By Pascal Boyer
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They had already sighted it twice during the day, for it seemed unlikely there would be more than one vessel using this same lonely route. S TAND INTO DANGER 57 The captain shrugged. ” He did not elaborate but continued, “It was not known until recently that there was another treasure ship on passage to Spain. ” He darted a glance at the surgeon. ” Bulkley sat back and interlaced his fingers across his ample stomach. “Indeed I have, sir. She was attacked by an English privateer under the command of a young Dorset man, Captain Piers Garrick.
The boat’s coxswain watched narrowly and then thrust the tiller bar hard over. ” The boat came to a halt by some stone stairs and the bowman hooked on to a rusty chain. Bolitho adjusted his sword-belt and looked up at the watching townspeople. They appeared very friendly. Yet a man had just been murdered a few yards away. ” He climbed up the stairs and touched his hat to Colpoys’ pickets. The marines looked extremely cheerful, and despite their rigid attitudes in front of a ship’s officer, they smelled strongly of drink, and one of them had a flower protruding from his collar.
Bolitho touched his hat. For so heavy a man the captain could move without making a sound. ” Dumaresq smiled and took the telescope from Bolitho’s hands. ” He glanced at Bolitho, the wide, compelling eyes seeking something. “But not you, I suspect. ” He tossed the glass to Merrett and added, “Walk with me. ” So up and down along the weather side of the quarterdeck the Destiny’s captain and her most junior lieutenant took their stroll, their feet by-passing ring-bolts and gun-tackles without conscious effort.
Corps finis by Pascal Boyer