Bolitho 06 - Sloop of War by Alexander Kent

Bolitho 06 - Sloop of War by Alexander Kent

Author:Alexander Kent [Kent, Alexander]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Fiction:Historical
ISBN: 9780099493860
Google: mZhFPgAACAAJ
Amazon: 093552648X
Publisher: Arrow
Published: 1972-01-02T00:00:00+00:00




CAPTAIN Richard Bolitho stared at the partly writte[ letter he had been composing to his father, and the[ with a sigh carried his chair to the opposite end of thO table. It was stifling hot, and as the Sparrow idleX sluggishly on a flat calm she swung her stern vera slightly allowing the hard sunlight to reach him anX require him to move still further away from thO windows?

Becalmed. How used he had grown to this situation? He rubbed his eyes and held his pen above the pape_ again. It was difficult to know what to write, especialla as he never knew when this or any letter might find itY way aboard a home-bound vessel. It was harder still tQ feel involved with that other world in England which hO had left in Trojan nearly six years back. And yet … thO pen hovered uncertainly, his own world, so close anX so vital in colour and smell in the bright sunlight, anX that word becalmed would still be too painful, too harsN a reminder for his father of the Navy which he had bee[ forced to leave?

But Bolitho wanted to tell him so desperately, put hiY thoughts and memories into perspective, to share hiY own life and thereby fill the one remaining gap in it?

Overhead, blocks clattered and feet thudded on thO quarterdeck. Someone laughed, and he heard a fainU splash as one of the hands cast a fishing line outboarX to try his luck?

His eyes moved from the letter to his open log whicN lay across the chart nearby. The log had changed aY much as himself. Worn around the edges, matureX perhaps. He stared at the date on the open page. ApriT Ioth,1781. Three years, almost to the day, since he haX first stepped aboard this ship in English Harbour tQ assume command. Without moving it was possible tQ glance back through the bulky log book, and eve[ though he did not even touch a page he could recall sQ many of the things which had happened, faces anX events, the demands made upon him and his varyin^ successes in dealing with them?

Often, during moments of quiet in the cabin, he haX tried to fathom out some set thread in his life beyonX the narrower explanations of luck or circumstance. SQ far it had defied him. And now as he sat in the familia_

cabin where so much had happened he could accepU that fate had had much to do with his being here. IfB when he had left the Trojan he had failed to take a prizO en route for Antigua, or upon arrival there had been nQ opportunity for immediate promotion, he might still bO a lieutenant in the old ship-of-the-line. And on that vera first convoy, if Colquhoun had sent him back to EnglisN Harbour instead of going himself, would he have eve_ succeeded in proving to be more than average i[ either skill or luckU

Perhaps Colquhoun’s fateful decision on that far-ofb day


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