Kydd: A Kydd Sea Adventure (Kydd Sea Adventures)
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When Thomas Paine Kydd, a young wig-maker from Guildford, is seized and taken across the country to be part of the crew of the 98-gun line-of-battle ship Duke William, he must learn the harsh realities of shipboard life quickly. Despite all he goes through, amid dangers of tempest and battle, he comes to admire the skills and courage of his fellow seamen, taking up the challenge himself to become a true sailor and defender of Britain at war.
slowly, but with infinite menace, he said, “A lumpin’ great lobcock like you would do well to know where he stands afore he thinks to get uppity — you scavey?” The hard, colorless eyes seemed to impale Kydd’s soul. The thin lips curled. “O’ course yer do, cully,” he said. “You’re a Johnny Raw, new caught, who’s goin’ to learn his place right quick — ain’t that the case?” He released Kydd slowly, keeping him transfixed. Bowyer’s troubled voice came in from behind Kydd. “No call fer that, Mr.
Elkins,” he said. Elkins turned on him. “I’ll be lookin’ out for Kydd, don’t you worry, Mr. Elkins.” He grabbed Kydd’s arm and steered him back to the mainmast. A young officer watched, frowning. “Don’t do to cross Elkins’s bows, shipmate,” Bowyer muttered, pretending to test the tension of a line at the bitts. Kydd had never backed down from anyone in his life — even the raw-boned squire’s son treated him with care. But this was another situation, filled with unknowns. “See there, Tom” —
interest: for a landman only days aboard to have made it aloft so soon must indicate something of his mettle. Kydd flushed with pleasure. He was being included in the general conversation for the first time in this mess, and felt pleased that it was Whaley, the born seaman, who had done so. “Couldn’t help it — Joe would’ve given me a quiltin’ with a rope’s end, else,” he said, a wide smile firmly in place. Howell stirred with irritation. “Said before, younker, you’re a land-man ’n’ not bred to
held two lanthorns each side of Bowyer’s head. The surgeon felt the skull all over, then picked up a scalpel and, stretching the scalp with one hand, drew the blade smartly across in a three-inch incision. He made a similar cut at right angles at one end of the first incision, then peeled the scalp away in a triangle. The sickly white of living, gleaming bone was clear in the close lanthorn light. The surgeon bent nearer and traced the long depressed fracture to where it continued under the
to avoid the blood. Stallard’s eyes rolled and he started a maundering diatribe. Outside a walkway deckboard creaked. Kydd clapped his hand over Stallard’s mouth. Stallard struggled awhile, then subsided. Another sound came distinctly. Kydd held his breath. There were footsteps coming from forward, the direction of the boatswain’s cabin, and they came hesitantly. Stallard gave a spasm and moaned under Kydd’s hand, which he clamped tighter. The footsteps stopped outside. Scrabbling noises