Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003) Script

Come on. It's all right.

Yes, it's all right.

Wake up, Will.

Starboard bow ahoy.

What is it, Slade? Thought I heard somethin'.

Sounded like a bell.

Native fishermen, perhaps. Or a reef marker, sir.

Mr Calamy, the lead, if you please.

By the mark, five fathom. Five fathom.

Sand and broken shell.

What is it?

Two points off the starboard bow, in the fog bank.

What was it? A sail?

I don't know what it was. Should we beat to quarters?

I can't be certain. You're officer of the watch.

Hollom, you must make a decision.

We shall beat to quarters.

Rouse up. Sleepers awake.

Move. Move along.

Jump to it, boys. Jump to it.

Light along there.


Sighting in heavy fog.

Handsomely on the yards tackle. Topmen aloft.

Where away?

Two points off the starboard bow, sir. Not a mile distant.

You sure, Mr Hollom? Yes, sir.

Man-of-war?

I don't know, sir.

It was only for a moment. I thought I saw a shape.

Did you see it, Mr Calamy? No, sir.

You did the right thing, Mr Hollom. Go to your stations.

The deck's yours, Tom.

Sir.

Clear away. And launch boats.

Quit your dawdling. You heard the man.

Lower away.

Haul both your yard tackles.

Strike the bell.


Down. All hands down.

Hands to your stations. Mr Hollar, damage report, if you please.

18-pounders. We'll have to get closer. Run out the starboard battery.

Mr Allen, come up on the wind. Lay me alongside at pistol-shot.

Sharpshooters to the tops, Mr Howard.

Sergeant. Take your section into the main top.

We stand tall on the quarterdeck. All of us.

Mr Boyle, run up the colours. Aye, sir.

Note for the log, Mr Watt. "Engaged enemy frigate at six bells."

Straight at 'em, Mr Mowett. Straight at 'em, sir.

Bill.

Leave the swords. Get the captain's silver below.

She's not in range yet. Stand fast till she's close enough.

Close with him amidships. Midships it is, sir.

For God's sake, don't drop anything.

Steady.

Hold your positions. Hold your position. Courage, now.

Hold steady, boys. Don't worry, lads, we'll serve 'em out yet.

Mr Pullings, sir. Davies, Jemmy, get Mr Pullings below.

Aye, sir.

Mr Blakeney, pass the word for the captain.

Clear the forward pin rails.

More sand on the floor.

On the up-roll, fire!

Down!

Relieving-tackles on the tiller. You men, collect these wounded.

Keep 'em spitting, Mr Calamy. Aye, sir. Reload and give 'em hell.


Sir. To the taffrail.

The rudder's shot away. The steering don't answer.

We're fish in a barrel.

Why are we not firing?

Let me through.

Here, Joe.

Hold it in there.

He's on the larboard bow, sir. Bring up your small arms.

Prepare to repel boarders.

Seize your weapons and wait for the word.

Your orders, sir?

Call the gun crews to deck. Rig man-ropes over the stern and pull the boats in.

Put us in that fog, Tom.

Pull together, men.

Pull for the fog bank.

Run 'em out.

Fire!

She's opened up a seam. We need to get some oakum and pound it in.

Joe, a mallet and some irons.

She's gaining on us.

We're nearly there, boys. Pull.

Reach for it, men. We're home inside that fog.

Fire!

Pull for Lucky Jack.

We've done it.

Pipe down. Silence on deck.

They'll not find us in here.

Quiet, lads. No shouts, no calls.


Avast rowing.

Well done, lads.


Two feet six inches, sir, and holding.

Good work, Mr Lamb. Thank you, sir.

So, what's the butcher's bill?

Nine dead, 27 wounded.

Joe Plaice.

He has a severely depressed fracture of the skull. I don't think he'll see out the night.

Lord Blakeney.

Just a broken arm, sir.

You're in very good hands.

I'm doing everything I can. I know you were close to his father.

His father would've understood. He knew the life. His mother, however...

Let me take a look at that brow of yours.

What?

Damn, he was good. Just came out of nowhere.

Hit us with a full broadside, cut across our tail and took out our rudder.

Damn fine gunnery.

We only slipped away because of the fog. Quite fortunate, really.

He may have had the weather gauge, but we had the weather gods.

I have no idea what it is you're talking about, but he did seem to come off rather well.

Seven weeks sailing, and he happens in darkness on our exact position.

The French have their spies in England and elsewhere. As do we.

Indeed.

If he knew we were looking for him, he could have stood to sea and passed well clear.

Well then, perhaps he was looking for us.


If she was a frigate, then I am a Dutchman.

It was an unfair match. There was no dishonour in it.

She was more like a ship of the line.

You have to wonder about her hull. Our shots wouldn't penetrate.

Triple-shotted at 200 yards - no effect.

She had the weather gauge and a clear advantage in firepower.

What is the weather gauge?

Shall I show you again, Stephen? Not on the cloth.

It means she had the wind in her favour, therefore control of the engagement.

And she had longer guns, so she could hit us beyond our range.

The simple fact is we were soundly beaten.

Heavy frigate like that in the Pacific... Could tip the war in Napoleon's favour.

By comparison, the Surprise is a somewhat aged man-of-war.

Am I not correct? Would you call me an aged man of war?

The Surprise is not old. No one would call her old.

