Hornblower and the "Hotspur" (Hornblower Series)

Hornblower and the "Hotspur" (Hornblower Series)

C. S. Forester

Language: English

Pages: 400

ISBN: 0316290467

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


April 1803. The Peace of Amiens is breaking down. Napoleon is building ships and amassing an army just across the Channel. Horatio Hornblower-who, at age twenty-seven, has already distinguished himself as one of the most daring and resourceful officers in the Royal Navy-commands the three-masted Hotspur on a dangerous reconnaissance mission that evolves, as war breaks out, into a series of spectacular confrontations. All the while, the introspective young commander struggles to understand his new bride and mother-in-law, his officers and crew, and his own "accursed unhappy temperament"-matters that trouble him more, perhaps, than any of Bonaparte's cannonballs.

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with Cornwallis. Cornwallis’s blue eyes, as far as Hornblower knew, were always kindly, but apart from that they were generally remarkably expressionless. As an exception, this time they had an amused twinkle. “You’ve never made a penny of prize money in your life, have you Hornblower?” asked Cornwallis. “No, sir.” “It seems likely enough that you will make several pennies now.” “You expect the Dons to fight, sir?” “Don’t you?” “Yes, sir.” “Only a fool would think otherwise, and you’re no

“Braces, there! She’s coming before the wind. Stand by! Quartermaster, meet her as she swings. Mr Bush!” The guns’ crews flung themselves on the tackles and ran the guns in again. It was a pleasure to see Bush restraining their excitement and making certain that they were secure. The ports slammed shut and the crews raced over to the starboard side. He could see the Loire now that Hotspur had completed her turn, but Prowse was still reporting, as his order dictated. “She’s in irons, sir. She’s

tentatively this way and that. “Well enough, sir.” “Very well.” Hornblower had altered the silhouette of the Hotspur as entirely as he could. With only her fore and aft sails and her main course set, and her topgallant masts sent down, even an experienced seaman on this dark night would have to look twice or thrice to recognize what he saw. Hornblower peered at the chart in the faint light of the binnacle. He concentrated on it, to find the effort unnecessary. For two days now he had been

thrust blue lights into the crannies; he saw the flames at one point suddenly leap two feet up the partition with a volley of loud reports and fresh showers of sparks. “Come on!” he said. Outside the air was keen and clear and they blinked their dazzled eyes and stumbled over inequalities at their feet, but there was a faint tiny light suffusing the air, the first glimmer of daylight. Hornblower saw the vague shape of the fat woman standing huddled in her quilt: she was sobbing in a strange

any rate, he paid for them with a gold piece which the captain slipped without comment into the pockets of his scale-covered serge trousers. Inevitably the conversation shifted to the sights to be seen up the Goulet, and from the general to the particular, centring on the new arrivals in the anchorage. The captain dismissed them with a gesture as unimportant. “Arme’s en flute,” he said, casually. En flute! That told the story. That locked into place the pieces of the puzzle. Hornblower took an

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