Watch and Watch
By Jan Lindner

It took a few minutes for the Spanish guards to make the arrangements.
It always took the Spaniards twice as long to do anything. The
Mediterranean temperament, no doubt.

Archie Kennedy was grateful for their sloth. He edged closer to Horatio
Hornblower, as they stood in parade-ground formation, waiting so they
could all watch while Hornblower, their commanding officer, was shoved
into a hole in the ground where he could not stand, or lie down, or move

Of all the English prisoners who stood there, only Kennedy knew what that
really meant. He wished he could offer more than poor advice, but it was
all he had. "Horatio, at night, when the guards aren't paying attention,
you can stretch a little. Hold the bars and bend your knees, let your
body hang down. It isn't much, but it does help."

Hornblower nodded slightly.

"And -- you're taller, I don't know if there's room -- but you might be
able to lie on your back and stretch your legs up along the wall. That's
not comfortable, either, but it's a change." God, he was babbling. He
was afraid, somehow as frightened for his friend as if he were going back
down there himself.

"I'll be all right, Archie," Hornblower said softly, his eyes on the
guards as they wrestled with the rusted latch of the grating. He
stripped off his jacket, held it out. "Here, keep this for me."

His fingers closed around the blue wool as Hornblower pushed it into his
hands. "No, you should leave it on, it gets chilly down there at night
--" And it would be a cushion against the cold rock, little comfort
really, but something.

"You take it, Archie. You're in command, now. You are senior to Hunter,
you know. He was only made Midshipman last year, for bravery in battle.
He was a gunner's mate before that."

Kennedy blinked at the information, which suddenly explained so much.

"See what you can do for his leg," Hornblower went on. "I'm afraid the
bullet's still in there. Keep him alive for me, Archie." The grate
creaked open across the courtyard, a rusty dungeon sound. Hornblower bit
his lips, made his voice light. "I expect it'll be my turn to need your
help, once they let me out."

Their eyes met, and Kennedy realized that his friend was as frightened as
he was. But it only showed in his eyes, and the men couldn't see that.
It was an officer's responsibility to inspire confidence in the men.
Kennedy wished he could inspire it in himself.

But he couldn't let Horatio down. "Aye, Mr. Hornblower," he said
crisply. He tucked the jacket under his arm and touched his forehead in
salute. "I'll see to it."

He was rewarded with the ghost of a smile. Hornblower raised his voice a
bit. "Men, I am leaving Mr. Kennedy in command. If any of you disobey
his orders, I will consider it mutiny. Is that clear?"

"Aye, sir!" Matthews said with a kind of grim satisfaction. "We'll be
thinkin' on you, Mr. Hornblower." His 'aye' was echoed by Styles, who
glowered at the hapless survivors of Hunter's ill-considered escape

//"Veine, Cabron."// The guards were there suddenly, at Hornblower's
side, dragging him away, across the courtyard. He shook off their grip
as they tried to push him into the pit, and climbed down himself, quite
deliberately. His movements said, //This is how an Englishman faces
adversity. It will be unpleasant. I am not afraid.// He turned for an
instant, nodded at them all. Then one of the guards shoved his head
down, and the grate slammed shut above him.

Styles growled. "Goddamn Diegos!"

"Good luck, Horatio!" Kennedy called as other guards herded them back to
their cells. There was no reply, just the clanging of the guards
pounding in the pins that held the grate shut. Old and rusty, they were
such a tight fit that no prisoner could possibly work them loose without
the whole compound hearing.

Then the Indy's men were locked up, and he was alone again. At least the
others would be able to see the oubliette; their window overlooked the
courtyard. The midshipmen's cell was on the building's cooler side, and
was probably considered more comfortable, looking out on the long shaded
walkway with a view of the outer wall of the prison compound. But he
wouldn't have any idea, there, of what was happening to Horatio, and with
all of them confined to their cells, he wouldn't be able to ask the

And he would have to deal with Hunter.

He would -- almost --- rather be back in the pit.

His fellow midshipman was lying on the top bunk he had claimed on the day
they arrived. He should have let Horatio choose a bunk, first, damn his
eyes, but Hornblower had not disputed his presumption.

//Stop that. It's useless.// Kennedy reined in his resentment, forcing
himself to be calm and matter-of-fact. "They've put him in the hole," he
said. "It could be worse. With two men dead, Massaredo would have been
within his rights to shoot him." Hunter made no response, so Kennedy
proceeded to inspect his wounded leg.

