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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 - 62. Chapter 62

Be sure to read the note at the end, explaining my historical interpretations.

August 18, 1798

HMS Leander

 

Granger began to climb up to the quarterdeck but paused halfway up the ladder to listen to the conversation going on. An old seaman approached him and spoke directly into his ear. “They got no boats, my lord, so they had to get a young gentleman and two other men to swim over to us to take over,” the seaman said to him softly, even as he stifled a chuckle.

“As soon as we repair a boat, we will send your surgeon over with his tools to attend to our wounded,” the young Frenchman said, dripping onto the deck. He spoke English, but in a heavily accented way. They wore no coats, but the young man obviously was an officer.

“What of our wounded?” Berry demanded imperiously. Granger sighed, knowing that Berry was merely going to annoy the French, with bad repercussions for all of them.

“You killed our surgeon, so you must replace him, it is that simple,” the Frenchman said.

Granger beckoned one of the lieutenants over and whispered in his ear. “Go below and alert the surgeon. Tell him he is to be spirited over to the French ship to tend to their wounded. Tell him to make sure to hide enough tools for his mates to handle our wounded, and to leave a competent man in charge.” The lieutenant nodded and went below, while Granger turned his attention back to the conversation on the quarterdeck.

“I require a dry shirt, as do my men,” Granger heard the Frenchman say.

“We have only our personal effects, monsieur, and those are not subject to seizure,” Berry said obstinately.

“We will show you what is and what is not subject to seizure, monsieur,” the Frenchman said angrily. “Or perhaps you would like us to go back and finish you off with our cannon?”

“Gentlemen,” Thompson said, intervening. “Let us see what can be done to repair one of these boats, and then I will go and meet with Capitaine Lejoille.” Thompson was referring to the captain of the Généreux, with the implied threat that if the French boarding party got out of hand, they may have to answer to their captain. “In the mean time, I will instruct my servant to find some of my own shirts to replace your wet garments.”

“Thank you, Captain,” the Frenchman said grudgingly. Granger took a step up so he could see these men. The Frenchman turned to the two men with him and spoke to them in French. “Go below and help bring us dry clothes. You may root through the personal belongings of that one,” he said, gesturing at Berry, “and take whatever you like.”

The two French seamen began to walk toward the ladder Granger was standing on, so he took that as his cue to finish ascending it. The French officer looked surprised at this additional captain that mysteriously seemed to rise from the bowels of the ship, looking more as if he were going to attend a royal court than if he were emerging from a battle. “Bonjour, monsieur,” Granger said in his perfect French. “I am The Right Honourable Viscount Granger, Knight of the Bath, Collar of the Order of Charles III of Spain, and most recently Captain of the His Majesty's Fleet commanded by Rear Admiral Sir Horatio Nelson.” He bowed in his courtly way, removing his hat with a flourish as he did.

“We did not know that you were aboard,” the young gentleman said, clearly surprised. “It is an honor to meet a sailor of such renown. I am Aspirant Pierre-Louis Goncorde.” The Frenchman bowed in a similar way to Granger as he finally identified himself as a midshipman and attempted to look the part.

Granger internally rolled his eyes at the fact that his reputation had permeated the French navy to the point where even midshipmen knew who he was. Such was the public relations machine of the British Admiralty. “And it is an honor to engage such worthy warriors in battle, even though the results were not as we had hoped,” Granger said, smiling at the midshipman.

“Perhaps not for you, monsieur, but for us,” Goncorde said, and they both chuckled.

“Captain, we’ve got the cutter repaired enough to make it to the French ship,” one of the men said to Thompson.

“Then I will go over to interview your captain,” Thompson said to Goncorde. It was a rude statement, and it infuriated Goncorde, but he yielded to the obvious. For Goncorde, badgering post-captains could be dangerous, even captured post-captains. Granger was worried that this young Frenchman would take out his anger at Thompson and Berry by plundering the entire ship, including the crew.

“That is satisfactory,” Goncorde said. He then turned to Granger, and spoke in French. “Lord Granger, I am sure Captain Lejoille will want to meet with you as well, if you are up to a boat journey. I will also venture to guess that the captain will be pleased to entertain you aboard Généreux, so we will send your baggage over with you.”

