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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 - 54. Chapter 54

I'm going to speed up my chapter posting so we can celebrate an important anniversary with an appropriate chapter.  I'm assuming that comes as pleasant news.  :2thumbs:

July 19, 1798

Aboukir Bay

             

Granger was normally so good at hiding his rage, but he was having a hard time doing it in this situation. “No wonder you don’t want a British officer aboard your ship, Captain.” Granger’s tone was cold and harsh, so much that Jacobs wore a worried expression. “You once wore a uniform quite similar to mine.”

“That is true,” Erasmus Travers said with a sneer. “Like most of my countrymen, I was once British, but threw off the shackles of tyranny.”

“Only most of your countrymen did not surrender their vessel in battle, only to turn around and change sides so you could command the same vessel under a different flag,” Granger said.

“I don’t need some fancy peer from London coming on my ship and moralizing to me,” he snapped. “By God, I’ll put you ashore and hand you over to the French! Helm…”

Before he could give orders to change course, Granger interrupted. “You will do no such thing.”

“You don’t give me orders on my ship!” he bellowed.

“You, Captain, will do exactly as I tell you to do, or by God, you will find yourself on a beach with no hope of serving even before the mast,” Granger said loudly.

“And just how, my lord, are you planning to do that? You don’t rule America anymore.” Granger thought his attitude was one of sarcasm and disrespect, and he reminded Granger of Captain Freemantle, a man he’d fished out of the Atlantic and delivered to Jervis in Antigua, back when Granger was commanding the Intrepid.

Granger smiled. “If you do not help me, or you harm me in any way, I have friends in your government who will make sure you pay for your actions.”

“And who might you know in our government? President Washington? President Adams?” Travers laughed, even as he asked those questions.

“I know President Washington, and even had a private meeting with him,” Granger said, shutting Travers up. “And while I do not know President Adams, I am a friend of Alexander Hamilton.” Granger watched the mention of those names have an impact on Travers, but he suspected that it still wouldn’t be enough to bring him around.

“That doesn’t mean I’m putting up with you giving me orders on my ship,” he scowled, validating Granger’s prediction.

“Do you ever think about your son, Captain?” Granger asked. “Do you ever think about John?” If Granger had shoved his sword into Travers’ gut and twisted it, the effect would have been less pronounced.

“He is dead,” Travers said sadly.

“I know. I was there. I held him in my arms as he took his last breath. He was one of my best friends, and my mentor when I first joined the Navy,” Granger said, his words coming out from behind clenched teeth.

“You were his friend,” he mused strangely, as if reluctantly accepting that as a fact.

“He joined the Navy, even though he knew he would have a difficult time because of your disgrace. Sir Evelyn Fellowes took your son under his wing, and guided his career as far as he could, to the rank of lieutenant, but that was the limit of his influence. For over six generations men of your family have served in the Royal Navy. Your own grandfather was a rear admiral. Yet because of you, your son was hard pressed to make it to lieutenant, despite his stellar abilities.”

“Maybe joining the Navy wasn’t the smartest thing for him to do,” the man observed. It was an idiotic thing to say, but Granger sensed it had more to do with his inner turmoil than anything.

“I asked him that, why he would choose such a difficult path. He said that his family had a proud history, a long tradition in the Navy, but for you. He wanted to prove to the King that you were an aberration, and that the norm in your family was for men to be loyal,” Granger said.

“And he made post-rank,” Travers said, now in a more introspective mood. The man was truly impossible to read; his moods were that erratic.

“My father, the Earl of Bridgemont, took him to see the King. When he was introduced, the King’s first words were of your dishonor. But John promised the King that he would be loyal, and ultimately earned the King’s favor. That is how good he was. That is what an amazing man John was. He was able to overcome your dishonor in the King’s eyes.”

“How did he die?” he asked, almost softly.

