An American Encounter
By Skihee :
Ch. 24 Love and War
Horatio returned below decks to his cabin and his wife. He had
hoped to spend some time thinking about their situation above
decks but found the thought of her and a possible child drawing
him back. She was sleeping. Quietly slipping into his nightshirt
he eased himself into bed with her, pulling her to rest in the
crook of his arm, using his chest as a pillow. He felt the warmth
of her body, smelled the scent of her hair, listened to her quiet
breathing. Leaning towards and rubbing his cheek on her forehead,
he closed his eyes for sleep but his mind had other intentions.
He thought about the latest mood swing he had witnessed before
the game with his captain. He had come back to change his shoes
and trousers, being thoroughly soaked from his watch. He considered
what she said and tried to understand the workings of her mind.
It seemed as though her thoughts careened from one subject to
another, bouncing like a carriage on a road littered with potholes,
the carriage thrown from one side of the avenue to the other,
and back again. How had she gone from discussing the characters
in the book she was reading to Archie's description of a mooring
hitch? And then become tearful when she said the knot would disappear
with a tug on the end! In all his readings of seamanship and knots
he had never found himself moved to tears, unless from boredom.
His brow scrunched as he thought about the qualities of a mooring
hitch. The more he tried to equate it to the characters in her
novel the more confounded he became. He had chuckled over her
attempt to explain it to him and that had put her in such a sad
state he did not know what to do. And, that is how he had to leave
her to be on time to the whist game. Crying over a knot? Is that
what she was crying over? He still wasn't sure. It was a wonder
he could think at all to play whist.
He sighed. His father came to mind. Would he know about these
rapid swings of mood? These odd mental connections? He wished
he could talk to his father. He began a list of women he recalled
him attending. Most child delivery had been done by midwives.
His father was only called in dire emergencies. He knew his father
had performed a Cesarean delivery. That frightened him. He opened
his eyes in the darkness with worry, kissing the brow before him.
Again, he tried to recall the women his father had doctored. One
that came to mind was Mrs. Feeney. He grinned. She had become
violent during her labor, throwing things, cursing her husband,
cursing the child. He had heard her with his own ears as he held
his father's horse carriage. Would Pamela do that? God, he hoped
Mrs. Feeney must have been in a lot of pain for she was normally
a retiring woman noted for her kindnesses. In fact, he had not
believed it was she that had been doing all the yelling. Then,
her husband emerged with a cut on his brow from the dish she had
pitched at him, saying what a state his wife was in! If he were
there during Pamela's delivery he would have to make sure there
was nothing loose for throwing. In all likelihood though, he would
probably be no where near when the child came. Hopefully, hers
would be an easy labor, attended by the standard midwife.
She was young, in good physical condition. He supposed one good
thing about her climbing the shrouds was it told him she was physically
capable. She did have some good muscles on her come to think of
it. That made him feel better.
Perhaps he had been going about this analysis all wrong. He had
tried to think of the women, but maybe the men were the key. Dr.
Sebastian had said it was men who described things similar to
what Bracegirdle said about his sister. Men. Another list pulled
up inside his mind. What men had come to his father about their
wives? Bennett! Not one that came to his father but one he knew!
When he had been very young, he had gone to visit the Bennett
farm. He had a young cow that had just delivered a calf. His words
came back from the recesses of his memory.
"There, there, Bessie. The first one's done. Ye'll settle
after this and so will Margie." He rubbed the golden cow's
sides watching the new calf rise on spindly legs in search of
its first meal.
"Margie, Mr. Bennett? Who's Margie?" he had asked the
"Why Margie is Mrs. Bennett, Master Hornblower."
"What's she got to do with a cow?"
Mr. Bennett chuckled. "Well," he looked at me with pinched
eyes. "How old are you, boy?"
"I'm eight, sir."
"Hmm. Well, I reckon you're old enough. Mrs. Bennett is gonna
have a babe. Like Bessie here, she's been havin' a bit of a rough
Margaret Bennett was Tom Bennett's second wife. She was young
and expecting her first child. He had three other children by
his first wife who had died of pneumonia winter previous. Margie
was his second time around with a child bearing woman so he must
have been speaking from experience.
Hornblower pushed through the fog of his memory to that golden
August afternoon in Bennett's barn. He could see the middle aged
farmer in his dark breeches pocked with straw from the stable.
His hair graying at the temples, shirt sleeves rolled to his elbows,
a sturdy man of calm and common sense. Hornblower smiled remembering
how much he liked Mr. Bennett. He was always willing to take time
for his inquisitive nature.
"It's like this," Bennett said, "Sometimes when
a woman comes to bear a child her mind gets all confused like.
It's not just her anymore. She's got tother one to consider, and
her body knows it, but her mind don't. The body and the mind kind
of get in a tussle over the new boarder and it takes 'em a while
to accept it. After a while though, they ease into the friendship,
and everything is all right. It's just that gettin' to know ya
process they seems ta go through. Understand?"
Horatio pondered his words diligently, then said, "No, sir."
The man sighed looking closely at Horatio. He scratched his chin.
"Take Bessie here. This calf is her first ever. When she
come to be with it, she went all off her feed. She went to lowin',
hangin' her head, had me worried, till I realized old Henry'd
had his way with her." He chuckled. "Anyhow, the first
time around for a cow is usually the most difficult time. The
cow's body kinda takes notes on what's happenin' even though the
cow herself don't know. Are ye followin' me, boy?"
Horatio thought again, knitted his brow, looked at Mr. Bennett,
studied the cow, watched the calf at its mother's udder, and said,
"I reckon maybe eight ain't old enough after all," he
said looking down at him. "Ye need to get some female experience
first. Then, you'll understand." He patted him on the shoulder.
"Just remember this, when a woman don't rightly seem herself,
just give her some time and some space, be patient, it'll all
work out." He motioned with his hand as if smoothing a cat's
ruffled fur. "Gettin' yourself worked up over female furies
will just confound the heck out of ya. Don't do it. And, that's
all. That's all."
A grin broke over his face as he recalled the look on his mother's
face when he had tried to explain to her how Mr. Bennett had said
Mrs. Bennett was like a cow. He remembered she and his father
discussing Mrs. Bennett and the cow behind the closed doors of
his father's study. He had heard them laugh at the last and remembered
how relieved he was that they were not angry with him. His parent's
laughter. A soft sad smile rested upon his lips remembering the
sound of them together. His father loved his mother deeply. He
rubbed his cheek against Pamela's head once more.
A day or two later his father had brought up the work of butterflies
with flowers and had tried to equate them with the cow and Mrs.
