Hornblower and the Even Chance
• Hornblower joins the Royal Navy at age 17- a little older than usual. He is taken aboard the Justinian and collapses from seasickness. A few days later, he recovers.
• Life aboard the Justinian is miserable. Captain Keene is dying, and the crew are old and failed men who were never advanced in the Navy.
• Simspon is a 34-year-old midshipman who failed his lieutenant's test and is in a foul mood over it. Hornblower is praised for his natural skill, and Simpson hates and hazes Hornblower.
• Hornblower, Simpson, and some other men are sent to shore to help with a press gang. They play whist to pass the time. Hornblower wins, and Simpson loses.
• Simpson accuses Hornblower of cheating, and Hornblower challenges him to a duel. He decides that two pistols will be shot at point blank- only one of them loaded.
• Keene has...
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