“He was in command of the Aurore, of 32 guns. She was attacked by two big frigates, one French and the other Spanish, each carrying at least 40 guns. She raked the Don, then engaged the Frenchman, and tried to board her, but the Frenchman caught on fire, and the idiots didn’t douse their magazine. The Frog exploded, and John got hit with a splinter in his stomach.” The captain just nodded, visualizing the action. “The Aurore was on fire. We arrived and there was nothing to do but evacuate her men. I went on board and found him on his quarterdeck.”

This man in front of Granger digested the words, but his mood changed again. “That you were a friend of my son’s will earn you passage on this ship, but it does not give you the right to give me orders!”

Granger stared at him for a second. “Let us hope our missions coincide, then.”

“Let us hope,” he said, then turned to attend to his ship. Jacobs and the mate stared at Granger briefly, unable to hide their shock, and then went about their own duties. And just as this intense conflict had arisen, so it seemed to subside, although everyone knew the tensions were still there, they were merely buried beneath the surface.

Granger thought about going below, but he was relishing the beautiful July weather, and the moderate breezes that were propelling them past the French. He sensed that his presence bothered Travers greatly, and that was another added benefit, so he began to walk the deck, pacing up and down just as he’d done since he was a midshipman.

He was about to turn and begin the leg of his walk toward the bow when a seaman stood in front of him, his hat off in a polite demeanor. “Begging your pardon, my lord…” he began.

“Simms, what the hell are you doing?” the captain bellowed.

“This man wanted to say something to me, Captain,” Granger said dismissively. “It is alright.”

“I’m sorry to bother you, my lord, but I just wanted to thank you for saving my life,” the man said awkwardly. The captain looked on curiously.

“I hope you will forgive me, but I don’t remember saving your life, even though I am certainly glad that I did,” Granger said.

“I was aboard that brig you saved in this very sea five years ago, my lord. You came up in that bomb ketch and thrashed the pirate that was about to capture us,” Simms said.

“Ah yes, now I remember. I was a lieutenant, then,” Granger mused. “I was not in command of the Vesuvius, the bomb vessel that saved you. The man in charge was Captain Travers, the son of your own captain.” Granger glanced over at Travers, whose eyes bulged.

“I think you had something to do with it anyway, begging your pardon, my lord. Anyway, I heard about the reception they had for you when you was in Philadelphia, but since I wasn’t there, I wanted to thank you myself,” he said respectfully. Travers stared at Granger with more consideration, since that corroborated Granger’s assertions that he’d met with both President Washington and Alexander Hamilton.

“I was glad to help, Simms. And now that I have met you, I am doubly glad that I saved you from white slavery, at best,” Granger said with a smile. Simms nodded and walked off. Granger glanced over at Travers and raised an eyebrow, then continued his walk.

 

July 28, 1798

Near Koroni, Greece

 

The winds had turned largely against them, damning Granger to an incredibly slow pace once again. It was truly maddening, and as if that were not enough to drive the average man insane, the atmosphere on Beaver surely would have. At least on Sultan, Granger had had a pleasant and competent captain. That was not the case on Beaver. Captain Travers largely avoided him, which was just fine with Granger. They usually exchanged a few curt phrases about their position each day, and that was the extent of their dialog.

“Sail ho!” came a cry from the bows. There were no lookouts aloft; this ship was too thinly manned to allow for such a luxury. “Looks like several.”

Granger decided to indulge himself with a trip up the mast, while getting some exercise at the same time. He grabbed his glass and strode confidently to the foremast, and climbed up to the crosstrees. He felt Travers and his mate eying him as he did, but being at sea with no news was frustrating, and quite boring. He trained his glass toward the sail and found not one, but several, just as the lookout had suggested.

He felt his pulse quicken as he identified thirteen ships of the line sailing in formation. He should have been alarmed, but he was not, because he recognized these ships. These were the ships from his fleet, from the Mediterranean Fleet, and in the center was HMS Vanguard (74), flying a rear admiral’s flag. Much closer in was the brig Mutine (18), and off bringing up the rear was the Leander (50). Granger grabbed a backstay and swung himself to the deck, unable to restrain the sheer happiness he felt. He would be able to rejoin the fleet, and there could only be one reason for this fleet to be in the Mediterranean, and that was to seek out the French. St. Vincent must have raised enough hell with the Admiralty that they’d put together a fleet of ships to re-enter this sea and foil whatever plans the French had hatched. This fleet was here for one purpose: They were going to give battle to the same ships Granger had seen when he’d left Damietta.

