Desolation Island (Aubrey/Maturin)

Desolation Island (Aubrey/Maturin)

Patrick O'Brian

Language: English

Pages: 325

ISBN: 039330812X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

"The relationship [between Aubrey and Maturin] about the best thing afloat....For Conradian power of description and sheer excitement there is nothing in naval fiction to beat the stern chase as the outgunned Leopard staggers through mountain waves in icy latitudes to escape the Dutch seventy-four."―Stephen Vaughan, Observer

Commissioned to rescue Governor Bligh of Bounty fame, Captain Jack Aubrey and his friend and surgeon Stephen Maturin sail the Leopard to Australia with a hold full of convicts. Among them is a beautiful and dangerous spy―and a treacherous disease that decimates the crew. With a Dutch man-of-war to windward, the undermanned, outgunned Leopard sails for her life into the freezing waters of the Antarctic, where, in mountain seas, the Dutchman closes...

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rising sheer, it possessed little in the way of cliffs except for two on the seaward side, being for the most part a smooth dome. Yet although it had a fine and park-like extent of many hundred acres, it was scarcely big enough for all the creatures that hurried to it for the breeding season, coming in from the limitless southern ocean, an ocean almost devoid of land, where they roamed for the rest of the year. The few resident birds, the curious teal, the blue-eyed shag, perhaps the sheathbill,

up the hill, and over on the right a nightjar churred, perched lengthways on the gibbet at the crest. After half a mile Jack said, 'I cannot believe it of him. He is a great man in the City, apart from anything else. He understands the movement of the Funds, and once he told me that if I put money into Bank Stock, I should certainly make a handsome profit before the month was out. And sure enough, Mr Perceval made a statement, and some people cleared thousands. But I am not such a flat as that,

the slopes behind to gather their own eggs and their own cabbages. Jack had taken measures to ensure that those Leopards who were ashore should not enter into conflict with the whalers, but there was little need. The whalers walked by without any greeting apart from an offhand grunt, communicating only indirectly, by remarks intended to be overheard - 'That's the - old Leopard', 'Remember 1807', 'Stole half our -cabbages, the sods', and the like. They were a very tough-looking set of men, many so

in the end, and had to come down to the shore and creep along among the blazing boulders to find the village. He dropped his gun and hurt the lock, and grew pretty sullen with the heat; but I did my best to bear with him. You would have applauded me, Sophie. He is an older man than I by ten or fifteen years, a very fine navigator, and has been badly used. But from our first meeting aboard the flagship, I was sure it would never answer: you cannot have two captains in a ship, and his long

fine American bark the Asa Foulkes, who recognized the boat. 'Asa Foulkes,' replied Bonden, with an offensive variation of the name and a scornful laugh. 'Do you lack for any hands? We got three Liverpool Irishmen aboard, and a quartermaster that ran from the Melampus. Why don't you come and press them?' Merriment aboard the bark, and cries of 'Bloody old Leopard.' 'From the look of your topsides and your harbour stow,' said Bonden, now abreast of the Asa Foulkes, 'you ain't got a single

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