Bennett. He had been thoroughly confused and decided to answer
*yes, sir* when asked if he understood. Then, he had held his
breath hoping against hope that his father would not want him
to regurgitate the meaning of his message. But he did! Thank God,
Mr. Butler had run up with an emergency from the village. He had
been sure to avoid his father for a few days after and fortunately
he forgot to get back with him on the meaning. He sighed. Maybe
he should have after all.
There was one rope there he saw he could hold onto. Mr. Bennett
and Dr. Sebastian seemed to be in agreement in one aspect, and
indeed, so was his own nature. Stay calm, be supportive, and just
continue to love her. He mused over Mr. Bennett's advice a final
time. The part about *the body and the mind in a tussle over the
Maybe time would ease off the mental handsprings going on in his
wife's mind. Maybe when her mind and her body knew of *the boarder*
as Mr. Bennett had put it she would return to her old self. That
was something to be hoped for. But he loved her. He knew that.
If there is a child, he would love it, too.
But what if she were not pregnant? Sebastian had said it was too
soon to know. What would cause her behavior if she was not expecting?
The trauma of the last weeks? She has been through a lot. He would
be glad to see her safely in Gibraltar.
The ship's bell drew his attention from his thoughts. It was very
late. He yawned, knowing he needed to stop this analysis. He also
needed to talk to Sebastian to discover the other *symptoms* he
mentioned. Not knowing was a trial. Waiting another one or two
months seemed unbearable. He really needed to go to sleep. He
ordered himself to stop thinking. Would it be a boy or a girl?
He smiled, knowing he would not care. Either would represent the
miracle of life and his love for Pamela. His mind and body eased
into the steady spell of rest that encapsulated his partner.
Pounding. Horses hooves? A herd of horses came running over the
green meadow towards the tree where he and Pamela were preparing
a picnic in the noonday sun. He was dressed in his formal leftenants
uniform. She was wearing a broad brimmed hat, dressed in a gauzy
summer dress. A breeze whipped her skirts about her legs. A navy
blue sash ran around her middle and tied in a huge bow in the
back. A child lay sleeping in a basket in the shade of the tree.
He wanted to look at the child, wondering if it were a boy or
a girl. If he could lift the blanket to see how it was dressed
he would know. Why did she not tell him its gender? She was holding
a plate towards him. What did she say? *Would he like to eat some
mortars?* Eat some mortars? He jumped coming aware of the sounds
in his ears. A drum beat repeated rapidly and he heard the shouts.
"Beat to quarters! Beat to quarters!"
Hornblower dressed rapidly. Pamela looked up at him with sleepy
"What is it, Horatio?"
"I don't know." But he could guess, and he did not like
it. His body clock told him it had to be early yet. Kneeling beside
the bunk, he stroked her hair seeing her sleeping once more. "Darling?"
he said softly. "It might be best if you dressed." He
wanted her in the orlop if this were what he feared it was. Smoothing
her hair a last time, he kissed her forehead. Sword buckled, he
headed for his station.
The gray of an overcast dawn greeted him along with an oddly cool
late spring. The men prepped the cannon here as they did on the
gundeck. The Midshipman, Cleveland, James, Cutter, stood with
the gun crews waiting for orders. Pellew was on the quarter-deck
peering into the distance, along with Bracegirdle, McMasters,
He tried to look across the gray expanse of water. The quarter-deck
would give a higher advantage. Rising to the quarter-deck, he
glanced aft noting the decks of Dolphin crawling with men and
topmen prepared for battle. Turning back to the Indy's waist he
saw Sebastian climbing out onto the deck, Kennedy following. Both
were uniformed, Archie wearing his sling, though his arm was not
in it. The two followed him to the quarter-deck. Taking position,
all attention focused east northeast.
In the distance, sail on the horizon. The small field telescopes
snapped to full extension in the hands of Hornblower and McMasters
joining Pellew's larger glass. Pellew handed his to Bracegirdle.
"Mr. Bowles, bring us around. We have just re-entered the
war, sir. Mr. Bracegirdle, signal Mr. Rampling to stay close,
then identify us to Dreadnought."
"Aye, aye, sir."
Hornblower counted the ships in the distance. A Spanish frigate,
no, two, escorting two French schooners. Were they supply ships?
Behind them, Dreadnought and Swiftsure, Britain's ships of the
line. The enemy ships made a clumsy tack northerly, not expecting
to see Indefatigable in their path. They were in a run. The danger
was not eminent. It would take some time for Indefatigable to
draw near enough for battle, but Bowles was giving the order to
do just that.
Pellew glanced at Sebastian. "Early rising, Dr. Sebastian."
"Aye, Captain. I came to see for myself if sick berth would
be moving to the orlop."
Pellew thought a moment. "Better safe than sorry, doctor.
Best move them." He eyed Kennedy, passing a final glance
over Sebastian. "Mr. Kennedy, take the starboard number one
gun crew and if I see you misuse that arm of yours..."
"I will not, sir!" Archie said quickly looking from
Captain to Doctor waiting but a moment for a protest. He headed
for his position.
Brandon stepped on deck feeling Archie whoosh by him to the guns.
He looked up to the command deck seeing Sebastian on his way down.
"We're moving, sir?" asked Brandon of Sebastian.
"Yes." The two disappeared below.
"Captain Pellew, sir. Look," said Bracegirdle as he
passed him back the glass.
He raised it scanning the horizon east and south. "Damn me!"
Hornblower moved closer to him turning his glass. His stomach
"Looks like that east wind is blowing some business our way,"
"Do you think Dreadnought and Swiftsure are aware, sir?"
asked Hornblower still peering in the distance.
Pellew snapped the glass open and up again. "Get us over
there, Mr. Bowles! Mr. Hornblower,..."
He turned. Hard eyes softened a moment resting on those of his
leftenant. Quietly he said, "Get your wife moved to the orlop."
"Aye, aye, sir." Hornblower descending was stopped by
a call from his captain.
"Tell her I said that is an ORDER!"
Hornblower fought the corners of his mouth. "Aye, aye, sir!"
His gaze caught sight of Archie with his gun crew. Their eyes
met. Horatio looked over the starboard rail. Bowles' handling
of the ship made the view eastward visible. Archie looked seaward
as well. Behind the two British ships of the line were two Spanish
tripple-deckers and one double. What else might be coming from
the Straits? When Archie looked back, Horatio was gone.
On the gundeck, the steward was distributing a cold breakfast
to the men. Battle on a full stomach was always preferable. They
were at the ready. All signs of hammocks and tables gone, only
guns and crew, shot, powder, and wad.
