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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 - 44. Chapter 44

March 1798

 

“Mr. Robey’s respects, sir, and we have sighted land,” Scrope said.

“Very well,” Calvert said, and followed the young man up to the quarterdeck. “What do we have, Mr. Robey?”

“Land off the larboard bow, sir,” Robey said. “It appears to be Cape Espiritu Santo.”

“That means we must next traverse the San Bernardino Strait,” Calvert said, as much to himself as the others. “Call away my gig.”

“Aye aye sir,” Robey said. They began the process of hoisting his gig out, something that took considerably less time now that they’d rigged Santa Clarita with boat davits similar to those on Bacchante.

“I will be aboard the San Fernando,” Calvert said, and descended into his gig. The seas were calm with light winds, so it made for a dry trip to the Spanish vessel. Climbing up her tall sides was less pleasant; the galleon had the dimensions of a ship-of-the-line.

Gatling was there to greet him at the entry port. “Welcome aboard, sir.”

“Thank you, Mr. Gatling. Perhaps you will lead me back to see Capitan Morales,” Calvert said. San Fernando was technically a British prize, which meant that Gatling was technically her captain, but the bright and diplomatic young man had managed to fulfill his obligations while making the Spanish feel as if they were still in charge.

Morales stood to greet him with a big smile on his face. He always had a big smile on his face. “Welcome aboard, Captain. To what do we owe the pleasure of your visit?” It was fortunate for Calvert that the Spaniard spoke excellent English.

“As we are upon the San Bernardino Strait, and our voyage is coming to an end, I wanted to discuss the final arrangements for our journey.”

“There are only two things yet to achieve,” Morales said. “We have but to transfer the remaining silver to your ship and you have but to safely deliver us into Cavite.”

“And of course, Capitan, you are correct,” Calvert said. He didn’t have the knack with flowery language that Granger had, but he did his best. “It is my wish to transfer the silver today and possibly tomorrow if the extra time is needed.”

“But we are not to Cavite yet,” he objected.

Calvert’s eyes narrowed, and that alarmed the Spaniard. “And as we have discussed before, in order to make sure the agreement is adhered to, we must make the exchange prior to reaching port.” The governor in Manila may very well decide to abrogate their agreement, and there was no way Calvert was going to trust a half million reals to the whims of Spanish bureaucrats.

“Ah yes, you are correct,” he said. “We will begin the process immediately.”

“I will send my launch and cutter to transfer the silver, that way if some mishap befalls the boats it will be our fault, not yours,” Calvert said, a convenient excuse. He was less worried about one of the boats sinking than the dilatory nature of the Spaniards.

“That is excellent. If it meets with your approval, I will have our Silver Master work with Mr. Gatling and Mr. Kenny to ensure the proper amounts are sent over.”

“Do you require additional assistance?” Calvert asked Gatling.

“No sir. I think Mr. Kenny and I can handle things at this end just fine.”

“Then I will return to the Santa Clarita and we will close with you, and then dispatch our boats over for the transfer,” Calvert said, as he stood and bowed.

“After the transfer is completed, perhaps you would join me for supper,” Morales said.

“It would be my pleasure,” Calvert agreed. He took his leave of the Dons and returned to Santa Clarita, where he gave orders for the transfer of the silver to begin. They had already built a strong lazarette below to secure it. Everything was in order. And so the transfer began, with several boatloads going from the San Fernando to the Santa Clarita. The multiple boatloads were not really necessary, but it was the way the Spaniards did things, to ensure the amounts were counted accurately and presumably to minimize losses in the event a rogue storm should arise and sink one of the boats. In the end, there was no need for caution or concern; the operation went off without a hitch.

That evening, Calvert found himself in Morales’ spacious cabin, dining on the remains of what had once been prodigious stores but had now been all but depleted as the voyage neared its end. Calvert, like most Royal Navy captains, was much more frugal with his cabin stores, rationing them out, knowing they would have to last. The Spaniards were less controlled about their consumption, it seemed.

Morales beat around the bush; as if there was something he wanted to say but was unsure as to how to say it. It made dinner less than pleasant, but finally the man got to the point. “I assume that despite the transfer, we can still rely on your protection as we make this final trek to Cavite?”

