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By Patrick O'Brian

"Jack's task: to catch the Indian Ocean islands of Réunion and Mauritius from the French. That crusade kinds the narrative thread of this rollicking sea saga. yet its substance is extra beguiling still..."―Elizabeth Peer, Newsweek

Captain Jack Aubrey is ashore on part pay with no command―until Stephen Maturin arrives with mystery orders for Aubrey to take a frigate to the Cape of excellent desire below a commodore's pennant, there to mount an excursion opposed to the French-held islands of Mauritius and los angeles Réunion. however the problems of engaging in his orders are compounded through of his personal captains―Lord Clonfert, a pleasure-seeking dilettante, and Captain Corbett, whose severity pushes his team to the verge of mutiny.

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Do not brain us. " it's abnormal, sir, I know," stated the chippie, no longer sporting on in any respect yet advancing in the direction of the desk, "and i urge you are going to forgive the freedom. yet I reasonable dread the concept of a conflict, sir. guy and boy i have been within the Raisonable those six and twenty 12 months; i do know her timbers, and that i comprehend her butt-heads; and with recognize, sir, I make so daring as to assert, the firing-off of they previous weapons will begin 'em. " "Mr Gill," acknowledged Jack, "I promise you i'm going to use her average. moderate, eh, you smoke if? " A ghost of his previous merriment confirmed for a second; a ghost of a grin seemed at the carpenter's face; yet no longer a lot conviction. On deck back, and now the realm was once packed with turning out to be gentle. The squadron used to be already correct into the vast shallow bay: at the larboard sector the cape stretched out a long way westwards into the ocean; on the backside of the bay stood town of St Paul's, now not more than 5 miles away; at the back of rose the savage mountains of los angeles Reunion, barring the jap horizon; and within the offing lay the Boadicea. The wind was once regular within the south-east out right here, however the diversified styles of the ocean inshore confirmed atypical neighborhood breezes blowing. Jack took his glass, trying to find the Nereide : he swung it alongside the cape, the Pointe des Galets--a average surf at the outer reef, a long way much less at the seashore itself--and unexpectedly he observed her, nearly becalmed within the lee of -the headland, operating slowly out from at the back of an island opposed to the scend of the ocean. on the comparable second the signal-lieutenant stuck sight of her, made out her hoist, and said, "Nereide, sir: troops on shore. " "Very solid, Mr -" The younger man's identify escaped him. His glass ran alongside the coast, alongside the causeway that traversed a protracted stretch of flat watery floor, farther and farther alongside, and there they have been: 3 our bodies of them: first a precise column of pink; then the seamen in a smaller, abnormal, yet compact blueish mass; after which the sepoys. Already they have been a lot closer to St Paul's than he had dared to pray: yet may well they ever take the batteries all of sudden? seen from the ocean, the purple coats have been horribly conspicuous. "Boadicea signalling, sir," acknowledged the lieutenant back. "Enemy in sight, bearing due east. " That intended that the Caroline had now not slipped out. "Thank you, Mr Graham," stated Jack--the identify got here to him this time--"Reply Stand in: and to the squadron Make extra sail. " As he spoke a flaw within the wind shivered the Raisonable's jib: he and each different guy on board glanced up on the clouds amassing over the island: the darkish plenty had a glance that none of them a lot cared for. was once the wind going to come back foul finally? yet in a second the gust had handed, and the squadron, Sirius, Raisonable and Otter, ran quick and real directly for St Paul's and the robust batteries guarding the port. And as they ran, so each eye aboard, furtively or brazenly, watched that far-off development at the land, for an extended, lengthy part hour. The trim columns a long way over there have been wasting form: they have been advancing on the double now, nearer and in the direction of the 1st battery guarding St Paul's, the Lambousie're, nearer and nearer till they have been hidden from Jack by means of a reveal of timber.

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