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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 - 69. Chapter 69

October 20, 1798

Paris

 

“My lord, Monsieur Talleyrand requests that you call on him when it is convenient,” the butler said. As with all the servants, he treated Granger with as much respect as he accorded to Talleyrand himself.

“I will visit him at once,” Granger announced cheerfully, hiding the headache he had as a result of all the wine he’d drunk at Madame Tallien’s salon last night. He went to Talleyrand’s chambers and found him lounging in his bed, dictating letters to his secretary. Granger had learned that this was Talleyrand’s normal manner of doing business, where he adopted a nonchalant and lazy attitude to his work in public, while behind the scenes he was much more active.

“Ah, Lord Granger, I hope I have not inconvenienced you with my request for you to call on me,” he said smoothly.

“It is never an inconvenience to visit you,” Granger said with a courtly bow, eliciting a smile from the wily Frenchman.

“I was worried that perhaps after such a long evening you would have relished the opportunity to enjoy a leisurely morning.”

“I have grown accustomed to the rigors of the salon,” Granger said with a smile, and it was true. He had found himself to be as popular here in Paris as he’d been when he had visited Philadelphia in the Intrepid.

“I received some interesting news this morning that I wanted to convey to you,” Talleyrand said, his speech slow and precise.

“Indeed?”

“It appears that we have been lucky in gathering up officers from your navy lately, and we have the good fortune to entertain yet another young man here in the capital.”

“Another British officer is here in Paris?” Granger asked, unable to mask his excitement. Talleyrand raised an eyebrow, and Granger reminded himself to resume his calm, stoic mode. “Do you know who he is?”

“Lieutenant Charles Eastwyck,” Talleyrand said. He watched Granger’s reaction, and while Granger was normally able to hide his emotions, this situation was so extreme his surprise and recognition was evident on his face. “I take it you know him?”

“I do,” Granger said. “He served on my prior ship.”

“What a wonderful coincidence,” Talleyrand said.

“Do you know the particulars on how he was captured?” Granger asked. If Eastwyck was here in Paris, what had happened to Bacchante?

“I do not, but if you would like me to have him sent over, perhaps you can ask him yourself.”

“I would be most obliged,” Granger said. Talleyrand paused to rap out orders to his secretary to have Eastwyck brought over, and then resumed his conversation with Granger while the secretary went to do Talleyrand’s bidding.

“You have managed to ingratiate yourself with most of the Directors and the people here in Paris to such a degree that they may be willing to allow Lieutenant Eastwyck to join you here,” Talleyrand suggested.

“I must thank you for your guidance, for that is the only reason I have been able to successfully navigate Parisian politics,” Granger said. “I would be most appreciative if you would allow Lieutenant Eastwyck to join me.”

“You will understand, of course, that we will need to come to some sort of agreement for him,” Talleyrand said, referring to the cost of maintaining them here at his residence. “Would you prefer that I address that directly with him?”

“I think we can resolve that issue between the two of us, and that way Mr. Eastwyck will just think you are exceptionally generous,” Granger said, and actually made Talleyrand chuckle.

“You paid me 5,000 pounds for your own stay,” Talleyrand observed.

“That is true,” Granger said. “But to charge the same amount for a peer of Great Britain and a captain, as one would charge for a mere lieutenant, would be an insult you would never be capable of.”

“Of course not,” Talleyrand agreed, understanding he wasn’t getting another 5,000 pounds from Granger for Eastwyck.

“I would think a fair amount, considering the difference in our ranks, would be 1,000 pounds,” Granger said.

Talleyrand eyed him carefully, as if trying to decide whether to argue or not and then ultimately came to a conclusion. “I think that is more than equitable. I will dispatch instructions that he will remain here.”

“Thank you,” Granger said, with a courtly bow. “I will alert the staff to have a bath ready for him, and also to send for the tailor. I am certain his uniforms are in no better shape than mine were.”

“Yet now you look splendid,” Talleyrand said.

“I have to work hard to not be eclipsed by my host,” Granger said gallantly, drawing another smile from Talleyrand.

“I will keep your presence here a surprise. We will see if this young man is as happy to see you as you are to see him.”

Granger laughed. “I am willing to wager that he is happier than I am.” Eastwyck would probably feel like a fish out of water in France, both literally and figuratively.

“That is not a wager I am willing to accept,” Talleyrand said. Granger bowed, then left the room, and began making arrangements for the arrival of Eastwyck. There was a smaller room without an office next to Granger’s suite, and connected to his room via the terrace. Granger persuaded the staff to establish that room for Eastwyck. He spent a few minutes with Donegal, explaining who Eastwyck was, and that he would be staying there. Granger found that he was all but chomping at the bit, waiting for Eastwyck, so he tried to distract himself by forcing himself to read one of the books he had borrowed, but it was to no avail. He was fortunately saved from the tortuous wait when one of the servants came to retrieve him.

