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By Dudley Pope

Barbary Coast pirates—the Saraceni—are taking pictures slaves and terrorizing fishing villages alongside the coast of Sicily. Ramage and his workforce are despatched to trace them down prior to they could devastate one other town.

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The top ones are coming from the north, sir,” he commented. “There’s no signal of a veer down right here. ” “Perhaps in the course of the evening, sir. ” “Perhaps,” Ramage acknowledged. “Try and time it in order that we will be able to get below means at sunrise! ” bankruptcy 16 RAMAGE was once awakened subsequent morning earlier than sunlight by means of the pressing voice of Orsini repeating: “Captain, sir; Captain, sir! ” whilst Ramage sat up in his swinging cot, Orsini stated: “Mr Southwick’s compliments, sir, however the wind turns out to have set in from the north. ” “Tell Mr Southwick I’ll be on deck in a couple of minutes. ” With drowsy Ramage swung himself out of the cot and hurriedly wearing the darkish, cursing as he stubbed his toe opposed to a chair. Why the satan did issues consistently take place at evening? Up on deck he discovered it a starlit evening and the breeze was once regular; it was once evidently set in for a number of hours. “What’s the direction for Sidi Rezegh? ” Ramage requested Southwick. “South by means of west, sir. ” “Very good, hoist lighting telling the flotilla to get lower than manner, after which hoist the sign for the direction. ” Southwick shouted for the watch to arrange lanterns and the wood body which might hoist them in a suite development. once the lanterns have been lit and hoisted, Ramage gave one other order: “Stand via to get below manner, Mr Southwick. ” It was once a hot evening and Ramage spotted Aitken becoming a member of him on the quarterdeck rail. “A first-class time for the wind to alter, sir,” the 1st lieutenant commented. “What time is it? ” “Just prior to 4 o’clock, sir. it's going to take us right down to be off the port simply after sunrise. ” “Couldn’t be larger. i'm wondering if Saracens are early risers. ” “I suspect they're; they most likely visit mattress while it will get darkish and upward push with the solar. ” “But do they maintain lookouts in that fortress, i'm wondering? ” “I doubt it,” Aitken stated. “Why should still they? They most likely haven’t been attacked for 100 years so that they won’t expect something. ” At that second, because the body used to be diminished back and the lanterns extinguished, Ramage instructed Southwick: “We’ll get lower than approach, direction south via west, you acknowledged. ” The watch on deck scurried around as Southwick shouted orders. Topmen moved quickly aloft to dispose of gaskets and enable fall the topgallants and topsails; the afterguard braced up the yards and tended the sheets. quickly the Calypso stirred to existence: rather than being an inert mass wallowing within the sea, she started to pitch lightly because the sails stuffed. The hull creaked because the planking labored opposed to the frames; the yards creaked as they pulled opposed to the strain of the wind. And Ramage gave a shiver because the down-draught from the mainsail chilled him. Then he remembered the remainder of the flotilla. “Mr Southwick, we’ve no stern lantern! ” “Bless my soul! ” exclaimed the startled grasp. “I thoroughly forgot,” he admitted. “I’ll see to it instantaneously. ” The flotilla chief, for this reason the Calypso, needed to burn a lantern for the remainder of the flotilla to stick with, fairly at a time like this while all of the ships have been forming up back after mendacity to. For a couple of moments Ramage considered the accountability of having a fleet lower than method; twenty or thirty ships of the road, let alone attendant frigates.

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