Somebody -- Matthews, most likely -- had wrapped it in a strip of rough
homespun torn from the bedding. Kennedy unwound the bloody rag, and saw
that Horatio had been right. "The bullet's still in there," he
confirmed. "I can't do anything about that, so I'll just clean it up a
bit and bandage it. It won't heal right until the bullet's out."

Hunter just stared at him, dully. He couldn't tell what that expression
meant. Brute pain, perhaps. It didn't really matter. "There's a doctor
that comes by once in awhile, from the town. If Don Massaredo is feeling
magnanimous he may let him tend to you." //If he's forgiven you for
killing two of his men, you stupid sod. What in God's name possessed you
do that?//

Hadn't Hunter realized Horatio could have been executed for his actions?
If the commandante had not been perfectly aware who was at fault, he
might have. . . which was why Kennedy had urged his friend to identify
the conspirators, making certain that Massaredo knew he was not
responsible. Horatio wouldn't have named Hunter, though, even if the
Spaniard had ordered him shot. //Didn't you think about getting him
killed? Didn't you think about the men?//

--No, most likely not. Hunter probably had not thought at all, never
considering that he might fail. Or perhaps, deep inside, he knew it was
hopeless and had been trying to get himself killed. Kennedy could
understand that, oh, yes. That had been his own intention, in his last
attempt. All those guards with guns, it should have been easy. But they
hadn't needed to shoot to stop him. //At least I did not endanger anyone
else.// "This is going to hurt," he warned, but could not feel sorry.

Hunter grunted acknowledgement. He said nothing more as Kennedy did what
he could to stop the bleeding. When he was finished, and rewrapping the
bandage, Hunter finally asked, "How is he?"

//How do you think, you God-damned fool? He's alone, and afraid, and he
can't even stand up, and odds are he's more worried about you than about
himself.// But he said, "I don't know." He stamped savagely on his
anger, and went on, levelly, "It depends on how long they keep him in
there. It sent me nearly mad, and I could not walk for a month, after."
//Think about that, you mutinous bastard. Think quietly. If you say one
more word, I will hit you, wounded or not.// He tied the strips of
cloth, carefully, and said, "There."

The task accomplished, he was suddenly exhausted. He had been out longer
today than any time since his own escape attempt, and standing in the sun
most of that time. More time than he'd have thought himself capable of.
He was getting stronger. Against all his expectation, his body was
recovering. //For all the good it will do.//

//Perhaps Horatio will listen to reason, now. He might have thought he
could haul me along, but now Hunter can't walk.//

No, there would be no reasoning with him. It would be "We wait until you
are both ready to travel," even though the Indy's more recent arrivals
now knew just how difficult escape would be. Forlorn hope. Hunter now
had a musket ball lodged in the big muscle of his leg. If that weren't
taken out, he would never be able to walk very far or very long. Now
that he had a bit of Spanish, Hornblower might just make it alone, or
with Matthews and Styles. Dragging a pair of cripples, he wouldn't have a

//He's going to spend the rest of the war here. We all are. If we live
that long.// Kennedy gave Hunter a dipper of water, then drank some
himself, his mind drifting out to that cramped pit in the courtyard.
Horatio would be thirsty, too. He would be just beginning to make the
acquaintance of the unrelenting thirst that would become a constant

And there was nothing to be done to help him. Nothing. Anger at Hunter
was futile, now. It would do no good. //And I'm so bloody damned
tired...// Kennedy kicked off his shoes. Mechanically, he removed his
jacket, put it on the lower bunk, and rolled Hornblower's jacket into a
pillow. It was a silly, sentimental gesture -- one midshipman's jacket
was much like another -- but it made him seem a bit closer, and it
helped. Bone-tired, he climbed under his thin blanket, turned to face
the wall, and tried very hard to feel nothing at all until his body
released him into sleep.


//Miercoles.// Wednesday. A hot, sunny afternoon. Kennedy scratched a
mark into the bedpost with a bit of rock Hunter had hidden in the cell,
then added a second mark beside it. Horatio had gone into the hole on
Tuesday afternoon. Technically, this was still the first day, being less
than twenty-four hours, but it would have felt like much longer down
there. It wouldn't help Horatio, making this record, but when he came
out -- //when,// not if -- Kennedy would be at least able to tell him how
long it had been.

