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The Daily Aubrey-Maturin: The Commodore (Book 17), Chapters 3-5 (pg. 5401-5496)

Your daily dose of off-topic shenanigans

Close-up of a painting of a battleship
Painting/illustration of the HMS Bellona
Photo by De Agostini via Getty Images/De Agostini via Getty Images


Aubrey’s at home, posing in his fancy new uniform, like when you buy new boots and you prance around in them in your house in the name of “breaking them in” (or is that just me?). Jack’s command looks to consist of five or more ships (final make-up of the squadron still not set at this time), but his flagship will be the 74-gun HMS Bellona — an older ship that was famous in real life for having an extra-long service life (50+ years).

Meanwhile, in bits of domestic drama, Stephen hires a private investigator to look for his runaway wife, Diana, while also trying to keep Jack’s mother-in-law from interfering in his (Stephen’s, that is) private affairs. Stephen’s kid finally says her first words, much to his delight.


The Aubrey’s host all the captains of the squadron for dinner — everyone’s cool and gets along, except for a crusty old hag named Capt. Thomas. No one likes him.

Meanwhile, Maturin gets called in to a secret rendezvous by Sir Joseph, who tells him that he needs to make a run for it, and there is no time to waste as the Duke of Habachtsthal and his powerful friends are ready to take their revenge against him and Mrs Oakes (to protect their own secrets).


Stephen (with the help of a few loyal crew including Bonden and Reade) is able to escape to Spain with his daughter, plus Clarissa and Padeen. He leaves them there at his ancestral home/castle, while he goes to rejoin Aubrey.





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