Granger walked into the large drawing room, and had been quiet enough that Eastwyck didn’t notice him. The young man was gazing out the windows at the courtyard, with a wistful and sad expression on his face. His uniform was battered, in much worse condition than Granger’s had been. When Eastwyck had joined Bacchante in May of 1797, he had been 19, with a willowy body just springing out of adolescence. Now at 21, he had filled out, with a broader chest, and larger calves. Seeing Eastwyck reminded Granger of Somers, his cousin, in that they both had that trademark dimple in their chins, one that seemed to exponentially enhance their charm and attractiveness. But whereas Somers had very sharp features, Eastwyck’s were rounder and softer, making him appear to be kinder. And while Somers had an overbite that made him seem like the wolf that he was, Eastwyck had teeth that were relatively straight, and an engaging but lopsided smile that showed them off. Somers and Eastwyck both had piercing blue eyes, but Somers had dark blond hair, while Eastwyck’s hair was blond with a reddish tint. Granger could not decide which one of them was more handsome, but if pressed, he would probably give the nod to Eastwyck. “And what brings you to Paris, Mr. Eastwyck?” Granger asked in English, startling him.

Eastwyck turned so fast he must almost have hurt his neck. “My lord!” he said, completely shocked at finding Granger here. His shock was only temporary, as his big lopsided smile appeared. He tried to hide it, but was unable to restrain himself, and it returned. Granger pushed his façade aside and smiled back just as broadly as he strode over to him.

He held out his hands and took Eastwyck’s, feeling the energy flowing between them, and it seemed so inadequate that Granger dropped them and embraced him. He could feel Eastwyck’s relief at finding Granger, feel the tension in him ebbing as he clung to Granger, and it was such a good feeling they held their embrace for a bit longer than was proper, but neither one cared. “It appears you are happy to see me,” Granger said.

“I am most glad to see you, my lord,” Eastwyck said enthusiastically. “When we left you in Amboyna, we feared you would not survive your illness. We have been worried about you, and hoping you would recover. I am so glad that you have!”

“Thank you,” Granger said with an indulgent smile. “It was not something I would like to go through again. And what brings you to Paris?”

“It has not been the best few months,” Eastwyck said somberly. “My lord, Bacchante was lost.”

And all of Granger’s joy at seeing Eastwyck was gone, replaced by shock and sadness. “Gone?” Eastwyck led him over to a chaise and they sat down together. For Granger, news that his ship was lost was akin to losing a family member.

“We encountered a hurricane off the coast of Africa, near Gorée,” Eastwyck said. “We were riding it out, and looked to be relatively safe, but dawn found us next to a reef, and we went aground shortly after that.” Granger noted how upset he was, upset enough to omit the honorific ‘my lord’.

“What of the crew?”

“I don’t know, my lord. I was tasked by Lieutenant Humphries to sail north to Gorée in the ship’s launch. Lord Kingsdale was with me, as was Mr. Andrews. When we got to Gorée, there was a French corvette in port, and her captain did not appear to understand the conventions of shipwrecked sailors. He told the governor to throw us in prison. I had a most unpleasant conversation with him, one that earned me a trip back to France, while the others were retained in Gorée.”

“I am sorry to hear that,” Granger said sympathetically. He could visualize the scene all too easily, with Eastwyck defending his men to the point that his efforts resulted in him being lugged back to Paris as a captive. “What was Bacchante’s condition? Could they have pulled her off the reef?”

“No, my lord,” Eastwyck said sadly. “She was aground, and had broken her back. The only hope was for salvage. The French governor told me that the natives in that area are particularly fearsome, so there would be no help from the shore.” Granger paused briefly to ponder that half of the fortune they had captured was in Bacchante’s hold, stored safely in her aft water tanks. Bacchante’s loss may end up costing him more than emotional pain; it may end up costing him a substantial amount of money, lost prize money, as well.

Their conversation was interrupted when Talleyrand entered, prompting Granger and Eastwyck to stand. Talleyrand glided across the floor in his courtly way, and bowed to Eastwyck, who returned the gesture gracefully. Granger introduced them in French. “Please forgive me for not being here to greet you upon your arrival.”

“It is nothing, Your Excellency,” Eastwyck replied in French.

“Monsieur Talleyrand has been pleased to offer you accommodations here with me,” Granger told Eastwyck.

“I am most grateful to Your Excellency,” Eastwyck said. His French seemed to have improved, probably due to his time in captivity.

“I will leave you gentlemen to get settled in,” Talleyrand said. Granger led Eastwyck up to their rooms, and introduced him to Donegal.

“My lord, the tailor will be here in two hours,” Donegal said. “We are readying a bath for Mr. Eastwyck.”

“That would be marvelous,” Eastwyck said to Donegal. “Thank you.”

“There is much for us to discuss,” Granger said, “but I will give you a chance to bathe and settle in.”