You couldn't keep track of time, down there. The mind wandered. After
the first few days, you stared at the marks you made on the wall and
wondered if it was still the same day, or if maybe you had dozed off and
slept the clock round. You hoped so, it would make it that much sooner
to when they would let you out. Except you didn't know how long that
would be.

His feet would be at least half-numb, by now. His back and legs would be
aching, and he would have gone through the first round of the horrible
notion that the walls were slowly drawing closer, crushing in. His
stomach would be resigned to the fact that there would be nothing to eat.
It might be too early, yet, for him to have gone into the strange
half-conscious stupor where time shifted, a single breath taking an
eternity to hiss in, then out, or a day passing in the blink of an eye.

The guards brought bread and water, and took the slop bucket out.
Kennedy forced the food down, knowing that he no longer had the luxury of
being responsible only for himself. But every morsel that passed his
lips was a reminder that his friend was doing without, from no fault of
his own. And it didn't help that Hunter was now refusing to eat.

Kennedy decided to let that ride for a day or two. Hunter was drinking;
water was the important thing, after losing blood, and a short fast would
do him no harm. At the moment, Kennedy feared his own anger, didn't
really know what he might do if Hunter were to give him an argument.

But he was not going to let it continue for very long. And he would not
treat Hunter as Hunter had treated him. Not out of any kindness, or
Christian forgiveness, but because he still had enough self-respect not
to indulge in that sort of petty vengeance -- and because Hunter did not
deserve to escape the consequences of his actions. Dying was much too

Besides, Horatio had given him his orders. //"Keep him alive for me,
Archie."// That was a covenant he could not break. In some
superstitious, wholly irrational manner, he felt that if he managed to
keep Hunter alive, Horatio would be all right, too. Well, rational or
not, he would do as his friend had asked. //That man will eat, by God.
He'll eat if I have to shove it down his throat with a bedpost.//

Horatio would probably have discovered, by now, that if you leaned on one
elbow, you could stretch the other arm up toward the grate, and that it
was a different sort of stretch than what you got reaching both hands
overhead. It was dry, but there was something to be said for dry
weather; the vermin stayed down in the drains. When it rained, they
filled with water, and the things that lived down there came out. Rats
and mice, mostly, but there had been a scorpion once, and even though he
killed it with his shoe he'd spent every night after that wondering if it
had any relatives wandering around in the dark.

It got so very dark down in the earth.


//Jueves.// Thursday. Another line scratched in wood.

Kennedy could see clouds in the sky overhead, the thin, wispy cirrus that
presaged heavier rainclouds. Good. Clouds would mean shade, and the
daytime heat would be a little easier to bear.

If they treated Horatio as they had him, he would be given a pint of
water each day, half in the morning and half at sunset. It wasn't
enough, it was never enough, but its arrival shaped the day. On the
third day -- or maybe it had been the fourth -- there would be a piece of
bread. The conventions of war forbade actually starving prisoners to
death, but those serving punishment time were given barely enough to keep
body and soul together.

Of course, there wasn't anything much to do, down there, or room to do it
in. A body probably did not require much food. In its own way, it was
almost funny; he had become so accustomed to privation, down in the hole,
that starvation had seemed the simplest way out. It had been so easy,
until Horatio had caught hold of him and dragged him back to life.

He would have to tackle Hunter today.

He'd given the man his morning oatmeal and piece of bread, and pretended
not to see as Hunter hid the bread under the side of his blanket and left
the bowl until the porridge congealed. At lunchtime he would have to do
something about that bread, that and the rock-hard crusts from the day
before. Toss them out the window, probably. There were birds that would
scavenge them. Letting them stay in the beds would only add rats or mice
to the smaller livestock that inhabited the thin straw pallets.

//I wish I knew how long they're going to keep him down there.//

But that would make the stay easier. Knowing how much you had to endure
set a goal, and that was not permitted. The Spaniards had had all those
years of Inquisition in which to refine the art of torment, and they had
made quite a study of it.

That oubliette was a perfect example. It was much cleaner than a
flogging, for example. No lash, no blood. Strictly speaking, they did
nothing to the prisoner. They let the pit do their dirty work, let a
man's own body double itself up in cramps, let the imagination drive him
to screaming despair. Very creative, the Spaniards. Very economical
with their resources. And Massaredo, who was probably not really a bad
man, had learned to use those simple, efficient methods to accomplish his
end, which was order and security within his fortress.

