By Alexander Kent
Aboard the Hyperion, Richard Bolitho units sail with an untrained staff for blockade responsibility off France. regrettably, his more advantageous, Commodore Mathias Pelham-Martin, is an incompetent egotist whose petty hostilities jeopardize the operation of a whole fleet.
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Extra resources for Enemy in Sight! (The Bolitho Novels) (Vol 10)
He looked suddenly at Inch’s drawn face. ” Inch shuffled his feet awkwardly. ” Bolitho studied him with fresh understanding. Of course Inch would never join in with the others with his captain away in the flagship. He had a sudden picture of Inch bobbing and scurrying from deck to deck, making sure that everything was well. Doing his best. ” He nodded to the marine sentry and led the way into his cabin where Petch was screwed up into a tight ball against the bulkhead, fast asleep. Bolitho grinned and unbuckled his sword.
They might, for during the eight weeks since joining PelhamMartin’s command the weather had never eased for more than an hour at a time. Bolitho was irritated at having to visit the flagship. Christmas under these conditions would be wretched enough for his company without his leaving as if to enjoy himself at the commodore’s lavish table. ” But Bolitho knew that the visit to the flagship was not merely for good cheer. A sloop had appeared at first light, using the light airs to dash down on the slow moving two-deckers like a terrier after three ponderous bullocks.
It had been the ship’s first death since leaving Plymouth, and with the weather driving the ship inwards upon her own resources it seemed to hang on the crowded messdecks like a threat. There had been much the same atmosphere over the first flogging, too. A seaman had somehow managed to break into a spirit store, and without telling any of his companions had found a quiet corner deep in the ship’s hull and got raving drunk. He had emerged during the first watch, stark naked and had capered around the darkened deck like an insane ghost screaming taunts and curses at anyone who tried to overpower him.