Ramage at Trafalgar (The Lord Ramage Novels) (No. 16)

By Dudley Pope

Ramage, ultimately reunited along with his loved Sarah, hopes to spend not less than a number of quiet weeks together with her. in its place, he's summoned by way of Admiral Nelson himself. His orders: Ramage is to hitch Nelson's fleet blocking off the mixed French and Spanish navies within the port of Cadiz. yet Nelson's plan isn't really in simple terms to blockade the enemy's fleet. He intends to confront it head-on within the greatest naval conflict the realm has ever seen.

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No less than we now have a fresh backside and an honest go well with of sails,” Aitken stated. “What concerning the ship’s corporation? ” Ramage requested all at once, remembering he had brought on numerous heads to shake within the dockyard whilst he gave permission for every watch to have ten days’ depart, beginning with the larboard watch. The dockyard commissioner had desired to countermand Ramage’s order, pointing out solid half the boys could desolate tract. “You’re simply turning ‘em loose,” he had acknowledged, “then you’ll come whining to me that you just haven’t sufficient males to shift the send out of the dock, not to mention get less than method. ” yet Ramage have been adamant. It was once a attempt of his personal management: all of the males had performed rather well from prize-money (several of the senior petty officials have been by means of their criteria wealthy) they usually served in a boat which was once satisfied, usually in motion, and the place disorder (thanks to the health care provider Bowen and a wise vitamin) used to be nearly unknown. Ramage’s feeling used to be that if any males took good thing about his belief to abandon, he didn't want these type of males besides. “The ship’s corporation, sir? ” Aitken repeated, as if wondered by way of the query. “Well, we're nonetheless a dozen or so wanting supplement, as ahead of, yet everyone’s again from depart. ” “All of them? ” “All,” Aitken stated. “In truth part a dozen got here again early—spent the entire funds they’d drawn. ” quite a bit for the dockyard commissioner, Ramage proposal. How did one allow him comprehend with no offending a guy who wielded nice energy inside his dockyard partitions? “What’s the earliest they could flood up? ” Ramage requested. “The grasp attendant reckons he can commence in a number of hours. yet we’ll need to look ahead to excessive water to get out over the sill of this dock, that's the smallest within the backyard and used just for frigates, as you recognize, and by the point they’ve knocked away all of the shorelines and fished them out in order that they don’t tear the sheathing, we’ll have an hour of ebb working …” “Well, I’m unlikely down the dam’ Medway on an ebb tide,” Ramage acknowledged firmly. “Trying to avoid wasting a couple of hours may well expense us a few days caught within the mud—and Medway dust is the private and stickiest identified to guy. ” Southwick sighed fortunately. “I was once going to indicate we waited for the 1st of the subsequent flood, sir … We’ll have a good wind so much if now not all the strategy to Sheerness, so it won’t topic that we’re butting the younger flood. It’ll be so close to low water we’ll be capable of see the deep channel: this finish of the river has extra bends than a snake with colic. ” Ramage glanced at Aitken. “I’ve doubtless you’ve plenty of studies, money owed, and so forth for me to signal earlier than we sail … ? ” Aitken lifted a folder which he had positioned beside him at the sofa. “I have them right here, sir. ” “And the invoice for that yellow paint? ” “That, too, sir, yet Southwick and that i had meant it to be a gift. ” bankruptcy SIX THE run down the Medway to Sheerness were notable—as Bowen had commented—for its scent. Medway dust a vile and viscous mix of sewage, blue clay, and brown glue, stretching out in a large band on either side of the golf green because the river twisted from Chatham to Garrison element at its mouth, the place it handed among Grain Spit to larboard and Cheyney Spit to starboard and bumped into the Thames at nice Nore.

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