Dewey Lambdin - A King`s Commander

Тут можно читать бесплатно Dewey Lambdin - A King`s Commander. Жанр: Морские приключения издательство неизвестно, год 2004. Так же Вы можете читать полную версию (весь текст) онлайн без регистрации и SMS на сайте (mybrary) или прочесть краткое содержание, предисловие (аннотацию), описание и ознакомиться с отзывами (комментариями) о произведении.
A King`s Commander
нет данных
Дата добавления:
3 август 2018
Количество просмотров:
Читать онлайн
Dewey Lambdin - A King`s Commander

Dewey Lambdin - A King`s Commander краткое содержание

Dewey Lambdin - A King`s Commander - описание и краткое содержание, автор Dewey Lambdin, читайте бесплатно онлайн на сайте электронной библиотеки Mybrary.Ru
Alan Lewrie is now commander of HMS Jester, an 18-gun sloop. Lewrie sails into Corsica only to receive astonishing orders: he must lure his archenemy, French commander Guillaume Choundas, into battle and personally strike the malevolent spymaster dead. With Horatio Nelson as his squadron commander on one hand and a luscious courtesan who spies for the French on the other, Lewrie must pull out all the stops if he's going to live up to his own reputation and bring glory to the British Royal Navy.

A King`s Commander читать онлайн бесплатно

A King`s Commander - читать книгу онлайн бесплатно, автор Dewey Lambdin
Назад 1 ... 71 72 73 74 75 76 Вперед

"They'll bloody get you knackered," Lewrie countered. "Knife in the back some night. It'll be dry, Mountjoy. What we did today isn't the usual. More skulduggery, like whist or chess, creeping…"

"God, I hope so, sir!" Mountjoy laughed. "Like that, I did, as a climax to the intellectual, though I'm not a born soldier. I enjoy both sorts of action, what Mr. Silberberg described? Never make a sea officer, sir, you know that. Have to start very young for that. Not enough money for an Army commission, but… this I'd be good at, sir. And be able to make just as grand a contribution. Padgett, Mister Giles's jack-in-the-bread-room, could move up to be your clerk, sir, and he's diligent. More so than I, we both know. Would it be all right, Captain? Do I owe the Admiralty a term of service, or…"

"No, you don't, Mister Mountjoy." Lewrie sighed. "You serve me, at my pleasure. And, eventually, yours. You're quite determined…"

"I am, sir. Completely," Mountjoy said, with fervent certainty.

"Very well then, Mister Mountjoy," Lewrie said, offering a hand to the young man. "I'll accept your letter of resignation. And may God protect you in your new career. You may go ashore with Peel at Genoa."

"God always sends the Right, sir." Mountjoy beamed. "Thankee."

Wish I was that certain, Lewrie thought; of anything. With France holding almost all of the Genoese Riviera now, Jester could be sent God knew where. There was still the matter of false colors to settle, with Hotham to decide whether it was glory, or infamy and a court.

He was just bone-weary enough, though, to suspend disbelief, to feel a small, heretical sense of hope that things would work out, in his, and Jesters favor. After what Buchanon had said over supper.

"The sea!" he'd shouted in the heat of pursuit; look at the seal He thought he'd meant that broad, perverse windless river of calm that had doomed Choundas's tartane. But Buchanon's real meaning had been a lot more, he'd whispered only one hour ago, over port and biscuit.

"A seal, Cap'um, I saw it!" he'd hissed. "Close-aboard. What 'at Mister Peel told, o' th' raven ashore, too? Dear Lord, sir! Made me go ice all over when I heard. 'Twas th' Old'uns, sir. Lugh, and Lir" "But really, sir… mean you really, or just thought …?" "All the way from home t'here, sir," Buchanon had whispered so reverently, shivering with wonder. "Lir's eye 'pon ya-'pon her, sir! An' you, an' me, an' all o' us, in his hand, still. Swear t'Jesus, sir, I think where'er we sail, Lir means t'follow. Mayhap he meant t'use ya, Cap'um… t'settle this fellah Choundas's business. Must've rowed Lir sore, over somethin', for him t'grant ya good cess ashore. But once he uses ya, he don't forget his favorites."

