William Bush's Journal
by PJ

Decisions

If we lose control of this situation it will be because Buckland
cracked first.

Hornblower is still too exhausted, I believe, to fully understand any
of what has happened. Kennedy, for all his soft-spoken qualities, is
showing greater fortitude then I would have expected. It is Buckland
who will make or break all of us.

And I am not entirely sure that he realizes it. The simple fact that
he left Hornblower on continuous watch shows his unwillingness to do
anything contrary to the captain's orders.

Unwillingness, or inability?

Of course, Doctor Clive is no help. Although he has never outright
refused to pronounce on the captain's condition he has likewise not
indicated his thoughts on the matter. And without definitive word
from the doctor Buckland will do nothing.

Am I committing double mutiny? First the captain and now the first
lieutenant?

Kennedy and I seem to have reached some sort of understanding at
least. I'm still not entirely sure if he trusts me, but at least he
has accepted my (figuratively) extended hand. We took a watch
together, allowing Hornblower a chance for some more sleep. I can
honestly say that as much as I have come to respect Kennedy as a
fellow officer I have also come to like him as a man.

Hornblower is a completely different matter. Try as I might I cannot
see my way clear with him.

Part of that is my own fault, I am certain. Asking him straight out
about the captain's fall was not the smartest thing I've ever done,
but it was necessary. I *know* that he knows more than he is
telling. Perhaps he is taking a greater risk than the rest of us in
this matter, and is therefore less inclined to talk about it.

Do I honestly believe he *pushed* the captain?

Perhaps, perhaps not. Its next to impossible to tell by his actions
and demeanor since the incident. I don't think I've ever met anyone
with a tighter rein on his emotions than Hornblower. Inscrutable
barely begins to describe him.

Yet I can't help but respect him. He's an able officer, of that
there can be no doubt. Appearances when I first arrived
notwithstanding, he has the loyalty and even affection of most of the
men. Of course if someone were to mention that to him I am sure he'd
deny it with his whole heart. For all the accomplishments of his
young career he seems to forever dwell on things he has done wrong.

We have just met again in the captain's quarters, and again Doctor
Clive refused to make any statement regarding Sawyer's fitness.
Other than to say that "for the time being" Captain Sawyer is
incapable of commanding the ship.

I suppose unconsciousness **would** render him incapable.

And Buckland will do nothing, NOTHING, without Clive's agreement.

Two days. We have two days before we'll be at Santo Domingo. Two
days until we will very likely see action. The only question
remaining is will we be commanded by a mad captain or an incompetent
first lieutenant.