His neck was swollen, and he appeared to be glazed in his
eyes. “Captain Braden, I believe that you would do well with a night’s rest. We
can ride out this storm.”
He looked at me with a strange glance, rose from the chair and said,
“I have no time for that man; I must be back up on deck!”
I knew that something was dreadfully wrong. Captain Braden was a
man of clear-headed logic, not given to impulse and whimsy. He was, I
presumed, becoming delirious with fever. He had not shown any symptoms
prior to this, so this illness, whatever it was, had come on very quickly.
As I was thinking about this latest of concerns, the ship rocked
violently as she was hit by a wave. The storm appeared to be approaching gale
status, and the ship was being tested very quickly on her first voyage. Cargo
was shifted on the lower deck as I heard a tremendous crash of barrels and
crates below ship. The crew had evidently failed to secure the provisions and
ammunition properly. I hoped that this mistake would not prove to be fatal.
Swamped food and cannon balls rolling around under me gave me a chill as I
thought about it. What kind of crew did we have on this ship?
The ship continued to be slammed by the storm, and the curses and
yells of fearful and angry crewmen filled the air. The crew was now working
hard to keep the Intrepid from being torn apart by the storm. I heard Mr. Pratt
screaming to Captain Braden.
“It’s that man Shepherd that you brought on board that’s caused this!
As soon as he was brought on board, this ship was doomed!”
Pratt was now raving, and I wondered if Captain Braden was able to
bear up under this madness in his condition. Others of the crew were starting
to believe the story of the frightened Pratt. They would be ready to throw
Shepherd overboard if they thought that would calm the storm. Suddenly, the
wind died down and the rain, which had been driving sheets, settled into a
steady downpour. This storm, which just seconds before looked to be disaster,
was now just a rainy night at sea.
As I looked up at the crew now beginning to pile in below deck, I saw
them staring at Mr. Shepherd, who was standing with his hands raised near the
entrance to the infirmary.
“Mr. Shepherd!” I blurted out. I was dumbstruck to see Mr. Shepherd
up and about. He had put on an extra set of clothes stored in the infirmary,
looking to be greatly recovered from his recent ordeal. He was standing
straight, and I noticed that he was rather short of stature, since this was the first
time I had ever seen him on his feet. His beard was rather scruffy from all the
time in the small boat. Yet he carried himself with dignity, despite his
bedraggled appearance – unshaven and in clothes not even his own. He seemed
oblivious to the stares of the crew, and he appeared to be talking to himself.
“Good God,” I thought, “has everyone on this ship gone mad?”
After a few moments, Mr. Shepherd turned and walked toward me.
“Mr. Shepherd, how is it that you are walking around? I was not sure that you
were going to be able to get out of bed for some time!” I said.
“I am feeling much better, Dr. Greene,” he said calmly. He called me
by name, which surprised me no less than his amazing recovery.
“And you know my name as well,” I said.
“Yes,” he replied, “I heard Captain Braden address you just a little
“Where are you from?” demanded Mr. Pratt.
“I fear that I have had a serious blow to my head and I cannot
remember very much of anything until this past hour,” Shepherd replied softly.
“We picked you up off a little boat floating in the sea. We reckoned
that you was thrown off a ship and left to die,” Pratt said.
“You may be right, sir,” replied Shepherd, “for I cannot remember
anything until I was taken aboard this vessel.”
I surmised that he was from England, given his command of the
language – an educated man, and not a seaman. What he was doing in that little
boat was a mystery, but so was everything about this man. He seemed to be a
gentle man, but not afraid of this situation which confronted him. His behavior
during the storm was most curious – rising from his sick bed to standing up on
a rolling ship in the middle of very rough seas. For not being a sailor, he
seemed to have sea legs, and a calm that belied his disposition and his physical
state. Truly, this man was a curiosity.