The Don had been quite frank, when Kennedy had been sent to him, arriving
just before a group of English prisoners had been traded back for a batch
of Spanish infantrymen. He had explained that, with his history of
escape attempts, Meestair Kennedy would be watched carefully. If he
behaved himself, all would be well. If he tried to escape again, he
would be punished.

He had tried again, of course, after he had been in Spain about three
months. He'd had to wait until his ankle healed from the wrench that had
put paid to his final effort to escape the French. By then, the guards
had been used to him, and were less watchful. Some straw stuffed into
the mechanism of the lock on his door had kept it from closing just
enough that he'd been able to jiggle it loose. He had made it as far as
the courtyard that night, and had even managed to scale the first wall by
turning a table on end.

But there had been more sentries outside the first set of gates, and even
though he ran they wouldn't shoot him. One of Massaredo's mounted
soldiers had run him down, knocking him flat in the dust for the others
to collect.

Massaredo had been regretful, but matter-of-fact. The punishment for
escape was time in the pit, and the length of time depended on how
obstinate the escaper had been. He didn't know until they pulled him
out that it had been a month, and by then he no longer cared.

How long would it be for Horatio? It was only his first escape, but two
guards had been killed. And he was refusing to talk. Would it be more
time? Less? Damn them for their guessing games!

The sun was nearly overhead. Noon.

It was about time he dealt with Hunter.

Getting him down from the bunk was less difficult than Kennedy had
expected; Mr. Hunter had apparently grown tired of viewing the ceiling.
He grimaced as his wounded leg touched the floor, but, to give him his
due, he stayed upright and, with Kennedy's help, hopped over to the seat
below the window. And there he sat, in a funk, staring at the door of
the cell.

When the guards came with lunch, Kennedy steeled himself. He picked up
Hunter's food first, and took it over. He actually had to put the bowl
into Hunter's hands, and the wooden spoon into the bowl, before going
back for his own food.

"Eat." Kennedy sat heavily on his bunk, tore off a bite of dry bread and
chewed it dutifully. Hunter made no response at all. "You must eat," he
went on, trying to be patient. "Stay strong."

Hunter only sat there, no doubt feeling guilty as hell. And well he
deserved to, damn his recklessness, but what good was guilt going to do
any of them? //Stew in it if you want to, but, damn it, I am not going
to tell him I let you die!//

All his anger and frustration distilled down into one simple statement:
//"He'll need you."//

Hunter finally met his eyes, his own so full of dumb misery that for a
moment Kennedy actually pitied him. But it worked. Weeping silently,
his nose running, Hunter began to scrape the oatmeal from the bowl and
shovel it into his mouth.

And that was all it took. Kennedy was taken aback by the ease of it.
That, more than anything, told him how utterly demolished Hunter was by
his failure, and the knowledge drained away some of his anger. As well
to be angry with a dog for barking. One thing he was certain of: this
would be an end to Hunter's contempt for his commanding officer. //He
shouldn't have to pay this price for your respect.//


//Viernes.// Friday. Four days down there.

They might give him something to eat today.

Kennedy watched impassively as the guards removed the bowls from
breakfast, and began his self-imposed regimen of exercise. Fifty times
back and forth, from the door to the window. Only four steps each way;
the cell was not roomy. Four steps, times fifty. Horatio had worked it
out: 5,280 feet in a mile, roughly two feet in a step. Twenty-six
hundred forty steps would be a mile. He would reach that by the end of
the day. Bit by bit, he had walked a mile since Horatio had been locked
down there.

Horatio had started him doing this in the infirmary, half-carrying him at
first, until his legs would take his weight. It hadn't been fifty times,
then; one transit of the room on his own had been a victory. Then the
exercises, stretching his knees up to his chin, one at a time, circling
them around to stretch his back, as Dr. Hornblower advised rheumatic
oldsters. Horatio had moved his legs at first because he didn't have the
strength to do it himself. God, that had hurt! If he'd known bringing
the muscles back to life again was going to be so painful he wouldn't
have bothered. But Horatio had persisted; he would not let him go. And
soon, please god, he would be able to repay him.

//"You'd do the same for me, if I were in your shoes." "But you're not.
And you never would be."// Sniveling, self-pitying git. The memory of
his words echoed like a condemnation. He would give his soul to make
them true.

