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By Cape Mondego

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By Cape Mondego

Post  Guest on Mon Mar 09, 2009 8:22 am

Forenoon watch: 7 bells. [Since we weren't going to reach Figueira until 'about' noon, and it is clearly still the larboard watch's watch.]

The call from the mainmast crosstrees of a sail sighted made Mr Tadcock, officer of the watch gaze upwards for a minute. They had not had a man posted in the crosstrees, surely... But that did not matter compared with the need to confirm the sighting, and to identify the sail. He sent Mr Slater aloft, and saw that the look out from the maintop was already on his way. He waited for for confirmation that this was not just one of the coastal trading vessels, or even a fishing boat.

But if it was a French ship, he thought, and cast a glance to the stern, where the French prisoner leaned, very much at his ease, with the English Army Captain.

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Re: By Cape Mondego

Post  Guest on Mon Mar 09, 2009 9:55 am

Raoul had been watching the group on shore since they had landed, although without a glass they were a mere dark group against the lighter sand. They had made their second turn since the boat had been launched, and were now standing out to sea, with the headland on their right. The hail from above was not clear to him, but he noticed the officer's concern. A sail, perhaps. But that meant nothing, unless ... He turned to look back at the shore, and looked from Captain Padstowe to the officers round the wheel.

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Re: By Cape Mondego

Post  sans nom on Mon Mar 09, 2009 9:57 am

Samuels heard the cry and looked over his shoulder at the spit of land where the boat had taken the surgeons. "Is it a French sail? Will we go back for the others?" he asked the sailmakers, trusting their omniscience.

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Re: By Cape Mondego

Post  Nathan Allen on Mon Mar 09, 2009 2:53 pm

As he had been ordered, Allen was standing on deck by the Frenchie. Not so close as to look like he was being a bodyguard, but close enough to ensure the safety of both the Frenchie and the Terpsy's own crew. It really was a rather easy duty to begin with, and the presence of the army captain would help to keep any possible troublemakers away, and presumably keep the Frenchie in line too.

Allen too had been watching the group ashore, but the call from above quickly drew his attention. He was concerned, but his duty was to watch over the Frenchie. The matter of the approaching ship was for the officers to debate and to decide on the proper course of action. All he could do was wonder about it.

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Re: By Cape Mondego

Post  Richard Bolitho on Mon Mar 09, 2009 3:07 pm

From the time the boat had left the ship until the time it reached the shore, Bolitho had been on deck, wanting to make sure the party landed safely. Once he was sure they had made it ashore without incident, he returned to his cabin for a short time.

Bolitho remerged on deck just as the shout came from above. Immediately, his eyes darted upwards, then he quickly scanned the deck for Tadcock, who was currently on watch. As soon as he spotted him, Bolitho made his way across the deck to where he was standing.

"Mr. Tadcock, report if you please," he said as he approached, "Has another ship been sighted?"

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Re: By Cape Mondego

Post  Guest on Mon Mar 09, 2009 9:58 pm

"I have sent Mr Slater up to find out more information, Sir," Tadcock said. "But it seems likely. That is not saying that it isn't one of ours." Or a fishing boat, out after those nasty little sardinas... "There's no point in being hasty."

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Re: By Cape Mondego

Post  Richard Bolitho on Tue Mar 10, 2009 8:57 am

"No, of course not," Bolitho said, looking out towards the horizon, "It could be one of ours."

Although as he spoke, he didn't feel entirely convinced. Either way, they would have to wait until Slater came back down with his report to know for certain.

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Re: By Cape Mondego

Post  Guest on Tue Mar 10, 2009 10:24 am

Slater came down the main mast and reported to the officer of the watch, confirming the sighting of a three-masted ship, beyond the headland. "I couldn't make out any colours," he said apologetically. "She was coming this way, taking in a reef on her topsails..."

Tadcock swore and glanced again at the shore party. "Shall we take her out and see what's what, Sir?" he asked the Captain. "Meet her, whoever she is, with a bit more searoom than this bay..."

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Re: By Cape Mondego

Post  Guest on Tue Mar 10, 2009 10:00 pm

The shout from above that the unknown sail was, in the words of Seward, 'running' made it more likely that she was French. Although it might just be that she had been as surprised to see an unknown ship as they had been, and were running away in preference to running into... Tadcock glanced at the Captain before giving the orders

"Summon all hands. Clear for action. Bring her 5 degrees to starboard - we'll shave a few minutes off. And see her for ourselves."

