Hornblower: The Examination for Lieutenant (1998) Movie Script

Visitors, sir. Spanish colours.
A captain among them.
Inform Captain Pellew,
Mr. Hornblower.
Aye, aye, sir.
Side boys! Boswain's mates!
Drummers! Man the sides!
- Captain, you said?
- Full dress uniform, sir.
I fear the worst, Mr. Hornblower.
A British supply ship
bound for Gibraltar.
Commander Morris!
- A fair wind at last,Commander.
- In our favour, Captain Foster.
You'll see Gibraltar and the
Dreadnought before mid-day.
Nor before time, Commander,
not before time.
Deck there.
Sail fine off the starboard bow!
Allies, thank goodness.
A Spanish frigate.
Spanish? Never trust the Spanish,
Commander Morris.
Steer well clear of her,
Master Figgis.
- How's your Spanish, Hornblower?
- Not good sir.
Then he'll surely understand French.
Ask him below for a glass of wine.
He declines the offer sir, and says
that the letter is
from the Duke of Belcite.
He insists you open it at once.
Oh, does he?
Does he indeed?
I suppose this means that the Spanish
have made peace with France.
They want us to heave to.
I don't like the smell of this.
Luff and touch her, Master Figgis.
We might be able to outrun
her windward.
Outrun her? Are you mad?
She'll be on us in minutes.
His excellency, the Duke of Belchite
grandee of the first class
Commander-in-chief of his
Catholic majesty's forces
by land and by sea,
knight of the Most Sacred Order
of the Golden Fleece,
First minister of his most
Catholic majesty,
- Captain General of Andalusia
- Yes, all right, Mr. Hornblower.
I think we've quite established
our friend the Duke's eminence.
- What else does he say?
- Hold your luff, Master Frigus.
- We may outrun them yet.
- Belay that order!
She'll blow us out of the water.
We must turn and
defend ourselves. Let her go off.
- I am in command of this vessel,sir.
- And I am of superior rank
and I assume command of this vessel.
Hard up on the helm!
We are out-manned and outgunned
this is sheer madness!
What? What is he saying?
According to the rules of neutrality,
we have 6 hours before the Spanish
start firing on us, sir.
You tell him, sir
'Darned if I'll let him see
he's made me angry.
- We must surrender before it's too late!
- Hold your course.
You tell him, sir.
You know the kind of thing
I want said
- don't you, Hornblower?
- Yes sir.
Get him over the side, with dignity.
Mr. Bowles,I want to be underway
within the hour,if you please.
Go and jump, men!
Winds of change, Mr. Hornblower.
How quickly friends become enemies
in the teeth of war.
Enemies, sir? The duke said they
were to be neutral.
A meaningless word. A short step from
there into bed with France
I foresee a day when the
whole of Europe
will be arrayed against us.
We will prevail, sir. They say
we have God on our side.
Really? Then let us pray the Almighty
never chooses to become neutral.
Where is the frigate?
- Where's the frigate? Answer me!
- You killed us all.
Anybody else?
Anybody else?
Wreckage in the water
to larboard, sir!
Inform the captain, Mr. Cleveland.
Poor devils.
Looks like one of ours.
A supply ship, sir.
Must have been returning
to Gibraltar.
The work of a neutral power,
Mr. Hornblower?
Spanish, sir?
That would be an act of war!
I expected nothing less.
Over there, sir. Survivors.
Let me see.
Goodness gracious.
Unless my eye deceives me
- Yes, we have an honoured guest.
- Sir?
- Captain Foster, I believe.
- Dreadnought Foster, sir?
I do not care for such overblown
titles, Mr. Hornblower.
Mr. Bowles, bring us up
to windward of them.
Aye, aye, Captain.
Man braces, stand by to luff up!
You're all right now lad,that's it.
There you go. Come on,then.
Captain Foster.
- Captain Pellew.
- Welcome aboard, sir.
I congratulate you on your
impeccable timing, sir.
An honour to be of service, as ever.
Forgive me if I forego the usual
pleasantries, Captain,
till I have discovered my limbs.
Of course.
Mr. Hornblower, have quarters
prepared for the captain here,
and pass word on to my servant
to find him
- some old clothing of mine.
- Aye, aye, sir.