She has a bluff bow, lovely lines. She's a fine sea boat, weatherly, stiff and fast.

Very fast, if she's well-handled.

No, she's not old.

She's in her prime.

We can patch up the main and mizzen. Foresail's gone, so we'll bend our spare.

Mr Lamb is confident with basic repairs. We can get home as we are.

We're not going home.

But to refit we need a port, and the Acheron may be still looking for us.

We can refit at sea. Here, where it shoals.

As you said, she is taking the war to the South Seas. We are supposed to stop her.

But, sir - with respect - she's a vastly heavier ship. She's out of our class.

She could be halfway to Cape Horn by the time we're repaired.

Well then, there's not a moment to lose.

Is it true they put the last stitch through your nose?

What do you mean?

Joe said when you die, they stitch you in your hammock with the last stitch in your nose, just to make sure you're not asleep.

Not through the nose. You'll tell them?


It's all right. It's just the laudanum speaking.


I've never seen a braver patient.

Poor darling. Never mind, soon have you fixed up.

I want good work now.

I'll need two men into the starboard forechannels. Roberts, Chadwick.

That's nice work there.

Repair won't do here. I need these replaced.

Mr Calamy. There's something might interest you here.

Look. The captain carved that. When he was a mid, no more than your age.

He's known this ship man and boy.

He says there's enough of his blood in the woodwork for the ship to almost be a relation.

I do understand your point. Your knowledge is beyond question.

However, a week in the Brazilian rainforest looking for a new mast simply will not do.

The Acheron will be halfway to China.

Mr Lamb, as always, will do his best. Which is all I can hope to expect from any man.


Is them his brains?

No, that's just dried blood. Those are his brains.

Physician, he is. Ain't one of your common surgeons.

Can I have the coin, please? Sir.

He wouldn't look at you for under ten guineas on land.

And he knows his birds and beasts.

You show him a beetle and he'll tell you what it's thinking.

Back to work, you loafers. Eckhart, use your pipe.

Let's get on with it, gentlemen.

You're not a pennyweight of use gawpin' here.

Still hasn't said a word, sir.

Lord Blakeney. Feeling better?

Much better, thank you, sir.

Well, good. Good.

The doctor told me you were fond of reading, so I...

It has all of his major battles and some fine illustrations.

Thank you, sir.

Did you ever meet Lord Nelson, sir?

I had the honour of serving with him. At the Nile. A great victory.

You can find it in here, actually. Page 135, if I'm not mistaken.

Yes.

May I beg you to tell me what kind of man he is?

You should read the book.

I will, sir. Thank you.


Here we go again. Scrape-scrape, screech-screech.

Never a tune you could dance to, not if you were drunk as Davy's sow.

How about this?

Or are you in the mood for something more aggressive?


Salute.

Hats off.

What's all this about?

What's this? It's the phantom, sir.

Excuse me. That's what the men call it. It's the Acheron, sir.

You see, Will here, he seen her being built.

In Boston, sir. During the peace. But she's Yankee-built, sir.

He was getting married, and his wife's second cousin works in the yards, so Will here saw the ship out of water.

Sir, I saw there was something right strange about her, so I asked Joe...

So he described it to me and I knocked you up a model, sir.

And this framing is accurate? Exactly accurate, sir.

Thank you, lads. Thank you, sir.

Killick, an extra ration of rum for these men.

Thank you very much, sir.

Which I was saving for Salutin' Day. We'll drink wine.

Oh, drink wine on Salutin' Day.

Bluff above the water and sharp below.

Gives the hull a finer entry and a long run as she goes aft. That's why she's so fast.

Heavier, but fast despite it.

That's the future. What a fascinating modern age we live in.

Planking and framing like that would make her hull 2ft thick. Solid oak.

That's why we couldn't dent her. She's probably capable of making 12 to 14 knots.

Now we know. Thank God for Warley and his wife's second cousin.

She could be doing up to 280 miles a day.

Even if we did catch up with her, I mean, to take her...

She's out of our class. She's a 44-gun ship.

She's still vulnerable at the stern, like the rest of us.

Hello, darling. How much for a kiss?

Quanto cost-o kiss-o?

Name? My name is Maria.

Give us arrows. I give axe. Quick, mate.

Thank you, mate.

Gangway for the mail, please.

Here we are. Very important mail. Letters.

What's he saying?

A large man-of-war, French, stopped here on the 10th, then headed south.

Somewhere here.

A full three weeks ahead.

Damn.

All right, Tom, let's get all this squared away.

Aye, sir. Mr Hollar. Let us complete our business here.

Hands, prepare to weigh anchor.

Put that woman down, Slade. This is a ship of His Majesty's Navy, not a floating bordello.

All hands, get these provisions stowed.

Well done.

Gentlemen.

To wives and to sweethearts.

May they never meet.

Mr Howard, the bottle. The bottle stands by you, sir.

Sir?

Excuse me, sir, but Mr Blakeney said that you served under Lord Nelson at the Nile.

Indeed. I was a young lieutenant, not much older than you are now.

And Mr Pullings was a snivelling midshipman, still yearning for hearth and home.

Did you meet him, sir? Can you tell me what he's like?

I have had the honour of dining with him twice.

He spoke to me on both occasions.

A master tactician and a man of singular vision.

He always said in battle "Never mind the manoeuvres, just go straight at 'em."

