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    Mark Arbour
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

Odyssey - 21. Chapter 21

August, 1797

Granger was deep in thought, focused on writing correspondence and reports, and was carefully drafting a letter to Prince John of Portugal, who while not the official regent of Portugal, was the de-facto regent, serving in lieu of his insane mother.

August 20, 1797

Aboard HMS Bacchante, off the coast of Brazil

 

Your Royal Highness,

I am writing this letter to apologize most profusely for any offense I may have caused Your Royal Highness. I had hoped that when I uncovered a treasonous trading agreement by officials of Your Royal Highness’s realm in Madeira that I was performing a service for Your Royal Highness, as well as for my own country. I am concerned, based on the reception I have received in my travels through Your Royal Highness’s dominions, that I have somehow angered or dismayed Your Royal Highness.

I made port in Recife, in Your Royal Highness’s colony of Brazil, to seek the most basic of stores, but was unable to acquire adequate provisions. I was surprised to find myself treated in a most ungentlemanly fashion by the governor, and to find the officials working with him to be similarly uncooperative. We continued our voyage to Salvador, also in Brazil, only to find our reception there to be similar, if not worse.

I would be most saddened to learn that I am the cause of any ill-feelings on the part of Your Royal Highness. This thought has weighed on my mind, as I try to account for the behavior of governors who serve Your Royal Highness toward me. I have received friendlier welcomes from ports loyal to His Most Catholic Majesty, even though a state of war regrettably exists between him and His Britannic Majesty.

Your obedient servant,

 

George Viscount Granger, Captain of HM ship Bacchante.

             

“Winkler!” Granger shouted, unaware that Winkler was in his cabin.

“My lord?” Winkler asked immediately.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t see you there,” Granger said. “Pass the word for Mr. Patton.”

“Aye aye, my lord,” he said. The word for Patton was passed, and when he arrived, Granger gave him instructions to make three copies of his letter before sealing it. He was lucky the young man knew enough French to copy it acceptably well.

He then sat down to immerse himself in a different letter, this one to his wife. He had already written to her about his experiences in Praia, but he repeated himself, because it was possible that those letters would not reach her. He vilified the Portuguese governors who had treated him with such blatant disregard, and asked her to do her best to see that the government complained to Lisbon most vociferously. It wouldn’t help him on this voyage, but if he visited a Portuguese colony in the future, it may have an effect. Granger thought about how important it was that he had friends in London. When Conway got back to the capital and began to spin his version of what had happened, Caroline and his friends would be quick to hold him to account. Granger wondered if Sir Tobias Maidstone’s influence would be sufficient to otherwise quash inquiries into Conway’s actions on board Bacchante. Captains who weren’t as fortunate as Granger, who had no one at home to watch out for their interests, were sailing in very dangerous waters indeed.

A knock at his door interrupted his letter, although fortunately he had all but completed it, and all that remained was for it to be sealed. “Enter!” Granger said.

Kingsdale entered, looking much different than he had when they’d first left Plymouth. He was clearly growing, but what was most changed was the air about him, the confidence he now exuded. Before he had been clueless as to what it meant to be a midshipman, but now he was learning his role, thanks mostly to guidance by Calvert and the senior midshipmen. “Mr. Robey’s respects, my lord, and we have sighted a sail. It appears to be a whaling vessel.”

Granger stood up carefully. “Winkler, please see that my letter to Lady Granger is sealed for the post.” He nodded to Kingsdale, who then preceded him up to the quarterdeck.

“Good afternoon, my lord,” Robey said. “We’ve sighted a sail. I’ve altered course slightly to converge with her.”

“You think she’s a whaler?” Granger asked. It was odd that a whaler would be heading home this time of year, and alone.

“That is what Phillips thinks, my lord.” Granger had almost forgotten that Phillips had served in the South Sea.

“Have Phillips join me in the foretop,” Granger ordered. He took his glass and strode forward to climb Bacchante’s mast, anxious to see what this new ship was. In the endless expanses of the ocean, it was rare enough to sight another sail. He had just made it to the foretop when Phillips joined him. “You think she’s a whaler?” Granger asked, even as he trained his glass on the other vessel.

“I do, my lord. And from the way she’s sitting, I’d say she’s nigh on full.”