“Captain, that is the British Mediterranean fleet ahead,” Granger said. “I would be obliged if you would close with them. You will fortunately be able to rid yourself of my presence.”

Travers eyed him carefully, as if trying to decide if he wanted to argue or not, then thought better of it, and growled directions to the helmsmen. “I probably could have gotten you to Gibraltar faster than they will,” he said. Granger felt the conflict surge within him. On the one hand, he could continue with his mission, which was to intercept Bacchante and Maidstone before they reached England. That had been his primary objective up until this point. On the other hand, there was most likely going to be a battle, and large-scale fleet actions were very rare indeed. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and Granger did not want to miss it.

He pondered this dilemma, even as he stood watching the ships get ever closer. He knew where the French were located, and how they were moored, so it would be useful for him to guide whichever rear admiral this was to the French. At the same time, Granger knew that a simple meeting with his superior, along with a good description, would probably serve. Granger labored with the various pulls on him, with the various demands and obligations that would send him in entirely different directions. It would seem that his duty was to continue on to find Bacchante, but in a rare moment, Granger decided to take the other path. He would do what he could to speed the news on to St. Vincent, but he would indulge himself in the excitement of a fleet action.

Armed with his new resolve, and with his decision, he responded to Travers’ observation. “I am wondering if you would be willing to convey the two men with me to Gibraltar.” Granger asked. “I am most anxious for them to meet up with Lord St. Vincent.”

“I think that after all you did for my son, that is a favor I can grant,” he said, although he said it with a lack of grace.

“Thank you,” Granger said. He passed the word for Winkler and Jacobs, who joined him on the deck. “We have sighted our Mediterranean fleet, or a large detachment of it. I am going to send you on to Lord St. Vincent, while I join these ships and guide them to intercept the French in Egypt.”

“You’re not going without me, my lord,” Winkler said, but just managed to make it almost a question at the end. Granger felt truly guilty about that, especially since he’d almost had to leave Winkler behind when he’d made his trek through Egypt. Winkler was really all that he could ask for as a servant, a confidante, and a friend, yet it must seem like Granger was plotting to be rid of him. For that reason alone, Granger decided it was important for Winkler to understand his actions.

“I must explain to the admiral the situation in Egypt, and I must make sure that he can find the French ships when he gets there. These ships must surely be here to engage them, and I must help them do that.” Granger saw that resonate with Winkler, who knew how important it was that their fleet find and destroy the French. “At the same time, I must also make sure that Lord St. Vincent is alerted to Sir Tobias Maidstone’s scheme so he can intercept Bacchante. I cannot do both things,” Granger explained. Normally, the fact that he gave Winkler and Jacobs an order should be enough, but these men were loyal to him, and cared about him. The fact that Granger had taken the time to explain it to them truncated much of Winkler’s planned arguments about it.

“Perhaps Jacobs can stay here and go on to meet His Lordship, and I can still accompany you, my lord,” Winkler suggested.

Granger smiled and put his hand on Winkler’s shoulder. “Lord St. Vincent knows you, and he will believe you. It is important that he does. I will meet you back in England, and if you get there before me, you must take my letters to Lady Granger.” He did not point out to Winkler that an American claiming to have arrived on an American ship in Gibraltar or Lisbon after traveling with Granger from India would be highly suspect. There was no reason for St. Vincent to think that Granger would be separated from his ship, or be anywhere other than at Amboyna or on his way back home aboard Bacchante. Winkler’s presence alone would attest to the truth of his assertions.

“Aye aye, my lord,” Winkler said reluctantly, reaching the same conclusions Granger had.

“I will try to survive without you, but it will not be easy. I truly do appreciate the way you have taken care of me. If it weren’t for you, I would not be alive,” Granger said.