I would welcome your presence
at dinner in my quarters,Captain
Why, I shall be honoured
to attend, sir.
Pass word on to the other
officers, Hornblower.
Oh, get that off me man.
Take me to the rum.
I fear our captain is not
counted amongst
- our guest's admirers, Mr. Hornblower
- The man is a legend.
Indeed, but there are some who might
consider his methods reckless.
Well, I was merely a passenger
on the schooner
on my way to Gibraltar to resume
command of the Dreadnought
when this, this Spanish frigate
blocked our path.
We were out-manned and out-gunned,
and should we have run,
we should certainly have been
Did they fire without warning, sir?
Oh, they had the decency
to fire a warning shot.
The audacity of them!
Three supply ships taken by
the French in as many weeks,
and now the Spanish think
they can do the same?
Well, this was one ship they
would never take. So...
I assumed command of the schooner,
gave the order we should
attempt to rake her.
Now, of course, I knew our
chances were slim,
but I took comfort from the fact
that they would be forced
to destroy their prize,
and had I not acted,
the schooner and her supplies
would at this very moment
- be in the hands of the Spanish.
- What of the crew?
You have a question, Captain?
I was merely wondering how many of
the crew
- did the Spanish take from the sea?
- I have no idea.
At the time, my mind was engaged
in more important matters
than arithmetic.
Am I to presume Captain Pellew
that you would have surrendered?
This is neither the time or
the place, sir, to discuss tactics.
Nonsense! We're all men
of the sea here.
- You!
- Yes, sir?
How would you have reacted
to such circumstances?
- I think perhaps
- Come on man, out with it.
I am pleased the Spanish have been
deprived of our supplies,sir
I take my leave, sir.
I fancy you shall go far, young man,
I fancy you shall.
- Algeciras.
- Sir?
A cruel hand dealt by the Almighty
to set a Spanish anchorage
six miles off Gibraltar,
don't you think?
Report, if you please.
Eight ships, I think, sir.
- Nine, with their yards crossed.
- Thank-you.
Captain Pellew, sir.
I believe I might have offended
you earlier.
Yes, Mr. Hornblower?
Might I offer my apologies, sir?
Your apology is noted.
Thank-you, sir.
Let go!
- Mr. Hornblower.
- Sir.
When we next meet,I believe
you will have your commission, sir.
- Sir?
- Well, I presume you are putting yourself forward
for examination for lieutenant.
That is my captain's decision, sir.
The port admiral awaits.
You're much taken with our famous
Captain Foster
and he with you.
He's a truly great man, sir.
To be half the man that he is
would see my life fulfilled.
Careful, Mr. Hornblower.
Such greatness always has its price.
You wish to see me, sir?
Mr. Hornblower. Yes, I hope
you consider this good news.
- You're ready to take your examination for lieutenant?
- Yes,sir.
Good. Then I shall put you forward
for next month's round.
- I would be honoured, sir.
- Should you do well,
you will already have two
months seniority. Do badly,
and it's back with the midshipmen
for six months at least.
- I understand that, sir.
- Well, you'd better spend
- your spare time in study.
- Yes, sir.
You're on a run, Mr. Bowles.
I do believe your hands are
tied, Mr. Bracegirdle.
No prison's held me yet, sir.
Your throw, sir.
The tables are turning.
Hold still lad.
Don't want to waste it.
I see you've taken me at
my word, Mr. Hornblower.
But, could you not find a place
to study below decks?
No sir, I was searching for
some peace and quiet.
Oh yes, of course. I apologize
for disturbing you.
- No sir, I, I didn't mean
- As you were, Mr. Hornblower.
Yes, you'll find time to study,
when these high spirits are dulled.
- Why is that, sir?
- Captain Foster's recent engagement
with our Spanish friends has deprived
the fleet of its regular supplies
leaving me no alternative but
to cut the rations...
- by half.
- Half, sir?
Indeed, Mr. Hornblower.
No doubt Captain Foster
will be forced to follow a similar
prudent path.
Yes, sir.
A side of beef and a gallon
of rum, if you please.
Sounds like you've been
at the rum already.
- What's this?
- Half rations. Captain's orders.
On account,Bunting,there's been no
supply ship for seven weeks.
What of the captain?
Is he on half-rations?
That's dangerous talk, Bunting.
You'd better bite your tongue
to save it.
