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worse.
-You acted for the best.
Oh, well, there's precious
sop for my conscience.
All on deck, there!
Sail-ho!
-Where away?
-Four points abaft the beam, sir!
Run aloft with your glass,Mr.Kennedy.
See what you make of it.
-Matthews!
-Hello.
-We're wanted aft.
-What now?
Bring your cane.
Oh no, not another one.
Who is it this time?
Young Wellard again.
There, sir, just for'ard
of the backstay.
French frigate!  Thirty-six guns,
she's cleared for action!
-Thirty-six, eh?
-Should we inform the captain, sir?
-She's catching us fast.
-Disturb the lion on his prey?
-Rather you than me, Mr. Bush.
-I'll go, sir.
No no need, Mr. Hornblower.
36 guns to our 74.
They'd never dare.
There's two of them.
Two Frigates!
-Darn.
-That's changed the odds a bit.
-Sir!
-Mr. Hornblower, you'd better have-
-a good reason for this interruption.
-Yes, sir,-
Mr. Buckland's respects, sir and
there are two French frigates
-on the starboard quarter.
-Tell Mr. Buckland I shall be-
-on deck directly. Boswain
-Sir, they're cleared for action-
-and coming up fast.
-Thank-you, Mr. Hornblower.
-That will be all.
-They'll be up with us in minutes,sir
Darn it, man, we can blow them
to pieces long before-
we come into range of their
piddling little popguns.
Not if we're not cleared
for action, sir.
You will answer for this later.
We thought perhaps, sir, that...
Clear for action. Clear for action,
darn you! Beat to quarters!
Come on, men, look lively!
Open the stern port.
-By God, they're fast.
-Mr. Hobbs, you will oblige me-
by taking a rope's end to those men
if they don't bestir
their miserable selves.
What's wrong with them?
-Aye, aye, sir. Come on!
-Smarten yourselves up, men!
They're drunk. That's what's
wrong with them.
Beware a loose tongue, Mr. Matthews.
You never know-
-where it might lead.
-Me tongue may be loose, Mr. Hobbs,
but at least it's not raw from
licking the captain's ass.
Come on, put your backs into her!
My God, she'll be across our stern
any moment. God help us.
I'll have no muttering on my deck.
-Where are those damned powder
monkeys?
-Right here!
First powder monkey to stern chaser,
please, Mr. Wellard.
-Put it on the side.
-Mind that tackle!
Do you think we'll be cleared
in time?
God knows.  If this crew weren't
such an ill-disciplined,
-drunken rabble, we would.
-That's not what I asked.
Nevertheless, it's the point
at issue.  Mind that, damned it!
Way for powder!  'Way for powder!
Mr. Wellard, here!
-Sir.
-If she shows any signs of bringing-
her guns to bear, you're to
shout it out immediately.
Come away, look lively!
Load!
Pass it along, pass it along.
They're running out the guns on
the starboard side, sir!
-Shot!
-Sir,I think she's about to open fire
Belay that shot. Run her
out as she is, darn it!
-We're firing wadding, Mr. Bush.
-Wadding? What the devil?
She has to see our smoke.
None of our guns is ready.
-Very well.  Shot.
-Fire!
Sir?
Stand clear!
Reload!
-Frenchman bearing further away, sir.
-Very good, Mr. Wellard.
-Look lively, lads.
-Run her out!
Fire!
Fire!
She's running off now, sir.
-We've frightened her off, sir.
-Very good. Very good.
An original concept, Horatio,
to fire the contents of your
cot at him.
It would certainly have put
me off my aim.
The Frenchman fell off the wind
at the first whiff of it.
Well, Mr. Hornblower.
Sir.
I'm informed that you fired your
stern chaser with no shot in it.
-Is that true?
-The Frenchman was bearing away-
preparatory to firing, sir.
I thought it of capital importance-
to make him think again, however
briefly,so as to give Mr.Bush-
time to fire properly before we
received the full broadside,sir
Subtle, Mr. Hornblower, subtle.
How long did it take you to cook up
that story?
Is this to be your career,
Mr. Hornblower, covering up-
your incompetence with
ingenious fairy stories?
I submit, sir, that the ploy caused
the Frenchman to
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