Calvert was annoyed, extremely annoyed, by that question, since it questioned his honor, and Granger’s honor as well. It suggested that now that they had their pay, their treasure, the British would merely sail off without completing their part of the bargain. Calvert chose to shrug off the insult and attribute it to Morales’ nervousness about being in these waters. “Your assumption is correct, Capitan,” Calvert said, with the tone that made it sound more like a pledge. “I intend to convey you to within range of the batteries of Cavite, and then I will leave you to your countrymen.”

“I thank you, Capitan. You must think me impertinent to ask such a question, but we come upon the part of our trip that is most dangerous. There will be pirates, mostly Dyaks, and privateers, all waiting to attack us.” Dyaks were Malay pirates, a fearsome bunch, if their reputation was accurate.

“I understand your concern. I trust you will follow Mr. Gatling’s instructions should we encounter an enemy. He is familiar with my way of thinking, and will best be able to anticipate my actions,” Calvert said. If they went into combat, he wanted to know that Gatling was in charge. He would rather have a brave but junior British officer commanding San Fernando than an old Spaniard who was almost afraid of his own shadow.

“I am pleased to agree, since that means you are leaving him with us for the time being,” Morales said.

“That is my intention,” Calvert confirmed. Dinner progressed quickly after that. “If you will allow me, Capitan, I would like Mr. Gatling to return to my ship so we may familiarize him with our latest signals.” That was a blatant lie, but it gave Morales some grounds to save face rather than have Calvert consult with Gatling aboard San Fernando while excluding him.

“Of course,” Morales said. “We will see you back aboard shortly, Mr. Gatling.”

“Yes, sir,” Gatling said politely. They strode from Morales’ cabin and entered Calvert’s gig in reverse order of seniority, with Gatling going first.

“You will take us to Santa Clarita, and then you will return Mr. Gatling to the San Fernando,” Calvert told his coxswain. “Then you may finally return to Santa Clarita.”

“Aye aye sir,” he said. Calvert ignored him after that, and focused on Gatling.

“If we encounter an enemy, I want you to know my thoughts,” he said.

“Of course, sir,” Gatling said, understanding why that was so important.

“If we encounter a larger vessel, Santa Clarita will move to fend that vessel, or vessels, off. We will keep them away from the San Fernando.”

“I understand, sir,” Gatling said.

“I must rely on you to defend yourself against smaller craft,” Calvert warned. “I am not sure what you will face, but I suspect it will be similar to what you encountered in the Mediterranean, from the Barbary Corsairs.”

He watched Gatling’s mind grapple with that. “Then we’ll need to have the guns ready, and probably have a goodly amount of grapeshot handy, sir.”

“That is correct. You will not have to worry about trading fire with a frigate or something similar, so focus on your smaller guns. Guns you can fire quickly. I would recommend that you drill your men at them tomorrow, and every day until we reach Cavite.”

“We have been doing that daily, sir,” Gatling said. Calvert was aware that they had been drilling, but didn’t realize how frequently Gatling had forced them to practice.

“That’s excellent, Mr. Gatling. Well done,” Calvert said.

The young man beamed at Calvert’s praise. “The Dons weren’t too keen on it at first, but they ultimately saw things my way, sir.”

Calvert laughed. “I suspect they did.” The gig latched on to Santa Clarita and Calvert climbed out and returned to his ship, glad to be home, such as it was. The gig took Gatling back, and then returned, just as she was ordered.

The next day the winds were still fair, some more good fortune to befall them. He guided his small convoy through the San Bernardino Strait, winding around the Philippine Islands and into the Sibuyon Sea. They had sighted only local sailing craft, nothing to cause either ship great alarm.

Calvert woke up the next morning, hoping that the day would see them through the Sibuyon Sea and into the Verde Island Passage. Once they had cleared that hurdle, they would have a relatively clear run up to Cavite, and Manila. He stared out at the black morning, wondering what dawn would bring. He had expected that they would be attacked in the San Bernardino Strait, a location far enough from Manila that the galleon had no reasonable hope for reinforcements if things went badly, but that did not happen, not that Calvert was complaining. But as hostile forces had missed attacking his ships at that choke point, this next one was almost certain to yield contact.

