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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 411 pages of information about In Clive's Command.

Mr. Merriman was among the crowd that welcomed the Tyger, and as soon as Desmond had delivered his report to Mr. Bourchier, the genial merchant carried him off to the house on the Green where he was staying and insisted on having a full account of his experiences.  When he learned that Diggle had been captured and would shortly reach Bombay as a prisoner, his jolly face assumed as intense a look of vindictive satisfaction as it was capable of expressing.

“By thunder! that’s the best of your news for me.  The villain will get his deserts at last.  I’m only sorry that I shall not be here to serve on the jury.”

“Are you leaving Bombay then?”

“Yes, and I wanted you to come with me.  My ship the Hormuzzeer came to port two days ago, and I had to dismiss the second mate, who was continually at odds with the lascars.  I hoped you would accept his berth, and sail with me.  I want to get back to Calcutta.  We had advices the other day that things are not looking well in Bengal.  Alivirdi Khan is dying; and there is sure to be some bother about the succession.  All Bengal may be aflame.  My wife and daughter are in Calcutta, and I don’t care about being away from them if danger is threatening.  I want to get away as soon as possible, and thought of taking passage in an Indiaman; but the Hormuzzeer being here I’ll sail in that; she’ll make direct for the Hugli; an Indiaman would put in at Madras, and goodness knows how long I might be delayed.”

“’Tis a pity,” said Desmond.  “I should have liked of all things to accept your offer, but I’m bound to stay for Diggle’s trial, and that can’t be held until the fleet return.”

“How long will that be?”

“I heard the admiral say he expected it would take a month to settle everything at Gheria.  He wants to keep the place in our hands, but Ramaji Punt claims it for the Peshwa, and Captain Speke of the Kent told me that it’ll be very lucky if they come to an arrangement within a month.”

“It’s uncommonly vexatious.  I can’t wait a month.  It’ll take a week or more to clean the Hormuzzeer’s hull, and another to load her; in a fortnight at the outside I hope to be on my way.  Well, it can’t be helped.  What will you do when the trial is over?”

“I don’t know.”

“Did Mr. Clive say anything about a cadetship?”

“Not a word.  He only said that I should get a share of the Gheria prize money.”

“That’s something to the good.  Use it wisely.  I came out to Calcutta twenty years ago with next to nothing, and I’ve done well.  There’s no reason why you should not make your fortune, too, if your health will stand the climate.  We’ll have a talk over things before I sail.”

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