Summary for The Letter of Marque

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SPOILER WARNING:  Plot or ending details for "The Letter of Marque"  follow.

A chapter by chapter look at The Letter of Marque



Shelmerston - last three crew selected - West, Davidge, Pullings - Jack sombre, dead at heart - Stephen late, saving money on carriage, viewing bustards - meets Martin - no chaise, no horses - Martin accepted as surgeon's mate - dinner with Admirals Russell and Schank - balloons - gift of Lord Nelson's letter - wickedness of the French.


Bay of Biscay - purser's accounts - crew pleased with Nelson's letter, believe Duke of Clarence is owner and Martin unfrocked - gunnery practice, very bad - Viper sighted - disagreeable Captain Dixon, thwarted by Stephen's protection document - Stephen explains machinations of Wray and Ledward - they have run to France - little prospect of reinstatement for Jack - Duhamel drowned - Jack worries about crew and armament - Stephen advises extravagance - Pullings has already scrounged good guns - much practice - Padeen hurt - laudanum, discussed with Martin - Tartarus, William Babbington, sighted - Mowett and Fanny Wray - trouble with Mowett's book - Papin's digester (pressure-cooker?) bursts - music - storm blowing up.


Storm, Surprise almost overwhelmed - Jack covered with blood - schooner sighted - Stephen tops it the seaman with Martin - Merlin, consort of Spartan - five prizes of Spartan in Azores - don Guzman talks to Stephen - Spanish privateer Azul, loaded with quicksilver - American Constitution to escort prizes from Azores to the States - Surprise disguised as Azul - Padeen has bad toothache - Joe Plaice overboard - wind dies and comes south - Killick in despair - changes again - sperm whales - Padeen begins stealing laudanum - favourable for Azores, but very late - Azores, fishermen say barque has passed - Jack regrets tempting Fate - guns heard, Azul and Spartan - Azul on rocks, grappled by Spartan - Jack boards both from boats - Azul sunk, quicksilver saved, Spartan taken - plan to lure prizes from Fayal.


London - Stephen puzzled by weakness of his dose - Blaine back as Intelligence head - the Grapes, partly rebuilt - Mrs Broad, news of Diana - Padeen to have tooth drawn at Guy's - Blaine, Wray and Ledward have got away, probable collusion on high - Jack now prosperous, but little chance of reinstatement - Stephen describes taking of prizes - Diana's relation with Jagiello quite innocent - ballooning - Stephen ignorant of insurance - Blaine meets Martin - Padeen's tooth drawn - Ashgrove Cottage, Sophia, silver plate from West India merchantmen unpacked by Jack and children - Stephen and Padeen - orders for action against Diane in St Martins.


Surprise in Shelmerston - Sethian mutiny reported by Davidge - Martin expounds - Jack masterly - Mrs Martin - Jack's plan to cut out Diane in St Martins, with much rehearsal - doubts about Babbington, will he hold back? - happy time rehearsing - Adi, captain's cook, Satanist - Padeen growing addicted - Stephen less so, happy - they sail for St Martins.


Tartarus with St Martins' squadron found - Babbington made post - council of war - Martin translating Aristotle's Poetica for Mowett - Stephen's view of Aristotle - gunroom dinner, tense - sword practice with Davidge, Stephen ferocious - goes in with boats, to cope with French agent in Diane - Dianes having embarkation party - all goes well until foul of gunboats - melée - five ships taken.


Jack hurt, much loss of blood - women and wounded sent ashore, Red Admiral agent escapes - Blaine consoles - tooth-combs - Jack's reinstatement still unlikely, some enemy lurking - Blaine gives dinner for politicians to meet Jack - Babbington's uncle - balloons, French attitude and Royal Society - Jack rebuffs Whitehall emissary, will not ask for pardon.


Stephen refuses to argue with Jack - General Aubrey dead - funeral at Woolcombe - Mrs Aubrey stays in bed, Sophia in Hampshire - Philip Aubrey - Cousin Edward Norton - Jack gives Philip pistol ball - Edward offers Jack seat in Parliament - Stephen packs for Sweden - Heneage Dundas, Jack now politician, but will be reinstated - Blaine gets Stephen passage to Sweden on poor old Leopard - dirty, unhappy ship - reflects on opera, tutti contenti saremo cosí, Diana - deeply unhappy - Leopard on the mud - Stephen taken ashore - Sophia at Shelmerston, whores kind to the children, Mrs Martin - Stephen see ruffs and reeves - reflected glory as old Leopard - joins Surprise in Baltic - purser Standish, inefficient but good violinist - Surprise leaves Stephen in Stockholm, sails for Riga.


Stockholm - apothecary, Stephen buys laudanum and coca leaves - meets Diana on the road - Countess Tessin's palace - Diana innocent with Jagiello, has arranged his marriage, ballooning, English lessons - Stephen takes strong laudanum, describes ballooning dream - gives back diamond, Diana weeps - Jagiello and Lovisa - tower climb to see balloon - Stephen falls - coma, more ballooning dreams - Diana nursing, eminent physicians - craves laudanum, chews coca instead - Laura Fielding affair clarified - Jack and Martin return - Padeen's theft discovered, Stephen understands - embarkation in Surprise, spectacular - tutti contenti saremo cosí.

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