“It appears to be getting lighter, sir,” Fitzwilliam said. Like Robey, he was a good officer, but not an excellent officer. The only truly excellent officer Calvert had under his command was over on San Fernando. Gatling had a sharp mind, and a fast one. The others did not see things as quickly and completely as he did.

“How long until dawn?” Calvert asked.

“Three quarters of an hour, sir,” Robey answered.

“Let’s get the men fed,” Calvert ordered. “I want that accomplished so we are at quarters by dawn.”

“Aye aye sir,” Robey said, and rapped out the orders to feed the men. There wasn’t time to stoke the galley fire, so they would have to make do with cold rations, but it was better for them to have something in their stomachs in case they had to fight. That Calvert had given the order to feed them before dawn told the others that he thought they would be fighting, and soon.

The ship immersed herself in the confusion of feeding her human passengers, but managed to find herself back at quarters and waiting as the sun finally made its appearance on the horizon. “Deck there!” came the call from the tops. “Ship off the larboard bow! Looks to be half a mile away.”

Calvert spun his glass toward this ship and saw what he expected to see: a well-armed brig hove to, flying British colors. She could only be the Vulture, a fact that was ascertained soon enough by one of the hands who had recognized her. Calvert turned back to make sure that San Fernando was flying British colors too, and gave orders for their own flag to be hoisted. Santa Clarita was in her proper place, just off San Fernando’s larboard quarter, with light winds from almost dead astern.

“There are other ships off the starboard bow!” shouted the lookout. They turned their attention in that direction and saw ten native craft heading toward the San Fernando in a menacing way. If Santa Clarita were not here, the San Fernando would be walking into a nightmare, but even with her presence, it would be a tough battle, assuming that Vulture went rogue on them.

“They intend to divide and conquer,” Calvert said. “If we fend off the pirates, the Vulture will move in. If we fend off the Vulture, the pirates will move in.” Their casualties would be horrendous in such an attack, but the galleon was such a lucrative prize, she was surely worth risking such carnage, at least in the minds of rogues.

“What will you do, sir?” Robey asked. He was well within his bounds to pose such a question, since it was entirely possible Calvert would be killed in the upcoming action.

“We must first neutralize Vulture, if she will not help us,” he said. He thought there was no chance of Vulture joining their cause, but he’d uttered the words anyway. “We will have to hope that Mr. Gatling can hold off the pirates long enough for us to come to his rescue.”

“Aye aye sir,” Robey said.

“You may clear for action, Mr. Robey. Beat to quarters!” And then the time honored rhythm, Hearts of Oak, began to thrum, and with that all hell would break out below as they tore down partitions, removing cabin walls and furniture, to make the Santa Clarita’s main deck one continuous, uninterrupted gun platform.

“Mr. Scrope, signal to Vulture, Captain to repair on board.” There was still time for that, and Calvert wanted to know who he was dealing with. But mostly he wanted to force Vulture’s hand. Scrope dutifully raised the signal.

“Sir, Vulture has not acknowledged,” Scrope said. Calvert watched as her hands surged aloft, squaring her sails away and putting her on a course straight for San Fernando.

“Fire a warning gun, Mr. Fitzwilliam,” Calvert ordered. The gun went off, but there was no signal, no acknowledgment from Vulture. Did she think Calvert would let her sail right past him to attack the San Fernando?

“Shake out the reefs in the topsails, Mr. Robey,” Calvert ordered. “Mr. Fitzwilliam, you may load and run out the larboard battery. Double shotted for good measure. ”

“Aye aye sir,” they acknowledged. Santa Clarita surged ahead, moving to put herself between the San Fernando and the Vulture. Calvert watched their response, watched their moves as Vulture avoided them, but led them away from the galleon, and could only come to one conclusion.

“Gentlemen, Vulture is trying to lure us away from the San Fernando,” Calvert noted.

“I think you’re right, sir,” Robey said, so amazed that he’d let that idiotic statement fly out of his mouth.