“I am most appreciative of your courtesy, monsieur,” Granger said, bowing again. They lowered the cutter into the water, then lowered Granger’s trunk into it as well. A boat’s crew was assembled, and then Granger followed Donegal over Leander’s battered sides into the boat, where they awaited Thompson, who arrived via a bosun’s chair.

“Shove off,” Thompson growled. “You certainly are friendly enough with the Frogs, my lord,” he said contemptuously.

“As we have surrendered to them, there is no reason to antagonize them. We must act honorably, and civilly,” Granger said to Thompson. “Your posturing, and that of Berry, will do nothing but anger them, and cause them to vent that anger on our men. I would ask you to consider that, Captain, when you are so pompous and rude to our captors.” Thompson didn’t reply to that, while the men at the oars pretended that they’d heard nothing.

Granger focused his attention on Généreux, which had the graceful lines he’d come to know and expect from French ships. Somehow, the French managed to make even clumsy ships of the line look elegant. She had escaped unscathed from the Battle of the Nile, but she had suffered greatly from the Leander. He could see the holes in her sides where the balls had penetrated her, and could see the blood running from her scuppers, making it appear as if the ship herself were bleeding. The casualties on board her must be horrific. Her rigging was badly damaged as well, but not nearly as badly as Leander’s.

The boat pulled alongside and Généreux lowered a bosun’s chair for Thompson. Granger gauged his timing and leapt for the ship’s chains, then hauled himself up her scarred sides to her entry port. Even that had been damaged. Granger grinned briefly as he saw marlin spikes lodged in the ornamentation. A spruce looking lieutenant was waiting to greet him. “Welcome aboard, Capitaine,” he said, neglecting any introductions. “Please follow me.”

“With pleasure,” Granger said in French. The French sailors stared at him, not with animosity, but with curiosity, wondering who this splendidly dressed individual was. He arrived on the quarterdeck and headed straight for Lejoille. He was probably in his forties, with light brown hair and round features, the most pronounced of which were his cheeks, which were quite large. He was not an aristocrat, but a sailor who had worked his way up the chain of command as a result of the Revolution, but Granger greeted him with continental politeness nonetheless, bowing in a courtly gesture, one which Lejoille returned with more grace than Granger expected.

“Welcome aboard, Captain,” Lejoille said in French. “I knew that the Leander fought well, but I did not know that was because she had three captains aboard. I am Louis-Jean-Nicolas Lejoille, captain of the Généreux.”

“It is a pleasure to meet you, Captain. I am The Right Honourable Viscount Granger, Knight of the Bath, Collar of the Order of Charles III of Spain, and most recently Captain of the His Majesty's Fleet commanded by Rear Admiral Sir Horatio Nelson,” Granger said in French, repeating his intro for Lejoille. Lejoille seemed pleased that an interpreter would not be required for their conversation. “It is most flattering of you to attribute our hard fight to us, but I must correct you and give the credit to our men.”

“Lord Granger,” Lejoille mused. “What a pleasure to finally meet you. And how convenient that you speak French! I hope you will do me the honor of accompanying me aboard this ship.”

“I must thank you for your invitation, and accept it most readily, Captain,” Granger replied.

Thompson had come up onto the deck and was standing there, annoyed that they were speaking pleasantly in French, of which he understood little to none. “Ah, Captain,” Lejoille said, turning to him. “I must congratulate you on fighting your ship so well. It is hard to believe she disposes of only 50 guns, so badly did she scar us.”

Thompson looked confused until Granger translated for him. “You honor me, Captain,” Thompson said simply. Granger interpreted that back for Lejoille. “Granger, tell Captain Lejoille that I want him to come back to Leander with me so he can stop the looting on board.”

“Looting?” Granger asked. “I hardly think that appropriating a few dry shirts constitutes looting.”

“Just tell him what I said,” Thompson snapped.

“Captain, perhaps you have a translator who can assist you with Captain Thompson?” Granger said to Lejoille in French. “I am not convinced my language skills are up to the task.”

