By David Donachie
The long-awaited go back of the Bucephalas to the security of the Cinque Ports is interrupted by way of a disastrous engagement within the Channel. The looming form of a merchantman becalmed in fog offers a nearly impossible to resist attract. yet for Harry Ludlow and his battle-weary staff, the pursuit of 1 final effortless prize ends up in a determined struggle.
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Whatever it was had allowed him to examine his own recent actions with something approaching objectivity, and see them for what they were. James did wonder if he knew just how much trust he forfeited by his conduct. It wasn’t that the crew were soft. Many of them had sailed with hard-horse captains, men who supposed a mere smile to be a sign of terminal weakness. Those who were ex-navy would have steered into battle with such a superior with the same level of enthusiasm as they did under Harry Ludlow, as long as they could perceive even a modicum of fairness.
If there is one thing a senior officer hates it is to be hauled up short by a junior, especially if that person has the right of it. ” “I suppose not,” Harry replied, quite deliberately ignoring the irony. ” Harry groaned, which confirmed to James that he knew, deep down, just how much he’d offended the man. “It must be done, Harry, and I for one am prepared to tell you so. I have no idea of what will happen tomorrow. ” “I think you might be surprised,” said James, taking his arm and pulling him aft.
Asked James. 56 T H E P R I V AT E E R S M A N M Y S T E R I E S “They fly that when they go into battle,” said Illingworth. “They’re not even cleared for action,” said Harry. ” “Yard ropes are reeved,” said Pender, “and some of the ships are dressed in red bunting. One or two have nooses rigged at the main, an’ all. ” Harry’s voice rose suddenly, and he shouted towards the waist. “Mr Levenson, gather your men by the gangway, if you please. I will not be entering Portsmouth harbour, as requested.
A Game of Bones by David Donachie