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A Middy of the King by Harry Collingwood

Produced by Nick Hodson of London, England

A Middy of the King, by Harry Collingwood.

________________________________________________________________________ The young hero of this tale is Dick Delamere, who was already a midshipman, on leave, but who receives a letter from the Captain of the Europa, recalling him to join the ship at Portsmouth. The date of the events that ensue is the very late eighteenth century.

The first few chapters cover the events while the Europa is on patrol in the Chops of the Channel and the Bay of Biscay. The British are hostile to the French and to the Dutch, and there are engagements with vessels of these nations. Thereafter the vessel sails to the West Indies, where one of the problems is to exterminate the pirates infesting those waters. The book describes, possibly fairly accurately, the life of a midshipman of those days and in those waters. At one point Dick receives a very serious head-wound, but recovers with good treatment in the Naval Hospital. On the whole the book has echoes of the immortal works of Captain Marryat, which I am sure our author had studied very carefully.

Collingwood has exceptional powers of description, and this book makes a good read, and, of course, a good audiobook.

_______________________________________________________________________ A MIDDY OF THE KING, BY HARRY COLLINGWOOD.

CHAPTER ONE.

H.M.S. EUROPA.

I had just dismounted before the rather imposing main entrance to Delamere Hall, situate close to the west Dorset coast, and had handed over my horse to Tom Biddlecome, the groom who had accompanied me in my before-breakfast ride down to the beach for my morning dip, when my father appeared in the portico.

"Good morning, Dick," he greeted me. "I suppose you have been for your swim, as usual. How did you find the water?"

"Grand, sir," I replied; "just the right temperature to put new life into one. Another week, at this rate, ought to see me as well as ever I was."

"Well, your present appearance is scarcely that of an invalid, I must confess," he remarked laughingly. "If you were called upon to submit to a medical examination, I fancy the verdict would be that there is not very much the matter with you. And I am very glad that it is so; for I have just received a letter from my friend Vavassour, in which he informs me that he has been posted to the new frigate _Europa_, launched last week at Portsmouth and now fitting-out; that he has entered your name on her books; and that, if you feel sufficiently recovered to resume duty, he would very strongly advise you to proceed to Portsmouth at once and assist in the operation of fitting-out, as he is of opinion that by doing so you will gain a considerable amount of knowledge that will be of the utmost value to you when you come to sit for your examination. Now, what is your opinion? Do you think you are sufficiently recovered to do as Vavassour suggests; or should I write and ask him to--"


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