“It is not His Lordship’s language skills that are lacking, it is that his diplomatic skills are more refined,” a handsome lieutenant said to Lejoille in French, and then translated what Thompson had said. When he was done speaking, he glanced at Granger briefly, with a twinkle in his eye. Granger decided that handsome was not an adequate descriptor for this man.

“I will be happy to come and inspect our prize,” Lejoille said to Thompson, no doubt using the term ‘prize’ to annoy the Englishman. While that was being translated to Thompson, Lejoille gave the orders for the British boat’s crew to be brought aboard and replaced by a French crew, along with a French boarding party.

“What are you doing with my men?” Thompson asked.

“They are going to help us repair our rigging, and then we will make for Corfu, Captain,” Lejoille stated.

“That is clearly a violation of the code of war that our countries follow,” Thompson said pompously. “Prisoners of war must not be compelled to assist in the repair of an enemy vessel or installation.” It was as if he were quoting legal references, Granger mused, even though he was fairly sure that the code, such as it was, didn’t use those exact terms.

“If they want more to eat than bread and water, they will help. Otherwise, they will be consigned to the hold on those meager rations,” Lejoille said acidly.

“Captain,” Granger interceded, “if that is the arrangement, that our men will work to help repair the rigging in exchange for the same rations you provide your own men, unless they would prefer to exist on bread and water, I will explain that to them.”

“That is the arrangement,” Lejoille said. “I am grateful for your assistance. We will sup together when I have returned from Leander.” He turned to one of his lieutenants. “See that a compartment is allocated for Lord Granger, either in my cabin, or in the wardroom.”

“Yes, sir,” the senior lieutenant said. Thompson was lowered with the bosun’s chair back into the boat, to be joined by Lejoille and the interpreter for their brief trip to Leander. The French officers broke out water and bread for their crew. Granger managed to persuade them to share that with the English seamen.

“I have allocated the second lieutenant’s cabin for you, sir,” the senior lieutenant said. “He was killed in the action.”

“My condolences, monsieur,” Granger said. “I appreciate you accommodating me and my servant.” The man gave Granger a wry grin to acknowledge his words, and then gave orders to have his chest taken below. Granger and Donegal followed the men carrying his chest, and ultimately found themselves in the cabin Granger would occupy. It was unsettling to be in the cabin of a man who had been killed by their own ship, and to have his things, and his cot, just as they were.

“I’ll put his things together, my lord,” Donegal said. “And I’ll see about repairing your uniforms so you don’t have to wear that one. I think you’ll be safe enough here.”

“They do not seem to be as ready to pillage my possessions as they do to pillage Captain Thompson’s or Captain Berry’s,” Granger said with a smile.

“That is because they know you, and because you treat them with respect, begging your pardon, my lord,” Donegal said.

“Perhaps Thompson and Berry will learn to modify their ways. In any event, I must go up on deck and see to the men.”

“Begging your pardon, my lord, but are you really going to help them get their rigging back together and repair this ship?” Donegal asked, stunned.

“I am,” Granger said. “The only reason not to would be in the hopes that a unit from our fleet would intercept and capture this ship, and recapture Leander. Our fleet will be in Aboukir Bay for some time, effecting repairs, and I find it doubtful to the point of being almost impossible for another squadron to be sent into the Mediterranean.” Granger had a good idea of the current strength of the Mediterranean Fleet, and St. Vincent would not have additional ships to spare for Nelson. He had given Nelson all that he could, and it would have to suffice. St. Vincent would need the rest of his fleet to keep the Spaniards bottled up in Cadiz, lest they escape and rendezvous with the French fleet at Brest, or conjure up some other mischief. “In that case, it is only our frigates which may find us, and even as battered as this ship is, she should still be able to stave off an attack by two, possibly three of them.”

“So you are saying that any hope of being found by our fleet is unfounded, my lord?”

“I am saying that it is highly unlikely,” Granger said. “And in that case, none of us are well served by beating about in the Mediterranean for an extended period of time. I would not fancy Leander weathering a storm in her condition, and I suspect conditions on board will be bad enough without prolonging them. The French ships were short on stores at Aboukir, and many of their crew were away foraging. This ship is carrying at least 200 men more than her normal complement, in addition to our men. I think that running out of food is a real possibility, and in that case, it is our men who will do without.” Granger could see no purpose in delaying the transit of these ships to Corfu, only risks to the lives of the British captives.

