The Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson (1888) 249 p.

This one was a bit of a disappointment after Kidnapped. Set in fifteenth century England during the War of Roses, it follows young Dick Shelton as he dicovers his guardian plotting against him, and flees, and gets caught up with some outlaws, and tries to find the girl he loves… at some point there’s a battle. Also they steal a guy’s ship and then wreck it. Thing is, all the dialogue (and much of the prose) is written in archaic English, which makes following the plot quite difficult. As with Rudyard Kipling’s Kim, it was a chore to read and I only had a general idea of what was happening most of the time. Apparently everybody else concurred, from critics to readers to Stevenson himself, who referred to it as “tushery.” A waste of time for all involved! I’ll prrobably still read Treasure Island at some point.