He had given Hunter his cot, making it clear that the arrangement was
temporary. The poor bastard really couldn't climb to the upper bunk with
his leg the way it was, and Kennedy had neither the strength nor
inclination to lift him. Getting him up there wouldn't have been a
problem for Matthews and Styles; Styles was incredibly strong and could
probably have hoisted him up singlehanded.

He was using Horatio's bunk now. It felt a bit like trespassing, but he
wasn't going to occupy the space that Hunter had used, and he found that
it was a bit cooler, nearer the floor. Besides, when Horatio came back,
he should get the single bunk, for as long as he wanted it. If his
reaction was anything like Kennedy's had been, the enclosed lower bunk
would be too much like the pit. And if he needed help with getting up,
if he needed help with anything, it would be easier from that cot.

Yesterday's clouds had thickened, and a cool breeze stirred the stagnant
air in the cell. There would be rain, soon, a downpour from the look of
it. A mixed blessing. Horatio would be able to rinse the grime from his
hair, perhaps catch a little of the rainwater to drink.

//I should have told him about wringing the water out of his shirt,// he
thought suddenly. You got more water that way than just trying to catch
it in your mouth. But Horatio would realize that; his mind moved faster
than anyone Kennedy had ever known, except perhaps Captain Pellew. He
would welcome the rain, at least at first. It took a little while for
the water to become yet another trial of endurance, after the wet had
permeated everything and you could feel your toes shriveling inside your
shoes and the damp stone leached every bit of warmth from your body.

//I wish he'd kept his jacket.// Even wet, the wool held the body's
heat; that was likely the reason they used it for uniforms. Horatio
might not have thought of rain. Or perhaps he had not wanted to spoil
the jacket. Even if he had the money to replace it, there was no telling
when there would be a chance. And Horatio never had any money. Only his
wits and his integrity, his courage and compassion. Those wouldn't be
enough to protect him from the rain, or the penetrating cold.

In that damned hole, none of them were going to be enough.


//Sabado.// Saturday. The rain had moved on across the Spanish
peninsula, leaving a cool fresh morning in its wake. The guards marched
back and forth along the top of the wall like clockwork soldiers.
Everything was calm, sunny, peaceful.

Kennedy checked Hunter's leg, took his own morning exercise, and lay back
down, hoping to escape into sleep. Hunter was up and moving around a
bit, now, healing rapidly. He had made an awkward attempt at apology
yesterday; he seemed to crave conversation, and that was the last thing
Kennedy wanted. He was doing his damnedest to behave moderately toward
Hunter, to at least preserve the formal courtesy of fellow officers, but
actual friendliness was beyond him. Perhaps he would feel less
resentment when Horatio was released. Perhaps.

This would be Horatio's fifth day down there. He would likely be
wondering if the world still existed, outside, apart from the occasional
guard. After hours of solitude it seemed the war outside could end, the
garrison evacuated, and a prisoner left to die down there.

Had he been tempted to call out, as Kennedy had? If so, he had probably
come to the same conclusion -- that the attention he might attract from
the Spaniards would not be anything he wanted.

But no; Horatio would have a different concern, one that Kennedy had not
had: his men. They were too far away, in their cell, to make out words,
but they would hear if he cried out. And so he would try to keep quiet,
so as not to alarm them.

It probably would not matter much. Unless a guard were standing directly
above, outside noises were muffled down there, distant, and it was
unlikely that any sound would have escaped. The rest of the world
gradually receded until even the insects creeping along the walls were
welcome company. In that, at least, Horatio might have some advantage;
he seemed more comfortable with solitude than most, and this cell gave no
chance of that, at all.

But that much solitude? And in such physical misery? No. None but a
madman would find it tolerable for long.

//But he knows we are here. He knows we are waiting for him, that we
have him in our thoughts. Matthews even said as much.// That might
help. The knowledge that there were friends waiting nearby, shipmates,
people who spoke the same language... that had to be of some help.

When he thought about it. If he thought about it. At times, down there,
the only reality was the ache running up your spine and down your legs,
the frantic need to move that could not be satisfied, the wild longing to
bring it to an end, in any way you could. Kennedy had been nearly ready
to smash his head against the stone walls, hoping to crack his skull,
just to make it stop. He had not done it only because he feared it would
not be enough to kill him.