He tilted his head back. "Seward - you ignorant lubber. Give us her bearing. And which way she's bleeding running! Mr Kinsella! Get up there and let me know just what is happening."

He drew a breath as the ship tilted over, running comfortably at this heading. "Mr Slater. Signal to the shore party. Use the gun to attract their attention. Tell them we've a strange sail to the North West, and we'll be back to pick them up."

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Re: By Cape Mondego

Post  Guest on Tue Mar 10, 2009 10:10 pm

[OOC: I don't like talking to myself, but will do so this once, in case anyone else wants to contribute to this thread while I am out...]

There was a flurry of activity as sailors hurried to prepare the ship for action. They would be stripping out the Captain's quarters, stowing his good furniture in the hold, so that the area became just part of the gun deck. Dr Maturin had explained to him that in ships where the wardroom was above the water line - where the officers might have had the privilege of a port hole in their cabins - they would have shared the space with the guns, and seen their goods too consigned to the hold. As the ship turned towards the headland, rather than beginning to turn onto the southbound tack he realised that the Terpsichore was sailing away, leaving Dr Maturin behind, in favour of...

Raoul took one angry look at Captain Padstowe, and stepped forward towards the Captain. "You cannot leave them - your surgeon, Dr Maturin and the men..."

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Re: By Cape Mondego

Post  sans nom on Wed Mar 11, 2009 4:39 am

[ooc - hope it's ok for me to npc...]

A scandalized and growling Mr. Bush stepped forward to interrupt him, speaking first to Bolitho. "My apologies, sir. Captain des Sablières! Do not speak to the captain on the quarterdeck. Captain Padstowe, I believe you and your - guest - would be more comfortable below while we clear for action. Grantham!" he bellowed, singling out a passing seaman who immediately adopted a terrified expression. "Take these men to the ward room, on the double, man. And you, Allen, do your job."

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Re: By Cape Mondego

Post  Keiju on Wed Mar 11, 2009 5:03 am

Slater had scampered down to the gundeck almost as soon as the orders were given for Quarters. It unnerved him to be so close to so many senior officers. Being down on the gundeck felt more natural. Or at least more neutral.

"Handsomely now, lads!" The midshipman cried.

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Re: By Cape Mondego

Post  sans nom on Wed Mar 11, 2009 5:14 am

"Make a lane! (Scuse me sir.) Make a lane there!" yelled Young Oates who was carrying the captain's desk with Torrington. "Mind your bloody rod, you - (sorry sir). Move that rod, Sykes."

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Re: By Cape Mondego

Post  Guest on Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:35 am

WEstdale breathed his own sigh of releif, out of all the to-ing and fro-ing of the glittering deck. Like a bloody party, with all those high ranking men out and about. He set about his own gun with a will, heartened by the idea of a chase.

"Them poor lads stuck back with Dr Crozier'll be missing out." he muttered to Dyer.
"Kicking themselves!" his mate was grinning, too.

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Re: By Cape Mondego

Post  Guest on Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:54 am

The Terpsichore cleared the headland, and at last those on the quarterdeck had a view of the fleeing ship. The view was clear because the main sails had been close reefed while the ship held station in the bay, but now, if they were to chase the ship - which had topsails and mainsails taut on all masts - they would need more canvas themselves.

The Master nodded judging the way the headland affected the wind and gave his orders to make more sail.

[OOC: Well, you would need to, wouldn't you? Though I can't say what sails would be best, they must need more to chase than to pooter about not really going anywhere.]

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Re: By Cape Mondego

Post  George Thompson on Wed Mar 11, 2009 7:00 am

Thompson had slipped his needle carefully into a fold in the shirt he was working on, so he wouldn't lose it, and folded his work up to stow it in his sea-chest before pulling on his jacket and cross-belts and finding his hat. His ankle might be giving him grief still, especially after he'd put his full weight on it yesterday when pulling Mister Crozier out from under that horse's hooves, but with eight Marines and their Sergeant ashore, they were going to need every man still aboard to pull his weight. He'd just try not to come under Lieutenant Cartwright's eye, if he could avoid it - he didn't need any sort of a lecture about what he should and shouldn't be doing if he was on light duties.

He was not going to miss out on another fight, sprained ankle or no sprained ankle.