Eastwyck looked very unhappy with that idea. “My lord, if you would be willing to keep me company during my bath, I could relay my report on our journey.” He was being mildly flirtatious, but Granger suspected that was mostly due to his nervousness.

“I would not want to impose,” Granger said.

“It would not be an imposition at all, my lord,” Eastwyck said urgently. Then Granger grasped his perspective; that Eastwyck had been alone amongst enemies for months now, and relished the opportunity to be with a comrade.

“Then I will keep you company,” Granger said. Donegal went off to get the bath ready. There was a room in the house that was mostly tiled, and it contained a large bathtub, although Granger was not sure how much use it had gotten before he had arrived.

Eastwyck removed his battered uniform, slowly revealing his handsome body. Granger had seen him bathing before on Bacchante, and noted that he still had no appreciable hair on his abdomen or his chest, but his legs, especially his calves, were quite furry. He stripped off his trousers, revealing his dick, which was a bit plump, hanging over two balls that were smaller than normal. He turned away from Granger as he went to step into the bath, exposing his gorgeous ass. Some young men had small, pert asses, with just a bit of padding, but not Eastwyck. He had strong, muscular globes for cheeks, globes that seemed determined to hide his crack, where his blond hairs merged together to make it seem dark and mysterious. “Some of the ladies here in Paris indulge in luxuries such as bathing in the juice of various fruits,” Granger said, more to distract himself from thinking about Eastwyck’s naked body.

“I am more than content with warm, fresh water, my lord,” he said with a grin. He took the washing mitt and the soap and began to wash himself. His manner was businesslike, but with a little playfulness, as if he were subtly teasing Granger as he did.

Granger smiled but did no more than that. “I have indulged myself in a luxury in that not only do I bathe quite frequently, but I have water brought in from outside the city to do so.”

Eastwyck paused and nodded. “It seems quite fresh.”

“The first bath I took was in water that was dirtier than I was,” Granger said, cringing at the memory. “I believe the servants merely gathered it from the Seine.”

“I suspect all that extra labor has made you less popular with the staff, my lord,” Eastwyck joked.

“On the contrary,” Granger replied. “I pay them well, so they are happy to do it.”

“Thank you for arranging for me to stay here, my lord,” Eastwyck said. “I must speak to Monsieur Talleyrand about paying for my sustenance.”

“I have already taken care of that,” Granger said. “You can simply pretend that Monsieur Talleyrand is being generous, something which he most certainly is not.”

“Thank you, my lord,” Eastwyck said. “I did not mean for you to have to cover my expenses.”

“Yet I did, so there is an end to it,” Granger said, unwilling to be drawn into a lengthy argument about money. “Tell me of your voyage.”

“Before we left Amboyna, Captain Somers spoke to me and suggested that it would be best if Bacchante were to make a rather leisurely return voyage, my lord.”

Granger pondered that for only a moment, and then smiled broadly as he remembered Somers and what a good politician he was. “Captain Somers is a wise man.”

“Indeed, my lord?”

“Sir Tobias Maidstone was carrying stolen letters, my brother’s correspondence. It is quite likely that if they reach London, they will cause considerable anguish with the government,” Granger said, and felt the fears that Maidstone would succeed return again. It had been a driving force, motivating him across stormy seas and deserts, yet lately it had receded in his brain. Talking about it with Eastwyck brought it back to the forefront of his mind. He was almost of a mind to jump up and escape: almost.

Eastwyck, meanwhile, shook his head in scorn. “Such a blackguard thing to do.” His expression changed, to one of almost panic, as his mind went to where Granger’s was. “Is there a way to get word to London, to stop him, my lord?”

Eastwyck’s panic calmed Granger, ironically enough. “I do not see that there is anything we can do until they offer to parole us home. When I parted company with Winkler and Jacobs in the Mediterranean, I tasked them to find Lord St. Vincent and deliver my dispatches. It is probable now that they will beat Sir Tobias. And if they have failed, then Captain Calvert was supposed to try to catch up with Bacchante, so perhaps he will beat Sir Tobias back as well.”

“I’m not sure we delayed enough for Santa Clarita to catch up to us, my lord,” Eastwyck said. He began to regale Granger with details of their voyage, including how they’d made two stops on the way, and how that had infuriated Sir Tobias. Granger found himself laughing at that irascible man, and resolved to use whatever resources he had to defend Humphries from his wrath.

Donegal returned to help Eastwyck out of the bathtub. Granger had to look away when he arose, because his dick had enlarged considerably, and dangled down in a semi-erect manner. It was quite long, even in that state. He thought he saw Eastwyck smirk slightly, but he may have been mistaken. “I will give you time to change, then I will tell you of my travels,” Granger said. He went back to his rooms, where Eastwyck joined him some fifteen minutes later, wearing merely trousers and a shirt.

“I fear my other clothes are not fit to put on, my lord,” he apologized. “Donegal managed to find these for me to wear in the interim.”

