It was a poem I did not know. Just as well I suppose. I am glad I didn’t get something like the goat footed balloon man!
Fitly done Justinian, at Spithead
“You are bleeding on my deck Mr Hornblower.”
“Yes-I- mean-aye, Mr Eccleston Sir.”
Eccleston sighed. “Let me see your hands.”
The boy nodded held them out, swollen, torn. Tiny beads of blood shone in the creases and finger pads, the brightest thing in all of Spithead. Hornblower held the hands cupped. Straightening them would hurt.
“We have no doctor here. But there is a salve in the wardroom. Ask Mr Kennedy to help you. You have wiped blood onto your sleeve. That will not do. Kennedy can show you how to get it out of your clothing. He knows. Just try not to drip on things in the meantime.”
“Aye. Thank you Sir.”
“Mr Hornblower— It will get easier.”
The boy gave a drippy salute and galloped away. Eccelston sighed again.