Conquest: A Kydd Sea Adventure (Kydd Sea Adventures)
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Newly victorious at the Battle of Trafalgar, England now rules the seas and is free to colonize the furthest reaches of the world. Captain Thomas Kydd joins an expedition to take Dutch-held Cape Town, a strategic harbor that will give England a rich trade route to India. With enemies lurking on all sides, Kydd and his men must defend the fragile colony while braving Africa’s vast and hostile hinterland. When Renzi learns too much about the enemy’s plans, even Kydd may not be able to save him.
fortified position . . . er, well, I can’t see—’ ‘Then we have to think again,’ Kydd said heavily. ‘If this base is not destroyed before it sets off the rising, we fail in our duty. Time is not on our side and any and every plan must be considered. Gentlemen . . . ?’ The discussion grew animated, but when there were no fresh ideas forthcoming, Kydd said, ‘Let me rehearse the situation. An attack of the usual sort will, of course, fail against such numbers. A surprise landing will not fare much
evensong. The gathering shadows of the winter dusk added to the solemnity, and a special chandelier of 130 candles was lit and hung suspended within the dome, its light spreading grandeur for the final act of the burial service. When the coffin with Lord Nelson’s earthly remains had been carried to the centre of the dome under a funeral canopy of state, it was placed on a raised platform. His relatives and close friends gathered by it – and the seamen of Victory, who still carried the colours
rage up and down all he likes, but with our blockade he’s securely locked up in Europe and we hold the key.’ He smiled expansively. ‘And while Bonaparte’s thus impotent we’ve got that sea as a royal road to every French colony and possession. Don’t you see, Frederick? While we pluck his pieces one by one, the way lies open for us to create an empire such as the world has never seen.’ ‘While we rule the seas.’ ‘Quite. And, mark you, the process is already under way.’ ‘The Cape?’ ‘Indeed.’
he’s something in the philosophical line, corresponds with Count Rumford and others in London.’ ‘A philosopher clerk? We’ll be tackling high problems as will be requiring more than a mort of discretion.’ ‘I’ve placed my trust in Mr Renzi, old chap. I desire him to be privy to our discussions. Now we’ve pressing business – shall we get on with it? ‘The first.’ Baird waited until he had their attention. ‘I’ve just this morning discovered the true reason for their abrupt yielding of the town.’
have the man taken below but paused; obviously in the last extremity of thirst, he continued with his urgent cries. And his eyes, though pits of suffering, were still rational, constantly flicking from Kydd to the others. ‘He’s trying to tell us something . . . His shipmates – he’s been sent to find help!’ But the harsh gobbles were impossible to make out. Then the babbling stopped. The man gathered his strength with desperate intensity and mouthed a single word: ‘Danske!’ ‘He’s saying as he’s