“The tailor will be here shortly to correct that problem,” Granger said with a smile, and indeed, he arrived at that moment. Granger stayed to help Eastwyck navigate the vagaries of the French garment industry, and when they were finished, he escorted Eastwyck down to dinner.

“My lord, sir,” the butler said as they entered the room, “Monsieur Talleyrand begs you to forgive him, but he is indisposed, and will not be able to join you for dinner.”

Granger wanted to smile at Talleyrand’s courtesy in giving them more time alone to catch up, but that may have implied that Granger was pleased that his host was ill, so he restrained himself. “Please convey my sincerest sympathies to him, and my hopes that he will recover soon.” The butler bowed, and then Granger and Eastwyck took their seats.

The food began to arrive, and Eastwyck gorged himself, making Granger smile. “I beg your pardon, my lord, but I have not had food this good for some time.”

Granger smiled indulgently. “Then you should enjoy it while you can. And sate your appetite, so your manners are more refined for when our host rejoins us. He eats at a much more deliberate pace.”

“Yes, my lord,” Eastwyck said with a smile. “Can you tell me how you came to be here?”

And so while Eastwyck continued to funnel food into his mouth, Granger recounted his journey, from his recovery from the fever, to his trek to Calcutta; from his voyage to Egypt, to his trip through the Wadi. Eastwyck stared at him, amazed, or at least he did in between bites, as he took in all that Granger had been through. “When I arrived in Kena, I found that the French had invaded Egypt.”

“I heard about that, my lord. There was talk of that in Nantes when we arrived. They say there was a battle between our two fleets, but that the French escaped with insignificant losses.”

“Eleven out of thirteen of their ships of the line were captured or destroyed, while none of ours were lost,” Granger said smugly. “I would think that is significant.”

Eastwyck’s face broke into a huge grin. “That is a victory unlike any other, my lord!”

“It was a magnificent battle,” Granger said. He told Eastwyck about his trip down the Nile, forcing the young man to wait patiently for him to get to the actual battle. He even allowed himself a tangent to describe the Pyramids. It was pleasant to taunt him for a bit, but Granger did not torture him too much. “I left Winkler and Jacobs to take my dispatches to Lord St. Vincent, while I went off with the fleet to lead them to the French.”

“You did not want to miss the battle, my lord,” Eastwyck accused playfully.

Granger chuckled. “I did not.” He then told Eastwyck the story of the battle, including a vivid description of the destruction of L’Orient. He told him of each ship and her role, and described the casualties and damage afterward.

Eastwyck eyed him with wide-eyed hero worship, and that made Granger uncomfortable. “You will be even more popular when you return home, my lord, although I am not sure that is possible.”

“That is unfortunate, as the credit for the victory must surely go to Sir Horatio Nelson,” Granger corrected.

“There is room for more than one hero in the eyes of the mob, my lord,” Eastwyck said. He was such a pleasant young man, and such good company. “How did you end up in Paris?”

Granger was less cheerful when he described the battle between Leander and Le Généreux. He let his guard down and shared his annoyance with Thompson for reducing sail, and for his less than sophisticated battle plans. “They sent the other captains back to England on parole via Trieste, I am told, while I was brought here. My purpose in being here seems to be to convince the French people that their navy is achieving great things.”

“What is left of it anyway, my lord,” Eastwyck joked, making them both laugh. “How long will we have to be here?”

“I am not sure, but I have done what I can to expedite things. I have paid Monsieur Talleyrand a flat sum for lodging us, in the hopes that he will attempt to get us home sooner to avoid feeding us. With you here, that may help persuade him to release us sooner,” Granger joked.

“I will do my best, my lord,” Eastwyck said, as he helped himself to yet more food.

 

October 25, 1798

London

 

“Thank you for your hospitality, my lady,” Calvert said to Caroline.

“It has been a pleasure to spend time with you and Lieutenant Gatling,” she said, smiling at both of them.

“I fear we must take our leave of you,” Calvert said. “We must return to Portsmouth tomorrow morning.”

“There will be several young ladies, and even more fathers, who will be unhappy to see you go,” Caroline said with a wry grin. Calvert had gone from being a handsome non-entity, to being a very rich and successful captain. Caroline knew that many fathers who would not have given him a second look prior to this latest voyage were most earnestly trying to marry their daughters off to him.

“I will have to disappoint them,” Calvert said with his stunning smile. “I must attend to my ship, as she is my first mistress.”

Caroline was no idiot, and while she was sure that the Santa Clarita measured foremost in Calvert’s mind, she suspected that Gatling was also there as well. It was obvious to her that they were lovers, and that they were in fact deeply in love. She had been pleasantly surprised that they appeared quite detached in public, but here, where they were safe, they were more obvious. She wasn’t sure if other members of the household had discerned the true nature of their relationship, as she tended to credit her own perceptiveness to the fact that she knew Calvert appreciated other men sexually, so that made the deduction quite easy. “If you become serious about acquiring a partner, I will be happy to help.”

