Fr. Joseph Spillmann was born at Zug, Switzerland, April 22, 1842. He joined the Jesuits and in 1874 was ordained priest.
Due to his poetic gifts he was assigned to work on various periodicals. Spillmann's literary activity resulted chiefly from his connection
with these periodicals, especially the Katholische Missionen, which he edited from 1880-90. His Tales of Foreign Lands series
contains 21 booklets, consisting of edifying and tastefully illustrated stories for the young. They have been translated into many
languages. Newly reprinted by Angelus Press, Volume Two combines four of these stories into a single volume.
The Shipwreck.The world of the Irish lad Willy Brown is turned upside-down when his sinister uncle appears on the doorstep to take
his schoolmate Joseph, a Chinese orphan, away with him aboard the good ship St. George. The two boys find themselves together on the high sea
when the captain plots a perilous scheme to stage a shipwreck. But things gets out of control when a mighty hurricane steers the ship off the coast
of the Solomon Islands, driving them to crash upon the reefs of a cannibal-infested island.
Crosses and Crowns.The story opens with a scene from the pages of history: The Emperor Tue-Dueck, a terrible persecutor of Christians,
lay dying. The young Christian page, Thuan, is at the Emperor's bedside and tells him how he may yet defeat the dragon tormenting him and obtain
eternal life, holding out to him a crucifix. The emperor's rage at the sight of the cross earns the boy a flogging, and soon a new persecution is
unleashed. The Christian spirit shines through in all his actions in this mission land where bloody persecution is still a threat to those who hold
the faith of Christ.
Prince Arumugam. Having been cured by Father Francis after the native doctors and snake-charmers failed, Arumugam asks of his father, the
rajah, to let him go to the missioner's school. The rajah consents, on condition that the priest not try to convert his son. The priest agrees,
and the child Arumugam enters the school. But the progress of Arumugam towards Christianity, and his courage to profess his beliefs in the face of
his father's tenacious opposition, is challenged by the rajah's plans to uproot his son's new-found faith by all means fair and foul.
The Pirate's Prisoner. For hundreds of years, Moorish slave owners furrowed the waters of the Mediterranean in search of human prey for
the slave markets of Northern Africa. Little Francesco goes down to the water's edge alone to await his father's return from the sea. Instead
of meeting his father, lurking pirates carry him off to their ship. The pirate Achmed hopes to induce the boy to become a Muslim and his
successor, while the boy's father tries desperately to ransom his beloved son.