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.
sympathy. He knew better than to go further – Renzi would talk more in his own good time. He toyed with his glass for a moment, then said, with a trace of defiance, ‘You must think me a sad looby to be gulled by Thérèse. I’m to say I never suspected for a moment, even while she dunned me with all those questions.’ ‘Of course not, old trout. There’s others who’ve been deceived by her beauty and mystery, the chief of which must be my own self. And I’m here to tell you that her scheming to prise
is purely coincidental. A CIP catalogue record for this title is available from the British Library. Epub ISBN 9781444711998 Book ISBN 9781444711967 Maps drawn by Sandra Oakins Hodder & Stoughton Ltd 338 Euston Road London NWl 3BH www.hodder.co.uk To the Lady Anne Barnard, Capetonian diarist and chronicler 1750–1825 CONTENTS Conquest Also by Julian Stockwin Conquest Copyright Dedication Maps Dramatis Personae Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5
y’ doing, but I’ll have ye know we’re in a sad pass. Without horses on the field o’ battle we’re helpless to turn an infantry attack, repel cavalry, press home an advantage – in short, sir, I’m sore puzzled to know how we can claim to be an army without ’em.’ They reached a stall where a grey horse lay on its side, neck extended, breathing in short, rapid gasps. A groomsman and other soldiers in soiled uniforms looked up helplessly. ‘We’ve lost eleven b’ breaking their legs, losing their
no hurry at all?’ ‘That is very kind in you, sir, but the progress of your convoy . . .’ The change of attitude was gratifying, and Kydd gave a powerful account of events, then added sombrely, ‘Now Bonaparte has changed the French conduct of the war at sea. Not able to face our fleet, he’s sent numbers of his battle squadrons to harry our trade.’ He went on to detail the forces unleashed. The man’s face lengthened: the big privateers based on the French-held Indian Ocean islands were bad
in rigid silence in the homely little cabin. ‘Sir, it does cross my mind it’s a singular thing that an experienced and honourable officer such as yourself is only afforded passage in such a humble vessel. For a long voyage surely this is too much to be borne,’ Kydd began. Poncelot stared at him mutely, his lips curled in contempt. Kydd held back his irritation. It was going to be difficult, if not impossible, to pry any information from this man. How could he secure evidence of the secret army,