And that should just leave
Bunting and me.
For what we are about to receive,
let us thank the good Captain Pellew.
It's a gallant British man-of-war
lies in Gibraltar Bay,
And the jolly jacks aboard her wish
that they could have their say.
But, they must keep
their mouths tight shut although
their thoughts be dark.
- Cleveland!
- Yes, sir.
See if you can't put an end to
that infernal racket.
Cleveland, the nightingales are
in full voice tonight,
- are they not?
- Yes sir,
but Mr. Hornblower
has little time for birdsong.
It is a clear and cloudless night
and the wind
was steady and strong.
And we have laid in Gibraltar Bay
for many a day too long.
Biscuits one, pease pudding none,
- "and salt beef only half"
- You men, I said you men!
Acting Lieutenant Hornblower requests
a little less gusto in the chorus,
if you please.
Biscuits one, pease pudding none
and salt beef only half.
Our rations will not feed a man but
our officers only laugh.
It's a gallant British man-o-war
lies in Gibraltar Bay,
And the jolly jacks aboard
her wish that
- "they could have their say. "
- A moment, Mr. Hornblower.
- Sir?
- You sent a message to quiet the men.
I merely wish to concentrate
on my studies, sir.
Is something troubling your mind?
I fear there is too much to learn.
I can't help but question
my readiness.
Yes, I remember my examination.
Like you, I spent weeks with
my nose in a book,
and was fortunate to be tested on
a subject I knew well.
But, it's after the examination that
the real test begins.
- Sir?
- A book can teach you how to steer a ship,
but it can never show you how
to manage a starving crew.
The men are afraid, Horatio.
Many have seen before
the effects of prolonged rationing.
They fear a future
- of disease and death.
- But why are they singing?
Given the choice between
singing and weeping,
which would you fancy?
A good lieutenant gets to know
the ways of his men.
If you wish to test your
readiness, begin there.
Out or down, Out or down.
Up and out.
You look like I feel, Finch.
It's just me lungs has caught
a wind.
Pull me up.
- I can't take your ration.
- You need it more than me.
Boswain's not half-rations.
Over here, lads! Lend a hand.
- What's happened?
- Fallen.
- Is he all right?
- He's weak, sir
too weak to climb the ratlines.
- Lack of decent grub, I reckon.
- Take him to the sick berth.
We sit around doing nothing
while the Spanish
- pick off our ships.
- At your ease, there, Mr. Hornblower.
We should be out there, following
Captain Foster's example.
Captain Foster failed,
as I remember it.
Better to try and fail than
to sit and rot in disease
and starvation.
I believe you have overstepped
the mark, Mr. Hornblower.
I apologize, sir.
Well, Finch, you seem to have landed
yourself a comfortable position.
- How soon before we're home?
- Home?
- Mr. Hornblower?
- Yes, that's right.
At your ease, Man, at your ease.
It's the old muscles is letting
me down a bit, sir.
- How long have I been here?
- A few days now.
It seems... This darn fever.
- I can't rightly remember.
- You'll make it through.
How long now till Portsmouth?
Not long now.
'Reckon he's getting worse, sir?
- He seems confused.
- Fever, sir.
I've been trying to keep him going,
keep him awake,
and thinking.
But, he just drifts off.
I don't know that he'll make it.
Finch! How's your reading, Finch?
- Reading, sir?
- Can you read?
- Aye, sir?
- Can you read?
I... I can read the Bible sir.
Here... Clarke's Complete Handbook
of Seamanship.
That's mighty kind of you sir.
I'm sure I'll enjoy it very much
No, no, no, you don't understand.
I want you to test me.
Test you, sir?
I might have my examination for
lieutenant coming up shortly,
I need someone to test my knowledge.
I'd be honoured if you'd help me.
Come on man, clear your mind.
Ask me a question.
- Question, sir?
- I want you to test me.
Come on, think!
I reckon I don't need no book
to test you, sir.
Right then, give me your best.
A supply ship.
A supply ship coming in!
- Pass the word, Mr. Cleveland.
- Right, sir.
A supply ship!
A supply ship's been sighted.
Easy there, Cleveland.
Where's the fire?
Sorry, sir, but it's a supply ship.
- Spread the word, Mr. Cleveland.
- Aye, aye, sir.
