Command a King's Ship (The Bolitho Novels) (Volume 6)

By Alexander Kent

Spithead, 1784. His Majesty's Frigate, Undine, units sail for India and the seas past. Europe should 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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It used to be just like the solar in Whitehall. Frail, and simply got rid of. He pulled up a chair for Bolitho. “Your well-being, Captain. ” He extra, “I believe you recognize why I requested so that you can accept this command? ” Bolitho cleared his throat. “I assumed, sir, that as Captain Stewart was once coming into politics that you just required one other for . . . ” Winslade gave a wry smile. “ Please, Bolitho. Modesty on the cost of sincerity is simply a lot top-hamper. I belief you'll endure that during brain? ” He sipped at his claret and persevered within the related dry voice, “For this actual fee i must confirm of Undine ’s cap- tain. you'll be at the different aspect of the globe. i must understand what you're considering in order that i will act on such despatches as i would obtain sooner or later. ” Bolitho attempted to chill. “Thank you. ” He smiled awkwardly. “I suggest, in your belief, sir. ” “Quite so. ” Winslade reached for the decanter. “I understand your history, your list, specially within the fresh battle with France and her Allies. Your behaviour in the event you have been at the American station reads favourably. an entire scale struggle and a bloody uprising in the USA should have been an excellent schoolroom for thus younger a com- mander. yet that battle is finished with. it truly is as much as us,” he smiled somewhat, “ a few of us, to make sure that we're by no means pressured into any such helpless stalemate back. ” Bolitho exclaimed, “We didn't lose the warfare, sir. ” “We didn't win it both. that's extra to the purpose. ” Bolitho concept abruptly of the final conflict. The screams and yells on each part, the crash of gunfire and falling spars. such a lot of had died that day. such a lot of known faces simply swept away. Others were left, just like the ragged infantrymen, to fend as top they can. He stated quietly, “We did our greatest, sir. ” The admiral was once gazing him thoughtfully. “I agree. you'll now not have received a warfare, yet you probably did win a respite of varieties. A time to attract breath and face evidence. ” “You imagine the peace won't final, sir? ” “An enemy is often an enemy, Bolitho. merely the vanquished comprehend peace of brain. Oh sure, we'll struggle back, verify of it. ” He placed down his glass and further sharply, “Now, approximately your send. Are you ready? ” Bolitho met his gaze. “I am nonetheless wanting arms, however the send is as prepared as she's going to ever be, sir. I had her warped out of the dock- backyard days in the past, and he or she is now anchored at Spithead looking ahead to ultimate provisioning. ” “How brief? ” phrases, yet they left no room for manoeuvre. “Fifty, sir. yet my lieutenants are nonetheless attempting to assemble extra. ” The admiral didn't blink. “I see. good, it’s as much as you. meanwhile i'm going to receive a warrant that you should take a few ‘volunteers’ from the felony hulks in Portsmouth harbour. ” Bolitho acknowledged, “It’s a tragic factor that we needs to depend on convicts. ” “They are males. that's all you require in the mean time. because it is, you'll likely be doing a little of the wretches a favour. so much of ’em have been to be transported to the penal colonies in the United States. Now, with the US long gone, we are going to need to glance somewhere else for brand spanking new settle- ments. there's a few speak of Botany Bay, in New Holland, however it can be hearsay, in fact.

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