Hornblower entered his cabin. She was sleeping as he had left
her. He pulled her navy blue dress from the trunk. "Pamela."
He studied her face. The purpling bruise had turned a pale yellowish
green color. The cut on her cheek was much reduced. But there
was something different. She did not look well. "Darling."
He smoothed her cheek. It was warm to his touch. "Pamela."
He pulled her up to lean against him. "I need you to dress,
dear. You've got to go to the orlop."
She opened her eyes to look at him. They felt hot and tired. She
could see the worry in his face.
"Yes. Dr. Sebastian and the sick berth will be with you.
You must go."
"All right, Horatio."
This was too easy, he thought. No protests? He put the back of
his hand to her cheek again. "Are you all right?"
"Yes, yes. I am fine." In truth, she felt sick, but
she did not want him to know. "What's going on?"
"Enemy ships have been sighted. We are being cautious. I
need you to dress."
"Could you get me a drink, Horatio? Please?" She wanted
him out before she became physically sick. "Please, dear?"
"There might be some cold tea," he said anxious to get
her to safety and anxious to return topside.
"That would be marvelous. Thank you."
"Please, dress quickly."
He left. She knelt over the nearest bucket feeling her insides
upheave with nothing to show for it. She leaned against the bunk.
Perspiration popped onto her fevered brow. What was wrong? Dressing
felt like she was a plucked cotton ball trying to move inside
a bale. She felt her stomach pinching in nausea. Swallowing, she
gulped the air before once again bending over the bucket. Nothing.
Panting at the autonomic exertions, she needed air. Tugging her
brush through her hair, she tossed her cloak over her, leaving
The ship did not pitch unusually. Actually, it had more of a steady
motion to it than the last twenty-four hours. Why was she sick?
She pulled her hood closer down over her head. Where was Horatio?
Air, she needed fresh air.
The men on the gundeck watched her exit and climb the stairs.
She gave them but a parting glance. A couple of them mumbled to
find Mr. Hornblower. She emerged on deck. The starboard crews
gazed east. She could tell she would not be able to move to the
rail. There was Archie. What was he doing up here? Beyond him,
she saw the tips of several masts on the far horizon. The information
distracted her from her queasy stomach and for a few moments she
was free of the malady. The officers on the quarter-deck looked
eastward as well. She made it her destination.
Bowles spotted her first. She walked aft around the men standing
forward with Pellew.
Leaning against the rail, she let the east wind blow into her
face. It cooled her and soothed the nausea. Her lips parted at
the sight convening before her.
Bowles peered into the waist looking for Hornblower.
Closing her eyes, she clutched her stomach. She swallowed the
sea air fighting another wave of nausea. Holding the rail, inching
toward the man closest forward, she asked if she might use his
spyglass. It was McMasters. He was so startled to see her there
he passed it to her.
Pellew closed his eyes hearing her voice. He looked around him
for Hornblower. He stepped towards her mastering the anger that
sought release, the men next to him moving out of his way. He
stood watching her gaze through the telescope.
"They're magnificent!" she whispered.
He inhaled, clasping his hands tightly behind his back, looking
shipward, then back to her. His anger eased, awestruck. A woman
admiring fighting vessels!
She spoke again. "They glide on the water like silent mountains,
blown with a billowing cloud! I've never seen so many! They're
beautiful! Just awesome! I count nine. Is that right?"
"Eleven, madam, counting Indefatigable and Dolphin,"
said Pellew dryly.
She startled at his voice. Lowering the glass, she turned to Pellew
feeling her cheeks burn more intensely. She could tell he was
not pleased to see her on his command deck. Finding McMasters,
she returned the instrument. "Thank you, kind sir."
Turning her head out of the wind brought the nausea back to her.
Quickly, she faced the stiff breeze.
McMasters shied away from his captain's disdainful look. "Your
Feeling she could speak, she said lightly, "Good morning,
The redness in her cheeks caught his eye. He inclined his head
trying to see her better. Her forehead was wet with perspiration
even in the coolness of the morning. "Why are you up here,
madam?" The concern in his voice surprised him.
"I... I needed some air, sir." She gulped it, closing
her eyes, fighting back the queasiness.
He was about to speak when she fell forward into his arms. "I'm
He felt her shivering while the heat of her body floated towards
him. Searching her features, her eyes were red and dull. "You
are not well, " he stated. He supported her.
"I'll be all right." She pushed herself away from him.
Standing straight, a smile quivered on her lips and then she fainted.
Holding her in his arms, he asked in agitation, "Where is
Mr. Hornblower?" Her forehead touched his cheek. He leaned
her out from him, putting his hand on her brow. "She's burning
up with fever, damn it! Mr. Bracegirdle, Mr. McMasters, get her
to Dr. Sebastian."
McMasters made his way down the companion to the gundeck, Pamela
in his arms. Bracegirdle steadied him. Horatio was on his way
up when he saw them. "What happened?" he asked taking
her from McMasters arms.
"I'm going back topside," said Bracegirdle.
"Thank you, sir." Hornblower headed for the orlop.
McMasters, making a way before him, explained what occurred on
"Then, she fainted. Captain Pellew thinks she has a fever."
Hornblower went down the final flight of stairs.
"Have you got it from here, Mr. Hornblower?" asked McMasters,
turning to go back up.
"I do. Thank you, Mr. McMasters." He carried her quickly
to the orlop area sick berth.
"What happened, Mr. Hornblower?" Sebastian cleared an
operating table for her.
Brandon took one look at her and knew she needed a fever reducer.
"I'm on it, doctor," said Drew.
"I don't know. She was sleeping when I came in last night.
This morning I have not had time to ... she said she was fine,"
he blurted anxiously.
Sebastian put his hand on her forehead. "She is burning.
Go on, Mr. Hornblower, we will take care of her." Hornblower
hesitated, torn between his duty and his wife. "I will do
what I can. Do not worry. I will send you word."
He caressed her cheek and pulled himself back topside. He joined
"Well, Mr. Hornblower?" asked Pellew, moderately surprised
to see him.
"There was a problem with the galley guns, sir. The crews
needed assistance. Sorry to take so long," he answered trying
to be the officer Pellew expected, more concerned with his duty
than his personal life.
"And, your wife?" This was the information he was requesting.
He marveled that Hornblower gave the other first.
"I... I don't know, sir. I'm sorry, sir," he answered,
turning his gaze to the enemy ships they were rapidly approaching.
Indefatigable was closing with the outside frigate accompanying
the two schooners.
