By Dudley Pope

Ramage, eventually reunited together with his cherished Sarah, hopes to spend a minimum of a couple of quiet weeks along with her. in its place, he's summoned by means of Admiral Nelson himself. His orders: Ramage is to affix Nelson's fleet blocking off the mixed French and Spanish navies within the port of Cadiz. yet Nelson's plan isn't basically to blockade the enemy's fleet. He intends to confront it head-on within the greatest naval conflict the area has ever seen.

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Simply how ‘passable’? Don’t be modest and don’t boast: it might probably bring about you getting your throat lower. ” “It’s fluent,” Ramage admitted. “A Castilian accessory. ” “And if you happen to have been stuck and wondered you may inform a powerful tale, eh? ” Ramage nodded. “A tale it’d take them 3 or 4 weeks to envision. ” Nelson regarded up at Scott who, Ramage learned, were gazing him heavily. “What do you're thinking that? ” “I believe you,” the chaplain acknowledged enigmatically. “Very good, Ramage, i've got a unique task for you, yet there’s no time to inform you approximately it prior to the remainder of my captains arrive on board, so wait at the back of once they cross. I’m transferring the fleet additional out tonight—fifty miles to the west—and i need to offer you your orders prior to then. Ah, I listen the 1st of the remainder of the captains. Scott, will you're taking up your tasks via the door—and communicate the names in actual fact, guy: I don’t recognize not less than part those fellows! ” Ramage stood again as captains have been introduced: Black-wood of the Euryalus, whom he had met in short in London, and a burly, fleshy-faced guy with reasonable hair and crimson cheeks whom Scott brought as Captain George Duff, of the Mars. Ramage heard Duff greet the admiral and discovered he was once a Scot. After thanking him for birthday greetings, Nelson stated: “And how is the kin send? Hardy tells me you've got many of the Duff extended family on board. Are there any Duffs left at the back of in Banff-shire? ” Duff gave a thrilled chortle. “Aye, sir, quite a few! ” “How many are on board the Mars? ” “Well, m’son Norwich—he’s simply grew to become thirteen—joined the send a couple of days in the past and taken his younger cousin Thomas with him. Thomas’s elder brother Alexander is an performing lieutenant. either are sons of my brother Lachlan. ” “Why ‘acting’? ” Nelson requested. “Too younger, sir. He’s handed his exam yet has to bide a number of months for his 20th birthday. ” Nelson nodded. “So your spouse could be looking ahead to information of you all, eh? the place is she? ” “Ah, Sophie resides in Edinburgh. It’s most likely an worried time in fort highway till the letter arrives! ” the following captain to reach was once Thomas Fremantle of the Neptune, and on the sound of his identify Nelson gave a thrilled snicker. “Ah, Fremantle—which may you might have, a boy or a lady? ” Fremantle, who Ramage knew already had sons and daughters, acknowledged speedy: “A lady, sir. ” “Be satisfied,” Nelson acknowledged, smiling extensively, “and here's a letter for you from Betsy’s sister Harriet. ” A flush-faced Fremantle, who Ramage remembered had helped Nelson whilst he used to be badly wounded and misplaced an arm at Tenerife, withdrew to learn his letter. numerous extra captains arrived, between them Captain Edward Codrington of the Orion, who was once instantly greeted by way of Nelson, who took whatever from the pocket of his armchair. He became to Codrington and gave him a letter. “I was once entrusted with this by way of a girl, so I make some degree of offering it myself. ” Codrington glanced down on the writing and grinned. “I haven’t heard from Jane for a very long time. ” eventually Scott informed the admiral that every one the captains have been current.

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