“Thank you,” Calvert said. It was funny to see how uncomfortable that made Calvert, the thought of being married off and even funnier to see Gatling try to hide his jealousy.

“I hope you gentlemen will excuse me,” Caroline said as she stood up from the table. “I have some things to attend to. Please finish eating without me.”

“Of course, my lady,” Calvert said, as they both rose politely with her. She left the dining room and began to climb the stairs, intending to respond to the latest letter she’d received from Sir Gilbert Elliot, or Lord Minto, as he was now known. When she reached the top of the first flight, she realized she’d left that letter in the study. With a sigh, she descended the stairs and went into the study to retrieve it. As she made to walk back up the stairs, she heard Calvert and Gatling talking, and she heard them mention her husband’s name. Caroline knew that eavesdropping was terribly impolite, but when it came to George, she could not resist the urge to commit that social sin. She stood there in the doorway, watching and listening to the two men converse.

“It feels so wrong to be here in His Lordship’s house, and to be together,” Gatling said, almost whining.

“To stay anywhere else would offend both Lord and Lady Granger,” Calvert responded. “He is a dear friend, and would take it amiss if we shunned his hospitality.”

“And what will happen when he returns?” Gatling asked. “Will you sleep with him?”

“Will you?” Calvert challenged.

“I only want to be with you,” Gatling responded. “Is it so much to not want to share you?”

“No it is not,” Calvert said, relenting. “I do not want to share you either.”

“Do you love him?” Gatling asked, referring to Granger.

“Yes,” Calvert answered sincerely and automatically.

“That is what worries me,” Gatling said. “I am worried that he will return, you will sleep with him, and you will forget about me.”

“That will not happen,” Calvert asserted.

“What will not happen? That you will not sleep with him, or you will not forget about me?”

“I am a monogamous person, the kind of man who prefers to be intimate with just one person,” Calvert said.

“As am I,” Gatling said, interrupting him.

“His Lordship is not like that, and probably never will be like that,” Calvert said. “It has made our relationship a challenge for both of us. He cannot give me what I want, and I cannot be entirely happy with what he does give me.”

“I don’t understand,” Gatling said, confused.

“You are afraid that my feelings for him will eclipse my feelings for you. That will not happen,” Calvert swore. “You and I have a bond that he and I could not have.”

“We have that bond, and we are faithfully committed to each other,” Gatling stated.

“We are,” Calvert agreed.

“If you sleep with him, then we will not have that bond,” Gatling argued. Calvert was silent for some time as he deduced what Gatling was saying, and asking. His expression showed the confusion and anguish he was dealing with internally, and then it cleared, as he came to a resolution.

“Then I will not sleep with him again,” Calvert said firmly. “When he returns, I will explain things, and hope that we can remain friends.”

“My lady, this just arrived,” Cheevers said, handing Caroline a silver salver with a note on it. Only Cheevers’ arrival had called attention to her presence, and so Gatling and Calvert looked at her wide-eyed, wondering how much she had heard.

“Thank you, Cheevers,” Caroline said. She took the note and tore it open, ignoring the three men who stared at her.

My dear Lady Granger,

It is with great sadness that I convey to you news I have just received. His Majesty’s ship Leander was captured in a protracted battle with a French ship of the line, one which greatly overpowered her.

I do not know more than what I have written, so I cannot give you any assurance as to your husband’s safety or whereabouts. Should I hear anything, I will share that knowledge with you directly.

Your Obedient Servant,

Spencer.

Caroline stared at the note, while the three men stared at her. None of them was within their rights to even ask her what it said, even though it was obviously from the Admiralty, on their familiar yet unique stationary. A surge of emotions flew through her body, as she contemplated this news, and the conversation she’d overheard before that. She should be happy that Calvert wanted to end his relationship with George, as that dalliance had cost all of them more than enough pain and suffering. To not have to compete with Francis Calvert for George’s love and attention should have been a major victory for her, but it was not. She knew her husband so well, and knew that while he shielded his emotions from others, they ran deep when you got past his stoic surface. George loved Calvert deeply, probably as deeply as he loved her. If Calvert rejected George, George would be devastated. The thought of George enduring that much pain, after he’d already survived a voyage around the world, a battle with the fever, a victory over the French, and now captivity shook her to her core. Her protective instincts for her husband soared, muting her own personal joys at seeing his relationship with Calvert severed. And that protectiveness overrode her normal, polite demeanor, as her whole being was consumed with anger against these men who would harm her husband. Especially when she pondered that they stood here, enjoying the safety and warmth of their home, while George was probably rotting away in a French prison.

She let the anger boil, as she calmly addressed Cheevers. “You may tell the staff that His Lordship was traveling back to England on board His Majesty’s ship Leander. The Leander was captured by a French ship of the line.”