Me, lucky ashore, Lewrie wryly mused; now there's a new'un!

Still, he went to the bulwark to gaze out at the swelling, dark sea, and raise one hand, almost in supplication, as eight bells began to chime up forrud, so blissfully routine, so fragile, thin but brassy-mellow.

"If you're out there, thankee," he whispered. "You've your eye on us, spare a glance for Mountjoy, too. He'll need it. What comes… good or ill… so be it. But, thankee… for Jesters Fortune."

And the night wind breathed in the shrouds, as if in a soft and sympathetic, assuring response.


It wasn't the usual thing for individuals to be awarded medals in the eighteenth century; those were reserved for successful campaigns or battles, given only to the few. Quite unlike today's "medals for migraines." So Lewrie wasn't recognized for his small part at The Glorious First of June. Admiral Howe's Flag Captain, Sir Roger Curtis, created a storm of controversy by recommending only those few of his personal favorites who had closed the foe, and the rest of the ship captains went without, which put them into a snit fit. There is a large group portrait of Howe and others at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, England, showing Howe (suffering too-tight shoes in asperity), the wounded Captain Sir Edward Snape Douglas with his hand to his head, distracted as if he was hearing some phantasmic voices, and at the extreme left, Sir Roger, who looms like a Nixon White House aide. The Lt. Edward Codrington went on to fame with Nelson at Trafalgar, and once he made flag rank, commanded the victory at Navarino, the last sea battle fought completely under sail in 1827.

Yes, Hotham was just about as huge a drooling idiot as I wrote of him. He was one of those people who could literally snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Not that he tried very hard, mind. He was replaced in the Mediterranean by Admiral Sir John Jervis, "Old Jarvy," the following year. Jervis was a bit on the grumpy side, a disciplinarian whose harshness saved the Mediterranean fleet from the rot of the Great Mutiny in '97, even if he had to hang a few conspirators to keep his fleet functioning. Do you imagine, gentle reader, that Lewrie and Jervis will get along like a house afire? Hmm…

As for those shocked that Captain Horatio Nelson could be portrayed as angry, crude in his speech, even blasphemous, or that the man I wrote about isn't the marble demigod atop that pillar in Trafalgar Square (I mean, I've heard of putting people, women especially, on pedestals, but that'un rather takes the cake, doesn't it?) let's remember that it's a long way from his father's rectory at Burnham Thorpe to a harsh life in the Royal Navy, and Nelson spent the greater part of his childhood and all his adult life around… sailors.

Drawing principally upon Oliver Warner's Portrait Of Lord Nelson, I found that yes, Signorina Adelaide Correglia of Leghorn existed, that she was as goose-brained as I described, and that Nelson was just as silly over her as I wrote. More to the point, what Capt. Thomas Fremantle wrote, in his laconically terse entries in his diary, which mentions dining aboard Agamemnon several times the mort was present. Fremantle was so terse he wrote of his marriage to Mistress Betsy Wynne later in one rather spare sentence! He refers to the "happy couple" as "Nelson and his doxy." Though there is a letter to Sir Gilbert Elliot from Nelson that cites "one old lady" who tells Nelson everything they wish to know. So it is possible that Adelaide Correglia was someone in Twigg's line of work, with whom, like Lewrie, Nelson could combine the business of intelligence, and pleasure.

