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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 - 5. Chapter 5

April 14, 1797


It took them a full two hours to sign the men in and get their dunnage together. Granger looked at the men and smiled. They were marvelously happy, having spent a month on land in a sheltered environment, where they could enjoy good food, lots of drink, and female company. But they also seemed excited about the challenge ahead, and they seemed glad to be returning to their natural habitat: the sea. There was a misconception that most sailors longed to be ashore, but Granger knew that most of them felt out of place, and usually sought out a ship after a short leave. Some attributed that to a lack of money, but Granger knew better. He knew that these men were just anxious to get back to the life they’d chosen.

They’d managed to assemble several horses, so Granger let Weston organize the scouting parties while he stayed with the main body. Granger had to balance the risk that his presence would draw attention to their group, against the fact that if there were trouble, he would be able to overcome it much better than Weston would. Weston was a relatively junior lieutenant with no influence, whereas he was a full captain, a peer of Great Britain, and well connected. He’d dispatched Andrews on horseback to Bacchante with the ship’s book, so anyone checking there would find the records to be intact. The men were laughing as they ambled down the country road, with not much of a care. They were confident with their captain with them. To them, this was just a big adventure.

“So what have you been up to?” Granger asked Jeffers as he rode next to him.

“We’ve accomplished most of the repairs, sir,” Jeffers said. “I wish I could have shown you the Abbey.”

“There is nothing to stop us from returning there to inspect it once this crisis has passed,” Granger said. “It looks like you had things in good order.”

“Thank you, sir,” he said, smiling. Winkler was walking with the men; he was that sick of horses.

“I understand you are thinking of staying ashore,” Granger observed.

“Begging your pardon, sir, but I had thought about it. I wouldn’t want to let you down, though.”

“I will not compel you to come with me,” Granger said. “If you want to stay, I will do what I can to help you do that. I can maintain you as part of my household, and let you stay in the Abbey as its caretaker.”

“Will that protect me from the press, sir?”

Granger laughed. “I am not sure total protection is possible, but her ladyship should be able to assist you if you have problems.”

“Would you mind if I thought about it for a bit longer, sir?” Jeffers asked. Granger could almost feel the conflict in him.

“I can give you a fortnight to figure things out,” Granger allowed. Bacchante wouldn’t be ready for sea before then.

“Thank you, sir,” he said. The party of men moved along, staying out of the way of the traffic as much as they could. As they approached the village of Tooting, a crowd of villagers was waiting for them. They cheered as Granger trotted by on his horse, and he obliged them by raising his hat and smiling at them. Crowds made Granger uncomfortable, but his inherent good manners prevented him from ever showing them how he truly felt. They had just passed through the village when a rider appeared. It was Hewes, one of the scouts.

“My lord,” he said, then paused to catch his breath. “Mr. Weston sent me to find you. We sighted two large groups approaching the Abbey. One group is coming down the road from Woolwich, and the other is coming up from the east, from Dartford.” So whoever was in charge had opted to hedge their bets and come at them from the north and the east.

“Then I would submit it is a good thing that we are heading west,” Granger said with a grin. “Does Mr. Weston have any idea who is in command?”

“No, my lord. They saw a man riding a horse with lots of gold lace. Lot of good that does,” he said, irritated with whoever gave them that report. “I’d say it had to be an admiral, or a senior captain.”

“That’s excellent, Hewes. Go tell Mr. Weston to do whatever he can to delay them.” Granger pulled out his purse and handed Hewes several guineas. “Perhaps the populace will be of some assistance.”

Hewes grinned. “Aye aye, my lord.” He prodded his horse and headed back east.

“Begging you pardon, sir, but why did he call you ‘my lord’?” Jeffers asked.

“I was awarded letters patent yesterday, in a meeting of the Privy Council,” Granger said. “I have been made a viscount.”

Jeffers grinned broadly. “Congratulations, my lord. I must apologize for addressing you incorrectly.”

“It is not a problem,” Granger said with a smile. “I made allowances for the fact that you are a country bumpkin now, and that news will reach you more slowly.”

