Quote of the Day

‘Dear Doctor, you know what to do?’ Stephen nodded, taking over the spokes and feeling the life of the wheel. The quartermaster stepped away, picked up a cutlass with a grim look of delight. ‘Doctor, what’s the Spanish for fifty more men?’

‘Otros cincuenta.’

‘Otros cincuenta,’ said Jack, looking into his face with a most affectionate smile. ‘Now lay us alongside, I beg.’

Master and Commander – Patrick O’Brian

Quote of the Day

He darted below. Stephen had four quiet wounded men, two corpses. ‘We’re boarding her,’ said Jack. ‘I must have your man — every man-jack aboard. Will you come?’

‘I will not,’ said Stephen. ‘I will steer, if you choose.’

‘Do — yes, do. Come on,’ cried Jack.

Master and Commander – Patrick O’Brian

Quote of the Day

The Spanish bowman was about to hook on when Stephen, speaking a Scandinavian but instantly comprehensible Spanish, called out, ‘Have you a surgeon that understands the plague aboard your ship?’

The bowman lowered his hook. The officer said, ‘Why?’

‘Some of our men were taken poorly at Algiers, and we are afraid. We cannot tell what it is.’

‘Back water,’ said the Spanish officer to his men. ‘Where did you say you had touched?’

‘Algiers, Alger, Argel: it was there the men went ashore. Pray what is the plague like? Swellings? Buboes? Will you come and look at them? Pray, sir, take this rope.’

‘Back water,’ said the officer again. ‘And they went ashore at Algiers?’

‘Yes. Will you send your surgeon?’

‘No. Poor people, God and His Mother preserve you.’

‘May we come for medicines? Pray let me come into your boat.’

‘No,’ said the officer, crossing himself. ‘No, no. Keep off, or we shall fire into you. Keep out to sea — the sea will cure them. God be with you, poor people. And a happy voyage to you.’ He could be seen ordering the bowman to throw the boathook into the sea, and the launch pulled back fast to the bright-red xebec.

They were within very easy hailing distance now, and a voice from the frigate called out some words in Danish; Pram replied; and then a tall thin figure on the quarter-deck, obviously the captain, asked, had they seen an English sloop-of-war, a brig?

‘No,’ they said; and as the vessels began to draw away from one another Jack whispered, ‘Ask her name.’

Cacafuego,’ came the answer over the widening lane of sea. ‘A happy voyage.’

‘A happy voyage to you.’

Master and Commander – Patrick O’Brian