“I care deeply for you too, my lord,” Winkler said, and was so flustered a tear fell out of his eye. Granger smiled gently, and then turned to Jacobs.

“I need you to take care of Winkler. He is smart, but not the brawniest of lads,” Granger said.

Jacobs chuckled. “Aye, my lord, I’ll take care of him.”

“Thank you,” he said. “And thank you, Captain, for taking my staff to Gibraltar.” The only response he got from Travers was a nod.

“Let’s get you ready, my lord, and get your chest packed up,” Winkler said. He hurriedly helped Granger with his best uniform, and then completed packing up his chest. Two of the crewmen came in to collect it, and then it was just Granger and Winkler, alone in the cabin. Granger looked into Winkler’s eyes, at this man who had done so much for him, and felt the emotions overwhelm him. He moved forward and enveloped Winkler in a hug, a strong hug, and felt Winkler grasp him back just as powerfully. They held that position for what seemed like an eternity, but must have been less than half a minute. Granger pulled away, patted Winkler’s cheek affectionately, and turned to walk up the ladder to the deck, pausing to wipe the tears from his own eyes.

The fleet was up to them now. “Heave to!” Travers ordered. Granger saw Vanguard lower a boat and send it over. A midshipman climbed aboard and saluted the quarterdeck smartly.

“I am tasked to ask you for information regarding the whereabouts of the French fleet, sir,” he asked Travers. Only after he did, did he notice Granger. “My lord?” he asked recognizing Granger.

“And you are?” Granger asked.

“Midshipman Francis Collier, my lord,” the young man said, abashed.

“Mr. Collier, please assist in stowing my chest aboard your boat,” Granger said.

“Aye aye, my lord,” he replied.

“Did the admiral need Captain Travers to convey any messages or dispatches for him, or were you merely to inquire as to the whereabouts of Admiral de Brueys?” Granger asked.

“We were merely seeking news of the French, my lord,” Collier said. That meant there was no need to delay Travers to wait for dispatches from this fleet.

“Excellent,” he said to Collier, dismissing the young officer to attend to his chest. Granger turned his attention to Travers. “Thank you again, Captain, for the passage, and for continuing to host Winkler and Jacobs.”

“A good passage to you,” he said gruffly.

“You may proceed,” Granger said, giving Travers permission to leave, and then he followed Collier into the boat. A simple nod to the coxswain was all it took to get the boat moving toward Vanguard. Granger wondered which admiral was commanding this fleet. He thought of asking Collier, but it seemed beneath his dignity to ask that question, so he opted to show himself as a stoic and patient person. The seamen tried not to stare, amazed, at this famous captain who had evidently appeared from out of nowhere, but Granger didn’t notice their looks. Instead, he was firmly focused on the fleet and on Vanguard as the sturdy ship of the line loomed larger as they closed with her. He saw the coxswain give the signal to Vanguard that they had a post-captain on board. Granger smiled down at his shoulder, where he bore the additional epaulette. The boat hooked on and Granger braced himself, and then leapt for the chains. His foot slipped, and he feared he would fall back in the water, but he managed to regain his footing and climb up to the entry port.

He passed through the entry port to find Edward Berry waiting to greet him. When Granger had last met him, he was a lieutenant, but he was known to be one of Nelson’s protégés, so presumably Nelson had gotten him posted to Vanguard as his flag captain. That would explain how a captain of such limited seniority could command a ship of the line, but even more importantly, it meant that Nelson must be the admiral in command of this squadron. It was all Granger could do to suppress the huge smile that threatened to break out on his face. With Nelson in command, they’d make short work of the French. If it had been a nitwit of an admiral like Mann or Wilcox, their prospects would not be as good. “Welcome aboard, my lord,” he said, and shook Granger’s hand.

“Congratulations on your promotion, Captain,” Granger said in a friendly way as Berry led him aft to the Admiral’s cabin. He walked through the door to find Nelson beaming at him.

“By God, Granger, it is you! What a pleasant surprise!” He held out his hand to welcome Granger. Granger noted sadly that Nelson only had one to extend, since he’d lost his other arm at Tenerife.

