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The Daily Aubrey-Maturin: Blue at the Mizzen (Book 20), Chapters 3-4 (pg. 6243-6292)

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The Adfgvx Cipher, Employed By The German Army In World War I.
An example of a cipher, this one employed by the Germany Army in WWI
Photo By Encyclopaedia Britannica/UIG Via Getty Images

CHAPTER 3

Maturin gets back to London and debriefs with Sir Joseph. Together they decipher Dr Jacob’s mangled code, which speaks of a complicated and fluid situation among the Chilean freedom movement, with a splintering into two sides, one which is also enlisting a former Royal Navy captain, Sir Lindsay, who could jeopardize the (fake) neutrality of Aubrey’s mission. They decide to still go ahead with the mission despite the shifting landscape, hoping to learn more concrete information on the ground.

CHAPTER 4

The Surprise gets patched up and gets ready to sail, once again manned by a vastly experienced, familiar, and overqualified crew, especially now with the war over and trade-ships hard to come by. There is one rookie on board however, the son of an influencer Duke, so we get to use his p.o.v. to run through some of the familiar movements at the start of every voyage: learning about sails and masts and navigation and of course exercising the guns.

The Surprise arrives back in Madeira, still smoldering a bit, but mostly back in business, for a pit stop, and also to pick up Dr Jacob, who has devised a plan to get to Chile even faster: get dropped off in Rio and cross overland, through the Andes (while the Surprise continues to sail around). What could possibly go wrong?


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