Ramage & the Dido (The Lord Ramage Novels)

Ramage & the Dido (The Lord Ramage Novels)

Dudley Pope

Language: English

Pages: 272

ISBN: 1590130243

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Ramage hopes to enjoy a well-deserved leave when he receives new orders: commission and take command of the Dido—a massive 74-gun ship, that carries enough weight of metal to destroy a frigate in a single broadside, or sweep a ship's decks clear of men. Accompanied by the courageous crew of the Calypso, Ramage ventures to sea once again—bound for the West Indies where he faces the challenge of commanding this massive weapon of war.

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can’t refuse the challenge.” “Let me be sure I understand you, Hicks. You’ve been accused of cheating, you owe seven hundred guineas, and you’ve been called out?” “That’s it, sir. If I don’t fight I’ll be branded a cheat and still owe seven hundred guineas.” “Who has challenged you?” “The second lieutenant of the Hyperion frigate, sir. He’s famous as a duellist,” he added uncomfortably. “And the weapons?” “Pistols, sir, at ten yards.” “If you accept the challenge, you’re a dead man, Hicks,

by the binnacle with him: the other lieutenants were with their boarding parties, giving them lastminute instructions and making sure that none of them was drunk or had any liquor with him. It only needed a drunken man to laugh or cry out to spoil the surprise. Southwick put down the night-glass. “We are coming up to Pointe Blanche and the Ile à Ramiers. Not far to go now.” Not far indeed, Ramage thought: from the island to the anchored frigate was about three miles. Another mile and the Dido

“Right here, sir: we’ve just boarded.” “Very well: let’s join the fight!” He heard more shots as he and Aitken hurried below, and he found the lower-deck in chaos: men crouching because of the low headroom, crowded by all the hammocks slung from the deckhead, were slashing and parrying with cutlasses and by now shouting at the tops of their voices in English and French. There was hardly any light: here and there a lantern glowed dimly on the deck, casting weird shadows. The heat made the air

burst into white stars. “Take the wheel,” Ramage told Jackson, “she seems quite happy on west-north-west, so steer that until we sight the Dido’s lights.” With that he went to the larboard side and stared into the darkness. Sailing the Alerte was just like sailing the Calypso— except that the gunroom was full of French officers being guarded by marines, and below there was a whole French ship’s company being held prisoner by the boarders, while just behind him the French captain stood miserably

Achille will sail tonight. I am equally sure that she will try to get out to the northwards. I shall be waiting off Pointe des Nègres and I want you to watch to the south. “I’ll be hove-to between the Banc de la Vierge and the Pointe, somewhere on the sixteen-fathom line. You can be waiting in your normal position. If you sight her under way, fire two white rockets if she is heading north, and three if south. And you shadow her as close as you can without her getting in a broadside. Set off a

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