“I must thank your lordship for your indulgence,” Jeffers said. It was nice to see how happy Jeffers was over his new title. The Thames was only five miles from the Abbey, so it only took them a couple of hours to reach it. Granger was pleasantly surprised to find a veritable flotilla of small boats waiting to take them to Bacchante. Weston must have dispatched men to handle that. The men boarded the shore boats, and shoved off, with a petty officer in each to pay the boatmen and to make sure they didn’t run into any problems.

Granger was just about to enter the last shore boat when a breathless officer came riding up to him. He wore the uniform of a lieutenant. “Sir,” he said emphatically. “Sir, I bring orders from Admiral Wilcox. He commands you to stop at once and surrender these men to the press.”

“I am not under Admiral Wilcox’s command,” Granger said airily. “I choose not to obey his orders.”

The lieutenant’s eyes bulged at this gross insubordination. “Sir, the admiral will arrive within the next few minutes. You are ordered to await him.”

“You may tell the admiral, for me, that men already signed on to a ship are not eligible to be pressed. If a single one of my men is apprehended by your hoodlums, I will take my case directly to Lord Spencer when I meet with him tomorrow. Do I make myself clear, Lieutenant?”

“Aye aye, sir,” he said.

“And you address me as ‘my lord’,” Granger snapped. “I will overlook your poor manners, this time.”

“I must beg your pardon, my lord,” he said, significantly cowed. Granger merely nodded curtly and climbed into the boat. He wondered briefly whether they’d try to intercept his boats, but he suspected that Wilcox wasn’t smart enough to think of that. As luck would have it, he was right. By early afternoon, Granger arrived aboard Bacchante, to find that all but five of his men had made the trip safely to their new home. He wasn’t sure if they’d deserted, been apprehended, or just gotten lost.

“Mr. Robey, since we now have a crew, perhaps you can arrange to feed them,” Granger said.

“Aye aye, my lord,” Robey said.

“And Winkler, if it isn’t too much trouble, perhaps you can pull something together for me. I am near starving again, now that I am back in your care.”

Winkler looked at him, frustrated. “I will find something directly, my lord.”

Granger hid his smile. “Thank you.” He turned to Robey. “While we are working on dinner, let’s warp the ship away from the dock. The yard will thank us for freeing up the space.”

“Aye aye, my lord,” Robey said. That was tedious work, as they had to drag the anchor to its location offshore, and then use the capstan to pull Bacchante over to it. They’d no sooner finished that evolution than a boat pulled alongside and was hailed. An infuriated Admiral Wilcox hauled himself aboard.

“No sideboys! Where are your manners, Granger?”

“I was not expecting you, Admiral,” Granger said. “I must apologize for our oversight. We are newly commissioned and still sorting things out.”

“That is no excuse for slackness,” Wilcox snapped.

“Quite frankly, Admiral, I am wondering why you are here. This ship is not attached to your squadron, or even to your fleet.”

“I am here to press the men you just brought aboard,” Wilcox said pompously. “They are destined for the North Sea Fleet.”

“The men you are referring to are members of my crew,” Granger said firmly. “You cannot press men who are already signed on to another ship, especially when that ship is not attached to your squadron.”

“You would dare to tell me what I can or cannot do?!” Wilcox yelled. “I gave you a direct order, Captain!”

“And as I noted, neither Bacchante nor I are under your orders,” Granger said evenly.

“You call me ‘sir’,” Wilcox snapped.

“And you call me ‘my lord,’ sir,” Granger snapped back, although he chided himself for his breach of manners.

“I am giving you one more chance to release these men, Granger.”

“Sir, I will not release these men without an order from Lord Spencer,” Granger said. Wilcox seemed to have the same temper, and intellect, as the other members of his family that Granger had encountered. He watched the man slowly begin to boil, until he finally verbally exploded.

“I will see you drummed out of this fleet,” he shrieked. He turned to the two marines who had followed him aboard. “Arrest this man!”

The marines looked at Granger nervously, and took no immediate action, surrounded as they were by 200 hostile crewmen. “You cannot arrest me, sir,” Granger observed. His tone was respectful, but his smirk was most definitely not.

“I most certainly can!”

“I received my letters patent yesterday,” Granger reminded him. “You cannot arrest me. Only Black Rod can arrest a peer of the realm.” Granger was well aware of the rights and privileges due to a peer, and one of them was immunity to arrest from normal authorities. It meant that he would never have to go to debtor’s prison, for one thing.