Some would say not a great seaman, but a great leader.

He's England's only hope if old Boney intends to invade.

Sir, might we press you for an anecdote?

The first time that he spoke to me, I shall never forget his words. I remember it like it was yesterday.

He leaned across the table, he looked me straight in the eye, and he said "Aubrey, may I trouble you for the salt?"

I've always tried to say it exactly as he did ever since.

The second time, the second time he told me a story about how someone offered him a boat cloak on a cold night.

And he said no, he didn't need it. That he was quite warm.

His zeal for king and country kept him warm.

I know it sounds absurd, and were it from another man, you'd cry out "What pitiful stuff" and dismiss it as mere enthusiasm.

But with Nelson, you felt your heart glow.

Wouldn't you say, Mr Pullings? You did indeed, sir.

Well then, he would seem to be the exception to the rule that authority corrupts.

To Lord Nelson.

Do you see those two weevils, Doctor?

I do.

Which would you choose?

Neither. There's no difference between them. They're the same species of curculio.

If you had to choose.

If you were forced to make a choice. If there was no other...

Well then, if you're going to push me,

I would choose the right-hand weevil.

It has significant advantage in both length and breadth.

There, I have you. You're completely dished.

Do you not know that in the service one must always choose the lesser of two weevils?

He who would pun would pick a pocket.

Really. Weevils.

To the lesser of two weevils.

Yay, Joe.

Go on, Joe.

The Lord taketh, and the Lord giveth away.

You hear that? He said something.

Doctor. He spoke, Doctor.

Well done indeed, Stephen.

Adieu to you Spanish ladies Farewell and adieu to you ladies of Spain For we've received orders to sail for old England We hope in a short time to see you again What a wonderfully true voice Mr Hollom possesses.

Indeed.

Come, all you bold young thoughtless men A warning take by me And never leave your happy homes to sail the raging sea

On deck there. Sail ho.

Looks like a frigate.

How did it get there?

We must turn and fight. But he has the weather gauge again.

He must've been watching us from some inlet.

My God. What can we do? He has us by the hip.

Run like smoke and oakum.

We'll have to bend every sail. We'll put up our handkerchiefs if we have to.

We must survive this day. Let's get about it. Mr Allen, gentlemen.

All hands, make sail.

This is the second time he's done this to me. There will not be a third.

I tell ya, the devil's at the wheel of that there phantom ship.

You better hold fast.

What is it with this man?

Did I kill a relative of his in battle, perhaps? His boy, God forbid?

He fights like you, Jack.

Bring the sun down to the horizon.

When its lower limb is touching the horizon... Williamson, look to your sextant.

When the orb is no longer rising, then it has reached its zenith and that would be noon.

Sir? Mr Pullings.

Do you make noon, Mr Hollom? Yes, sir.

Call noon. It's your class.

Sir, that's noon. Mr Nichols, make that twelve.

Six hours?

Five at most.

Just keep us out of her reach until nightfall.

She's to look like us, lads, don't forget. Jibbo, make fast those whips.

We didn't want to make it any taller, on account of this wind.

Excuse me, sir, but what are they building? Your first command.

Quickly. She'll be on top of us.

Take the weight on the yard tackles.

Fend her off.

Lower away on the main.

Wouldn't want to lose you. Aye, sir.

There's a painter. Pass her aft. Outside everything, mind.

Lively now. We've not ten minutes before he's up with us.

Mind what the captain told you. Pull, boys. That's it.


Now.

Killick there. Douse your light.

Mr Allen, make ready.


Hello. We caught a fish.

Take the helm, Bonden.

Now, tell me that wasn't fun. Yes, sir.

Hard a'larboard.


Stand the men down, Mr Pullings. I'll take this watch.

Aye, sir.

Mr Mowett, Mr Allen, calmly now. You know his orders.

Well done, sir.

She's a right phantom, she is. The way she come up again, right behind us like that.

Out of nowhere. And right behind us. Like that first time, out the fog.

With our shot bouncin' off her.

Captain's not called Lucky Jack for no reason.

Phantom or no, she's a privateer, and Lucky Jack'll have her.

You need more than luck 'gainst a phantom.

Is she like a pirate? No, they're not pirates, Lofty.

Oh, no. If they were, we could hang them when we catch 'em.

Privateer gets a piece of paper from the Frenchies says they can hunt down anything with our flag.

They go after rich merchantmen and the like.

But think on our share of the prize money.

She'll be loaded with gold and ambergris and all the gems of Araby.

That's all very well, Nagle. Got to get home to spend it, but.

Never met a dead man who bought me a drink.

And I've never met a live one that you bought one for, neither.

Sitting up all night, catching your death of cold. That's the last of the coffee, too.

Thank you, Killick.

Bonden.

That's enough easting. Set a course sou'-sou'west.

Aye, sir. Sou'-sou'west.

Sail.

Two points off starboard bow.

Three cheers for Lucky Jack.

She's ours, boys.

Foul. You got away before me.

Set royals and courses. Sir.

Have the idlers placed along the rails.

I've never seen the like.

It has to be more than 100 sea miles and he brings us up on his tail.

That's seamanship, Mr Pullings. My God, that's seamanship.

Told you it would work, Will. We'll have them by nightfall.

I think we've got him, sir. And the wind favours us this time.

Don't count your eggs before they're in the pudding.