Horatio would be stronger than that. Horatio had always been stronger.

He would. Really. He would.

//How long?//


//Domingo.// Sunday.

Six days, now. And it had been dry; if Horatio had thought to take his
shoes off, they should be dried out by now. The heat had returned,
though, and the sun would be shining directly into the pit for several
hours at midday.

But there was something for Horatio to look forward to, though he didn't
know it. Don Massaredo observed the Lord's Day by a small act of
charity: he permitted the prisoner to have a meal. Probably nothing
more than a bowl of oatmeal, or perhaps a thin stew, but Horatio's
stomach probably would not be able to deal with more than that. He would
not be allowed to stand to receive the food, but it would be something.

And then, of course, it would be back to the endless waiting.

Kennedy wondered if Massaredo would let him take Horatio's place, for a
day or so, to give him some respite. Probably not, though he knew the
old man liked Horatio. //I wonder if I could do it? I wish I were that
strong. But Horatio would never let me, I know that much.//

But this waiting was becoming more than he could bear. If it went on
much longer, he might run mad and do it. Better to share in the ordeal
than stand uselessly to one side, watching. The hours moved so slowly he
felt as if a lifetime passed before the sun started its journey toward

He could try to distract himself by reading. He had not permitted
himself that indulgence, as though denying himself would somehow help,
but surely it would do Horatio no harm. And it would be a way of
escaping from this cell, at least in thought, of countering the terrible
sense of helplessness.

He found the little pocket Shakespeare that he'd carried like a talisman,
a parting gift from his sister, the one thing that had survived these
past two years, and took it to the window, to the light. He ignored the
creaking open of the cell door. Lunch. He didn't care. Yes, he would
eat, but --

It was a moment before he realized that someone had staggered in, a bent,
unsteady figure, squinting in the dim light --

//"Horatio!"// He flew across the cell, caught Hornblower by the
shoulders, taking his weight. He was trembling, his legs shaking like a
newborn colt's as he peered up. Hunter limped over, taking Horatio's
other arm, but he said nothing.

For the space of a heartbeat Kennedy's mind could not even form words.
The reality was too unexpected, too overwhelming. "Are -- are you all
right?" Stupid, stupid, stupid. Of course he was not all right. He was
sun-dazzled, the light felt like knives after the darkness in the pit.
And he stood bent as an old man.

"Yes, Archie." His voice was hoarse, rusty from disuse. His lips were
cracked and peeling. "Apart from feeling that I've been bent in two."

A joke. He was trying to make a joke. //To make me feel better.//
Kennedy's feeble laugh felt more like a sob. Hornblower turned to
Hunter. No recriminations. Just "How's your leg, Mr. Hunter?"

Hunter seemed taken aback by the civility, fumbling a reply. "Well, sir,
well, it's -- well, thank you."

"Good..." Horatio whispered. "Good." He was fading fast, head nodding
forward. Kennedy shifted his grip, trying to turn him towards the cot.
"Come on," he offered encouragingly.

Horatio just kept sliding forward, out on his feet. He had spent every
last bit of energy making sure his men were all right. Kennedy went down
with him, catching Horatio on his knees to keep him off the dirt floor,
cradling him against his chest. It was a precious moment, the chance to
hold on to his friend and reassure himself that he was truly there, not
some dream or illusion but a solid if somewhat ungainly reality. With
Hunter present, it was the most he could do without risking some snide

Horatio wasn't unconscious, though. He blinked, and smiled weakly at his
undignified position, one he clearly had no energy to alter. "Oh, dear."

Kennedy laughed with him, but he couldn't stop the tears, and bowed his
head to hide them. "Mr. Hunter," he said, blinking, "Help me get Mr.
Hornblower into bed and I'll fetch the water bucket. I think the
occasion demands a toast. Come on, Horatio. Up on the count of

Six days, then. Don Massaredo had found some balance between the
necessity for making an example of Hornblower and his own knowledge of
his innocence. Thank God the old Spaniard had some sense of justice.
And speaking of sense... Kennedy glanced at Hunter, trying to help even
though his injured leg made his participation more a hindrance than
anything. Whether this had knocked any sense into him remained to be

But for the moment, it didn't matter. Horatio was back: weak, grimy,
and for the next few hours dead to the world. But he was back. Even if
they couldn't escape, even if they were stuck here for the rest of the
war, he was back. And the long watch was finally over.