“It is most reassuring that you agree, Mr. Robey,” Calvert said abruptly. “Vulture is counting on us not firing on her since she wears our flag, at least not until she is close enough to seize the Don.” They said nothing to that, which was as it should be.

“Starboard your helm,” Calvert ordered. “Mr. Robey, trim the braces as we come about.” They acknowledged his order and Santa Clarita dashed off to deal with the pirate menace, presumably leaving Vulture alone. At least that’s what he wanted them to think. Santa Clarita flew across the sea, showing a good turn of speed, as she headed for the pirates. They saw her coming, and retreated in the face of her menacing broadsides, staying just out of range. Meanwhile, Vulture had come about and had closed with them. “They are working together,” Calvert said in disgust. “A British ship is colluding with Malay pirates.”

The officers on deck shook their heads, while their faces wore stolid expressions that hid the anger beneath. The men on Vulture were pirates themselves. Calvert wasn’t surprised. He’d expected nothing less. He watched the Vulture close on them even as he pursued the pirates. He positioned Santa Clarita on San Fernando’s starboard side, to give Vulture a clear run into her.

“Mr. Gatling!” Calvert called through his speaking trumpet.

“Sir?” Gatling asked, to acknowledge he heard Calvert.

“When I give you the word, back your sails so we may cross your bow. After that, you should prepare to fend off the pirates to our starboard.”

“Aye aye sir,” he shouted.

“Mr. Fitzwilliam, load the starboard battery with chain shot,” Calvert ordered. “I mean to dismast the Vulture.”

Fitzwilliam acknowledged, and Calvert heard the considerable commotion required to load the cumbersome shots into the cannon. He climbed up the shrouds to see over the huge galleon and gauged his timing, watching both the pirates and the Vulture. “Now, Mr. Gatling!” he shouted. “Back your sails!”

He saw Gatling nod. “Mr. Robey, shake out the reefs in the mains and prepare to wear ship.” As Robey obeyed his order, Calvert scurried back down the shrouds to resume his place on the quarterdeck. The San Fernando backed her sails, making her all but stop in the water, while Santa Clarita surged ahead, picking up speed as she went.

“Helm, hard a larboard,” Calvert ordered. Santa Clarita turned, with the wind off her quarter, and shot cleanly across San Fernando’s bows. Now she was barreling down on the Vulture, which appeared to be completely stymied by their maneuver. She clearly hadn’t expected that much agility from the Santa Clarita, and certainly wouldn’t have expected it from the galleon.

“Sir, she’s raising another ensign and firing her gun,” Scrope shouted. So now with the Santa Clarita closing on her, to avoid their broadsides, the Vulture would pretend to be a loyal British vessel. Calvert sneered internally that they thought him that big a fool.

“Helm, a point to larboard,” Calvert ordered. Santa Clarita turned, aiming her broadside at the Vulture, at close range. Calvert was almost loath to give the order to fire, because she was truly a beautiful vessel, but while the ship may be beautiful, the men who manned her were not. “Fire on the uproll,” Calvert said to prepare them. He gauged the swell, and felt Santa Clarita’s starboard side rise. “Fire!”

They’d worked hard on gun drills, much to the amusement of the Dons, but now it paid off. They heard the macabre howling that chain shot made, and watched the iron tear into Vulture’s rigging. “There goes her foremast!” shouted the lookout.

The guns rumbled back out. “Fire!” Calvert ordered again. This time the round shot slammed into Vulture’s hull, pulverizing her. She was not made to withstand punishment from a frigate. Just as a ship of the line could blow a frigate out of the water with a few well-aimed broadsides at close range, so too could a frigate annihilate a brig. “Mr. Robey, we will cross her stern, then return to defend the San Fernando.”

“Aye aye sir.”

“Mr. Fitzwilliam, you will keep firing. We’ll be crossing her stern, and then coming alongside her to the starboard.”

