Ramage & the Dido (The Lord Ramage Novels)

By Dudley Pope

Ramage hopes to get pleasure from a well-merited depart while he gets new orders: fee and take command of the Dido—a mammoth 74-gun send, that consists of sufficient weight of steel to ruin a frigate in one broadside, or sweep a ship's decks away from males. observed via the brave staff of the Calypso, Ramage ventures to sea as soon as again—bound for the West Indies the place he faces the problem of commanding this huge weapon of war.

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The moon set quickly after 11 and 150 seamen and marines have been shaped up on deck in teams, able to board the boats, which have been hauled around along. as well as cutlasses, pikes, tomahawks and pistols, a number of the males carried the greasy cloths with which they'd begin fires. Others had shaded lanterns and a few carried lighted slowmatch. The officials have been drawn up able to take command of the boats and their very own events of guys. however it used to be gradual paintings within the darkness getting ready for the excursion. The starlight was once spasmodic, interrupted by way of excessive blankets of cloud, and even if the wind was once nonetheless mild from the east and the ocean virtually calm, it was once scorching and humid, and any attempt soaked a guy in perspiration. Southwick, cheerfully striding around the deck along with his nice double-edged sword strapped to his waist, used to be awaiting the operation simply because all too usually lately—and within the Calypso’s final activities within the Mediterranean—he were left on board whereas others went off to do the scuffling with. This time Mr Ramage used to be leaving the 1st lieutenant answerable for the Dido, Southwick had famous fortunately, and had placed him in charge of one of many pinnaces. So now he had 25 males in his social gathering, able to struggle or burn the enemy. even supposing Southwick liked the most activity used to be to set fireplace to the send he was hoping that the French could publish a struggle. It used to be decades considering the fact that he have been capable of use his sword, and the idea of quickly unsheathing it was once interesting. Martin acknowledged to Kenton: “I desire this is often going to make up for George Hill getting command of that frigate. That’s the second one time. It doesn’t appear reasonable, simply because he speaks French. ” “If he didn’t communicate French considered one of us might get the job,” Kenton acknowledged soothingly. “It’s our fault, rather, I didn’t pay a lot awareness at school—whoever may have suggestion that talking French may come in handy? It looked to be the very last thing you’d want at sea. arithmetic and geography, definite: yet French and Latin …” Orsini, who were hearing the dialog, stated: “Well, I communicate French and Italian, yet I don’t get command of the prizes! ” “You’re just a master’s mate,” Martin acknowledged unsympathetically, “and besides, your navigation is a piece suspect. ” “It used to be however it isn’t now,” Orsini acknowledged defensively. “I’ve been operating not easy at it considering the fact that we joined the Dido. Mr Southwick is particularly proud of the development I’ve made. ” “Maybe so,” acknowledged Kenton, “but do you're feeling convinced sufficient to take command of a frigate? ” “Give me a couple of sturdy males and enable me have the chance,” Orsini acknowledged unexpectedly. “The difficulty is there don’t appear to be any frigates left! ” “Be patient,” Martin acknowledged, “the French might ship out a few extra. Or we would locate the person who acquired away. ” “If he’s acquired any experience he’s already on his as far back as France,” Kenton acknowledged. “That merchantman blowing up most likely persuaded him. ” “More most probably he observed us within the flash and learned that the convoy used to be being attacked via a boat of the road. ” At that second Aitken’s voice got here out of the darkness: “I desire you have got inspected your males and are all able to embark.

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