A supply ship. A supply ship's
been sighted.
A supply ship! A supply
ship's been sighted.
A supply ship.
A supply ship's on its way.
Fisherman's bend, you say?
- Yes, sir?
- How do you tie a fisherman's bend?
How is he, sir?
I can't keep him awake.
Perhaps this will.
There's a supply ship in sight.
You hear that?
A fine sight, Mr. Hornblower.
Indeed, sir.
What's that light, Mr. Bracegirdle?
It looks like a flame, sir.
Oh my God.
- What is it?
- A fire ship, sir.
- A fire ship.
- A Spanish fire ship.
- What about the guard ship, sir?
- Too far astern.
She's gone, sir.
Thank-you, Mr. Bracegirdle.
Get these men belowdecks.
Mr. Harris, get them below!
Belowdecks! Right, down you go.
It's the first time I've seen
the Spanish use a fire ship.
Perhaps they take their
example from us.
The student outstrips the master, eh?
Finch, I've brought you some food.
All right then, lads. Come on.
Gather round, now,gentlemen.
Dig in your pockets. Dig deeply.
Generosity for the dead man's widow.
Who'll give me a start?
A penny for the lot.
Come on gentlemen, this is serious.
Now, we've got a good
sturdy pipe, here.
- Who will offer me 5 pence?
- Ten shillings for the lot.
That's more than a week's pay.
Are you sure, man?
- A black day, Matthews.
- He was a fine man, sir.
- And as such he will be remembered.
- Yes, sir.
This... fellow, Bunting, seems
to be taking it bad.
Yes, sir. They were mates
on another ship
when Bunting was first pressed.
The way I heard it, Finch helped
him to settle down.
- I see. Thank-you, Matthews.
- Aye, aye, sir.
We are to accompany the
transport brig, "Caroline"
on a supplies mission to Oran.
My compliments to the Master.
Please inform Mr. Bowles to ready
the ship for sail.
We are to be joined by a Mr. Tapling
of the Diplomatic Service,
who will conduct negotiations.
See to it he's comfortable.
For goodness sake, man,
keep it steady!
Swing him inboard and lower it away.
Steady with those ropes.
Steady man!
- Welcome aboard, sir.
- Welcome aboard?
I've never been so mishandled
in my entire life.
- Do you know who I am, sir?
- Mr. Tapling, sir
- of the Diplomatic Service.
- Well, at least that's something.
Mr. Hornblower, get that raffle
cleared away immediately!
- Aye, aye, sir.
- Well, help me!
They have their own secret
store of supplies.
- Who told you that?
- They dine like kings.
- 'Away with ya, man.
- Sure as I'm pressed here!
That's why we're on half rations
to keep them
in their kingly ways.
If it weren't for the officers,
we'd be on two-thirds at least.
Mr. Hornblower, sir.
A word
Sorry, sir. 'Didn't mean no harm.
- Just idle talk, is all.
- Idle talk will get you hanged, man.
What if I'd been the captain?
- And where did you hear such stories?
- Just been talking, sir,
talking in general.
I can't rightly remember where.
- Very convenient.
- Do you require assistance, Mr. Hornblower?
No sir, I will deal with it.
These... stories, do you take
them to be true?
No, sir.
I'm sorry, sir. I was out of
place in what I said.
Indeed you were.
I understand that
Finch was a close friend.
I owed him much, sir.
I, too, was in his debt.
And that is why you are not
already in irons. But,
you must understand there
can be no excuse for mutinous talk.
- Yes, sir.
- I shall be watching the men closely.
If morale sinks, I'll know who
to blame.
Return to your work.
We take what's ours.
- That's stealing.
- How can you steal something
that rightfully belongs to you?
- You're talking mutiny, Bunting.
- And what if I am?
How else can we put a stop
to this injustice?
I won't be party to this
sort of talk.
Nor I.
Nor I.
You'll think differently when
you're spitting out teeth!
Mr. Hornblower, a word if you please.
My quarters are entirely
They are the best we have
to offer, sir.
They smell of sweat, and worse.
See to it that I am moved
I came back to find the lock burst.
I'm sure he's in the hold.
Bunting! What do you think
you're doing?
What kind of man are you?
That would steal food from
his shipmates' bellies?
Have you no shame?
I despair, I really do.
