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The Daily Aubrey-Maturin: The Hundred Days (Book 19), Chapters 2-3 (pg. 5948-6001)

Your daily dose of off-topic shenanigans

HMS Vanguard
Lord Nelson on the HMS Vanguard leading the charge (1798)
Photo by Rischgitz/Getty Images

CHAPTER 2

Aubrey’s squadron swings into action with news of French-allied Algerian ships looking to attack a convoy of merchant vessels. The boys in blue arrive just in time, with the convoy already under attack, but they are able to quickly overwhelm the enemy, whom they outnumber and outgun by some margin. The Surprise takes and destroys at least one, while the big hulking Pomona runs down three, including literally splitting one in half. The rest run off but it’s still a bloodbath. War is hell, right?

CHAPTER 3

The squadron returns to Gibraltar then hops over to Mahón on Menorca to rearm and repair. Nice to see old Mahón again, where it all began some 19 books ago. While Aubrey’s action is praised by high command, and written up in glorious terms, some are finding it hard to deal with the events, including the captain of the Pomona, who puts a gun to his own head to stop the images replaying in it. Of course his suicide is dismissed as an accident and we carry on like normal.

There’s also a suggestion that everyone’s favorite grumpy steward, Killick may be on his last legs, with Maturin observing him like a slowly dying animal resigned to his fate. Guess that’s not just a little cough he’s got.

Quite dark, this book, so far.


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