“Does it appear that she is avoiding us?” Granger asked. The whaler was angling away from them.

“It does, my lord, although that would not be uncommon. Most merchants, and whalers would give any warship a wide berth.” That made sense, but a clumsy and laden whaler was no match for Bacchante, who was like the leopard of the seas.

“Mr. Robey, hoist our colors!” Granger shouted. “Shake out the reefs!”

“Aye aye, my lord,” Robey answered. Those orders were met by the large ensign rising up Bacchante’s mast, and by the rush of men who stampeded around Granger to shake out the reefs in the sails. He felt the ship surge forward.

“She’s showing British colors,” Phillips said. Granger studied her for a moment.

“Yet she is still heading away from us. I would expect a merchant ship of any kind to close with us, if only for news,” Granger noted.

“That is most unusual, my lord,” Phillips agreed. “Even a cautious merchant would be likely to close with us, especially since she has no hope of outrunning us.”

“In any event, we will be close enough that I can see just as well from the deck. Keep an eye on her, and tell me if you see anything unusual.”

“Aye aye, my lord,” Phillips answered. Granger slid back to the deck using a backstay.

“Is she a whaler, my lord?” Calvert asked. Apparently all the commotion had caused him to come up on deck.

“She is, but she is acting rather strangely. I’ll be sending a boat over to her. We’ll need a boarding party, marines and armed seamen, just in case,” Granger said. “Please detail some of your men to that effect, Captain,” he said to Somers.

“Aye aye, my lord,” Somers said.

“She’s turned, my lord,” Robey said. “She’s approaching us.”

“Perhaps because she has no choice,” Granger noted. “We will get her under our guns and send a party over. Mr. Robey, you will board her. Make sure she is what she says she is, interview her crew as well as her captain, and inspect the ship.”

“Aye aye, my lord,” Robey said. He could sense their excitement. It was not normally a lieutenant’s role to board and inspect a merchant vessel, it was a job more usually given to a midshipman or a master’s mate, so Granger’s order that Robey go indicated that he was suspicious about this new arrival.

They watched the whaler approach, and could note nothing irregular about her, but her initial behavior had been puzzling, and that caution remained with Granger. As she drew near, Bacchante hove to, as did the whaler.

“Ship ahoy!” Granger shouted through his speaking trumpet. “His Majesty’s ship Bacchante, Captain Lord Granger.”

“HM whaler Vectis, heading home to Liverpool with a full cargo, my lord,” came the response. Granger looked at the man speaking and could almost feel the tension in his voice. He seemed to be relatively young, probably in his mid to late 20s.

“I’m sending a boat over to you. Remain hove to,” Granger said. The man appeared alarmed at that, and looked around, as if trying to think of some escape. His reaction alone convinced Granger there were problems aboard, and a glance at Robey told Granger that he understood that as well.

The young man picked up his trumpet to respond. “Be aware, my lord, that we have a case of fever on board.”

“Mr. Robey,” Granger said, “I am fairly certain there is no fever aboard, but if you would rather I go instead, I will take that risk.”

“No, my lord, I will go, even if there is fever,” Robey said resolutely. “I do think, though, that Your Lordship is right.”

“That is most gratifying, Mr. Robey,” Granger said with a grin. He watched Robey and the marines go over the side into the cutter, and watched as they rowed over to the whaler. With each row of the oars, the man in command of the whaler seemed to become more panicked, but that faded when Robey actually pulled himself over the side. He saw the man gallantly bow and then Robey nodded to him, they chatted for a bit, and then Robey sent him over the side into Bacchante’s boat. It took a maddening half an hour before Robey returned.

“My lord, this is Mr. O’Higgins, a prize-master aboard Vectis. She was in fact a British whaler, but was captured by a French privateer, the Vengeur, and was being sent back to France.” That actually made sense, since there would be little market for her whale oil in South America.

“How many privateers are operating in the South Pacific?” Granger demanded. The man hesitated. “Mr. O’Higgins, I am fairly confident that if I investigate your case, I will discover you are a deserter from His Majesty’s Navy, now in the service of France. That makes you a deserter and a traitor, and all but guarantees you will hang. How that resolves itself largely revolves around your willingness to give me the information I want.”