Very well. We must follow
example with example.
Mr. Hornblower, let the crew show
their disgust for this...
- ... creature.
- Sir?
The gauntlet, Mr. Hornblower.
Please sir, it was a
moment's madness.
Quiet! The punishment
shall fit the crime.
If I may interject, sir.
I should bear the responsibility
for Bunting's actions.
I earlier overheard him goading
the crew with rumours and lies.
I should have dealt with
him more firmly.
Very well, Mr. Hornblower, you
shall make your amends
by leading him yourself,
through the gauntlet.
Bring him out.
This man is a thief!
A man caught stealing food
from the hold
steals it from each and
every one of you.
Make sure you teach him his lesson.
Any man going easy on him
will be implicated in the theft.
Carry on, Mr. Hornblower.
Enough, I say!
I think the lesson is well-taken.
From this day forth,
the next man stealing food
from the hold shall hang
from the yardarm.
Mr. Hornblower, about
these new quarters
Well, sir, it's a pretty
sight from here,
but a closer inspection will show
that the eye is deceived.
- Sir?
- You'll soon regret volunteering, Mr. Hornblower.
I doubt that, sir.
Right sir, lay alongside the jetty
there would you?
Very good sir.
One and two steady.
Lay on your oars. Toss your oars.
What do we do now, sir?
We wait. Our presence has been noted.
Rig that sail so it gives us some
shade, Matthews.
What the?
Stop him! Stop that man!
Have you lost all sense, man?
Theft, and now desertion?
Are you determined to hang?
The captain will decide your fate.
Secure him in the boat.
I will not live with injustice!
If he makes another sound, gag him.
Aye, aye, sir.
Bring him aboard!
I fancy he would be at home here
amongst the heathen.
Oh no, look at that.
Looks like a man who's taken
a drink, sir.
- Muslims don't drink, Styles.
- It's illegal, unlawful
and impossible to obtain.
He's managed somehow, sir.
His majesty's consul, I believe.
Your servant, Mr. Duras.
May I present acting lieutenant,
Horatio Hornblower,
of the frigate Indefatigable.
May I introduce the treasurer of
his highness,
here to fetch the gold.
The gold, sir, is there, in the
sternsheets of the longboat.
You will have a closer view
of it when we have
a closer view of the stores.
Now, the gold.
- Mr. Hornblower.
- Very good, sir.
- Bring out the gold, Matthews.
- Aye, aye, sir.
- Well, Cook?
- Very good, effendi.
Are you unwell sir?
It's this infernal heat.
Sir, what's happening here?
- Oh my goodness.
- What is it, sir?
It's the plague, Hornblower.
It's the Black Death.
The Plague!
Stand still there!
Marines! Stand to!
Charge bayonets!
- I must report this to the ship.
- The fleet won't have us back,
not until we've served three
weeks of quarantine.
Now, that is three weeks after
the last case has occurred.
- We shall have to stay here in Oran.
- Nonsense, no one
- would order that.
- Have you seen an epidemic in the Fleet?
Have you seen 9 out of 10 men
die of putrid fevers, Mr. Hornblower?
I have.
I have seen the Plague
in Smyrna in '86.
Now, no captain would run that risk
for a crew of twenty men.
We have been here for hours.
We have been
close to that. To him.
To hear him speak.
- To catch his breath.
- Control yourself, Mr. Tapling.
- Which of us will be first?
- Please, bite your tongue
- for the sake of the men.
- And, there is the fleet.
Those supplies would have
been a godsend.
Darn it,we can do something about it.
Mr. Bowles!
- What is it?
- I must speak to the captain!
Come aboard and speak to him, then.
What's going on?
Please tell the captain
I must speak to him.
- Mr. Hornblower
- Bad news, I'm afraid, sir.
The Black Death is at Oran.
It could only
- have struck today, sir
- Then they are already dead, sir.
Enough of that!
Keep to leeward, Mr. Hornblower.
Aye, aye sir.
I have a suggestion, sir.
- Yes, what is it?
- The fleet needs the supplies, sir.
We could serve our three weeks
at sea
- on the Caroline to preserve them.
- Waste of time, sir.
One moment, Mr. Hornblower.
You have something to say
Like as not, they'll all be dead
in a week
- and you'll lose the Caroline.