“It is good to see you, Sir Horatio,” Granger said, taking his hand. “I am sure that my presence is a pleasant surprise, but I bring news that is much more welcome.”

“Unless you know where de Brueys is, I fear you are wrong,” Nelson said, almost a grumble.

“Then I must, in fact, point out that I was correct in my assertions, sir,” Granger said, smiling at Nelson. “I saw him not more than ten days ago, moored in Aboukir Bay, just east of Alexandria.”

“It seems that with you around, so also is there action,” Nelson said, smiling back. “As I recall, the last time we fought a fleet, we were only able to carry away four prizes. This time, I plan to do better.”

“I am certain that you will be successful, sir,” Granger said.

“Berry, signal for all captains to repair on board at once,” Nelson ordered, springing into action. “After you’ve attended to that, you’ll need to find some suitable accommodations for Lord Granger.”

“Aye aye, sir,” Berry said smartly, and headed off to do Nelson’s bidding.

“Where are you heading, Granger?”

“I was trying to reach England as quickly as possible, but I have sent my chief servant and coxswain off to meet with Lord St. Vincent so I can stay here with you, sir,” Granger said with a grin.

“You can come with us to destroy the French. It will be fun,” Nelson said, getting a chuckle from Granger. He led Granger into his chartroom and asked Granger to show him where the French were, and then took the chart they needed back to his cabin. It was chaotic as the captains started arriving. Granger knew all of them, and to a man, they were some of the best captains in the Navy. First to arrive were Captains Foley of the Goliath, Hood of the Zealous, Sir James Saumarez of the Orion, Louis of the Minotaur, Darby of the Bellerophon, and Westcott of the Majestic. Granger paused to have brief conversations with Hallowell of the Swiftsure and Ball of the Alexander, while interrupting those conversations to acknowledge the arrival of Gould of the Audacious, Peyton of the Defense, and Troubridge of the Culloden.

Granger saved a much warmer greeting for one of his favorites of the group. “It is good to see you, my lord,” Miller of the Theseus said to him. Granger was quite fond of the Canadian.

“It is good to see you as well,” Granger said. “I see you have a new ship, but have lost your admiral.”

“I am happy on both accounts, my lord, and am enjoying the additional space in my cabin,” Miller joked.

Even as Granger had greeted them all, none of them had been so crass as to directly ask him why he was there and from whence he’d come, but they were all certainly curious. Lieutenant Hardy of the Mutine was the last to arrive, but it wasn’t that he was tardy; it was that his crew had the longest row. Granger had barely time to exchange a perfunctory greeting with Nelson’s handsome young flag lieutenant before Nelson began speaking.

“Gentlemen,” Nelson began, “Lord Granger has dropped from the sky as if God himself sent him, and he has brought with him news of the French.”

“Indeed, my lord?” Hood asked with a grin. “And did you engage them?”

“I was tempted, but alas, the brig I was on carried only wine,” Granger joked, and then got serious. “I could have perhaps gotten them inebriated, but I think that would be the extent of the damage I could have caused.” The all laughed at that, and then Nelson got them back on task.

“Where were the French?” he asked.

“They were moored here, sir, in Aboukir Bay,” Granger said, pointing at the chart. “There were thirteen ships of the line arrayed in a curved line, and appeared to be in a defensive position. The L’Orient was at the center of the line. There was a small fort on the headland, and the French flag flying from it must indicate it to be in enemy hands. In addition, there were four frigates moored close to the battleships.”

“What of all the transports?” Nelson asked.

“Sir, the French have invaded Egypt. I was not able to ascertain their total strength, but based on what I was able to gather, they must number between twenty-five and fifty thousand troops. They landed at Alexandria and I was just able to escape through Cairo before they took that city,” Granger said. “I am not sure where the transports went after the troops were landed, but I did not see them at Aboukir.”

“Did Cairo fall?” Nelson asked.