"Starboard bow chaser, Mr. Bracegirdle, when you're ready,"
"Starboard bow chaser, fire!" shouted Bracegirdle.
The projectile was the first volley of many. The Spanish frigate
continued at a pace with the schooner. The Indy under greater
sail pulled closer, becoming near parallel. The order was given
to fire when ready. The forward guns let go. Cannonball tore through
the frigate's mizzen sail and onto her quarter-deck.
The Spanish gun crews fired. The first shot landed forward of
the Indy's bow. Bowles was calling orders to the topmen to get
the most out of the wind pressing them slowly but steadily nearer.
The guns fired again finding the target they sought. A gaping
hole stared from the enemy vessel's port side. The Spanish crews
fired again. This time the shot hit the forecastle sending splinters
into Indefatigable's foreward gun crew. Cries of pain accented
the cannon fire.
Hornblower entered the waist striding forward. He would do what
he could to assist the depleted crews. He hopped over the remains
of a man, no longer recognizable. Another shot landed amidships
punching a hole in the deck to enter the one below. He felt the
spray of splinters pelt against his back. Shouts of pain spewed
from below. Dragging Cutter to lean against the fo'csle, a splinter
loosed red blood onto the back of his middy jacket. Hornblower
took over his gun crew.
"Surgeon! Surgeon!" He yelled for help for Cutter. "Reload,
men!" he shouted, dragging another man's body from behind
the cannon trucks.
"Fire!" Came a familiar voice from his right. It was
"Fire!" he yelled to his crew.
The Indy's cannon continued to fire aiming to cripple the Spanish
frigate. At last a shot rang true, cutting the foremast of the
frigate in two. With a splintering crack, it tumbled into the
sea dragging beside the bow. Men on the frigate deck worked to
cut the lines away and free them from the drag.
Indefatigable starboard guns let go another volley into the frigate.
An explosion rocked its deck as the cannonball found a store of
powder. The Spaniard ceased firing. The Indy fired again cutting
the rigging and sending spar to the Spanish deck.
Hornblower sighted his gun high to cripple the mainmast. "Fire!"
Several other guns went off at the same time. One of them found
the mark. The frigate was dismasted save the mizzen mast. Her
colors descended quickly down her halyard.
>From the quarter-deck, Pellew had tracked the other ships.
Dolphin pulled past them and assaulted the outside schooner, her
guns taking out the mainmast. The second Spanish frigate was maneuvering
to take on Dolphin. The British ships of the line, far back, turned
to face the trio of approaching Spanish vessels, trading broadside
for broadside. Cannon fire reverberated in the early morning air.
Indefatigable moved to assist Dolphin. Pulling into position,
the crews fired into the second Spanish frigate. They returned
the volley punching holes into Indy's foremast sail. The wind
turned her giving the dropping ball only ocean water to crash.
Again, the bow chasers blasted out the heavy shot into the Spaniards
side. Cannon smoke billowed from the starboard side of the Spanish.
They were firing on Dolphin on the one side and the Indy on the
other. The smoke obscured the view.
Bowles gave the order to bring the Indy on a northeasterly larboard
tack. When the smoke cleared, the Indy was nearly sprit to sprit
with the Spanish Frigate. Marines on both ships fired into the
other. Hornblower heard the musket balls pelting the wooden floor
and walls around him. He held his breath as the two ships avoided
collision. Archie, further back on the deck ordered his two guns
to fire as they passed sending the cannonballs hard into the frigate's
bow. She grazed Indy's stern in passing. Marines ran to the quarter-deck
firing into the enemy ship. The aft guns fired into her starboard
side, while the Spanish starboard ones fired wildly missing Indefatigable's
Clearing the frigate, Pellew could see Dolphin, smoking in the
distance. One of her sail was ablaze, but she moved slowly towards
the schooner. He saw the topmen cut away the canvas, the wind
taking most of the burning bits into the ocean. Men on deck worked
the pumps to douse the flames. His eyes moved to the schooner.
He could see Dolphin's crews aimed to cripple.
Dolphin concentrated on the closer ship. Rampling succeeded. Pellew
watched the schooner strike her colors. His attention returned
to the frigate behind them. She was running and seemed to set
a course around the British ships to rejoin the remaining schooner.
Pellew peered through the glass to the far horizon at the ship
fight going on there, then back to the other schooner, unharmed,
pulling away from the fray. He set his jaw. "After her, Mr.
"Aye, aye, sir."
There were a few moments peace. Hornblower scanned the deck for
wounded. His men, Oldroyd, Styles, Stephens, Hardy did what they
could to assist Sebastian's men who were ferrying wounded below
as fast as they could. Matthews was leaning over Midshipman James
seemingly dazed from a head wound. Cutter was gone. He did not
remember when he was taken. The dead were lain near the launches
to keep the fighting deck clear.
Archie was completing a similar scan. Their eyes met at the same
moment. His blue-eyed friend broke into a grin and gave him a
salute. Hornblower nodded at him, then glanced at Pellew gazing
far to starboard. His eyes followed his Captain's. The schooner.
He looked larboard at the Spanish frigate, nodding his head at
his captain's decision. They would go for the schooner. The frigate
would follow and then they would have it as well. What could be
so important a transport to have so many of the Spanish navy giving
protection? He looked aft. Dolphin was boarding the other schooner.
Beyond that he saw the first Spanish frigate in a list. Would
she sink? And even farther back, the sound of cannon fire between
the larger fighting vessels. The wind brushed his face. Giving
attention to the gun crews, he readied them once more.
The peace was short lived. The Spanish frigate let go a starboard
broadside. Indefatigable rocked at the impacting cannonball. Kennedy
took it on himself to re-order the range of the larboard guns.
He looked back to Bracegirdle.
Checking the range from the first cannon fire, Kennedy moved down
the line of guns giving the order. Hornblower stood watching the
effects. The Spanish frigate received the brunt of Indefatigables
shots, then seemed to veer to larboard avoiding several of the
Pellew's eye was on the schooner. She was his prey. More sail
was unfurled, they were gaining on her.
Hornblower moved to the fo'csle to observe the chase. The forward
caronades awaited the order. It was given. The shot hurled toward
the little schooner breaking her main mast in two. She did not
have long before they overtook her. He watched as a man on the
schooner rushed to her side to drop something overboard. He cursed
when he saw it, recalling to mind his own dispatches that he never
so assigned to the briny deep. He looked back at Pellew with glass
to eye. He could tell by his expression that he had seen it too.
What was on with these ships? Why would they be carrying dispatches
by sea? Where were they going? All these questions gathered unanswered
in his mind.