“And if I do, my lord?” the man asked. His voice had a brogue not too dissimilar to Kingsdale’s, belying his Irish heritage had his name not already given it away. He was quite short, with bright red hair, and appeared to have an almost cultured air about him. He was probably one of many Irishmen pressed into the Royal Navy. Whether he’d run for political reasons, to escape a tyrannical captain, or for some other purpose, it made little difference. If this man could tell him what he was up against, it would be worth it to Granger to spare his life.

“Then I will set you ashore in Brazil, where you can make your own way.”

He nodded. “Then I will tell you all I can, my lord.”

“Excellent. What of the crew, Mr. Robey?”

“Most of them seem to be the original crew, my lord.”

“There was only me, and two of my men, my lord,” O’Higgins said helpfully. “The other two men are unlikely to cause any problems.”

“Well let’s interview them, then we’ll put one of the master’s mates in charge of her and send her back to Liverpool,” Granger said. It took two hours to sort out who was who, and to transfer the other two members of the French prize crew over to Bacchante, and to send a master’s mate and another crewman over as the new prize crew. They wouldn’t need more than that, since the original crew members still aboard were more anxious than anyone to get back to England. Granger gave the master’s mate his letters and dispatches, then the two ships parted company, with Bacchante heading toward Rio, and Vectis headed back to England. Granger watched her sails vanish over the horizon and expected to be homesick, but found that he wasn’t.

He pondered that, trying to decide why that was, and put it down to the joy he’d experienced here on Bacchante compared with the relative stress he’d last encountered in London. He found that he was really in no great hurry to get back there, and that saddened him almost as much as homesickness would have. “After he has bathed and gotten situated, please ask Mr. O’Higgins, along with Mr. Calvert and Mr. Robey, to join me for supper,” Granger told Winkler.

“Aye aye, my lord,” he said automatically, and left his captain to his thoughts. Granger stayed in his quarter gallery, lost in introspective reflection, until Winkler came to announce dinner. Granger found the three other men waiting for him.

“Good evening, gentlemen,” Granger said, turning on his charm as a good host should. “I thought this would give us a good opportunity to satisfy our hunger and our curiosity about what we are up against.”

“A good use of time, my lord,” Robey said cheerfully.

“And welcome to you, Mr. O’Higgins,” Granger said. “Perhaps you can enlighten us about the French and Spanish activity in the South Pacific.”

“As per my pledge, my lord,” O’Higgins said cautiously. “There are three privateers working in the area, and they are all based out of Valdivia.”

“I thought they were using Valparaiso as their base,” Granger said.

“No, Valdivia. It is the southernmost place in Chile that is actually fortified, and it is extensively fortified, my lord. Nothing less than a formal siege train could probably take it.”

“Indeed?” Granger asked.

“Yes, my lord. There are nine forts, but many of those are outposts, designed to protect the towns against the native Mapucho Indians. The other forts are in the harbor. There is one in the town of Niebla that houses the prisoners that have been taken.” Granger scrawled frantic notes, even as he ate.

“What of Spanish naval forces?” Granger asked.

“There are currently two ships of any size in the Eastern Pacific, my lord. There is a smaller frigate, the Santa Clarita, a 28-gun. She is small, but quite powerful.”

“And why is that, Mr. O’Higgins?” Calvert asked.

“She was built in Manila, and they used the same hardwoods on her that they used to construct the galleons. They say that cannon balls simply bounce off her sides. If you engage her, my lord, I would recommend that you avoid double-shotting your guns, and use a full charge of powder.”

“I appreciate your advice,” Granger said sincerely. “It almost sounds as if this ship is armored.”

“In a sense, they say that she is. The last time they fought a galleon – I believe it was with Lord Anson, my lord – they say the shots bounced off her hull and they had to take her by boarding. If Santa Clarita is the same way, she should be a tough ship to battle.”

Granger nodded. “You said there was another ship. We were led to believe there was another frigate there.”

“Only if you consider a 64-gun battleship to be a frigate, my lord,” O’Higgins said with a chuckle. “The San Augustin is small, old, and decrepit, but she is still a ship of the line, my lord.”

“We’ve tangled with ships of the line before, my lord,” Calvert said reassuringly.