“Yes, my lady,” Cheevers said, and even though he was as stoic as his master, it was easy to see the anguish in his face. “Do they know if His Lordship is alright?”

“There was no other information given,” she said. He bowed slightly, and then left to go inform the staff, while Caroline turned her fury onto Calvert and Gatling. She strode confidently into the dining room, pausing to close the doors behind her. “So while my husband has been fighting pitched battles against the French, you two are sitting here plotting against him.”

“We are most certainly not plotting against him,” Calvert said firmly.

“No?” Caroline challenged. “Did you not just have a conversation where you both agreed that you did not love him anymore?” Calvert was wise enough not to argue with her over her horrible manners by listening in on them.

“I love George,” Calvert said. “I always will.”

“You would claim to love him, but then you would refuse to show him that you do? You would withhold that from him?” she challenged.

“You are upset because we will not sleep with your husband, my lady?” Gatling asked, stunned by this conversation.

“Should George arrive home, what will he find?” She demanded. “He will see you, Francis, and he will feel the love that he has for you, the love I have had to endure, and then you will reject him. After all that he has done for you? After all that I have done for you? Your posting to the Intrepid, and the way you were saved after her loss…do you think those things just happen? Who silenced the rumors about you and Lieutenant Estabrook? And after the Intrepid was tossed onto the rocks outside of Halifax, who stepped in to save you? Who salvaged your career then? What would you be now without George’s support? And you would throw that all away because you found a new lover?”

“I am grateful for all that he, and you, have done for me,” Calvert said awkwardly. He was overcome with guilt, but he was also shocked at how much Caroline knew about him and his career. And his lovers.

“You have a poor way of showing it,” she snapped, then turned on Gatling. “And you! You were but a poor waif in our village when George snapped you up and took you aboard as a ship’s boy. He nurtured you along, until here you are, a lieutenant, and you spit on him? He bought you uniforms when you could not afford them, and he offered you opportunities where you had none. Did you not beg him in Plymouth to take you on board? And he did. He took you with him and you ended up with more riches than you could ever dream of. This is your idea of loyalty?”

Gatling said nothing, but just stared at her, shocked beyond words, as the guilt pulsed through his body. “No, my lady,” he finally stammered.

“You two are disloyal ingrates. Treasonous scum!” Caroline said to them, with so much venom in her voice, they physically recoiled. She paused to let her anger subside. “George does not see the vile people you are, but I do, so I must protect him by keeping you away from him. I would suggest you gentlemen prepare for a very long voyage, and take some time to enjoy this land you will be leaving behind.”

Calvert and Gatling stared at Caroline as she breezed out of the room and up the stairs. “She can send us back to the Indies?” Gatling asked Calvert.

“She can do worse than that,” Calvert said. “She can separate us.”

In the alcove outside the dining room, Winkler stood rigidly lest someone notice him, even though his own body pulsed with rage that was at least equivalent to Caroline’s.

Copyright © 2014 Mark Arbour; All Rights Reserved.
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I think Caroline's reaction is completely childish and hopefully only as a result of the bad news she just received. If so, she should quickly recover and gain her senses. It is possible though that Winkler will set her straight - somehow.

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It is ironic that Granger will most likely be that Granger is happy for Calvert and Gatling where Caroline is pissed and ready to send them to the ends of the earth.

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Well that was something. wasn't it. First of all I thank you for this new chapter. I have been missing George a lot. It was good to have Eastwyck join George in Paris. As for Caroline, her reaction is because of the fact she doesn't know if George is alive and safe. Once she finds that out she will settle down and so will Winkler. I can only hope that news of George in Paris will get to London soon. I can see that Caroline will go to any lengths to get her man back home. I have been reading the Granger saga over again I thank your so much for this new chapter. Great story! Thank again Mark!

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On 11/14/2013 03:51 AM, Miles Long said:
Wow! Fantastic chapter. I do hope for George's sake Caroline will not be too rash, she's got to know that regardless of how hurt he will be over losing Calvert, George would never want to hurt either Calvert or Gatling.

Well worth the wait, thank you.

Thanks!

Caroline doesn't want to hurt Calvert or Gatling, she wants to protect George, so I don't see her plotting to cause them pain and suffering.

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Wow - what an explosive ending given the conversation between Gatling and Calvert. We certainly know what Caroline can do but then throw Winkler into the mix! Perhaps both Gatling and Calvert should be happy that they wouldn't be subjected to what Winkler could do if either were to be on a ship with George and Winkler...

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Well, I think(or hope at least) that Caroline's reaction is based on her reception of the news. Honestly, while I can imagine George being maybe a little sad, I see him being a little relieved as well. Calvert's and his relationship has always been a bit of strain on George, and he has never really been the monogamous type; yet, he knows that is what Calvert wants.

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Ruh-Roh, 'Rorge!?!?!

