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The Daily Aubrey-Maturin: The Surgeon’s Mate (Book 7), Chapters 10-11 (pg. 2491-2558)

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The Paris Temple.
The Paris Temple. 19th Century engraving.
Photo by: Photo 12/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

CHAPTER 10

The crew of the Ariel are taken prisoners, but after a brief time, Aubrey, Maturing, and the envoy Jagielka Jagiello are whisked off to Paris for a more special prison, a high class place called Temple. On the way, Maturin gets on good terms with their captor, Duhamel, after helping him through a bout of food poisoning from shellfish.

At the prison, Jagiello gets on good terms with the woman who’s cooking food for them, eventually convincing her to start smuggling in other items.

CHAPTER 11

Aubrey gets to work on engineering an escape for them, but he needs to move fast as Maturin’s taken for extra special interrogation in Paris. The French have grown suspicious that he may be a spy after someone offered up a large sum of money for their release. (That someone turns out to be Diana, who has stayed in Paris after their last visit some months ago. And the large sum turns out to be a massive diamond.)

Maturin resists their feeble attempts at interrogation, but then Mr. Johnson shows up and confirms Maturin as the man who killed the two French agents in Halifax. Maturin’s now in trouble, but fortunately Duhamel arrives with a (secret) offer to help them escape — evidently some in France believe Napoleon’s fighting a losing war and are positioning themselves for his inevitable downfall.

Meanwhile, Maturin learns that Diana has miscarried, while Aubrey learns that his one-night stand Amanda Smith has gotten married to someone else.

With the help of the anti-Bonapartists, the trio reach a ship that will take them home. The ship’s captain turns out to be old friend Babbington, who then uses his powers as captain to officiate Maturin and Diana’s wedding. Aubrey was of course the best man.

And thus, we come to the end of book 7: “The Surgeon’s Mate”. Next up, book 8: “The Ionian Mission”.


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