“It does not change my mission, or objectives, but it does make me a bit more cautious,” Granger noted. A 64-gun Spanish ship of the line, even an old and obsolete one, would be a challenge for Bacchante to battle. Frigates didn’t fight against battleships very often, and when they did, victory was rare. And if she was well-commanded, it would be most difficult. “What of her captain and crew?”

“An advantage for you, my lord, is that her captain is an arrogant ass, with no real seamanship. If he doesn’t listen to his lieutenants, he’s liable to run aground on the nearest reef.” O’Higgins stopped to chuckle, and they humored him by chuckling as well. “The crew is mostly natives, and they’re not very skilled, but probably better than you’d find in most regular Spanish ships.”

“You seem to know a lot about the Spanish, and their ships, Mr. O’Higgins. From where do you draw this experience?” Granger asked.

“I have told you what I know, what you requested, my lord. I am cautious lest you change your mind.”

Granger let that irk him. “Are you suggesting, Mr. O’Higgins, that I would not keep my word?”

“No, my lord,” O’Higgins said hastily, “I was merely wanting confirmation to assuage my own insecurities. I am a member of the Society of United Irishmen.” Calvert stared at him in shock, while Robey actually gasped.

“I can see why you were so reticent, Mr. O’Higgins. I suspect returning with you to London would have made me quite popular with those seeking to exterminate your rebellion,” Granger said, but with a smile.

“I suspect it would, but then again, my lord, you are already quite popular there,” O’Higgins joked. The man was quite charming.

“It is a fickle popularity,” Granger joked back. “I am not headed back to England for some time, and I have no desire to immerse myself in Irish politics. In any event, I gave you my word, so there is an end to it. Now tell us of your adventures.”

“I worked with Wolfe Tone, to try to improve the lot of our people, but when it became obvious that there was no hope of peaceful progress, we allied ourselves with the French. I spent a considerable amount of time in France, especially after Wolfe went to the United States. I was then sent to Spain to see if we could drum up some support there, but they have little money to pay their own bills, much less to spend on adventures.”

“It is a long way from Paris to Brazil, or Chile,” Granger noted, urging him on.

“It is indeed, my lord,” O’Higgins said. “After the invasion failed last year, it seemed like a good idea to get out of France. They have a tendency to cut off the heads of those who annoy them. I was asked to join this mission, although it was not really phrased as a request.”

“In what capacity?” Granger asked.

“As what I believe you would call a ‘master’s mate’, but would more appropriately be known as a prize-master, my lord.”

“You would have to be a seaman for that, would you not?” Granger asked.

“I’ve got a bit of knowledge about the sea, but it was more important that I be reliable. The senior man with me, Laforest, is a good navigator. And as you suspected, my lord, I have had some service in His Majesty’s Navy. I served for two years aboard HMS Ajax before deserting to join the Society.”

“Still, to send you all the way back to France, on such a long voyage…” Granger noted, trying to spur him on.

“I was anxious to return home. I miss Ireland, and I was hoping to be able to return and find a place to live inconspicuously,” he said sadly.

“Mr. O’Higgins, I think it is highly unlikely that would happen,” Granger said. O’Higgins looked at him, questioning Granger’s assertion with his eyes, so Granger went on. “You have undoubtedly made a good many friends who would recognize you, and even if they did not, the passion that fueled you to become a revolutionary would be unlikely to leave you if you returned.”

O’Higgins nodded. “It is a sad thing to be banished from a place you love, with no hope but to wander the world and hope you escape notice.”

“It is indeed a sad thing, and a lesson to all of us about burning our bridges, but I would submit that you would be wise to try and put down roots in a new place.”

O’Higgins nodded, and then smiled. “That is probably good advice, my lord.”

“And I would consider refraining from starting revolutions, wherever this new place is that you land.”

“I will restrict my rebellious activities to Ireland proper, my lord,” O’Higgins said.

“That is most reassuring, Mr. O’Higgins. We have a considerable number of Irishmen on board, and one of our midshipmen is even an Irish peer. I am of a mind to give you your freedom on this ship, with your pledge to cause no mischief in return.”

“You have my word, my lord, that while I am aboard, I will act as a loyal member of your crew.”

“Then we will welcome you aboard as such,” Granger said. After that they enjoyed their supper, and good conversation.

