C. S. Forester, C.S. Forester
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In this gripping tale of turmoil and triumph on the high seas, Horatio Hornblower emerges from his apprenticeship as midshipman to face new responsibilities thrust upon him by the fortunes of war between Napoleon and Spain. Enduring near-mutiny, bloody hand-to-hand combat with Spanish seamen, deck-splintering sea battles, and the violence and horror of life on the fighting ships of the Napoleonic Wars, the young lieutenant distinguishes himself in his first independent command. He also faces an adventure unique in his experience: Maria.
the first that had been made, raised a buzz of excitement. It was the sort of undisciplined noise that most easily roused Bush’s wrath, and, perhaps fortunately, it brought a natural reaction from him. “Silence, there!” he roared. “Get about your business.” When Bush glowered round at the excited crowd it fell silent. “With your permission I’ll go below again, sir,” said Hornblower. “I must see after the captain.” “Very well, Mr Hornblower,” said Bush; the stereotyped phrase had been uttered
possibly something even worse, the cutting off and capitulation of the entire landing party — would be Buckland’s certain ruin. “With the fort in our hands, sir,” said Hornblower, “we can deal with the privateers up the bay. They could never use it as an anchorage again.” “That’s true,” agreed Buckland. It would be a neat and economical fulfillment of his orders; it would restore his credit. The timbers of the ship creaked rhythmically as the Renown rode over the waves. The trade wind came
those kept below, and there was lamentation and expostulation which accorded ill with the dignified routine which should be observed on the quarterdeck of a ship of the line. And the children knew no discipline whatever, and ran shrieking about in all directions while harassed seamen tried to bring them back to their mothers. And other seamen had to be detailed to bring the prisoners their food and water. Bush, tackling each aggravating problem as it arose, began to think that life as first
life upon the board as a final stake; and today Hornblower was standing with chattering teeth trying to warm himself beside a fire by the charity of a frog-eating gambling-hall keeper with the look of a dancing master. “It’s a hellish outrage,” said Bush, and then he made his offer. He offered his money, even though he knew as he offered it that it meant most certainly that he would go hungry, and that his sisters, if not exactly hungry, would hardly have enough to eat. But Hornblower shook his
coat. As he did so his whole expression changed. He lost some of the little colour there was in his cheeks. There was utter consternation in his expression — there was even fear. Bush took instant alarm; he thought Hornblower must have had a seizure, and it was only after that first thought that he connected Hornblower’s changed appearance with his gesture of putting his hands in his pockets. But a man who had found a snake in his pocket would hardly wear that look of horror. “What’s the