“I do not know for sure, sir, but I would suggest it is probable that it did. I was not impressed with the Mameluk units I saw, and one of their cavalry regiments was soundly beaten by the French on the march to Cairo,” Granger said. All of these men nodded soberly, as they well understood the military power and capabilities of the French army. “The French forces are under the command of General Bonaparte.”

“The same man who drove the Austrians out of Italy,” Nelson mused.

“And was responsible for the artillery that made our stay at Toulon less than pleasant, sir,” Granger augmented. Nelson nodded at that, and then became resolute.

“We will sail for Alexandria at once,” Nelson decreed. “Let us see how well your first lieutenants manage their vessels.” He turned to his flag lieutenant. “Signal the fleet, course southeast.”

“Aye aye, Sir Horatio,” the handsome young man said, and dashed off to do his bidding.

“I will host you gentlemen to dinner,” Nelson said. “Lord Granger will provide the entertainment by telling us of his adventures. We have heard nothing since you conquered that port in Peru. What was it? Valdivia?”

“It was indeed, Sir Horatio. I am flattered that you remember,” Granger said with a grin. “I have been busy since then.”

“I shouldn’t wonder,” Nelson joked. “Now first tell me of this fleet. How were they moored?”

Granger took out his notes. “Some of the ships appeared to be linked to the ship in front or behind them by chains, sir, but others did not. There was not a lot of activity on board, but I did not have a very good view.”

“There are shoals at the entrance, and in front of their line,” Nelson noted.

“Yes, sir,” Granger said. “The wind in that area, according to men I talked to on the American brig, is generally easterly.”

Nelson studied the map, and penciled in the location of the ships as Granger remembered them. “If that is the case, and we were to attack their van and center, it is unlikely the rear could intervene in time to stop them from being overpowered.”

“That is probable, sir,” Hallowell said.

“After dinner, I want you and Captain Ball to take position three miles off our bow. You take the larboard side, Ball can have the starboard,” Nelson said to Hallowell. “We are without frigates, so you must act as scouts.”

“Aye aye, sir,” Hallowell and Ball said, almost in unison.

“Where are your frigates, sir?” Granger asked.

“They lost contact with us,” Nelson snarled. “We were in Alexandria not a month ago and saw no sign of the French. If I’d had a frigate or two, we’d have intercepted them. Instead, I have sailed all over this sea, trying to find the French.”

“I am sorry I do not have my ship with me, sir,” Granger said sincerely. “I would have been happy to help.”

“Well, it appears that dinner is ready, or close enough, so why don’t you tell us where you left her,” Nelson joked, more to cover up the anxiety that Granger obviously felt at being separated from Bacchante. That was a feeling that all of them, as captains, could well understand and relate to. Nelson made Granger sit to his right, a distinct honor, while the other captains arrayed themselves in order of seniority, as was customary. Nelson’s handsome flag lieutenant, Thomas Capel, sat at the end of the table with Collier, the midshipman.

Granger relaxed and enjoyed himself, regaling the men with the story of his taking of the fort at Niebla, in Valdivia, and their cutting out of the Santa Clarita. He explained how they used the rescued prisoners to man that frigate, and how he’d given Calvert command. He then described his capture of the remaining French privateer, and then their action that ended with the destruction of the San Augustin. Granger saw something he never expected to see from his fellow captains: awe.

“That is quite a feat, my lord,” Nelson said formally. “Capturing a battleship with two frigates is most unusual, and to do so halfway around the world is remarkable.”

“Thank you, Sir Horatio,” Granger said, and got uncomfortably modest, but only briefly. He went on to describe their voyage to Callao, and how he’d captured the San Fernando.

“So first you sink a ship of the line with two frigates, and then you capture a galleon?” Nelson asked. “Gentlemen, we have a lot of work to do if we are to steal any attention away from Granger.” That got a rousing laugh. “And what did you do next? I’m wagering you conquered Manila.” Another rousing round of laughter.

“We sailed for Amboyna, and right before we got there, I contracted the fever,” Granger said. They looked at him sympathetically, each of them knowing what that would do to a ship, and to them. “I was able to recover, but Bacchante had been dispatched back to England while I was ill.”

