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The Daily Aubrey-Maturin: The Thirteen-Gun Salute (Book 13), Chapters 1-3 (pg. 4132-4212)

Your daily dose of off-topic shenanigans.

Lisbon harbour - 1793
Lisbon harbour - 1793
Photo by Culture Club/Getty Images


It’s a few weeks, perhaps months later, and the Surprise is finally set to sail on the long mission to South America and beyond — ostensibly to harass French and American shipping and whaling, but in reality to deploy Maturin to help seed revolutions in Peru and Chile against Spain (who are currently allied with England). All the usual crew are here, Pullings, Bonden, etc, despite many of them quite rich or well off now after all the recent prize-taking. They’re just in it for the love of the game! There are a few new faces however, including the purses, who turns out to be an unliked and incompetent fool.

Meanwhile, big news in the Maturin household: Diana’s pregnant! And Stephen’s off the sauce, though he just replaced the laudanum (i.e. opium-laced alcohol) with coca leaves (i.e. mild doses of cocaine). Aubrey meanwhile still in line for reinstatement, probably, though political winds are constantly shifting (and he still has some enemies in court, and some people sympathetic with Wray, etc.)


They spot a potential prize in the Irish Sea, giving chase but losing it in a bit of bad weather. The mood on the ship takes a hit, but is then soon repaired by the daily routine of sailing


They reach Lisbon for a rest stop, and agree to a change of plans from Sir Joseph, who comes down in person. The Diane, pressed into service for the Royal Navy, is to join the mission under Aubrey’s command, with Pullings taking over the Surprise. The Diane is to sail to the South China Sea, to where Wray has apparently fled, while the Surprise continues on the original mission. Eventually, they two ships are to rendezvous somewhere off the coast of Chile or Peru.



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