To further cite Oliver Warner's work on Nelson, Warner used the earlier work of James Harrison, who wrote a biography with the Lady Emma Hamilton ("That Woman!") as his source, who claimed that:

"Nelson… only had two faults; venery and swearing. Harrison said of him that 'it is not to be dissembled, though by no means ever an unprincipled seducer of the wives and daughters of his friends, he was always well known to maintain rather more partiality for the fair sex than is quite consistent with the highest degree of Christian purity.' " Hmm… sounds rather like Lewrie, in that respect. Further, " 'Such improper indulgences, with some slight addition to that other vicious habit of British seamen, the occasional use of a few thoughtlessly profane expletives in speech, form the only dark specks ever yet discovered in the bright blaze of his moral character.' "

And, I'd imagine that Lewrie was the sort who could get so "up his nose," as to rouse a saint, much less a Nelson, to intemperance.

The Lt. Thomas Hardy of Meleager was indeed the man whom Commodore Nelson would risk battle with Spanish frigates to rescue, that Hardy of Trafalgar fame. At the time, he was a junior officer aboard Meleager, later following Captain Cockburn into the Mнneme frigate.

Cockburn, hmm… There may be some who could say that I have not been exactly charitable to him. He was one of Nelson's favorite officers, held up as a paragon. Nelson even forgave him for shouldering Agamemnon aside, and putting his commodore aground under fire, later at Oneglia, in his zeal to close the foe. He was the diligent sort who'd not have cared very much for Lewrie's sort, though-never married till he was forty-seven, and that to a cousin, and died without issue-and I think, for the reasons stated in the book, that Lewrie wouldn't have cared for him very much, either. More to the point, I don't, since he was that bugger who invaded the Chesapeake and burned Washington, D.C., and the White House to the ground during the War of 1812!

There was no raid on Bordighera that I know of. I made it all up. That's what writers tend to do when things get slow. Same as "Surfs Up!" when the plot broke down in all those old "beach movies" with Annette Funi-cello; "Beat To Quarters!", do twenty or so rather easier pages and let the good guys slaughter a s… load of Frogs.

Yes, the Austrians did win the Vado Sweepstakes. General de Vins acted like Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg and came down with vapors, a migraine, or something, turning things over to his second-in-command the morning of his battle. They ran like the Yankees at both Battles of Manassas. Nelson lost a lieutenant, a midshipman, and sixteen men at Vado, and his purser was forced to stagger eighteen miles with the fleeing Austrians. There were some units thirty miles from any French outposts, who took off like greased lightning without ever having seen an enemy, without a shot being fired-by them, or at them.

Was that Lewrie's fault? Could a single rifle shot (deuced good 'un; you have to admit!) have been the cause of such a rout? Stranger things have happened. Ask the Yankees again, at that bridge at First Manassas, as we unreconstructed Confederates call it. Yeeeeh-hahhh!

Besides, I think we all know by now that whenever Lewrie turns up, things just sorta kinda happen, and not always for the best. Nor, intentionally. After all, he means well, but…!

So what will happen next? Will Lewrie reconcile with Phoebe? Will Twigg throw him and Claudia Mastandrea together? Will Guillaume Choundas be a raving one-armed lunatic in some French Bedlam, or will he return to plague Lewrie once more? Will Alan settle him, once and for all? Or will he face that court-martial?

Tune in tomorrow… same station, to discover what comes amiss with Lewrie's, and Jester's, Fortune. In the meantime, I will be at Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, pondering these matters and trying to find some radical feminist bullies in thong bikinis who wish to kick sand at me.

Назад 1 ... 71 72 73 74 75 76 Вперед

Dewey Lambdin читать все книги автора по порядку

Dewey Lambdin - все книги автора в одном месте читать по порядку полные версии на сайте онлайн библиотеки Mybrary.Ru.

A King`s Commander отзывы

Отзывы читателей о книге A King`s Commander, автор: Dewey Lambdin. Читайте комментарии и мнения людей о произведении.

Подтвердите что вы не робот:*
Подтвердите что вы не робот:*
Все материалы на сайте размещаются его пользователями.
Администратор сайта не несёт ответственности за действия пользователей сайта..
Вы можете направить вашу жалобу на почту или заполнить форму обратной связи.