A few shots rang out from the Vulture, but they were drowned out by another broadside from Santa Clarita. She wore ship and crossed the Vulture’s stern, pouring another deadly broadside into her, and then darted along the Vulture’s larboard side, delivering one final broadside as she went. Calvert heard the sounds of cannon fire from the San Fernando and knew that the pirates were closing on her. He looked back at the Vulture and she was a wreck. She was dismasted, and listing as she took on water. There was blood flowing from her scuppers, a testament to the men who had been slaughtered in her ill-advised battle.

He turned his attention to the pirates, who were closing on San Fernando at an alarming rate. The San Fernando was firing quite quickly, probably surprising the pirates, but that was nothing compared to their shock when they looked up and saw Santa Clarita tearing down on them. “Mr Fitzwilliam, you may fire at any convenient target,” Calvert said.

“Sir, we’re going to ram that lead pirate!” the lookout called.

“Lieutenant Kellogg,” Calvert called. “Direct the bowchaser to fire on that vessel in front of us, and prepare your men to repel boarders.”

“Aye aye sir,” Kellogg said. He pulled fifty men from the guns and formed them into an armed squad. Calvert heard Santa Clarita’s cannon firing as they took aim at the Dyak pirates, and watched as one of their ships all but vanished as Santa Clarita’s guns dashed her from the sea. Then they collided with the pirate ship. Calvert felt the Santa Clarita shudder, then move forward, as she rammed into the pirate. They heard screams from over the side as the Dyaks watched the seams of their ship open up like a fan; such was the force Santa Clarita had impacted it with. But they had no time for celebration. It seemed as if Dyaks were pouring over the side.

“Starboard gunners, repel boarders!” Calvert shouted. “Mr. Fitzwilliam, you must maintain fire with the larboard guns.”

“Aye aye sir!” he shouted. Calvert took out his sword and strode forward with his men, who were rallying to drive these savages off their ship. He pressed forward until he found himself facing a large man wearing nothing but a loincloth, and carrying a nasty looking scimitar. Calvert lunged and missed, only managing to regain his footing to parry the Dyak’s blade. Back and forth they went, with the guns from Santa Clarita firing below him, and the pirates and his own men screaming as they fought each other.

Kellogg had gotten the other starboard gunners armed and organized, and when they entered the battle, it turned the tide. Calvert saw his opponent look up in alarm at this new onslaught of men, and took advantage of the man’s distraction to drive his sword through the Dyak’s bowels. And then the pirates broke and ran, falling back over the side, only the ship they had boarded from was already sinking. They realized this as they made to jump back to her from Santa Clarita. So now with nowhere to go, they were pinned against the forecastle, where they fought to the last man, refusing to yield, while the British offered them no quarter anyway.

“Look sir!” Scrope shouted. The pirates regrouped but instead of leaving, they fell upon the wounded Vulture. Calvert and his officers watched in horror as they descended on the wounded vessel. He saw her crew attempt to fight them off, but there would be no hope for them. They were already beaten. Such was the honor among thieves.

He was of a mind to go back and finish the Vulture off, but he felt the wind freshening, and could feel the seas increasing as well. The Vulture would not survive the night, and even if she did, she would no longer be his problem. “You may secure from quarters, Mr. Robey. As soon as that is done, you may pipe the hands to dinner.”

“Aye aye sir,” Robey said. “And begging your pardon, sir, but that was brilliantly done.”

Calvert didn’t feel brilliant. He’d been forced to fire on another British vessel, and he’d all but condemned her entire crew to a horrific death. He merely nodded at Robey, and went to inspect the damage, and to find out what the human cost of this battle was.

 

 

Santa Clarita lay hove to off the coast, with Cavite and Manila in plain view, but clearly out of gun range. He watched as the San Fernando lumbered past, her crew cheering them as she went. She lowered a boat, and Calvert saw Gatling and Kenny, along with five seaman he’d sent over to assist them, being rowed toward his ship. As soon as the British officers were safely away, San Fernando lowered her British colors and raised Spanish ones.

Calvert watched as a deputation met the galleon, but was distracted by Gatling’s return. “I’m back, sir.”

Calvert grinned. “It is good to have you back, Mr. Gatling. You were missed.”

“Thank you, sir,” he said.