“Have you ever been captured, my lord?”

“I have not,” Granger said. “This is my first captivity. Let us hope it goes well.” Donegal chuckled. “What about you?”

“I spent a bit of time in prison, my lord,” he said nervously.

“And what did you do wrong, Donegal?”

“I am a member of the society, my lord,” he said rather quietly. “The United Irishmen.”

“I understand your people are stirring up a bit of trouble in Ireland,” Granger said.

“That’s how I came to be aboard Vanguard, my lord. It was safer to join a ship than to stay in Ireland and be captured,” he said.

“So they were on to you, probably tracking you, and you took that opportunity to join a British ship?” Granger asked, but it was as much a statement. It was not uncommon. Captains desperate for men to complete their crew would ask few questions if an able man volunteered to serve.

“That is pretty much how it happened, my lord,” Donegal said.

“Who knows of your past?” Granger asked.

“A few of the Irishmen in the crew, my lord, but they won’t say nothing,” Donegal said. “What will happen to you, my lord?”

“I am unsure, but it would be customary for them to grant me parole, and allow me to return to England. I will not be able to fight again until I’ve been formally exchanged, but at least I will be home, and I won’t be a burden to the French,” Granger said. “I suppose they could choose to keep me in France, in which case I will have to pray for a reasonably comfortable captivity.”

“Will they lock you up in prison?” he asked, and was so worried he forgot to add ‘my lord’ to his question.

“I think that is unlikely. But I am at their mercy, which is why it makes no sense to antagonize them. Regardless, I will do what I can to see that you are treated well. And if you would prefer to remain in France, I will certainly understand,” Granger said.

“Thank you, my lord,” Donegal said. “If it’s all the same to you, I think I’ll see how things play out.”

“I am doing much the same thing,” Granger said with a smile. “And now let us go back on deck and see to our men.” He paused before he left the cabin and looked hard at Donegal. “I encountered a man named Patrick O’Higgins. Do you know him?”

“You know Patrick?” he asked Granger.

“I do. Do you?” Granger asked.

“Aye, I do, my lord,” Donegal said with a wistful smile, one which faded when he brought his mind back to their conversation. “He is an old friend of mine. We were separated when he went off to France. It’s been a number of years.”

“We apprehended him with a whaler he had captured in the South Pacific,” Granger said. “Have you heard of our assault on Valdivia?”

“I have, my lord,” Donegal said. It had been the talk of the fleet after Granger had joined Nelson off the coast of Greece.

“He was instrumental in assisting us,” Granger said. “I had promoted him to Master’s Mate.”

“You promoted a member of the Society, my lord?” Donegal asked, completely stunned.

“I was off the coast of Chile, where the problems of Ireland were remote to all of us,” Granger said with a grin. “I had advised Mr. O’Higgins to find a place to settle down, where he could live in peace, and recommended that he avoid starting revolutions. Before I left Chile, he requested permission to land there, and live with the Mapuche people. As they are often in conflict with the Spaniards, I fear that he will disregard my advice about being a revolutionary.”

Donegal laughed. “I’d say that’s a safe bet, my lord.”

“He was in good health when he disembarked, and seemed quite happy,” Granger noted.

“Perhaps I will join him,” Donegal mused.

“If you choose to do so, you can inquire about passage to South America when we reach France, although I daresay you’d have better luck getting a transport in Spain. I believe the preferred route is via the Caribbean, and then across the Isthmus, but I am not sure.”

“Thank you, my lord,” Donegal said. And with that, Granger actually did go up on deck to check on the English seamen.

They had transported them over to the Généreux quickly enough, some seventy-five men, many of whom Granger recognized. They were assembled in the waist, with guards on the perimeter of the group. “Ah, Lord Granger,” Lejoille said in a friendly way. “I have assembled your men, and I am hopeful that you will address them for me.”