Drawing near the schooner, a crew was dispatched overside in the
longboat with a squad of marines. Pellew waited until he knew
the schooner was in hand before he left the boarding crew. There
was no defense. Their surrender was immediate. With the schooner
incapacitated, Pellew turned his attention to the frigate, ordering
the helm on a course to intercept.
At a moment it seemed the Spanish Captain knew it was futile.
Saving his own ship became his goal. He did not know who was commanding
the British frigate, but he knew a capable adversary when he saw
one. He turned his ship to fly with the wind and ran.
Pellew hated letting the Spaniard go, but had no desire to engage
in a lengthy stern chase with his crew already depleted and three
prizes in disarray behind him. He gave the order to set a course
back to the schooner. Tacking back took awhile. At last the Indy
pulled within shouting distance of the small ship.
"What have you Mr. McMasters?" called Pellew to his
"A Frenchman, sir, says he is a delegate for the French Republic.
And, sir, there's a chest full of gold on board. Shall I send
Pellew glanced at Bracegirdle. "Hold onto it, Mr. McMasters.
We'll come along side and have it swayed up." He turned to
Bracegirdle. "Prepare our guest lodgings for the prisoners."
"Our gaol seems to be getting a work out this deployment,
"Indeed." Finding Hornblower amid the masses in the
waist he called him.
"Get a repair crew going there in the waist. I want that
schooner mast patched and sail rigged as soon as possible. Kennedy,
take the gun deck. See to repairs needed there."
Hornblower smiled at his friend. "And, don't use that arm
Kennedy returned the grin, then answered his captain. "Aye,
The schooner bumped against Indefatigable. Styles, Oldroyd and
Stephens made her secure. She was not much bigger than the pirate
yacht that had met them days ago,
a fine looking ship shining with new varnish over wooden trim.
Her captain and crew were sent up the side of the Indy to their
imprisonment. The delegate was met by Pellew with Bracegirdle
and Hornblower at his side.
"You have quite ze catch, Capeetan." The man bowed slightly.
"I am Monsieur Guillaume de Tulède, delegate of ze
Republic of France."
Pellew returned the bow. "Captain Sir Edward Pellew, sir.
Would you care to explain just where you are going, sir?"
"Merely an outing, Capeetan."
"With a chest full of gold and a Spanish guard?"
The man shrugged. "One can nevair ave too much gold, monsieur.
And, zese days eet is wise to be well protected on ze high seas,
"Place him under guard, Mr. Bracegirdle."
Hornblower and Pellew looked over the side as the chest of gold
coins were placed in the netting for swaying. "Mr. Hornblower,
have it placed in my cabin for the time being. We shall try to
join up with the fleet south of us as soon as possible. Let me
know when the schooner is ready to sail. I suppose it best to
check with Jervis before sending her anywhere else."
"Admiral Jervis, sir?"
"Indeed, Mr. Hornblower." Pellew left him standing awestruck
in the waist. He had never seen Admiral Jervis or his ship. That
would be something to savor.
"Careful, men. Sway it in easy, easy. Lower, easy now."
The chest sat with a thump on the deck despite the netting beneath.
"Styles, Oldroyd, lend a hand with this." The two men
picked it up with a grunt.
"This is like lead, this is!" said Oldroyd.
"Aye, but worth a hell of lot more," added Styles.
"Belay that! Starns, get your repair crew on that mast. I'll
be back in a moment. Follow me you two." Hornblower led the
gold carriers to Pellew's cabin. He knocked.
"I've the chest, sir."
"Oh, fine. Place it here, Mr. Hornblower." Pellew moved
a chair out of the way.
The chest was stuck in a corner of his office area near the stern
windows. Pellew figured his marine guarded cabin was as safe a
place as any until the chest could be turned over to the Admiral.
Oldroyd and Styles left, Hornblower was about to leave when Pellew
spoke to him.
"Mr. Hornblower, you have the repair crews working?"
"Good. I've another duty for you." He sat peering over
his paperwork, not looking at his officer.
"Check with Sebastian, see how the wounded are doing. Let
me know the status of the crew."
Hornblower smiled. "Aye, aye, sir. Thank you, sir."
Returning to the waist, he made sure the repairs were going on
unhindered. Starns seemed to have the activities well in hand.
"I shall return shortly, Starns, to check on your progress."
"Aye, aye, Mr. Hornblower."
Entering the gundeck, he found Archie bent over one of the guns
knocked off its truck. "Much damage, Mr. Kennedy?"
Kennedy jumped at his address. "Don't sneak up on me like
that, Mr. Hornblower."
"Yes, the damn things popped off its carriage. Going to be
the devil to get it reseated."
"I have every confidence in your abilities, Mr. Kennedy."
He slapped him on the shoulder. "But don't try to lift it
yourself. Remember that shoulder!" he called as he left the
"You're starting to sound like Dr. Sebastian. You're both
a couple of old mother hens!" he called after his friend
as he disappeared to the lower deck.
The orlop was dark except for the few lanterns dotted around the
beams. Several hung over the chests used for operating tables.
Hornblower's eyes roved the scene. Most of the men seemed to be
ambulatory. Sebastian was fitting a bandage to a mans shoulder,
Brandon dabbed at a cheek, and Johnson helped a man up the stairs.
Loblolly boys mopped the deck, ferrying waste water to the bilge.
"Dr. Sebastian. The captain has sent me to inquire after
"Hmm. Well, I suppose it could have been worse. Wounded ..."
he thought "Nine, isn't it, Drew?"
"Yes, sir. The carnage seems to be at two extremes, either
dead or light wounds. I suppose that is something to be thankful
"I counted three dead, sir, is that correct?" asked
"Yes," sighed Sebastian. "Three dead, nine wounded.
Drew is right. The wounds seem light. No limbs missing, thank
the Lord." Sebastian turned his eyes from bandaging to Hornblower
who seemed to be peering into the dark recesses of the orlop.
"Come back tomorrow, Jordan, I will check the wound and change
"Thank you, doctor."
"Wait. Drink this before you go." He placed a cup in
Jordan's hand. He stepped next to Hornblower. "I think you
seek another casualty," smiled the doctor.
"Is she all right?"
"Come. I have not checked on her since before the fighting."
The two ducked walking under the beam supports of the deck above.
Between the beams one could stand, but traversing the length of
the deck it was wise to duck. About half way down the keel, tucked
between the knees of the ship was a low crate. One of the lanterns
hung from a nearby beam. On an upturned bucket sat Seaman Carden,
the man who had lost his arm on Dolphin. Pamela was curled up
on the crate.
