- Captains Courageous is an 1897 novel, by Rudyard Kipling, that follows the adventures of fifteen-year-old Harvey Cheyne Jr., the arrogant and spoiled son of a railroad tycoon. The novel originally appeared as a serialization in McClure's, beginning with the November 1896 edition. The book's title comes from the ballad "Mary Ambree", which starts, "When captains courageous, whom death could not daunt". Washed overboard from a transatlantic steamship and rescued by fishermen on the Grand Banks, the young Harvey cannot persuade them to take him ashore, nor convince them of his wealth. However, the Captain of the We're Here, Disko Troop, offers him a job as part of the crew until they return to port. With no other choice, Harvey accepts. There follows a series of trials and adventures where the boy learns to adjust to his rough new life, and with the help of his friend, the captain's son, Dan Troop, he makes fine progress. Eventually, the schooner returns to port and Harvey wires his parents. They rush to the fishing town (Gloucester, Massachusetts) and find to their amazement that their child has become an industrious, serious and considerate young man.