“Your conduct in fighting the San Fernando, in fending off the pirates, was masterful,” Calvert continued. “I have said so in my report.”

“Thank you, sir, but I fear you have given the credit to the wrong man. It is you who fought a masterful battle,” Gatling said with a grin.

“We will have to hope there is enough credit to flow both of our ways then,” Calvert said. It was so nice to have Gatling back.

“Sir, Capitan Morales asked if you would remain hove to until he meets with the authorities ashore.”

Calvert scanned the harbor. “I see no vessels there to cause me any concern, but did he say why?”

“He said he wanted to express his appreciation to you for saving all of us, sir,” Gatling said.

“Well, as the winds are dead foul for our trip to Amboyna, it will do us no harm to remain here for the balance of the day.” And so they remained, hove to, outside Spain’s principal port in the Western Pacific. It was not until afternoon that a large boat approached them, flying a white flag over Spanish colors.

“Raise our parley flag, Mr. Scrope,” Calvert ordered. Santa Clarita hoisted white colors over her own flag to tell the Spaniards they were welcome to visit.

They sent a Colonel to call on them, no less. He hauled himself aboard, acknowledging the sideboys and saluting the quarterdeck. “You are Captain Calvert?” he asked.

“I am,” Calvert said. Gatling was fortunately on hand to interpret.

“I am Colonel Juan de la Vasquez,” he said, and sprouted off several other titles, one of them being an adjutant to the governor.

“It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance,” Calvert said politely, then let Gatling translate.

“The Colonel says he has come to thank you for saving the San Fernando and her passengers from the pirates,” Gatling said.

“Tell him I was glad to do it,” Calvert said. Gatling rambled on for a bit, making Calvert smile, since he was obviously adding some continental floweriness to Calvert’s clipped statement.

“He says that he brought us a gift from the governor to help speed us on our journey. This boat is carrying stores, including some live pigs, fruits, and vegetables.”

Calvert could not help but smile at that. “Thank him most earnestly for his generosity.” More flowery language and more pontificating by the Spaniard. Then they got to work loading the additional stores the Dons had sent over. As the sun began to set, the Spanish boat headed back to shore, having disgorged her welcome stores into the Santa Clarita. And Santa Clarita turned her nose south, heading to meet up with Bacchante in Amboyna.

“Mr. Robey, rig the wash deck pump if you will. I am going to have a bath.”

“Sir, would you mind if I joined you?” Gatling asked. “The San Fernando is not the cleanest of vessels.”

“Certainly, Mr. Gatling. Have your other men bathe as well. We must do our best to keep pests from our ship.” Calvert dashed below and stripped off his uniform, then excused himself to go into his cabin. He began to slowly stroke his cock, bringing it to its full hardness, and then he began to masturbate himself with more purpose. In no time at all, he was blasting his seed into his handkerchief. Now, having relieved the pressure of his libido, he went on deck in his robe, timing his arrival unfortunately to coincide with Gatling’s.

Calvert handed his robe to his steward and pivoted under the stream of water shooting at him from the wash deck pump. The men operating it grinned at him, enjoying this rare chance to pelt their captain with water. Calvert motioned for them to stop and focused on applying soap to his body, while the men focused on spraying Gatling instead. Calvert had just pleasured himself, but the sight of Gatling’s naked body, of his well formed chest and abdomen, of his nice calves and thighs, of his bushy pubes sheltering a shrinking cock, and finally of his ass, was arousing the lust in Calvert anyway. He was fixated on Gatling’s pert ass, with dimples that seemed to wink at him as the young lieutenant pivoted under the water.

He handed the soap to his steward and was horrified to find that he was well on his way to an erection. Gatling looked at him and their eyes met, eyes full of mutual lust, then he looked down shyly. The cold water blasted Calvert again, returning his dick to normal, but it did nothing to quell his lust.

“Perhaps after you have had a chance to change, you can join me for a late supper,” Calvert offered, knowing that he shouldn’t even as he did.

“I’d like that, sir.”

“It will be casual,” Calvert added. He retreated to his cabin and gave orders for them to prepare some food for him and Gatling, and then put on trousers and a shirt.