- True, but I must weigh
that fact against the chance
of supplies, Mr. Bracegirdle,
and at this moment, that is of
far greater importance to this fleet.
Very well. I appoint you in command
of the Caroline.
Thank-you, sir.
- Where's Mr. Tapling?
- He's ashore, sir;with the marines.
- He may continue as your passenger.
- Very good, sir. And sir?
- Yes, what now?
- My books, sir.
- Books?
- For my examination, sir.
Yes. Right.
See to it.
I hope...
- I hope you find time to study them.
- Thank-you, sir.
She's like the blooming
Noah's Ark, sir.
Noah's animals walked in two by two
Matthews. We're not so lucky
And we have to get the grain
on board first.
Now, rig those tackles there.
Rig tackles!
Step alive, there!
He'll be all right.
Man the capstan and get us underway,
if you please, Mr. Bowles.
Good-luck, Mr. Hornblower.
Report in three weeks at Gibraltar.
Very good, sir. Thank-you, sir!
Beg 'pardon, sir,
Can't you hear those
cattle bellowing?
- It's terrible hot. They need water.
- Darn.
We'll never be able to get them
on board before nightfall.
Very well, Styles.
Take some men from the loading
- and get the water set up.
- Aye, aye Captain.
Easy, Matthews.
We can't control the flow, sir.
That's enough.
We'll start afresh on the morrow.
Well done, men.
Thank-you for your efforts.
Well, Bunting, was this
what you had in mind when
you made your bid for freedom?
Please, spare me the wise words.
You're short of crew and
you need my help SIR.
It's you who needs my help, Bunting.
You have a choice.
You can lie here and rot until
we reach Gibraltar,at which time
- you will answer for your crimes
- We'll never see Gibraltar.
or you can return to your duties.
In which case I might be prepared
to speak for you
- at your trial.
- Why would you speak for me?
Each of us can find
a maggot in our past,
which will happily devour our futures
I give you the chance
to reclaim yours.
What if there is
no future to reclaim?
Then pray that death is swift.
- I spoke in haste, sir.
- Are you prepared to work?
Yes, sir.
Cross me, Bunting,
and you will regret it.
Heave, heave, heave.
Ease on the guide there.
Lower away.
Steady, steady.
Bring her in. None of that.
Heave! Heave!
We have visitors, sir.
And they carry an
evil breath, Matthews.
- Where's Mr. Tapling?
- He refuses to rise from his bunk,sir
Does he, indeed?
Good morrow, Mr. Tapling.
When can we expect your
presence above decks?
Never. There is no point.
- The Moors have come to fetch their gold.
- The Moors?
Don't let them aboard.
Set sail at once.
- The gold is theirs by right.
- I will not see them.
- Send one of the men.
- I need my men, Mr. Tapling.
I have pains in my body.
I cannot move.
The hand of death is upon me.
In that case, you shall have
no need for rations.
You would withhold rations
from a dying man?
I would consider it my duty
to help speed your release
from this world, sir.
The admiral will hear of this.
And what did they give us in return?
- Last one, men!
- Thank-you, sir.
- What's that smell, Matthews?
- What? Oh, it's the cattle sir.
They haven't got the sense to get
their rear ends over the side
Well, get some men on it.
- Not a job for volunteers, sir.
- No, but at least they're busy.
It takes their minds off
other matters.
There's truth in that, sir.
We'd best get out to sea, away
from this infernal wind.
Get that forecastle bent on.
And then send the hands to stations
for weighing anchor.
Lively now!
What is the meaning of this?
A problem, Mr. Tapling?
Did you give orders that I should be
assigned cook's mate?
- Are you a carpenter?
- What?
- Or a surgeon? Are you qualified for that?
- Oh, now look here
We have no need for a wordsmith
on this voyage, Mr. Tapling.
We're short on crew, and
each must pull his weight.
But cook's mate. I am not bred
for such a task.
If you can show me a job for which
you are better qualified,
I'll consider it.
We should beat a path close up
to the straits, Matthews;
'lest this Westerly and
the current takes us
- out of reach of Gibraltar.
- Aye, aye, Captain.
She's not cut out for this kind
of work.
Let's hope she hangs together.
- And slaughter a bullock for the men.
- A bullock, sir?
Each meal might be our last.
Let's ensure it's a feast.