 

September, 1797

 

“Gentlemen, we have indeed made substantial progress,” Granger said to the midshipmen. “It appears that we have just crossed over the 20th parallel of south latitude.”

“Have we indeed, my lord?” Somers asked curiously. He’d been paying close attention to their sightings this past week, which was unusual for him.

“If we have not, then we have become stupendously bad navigators, Captain Somers, and I am unwilling to believe that,” Granger said jovially.

“As that is the case, my lord, may I see you in your cabin? It is a matter of some importance.” Granger looked at Somers with surprise, and began to ponder what would make him tender such a request. Granger’s mind went naturally to the thought of a quick sexual encounter, something that fueled his libido, but he put that aside. Somers would never be so presumptuous as to drag him off the deck for such a reason. Granger pulled himself from his own thoughts enough to notice that all the officers were staring at Somers.

“Of course,” Granger said.

“Then I will meet you there as soon as I retrieve something from my cabin, my lord,” Somers said. That further fueled Granger’s curiosity, but he didn’t let the others see it. He merely nodded and headed below to his cabin, dismissing Winkler and his staff so he and Somers would have privacy for whatever it was that Somers wanted to talk to him about.

Somers appeared shortly after Granger did, and handed him a packet, carefully sealed. Granger paused to notice that the seals were, in fact, the seals from the Privy Council, the group that advised the King directly. On the packet were instructions to Captain Archibald Somers, instructing Somers to present the packet to Granger when Bacchante had crossed the southern 20th parallel. There were dire admonishments about destroying the packet if Bacchante were captured or foundered, and on keeping the packet and its contents a secret until then.

“Why was this given to you, and not to me?” Granger asked Somers.

“I really don’t know, my lord. I received this by courier the day before you arrived at Plymouth. It came with orders telling me to reveal it to no one, including you, my lord,” Somers said.

“You could not have even told me that you had this packet?” Granger asked.

“The orders were signed by the Prime Minister himself, my lord,” Somers explained. “I fear that he still outranks you.”

Granger smiled, despite himself, and Somers’ cheerful good humor. “You followed your instructions perfectly, just as you were supposed to. Forgive my question. I was just a little surprised.”

“I understand completely, my lord. I was surprised as well. I’m not quite sure why they gave them to me, and not to someone else, but since they did, I tried to execute my orders as diligently as I could.”

“And so you did,” Granger said.

“I will give you some solitude to read them, my lord,” Somers said, with his usual sensitivity to Granger’s moods.

“Thank you, Captain,” Granger said formally. Somers left his cabin, while Granger went over to his desk and began to read what the Privy Council had sent to him with such secrecy.

 


 

            

Granger watched as Rio de Janeiro came into view. It was one of the oddest looking places Granger had ever seen, with hills that looked like large individual bumps, and lacked the cohesive look of a mountain range like the Pyrenees. He scanned the port with his glass, even as he stood perched up on the foretop, gazing at all the activity. It was a large, bustling port, and presumably had enough resources to outfit Bacchante for the next leg of her voyage, assuming he could persuade them to release the stores to him. He spotted two warships in port: a frigate smaller than Bacchante, and a fairly large sloop, both flying Portuguese flags from their masts.

They were close enough now that his proper position was on the deck. He slid down to the quarterdeck using the backstay, and nodded to his officers. “An interesting looking land. Mr. Gatling, please hoist our colors. Mr. Calvert, you may begin the salute. I will be below, primping for our Portuguese visitors.”

“Aye aye, my lord,” Gatling and Calvert both said.

“My lord, might I have a quick word with you,” O’Higgins asked, getting a dirty look from Calvert for his effort. O’Higgins had managed to charm most of the other officers, but Calvert seemed to view him with trepidation and suspicion. Most surprisingly enough was that O’Higgins and Kingsdale seemed to have struck up a bond, which was odd considering that O’Higgins had led revolts against the establishment in Ireland, of which Kingsdale was a member, and had pledged to uphold. He suspected that their camaraderie was based more on being so far from home, and on having similar stories to share, and that it would fade when the realities of Ireland crashed in on them.