Gatling appeared promptly, dressed much as Calvert was. They sat at his table, enjoying a nice meal, while the gentle tropical breezes blew through the open stern windows. They talked of Gatling’s voyage aboard the San Fernando, and chatted away until the food was gone and the wine bottle was empty.

“I should let you get some rest, sir,” Gatling said, and stood up. Calvert smiled at the tent in his trousers, even as Gatling blushed furiously.

But Calvert had been celibate since Granger had left, and he wanted, no, needed human companionship. He had foresworn liaisons with his officers and with his crew, but as he looked into Gatling’s eyes, he felt the same need, the same desperation, coming from him. Calvert instinctively knew he could trust Gatling. He moved closer, so his arm was pressed against Gatling’s arm as they stood on the deck. “You may return to your cabin, of course,” Calvert said. “Or you may stay and keep me company.”

“I assumed you would be tired of my company by now, sir,” Gatling said nervously.

“One moment,” Calvert said. He went to the door to his cabin and addressed the marine on guard. “No one is to disturb me. Is that clear?”

“Aye aye sir,” the marine said. If there were an emergency, Robey could bully his way past, but that was about the only person who would get in.

Calvert returned to Gatling, who stood there nervously. “I was thinking that you may want to spend some time in a different part of my cabin.”

Gatling smiled. “You want me to see your quarter gallery, sir?” he asked, being cheeky.

Calvert shook his head, but gave Gatling his fully charged smile, then led him back to his sleeping cabin. He closed the door and put his hand on Gatling’s cheek, guiding their mouths together. Their lips met, tentatively at first, and then it was if a tidal wave of lust burst through, and they were clawing and groping at each other. Gatling pulled away and dropped to his knees, pulling Calvert’s trousers down as he did. There, in front of him, was Calvert’s nice long thin cock, throbbing at him, begging for attention. Gatling didn’t hesitate; he absorbed Calvert and worked his considerable oral skills on his captain, putting his all into it, to be rewarded by Calvert’s load as it all but flooded him.

Gatling stood up, expecting their session to be over now that Calvert was satisfied, but Calvert had lusted after this young man for too long to just leave him high and dry, and he was a better lover than that. He returned the favor, but because Gatling was young, and because he was already excited, he lasted almost no time at all before he gave Calvert a similar gift, shooting his seed down Calvert’s throat.

“That was wonderful, sir,” Gatling said, and looked down shyly.

“I thought so too,” Calvert said, pulling his chin up and kissing him. “Would you be amenable to doing that again?”

“I would be amenable to doing anything you want, sir,” Gatling said. Calvert grinned, and then let the young man go off to get ready for his watch.

Copyright © 2014 Mark Arbour; All Rights Reserved.
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On 06/11/2013 05:15 AM, Miles Long said:
Thank you for the Francis update. I have been worried about him with that Vulture craft lurking about. Just deserts all around.

Great chapter.

I think this chapter shows Calvert's strengths and weaknesses. He's an excellent sailor, and a great tactician, but he's not even close to as smooth and polished as Granger is, nor as diplomatically and politically astute.
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Well, I guess overall Calvert did okay... I do respect how he handled the situation with the Spanish Captain, even though he doesn't have the flourish that Granger would. He also did make sure that Gatling was aware of how he wanted to work things so that the ships could work in tandem to hold off any force; this was good forsight on his part.

I was very impressed that Gatling had been drilling the Spanish crew on the guns to make sure if something happened that they would be better prepared to assist the Santa Clarita. I have always thought that Gatling showed great promise. I actually think maybe he and Calvert should become lovers and realize that they are meant only for each other... LOL...

I hope there isn't any repercussions for anyone in regards to how they had to handle the situation with the Vulture. The officers on that ship got exactly what they deserved although the men may not have deserved their fate...

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On 06/11/2013 07:07 AM, centexhairysub said:
Well, I guess overall Calvert did okay... I do respect how he handled the situation with the Spanish Captain, even though he doesn't have the flourish that Granger would. He also did make sure that Gatling was aware of how he wanted to work things so that the ships could work in tandem to hold off any force; this was good forsight on his part.