“I will gladly do so, monsieur,” Granger said, then turned to the English seamen. “Men, Captain Lejoille has offered us an arrangement. If you will help him rig his ship, and repair the damage, he will feed you the same rations, such as they are, that he provides to his own crew. Is that not correct, Captain?” Granger waited for the amazingly attractive lieutenant to translate Granger’s words.

“That is true,” Lejoille said, in English.

“If you do not help, than you will be consigned to the hold, and provided with prisoner’s rations of bread and water.” He waited for the translation again, and another affirmation from Lejoille.

“My lord,” one of the men spoke up. “Isn’t it wrong to help the Frogs?”

Granger smiled. “Normally, it would be. Our situation as it stands is that we are almost certainly not going to encounter another unit of our fleet. As that is the case, the longer this voyage takes, the more difficult it will be for everyone, including the wounded on both sides.” He watched them think about that, and nod. “And besides, we would rather allow Captain Lejoille the opportunity to repair his ship before fighting again. That seems the fair thing to do.” That got a predictable laugh. “You may do as you choose, but if you help Captain Lejoille, you will not be disciplined for it on your return to England. I may be, but you will not.” They laughed again. In the end, two-thirds of the men agreed to help the French with enough repairs to get back to port, while the others went below to subsist on bread and water.

“Thank you,” Lejoille said to Granger. “I believe we will dine shortly.”

“I will look forward to that, Captain,” Granger said. He began to pace the Généreux’s deck, even as the ship was active all around him. At first, he tried to pay attention to what was happening, but it frustrated him, because these ships operated much differently from Royal Navy ships. But their seamen were skilled. The British seamen were working on the foremast, with the handsome translator supervising them. Granger strode up to keep an eye on their work.

“My lord, I must apologize for not introducing myself before,” the lieutenant said in French. “I am Pierre-Antoine-Louis de Beauvilliers.”

“It is a pleasure to meet you, Monsieur de Beauvilliers,” Granger said. Beauvilliers smiled, his bad teeth somewhat marring his otherwise stunning appearance. He had skin that was quite tanned, contrasting with his dark blond hair, but most impressive was his body, which was quite large for a naval officer. Granger was reminded of his former first lieutenant, Rodney Roberts, who had bulging muscles. Beauvilliers had that same type of massive body. “You have an aristocratic name.”

Beauvilliers laughed, a charming laugh. “Do not tell the others.” Granger laughed with him. “I spent some time abroad while the government came to their senses. My uncle was a vice-admiral, and the country needs her naval officers, so I was first allowed to return to France, then to rejoin the navy. The purges are over, and now we must rebuild.”

“I would wish you luck with that, monsieur, but I fear that would inconvenience my country,” Granger joked.

“Quite right, my lord,” Beauvilliers said. “Your men are excellent seamen. Look how well they have re-rigged that yard!”

“Thank you, Lieutenant,” Granger said. “I would recommend that you tell them that yourself. It will motivate them.”

Donegal appeared and demanded his attention. “My lord, Captain Lejoille asked me to alert you that supper is ready.”

“Thank you, Donegal,” Granger said. “And thank you, Lieutenant. I will trust my men to your capable care.” Beauvilliers just bowed slightly in response, as Granger wound his way back to the quarterdeck, and to Lejoille’s cabin.

“Ah, Lord Granger,” Lejoille said in a friendly way. “I am so glad you could join me.” Granger resisted the temptation to point out that he had little choice in the manner.

“I would not miss such an opportunity,” Granger said. Granger went to sit down and his sword moved against his hip, reminding him that he’d committed a horrible faux pas. He stood up and removed the weapon from its scabbard and handed it to Lejoille, hilt first. “I must apologize, Captain, for not surrendering my sword to you earlier. I hope you will forgive such an impertinent oversight.”

“Lord Granger, keep your sword,” Lejoille said, accentuating his words with hand gestures. “It is not fitting for me to remove the symbol of a gentleman from someone who has been so honorable.”

Granger put his sword back and took his seat. “You honor me, sir. Thank you. It was a gift from my father, and I would be sad to lose it.” Lejoille just nodded.

“I think that tomorrow morning we may be able to resume our course for Corfu, but I suspect we will have to tow the Leander.”

“That is probably wise,” Granger agreed. “Without a jury rig, that will slow your progress.”

