[This is the result of a decision that started Here. Click to go back]
Orders are bandied about in organized chaos; disparate parts brought together like an orchestral performance composed of a cacophony of shouts, bosun whistles, and sing-song chants or sea shanties. Chiefly among these orders is to “Let out reefs!”—with the nearest available sailors assigned to the task at hand.
Mr. Magnus spots you and cries, “Landsman, the foresail!”
Quickly, you help the other sailors adjust the lines to the foresail, letting out the canvas to full capacity. The sails were brought in—reefed—for cruising speed, but now you’re full speed ahead and need all the wind you can muster.
Your hands move deftly and competently. It feels good to be carrying your own weight in chorus with the other men, and the work keeps you singularly focused—which is also good, considering that this is an effort to forestall the approach of a much larger warship.
Once this task is completed, the Midshipman cries, “Stuns’ls!”
In response to this order, you climb the rigging up to the yardarm to release the studding sail. This extra canvas billows over the sides of the ship, adding much needed surface area to help harness as much wind as is possible. For a few vertiginous moments, you hang out over nothing but the sea, but you complete the job competently and return to the deck.
“Aye, well done, Landsman! You’ll be a canvas monkey yet! Now get some tack in your gullet, ’tis set to be a long night indeed,” Magnus orders.
“Aye, sir!” you reply, before heading below for some chow.
The ship is abuzz with speculation pertaining to the Spanish warship now chasing your own frigate. Many of the men are keen to fight, even against a superior force. A frigate is more maneuverable than the larger man-o’-war, and Captain Longwick seems like a tactician who could use that to his advantage. The anticipation is the worst part—these sailors want to see what both he and the Hornblower can do!
The scuttlebutt is that the armory is to be unlocked, muskets issued, and stations taken. Each of the cannons is to be made ready for a possible fight. The excitement’s getting to you too. Maybe it’s time to get in on the action?
“Hey, what gives? I can’t click the next choice!” Actually… this is the end of your free sample. But seriously, this action-packed adventure is under $5, which, in 1716 money, was probably less than a penny!* (*this fact has not been verified)
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