By Alexander Kent
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Extra info for A Tradition of Victory
Not now. I know you mean well, but she must have made port with days to spare. ” Allday sighed. ” He paused as if expecting Bolitho to turn on him. ” Bolitho sat down on the bench beneath the stern windows. It was strange, but a fact, that it was easy to talk with his big coxswain, whereas he could never express even the hint of a doubt to Neale or any of his officers. That would imply weakness, uncertainty, what a man remembered when the iron began to fly, when he most needed to be inspired. Allday was probably right.
Deck there! ” Feet pounded across the planking and another voice snapped, “Alert the captain, Mr Manning! ” Bolitho and Allday exchanged glances. It was the part Bolitho hated most. Having to wait. Not able to rush up and join the others and make his own judgement. Neale was the captain. Voices sighed back and forth across the quarterdeck, but more subdued now. They were conscious either of Neale’s arrival on deck or of the fact that the cabin skylight was propped fully open. ” In spite of his own anxiety, Bolitho was forced to smile.
Neale nodded jerkily. “Aye, sir. Mr Pickthorn! We are standing into the wind! ” As the helm was put up still further, Styx lifted like a stag caught by a musket ball in mid-air. Under Pickthorn’s guidance, and the curses and blows of the frantic petty officers and topmen, the ship plunged down into a deep trough, the sails flapping against the masts and forcing the hull over like a waterlogged cutter. A seaman fell from the ratlines, the sea directly below his kicking feet before two of his companions hauled him gasping to safety.
A Tradition of Victory by Alexander Kent