“I see,” Nelson said sympathetically. “Why did you opt to take the overland route? That is most arduous.”

“A fact I am well aware of now, Sir Horatio,” Granger said with a wry grin. “The prior governor of Amboyna absconded with some classified correspondence. He is aboard Bacchante, and she is a fast ship. I was trying to intercept her before she returned to England.”

“And that is why you made arrangements for your men to continue on in the American brig?” Nelson asked.

“Yes, sir,” Granger said. He described his visit to Calcutta, and the plans to defeat Tipu Sultan, and then he told them of his journey through Egypt.

“Well, my lord, you are back in the Mediterranean, where you belong,” Nelson said warmly. “Only now you are richer by several thousand pounds. I attack Tenerife in hopes of capturing a treasure fleet, and instead it costs me an arm. I am hoping some of your luck rubs off on me.”

“I hope so as well, Sir Horatio,” Granger said with a smile.

“We were dispatched here as the spearhead of the fleet, to regain control of the Mediterranean,” Nelson said, shifting to his own mission. “We knew the French were up to something, we just didn’t know where they were going. Now we do.”

Copyright © 2014 Mark Arbour; All Rights Reserved.
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Aha! My post #800 in the Odyssey forum speculated that Granger might not miss the action in the Med and now it looks like he will be in the center of it.

Well done Mr. Arbour! Our hero seems to really fall into adventure and it makes your stories even more compelling.

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On 07/30/2013 07:32 AM, Pete Bruno said:
Well done Mark. It surely made cocktail hour more enjoyable!
Of that I am truly glad. You'll notice I got it posted just before 4:20. :-)
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On 07/30/2013 07:38 AM, Daddydavek said:
Aha! My post #800 in the Odyssey forum speculated that Granger might not miss the action in the Med and now it looks like he will be in the center of it.

Well done Mr. Arbour! Our hero seems to really fall into adventure and it makes your stories even more compelling.

Yes, oh clairvoyant one! ;-)

 

Seriously, getting Granger to the Nile has been the prime focus of this whole book. It is the centerpiece.

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Ah the rush of another great chapter, thank you.

Looking forward to the action and I'm not referring to the handsome lieutenant Thomas Capel :P.

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On 07/30/2013 08:26 AM, Miles Long said:
Ah the rush of another great chapter, thank you.

Looking forward to the action and I'm not referring to the handsome lieutenant Thomas Capel :P.

Action comes in many shapes and sizes. So to speak. :-)
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Another fantastic chapter and I'm glad Granger is in position to offer his luck and services to Nelson. Of course, we know how the history of the battle turned out. but I am confident that you will give us so much more interesting view of the battle

 

Granger has already contributed to the success of the battle by providing details of where to find the French and how they were deployed.

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On 07/30/2013 09:11 AM, JimCarter said:
Another fantastic chapter and I'm glad Granger is in position to offer his luck and services to Nelson. Of course, we know how the history of the battle turned out. but I am confident that you will give us so much more interesting view of the battle

 

Granger has already contributed to the success of the battle by providing details of where to find the French and how they were deployed.

He has, and that was a lucky coincidence for the story, that Nelson learned of the French fleet's location there (in real life) from an American merchant. I try not to trample too hard on history as I weave Granger into it.
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Granger handled his situation with the senior Travers in just the perfect way. He did not let the man bully him and gave him the facts but did not expand on anything that really mattered. It had to be hard for Granger to relive that horrible ordeal but as always he did it with class and courage.

 

I am so excited that Granger will be at the Battle of the Nile. I am sure he will stay with Nelson and be in the thick of the action. Nelson was actually wounded in the battle and thought he was dying but it turned out it wasn't as bad as he feared and he re-entered the fray. I am sure that Granger will be a help to him all along the way.

 

Mark, the style and substance of your stories is more than anyone can ask for; you are truly an artist...