I was very impressed that Gatling had been drilling the Spanish crew on the guns to make sure if something happened that they would be better prepared to assist the Santa Clarita. I have always thought that Gatling showed great promise. I actually think maybe he and Calvert should become lovers and realize that they are meant only for each other... LOL...

I hope there isn't any repercussions for anyone in regards to how they had to handle the situation with the Vulture. The officers on that ship got exactly what they deserved although the men may not have deserved their fate...

Well there's a grudging compliment if ever there was one. :-)

I think that Calvert has a tougher scale when evaluating subordinates. Granger had high opinions of both Robey and Fitzwilliam, but Calvert thinks they're just good, not great. But he sees Gatling's potential, and that's a good way for a bond to develop between them.

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I thought it a very interesting and well written chapter. It explains what Calvert and co. were doing and how things went. It appears that getting to where they think Granger is will be delayed as there was mention of doldrums.

:2thumbs: as usual and I wait with anticipation for the next installment. Thanks!

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I enjoyed this chapter featuring Calvert. As the story has progressed we have seen

him develop and mature, and here he positively shines as a competent naval officer.

Seeing things from his perspective gives him a new depth, and I like it. He's becoming

his own man, showing how he critically evaluates (harshly) those around him, and

his appraisal of character is on target. I'm much happier with him now he's hit his

stride.

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On 06/11/2013 02:33 PM, Daddydavek said:
I thought it a very interesting and well written chapter. It explains what Calvert and co. were doing and how things went. It appears that getting to where they think Granger is will be delayed as there was mention of doldrums.

:2thumbs: as usual and I wait with anticipation for the next installment. Thanks!

I had to close out that segment with the Vulture and delivering the galleon, and it gave me an opportunity to show Calvert's talents as a captain.
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On 06/11/2013 05:22 PM, Stephen said:
I enjoyed this chapter featuring Calvert. As the story has progressed we have seen

him develop and mature, and here he positively shines as a competent naval officer.

Seeing things from his perspective gives him a new depth, and I like it. He's becoming

his own man, showing how he critically evaluates (harshly) those around him, and

his appraisal of character is on target. I'm much happier with him now he's hit his

stride.

I'm wondering if being a harsher critic is really a good thing. I tend to think it isn't. Granger uses positive motivation to get his men to perform, avoiding as much as possible negatives like the lash. I think a harsher critic may also become a harsher disciplinarian.
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This was a good chapter that allowed us to see how far Calvert has come since that fateful night off Halifax harbour and of course that he was still among the living. I'm not sure which side you are on, Mark. The one with Centexhairysub and Ricky or the one with every one else in the entire known universe. Nor am I certain that if you flipped a coin, that it wouldn't be a two headed one. Let's see, Granger, father an Earl. Calvert, father a farmer. He was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth (or up his butt). So it is no great suprise he is not as smooth and polished, nor as diplomatically and politically astute as Granger.

Thanks for the chapter, as always a great read.

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On 06/17/2013 01:46 PM, sandrewn said:
This was a good chapter that allowed us to see how far Calvert has come since that fateful night off Halifax harbour and of course that he was still among the living. I'm not sure which side you are on, Mark. The one with Centexhairysub and Ricky or the one with every one else in the entire known universe. Nor am I certain that if you flipped a coin, that it wouldn't be a two headed one. Let's see, Granger, father an Earl. Calvert, father a farmer. He was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth (or up his butt). So it is no great suprise he is not as smooth and polished, nor as diplomatically and politically astute as Granger.

Thanks for the chapter, as always a great read.

You're right. I think Calvert has come a long way. He doesn't have Granger's background, but his father wasn't just a "farmer." He has 250 acres, which is a substantial holding. He'd appropriately be considered gentry, which is a bit different than 'farmer', which makes one conjure up visions of a peasant.
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Calvert is becoming the man and officer that George want him to be.  His liaison with Gatling is an important step for him as he will realise what George has been trying to tell him.  Gatling is a very good choice, sexy and loyal.  I thing that this will be an important factor in how Calvert will accept the fact that George has left before Calver arrives in Amboyna.  

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