Still, if we can close this gap and get up behind her, she may well be ours.

Touch wood. Scratch a stay.

Turn three times. May the Lord and saints preserve us.

Turn.

Move along, man. We'll have lost him before you rig it up.

Hold.

12 knots, sir. That's 12 knots. That's good.

I want more. Have all the spare hands placed on the windward rail.

Mr Hollar. Rouse up the off-watch.

All hands on starboard rail.

Come up the larboard topsail sheets.

We're crackin' on. We'll be crackin' up if he don't watch it.

Captain knows this ship. He knows what she can take.

Mr Hollar, I want lifelines fore and aft.

No lounging, boy.

Lifelines, fore and aft. Double-grape that launch.

Cape Horn, Doctor.

Close the lid. There's enough water in the grog.

Thank you for that, Davies.

Reckon the captain will follow him round the Horn, every stitch of canvas flying?

I reckon he'd follow him to the gates of hell.

It's a devil ship, I tell ya. And it's leadin' us right into a trap.

She's making a run for the Horn, sir.

I'll not vouch for this mast. Not around the Horn.

Thank you. Your comments will be noted in the log.

Sail trimmers to their stations. Get the sails off her, lads. She's over-pressed.

Give 'em a pull and belay.

We're closing on her, Tom. I'll not give up now.

Come up on the wind, Barret. Set a course sou'west by west.

Sou'west by west, sir.

Mr Calamy.

Idlers and waisters below.

We're for the Horn, boys.

Close reef topsails.

Lively, lads.

Batten down those hatches before we're on the bottom.

Johansson, Truelove. To the mizzen.

All secure.

Down ye go, lads.

Mr Hollom, help young Warley on the mizzen topgallant.

I'll need more men, sir. Yes. Go.

Mr Hollom, sir. Help me.

Tudor, Ellers. To Mr Allen.

You men, lay aloft. The mizzen topgallant. Light along.

Help.

Help me.

Man overboard.

Mizzen's gone. Hands to the taffrail.

He's over there, sir.

Swim for the wreckage, man. Swim.

Over here.

Mr Allen, gratings and barrels, anything that floats, overboard.

She's broaching. We're losing her.

Sir, the wreckage is acting as a sea anchor.

We must cut it loose. It's going to sink us.

Sir, he's going to make it. He can do it.

Come on, Will. Come on. Hand over hand.

For God's sake, Will, swim. Swim for the wreckage, Will.

You can do it, Will.

Swim. Come on. Come on, Will. Swim.


He's been at it again. Who's that, then?

The Jonah. What's that?

The deaths in actual battle are the easiest to bear.

For my own part, those who die under my knife, or from some subsequent infection, I have to remind myself that it was the enemy that killed them, not me.

That young man was a casualty of war.

As you said yourself, you have to choose the lesser of two evils.

Weevils.

The crew will take it badly. Warley was popular.

Have they expressed any feelings on the matter to you?

Jack, before answering, I'm compelled to ask, am I speaking with my old friend or to the ship's captain?

To the captain I'd say there's little I detest more than an informer.

Now you're talking like an Irishman. I am an Irishman.

As a friend, then.

As a friend, I would say that I have never once doubted your abilities as a captain.

Speak plainly, Stephen.

Perhaps we should have turned back weeks ago.

The men, of course they would follow Lucky Jack anywhere, rightfully confident of victory.

But therein lies the problem. You're not accustomed to defeat.

And chasing this larger, faster ship with its long guns is beginning to smack of pride.

It's not a question of pride. It is a question of duty.

Duty. Yes, I've heard it well spoken of.

Be as satiric as you like. Viewing the world through a microscope is your prerogative.

This is a ship of war. I will grind whatever grist the mill requires to fulfil my duty.

Whatever the cost?

Whatever the cost.

To follow orders with no regard for cost.

Can you really claim there's nothing personal in this call to duty?

Orders are subject to the requirement of the service.

My orders were to follow him as far as Brazil. I exceeded my orders a long time ago.

Got it.

The wind's backing, sir.

Sir, we just can't hold this westerly course any longer.

If we can't sail through the damn wind, Tom, we'll bloody well sail around it. Due south.

How far south, sir?

As far as is necessary, Mr Pullings.

Aye, sir. Lively.

Due south, please, Mr Bonden. Due south, sir.

Heave. Steady.


Clearly something nautical and fascinating just happened. I am at a loss.

We have made our turn northward. We are headed back toward the sun.

To the sun.

And by way of anticipation of this event, I have asked Killick to prepare something special.

Killick. Killick there. I'm already here, ain't I?

Gentlemen, I give you, our destination.

It's the Galápagos Islands. The Galápagos Islands.

Our whaling fleet is there.

And their cargo would put a pretty penny into old Bones-aparte's invasion purse.

That's where the Acheron will be. Sure as there's carts to horses.

So, Mr Pullings, if you'll permit me, a slice of Albemarle.

And for you, Doctor, Redondo Rock.

Perfect.

And the Acheron for me.

Safe and sound at home again Let the waters roar, Jack Safe and sound at home again Let the waters roar, Jack Long we tossed on the rolling main Now we're safe ashore, Jack Don't forget your old shipmates We have worked the selfsame gun Quarterdeck division Sponger I, and loader you Through the whole commission Long we tossed on the rolling main Now we're safe ashore, Jack Don't forget your old shipmates


The Enchanted Isles. They're said to be full of strange and wonderful beasts.