"Mr. Carden, thank you for watching her for me," said
Sebastian. "I did not want her at the mercy of the rats so
I asked Mr. Carden to sit with her."
"Thank you, Carden," said Hornblower.
"Glad to do it, Mr. Ornblower. She's been peaceful after
that last draught you got down her, sir." Carden moved back
to the orlop sick berth area.
Sebastian placed his hand on her forehead. It was much cooler.
"What is it, doctor?" whispered Hornblower.
"I do not know, Mr. Hornblower. I can treat her symptoms,
fever, nausea, but I do not know. She does not seem to have any
other symptoms than these. They could presage many things. We
will watch her to see if any others arise."
"Yes, the first cup of willow bark we administered came back
up immediately. I asked her if she had been vomitous earlier.
She had. So, I combined some ginger with the next cup of tea hoping
to ease her stomach and the fever. It seems to have worked."
Hornblower squatted beside the crate, stroking her forehead. "Does
this have anything to do with..."?
Sebastian pulled him away from her and whispered lowly to him.
"Nausea is a sign, Mr. Hornblower. Fever, I do not know,
but it is possible. Who can know what happens in the female body
when pregnant? We know very little as I told you. It is a shame
we do not know more. We can only treat the symptoms and take it
from there. You did not know of her nausea?"
"Then, we will assume it is a new occurrence. She could not
have been hiding it from you for very long." Hornblower quavered
that she might be hiding anything from him. "You must be
sure she does not become dehydrated, Mr. Hornblower."
"Can I take her back to our cabin?"
Sebastian smiled. "Is the Captain finished fighting for the
"As far as I know, sir," smiled the leftenant.
"It would be good to get her away from the vermin down here
"Thank you, sir." He went back to squat beside her stroking
her forehead once more. Her skin temperature felt normal. When
she did not immediately awaken, he pulled the bucket over to sit
on. He knew he could not stay down here too much longer, but he
did not want to wake her abruptly. He took her hand in his, resting
his elbow on the crate, turning the back of it to kiss. Gazing
at her, he felt the guilt of having to leave her that morning,
of having to rush her so that he did not see she was sick. He
held her hand next to his cheek rubbing it there.
She let out a sigh and moved on the crate. She squeezed his hand
and released it, turned on the crate to the wall, then opened
her eyes. She turned her head to look at him. "Horatio?"
She turned on the crate to face him. "You are all right.
What happened? Did I miss anything?"
He chuckled. "I am afraid you did."
"Oh." She reached to stroke his cheek, gazing into his
weary face. "I love you." He moved to sit on the crate
taking her in his arms. He held her closely. She kissed his cheek.
The smell of gun powder on his clothes alarmed her and she hugged
him tighter and he her. "What is it, Horatio?" she asked
as he continued to hold her. She felt him shake his head. "Darling?"
At last he swallowed and spoke. "I had to leave you. You
weren't well and I had to leave you."
"I'm all right. Dr. Sebastian took care of me. You must not
worry." They faced one another.
"Why did you not tell me you were sick?"
"I didn't ...I..." she hated to say more, she did not
want to lie to him.
"Dr. Sebastian says ..."
She placed her fingers over his lips. "I'm fine now. I feel
fine." She looked at her fingers. "Kiss me, Horatio."
He looked from her eyes to her lips, feeling her fingers move
to his cheek. He kissed her, disappearing into their world of
love, comfort, and closeness. He felt her hand on his head and
sunk deeper into her embrace. Thinking about her passed out in
his arms, he felt the prick of tears. He had been too occupied
earlier to give it a thought until now. And while the thought
of her ill and alone worried him, the fact that he could give
his duty his attention encouraged him. Leaving her was imminent.
He was an officer in His Majesty's Navy. It was his job; it was
his life. But, for this moment, he still had her with him. As
long as it was possible, he would cherish their time together.
She felt a tear seep beneath her fingers resting on his cheek
and kissed him more intensely, wiping it away. The moisture combined
with the powder smell to imbed another memory of the man she loved.
War seemed to intensify her feelings. She knew their parting grew
nearer by the moment and while she dreaded its coming she knew
it had to come. He was an officer in His Majesty's Navy. She felt
her heart swell with pride within her. He was destined for greatness,
she knew it to the marrow of her bones. Who could she be that
would keep him from his destiny? That she could be part of it
was enough. That she might bear his children was a blessing of
a magnitude she could not conceive. That he would love her out
of all the women in the world filled her with awe and gratitude.
They ended the kiss forehead to forehead, kissing lips lightly.
He hugged her again inhaling next to her ear.
"I need you, Pamela. I need you like the air that I breathe."
She hugged him close pressing out a tear from tightly shut eyes.
These she must learn to control. When it came time for him to
leave her, she had to control her tears. She felt she had to let
him go without remorse, to make it as easy as possible for him
to return to duty. She rested her cheek against his wool covered
shoulder. These little separations she laid as a foundation for
when they would ultimately part. And, as a solace, she stacked
each memory of reunion in a pile close to her heart. All of these
would sustain her, wiping out the memory of partings with her
second husband that left her a widow. She could not let herself
think on William. She could not let herself compare these two
men of the sea. She inhaled to steal herself against these thoughts.
"I'm hungry. Is there anything to eat?"
He chuckled in her embrace. "I'm pouring out my heart to
you and all you can think about is food?"
"I'm teasing you, sweetheart. I don't know if meals have
been considered yet. We shall have to see."
She insisted on coming topside with him, no longer feeling self-conscious
about her face. He held her hand all the way to the gun deck where
they stopped to speak to Archie.
"We made it through this one, Mrs. Hornblower."
"So I see. How did you talk Dr. Sebastian and the Captain
into releasing you?"
"I don't think the captain's realized yet," he whispered
with a smile.
"Well, I can tell you are back in your element, Mr. Kennedy,"
"And I see you are in yours,"
She smiled leaning against Hornblower. "Belay that,"
Hornblower whispered. "I can get away with holding your hand
up the stairs, but no more." She straightened and tried to
let go of his hand. He held on smiling at her. "Come on.
See you later, Mr. Kennedy."
"Indeed, Mr. Hornblower."
He pulled her behind him up the stairs. Turning, he could see
the mast of the schooner held by the tackle. He released her hand
walking to the side. "Any problems, Starns?"
"Oy. Mr. Hornblower, sir. Not yet! I can patch her to get
her to Gibraltar, but this mast should be replaced as soon as
possible." He went back to his patching.
"I'll make note of your recommendations."
