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By Alexander Kent
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Extra resources for Enemy in Sight! (The Bolitho Novels) (Volume 10)
The Tricolour nonetheless flapped from the gaff, and the musketry used to be a transparent resolution to his plea to finish the onesided struggle. but he couldn't supply the order to fireside. with no leaning out over the nettings he may possibly photograph that double line of weapons, with every one port choked with gazing eyes and a gaping muzzle. each gun aboard the frigate’s engaged aspect was once both upended or smashed, and she or he was once already so low within the water that she couldn't final for much longer with no extra males to aid her. He couldn't allow her get away, nor may possibly he probability his personal men’s lives in an test at boarding. The French captain needs to be a enthusiast. He smiled part to himself, and the naked-backed seaman at his facet seeing the curve of his lips shook his pigtailed head in ask yourself- ment. yet Bolitho’s smile was once one in all pity and unhappiness. He used to be remembering himself as a tender frigate captain matched opposed to a boat of the road. The “ifs” and “whys” have been on his part that day, or perhaps he had simply been fortunate, he idea dully. ft hit the deck with a noisy crash, and for a second he imagined a wounded guy had fallen from the yards. however it was once Gascoigne. Bolitho had forgotten all in regards to the younger mid- shipman till this second. “Well, boy, why have you ever left the masthead? ” It was once a silly query, however it used to be giving him a couple of extra seconds to imagine and choose what to do. Gascoigne rubbed his sore fingers. “Couldn’t make myself heard, sir. ” He swung his hands in the direction of the estuary. past the sandbars and the remnants of offshore mist Bolitho observed the darkish define of land and the as soon as busy waterway to Bordeaux. He blurted, “ Masts, sir! The mist is so thick up there i'll- n’t see an excessive amount of, yet masts there are and lots! ” He recovered himself and blushed. “Three or 4 ships, sir, and coming our method! ” Bolitho observed Inch’s face around the boy’s shoulder. “Now we all know, Mr Inch! ” He walked to the rail and pointed at Lieutenant Stepkyne. “Go alongside every one gun in flip. i would like each ball to hit! ” He appeared impassively on the sluggish relocating frigate. there have been sandbars past her, and Hyperion was once close to the centre of the most channel. “I wish her sunk the place she is now, Mr Step- kyne. ” He got rid of his hat and didn't even balk as a musket ball struck a nine-pounder and whined away over the poop. Stepkyne walked to the 1st gun. A midshipman stood on the major hatch able to go the be aware to the decrease battery, in order that every one weapon might have a dual for the ultimate act. “Fire! ” Bolitho seemed away because the frigate’s mizzen fell in an outstanding welter of fractured spars and tangled rigging. “Fire! ” a complete part of the most deck erupted in splin- ters, amidst which corpses and death males have been thrown approximately like bloodied rag dolls. In among each one remorseless pair of explosions he might listen males screaming and sobbing, as though the send herself was once pleading for mercy. He gripped the rail, prepared the frigate to sink and finish the slaughter. “Fire! ” Bubbles have been already churning the bloodstained water round the send right into a miniature whirlpool, and right here and there a melancholy- ing survivor used to be jumping overboard, purely to be over excited at the quick present.