When we get there, we'll have to stop for food and water.

I promise you, during that time - several days at least - you can wander at will, collecting bugs and beetles to your heart's content.

You'll be the first naturalist to set foot on the islands, I'll wager.

I would like that of all things.

Is it an insect? Yes.

Doesn't look like one. I mean, it looks like a stick.

Yes, that's the whole point.

It's disguised itself in order to survive.

There's a spider that's disguised itself as an ant.

And here's an insect that's taken on the shape of a thorn to save itself from the birds.

Did God make them change?

Does God make them change? Yes, certainly.

But do they also change themselves?

Now that is a question, isn't it?

Sir, we've raised the Galápagos.

I'm coming.


Look. Beyond the rock. Yes, I see.

What is it? Curious, eh? Some type of gull?

There's an ugly devil. Disgusting. It's got warts all over it.

Ugly devils, aren't they?

I can't see any women. Just ducks and lizards.

What, no women? It ain't natural.

How extraordinary.

What is, sir?

Those birds. They're a species of cormorant, but they are flightless.

Do you see their underdeveloped wings?

By all that's holy, I think that's unknown to science.

The dragons don't seem to bother them.

They're a type of iguana, I should think. Therefore, they're vegetarian.

Will you catch one? A pair of them, I should think.

Then you can present one of their offspring to the king.

Look. There's one going for a swim. Iguanas don't swim.

These ones do.

I'll be damned.

Two new species in as many minutes. That's remarkable.


All hands about ship. Off tacks and sheets. Prepare the mainsail to haul.

- Aubrey. Hogg. Master of the Albatross.

God bless you, Captain. God bless you all.

Mr Calamy, food and water for these men. Aye, sir.

Mr Howard, stand your men down. Royal Marines, trail arms.

We was coming back for fresh lines no more than a week ago.

Hid in that inlet yonder. Burnt our bloody ship to the waterline. Fucking pirates.

Crew prisoner, captain dead.

She were a big black three-master. Break your heart, it would.

£12,000 sterling of the finest grade oil they took. We been out more than two years.

And her course?

Maybe a point south of west, following the rest of the fleet.

Mr Pullings, enter these men's names into the ship's books.

Mr Allen, set a course. West by south.

All hands, make sail.

Sir, should we not take on fresh provisions?

Mr Mowett, there's not a moment to lose.

Have you forgotten your promise? Subject to the requirements of the service.

I cannot delay for the sake of an iguana or a giant peccary.

Fascinating, no doubt, but of no immediate application.

There is, I think, an opportunity here to serve both our purposes.

As I understand it, this is a long, thin island.

You need to sail around it. I could walk across it.

I have known you to spend hours staring into a deserted bird's nest.

I could walk briskly, pausing only for important measurements.

Making discoveries that could advance our knowledge of natural history.

If wind and tide had been against us, I should have said yes.

They're not. I'm obliged to say no.

I see. So after all this time in your service, I must simply content myself to form part of this belligerent expedition, hurry past wonders, bent on destruction. I say nothing of the corruption of power...

You forget yourself, Doctor. No, Jack.

You've forgotten yourself. For my part, I look upon a promise as binding.

The promise was conditional. I command a king's ship, not a private yacht.

We do not have time for your damned hobbies, sir.


All right.

Get those fish below. Sluice down this deck.

Davies, don't leave them there. Get them below.

Mr Blakeney.

Sir, I found a curious beetle walking along the deck.

I think it's a Galápagos beetle.

I'm sure of it.

Were you to walk all day on the island, you might never come across it.

Yes, that is more than likely sure.

You can have it, sir.

Mr Blakeney.

Thank you. Sir.

Last gun fired, sir.

Timing? Two minutes and one second, sir.

Lads, that's not good enough. We need to fire two broadsides to her one.

Want to see a guillotine in Piccadilly? No.

Do you want to call Napoleon your king? No.

- Want your children to sing The Marseillaise? No.

Mr Mowett, Mr Pullings, starboard battery.

Jump to it, lads. Cadence and rhythm.

Mark your targets. Come on, lads, faster now.

Come on, swab it.

Heave.

Report, Mr Mowett. Third and fourth divisions ready.

Right. Starboard battery, fire!


One minute and ten seconds.

Well done, lads. Extra grog for all of you.

Gangway for the captain, lads.

Marked improvement, Mr Calamy. Well done.

Thank you, sir.

Killick. Killick there. What do you have for us tonight?

Which it's soused hog's face.

Which it is soused hog's face. My favourite.

And when they run, the Surprise will blow her to kingdom come.


One more week of this and they'd give it up for a cup of water.

I can't make it rain.

I can harness the wind, but I ain't its goddamn creator.

I have never known such a run of bad luck.

"And they said unto him 'For what caused the evil?"'

Where'd that come from?

It's from the Bible, that. That is from the Bible. The story of the Jonah.

They found out on their ship that one of their men - this Jonah cove - he'd offended God and was the cause of all their bad luck.

Evil comes from him who evil thinks and evil is.

No. Joe knows a thing or two about evil.

From personal experience. Right, Joe?

It's like Killick says. Morning of the battle, he doesn't have the guts to beat to quarters.

