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The Daily Aubrey-Maturin: The Nutmeg of Consolation (Book 14), Chapters 3-5 (pg. 4506-4594)

Your daily dose of off-topic shenanigans

The Island of Onrust near Batavia Jakarta Indonesia
The Island of Onrust near Batavia (Jakarta), Indonesia, 1699
Photo by: Sepia Times/Universal Images Group via Getty Images


Aubrey and crew successfully reach Batavia aboard the junk, learning along the way that the previously disabled French ship on Pulo Prabang, the Cornélie is ready to set sail. Maturin bribes the locals (with whom they struck the treaty in the previous book) to deny them any gunpowder, since he figures it’s inevitable that they will meet eventually on the high seas.

On Batavia, the backup copy of the treaty gets delivered to the English governor (Mr Fox having perished in the typhoon alongside the original), but it’s not all great news, as Maturin learns that his bank back in England has gone insolvent, taking all his money down with it. No FDIC here! Still, he’s able to secure a new ship to use to try to rendezvous with the Surprise and get home, a disused Dutch ship that they rename the Nutmeg (of Consolation).


The Nutmeg gets outfitted with generous support from the governor. Aubrey’s quite taken with the thing, which has tremendous straight-line speed.


They learn of the Cornélie’s location from a local merchant vessel, and Aubrey devises a plan to try to get close to the bigger warship — of course it involves a disguise, though this time, it doesn’t quite work. The Cornélie, now with plenty of water and gunpowder on board, is not fooled and a chase ensues...





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