“Our progress,” Lejoille corrected. “You were at the battle that we just fought, with Admiral de Brueys?” Granger nodded. “Can you tell me what happened to the men who were captured?”

Granger smiled. “Of course. Admiral Nelson entertained the senior officers aboard Vanguard, with a hospitality that is similar to what I am experiencing,” Granger said as he ate the food in front of him. It was good, and it reminded him of Lefavre. Granger missed his irascible chef.

“You are too kind,” Lejoille said.

Granger smiled. “It gave me an opportunity to spend time with such brave and talented adversaries, and they were most useful in helping me negotiate the parole of your sailors. They were put ashore at Aboukir, where a body of French troops waited to escort them to Alexandria. The officers will no doubt be paroled as well, as soon as that can be arranged.”

“I am surprised that had not already happened,” Lejoille observed pointedly.

“I think they were a victim of their own charm, and Admiral Nelson was reluctant to see them go,” Granger said, but while Lejoille smiled, he was not satisfied with Granger’s flippant result. “The main obstacle was getting the agreement of General Bonaparte that the men must not fight until properly exchanged. You must realize that maintaining additional men aboard ships can strain supplies, much as you must be experiencing now. We were most anxious to release your officers.” Granger did not point out that many of the more skilled ship artisans, like the carpenters and gunners, were retained for their expertise, or if they would not help the Royal Navy, to deny that expertise to the French, at least for a bit.

Lejoille shook his head sadly. “So typical of the army. They know nothing of naval matters, or of naval customs. To them, an officer is an officer, and they would as soon take a naval captain and have him command a regiment.” Granger did not know enough about French army traditions to comment on that, but he could easily see a French general taking seamen who were stranded ashore and turning them into an army regiment.

Granger and Lejoille were having a nice dinner, comparing and contrasting the customs of their two navies, when a boisterous Captain Berry interrupted them. “Captain, my lord,” Berry said. “I have come to protest the pilfering of my personal effects, as well as the effects of my men. I have had two ornamental pistols taken from me. In addition, all but two of Captain Thompson’s shirts have been taken.”

“Captain Thompson directed his servant to give those shirts to the men who swam to Leander, Captain,” Granger said acidly. He was annoyed that Berry would raise such an issue, and be so petty, when it was more important to ensure the safety of their men. Granger felt that as much diplomatic progress as he’d made with Lejoille, so Berry would ruin it with his whining.

“Would you be so kind as to ask Captain Lejoille to track down my pistols, my lord?” Berry demanded.

“Of course,” Granger said, and turned to Lejoille. “Captain Berry’s most pressing concern is the return of two ornamental pistols that were part of his personal property.” Both Granger and Lejoille managed, barely, to suppress smiles at Berry’s idiocy. “He has transported himself over here to request that you track them down and return them to him.”

“Please explain to Captain Berry that I'm sorry, but the fact is, that the French are good at plunder,” Lejoille said. Granger paused to avoid laughing, and then translated that for Berry.

“I will attempt to secure the return of your pistols, Captain,” Granger said firmly. “But I would expect you to focus on caring for the men we are responsible for more than the property in your sea chest.”

Berry glared at him. “As you wish, my lord.”

After Berry left in a huff, Granger and Lejoille resumed eating. “I would have you know that officers like Berry are not isolated to your fleet alone,” Lejoille said, and that actually made Granger laugh loudly.

“Captain Berry is one of the bravest men you will encounter,” Granger said. “He is always ready for battle, and never fears for his own safety. But he is not the most diplomatic of men.”

“No, he is not,” Lejoille said. “I think I will track down his pistols and keep them myself, just to further annoy him.” Granger tried not to laugh, but the effort was futile.

