'Two Shorts and a Long' is a short story by Arthur Ransome. It is written in the form of a sailing yarn related to the narrator by Hurst, a paid hand in the narrator's small private yacht.

Plot summaryEdit

Hurst relates a mildly misogynistic anecdote about how he used the Morse code signal ".. _" (two shorts and a long, which means "you are standing into danger") to warn a former yacht skipper off forming a romantic attachment to a woman. At the yarn's conclusion, the skipper introduces Hurst to his three children, of whom two are "short" and one tall, or "long."


'Two Shorts and a Long', along with a second Hurst story 'The Unofficial Side' is published in Coots in the North and other stories.

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