She looked around the deck surveying the damage. To larboard was
the hole created by the cannonball going below. It was directly
above where Kennedy was working. It must have been what knocked
the cannon off its cart. Another of the carpenters sat smoothing
the ragged edges with a patch piece sitting near by. She gasped
when she saw the bodies covered on the deck. Hornblower heard
Striding to stand beside her, he said, "I should not have
brought you up here. It is too soon. I am a fool."
"No. I wanted to come. I'm all right. I would be out of your
way on the quarter-deck. May I go there?"
The view from the taff gave another sight. "May I use your
glass?" she asked.
He pulled it from his coat pocket, extended and handed to her.
"I need to check the progress of the repairs. Wait here.
I will find out about some food for you."
He hoped she would stay that far back. A burial crew would be
coming on deck to sew the bodies in canvas. He did not want it
to be a sight for her to remember. Seeing her look at the ships
in the distance, he returned to his duty.
His long legs carried him to the opposite end of the ship. He
recalled a shot early on hitting them in the bow area. Climbing
to the forecastle he looked about him. No damage here. He leaned
over the side. A gaping hole met his eyes. He swung himself over
by the heads. Leaning out he could peer through the hole. If Sebastian
had not moved the sick berth there would have been more casualties.
He wondered if Archie were aware of the mess in sick berth. It
would not do to be in high seas with this new entry way. He climbed
back to the fo'csle, walked to the larboard side inspecting Indy's
hull. "Damn." He could not see very well. He entered
the waist. "Here, you men, swing the jolly boat over. I want
to have a look at her hull."
"Mr. Hornblower!" Starns called him.
"I'm nearly finished here and it will be ready to rig. What's
next fer me?"
"Hole in the bow. I'm getting ready to inspect the hull.
Will we be able to move the schooner away?"
"Aye. I'll get the riggers over and tell *em to move her
off. Bow ye say, sir?"
"Aye, aye, sir."
The jolly boat waited with two rowers. He climbed down into it.
The boat carried him along the larboard side. He could see where
the shot had grazed her in places. A ball had imbedded itself
in her side. He shook his head. "Aft slowly, men," he
Pamela saw him and leaned on the rail to look down at him. "Hello,
Mr. Hornblower!" she shouted.
He waved at her and saw her leaning precariously. "Careful,
"I'm all right!" she shouted.
Pellew heard the two of them shouting at each other. "What
the devil?" He put on his coat and hat.
Powers entered his rooms. "Here's yer lunch, sir."
"Hmm? Go get another one. I'll be right back." He stepped
into the waist seeing the men busy at repairs. "Have these
men had their lunch, Mr. Bracegirdle?"
"I believe the steward is about to call the starboard watch
to lunch, sir."
"Good, good. Mr. Hornblower is checking the hull?"
"Good." He turned to climb to the quarter-deck. There
she was looking through a glass at the ships in the distance.
"Mrs. Hornblower. I am glad to see you are well."
She startled at his words nearly dropping Horatio's glass. "Oh!
Captain!" She grabbed it before it hit the deck catching
it in her skirts. "Oh, I don't want to drop this!" She
collapsed it and stuck it in the pocket of her cape.
"I do apologize. I should have given you more warning. What
did you see?" He moved to stand next to her.
She felt her face redden and turned to look in the distance. "Well,
I see Dolphin back there with a smaller ship. Is that an enemy
"Dolphin is all right, isn't she? I mean the ship and the
"She needs some repair, but she will be fine. I don't know
about the men, but I pray there are few injured. And, you. Are
you all right? You gave me quite a scare this morning."
She put her hand on his. "Oh, Captain, you are too kind.
Yes, I am well. I can't imagine what came over me. One of Mr.
Brandon and Dr. Sebastian's brews seems to have put me right.
I am sorry I was so much trouble."
"Have you had anything to eat today, madam? It was early
when you came topside this morning."
"No, sir, not yet. But Ho..Mr. Hornblower was going to check
"Hmm. Yes, I can see that." He watched him in the jolly
boat making his way beside the schooner waiting for it to be pushed
off. Well, he could not damn his officer for doing his duty. "Mrs.
Hornblower, would you do me the honor of having lunch with me?"
She blinked at him, suddenly aware of how she must look and at
the plain dress she was wearing. "Captain, I...I don't know
what to say?"
"Yes, will do."
"But I'm a sight, sir. Hardly dressed to have lunch with
"Are you hungry?"
"Starved, sir!" she smiled.
He held his arm out to her. "Come." She looped her hand
onto his arm feeling butterflies dance in her middle. She wondered
what Horatio would think, but let her hunger get the better of
She entered the sun sprayed cabin. "Oh, Captain, this is
lovely. It was nice the evening we had dinner, but the sunlight
coming through the windows defies description."
"Thank you, madam." He removed his hat placing it on
the stand. "Give me your cloak." She undid the frog
holding it together. "Would you care to wash before lunching?"
"Could I?" He lead her over to the small alcove that
held his wash basin, giving her a towel. "Thank you, sir."
Powers stood nearby eyebrows raised. Pellew stared hard at him
for a moment. "Madam, would you mind if I removed my coat?"
"No, Captain, please do be comfortable. It is warm in here,"
she called from the wash room.
He pulled it off handing it to Powers, daring him to say a word.
"Ah, Captain. I feel human again. Thank you."
He held her chair for her. "Please, join me."
She sat in the chair offered her. "What would you like to
drink, Mrs. Hornblower?"
"Would you have any water with lime? Is that too much trouble?"
"Not at all. Powers?"
"Aye, sir." He left the room.
Her plate contained some slices of cold chicken, cold potatoes,
and a dollop of pease. On a separate plate lay one of the pan
fried biscuits. "This looks heavenly, Captain. I'm famished!"
He smiled. "Eat, then."
As hungry as she was she held herself back for proprieties sake.
She dwelt on each mouthful relishing the flavor. At the point
she was at, anything would have been delightful.
"I am glad to see you out of your cabin after your harrowing
experience. I cannot begin to tell you how responsible I feel
for your kidnapping."
"Do not feel so, Captain. It is in the past and best forgotten.
You did all you could and you did rescue me. I am still here after
"Yes, thanks to Mr. Matthews quick thinking."
"Isn't he a dear? I just love Mr. Matthews."
Powers came in with a pitcher full of the lime water. He poured
some in a glass for her. "Thank you, sir." She smiled
at him, and drank it down. "Oh, my I did not realize I was
that thirsty." Powers refilled her glass.
"Leave it with us, Powers."