 

 

 

AUTHOR’S NOTE:

There is some controversy over what happened after Leander surrendered. British sources claim that the two French sailors that reached Leander immediately began a systematic pillaging of the British officers' personal effects. According to them, Thompson ordered one of the British boats to be repaired and launched to transport him to the French ship and bring back Captain Lejoille in the belief that he would end the looting. However when the French captain arrived he immediately joined his officers, commandeering all but two of Captain Thompson's shirts and the wounded officer's cot. When Captain Berry complained that a pair of ornamental pistols had been stolen from him, Lejoille summoned the thief to the quarterdeck and took them for himself. The sailors who accompanied Lejoille were equally voracious: among the many things taken were the ship surgeon Mr Mulberry's operating tools, stolen in the middle of an operation. When Captain Berry complained, Lejoille replied "J'en suis fâché, mais le fait est, que les Français sont bons au pillage" ("I'm sorry, but the fact is, that the French are good at plunder"). Dividing the captured British sailors, Lejoille transferred half to Généreux and left half on Leander with a French prize crew. In direct contravention of the established conventions of war, both sets of prisoners were immediately ordered to effect repairs to the vessels. Only once both ships were ready for the journey to Corfu were the prisoners given bread and water, although the wounded were still denied medical attention.

The French claim this is all nonsense. They cite testimony from the French captain who ferried the paroled officers of Leander to Trieste, who claimed they took a substantial amount of personal gear (three trunks for Captain Thompson alone). The French note that these accusations stem entirely from Life of Nelson, by William James, and that it furthermore fabricated a report by Lejoille.

I personally believe the truth lies somewhere in the middle. I think that William James was an adept propagandist (my personal opinion), plus he was a lawyer, so I discount his rantings much as I do Fox News commentators. But I have taken advantage of the controversy to craft my own version of what happens, which undoubtedly is nothing like what really occurred.

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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I love how Granger usually comes out of the bleakest events relatively unscathed and somehow manages to be not only gracious but selfless putting the well being of his men before dogma or pride.

Super chapter, thanks.

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Really loved the latest chapter of Odyssey, I get so carried away when I read them. I can almost feel the tension and emotion of those involved.

 

I admire how Granger is able to stay calm and collected during the most troubling of times. I would agree with Granger that there is no need to antagonize those that are now in charge. The level of sophistication and levelheadedness that Granger posses is partly from his upbringing but some is just the kind of person that he is. God, I wish we had someone like him now...

 

I have to admit that I did not know that William James was a lawyer. While I have an inbreed desire to take the British side over anyone else; this would temper my opinion. I have read the account but like you probably believe it was somewhere in the middle, although the issue with the surgeon always really bothered me...

 

I can't wait for Granger to be exchanged and get on his way back to England. Berry and Thompson were lauded on their arrival, even though they were not the first with the news, but I can see Granger downplaying his issues to let them explain what happened before, during, and afterward...

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Another great chapter! I can't wait for Granger to manage his escape.

I must make one protest. No one should suffer the insult of being compared to a lawyer!

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As the world seems to be falling apart in the real world, it is good to see someone like Lord Granger. George's background does him well. It is good to see him treated so well. Hopefully, that will continue. I think that George speaks French helps, but what is even more important is that he is kind and noble. Hopefully, he will be able to return to England. Just so you know I have been waiting for this chapter, worrying what would happen to Lord Granger. Wonderful chapter!

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Nice bit of comparison to Faux News! Please keep up the great writing; I dive right in whenever I get notified of a new chapter.

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The chapter together with the note at the end were well-crafted and highly informative as well as entertaining. George is a gentleman and as a captain has the welfare of the crew firmly fixed as a priority. Jolly good show and now we must wait for the next installment.

Set against the backdrop of the current world situation, the comparison to Fox News was another timely reminder that we also live in interesting times often viewed through the prism of bias, innuendo and half-truths.

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A great chapter, a much later quote "If you're caught by the Birkenhead Drill, go down with your ship standing to attention, comes to mind. We tend to forget that in the 18th C personal honour (honor?) meant far more than legalities. The "rules of war" then prevalent had been hammered out over half a millemium of Christian warfare.

I already encountered the account of the surrender of the Leander when I was on board the sixth Leander in the RN when I was on board her for a week as a 15 year old schoolboy when the ship was on training exercises based at Weymouth.

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On 08/31/2013 04:07 PM, Miles Long said:
I love how Granger usually comes out of the bleakest events relatively unscathed and somehow manages to be not only gracious but selfless putting the well being of his men before dogma or pride.

Super chapter, thanks.

