By Patrick O'Brian
Commissioned to rescue Governor Bligh of Bounty status, Captain Jack Aubrey and his pal and health care provider Stephen Maturin sail the Leopard to Australia with a carry jam-packed with convicts. between them is a gorgeous and unsafe spy—and a treacherous affliction that decimates the team. With a Dutch man-of-war to windward, the undermanned, outgunned Leopard sails for her existence into the freezing waters of the Antarctic, the place, in mountain seas, the Dutchman closes...
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Additional resources for Desolation Island (Aubrey & Maturin, Book 5)
A red painted shutter banged in the west wind. Abandoned washing was strung to dry between the high houses. A round shot crashed through tiles, splintering rafters and cascading shards into the street. A dog, its hip cut to the bone by a falling tile, limped downhill and whined pitifully. A woman shrieked for a lost child. A line of orphans, all in dull white jerkins like farm laborers’ smocks, were crying in terror as two nuns tried to make a passage for them. A priest ran from a church with a massive silver cross on one shoulder and a pile of embroidered vestments on the other.
Many thought the British would withdraw, ought to withdraw, that they should give up the game and let the French have Portugal. “Turn your head to the right,” Hagman said. The scissors clicked busily, not even pausing as a round shot buried itself in the church at the hill’s top. A mist of dust showed beside the whitewashed bell tower down which a crack had suddenly appeared. The Portuguese cavalry had been swallowed by the gun smoke and a trumpet called far away. There was a burst of musketry, then silence.
Other barges still crossed the river, but they were manned by armed men who only took passengers willing to pay. Sharpe knew he could force a passage on one of those boats if he could only get near the quayside, but to do that he would need to fight through a throng of women and children. He reckoned the bridge might make an easier escape route. It consisted of a plank roadway laid across eighteen big wine barges that were nrmly anchored against the river’s current and against the big surge of tides from the nearby ocean, but the roadway was now crammed with panicked refugees who became even more frantic as the first French can-nonballs splashed into the river.
Desolation Island (Aubrey & Maturin, Book 5) by Patrick O'Brian