“You’ve gone too far this time,” Wilcox shouted. “You’ll end up in the Tower for this.”

“Unlikely,” Granger said. Wilcox stood there, glaring at him. “Mr. Robey, Admiral Wilcox and his party will be departing. Please detail some men to assist them.”

“Aye aye, my lord,” Robey said crisply. He began to rap out orders, while Wilcox glowered at him, and then all but stormed over the side and into his boat. The men wisely avoided laughing at him. “Do you think he’ll come back with Black Rod, my lord?”

Granger actually did laugh at that. He knew Sir Francis Molyneux, the current Black Rod. He was unmarried, and rumored to be a member of the Brotherhood, although Granger had not yet had a chance to see if his wrist bore the same marking that his did. “If he does, we will offer him tea. That is his favorite drink, especially if it is laced with some whiskey.” The men were looking about at this new ship that would be their home for an indefinite period of time. It was much different from most ships they would have served in: it was new. “I will leave it to you to get the crew settled in. I will be below if I am needed.” Granger went to his cabin and began to write his report, detailing Admiral Wilcox’s attempt to try to press men who were already signed on to another Royal Navy ship. He thought he’d done a rather nice job of it, and when the thing was done, he dispatched it off to the Admiralty. He knew that the first report on the subject would carry the most weight, and he suspected that by the time Wilcox got back to the Nore and drafted his own report, then sent it back up via a messenger, it wouldn’t arrive at the Admiralty until tomorrow. With that accomplished, Granger went back to getting his ship ready for sea.


April 17, 1797


The carriage rumbled into the dockyard, attracting a bit of attention. Gleaming carriages with several footmen were not all that common, evidently. Caroline had taken advantage of the King’s generosity and brought the children back to London for Easter. They’d had quite a feast yesterday, a feast so good it was almost suitable compensation for the deadly dull sermon Granger had been forced to listen to in the morning. But that was yesterday; today Granger was taking Caroline to see his new ship.

“I am so excited to see this vessel that will be your home for the next year or so,” she said. The sadness she felt at being parted from him was apparent beneath the happy tone of her voice.

“I think you will like her,” Granger said. “She is bigger than Belvidera, and quite stout.”

“Stout, as in fat?” Caroline teased.

“Stout, as in solid, because she is English,” Granger replied. “Unless you are implying that Englishwomen are fat?”

“You’re being a cad, George Granger,” she said in the same coquettish tone she’d used when she’d first seduced him. They got to the small jetty and Granger handed Caroline out of the carriage and into the waiting boat. His gig’s crew was well turned out, as would be expected when they were carrying the Captain’s lady.

“Your men look so nice,” Caroline said, ostensibly to Granger. He saw the man closest to them blush, and almost broke out laughing. They got to the ship and Granger made sure Caroline was rigged into the bosun’s chair, and then climbed the side of his ship. He arrived on deck slightly before Caroline did. They helped her out of the chair, and Granger led her over to meet his officers.

“Welcome aboard, my lady,” Robey said, bowing gallantly to Caroline.

“What a pleasure to meet you at last, Mr. Robey,” Caroline said. “I have heard so many good things about you.” Granger smiled as Caroline worked her charm on Robey and Weston. He took Caroline around the ship, showing her where Bacchante was different from Belvidera, and ultimately led her back to his cabin. Lefavre had made a wonderful meal for them, not an easy challenge since they were dining in between breakfast and dinner.

Granger watched Caroline charm his officers, using her amazing social skills and her natural vivaciousness to firmly wrap them all around her finger. His heart swelled with love for his wife, seeing her here in this situation, where he could appreciate her considerable skills and talents. She was just so good with people; it was inevitable that she would amass a broad circle of them around her. Yet beneath that smooth veneer, hidden by her coquettishness, was a shrewd mind, always ready to spot an opportunity, a good business venture, or identify a charlatan.

There was a knock at his cabin door, more to alert Granger that someone was entering rather than to ask permission. Granger turned his attention in that direction and was surprised to see Cavendish. “Cavendish,” Granger said genially, even as he stood up. “How splendid that you’re here. You must join us.”

“My lord, my lady,” he said, acknowledging Granger and Caroline. “I fear I am here on business and urgent business at that, so I must decline.”