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On 07/30/2013 09:28 AM, centexhairysub said:
Granger handled his situation with the senior Travers in just the perfect way. He did not let the man bully him and gave him the facts but did not expand on anything that really mattered. It had to be hard for Granger to relive that horrible ordeal but as always he did it with class and courage.

 

I am so excited that Granger will be at the Battle of the Nile. I am sure he will stay with Nelson and be in the thick of the action. Nelson was actually wounded in the battle and thought he was dying but it turned out it wasn't as bad as he feared and he re-entered the fray. I am sure that Granger will be a help to him all along the way.

 

Mark, the style and substance of your stories is more than anyone can ask for; you are truly an artist...

Why thank you! I think this is as close to seeing Granger absolutely lose it and ream someone out for quite some time. Old Capt. Travers got lucky that Granger is such a class act.
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Be still my heart. Finally we get to the good stuff I have been waiting for. I just read the "Battle of the Nile" article in Wikipedia, this is a major turning point in history. Granger on board with Nelson - it doesn't get any better than this.

 

Mark you are my hero! I can already hear "Heart of Oak" in the background.

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Oh goody! It's been a long time since Granger has been in battle. I can almost smell the gun powder. This ought to be one hell of a battle!

Maybe if we are lucky we will read of a post battle hookup with Granger and the handsome Flag Lt. :whistle:

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On 07/30/2013 10:49 AM, davewri said:
Be still my heart. Finally we get to the good stuff I have been waiting for. I just read the "Battle of the Nile" article in Wikipedia, this is a major turning point in history. Granger on board with Nelson - it doesn't get any better than this.

 

Mark you are my hero! I can already hear "Heart of Oak" in the background.

That's a great article, by the way. I generally use Wiki for a lot of preliminary research, then dig deeper if I need to (which I did for this story). But that article gives you a good overview.
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On 07/30/2013 12:01 PM, B G said:
Oh goody! It's been a long time since Granger has been in battle. I can almost smell the gun powder. This ought to be one hell of a battle!

Maybe if we are lucky we will read of a post battle hookup with Granger and the handsome Flag Lt. :whistle:

LOL. I have someone better in mind for Granger. You see him in the next chapter. ;-)
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I'm so looking forward to accelerated postings. I often go back to read the earlier stories in between installments whilst I wait. Remember when you used to post a chapter a day when writing The Gunroom and The Wardroom? That was heaven. :-) Thanks, Mark!

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On 07/30/2013 04:18 PM, Rosicky said:
I'm so looking forward to accelerated postings. I often go back to read the earlier stories in between installments whilst I wait. Remember when you used to post a chapter a day when writing The Gunroom and The Wardroom? That was heaven. :-) Thanks, Mark!
You're welcome. A chapter a day? Maybe in extreme circumstances.
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George truly shines in this chapter with his perfect poise, grace, and determination

he tames the renegade Travers Sr. and sets him back in the right place. He is a

masterful opponent. I'm certain Nelson is overjoyed to have him drop in at exactly

the right moment. He's a lucky man. Now all he needs is a spare frigate to turn

up before engaging the French!

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On 07/30/2013 09:36 PM, Stephen said:
George truly shines in this chapter with his perfect poise, grace, and determination

he tames the renegade Travers Sr. and sets him back in the right place. He is a

masterful opponent. I'm certain Nelson is overjoyed to have him drop in at exactly

the right moment. He's a lucky man. Now all he needs is a spare frigate to turn

up before engaging the French!

George has found his style and it works. :-)

 

No frigate required. They know where they're going.

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I had to go back and reread the chapters after George's description of John's passing. It got to me again as it did then. Once again you have set the scene for George's involvement with history (even without his ship). Reviewing late allowed me to read your other replies. I did note (honest) and wonder that at the meal a certain midshipman (with a branded cheek) that I expected to see was absent. It finally hit George that what he had accomplished really was extraordinary by the looks of awe on his fellow Captains' faces. A truly great chapter and setup for what is to come. Thank you.

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2 hours ago, NewEnglander said:

Absolutely fascinating. Great writing! 

Thanks.  This is my favorite book in the Bridgemont series.  It was a labor of love. 

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