Then his entire gun crew's killed. Soon as he went up the mizzen, Will falls.

And whose watch was it when we lost our wind?


You there. Stand fast.

Master-at-arms, take that man below and clap him in irons.

Mr Pullings, defaulters at eight bells.

Aye, sir.

Bring Hollom down to my cabin.

A man pushed past you, yet you said nothing. Why?

I intended to, sir, but the right words didn't...

The right words? He was deliberately insubordinate.

I've tried to get to know the men, sir, and be friendly, but they've taken a set against me.

Always whispering when I go past and giving me looks.

I'll set that to rights. I'll be much tougher on them.

You don't make friends with the foremastjacks, lad.

They'll despise you in the end, think you weak.

Nor do you need to be a tyrant. No, sir.

I'm very sorry, sir.

You're 26? 27? I'm 30 next Friday, sir.

30?

You've failed to pass for lieutenant twice.

I know you have, but you're not a bad sailor. You can't spend your life a midshipman.

No, sir. I will try much harder, sir.

Look, Hollom, it's leadership they want.

Strength.

You find that within yourself, and you will earn their respect.

Without respect, true discipline goes by the board.

Yes, sir.

Strength, respect and discipline, sir.

It's an unfortunate business, Hollom.

Damned unfortunate.

That'll be all. Yes, sir.

I am not a flogging captain. Hollom is a scapegoat for all the bad luck, real or imagined, on this voyage.

Mr Lamb? If you please.

They're exhausted. These men are exhausted.

You've pushed them too hard.

Stephen, I invite you to this cabin as my friend.

Not to criticise nor to comment on my command.

Shall I leave you until you're in a more harmonious frame of mind?

What would you have me do? Tip the ship's grog over the side.

Stop their grog? Nagle was drunk when he insulted Hollom.

Stop 200 years of privilege and tradition.

I'd rather have them three sheets to the wind than face a mutiny.

I'm rather understanding of mutinies.

Men pressed from their homes, confined for months aboard a wooden prison...

I respect your right to disagree with me, but I can only afford one rebel on this ship.

I hate it when you talk of the service in this way. It makes me so very low.

You think I want to flog Nagle?

A man who hacked the ropes that sent his mate to his death?

Under my orders?

Do you not see? The only things that keep this wooden world together are hard work...

Jack, the man failed to salute.

There's hierarchies even in nature.

There is no disdain in nature. There is no... Men must be governed.

Often not wisely, but governed nonetheless.

That's the excuse of every tyrant in history, from Nero to Bonaparte.

I, for one, am opposed to authority. It is an egg of misery and oppression.

You've come to the wrong shop for anarchy, brother.

Four.

Five.

Six.

Seven.

Eight.

Nine.

Ten.

Eleven.

Twelve.

Cut him down.


Not so loud.


Put that dirk down, Boyle.

You OK, Mr Hollom?

He's not ill, just dodging work as usual. Shut up.

You shut up. Just leave him be.

Have some water. Thank you.

Sir, it's Mr Hollom.

There's nothing physically wrong with him. He thinks he's been cursed.

Sailors can abide a great deal, but not a Jonah.

My God. You believe it too.

Not everything is in your books, Stephen.

It's him, innit?

The Jonah.

He's causing it.

He's callin' it up, don't you see?

Every time he's on watch, that ship appears.

You wait and see.

Any time tonight, that ghost ship's gonna turn up.

And it's gonna take us all with it, straight down to the hot place.


Mr Hollom.

You gave me such a start.

Are you feeling better now?

Yes. Much better, thank you.

The captain thinks we'll get our wind tomorrow.

I'm sure of it.


You've always been very kind to me.

Goodbye, Blakeney.


The simple truth is, not all of us become the men we once hoped we might be.

But we are all God's creatures.

If there are those among us who thought ill of Mr Hollom, or spoke ill of him, or failed him in respect of fellowship, then we ask for your forgiveness, Lord.

And we ask for his.

God be praised. Mr Mowett?


Avast there.

Doctor, have you seen the bird? What sort of bird?

Some sort of albatross. Either that, or he's a prodigious great mew. There it goes.

There he is. My bird. Damn.

It's circling, lads.

Doctor?

My God. Doctor.

I'm so sorry, man. The bird dropped low. I didn't see you.

Calamy, get Higgins. I'm fine, Jack.

The bullet took in a piece of shirt with it.

Unless it's removed, it's gonna suppurate and fester.

Are you equal to the task?

I'll need to read up on the doctor's books. Study some pictures he has.

Study some pictures?

It's just to get my bearings, that's all.

It'd be a lot easier if I were on dry land. You wouldn't have the...

I'll manage. You'll see.


Sail on the horizon, sir. Running west.

We're not sure, but we think it's her, sir.

Better get...

Goodbye, sir.

No mistakin' it. She's the Frenchie.

Shall we beat to quarters, sir?


Tell me this wasn't on my account.

No, not at all. I just needed to stretch my legs.

Gently there.

Briskly now. Secure this line.

Royal Marines posted every 20 yards, sir.

All set, Higgins? Yes, sir.

No.

I do this with my own hand.

If everything is under control, I'll just be outside.

A spare pair of steady hands wouldn't go amiss.

That is, if, of course, you have the constitution for this kind of thing.

My dear doctor, I have been amongst and around wounds all my life.

Good, then.

