A Game of Bones by David Donachie

By David Donachie

The long-awaited go back of the Bucephalas to the security of the Cinque Ports is interrupted via a disastrous engagement within the Channel. The looming form of a merchantman becalmed in fog offers a nearly impossible to resist attract. yet for Harry Ludlow and his battle-weary staff, the pursuit of 1 final effortless prize ends up in a determined struggle.

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Cruises in a small corvette. Well armed, of course, but a tub in the sailing line from what I saw of her. He could never have got close to us in any kind of wind. But in light airs and fog, and knowing the damned Channel currents as he did, the swine had the advantage. His base is Isigny-sur-Mer. ” Rykert’s face took on an amused half smile. A man like him, who’d spent years blockading the French coast, knew where Isigny was better than Illingworth. Mentally he conjured up an image of 42 T H E P R I V AT E E R S M A N M Y S T E R I E S the wide estuary, Le Baie du Grand Vey, fed by the twin rivers, the Vire and Virène.

James was right. With half his crew pressed into a man-of-war, and their captain desperate to get them back, Harry had very nearly threatened Bridport, something which no man, high or low, enjoys. ” Rykert’s voice boomed across the water. Harry saw him, wrapped in a boatcloak, standing by the taffrail of Amethyst, speaking trumpet in hand. ” “Brest,” said Harry, for James’s benefit. “However, I intend that my midshipman should stay aboard with you till you’re abreast of Southsea Castle. Their guard boats will see you through the narrows into Portsmouth harbour.

Besides, I can vouch for it, sir. Derouac, my steward, is a Guernseyman. He even understands the local Norman argot, which is more than you could say for most Frenchmen. He listened to Tressoir’s crew talking, and Isigny was mentioned more than once as the place they would spend what they’d earned. I know the estuary vaguely. He will have no end of trouble in getting my ship far enough upriver to be safe from attack. ” “It’s a pity, then, that I am not my own master,” said Rykert, clearly saddened by the idea.

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