Ramage's Diamond (The Lord Ramage Novels) (Volume 7)

Ramage's Diamond (The Lord Ramage Novels) (Volume 7)

Dudley Pope

Language: English

Pages: 336

ISBN: 0935526897

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The youngest captain in His Majesty's Navy, with a reputation for landing impossible assignments, Lord Ramage is dispatched to the Caribbean islands of Martinique and Diamond Rock. The mission seems humdrum: barricade the French within Fort Royal. But sent to sea in the Juno with a crew grown restless and undisciplined under the prior commmand of a drunk, Ramage realizes his vssel may not be up to battle with the French.

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their sails had been furled, but the jib-boom and bowsprit of one was still locked into the other. Through the glass it seemed as if her bow had ridden up the side and then dropped down in a chopping movement, perhaps smashing a hole in the planking above the waterline. They would not get free for many hours. “One at a time, Mr Southwick,” Ramage agreed, and the Master’s cheery and confident manner helped the plan forming in his mind. “First we force La Comète to surrender …” “Then I’ll go over

were the seamen and behind him the officers. The deck was even filthier than he had thought at first: cracked pitch in many seams showed they were long overdue for re-paying or running over with a hot iron. Many ropes’ ends needed whippings, the wood of many blocks was bare and showing cracks for lack of oil. Even on deck the stink of the bilges was nauseating—when had they last been pumped? Curiously enough the twelve-pounder guns were newly blacked, the carriages freshly painted and the

Captain’s announcement to the ship’s company off the Lizard. He had estimated then that it would take a couple of months to knock the ship’s company into shape. Now he thought that there was a fair chance they would get through today without too many disasters. What had bothered Aitken was the men’s attitude when he—and the other officers for that matter—joined the ship. The drunken sot who had previously commanded her had not only let the ship go to pieces—the devil knew what he did with the

would be anchoring again. He glanced up at the wind-vane at the maintruck and then to the eastward, where the sun was just lifting over the mountains. So far, so good; at least the French convoy had not chosen this moment to round Pointe des Salines. Fifteen minutes later the Juno had rounded up off the south side of the Rock and dropped anchor again, gathering sternway under a backed foretopsail, so that the cable thundered out through the starboard hawse, smoking with the friction. As soon as

of here by nightfall. If we can get three months’ supplies by then, so much the better. Warn the purser, so he can get them on deck ready. Lacey can go on shore now to start on the other battery.” CHAPTER FOURTEEN AT NOON next day a weary but exultant Ramage stood between the two guns of the Juno battery, 570 feet up on top of Diamond Rock. The sun was almost directly overhead, the sea a deep blue and stippled by waves. The headland formed by Diamond Hill, across the Fours Channel, seemed

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