Put your hand on my belly, pressing firmly when I give the word.

Higgins, the catling, if you please.

Padeen, please.

The sounder, Mr Higgins.

Swab.

All right.

Mr Higgins, you'll have to raise the rib.

Take a good grip with the square retractor.

Right in.

And lift up.

Lift up.

Swab, Jack. I can't see.

Are you all right?

I got it.

A tad more pressure.

Is that all of it? Aye, sir.

She'll patch up nicely.

Thank God I got it.


That's good.

Sir.

Padeen and I have been collecting for you. Have you really?

The beetles each come with a specimen of the plant they were found on.

Padeen, that one's got away.

Sir, I've made a few notes, if you want to see them.

Mr Blakeney, it would appear that you have the makings of a naturalist.

Perhaps I could combine them to be a sort of fighting naturalist, like you, sir.

They don't combine too well, I find.

Right.

Should you really be getting up, sir?

Mr Blakeney, are you also a doctor? No, sir.

No, you're not. Padeen, if you please.

How long does the captain intend that we stay? Do you know?

Oh, a week perhaps. A week?

There's no great hurry. Mustn't we make haste for the Marquesas?

I'm not even sure it was the Acheron we sighted.

And if it was, she'll be well away by now. Like looking for an honest man in parliament.

No, we shall head home. Before peace breaks out with France, God forbid.

I fear you may have burdened me with a debt I can never repay.

Tosh. Name a shrub after me. Something prickly and hard to eradicate.

A shrub? Nonsense. I'll name a great tortoise after you.

Testudo aubreii.


Come on, pack up your things. We should be going.

Back to camp, sir? No, to the other side of the island.

But, sir, that must be at least ten miles. Then there's not a moment to lose.

That's where I saw my flightless cormorant.

Come on.

Seven inches in length.

Four inches wide.

15-inches-long neck.

Width at the widest point, six inches.

Padeen, put the net down and use your hands. They won't bite.

Here's a good one.

Pick them up carefully.

Sir, I think we should be getting back.

Naval discipline doesn't operate out here, Mr Blakeney. I must find that cormorant.

And should it indeed prove flightless, you can join me at the Royal Society dinner as co-discoverer.


Mr Blakeney.

Sir, we must hurry.

Padeen, you must carry him. Put those down. Leave them. Just put everything down.

Open the cages.

All hands, unmoor ship. Mr Allen, I'll have her on a starboard tack.

Let's have hands to stow these tortoises.

Barret Bonden, put your helm hard to starboard.

He has a head start of two hours on us and he's bearing south.

That can only mean King Charles Island. He's looking for water.

If we caught up with her, to take her, we'd have to be bloody invisible.

Brace the yards to starboard.

So, Stephen, did you get to see your bird?

No. Well, yes, but I couldn't catch one.

My greatest discovery was your phantom.

Indeed it was. I'm sorry you had to leave the majority of your collection behind.

In actual fact, Mr Blakeney and I did make one very interesting find.

Is that right?

Let me guess. A stick?

Tell him about it, Mr Blakeney.

It's a rare phasmid, sir. A phasmid?

It's an insect that disguises itself as a stick in order to confuse its predators.


A nautical phasmid, Doctor.

At least, to a hungry eye, if one has an appetite for whalers.

I intend to take a greater interest in the bounty of nature from now on.

I had no idea that a study of nature could advance the art of naval warfare.

I see.

Now to pull this predator in close and spring our trap.

Jack? Yes.

You're the predator.

There. Hull-down, broad off the larboard bow.

That's a frigate, all right.

Damn, you've got good eyes, Barret.

Mr Allen. More smoke. Aye, sir.

That'll bring 'em about.

That's it, lads. Clean 'em up so they fly straight and true.

Let's have fresh flints in all the locks.

Larboard battery, unship your rear wheels.

Drop the gun.

Come on, Killick, you too. Get dressed. Oh, God.

Tom? Our preparations are completed, sir.

Good. Right, from now on no "sirs", no salutes, no whistles, no bells.

Aye, sir.

Yes, I think we're all finding that quite difficult.

There'll be 30 or more whalers locked in the Acheron's hold.

After we board, Mr Calamy should take a party and free them.

You think him ready, sir? Were you ready, Tom?

He may well turn the tide. Indeed, sir.

She's taken the bait. Let's come about.

Make a show of fleeing, panicky and disorganised, like a whaler might.

Present company excepted, Mr Hogg.

Hurry up, or they'll see you.

Eckhart, leave that. Just come up quick and get some whaler's slops on.

Congratulations. Acting third lieutenant. Thank you.

I hear we're to free the whalers. You're to be stationed on the quarterdeck.

I'm sorry, Will.

Make a bad show of keeping your course. Let her run up and luff every now and then.

Excuse me, sir. Remove your hat. We're whalers.

Mr Calamy says I'm not on the boarding party. I want to say...

I know what you want to say. And my answer is no.

You'll lead your gun crew, then when we board, you'll take command of the ship.

Do I make myself clear? Take command of the ship? Thank you, sir.

Back to your station. Yes, sir.

On your right upper arm, to tell friend from foe.

Davies, this arm. Starboard arm.

Is that the arm you got or don't got? Less of that cheek, Davies.

Take your neck cloths and put them round your right upper arm.

Make way for the captain.