“That’s such a shame, Freddy,” Caroline said to Cavendish. “I have missed you. Your letters keep me from missing London too terribly.”

“And yours usually keep me laughing for hours,” Cavendish said, smiling at her. Then he turned to Granger. “I am bidden by his lordship to ask you to accompany me back to the Admiralty at once, my lord.”

Granger digested this order, and wondered what it was that had put such a fit of urgency into Spencer. Perhaps he had read Wilcox’s report on their encounter, and he was going to cashier Granger on the spot? Granger thought about it, and knew he’d been indecently rude to the man. He resigned himself to his fate, and rose slowly. “My dear, gentlemen, I fear you are all outranked by Lord Spencer. I must take my leave of you.”

“I will go with you,” Caroline announced. “How did you get here, my lord?” she asked Cavendish.

“I rode, my lady,” he answered.

“Then we can drop both of you off in the carriage,” she announced. Both men seemed to accept her authority in this situation, and Granger began to wonder playfully if Spencer really did outrank her. It took a maddening amount of time for Caroline to bid farewell to everyone, but she finally seemed to sense his frustration, as well as that of Cavendish, and moved things along faster. They arrived ashore and entered the carriage, and only then did Granger address Cavendish about his summons.

“Can you tell me why I am being summoned?”

“There has been a mutiny,” Cavendish said. Mutiny, that dreaded disease, which could shake a whole fleet to its foundations, and upset the order and discipline that made life at sea possible. Granger felt his stomach churn at the mere thought of it.

“Which ship?” Granger asked, wondering which captain had driven his crew to the breaking point.

“The Channel Fleet,” Cavendish said. Granger could not hide his surprise, and felt his mouth falling open in shock.

“The whole fleet?” Granger asked, aghast.

Cavendish nodded. “All 17 ships of the line.” This was a disaster in and of itself, but it could be a disaster of even greater proportions. The Channel Fleet was the only thing preventing France from invading England. If the fleet were incapacitated, the French fleet at Brest would be able to seize control of the Channel. All it would take was 48 hours for them to shepherd the clumsy transports full of French troops over to England. Britain’s puny army would be no match for the full might of the French army. Granger looked around himself, wondering if this city might not be controlled by France within a fortnight.

“It is a good thing we speak French,” he observed to Cavendish wryly.

“I don’t think it’s quite that disastrous,” Cavendish observed. “The mutiny is more of a labor strike.”

“What happens if the French come out?” Granger asked.

“The men have pledged to fight if that happens,” Cavendish said.

“I don’t understand,” Caroline finally said. It was too big of an issue for her to remain silent, even though she probably should have.

“There has been some petitioning of the Admiralty for a long time now,” Cavendish observed. “The men have been asking for better conditions on board. They’ve petitioned everyone from Lord Spencer to Lord Howe, and no one bothered to take them seriously.”

“So they mutinied,” Granger said sadly.

“Yesterday, Lord Bridport received orders for the Channel Fleet to sail. He signaled Admiral Garner’s squadron to move from Spithead to St. Helen’s roads in preparation to depart. There was some confusion on board the Royal Sovereign, Admiral Garner’s flagship. Evidently, everyone watched as the officers gestured wildly, but the men did nothing. At that point, the men on board Lord Bridport’s flagship, the Queen Charlotte, began to cheer. They gave three cheers to be exact. That was evidently the signal.”


“So the whole fleet refused to sail?” Granger asked. “Every ship?” He found it hard to believe that all the ships’ crews would have acted in concert. He wondered what would have happened if his ship had been there, and he’d ordered the hands aloft to set sail. Would they have obeyed his orders, or would they have followed the rest of the fleet? Granger was mindful that the trust and discipline between a captain, his officers, and his crew could sometimes be a fragile thing.

“Yes,” Cavendish said. “Shortly after that, boats began to ply between the ships, and each ship was instructed to appoint delegates to negotiate on their behalf.”

“They sound like republicans!” Granger said, horrified. Now he was truly revolted, worried lest this be the beginning of a French-style terror. Granger felt panic in his breast, even though he maintained his calm, external composure. The French mobs had guillotined thousands of aristocrats in their quest for revenge. Would British mobs do the same thing?

