Ramage's Trial (The Lord Ramage Novels) (Volume 14)
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Captain Lord Ramage and the Calypso return from Devil's Island, but Ramage's new wife Sarah is missing. The captain would like nothing better than to sail home immediately, but instead he is ordered to shepherd a lumbering convoy of merchant ships back to England. On the way, bizarre events lead him to a full court martial in Plymouth, presided over by his old nemesis, Rear-Admiral Goddard. Ramage must clear his name-or face a sentence of death!
List,” Ramage pointed out. “Unless he is a post captain, he doesn’t even put a foot on the bottom rung …” “That’s understood, sir. Don’t forget he’s already refused one chance. Admittedly, that was because he reckoned he wasn’t ready, and would learn a lot more by staying with you.” “Yes, but now he’s learned all he can from me. He’s ready for the Post List, and I don’t want anything like this—” he gestured in the direction of the Jason, “—getting in the way. Now, leave me to write up my
the other two laughed. It was one of the oldest jokes in the navy that a certain type of captain would pay for his uniforms, shirts, and hose by taking the tailor’s son or nephew to sea as a midshipman (officially a captain’s servant)—a gesture which cost him nothing since he was allowed to take a certain number and he did not pay them, nor did they act as servants. Ridley walked up and stopped in front of Ramage, saluting with a listless gesture, as though all spirit and energy had been drained
his narrow shoulders indifferently. “Tell me, Price, why do you think the Jason fired at the Calypso yesterday? Was it an accident?” The Jason’s master ignored the suggested excuse. “I never heard tell of ships firing at each other yesterday,” he said. “Leastways, nothing until Southwick asked me, and you too.” “Sir.” “You, too, sir,” Price amended. “You’d better ask the captain.” “Price,” Ramage said slowly, “Southwick speaks highly of you, and you know as well as I do that when we reach
separate list, then we can compare them; that way, we’re less likely to forget anyone. And listen, Aitken, think about this: they—Shirley and his cronies—seem to be in a hurry. There might be some reason, or it might just be the excitement of the chase. We can’t slow up the proceedings (anyway, I don’t want to prolong all this nonsense), but let’s see if we can’t find some advantage in it, too.” Aitken nodded his head slowly. “Aye, I take your meaning, sir. They’re up to windward of us, but we
Calypso.” That, Ramage noted, was a very discreet way of describing that drunken scoundrel, and he could imagine the Earl then wondering how to describe Sarah. The First Lord knew Ramage did not use his title in the service, but Sarah was titled both as the daughter of the marquis and as the wife of an earl’s son who bore one of his father’s titles. Ramage suddenly jerked himself out of the reverie. Earl St Vincent, a man who could make sword steel look like putty, was not a man who ordinarily