Congratulations, Lieutenant.

Right, lads.

I know there's not a faint heart among you, and I know you're as anxious as I am to get into close action.

But we must bring him right up beside us before we spring this trap.

That will test our nerve.

And discipline will count just as much as courage.

The Acheron is a tough nut to crack. More than twice our guns and numbers.

And they will sell their lives dearly.

Topmen, your handling of the sheets to be lubberly and un-navylike, until the signal to spill the wind from our sails.

This will bring us almost to a complete stop.

Gun crews, you must run out and tie down in double-quick time.

With the rear wheels removed you've gained elevation, but without recoil you can't reload.

So, gun captains, that gives you one shot from the larboard battery. One shot only.

You'll fire for her mainmast. Much will depend on your accuracy.

However, even crippled she will still be dangerous, like a wounded beast.

Captain Howard and the marines will sweep their weather deck with swivel gun and musket fire from the tops.

They'll try and even the odds for us before we board.

They mean to take us as a prize.

And we are worth more to them undamaged. Their greed will be their downfall.

England is under threat of invasion.

And though we be on the far side of the world, this ship is our home.

This ship is England.

So it's every hand to his rope or gun. Quick's the word and sharp's the action.

After all, surprise is on our side.

Toss them high so they can see them. Hello, Doctor.

Jack.

Care for a cigar? Thank you, no.

If you please, Doctor.

I took the liberty, Doctor. Thank you, Killick.

There's three lumps in there. How kind.


Good luck, Will. Good luck, Peter.

See you afterwards. And you.

Steady now, lads. Keep calm.

English whaler Syren, this is Acheron.

Barret. Sir.

You have no possibility, no chance. But you have had warning.

Stop now, or we will destroy your ship.

English whaler, this is your last warning.

Stop now, or we will destroy you.

Let fly!

Haul your yards there.

Run out, boys.

Fire!

Fire!

For the mainmast, lads.

Let me through. Fire!


Hard a-larboard.

Right the headsails. Set the topsails.

Heave.

Man the starboard battery.

Fire as she bears.


Get to it.

It's the fallen mast. We can't lay alongside.

Cross the wreckage as best you can. I'll draw their fire.

My division to join Mr Pullings. Clew up topsails.

Huzzah for Lucky Jack.

Grappling hooks away.

Run out the boarding planks.

My division, follow me. For England, for home, and for the prize.

Here we go, lads.

Pipe down. Silence.


Looks like the job is done, sir.

Acheron.

Fire!

Mr Blakeney, the nine-pounder.

That's it.

Fire!

Keep moving, men. Keep moving.


Joe.

Grenades, ready.

They're aiming for our hull.

They could sink us. Depress the muzzle.

Padeen, train it aft.

Together now.

Stand clear.

Fire!

Arm yourselves. We must board them.

Follow me.

Now.

Whalers, follow me. Mr Hogg, down below. Quickly now.

Albatrosses. Albatrosses, do you hear me?

To the guns.

Boyle, douse that gun's priming.


Lively there. Come on. Move.

Now do your worst.


Mr Howard. Sir.

Have they struck their colours? I believe so.

Has their captain been sighted? Not yet, sir.

Carry on. Aye, sir.


Docteur de Vigny, monsieur.

I did what I could for him.

Before the capitaine died, he said I was to give you this.


No. I'll do it.

Can you help me?


Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever.

Amen.

Robert Gardner, able seaman.

James Lloyd, boatswain's mate.

Robert Kemp, able seaman.

John Antonio, quartermaster's mate.

Michael Doudle, able seaman.

Joseph Nagle, carpenter's mate.

John Allen, sailing master.

Peter Miles Calamy,

lieutenant.

We therefore commit their bodies to the deep, to be turned into corruption, looking for the resurrection of the body when the sea shall give up her dead, and the life of the world to come, through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Amen.


It's our old friend.


Pass down a barrel of paint, please.

Sir, the whalers are all aboard and that's the last detachment of marines.

Good.

I think I shall return to the Galápagos.

Take on food and water and give the doctor a few days to find his bird.

Very good, sir.

You, however, shall take the Acheron south to Valparaíso.

Parole the prisoners there, refit as necessary, and we shall rendezvous in Portsmouth.

I believe Mr Hogg would be a good choice for sailing master.

However, that will be your decision, Captain Pullings.

Your orders.

Thank you, sir. Godspeed, Tom.

And to you, sir.

Mr Mowett? With pleasure, sir.

Good luck. See you in Portsmouth.

Now, lads, huzzah for Captain Pullings.

Good luck, sir. Good luck, Captain.

Here we go again.

Killick. Killick there.

Which it will be ready when it's ready.

I'll rest easier when I know they've reached shore.

So many wounded, and only that poor unfortunate Higgins to tend to them.

Still, he's better than no doctor at all.

I met their doctor. I spoke to him. No, he died of fever months ago.

De Vigny?

Pass the word for Mr Mowett. Mr Mowett to the great cabin.

Their "doctor" gave me this sword.

Sir.

Mr Mowett, change of course. Southeast by east.

We'll intercept the Acheron and escort them into Valparaíso.

Aye, sir. Sou'east by east.

And William. Sir?

Beat to quarters. Very good, sir.

Subject to the requirements of the service.

Well, Stephen, the bird's flightless?

Yes.

It's not going anywhere.