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Re: By Cape Mondego

Post  Richard Bolitho on Wed Mar 11, 2009 8:38 am

Bolitho barely had time to nod his confirmation to Tadcock before Raoul approached him. He understood the Capitaine's concern; he himself was not pleased with the idea of leaving Dr. Maturin and the rest of the shore party behind. But before he could respond, Bush stepped forward and immediately reprimanded the Capitaine.

"Please Mr. Bush. The Capitaine was merely expressing his concerns," Bolitho said, giving the first lieutenant a stern glare. Then he turned to Raoul. "Capitaine, I do not want to leave the shore party, but you must understand that this is a ship of war, and we must act if there are any Fre--rather--unknown vessels in the vicinity. But I assure you, we are not abandoning Dr. Maturin and the others."

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Re: By Cape Mondego

Post  Guest on Wed Mar 11, 2009 8:50 am

Raoul met the Captain's gaze and after a pause gave a curt nod. He glanced back towards the shore, now disappearing from view behind the headland as the ship gathered speed.

"Yes," he said, "I do understand that you must make war: if that is a French ship - or one of our allies. If it is, and you engage in battle, what of me?"

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Re: By Cape Mondego

Post  Richard Bolitho on Wed Mar 11, 2009 9:05 am

What of him indeed. If the ship truly was French, there was no way the Capitaine could remain on deck.

"For all intents and purposes, I think it would be prudent if you went down to the wardroom, as Mr. Bush has suggested," Bolitho said. He looked at Padstowe and added, "You may stay on deck if you wish, Captain. I would advise that you go below as well, but I leave that up to your discretion."

Turning back to Raoul, he said, "I'm sorry Capitaine, but you need to remove yourself from the quarterdeck. Private Allen can escort you below."

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Re: By Cape Mondego

Post  Guest on Wed Mar 11, 2009 9:20 am

That was how passengers spent battles, shut up below, not quite out of harm's way, but at least where they could not get in the way of the men actually fighting the ship. Passengers, and men like the surgeon and Stephen, who must have spent hours down below, with work to do and friends and shipmates to worry about. In that sense, Stephen, ashore on territory nominally at least under the control of allies of the British, must be safer than he and Captain Padstowe were.

"I will go," he said, without anger. "But before you start on a long chase, I beg you to remember the Doctor and the others."

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Re: By Cape Mondego

Post  Richard Bolitho on Wed Mar 11, 2009 9:29 am

"Thank you Capitaine. And you have my word that I will not forget the shore party. I pray that it will not be a long chase, but we will return for them," Bolitho said.

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Re: By Cape Mondego

Post  Guest on Wed Mar 11, 2009 10:58 am

And that, thought Raoul, was that. He stood for a moment looking out over the taffrail along the curving wake. He looked at Captain Padstowe, and turned to leave the quarterdeck.

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Re: By Cape Mondego

Post  Nathan Allen on Wed Mar 11, 2009 2:42 pm

Seeing that the Frenchie was leaving, Allen promptly made to leave himself. To be honest, he was rather glad to be going below, considering that Bush had been glaring at him as well as the Frenchie ever since he had made a point to shout at them. Allen had been mildly offended by the first lieutenant's insinuation that he was slacking off his job. All he had been assigned to do was to keep the Frenchie out of trouble. He wasn't his bleedin' nursemaid. But of course he would not disrespect a superior officer, and now that the Captain had told him to go as well, he certainly had to do it. And so he went after the Frenchie, not wanting to let him get too far away. That was his duty after all.

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Re: By Cape Mondego

Post  Cross Johnson on Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:35 pm

That was something. The Frog 'guest' was being sent below. Johnson grunted his approval of that and turned away to glare up at the Marines making their way aloft. He hoped it was a French ship they were running down after. A frightened, well-loaded merchantman would do quite nicely.

"Well then! If it ain't ol' Thompson," Johnson called, spotting the injured Marine limping his way topside. "Rejoinin' us finally, are you?"

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Re: By Cape Mondego

Post  George Thompson on Thu Mar 12, 2009 2:22 am

"Reckoned I might be wanted, Corp'ral," Thompson said, making his way over to where the Marines were lining up along the rail. "It's only a bit of a sprain; it don't mean I can't load and fire me musket." And there were enough Marines away that he was sure they would appreciate his presence on deck. Besides, he'd already missed one battle - there was no way he was missing another one. Hopefully Johnson wouldn't take it into his head to order Thompson below. Light duties be damned, his place was with his mates.

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Re: By Cape Mondego

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