By David Donachie

The long-awaited go back of the Bucephalas to the security of the Cinque Ports is interrupted via a disastrous engagement within the Channel. The looming form of a merchantman becalmed in fog provides a nearly impossible to resist attract. yet for Harry Ludlow and his battle-weary team, the pursuit of 1 final effortless prize ends up in a determined struggle.

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Then you will oblige me if you do so, sir,” Illingworth added, now looking distinctly gloomy, “though I look forward with some trepidation to informing the Directors of the loss of my own vessel. ” James came on deck long after he’d been told of the latest hail from the masthead, time enough for those already present to have confirmed the nationality of the two frigates bearing down on them. They were closing fast, their man-of-war’s pennants streaming to leeward. Pender was standing close to Harry, but it was obvious from the gap between them that no contact existed.

Perhaps your losses are enough to cover the number of unwounded sailors I brought aboard. ” A GAME OF BONES 35 Hat off, with his red-grey hair streaming straight back to leeward, Illingworth, even as he composed his face to plead, looked very like a man wearing a gargoyle mask. “Every captain afloat seeks to avoid the press. ” Harry continued as if he hadn’t spoken. “I would expose my own men to the fate which awaits yours, sir, that is what would happen. ” “As you wish, sir,” replied Illingworth, replacing his hat.

Others spoke of Nelson’s reckless bravery, but to Harry it had been evident from the very first dinner they shared, a trait made manifest as soon as any discussion of tactics took place. ” Nelson’s only quibble with that remark was to enquire as to the absolute need for a ship. In another man that might have been taken for bombast. But Nelson’s past exploits, happily related to Harry by the Albemarle’s officers, scotched such a notion. The two became firm friends, exchanging many a letter. That lasted until Harry was dismissed the service and terminated the correspondence.

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