21: The Final Unfinished Voyage of Jack Aubrey (Vol. Book by Patrick O'Brian

By Patrick O'Brian

To the satisfaction of thousands of Patrick O'Brian fanatics, here's the ultimate, partial installment of the Aubrey/Maturin sequence, for the 1st time in paperback.Blue on the Mizzen (novel #20) ended with Jack Aubrey getting the scoop, in Chile, of his elevation to flag rank: Rear Admiral of the Blue Squadron, with orders to sail to the South Africa station. the subsequent novel, unfinished and untitled on the time of the author's loss of life, might were the chronicle of that undertaking, and lots more and plenty else along with. the 3 chapters left on O'Brian's table are provided right here either in revealed version-including his corrections to the typescript-and a facsimile of his manuscript, which works a number of pages past the tip of the typescript to incorporate a duel among Stephen Maturin and an impertinent officer who's relationship his fianc?e. after all we might particularly have had the total tale; as a substitute now we have this evidence that O'Brian's powers of remark, his humor, and his figuring out of his characters have been undiminished to the top.

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H e is as eager as I am to have the barky as trim as the Royal yacht on occa­ sions like this. T h e day itself was by no means as trim as it would have been, but for the Legate's visitation; yet even so, at tea-time Killick, c a m e in, followed by Grimble, a procession of two, bearing the tea-tray (a great Spanish salver captured long ago) and a reason­ able amount o f anchovy toast, tea-cakes and a noble muffin. J a c k took tea seriously, as well he might, being so m u c h exposed to the elements; indeed, he finished the two-men's muffin single handed; and then, wiping his but­ tery fingers, he directed an intelligent, almost a political look at Stephen, paused for a while, and then said, in substance, exactly what S t e p h e n had expected him to say.

SuppressorW? EvacuatorW? Déformes} S t e p h e n considered all these, one by one, shaking his head after due reflection and then inviting their guest to c o m e and view what invalids the ship possessed. Poll Skeeping and Maggie had had plenty of time: their few patients (all with mill strains or broken bones apart from one with raging toothache, to b e dealt with tomorrow, when his particular friend the armourer had finished a powerful pair of forceps to his own satisfaction) were correctly rigid in their cots, washed pink, brushed and incapable of movement, almost o f drawing breath, so tight-strained were the sheets.

His expression remained discontented, querulous, ready to find fault or to contradict. However he did say, 'Surprise: 58 yes, that reminds me. ' 'You will forgive m e , my lord, but Surprise is no longer my vessel. To be sure, I did c o m m a n d her, but she was on hire to the Hydrographical Department of the Admiralty until I should m e e t your squadron, hoist my flag and take up my new appointment. T h e m o m e n t I did that, Surprises contract with the Admiralty c a m e to an end. S h e returns to the sole ownership o f her proprietor, a free agent.

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