“You may talk to me while I am changing,” Granger said, motioning O’Higgins to follow him. He breezed into his cabin to find Winkler organized and waiting to help Granger pull on his full-dress uniform. “We are to have company while I dress.”

“As your lordship wishes,” Winkler said, in his mock surly way. “You’d think it would be colder here in September, my lord.”

“We are still in the tropics. Besides, you must remember that south of the equator, the seasons reverse,” Granger reminded him. “Their summer is our winter, and so now that it is our fall, so it is their spring.”

Winkler digested that as he helped Granger dress. “My lord, the other officers have told me of your difficulties with the Portuguese,” O’Higgins said. Granger noticed that he was having a hard time focusing on his sentence, so closely was he paying attention to Granger as he took off his clothes. “I am hoping you will not be offended if I offer a suggestion.”

Granger pulled down his breeches, bending over to expose his ass to O’Higgins, enjoying torturing the man. “Not at all,” he said, as he stood up, pulling up his good stockings. Was that a slight tent in O’Higgins’ breeches? Granger forced himself not to smile, and rushed his preparations along to avoid taunting the cute Irishman.

“I understand that you approached the authorities with the charm which I have grown to appreciate, my lord,” O’Higgins said.

“I am not the only one who has that gift,” Granger said, almost flirting.

“Thank you, my lord. I think that the Portuguese would respect a more firm approach. I would recommend that you demand they treat you with the respect due to a peer of Great Britain. I think you can only be friendly with them after you have established your position.”

Granger stopped dressing and stared at O’Higgins intently, understanding exactly what the man was saying to him. He’d approached the Portuguese as he had the Spaniards, but the Spaniards knew him; his reputation had preceded him. The Portuguese knew his reputation, but had not had as many dealings with him, and when he had engaged with them, it had usually been unpleasant. “I think that is excellent advice, Mr. O’Higgins. I will have to try that approach directly. I hope you will feel free to approach me with any additional pearls of wisdom you may have.”

“It will be my pleasure, my lord,” he said. Granger nodded to dismiss him, then focused on his appearance.

“He’s got the gift of gab, that one,” Winkler observed dourly.

“You do not like him?” Granger asked.

“I didn’t say that, my lord,” Winkler said. “I like him well enough. I’m just not sure I trust him.”

“I think he can do us little enough harm as it is. We will see, shortly, if he has done us any good.” Granger went back up on deck to find Rio much closer.

“There’s a boat approaching, my lord,” Calvert said.

Granger scanned the pinnace that was nearing them and saw a major in her sternsheets. Granger pretended to ignore the boat, and instead stared forward intently, his mind developing his plan beneath his seemingly tranquil expression. The squealing of the pipes focused his attention on the entry port, where an older major hauled himself aboard. Granger smiled internally at how much he resembled Major Hernandez in Praia, and began to wonder if there was some factory in Portugal that produced reliable but uninteresting majors for routine functions.

“I am Major Beira,” the man said stiffly, and in French. “I have come to welcome you to Her Most Faithful Majesty’s city of Rio de Janeiro.”

Granger eyed the man contemptuously, and then adopted an arrogant and pompous pose that would be more fitting for his brother. “I am the Right Honorable George Viscount Granger, Peer of Great Britain, Baron of Ryde, Knight of the Most Honorable Order of the Bath, Holder of the Collar of the Spanish Order of Charles II, commanding His Britannic Majesty’s ship Bacchante.”

The man seemed undaunted by Granger’s litany of titles. “I have brought the pilot with me, to guide you into port.”

“You address me as ‘my lord’,” Granger snapped at him, and then turned to Calvert. “Mr. Calvert, heave to. Take a sounding. It is my intention to anchor here until His Excellency the Viceroy sees fit to send a suitable delegation.”

“My lord, I have been tasked by His Excellency to do just that,” Major Beira objected.

“Major, you will return to His Excellency and express to him how offended I am by my reception, that he has chosen to dispatch an officer so inferior in rank to me to welcome me to Her Majesty’s port. You may inform him that I have received similarly rude treatment from other Portuguese officials on my voyage here, and have already sent a letter to His Royal Highness Prince John informing him of the truly reprehensible behavior of those men. I would have no qualms about sending another such communication to him, and to making the most vehement protestations through my government.”

The major’s mouth dropped open. “You sent a letter to His Royal Highness, my lord?”

