Desolation Island (Aubrey/Maturin)
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"The relationship [between Aubrey and Maturin]...is about the best thing afloat....For Conradian power of description and sheer excitement there is nothing in naval fiction to beat the stern chase as the outgunned Leopard staggers through mountain waves in icy latitudes to escape the Dutch seventy-four."―Stephen Vaughan, Observer
Commissioned to rescue Governor Bligh of Bounty fame, Captain Jack Aubrey and his friend and surgeon Stephen Maturin sail the Leopard to Australia with a hold full of convicts. Among them is a beautiful and dangerous spy―and a treacherous disease that decimates the crew. With a Dutch man-of-war to windward, the undermanned, outgunned Leopard sails for her life into the freezing waters of the Antarctic, where, in mountain seas, the Dutchman closes...
Some physic that would set him up for the rest of the journey. In fact the gentleman and the apothecary were searching the shelves for a jar with a neck wide enough to admit the hands that Stephen carried in his handkerchief: it was found at last, filled, and topped up with the best rectified spirits of wine; and then Stephen said, 'While I am here, I might as well take a pint of the alcoholic tincture of laudanum.' This bottle he slipped into his greatcoat pocket, carrying the jar naked back to.
Proper sound of naval gaiety was beginning to build up to its full volume. But now Grant struck in with a singularly misplaced disquisition on the right place to cross the equator. He maintained that twelve degrees west was the only proper longitude; anything more would bring you on to St Roque, anything less into the adverse currents, the swell, and the treacherous winds of Africa. Since Jack had clearly stated his intention of crossing in twenty-one or twenty-two degrees, it was clear to all.
Open skylight. You need not be afraid: I have been pumped in fresh rain-water and soaped from head to foot, and I believe the epidemic is over. Should anything untoward occur, Herapath will wake me. Herapath knows all the symptoms now, as very few men know them. Herapath will not be deceived. Now, sir!' he cried, frowning sternly at a stranger whose face was reflected in a small looking. glass. 'Jesus, 'tis myself, behind that beard.' A three-weeks' beard: with his sunken, emaciated face, it gave.
Like Van John, would you? No. Yet these fellows strip me bare almost every time we sit down together. You used to do the same at picquet, hut that is another pair of drawers.' Stephen made no reply: he pushed his horse on faster and faster over the bare down, sitting forward with a set, urgent expression on his face, as though he were making an escape; and so they cantered and galloped over the firm turf until they came to the brow of Portsdown Hill, where Stephen reined in for the steep.
Of blue wool, 'were you to ask me now, I should be obliged to say yes, perhaps.' After the usual investigation Stephen said that it was too early to be sure; that her view of the matter was probably correct; and that in any case she was to take more than common care of herself - no stays, no tight-lacing, no high-heeled shoes, no gross indulgence of any kind, no high living. Mrs Wogan had been nervous and solemn up to this point, but the notion of high living in so desolate an ocean - half a.