This is, without question,
the most revolting experience
of my entire life.
- It has its advantages, sir.
- None that I can see.
The man with the hatchet gets
to pick the choicest cuts.
Indeed. Show me.
Let us pray
that we live in quarantine
for the rest of our lives.
- Does it taste as you remember?
- It does.
There's a certain satisfaction
in seeing
one's efforts appreciated.
Not half as satisfying
as a nice bit of fillet.
Ah, for heaven's sake.
- What do you want?
- It's happened.
What's happened? Talk sense, man!
The plague.
Get away. Don't touch him.
Stay away.
Get back. Huh? Here. Got him, right.
- Now, now get him overboard.
- Belay that, Styles!
- But, sir!
- Belay that. Put that down.
I warned you, Hornblower!
I warned you this would happen!
We're all dead!
Control yourself, if you please,
Mr. Tapling.
Straighten yourself up, man.
Put him where he belongs
in the hold with
the rest of the stinking beasts.
The man is drunk!
Very noble of you, Mr. Hornblower,
I'm sure.
- What?
- To risk your life so.
There was no risk, Mr. Tapling.
If the man had been carrying
the plague, we were all done for
What's up with our guests,
Mr. Matthews?
- These animals are thirsty again,sir.
- Then water them.
Trouble is, sir, we have but
three days' water left.
Three days? We've still a week to
serve with the quarantine.
Cattle - thirsty brutes, sir.
Very well. When the wind picks up,
we'll stand into the coast
and look for a stream in a quiet spot
A small town, about half
a mile inland, sir.
Spied a few guards but there's
nothing going to worry you.
They must have followed you.
Over there!
Take charge here, Matthews.
Get down.
Get into the trees!
Get into the trees!
Don't move! If you run,
I will kill you.
Then why did you save me?
To hang?
You will return to Gibraltar
to stand trial.
Stand still!
Better the speed of the bullet than
the slow agony of the rope.
If you have your heart set
on dying, I will oblige.
Then do it, and I will be
forever in your debt.
My duty is clear.
Your duty?
To save a man so that he may
be killed more slowly?
You will return with me to the ship.
I believe your duty is fulfilled,sir.
- Three killed, two fled, sir.
- Very good, Matthews.
What of Bunting, sir?
We'll take him aboard
and bury him at sea.
- The man was beyond saving, sir.
- I should have found a way.
- What, for Gods name?
- The Dreadnaught, I believe, sir.
What the heck is that boat doing?
They've got a couple of sides
of beef in there, sir!
- Quick, after her!
- Boats crew!
Pull away! Pull for all you're worth!
Heave to. Heave to, God dam you.
Return those supplies to my ship!
You have a problem, Mr. Hornblower?
With respect, sir, you have
no right to these supplies.
- Indeed! And by whose judgment, sir?
- We are a plague ship, sir
I am aware of that, Mr. Hornblower,
but your quarantine's
almost over. I am sure you can
spare me a few head of cattle.
The quarantine has a week
to run, sir.
We cannot be certain we are clear.
The cattle must be returned
to my ship and these hands should
accompany them.
Now, surely you can give me these
- two scrawny beasts, Mr. Hornblower.
- My duty is to see that
the fleet is protected
from the Black Death, sir!
And what about your duty to
a superior officer, sir?
I know my duty, sir.
And it also lies with the lives
of the men.
I will not barter with you,
Mr. Hornblower. You will surrender
your supplies or I shall take them
by force, if necessary.
Then the supplies are yours, sir.
And the responsibility is yours,also.
Pull for the Caroline.
I will see you in Gibraltar,
Mr. Hornblower.
We therefore commit his body
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;
who, at his Coming, shall change
our vile body that it may be
like His glorious body, according to
the mighty working
whereby He is able to subdue
all things to Himself.
Such a senseless waste of life.
Your grief is admirable, Captain,
but I fear you take it
too much to heart.
I killed him, Mr. Tapling.
The man had long since lost
his respect for life, but your
courage in command of this ship
will save the lives of many.
I feel certain Captain Pellew
would have found a solution.
I fear I must question my readiness
for command.
Well,Captain Hornblower,a sight
to gladden the heart,is it not?
Indeed, Mr. Tapling.
You served us well, sir.