 

It's good to see another chapter of Odyssey here. I recently went back and re-read "The Land Whore" and have come to the conclusion that Calvert reminds me a lot of Peter Gordon. His proclamations of love and devotion seem mealy-mouthed and weak, just like when Jackie tried to separate Peter and Stefan and Peter got all drunk and pathetic. Calvert's performance here is the 18th-century English equivalent of that mess. I'll look forward to seeing how it turns out!

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What is the saying about a coming between a wolf cub and it's mother??? I have a feeling that Calvert and Gatling may have just experienced something similar with Caroline. I don't really think that Caroline will do anything to really harm Calvert and Gatling but she will do whatever it takes to protect and support George. I would almost be more worried about Winkler.

 

So glad that Lt Eastwyck caught up with Granger even under these circumstances. I do hope that George gets home soon and can deflect part of Caroline's wrath. At least Spencer already gave the ship to Calvert so I doubt that she can have that taken away...

 

Great chapter and thanks so much for the update....

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Thanks, Mark! Of course, I was expecting this chapter on Veterans' Day ... but I guess I shouldn't look a gift-horse in the mouth. LOL!

Feel so bad for George knowing that Bacchante was lost ... and the unresolved outcomes of his crew and Maidstone. He'll be doubly sad when he finds out that Humphreys was lost. Hopefully he'll be able to keep that bottled up while he's the guest of Talleyrand. When will word get to Caroline from Talleyrand's bankers???

And poor Caroline. There are two things that struck me from this chapter ... the depth of Caroline's love for George and Calvert's continuing immaturity in matters of the heart. Gatling is but an impressionable youth whose heart is still tender. Yet Calvert allows himself to be rapt by such passion? Tsk tsk tsk. There really is no hope for him, is there?

And what of Winkler? His first inclination is of blind loyalty to Lord Granger ... but will he choose to remain behind with his American lover and let Donegal take care of George?

Of course, everyone always underestimates George who has the ability to love and let go.

Next holiday is Thanksgiving ... hope we won't have to wait that long til the next chapter. Hehehe! Thanks, Mark!

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A fantastic chapter. So glad things have eased up for you and you were able to gain purchase once again on the best story ever written. Even my straight son want to read it. (Nobody's perfect) But this story is.

An awesome chapter.

Not sure who they should fear the most, Caroline or Winkler.

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I was glad to find and read another beautifull Odyssey chapter !

I do like the reaction of Caroline... not how she reacted but... in the heat of the moment she showed she cares for Granger... but... only I think this way she showed she does not know him any longer so well....

Her affair should have been a warning for her... that she lost contact with him... and now she interferes in Grangers relations with his friends/lovers ... and she does not understand these affairs... so I guess this will mean troubles/more drama for Granger in the future...

Though Granger did well on his trip, the loss Of his loved ship Bachante and a lot of his crew I think will have an impact on him.. Caroline's action will not help him I guess... for...

For Granger ... I think his friends and lovers are very dear to him and... he knows that he will see them only for a short time as he is a Captain and most of his sexual friends are officers on other ships... And that there is so little time they can be together... Now Calvert is a Captain... Granger and Calvert are/will be ... no longer a couple... and I think that is what Caroline missed.... I hope Caroline will see her error soon... but... I guess that is more for Granger to find out and correct...

But as long as this is not solved... I guess this will be a sad time for Granger, Calvert and Gatling...

And Winkler what will he do if he sees Granger being so sad about losing contact with his loved friends... His loyalty is part of Grangers story... and well being.

Again a very good chapter and the way you made Caroline act ... It will add more personal views, conflicts and some extra drama to the story... I guess as Granger will find out why his friends are.... unreachable for him...

Keep writing I hope you'll have a new chapter soon

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so nice to see this story have another chapter. and such a powerful builder of a chapter too. I'm currious to see what the future brings :)

