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The Daily Aubrey-Maturin: The Letter of Marque (Book 12), Chapters 3-5 (pg. 3909-4009)

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Capture of the SparviÚre Photo by Print Collector/Getty Images

CHAPTER 3

The storm turns out to be a wee bit stronger than expected, but the Surprise’s made of stern stuff and they come through largely unscathed. Same can’t be said for the Merlin, a schooner that they happen upon afterwards. Turns out, it’s a consort to the Spartan, the ship they had been chasing a couple books ago. The Merlin’s captain tells Aubrey that the Spartan has collected multiple prize-ships and stashed them in a bay. It’s about to head back to America with them, but not before capturing one more, the Azul.

Aubrey devises a plan to fool the Spartan into thinking that the Surprise is the Azul, but that plan gets thwarted by the elements. Still, the Surprise finds the other two ships engaged in battle, and Aubrey’s able to take them both at the same time. The Azul is in no shape to keep going, but the Spartan’s captured, alongside all its other prizes. Not too shabby for a sea-trial!

CHAPTER 4

Back in England after the action against the Spartan, with Aubrey now quite wealthy thanks to those prizes and debt-free for the first time. Still, his chance of reinstatement is practically none.

Sir Joseph’s back in charge of the intelligence services, and suspects that Wray’s been colluding with someone higher up. Wray’s location currently unknown.

Sir Joseph hints that were Aubrey to capture a French or America frigate, he might yet be reinstated, and gives them orders to go after one, the Diane in St Martin, in the Caribbean.

CHAPTER 5

Jack devizes a clever plan to capture the Diane, and they conducted seemingly endless practices for it before setting sail for St Martin.


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