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.
they had been the defenders, not the attackers. The effect, though, had been dramatic. At three times the size of army cannon, even the smaller naval weapons were not to be scorned. And perhaps four – six of them? Yes, this might work. ‘Sir, in this surf I fear we cannot expect to bring in the biggest guns. Should we fashion a kind of raft it might be possible to get eighteen-pounders to you, the carriage in the nature of a slide as we do employ for our carronades.’ ‘Very well,’ Baird said
sir,’ Bowden said admiringly, putting down his breakfast coffee. ‘During the night we stood out to sea and completed a triangle that sees us the other side of Mossel Bay, and when we appear, it’s as if we’re another ship!’ ‘Not quite.’ Kydd helped himself to another roll and applied the plum jam liberally. ‘It’s not L’Aurore that will appear – but a local coaster as will need watering. It arrives near dusk and can’t begin until sun-up.’ ‘With men concealed, sir?’ ‘Not only men – but a surprise
place to see and be seen and Kydd strolled with Thérèse on his arm, flaunting her beauty before the gentility of Cape Town. With Vrouw Coetzee at a discreet distance behind, he nodded graciously to those who doffed their hats in admiration, bowing civilly to others, all the time his heart swelling with pride. She did not deign to glance at anyone, her head lifted in patrician disdain, but Kydd didn’t care. She was openly admitting that a liaison existed between them and from now on the world
this part o’ the world.’ ‘A river, then?’ Kendall harrumphed. ‘Not as who’s t’ say. Never seen such a continent without it has its river navigations,’ he offered, adding that the south part of Africa had not one river capable of taking sea-going vessels. ‘Up the coast, somewhere uncharted b’ us?’ ‘We can say no to that, Mr Gilbey – the French are good at marching but in your case they’d have to sweat along for many hundreds of miles across to reach us. And by our intelligence they’re but a
There would now be a fearful and crippling collision if one of them did not give way – and it would not be Kydd. At first the other frigate stood on, as though in contempt of the move, but Kydd knew his man now – at this moment he would be coolly reasoning that if L’Aurore’s reckless tactic ended only in tangled rigging it would nevertheless give Leda all the chance she needed to close in and that was a risk he simply could not take. Grimly holding to his course, Kydd saw the other’s bowsprit,