“I did. I would also ask you to deliver a letter from me to His Britannic Majesty’s consul here in Rio de Janeiro, commanding him to attend me at once.”

“Of course, my lord,” the major said, bowing slightly. Granger handed him the letter, and nodded, dismissing him. The man all but ran from the ship.

“I think we will remain hove to, Mr. Calvert,” Granger said with a smile. “I suspect we will be receiving additional visitors shortly.”

“I shouldn’t wonder, my lord,” Calvert said with a grin. “Perhaps they’ll bring some stores with them as well.”

“All in good time, Mr. Calvert,” Granger said.

“Maybe we can just head to Montevideo and see if we can get some stores from the Spaniards, my lord,” Robey joked.

“That may assist us as regards our stores, Mr. Robey, but not our mission. We are ordered to Rio de Janeiro, we are not here for our own convenience.” They stared at him, because none of them knew Granger had orders to stop in Rio. Granger retired to his cabin, leaving them in limbo, while he re-read his instructions from the Privy Council.

Copyright © 2014 Mark Arbour; All Rights Reserved.
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An interesting twist! A packet of secret orders! Thi makes the cheese more binding as they say. Just what are they up to?

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Intrigue has re-entered the story with secret orders and an evident side mission to Rio. The British consul has also been summoned. I wonder what surprise Mr. Arbour has concocted for us?

A very quick read. Good job. thumbsupsmileyanim.gif

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I believe I declare a cliffhanger! What the heck r these orders I wonder??? :) sounds mysterious. But I am enjoying the trip to rio, one day in real life I'd love to go for there festival!

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The secret orders from the privy Council are enough to make me do a google search to find out what might've occurred between Portugal and England in 1797 or thereabouts.

 

Thanks Mark and team for the usual fine job!

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On 11/06/2012 02:40 PM, ricky said:
An interesting twist! A packet of secret orders! Thi makes the cheese more binding as they say. Just what are they up to?
Sorry i didn't respond to these. I'll post a new chapter to make up for it.
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On 11/06/2012 04:19 PM, JimCarter said:
our dear mark drug us to a steep cliff and left us hanging.
But I didn't drop you off.
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On 11/06/2012 04:25 PM, Napaguy said:
and indeed -- intrigue does indeed become you , Sir Mark
LOL. Hopefully you'll like this story angle.
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On 11/06/2012 04:50 PM, Daddydavek said:
Intrigue has re-entered the story with secret orders and an evident side mission to Rio. The British consul has also been summoned. I wonder what surprise Mr. Arbour has concocted for us?

A very quick read. Good job. thumbsupsmileyanim.gif

That should evolve over the next few chapters!
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On 11/06/2012 05:43 PM, Mark M said:
I believe I declare a cliffhanger! What the heck r these orders I wonder??? :) sounds mysterious. But I am enjoying the trip to rio, one day in real life I'd love to go for there festival!
I'd love to go to Rio too, whether it's for Carnival or just to visit.
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On 11/06/2012 06:38 PM, KevinD said:
The secret orders from the privy Council are enough to make me do a google search to find out what might've occurred between Portugal and England in 1797 or thereabouts.

 

Thanks Mark and team for the usual fine job!

LOL. This isn't necessarily historical. But I do have one of those interesting incidents coming up.
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On 11/07/2012 08:47 AM, davewri said:
A cliff hanger in CAP and Bridgemont. How delightful.
Delightful? I hope so. Sometimes a little pain makes the pleasure better. Or haven't you ever tried that? :-)
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A nasty gram to Lisbon, to stir up the pot, a good start. A prize, hopefully just the first of many more to come. O'Higgins, with his knowledge, this could be just the edge Granger needs. Secret Orders????? To top it off, this Viceroy in Rio does not appear to be well disposed towards our Captian. Suprise, suprise.

More please. Thank you.

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Those most have been some orders that Somers gave to Granger. I do wonder what is going on that the Privy Council did not want him to know til he was almost to Brazil.

 

O'Higgins is an interesting man. I would bet that he is quite charming, most Irishman are but that doesn't mean he is trustworthy...

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Secrets dealings at every turn, leaving me anxious to jump to the next chapter to feed my addiction. Thank you.

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