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By C. S. Forester

Compelled to give up his send, the Sutherland, after an extended and bloody conflict, Captain Horatio Hornblower now bides his time as a prisoner in a French citadel. inside days he and his first lieutenant, Bush, who used to be crippled within the final struggle, are to be taken to Paris to be attempted on trumped-up fees of violating the legislation of conflict, and most likely completed as a part of Napoleon's try and rally the warweary empire in the back of him. whether Hornblower escapes this destiny and by some means reveals his as far back as England, he'll face court-martial for his give up of a British send. As fears for his lifestyles and his popularity compete in his brain with concerns approximately his pregnant spouse and his almost certainly widowed lover, the indomitable captain imetierntly awaits the opportunity to make his subsequent stream.

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Almost certainly the most obvious indignation of the maids on the advice that so nice a guy can be left to sleep at the flooring can have weighed with him too. He known as to the sentry on the door and advised him to carry a bed from the stables the place the escort have been billeted. It used to be just a palliasse of straw whilst it got here, however it used to be whatever infinitely more well-off than naked and draughty forums, all of the similar. Brown appeared his gratitude to Hornblower because the bed used to be opened up within the nook of the room. “Time to show in,” acknowledged Hornblower, ignoring it, because the door used to be locked in the back of the sergeant. “Let’s make you cozy, first, Bush. ” It was once a few vague self-conscious purpose which made Hornblower choose between his valise the embroidered nightshirt over which Maria’s busy arms had laboured lovingly — the nightshirt which he had introduced with him from England to be used may still it take place that he may still dine and sleep at a Governor’s or on board the flagship. the entire years he have been a captain he had by no means shared a room with an individual store Maria, and it was once a unique adventure for him to organize for mattress in sight of Bush and Brown, and he was once ridiculously self-conscious approximately it, whatever the indisputable fact that Bush, white and exhausted, used to be already mendacity again on his pillow with drooping eyelids, whereas Brown modestly stripped off his trousers with downcast eyes, wrapped himself within the cloak which Hornblower insisted on his utilizing, and curled himself up on his palliasse and not using a look at his enhanced. Hornblower obtained into mattress. “Ready? ” he requested, and blew out the candle; the hearth had died right down to embers which gave purely the faintest pink glow within the room. It was once the start of 1 of these conscious nights which Hornblower had grown through now in a position to realize prematurely. the instant he blew out the candle and settled his head at the pillow he knew he wouldn't be capable of sleep till previous to sunrise. In his send he might have long past up on deck or walked his stern gallery; right here he may possibly basically lie grimly motionless. occasionally a subdued crackling advised how Brown was once turning over on his straw bed; a few times Bush moaned a bit in his feverish sleep. To-day used to be Wednesday. merely 16 days in the past and Hornblower have been captain of a seventy-four, and absolute grasp of the happiness of 5 hundred seamen. His least observe directed the operations of a huge engine of warfare; the blows it had dealt had prompted an imperial throne to totter. He suggestion regretfully of night-time aboard his send, the creaking of the timbers and the making a song of the rigging, the emotionless quartermaster on the wheel within the faint mild of the binnacle and the officer of the watch pacing the quarterdeck. Now he was once a not anyone; the place as soon as he had minutely regulated men’s lives he used to be diminished to chaffering for a unmarried bed for the single seaman left to him; police sergeants may well insult him with impunity; he needed to come and to head on the bidding of somebody he despised. Worse than that — Hornblower felt the recent blood working below his pores and skin because the complete attention broke upon him back — he used to be being taken to Paris as a legal.

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