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The Daily Aubrey-Maturin: The Nutmeg of Consolation (Book 14), Chapters 9-10 (pg. 4699-4778)

Your daily dose of off-topic shenanigans.

Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus)...
A platypus
Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images

NB. The new target to get the series finished is the end of the month / transfer window.


Maturin’s little incident with Captain Lowe seems to have been swept under the carpet, but at the same time, the rule of law doesn’t seem to apply too strenuously around these parts, and corruption seems rife. That’s complicating Aubrey’s attempts to repair and refit the ship for the voyage home by way of South America.

The Surprise tries to unload the two young kids rescued off smallpox island, but they run back to the ship from the orphanage. Meanwhile, Maturin works hard to try to free his former longtime aide, Padeen, whose addiction to opium had led him to steal, get caught, and sentenced to transportation for New South Wales.

Maturin also learns that he’s not in fact broke as he did not correctly fill out his bank transfer form before leaving, so his funds are in fact safe at his old (and still functioning) bank. Huzzah!


Going on a month in port, the Surprise’s troubles with the locals continue, with a power struggle also developing between the local Army and the Navy represented by Aubrey. Order’s somewhat restored when another ship arrives, but Aubrey’s just about had enough and decides to get underway without fully completing all the repairs.

Maturin does learn from the crew of the newly arrived Waverley that his first child, a daughter has been born, and that makes him hugely happy — which then perhaps leads him to some careless choices in trying to smuggle Padeen back to England (which Aubrey denies) and also getting clawed by a venomous male platypus. Maturin has an allergic reaction to the venom, but recovers on ship, in the process allowing Padeen to come on board as well (he was with Maturin at the time).

And thus ends Book 14, “The Nutmeg of Consolation”. Next up, Book 15, “The Truelove”.





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