Ramage's Challenge (The Lord Ramage Novels) (Volume 15)

By Dudley Pope

Admiralty spies are looking for British officials and allies trapped at the mainland, between them Ramage's old flame, Gianna, the Marchesa di Volterra. Ramage returns to the Tuscan coast, the place Bonaparte holds a bunch of hostages for an unknown fate.

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The location of the towers, every one in sight of the following on each side or in view of a significant tower, intended that indications, most likely caution fires, might be handed both around the coast, as if around the rim of a wheel, or at once, like one in all its spokes whilst a valley gave a sight of a significant tower. Did Bonaparte now use a number of the towers to provide his troops caution of enemy ships coming near near? most likely no longer, as the Royal army used to be so stretched that there have been only a few British warships within the Mediterranean this day. in truth, the Barbary pirates, without end lurking of their speedy galleys, and rowed by means of Christian slaves, needs to be extra of a probability to the local community. even though, if a person of outcome did see the frigate passing northwards lower than effortless sail he may in all probability document her as French, and not anyone may perhaps blame him—although somebody with an eye fixed for a boat will be wondered by means of the reduce of her sails. An skilled sailor could ask yourself, simply because they have been British-cut. however the wind used to be so mild that now they flapped and thumped and jerked the yards, sometimes placing like heavy curtains till a random gust bellied them. Ramage referred to as to Aitken: the ship’s corporation might stand down now. as soon as the weapons have been run in, cutlasses, pikes, and tomahawks changed of their racks, cartridges again to the journal, and decks swabbed, then they'd all visit breakfast. Then, Ramage determined, His Majesty’s frigate Calypso turns into an enormous tailor’s store. rather than the rumble of the vans of the weapons being run out for workout and the thump of around shot being rammed domestic, there'll be the snick of scissors and a silence punctuated via curses as needles slip and prick hands. males could be slicing, sewing, and becoming: palms extra acquainted with thrusting thick sail needles via stiff canvas, utilizing a rawhide palm for leverage, can be stitching with the relatively dainty needles, making outfits. they'd be sewing 5 French uniforms (for an officer and 4 men), plus these for an officer and males from the Grand Duke of Tuscany’s forces. the remainder of the boys wouldn't want any specific garments. It was once lucky that it used to be summer time; much more lucky that the purser had a number of rolls of material similar to the color favoured by means of the French military, while its squaddies weren't nonetheless wearing the outdated outfits they have been donning after they have been swept into the Republic’s armies. once the lads comprehensive their breakfast, Ramage informed Aitken to furl the classes and topgallants. The Calypso may make her method alongside the coast lower than topsails on my own, slicing her velocity to a few of knots if the current wind held, and this may now not positioned them too a long way north of Argentario by means of dusk. As Aitken picked up the speaking-trumpet, Ramage gave him a listing on which have been written a number of names. “I wish those males despatched aft in an hour’s time. ” He had ultimately incorporated Rennick. It used to be easily cowardice, in a fashion, however it will be unfair to go away the marine officer in the back of. there has been now not a lot that Rennick may well do, yet nevertheless, it will possibly simply be misinterpreted in a despatch to the Admiralty if a person puzzled why the marine officer was once left at the back of.

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