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On 11/14/2013 04:11 AM, Terry P said:
I think Caroline's reaction is completely childish and hopefully only as a result of the bad news she just received. If so, she should quickly recover and gain her senses. It is possible though that Winkler will set her straight - somehow.
I don't think Caroline's being childish, I think she's fighting to protect her husband. She's worried that George will even make it home, and if he does, the last thing she'll want him to endure is emotional trauma. She's probably remembering how hard that was for him the last time he came home.
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On 11/14/2013 04:33 AM, JimCarter said:
It is ironic that Granger will most likely be that Granger is happy for Calvert and Gatling where Caroline is pissed and ready to send them to the ends of the earth.
I think that if George came home and ran into Calvert, and Calvert told him that he loved another so much that he wouldn't fuck George, that George would be pretty devastated. Remember how he was with Travers and Robey? I don't think he could handle being second-fiddle to someone else with Calvert and maintaining their close friendship. At least not immediately.
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On 11/14/2013 05:15 AM, rjo said:
Well that was something. wasn't it. First of all I thank you for this new chapter. I have been missing George a lot. It was good to have Eastwyck join George in Paris. As for Caroline, her reaction is because of the fact she doesn't know if George is alive and safe. Once she finds that out she will settle down and so will Winkler. I can only hope that news of George in Paris will get to London soon. I can see that Caroline will go to any lengths to get her man back home. I have been reading the Granger saga over again I thank your so much for this new chapter. Great story! Thank again Mark!
You're right in that the emotions of the moment (finding out George was captured) definitely fueled her reaction!
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On 11/14/2013 05:38 AM, KevinD said:
Wow - what an explosive ending given the conversation between Gatling and Calvert. We certainly know what Caroline can do but then throw Winkler into the mix! Perhaps both Gatling and Calvert should be happy that they wouldn't be subjected to what Winkler could do if either were to be on a ship with George and Winkler...
Thanks for the review! I don't think Winkler would be violent, but the fact that he knows is interesting, and one would expect it to have an impact on how he treats Calvert and Gatling.
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On 11/14/2013 05:54 AM, Hermetically Sealed said:
Well, I think(or hope at least) that Caroline's reaction is based on her reception of the news. Honestly, while I can imagine George being maybe a little sad, I see him being a little relieved as well. Calvert's and his relationship has always been a bit of strain on George, and he has never really been the monogamous type; yet, he knows that is what Calvert wants.
I think some of us see Granger's relationship with Calvert that way, but I don't think Granger does. Winkler mused that Granger was happiest when he was with Calvert (at the beginning of the voyage). If you think about it, Calvert is one of the top four people in Granger's pantheon of lovers (with Caroline, Cavendish and Chartley).
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On 11/14/2013 06:17 AM, samjones1 said:
Ruh-Roh, 'Rorge!?!?!

 

It's good to see another chapter of Odyssey here. I recently went back and re-read "The Land Whore" and have come to the conclusion that Calvert reminds me a lot of Peter Gordon. His proclamations of love and devotion seem mealy-mouthed and weak, just like when Jackie tried to separate Peter and Stefan and Peter got all drunk and pathetic. Calvert's performance here is the 18th-century English equivalent of that mess. I'll look forward to seeing how it turns out!

Interesting hypothesis, but I think that Calvert is more stable than that. He's just looking for the man of his dreams who will love only him. In the CAP world, he may be more like Sam.
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On 11/14/2013 06:53 AM, centexhairysub said:
What is the saying about a coming between a wolf cub and it's mother??? I have a feeling that Calvert and Gatling may have just experienced something similar with Caroline. I don't really think that Caroline will do anything to really harm Calvert and Gatling but she will do whatever it takes to protect and support George. I would almost be more worried about Winkler.

 

So glad that Lt Eastwyck caught up with Granger even under these circumstances. I do hope that George gets home soon and can deflect part of Caroline's wrath. At least Spencer already gave the ship to Calvert so I doubt that she can have that taken away...

 

Great chapter and thanks so much for the update....

A very good analogy, and I think you're right. Caroline really can't/won't impact Calvert's command of Santa Clarita, but she can influence where he's stationed.

 

Thanks for the review!

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On 11/14/2013 07:43 AM, Rosicky said:
Thanks, Mark! Of course, I was expecting this chapter on Veterans' Day ... but I guess I shouldn't look a gift-horse in the mouth. LOL!

Feel so bad for George knowing that Bacchante was lost ... and the unresolved outcomes of his crew and Maidstone. He'll be doubly sad when he finds out that Humphreys was lost. Hopefully he'll be able to keep that bottled up while he's the guest of Talleyrand. When will word get to Caroline from Talleyrand's bankers???

And poor Caroline. There are two things that struck me from this chapter ... the depth of Caroline's love for George and Calvert's continuing immaturity in matters of the heart. Gatling is but an impressionable youth whose heart is still tender. Yet Calvert allows himself to be rapt by such passion? Tsk tsk tsk. There really is no hope for him, is there?

And what of Winkler? His first inclination is of blind loyalty to Lord Granger ... but will he choose to remain behind with his American lover and let Donegal take care of George?

Of course, everyone always underestimates George who has the ability to love and let go.

Next holiday is Thanksgiving ... hope we won't have to wait that long til the next chapter. Hehehe! Thanks, Mark!

Thanks for the review!

 

I'm glad you get the anguish George would feel not only over the loss of Bacchante, but over the uncertainty surrounding the fate of his crew. He will be sad to learn of Humphreys' death..no question about it.

You won't have to wait that long for the next chapter.

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On 11/14/2013 10:08 AM, ricky said:
A fantastic chapter. So glad things have eased up for you and you were able to gain purchase once again on the best story ever written. Even my straight son want to read it. (Nobody's perfect) But this story is.

An awesome chapter.

Not sure who they should fear the most, Caroline or Winkler.

Thanks Ricky! I'm not sure if things have eased up, but I have managed to find some time to squeeze out a chapter here and there.
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