By Alexander Kent
Spring 1802, and the Peace Treaty of Amiens, signed just a couple of weeks previous, is already exhibiting symptoms of cave in. Britain and France wrangle over the go back of colonial possessions received and misplaced in the course of their lengthy, bloody warfare and within the little 64-gun Achates, Vice-Admiral Richard Bolitho sails for the United States and the Caribbean.
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Translated by means of Charlotte Mandell
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Extra info for Success to the Brave (The Bolitho Novels) (Vol 15)
S UCCESS TO THE BRAVE 41 He glanced at Bolitho as he sat on the bench seat by the stern windows, his black hair ruffling in the wind across the quarter. Bolitho looked calm enough. The sudden squall had passed. “I was wondering, sir . ” Bolitho turned, only half aware he was no longer alone. ” Bolitho got to his feet and strode to the wine cabinet where he poured two glasses of brandy. He handed one to the astonished Allday and replied, “Thank you. ” The brandy burned his lips, “Do, Allday? I’d stand and fight.
Bolitho took his arm and turned him towards the rolling shoreline as it glided abeam, moving away as the ship headed into deeper water. “Later, Adam. ” The first lieutenant raised his speaking-trumpet and squinted up through the black rigging. ” He glanced at the group by the windward side. The youthful vice-admiral with his flag-lieutenant on deck to see if the ship was good enough, more than likely. Allday saw the glance and hid a grin. You’ve got a lot to learn, matey, an’ that’s no error. 3 M an of action FOR A FULL week after weighing anchor Achates was the victim of feeble and perverse winds.
Achates, faithful friend and armour-bearer of Aeneas. Beneath the paint the carved wood was smooth and wellworn. It had seen more horizons than any of the ship’s company and had weathered every kind of storm. The barge swept past a lordly Indiaman which was busily loading cargo, despite the lateness of the hour. An officer hurried to her taffrail and doffed his hat as the vice-admiral’s boat swept past the stern. It was ironic that it had been a Company dispute over tea which had fanned the fires of revolution, Bolitho thought.