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The Daily Aubrey-Maturin: Post Captain (Book 2), Chapters 7-8 (pg. 594-684)

Your daily dose of off-topic shenanigans

South Foreland Cliffs And Lghthouse From The Sea Of Dover
South Foreland Cliffs And Lghthouse From The Sea Of Dover
Photo by CM Dixon/Heritage Images/Getty Images

CHAPTER 7

Commander Jack is hard at work trying to make his new ship seaworthy, finding not enough good men, as usual, to help crew it and that’s before they try to learn and understand all of its fancy new tech, like a reverse gear (think double-tipped skis), while dealing with all of its more basic issues, like constantly leaking water or not able to set certain sails. No wonder they called the HMS Polychrest the Carpenter’s Mistake.

Aubrey & Maturin do find some good help with a few familiar faces joining them from the Sophie, including Mr Pullings, who’s now been elevated to lieutenant, at Jack’s behest. Pullings’s elated and throws a big party with friends and family to celebrate. Jack attends, despite the risks posed by going ashore. And sure enough, he’s found by local toughs working for the debt collectors. Aubrey shouts ”Newsteam, assemble!” and things escalate rather quickly from there, but the good guys win and forcibly enlist their vanquished assailants as crew-members, too. Fresh meat!

CHAPTER 8

The Polychrest heads out to link up with Admiral Harte, survives a nine-day squall, arrives late, but things work out a-ok mostly. Harte and Aubrey still definitely don’t like each other, and Aubrey passing up a chance to chase down a smuggler doesn’t help the mood.

Meanwhile, Maturin’s displeased with the harsh treatment of the crew by Lt. Parker, and after stepping out of line to confront him, takes a brief leave of absence (he’s prevented from quitting by Aubrey). Maturin seeks comfort by visiting some sand dunes (well, more like quicksand and no dunes) and some ladies, namely Sweet Sophie, who’s still in love with Aubrey, and less-sweet Diana, who’s also still in love with Aubrey. Steve’s still besotted with Diana as well, and one feels this issue might eventually cause some trouble between the two men.

And sure enough, the episode ends with Maturin deducing that Aubrey’s been paying secret visits to Diana during their present stay in Dover — Maturin smelling the scent of the perfume he had given Diana during his most recent visit. It’s like a telenovela up in here!


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