The moral of the story is that assholes lose. Or at least they should. :-)
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On 08/31/2013 04:37 PM, centexhairysub said:
Really loved the latest chapter of Odyssey, I get so carried away when I read them. I can almost feel the tension and emotion of those involved.

 

I admire how Granger is able to stay calm and collected during the most troubling of times. I would agree with Granger that there is no need to antagonize those that are now in charge. The level of sophistication and levelheadedness that Granger posses is partly from his upbringing but some is just the kind of person that he is. God, I wish we had someone like him now...

 

I have to admit that I did not know that William James was a lawyer. While I have an inbreed desire to take the British side over anyone else; this would temper my opinion. I have read the account but like you probably believe it was somewhere in the middle, although the issue with the surgeon always really bothered me...

 

I can't wait for Granger to be exchanged and get on his way back to England. Berry and Thompson were lauded on their arrival, even though they were not the first with the news, but I can see Granger downplaying his issues to let them explain what happened before, during, and afterward...

I agree with you, in that the skills Granger brings to the table are a product of his birth and his brains combined.

 

I really do think that the truth with the Leander falls somewhere in between the French and British version.

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On 08/31/2013 04:47 PM, Stuff15 said:
Another great chapter! I can't wait for Granger to manage his escape.

I must make one protest. No one should suffer the insult of being compared to a lawyer!

Thanks for the review. It's unlikely Granger will escape, and he really has no reason to do so, unless there is a threat that he won't be given parole.
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On 08/31/2013 08:45 PM, rjo said:
As the world seems to be falling apart in the real world, it is good to see someone like Lord Granger. George's background does him well. It is good to see him treated so well. Hopefully, that will continue. I think that George speaks French helps, but what is even more important is that he is kind and noble. Hopefully, he will be able to return to England. Just so you know I have been waiting for this chapter, worrying what would happen to Lord Granger. Wonderful chapter!
I'm glad I could relieve your tension! I think that it does help that Granger speaks French, but I think his polite demeanor would carry the day, in any event.
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On 09/01/2013 01:19 AM, Lubbockgaymale said:
Nice bit of comparison to Faux News! Please keep up the great writing; I dive right in whenever I get notified of a new chapter.
Thanks for posting a review! Propaganda is not a new thing, and it persists in our society today, which is truly stunning, considering our access to information.
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On 09/01/2013 01:30 AM, Daddydavek said:
The chapter together with the note at the end were well-crafted and highly informative as well as entertaining. George is a gentleman and as a captain has the welfare of the crew firmly fixed as a priority. Jolly good show and now we must wait for the next installment.

Set against the backdrop of the current world situation, the comparison to Fox News was another timely reminder that we also live in interesting times often viewed through the prism of bias, innuendo and half-truths.

Thanks! I really do try to do a reasonable job or researching things, especially when they touch on real events.
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On 09/01/2013 02:07 AM, davewri said:
With one hand full of gold and the other full of lanolin...................
That would seem to be Granger's strategy. LOL!
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On 09/01/2013 06:43 AM, CambridgePaul said:
A great chapter, a much later quote "If you're caught by the Birkenhead Drill, go down with your ship standing to attention, comes to mind. We tend to forget that in the 18th C personal honour (honor?) meant far more than legalities. The "rules of war" then prevalent had been hammered out over half a millemium of Christian warfare.

I already encountered the account of the surrender of the Leander when I was on board the sixth Leander in the RN when I was on board her for a week as a 15 year old schoolboy when the ship was on training exercises based at Weymouth.

Thanks for the review! I didn't know what the Birkenhead Drill was, but now I do. Women and Children first. Thanks for expanding my knowledge!
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Granger has the ability to look at the big picture, something the other two do not. No help is coming. There is little food, conditions are bad. For the mens' own well being, he believes that if they help, they will get fed (as well as the French crew) and be treated better. That the sooner the repaired ship can get to a port the men would be better off. It is his nature to care for them even though they are not his own crew. That he told them he would take the heat if they were brought to task for doing so demonstrates why his own men were so loyal. Great chapter, thank you.

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I am interested in history, so I have enjoyed all the historic details in Mark's stories.  I greatly appreciated his note at the end.

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