“They do,” Cavendish agreed. The three of them were suddenly acutely aware that, as they sat at the apex of society, they would be some of the prime targets in any social upheaval.

The carriage pulled up to the Admiralty, and Granger redirected his attention to Caroline. “Dear, as much as I love having you here, it would please me if you would return to Brentwood.”

“George…” she began to object.

“You must do as I ask,” he said firmly, cutting short any objection. “You and the children will be safer there.” He turned to Cavendish. “Has word of this gotten out yet?”

“Not yet, but it is only a matter time before this is in the press,” Cavendish stated.

Granger turned back to Caroline. “It is difficult to estimate what impact this will have on the populace. It is possible that there will be riots, and maybe even looting. It is much too dangerous for you and the children to remain. You must leave at once, before word gets out. Take extra footmen with you, and stop for no one.”

“I understand,” she agreed.

He wanted to make sure that she did. “If the French should invade, you will be safer in the country, where food will be more plentiful.”

“I will head directly home and pack up our things, and we will leave within two hours,” she affirmed, so he knew she had grasped all the implications. “We will be thinking of you.”

“I will write you with news as often as I can,” he said. He gave her a kiss, and then exited from the carriage. He followed Cavendish into the Admiralty, breezing past the secretary that normally guarded access to the powerful men that ruled this huge bureaucracy, and went straight back to the First Lord’s office.

“Granger, sorry to summon you on such short notice,” Lord Spencer said.

“That is quite alright, my lord, although I fear I was in the midst of hosting my wife aboard Bacchante. We have persuaded her not to be too vexed at your lordship,” Granger said with a grin.

“Quite so,” Spencer said, but with a smile. “We have a dastardly situation on our hands. The entire Channel Fleet has mutinied.”

“Lord Frederick Cavendish explained that to me, my lord,” Granger said, hopefully to save Spencer the need to explain.

“If the French get wind of this, all could be lost,” Spencer said sadly.

“My understanding is that the fleet will fight if the French come out?” Granger asked.

“They say they will, but what good will they be, an undisciplined mob that won’t obey their officers.” Now that the initial shock of what had happened had worn off, Granger was able to look at things more objectively and rationally. He didn’t see the situation in the same way that Spencer did, and didn’t see the men conducting themselves in that fashion. He knew that in the event of a fleet action, spirits were high, as was the excitement, and he suspected that the men would fall into their old habits in the face of a crisis.

“I think, my lord, that in the event of a general fleet action, the men will obey orders and fight as hard as they always have,” Granger said daringly.

“You do, eh?” Spencer snapped. “Yet these same sailors that you would grace with such noble attributes have seized control of 17 of His Majesty’s battleships and are holding them hostage until their demands are met.”

“And what are their demands, my lord?” Granger asked. That hadn’t come up yet.

“My lord, the men have laid down several conditions,” Cavendish intervened. “First, they want an increase in wages.”

“When is the last time wages were raised, my lord?” Granger asked Spencer. He truly did not know.

Spencer grimaced. “It was 1658,” he said.

“They have not been increased in 140 years, my lord?” Granger asked, stunned at that, and that he wasn’t aware of it. “The costs of food and other necessities of life have surely risen in that time.”

“I didn’t summon you here to make their case for them, Granger,” Spencer snapped. “Go on,” he said to Cavendish.

“They want the elimination of the ‘purser’s pound’,” Cavendish noted. Pursers were customarily allowed to retain two ounces out of every sixteen ounces of meat, which meant that the men only received fourteen ounces. This was called the purser’s pound. “They want reasonable shore leave.”

“We’ll have mass desertion,” Spencer hypothesized gloomily.

Cavendish ignored him, and pressed on. “They want better care and pay for those who are sick and wounded. Specifically, that the wounded receive full pay until they are discharged, and that the medical care and medicines are improved.”

“Is that all?” Granger asked. None of those things sounded unreasonable to him at all.

“All? Is that all?” Spencer mimicked. “There has been a mutiny! It must be stamped out, lest it be mirrored by all the ships in the navy.”

“There was one other demand, my lords,” Cavendish noted. “There are some captains that must be removed. Those captains who are known for beating their men with their speaking trumpets seem to have invoked the most ire.”

“We cannot let the men dictate who is to command them,” Spencer stated firmly.

