By Alexander Kent

Spithead, 1784. His Majesty's Frigate, Undine, units sail for India and the seas past. Europe might be at peace—but in colonial waters the guarantees of statesmen count number for little and the bloody fight for supremacy nonetheless is going on.

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He made a mark. “About there, i'd recommend, sir. ” “Could we succeed in it ahead of darkish? Overland? ” Fowlar’s eyes widened yet he replied, “It appears to be like shut adequate, sir. No more’n 3 mile or so. yet that's 4 instances as a lot within the jungle. ” He dropped his eyes from Bolitho’s gaze. “You could possibly do it, sir. ” Davy requested, “But if we wait till the next day to come, sir? shall we have Undine anchored closer this vessel you will have discovered. ” “It could take too lengthy. She could have weighed and long past over- evening. And in the event that they are conscious of our presence and objective, a ship assault will be dead in sunlight, and in a restricted inlet. you need to be aware of that, Mr. Davy. ” Davy checked out his sneakers. “Yes, sir. ” one other heavy cask lurched down the seashore, the boys panting like animals operating from the hounds. Soames, who had trudged up the seashore to hear, acknowledged unexpectedly, “She will be a slaver. during which case she is going to be good armed. ” He rubbed his chin and nodded. “Yours is an efficient plan, sir. ” His thick forefinger scratched over the chart. “We might pass the ground of the hill the place it reaches for the ocean and strike south. If we shuttle calmly we must always be on the inlet ahead of darkish. ” He checked out Davy, his eyes demanding. “I’ll choose a few stable males. Ones who won’t falter whilst the passage will get tough. ” Davy stated not anything, he was once evidently smarting simply because Soames had provided a plan of action instead of an unthinking recommendation. Bolitho regarded in the direction of the send. “Very good. we are going to leisure the arms for part an hour. Then we'll commence. 40 males could be adequate if we're cautious. it can be a whole waste of time. ” He considered the silent jungle. gazing. “But to be anchored so dangerously inland? I doubt it. ” He beckoned to Penn. “I will write my orders for the 1st lieutenant, and you may take them throughout without delay. Undine will ship her boats the next day to come morning and decide us up from seaward. via then we should always be aware of. ” He glanced at Davy. “One manner or the opposite. ” He observed willing popping out of the bushes, a pistol putting casually from his belt. As he grew to become in the direction of the ocean he halted and raised one arm to indicate. It was once the jolly boat, darting around the water at complete pace, the oars winking within the sun like silver. finally it flooring directly to the seashore, and with no watching for it to be made quick, Midshipman Armitage leapt over the gunwale after which fell face down at the sand. Allday, who were looking at severely, exclaimed, “God rattling me, Captain! That younger gentleman will come across an acorn! ” Armitage moved quickly up the seashore, his cheeks scarlet as he dashed earlier the teams of grinning seamen. He stammered, “Mr. Herrick’s respects, sir! ” He paused to wipe sand from his chin. “And we now have sighted a few small craft to the north of right here. ” He pointed haphazardly into the timber. “A complete occasion of them. Mr. Herrick thinks they could come this manner, even supposing . . . ,” he stopped, screwing up his face as he frequently did while passing a message, “. . . even if they've got vanished for the current. ” He nodded, relieved, as he recalled the final half.

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