Passage to Mutiny (The Bolitho Novels) (Volume 7)
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October 1789, and war clouds thunder over Europe when Richard Bolitho steers the Tempest into the perilous waters of the Great South Sea. To protect vulnerable English shipping lanes from her seagoing enemies, he must face the hazards of fickle winds, pirates, and savage islanders.
respectfully through the screen door. The commodore nodded curtly, not wishing his subordinate to see that he was so interested in the other ship. “Yes, yes, I know. I’ll come up.” Even as he reached for his hat the first bang of the salute echoed across the harbour, making the dozing birds lift from the water, flapping and squawking to reprimand the newcomer for disturbing them. On the quarterdeck, and despite the spread of an awning, it was like a kiln. The flag captain touched his hat and
and every other sort of risk without a scratch. As a boatswain’s mate he was above average. But in a hand to hand fight he was something else again. A killer. Allday said, “I’ll take the helm.” He looked at Bolitho. “Ready, Captain?” He spoke so casually he might have been suggesting a stroll. Bolitho knew him so well that he could see past the calm voice. Like himself, Allday was stretched like a halter. Only when they were finally committed would he show his true self. The boat lifted and
the sense of freedom and simplicity. Like the shadow of a reef, it was hiding what lay just below the surface. Hardacre remarked absently, “You know of course that Narval’s captain is more concerned with recapturing a prisoner of France than he is in killing Tuke.” He nodded. “I see from your face you had already thought as much. You should grow a beard, Captain, to hide your feelings!” “What you were saying earlier about white women.” Hardacre chuckled. “That too you could not hide. The lady
first, the front rank of natives began to move back. When another bang shook the air they retreated, bounding up the slope, seemingly without effort. Then, and only then, did Herrick turn. Just inside the rocks was Tempest’s launch, a smoking swivel mounted in the bows. Where the canister had struck, Herrick neither knew or cared. It must have gone into the sky, for had it been aimed at the slope it would have killed more of his men than their attackers. Perhaps the sound, and the sight of the
Bolitho went down the wooden stairway and towards the glaring sunlight. In the middle of the compound yard, on a small, ornate stool, the chief was sitting very erect and still, his dark eyes fixed on the empty gibbet. He was younger than Bolitho had expected, with thick, bushy hair and a small beard. His garment was of green cloth embroidered with coloured beads, and around his neck he wore a simple loop of gold wire. His eyes shifted to Bolitho as Hardacre said, “Tinah, this is the English