“I would submit, my lord, that if captains are abusing their men by beating them with trumpets, we would be well served by replacing them,” Granger observed boldly. “I would further submit that if you grant these demands and apply them to the entire navy, it is quite likely that there will be no further outbreaks.”

“I disagree, Granger,” Spencer said. “I think it is just the opposite. I think that once the men see that they can get what they want by mutiny, they will mutiny whenever they want something. Soon their demands will become unreasonable, and then where will we be?”

“Where we are right now, my lord,” Granger opined. “No worse off.”

“I will not yield to republicans, and to French sympathizers,” Spencer declared.

“Is there any indication that France is involved in this mutiny, my lord?” Granger asked. This could quite possibly be an act of espionage.

“We have no proof of that, but it makes sense that they would,” Spencer said, grasping at straws.

“What would you have me do, my lord?” Granger asked.

“I was hoping you could be of some assistance in this crisis, but I fear your views may be too aligned with the mutineers,” Spencer said scornfully.

Granger felt dull fury rising up, but manfully restrained himself. “My lord, I have been candid with you about my opinions. I do not think that the men have made unreasonable requests. That does not, nor will it, prevent me from doing my duty, and obeying your orders.”

Spencer seemed to realize that he’d pushed Granger just a bit too much. “I fear I am not myself, so vexed am I by this matter. I never questioned your loyalty.”

“Thank you, my lord,” Granger said, only he was wary of Spencer, and how he would handle this. “What has Lord Bridport done?”

“He has let them meet. He let the ship’s men elect delegates, and let those delegates meet in his own cabin aboard the Queen Charlotte!”

Granger knew that if Bridport did that, he must have deduced that he had no other choice. There wasn’t much of a military presence at Portsmouth, and the soldiers in that garrison had complained of bad conditions earlier, and were largely considered to be unreliable. Any attempt to bring troops into the equation was likely to result in those troops joining with the sailors in support of the mutiny. “What will you do, my lord?”

“We are going to Portsmouth, to meet with Admirals Bridport, Garner, and Colpoys, to see what can be done to end this problem.” Granger thought they’d be better off meeting with the delegates, but held his tongue. “We will leave in the morning. You and Cavendish will accompany me, and whichever of the other Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty are able to join us.”

Copyright © 2014 Mark Arbour; All Rights Reserved.
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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.

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On 05/14/2012 05:11 AM, KevinD said:
As usual, another finely written chapter. Knowing our author's nod to historical accuracy, I presume this "mutiny" did indeed occur. I suspect that Lord Granger will have a deft hand involved bringing this crisis to a conclusion where most everybody wins...


Thanks to Mark and his dedicated compatriots that give us these great stories!

It did. Here's a link to some information on the mutinies:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spithead_and_Nore_mutinies
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With bigger problems to solve, it seems poor admiral Wilcox is not the go to guy for Lord Spencer.

The Spithead mutiny appears to be the backdrop and Lord Granger is called upon to accompany Spencer. Interesting bit of history. But I believe Wilcox is in command of the Nore, and that subsequent mutiny was handled more traditionally.

Nice job of working all this into the plot line. thumbsupsmileyanim.gif

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Brilliant Lord Arbour! Another fantastic adventure to this already captivating adventure.

So much to say but I think I will take it to the forum. See you there!

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Bacchante is crewed at last. It is hard to imagine the seamen not having a pay raise in 140 years, Literally generations and generations. A man would of earned the same as his grand or great grandfather. It boggles my mind. Great chapter, thank you.

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Something like this during a war would be a disaster. The only hope would be to stamp it out so that it doesn't spread. I do think Granger is right though, you may have to acceed to some of the more reasonable and just demands.

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This interesting turn of events is one of many historical events Mark has included in the Bridgemont stories.  It is a prime example of why I continue to read these books.  The Spithead mutiny was achieved successfully and peacefully, compared to the Nore mutiny.  It will be interesting to see how George fares in this dispute.  Lord Spencer seems at first to think George's comments to be tantamount to the traditions of the Royal Navy and traitorously republican.  However, the facts uncovered and express by George as well as George's success with his crew seems to soften Lord Spencer. I eagerly await to see what happens.  I must admit that I enjoy George's land adventures as much as those on the seas.

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