"Aye, sir." He placed the pitcher on the table and quietly
left the room.
Pellew leaned back sipping the white wine he was drinking with
his meal, watching her eat. She noticed he had stopped eating
and slowed herself by drinking the water, letting her eyes rise
to meet his. She could feel his dynamism. She blinked at his presence,
feeling her cheeks pink at his stare.
"How long have you been in His Majesty's Navy, Captain?"
He inhaled, placing his glass down and retrieving his fork. "Twenty
years, or there abouts." He knit his brow thinking, no, it
is more than twenty.
"That's a long time. You must have started very young."
"I did. Very young."
"I bet you were a handful as a midshipman," she looked
at him askance, a soft smile crossing her lips.
He chuckled. "Madam, you don't know the half of it. But,
let us cease speaking of me. What about you? What are your plans?"
"My plans? They are yours right now, sir."
He chuckled again. "Yes, our trip to Gibraltar seems interminable.
But, rest assured, we will get there."
"I believe you, sir."
"So, what will you do there? You have no family in Gibraltar."
She sighed. "I will gather my resources and then decide ...
with my husband, what I should do."
"Do you think England might become your home?"
"Perhaps. Where ever Horatio wants me, that is where I will
"It is a lonely life. The life of a navy wife."
"I know that, sir."
"But in America, you had your extended family."
"Captain... I do not deceive myself. Gibraltar will be lonely
with Horatio at sea. I know that, believe me." She stood
and walked to the stern windows. "Forgive me, sir."
She dabbed her eyes with her napkin. He followed behind her.
"It is I that should ask forgiveness. I meant only ... I
would not want to see either one of you hurt. I..." he started
to tell her of his first wife, her despair at his long absence,
her untimely death in child birth, his feelings of helplessness
and hopelessness at her loss. "I know from experience the
feelings of destitution." He turned away from her, she turned
She reached for his hand, "Captain..." her touch stirred
his emotions. He knew she should not be here alone with him. He
turned to her. She reached up to touch his cheek, looking from
eye to eye. "What happened to her?"
How could he tell her when it was suspected that she was with
child? That would be too cruel. His heart was racing. He wanted
her to stop touching him. He stepped back from her and turned,
closing his eyes. This was not where he wanted this conversation
"She...is gone. I do not speak of her."
"But you have to me. You must have loved her deeply. I am
sorry you lost her. If I have done anything to dredge up unhappy
memories for you, please forgive me."
He remained quiet dealing with his kindled emotions about his
wife, about her. How could he be feeling what he was towards her?
This was never what he intended. No wonder Hornblower had fallen
helplessly in love with her. Why did he not say something?
"I will do my best to make Horatio happy."
Hornblower. He inhaled, realizing he had not been breathing for
the last several moments. "I am sure you will." He braced
himself and turned to her. She had moved back to stare out the
stern windows. He was relieved she had moved from him. A knock.
"Captain, you might want to come out here, sir," said
Pellew looked at his first leftenant and decided he was a God
send. He grabbed his coat and hat, "Would you excuse me,
She smiled, "Of course."
He pulled on his coat and hat as he followed Bracegirdle out.
He was definitely not expecting the sight that greeted him. "Mr.
Hornblower! What on earth happened to you?"
"I slipped, sir. But, I hope it was not in vain." Water
dripped from his hair and sputtered off his lips as he spoke.
"I believe these are some of the dispatches the Frenchman
tossed overside. Somehow they got loose. They were floating under
the Indy and the schooner, sir. I don't know if the water might
have damaged them..."
Pellew took them from him to examine. "No, by God! Excellent,
Mr. Hornblower! You've earned your pay today, sir!" He turned
them over, seeing them tightly wrapped, protected with wax from
the weather they would encounter at sea.
"I ordered Mr. Cleveland to do another row around to see
if there were more, sir."
"Excellent, sir! Go get into some dry clothes, Mr. Hornblower.
Then, come to my cabin."
"Sir, if I may, I need to check on..."
"Do as I say, Mr. Hornblower."
"Aye, aye, sir." He was crestfallen. He knew Pamela
must be starving. He hurried below, squishing in his shoes. He
changed rapidly, briskly drying his hair with his towel. He pressed
his foot into his boot again, shaking his head wondering if his
shoes would ever dry out. He supposed he should be thankful they
did not come off in the water. Opening his cabin door, he called
for a cabin boy. He knew Pamela would not like finding a pile
of wet uniform in their cabin and neither would he. The boy arrived.
"Find a place to dry these, boy."
"Aye, aye, Mr. Hornblower!" The sandy blonde boy grinned
at him showing two missing front teeth.
Hornblower felt his own stomach growl. Poor Pamela. He must do
better about seeing to her needs. He bounded up the stairs, taking
giant steps to knock on Pellew's door.
"Come." He stepped into Pellew's cabin. "Ah. There
you are." he said quietly. "I shall leave this to you,
He stood blinking in his Captain's cabin. Pamela was lying on
his stern window seat fast asleep. "How, sir?"
"I confess, Mr. Hornblower. I asked your wife to lunch. When
I returned from speaking with you I found her thus. I will leave
you to wake her, sir."
"Thank you, for feeding her, sir."
"Don't take too long, Mr. Hornblower. I will be checking
our status." With that, he left his cabin once more.
Hornblower smiled and shook his head. Sleeping again? He went
to kneel beside her placing one arm on either side of her. He
blew her hair by her ear. His stomach growled again. He saw her
eyebrows move. A drop of water fell on her cheek from his hair.
He reached to wipe it. She moved to turn her face into the sun.
Another drip landed on her cheek. She opened her eyes recognizing
his hand next to her, she smiled and turned to look at him, the
most quizzical look coming over her features. "You're wet!"
He laughed. "You're asleep! Again!"
She looked around her. "Oh dear, Horatio. I am in your captain's
cabin! What must he think?"
"He thinks you're sleepy, the same as I do." His stomach
"Is that you?"
"Yes. I'm starving!"
"Then, let's go eat!" She sat up.
"I thought Captain Pellew already gave you lunch."
"He did. But, I'm still hungry." She stood grabbing
her cape and throwing it around her. "Don't tell him!"
"Ow! What have you got in that thing?" He shook his
wrist where her cloak had brushed him. She pulled his glass out
of her pocket.
"I'm sorry, dear." She pulled his wrist to her lips
to kiss it. She raised her eyes to his looking over his hand.
He could see her eyes full of mirth. She threw her arms around
his neck. "I love you!"
He hugged her back. She released him hurrying to leave the cabin.
"Food! Let's go eat!"