No more than my fair share,
and I gained much in return
a new acquaintance with
the cuts of a bullock,
and the worth of full bellies
for the men.
Such knowledge will serve me well.
What is the meaning of
this commotion?
There, sir!
Good heavens!
Hello, Noah! How are Shem and Ham?
Shem and Ham have brought home
the supper.
Well done, Mr. Hornblower.
I regret that Mr. Bracegirdle
can't say the same.
Mr. Tapling has already informed me
of the man, Bunting.
You carry the weight of his death
on your shoulders.
A month ago,
Mr. Bracegirdle bade me test
my readiness
for office with the men.
- I failed that test, sir.
- Mr. Hornblower,
men like Bunting choose to cast
themselves adrift.
You attended to your duty as
an officer.
I failed to find a way inside the man
You have nothing to reproach
yourself with.
One man has died.
Others may live,
thanks to you.
- Yes, sir,but his death was needless.
- That is the price
of command, I am afraid. And
it doesn't do to dwell on the past
- Besides, you have much to prepare.
- Sir?
The examination for lieutenant takes
place tomorrow
at Admiralty House. I presume you
still wish to present yourself
Good, then advise Mr. Bracegirdle
that I've given you permission
- to take away one of the ship's boats
- Aye, aye, sir.
That will be all
- One thing more, Mr. Hornblower.
- Sir?
I understand you allowed your men
to feast on fresh beef.
In the circumstances,
I thought it best.
You thought it best!
You thought it best, sir!
Fresh beef when there were other
provisions on board?
Wanton extravagance!
- I'm surprised at you.
- Sorry, sir.
Good to have you back on board,
Mr. Hornblower.
Can anyone lend me a clean
white shirt?
- What's so funny?
- You can have one of mine, lad.
This will never do.
- I hear the steward has a flatiron.
- Thank-you.
It is not a simple request.
I've got one pair of hands.
I've got better things to do
with my time
than iron your neckerchief,
Mr. Hornblower.
I'll do it myself.
Just give me the iron.
I'll have a queue at my door
every morning.
I'll give you my spirit ration.
Well, at least you won't
disgrace the ship.
Thank-you Mr. Bracegirdle.
My hat!
Well, take it off as soon as
you can and,
carry it under your arm.
Maybe they won't notice.
You're as ready now as you
ever will be.
Thank-you, sir.
Here he comes, lads! Three cheers
for Mr. Hornblower!
And, another three!
- Good luck, Mr. Hornblower!
- Good luck, sir.
Acting Lieutenant Hornblower,sir,
reporting for the examination
There's forty of us.
How many of us will they pass,
do you think? Five?
Here they come!
Black Charlie Hammond, looking as
if he's lost a guinea
and found a sixpence.
Harvey, of the Dockyard.
And Dreadnaught Foster, no less.
First young gentleman!
Three more months at sea, be darned.
I was told to send the next man.
What did they ask you?
They began by asking me to define
a rumb line.
- Rumb line?
- Well, don't keep them waiting,
- I advise you.
- You were there ten minutes.
Forty of us, ten minutes each,
why, it will be midnight before
they reach the last of us.
They'll never do it.
If time runs out, perhaps they'll
try you in batches,
like the French tribunals.
How did you fare?
Bad luck.
Well, if it isn't Pellew's young
Well, sir? Report yourself.
We've no time to waste.
H- Hornblower, sir. H - h - Horatio
Hornblower, midshipman.
I mean, acting lieutenant.
Certificates, please.
Well, sit yourself down.
You're close-hauled on the port tack,
Mr. Hornblower,
beating up channel with a
nor'easterly wind blowing strong
with Dover bearing north two miles.
Is that understood?
Yes, sir.
Now, the wind veers four points,
taking you flat aback.
What do you do, sir? What do you do?
By now you are dismasted.
Dismasted, sir. Cliffs of Dover
under your lee.
You're in very serious trouble,
Are we to receive the fountain
of your wisdom, Mr. Hornblower.
Or did you perhaps leave your tongue
on the plague ship?
I. Dismasted, you say?
Dover Dover cliffs
What's going on?
It's a general alarm. See?
There, sir! A fire ship!
If it touches a ship, she'll go up
like paper.
- We must get back to our ships.
- They're firing on it, sir!
Pray they sink it.
You! You! Shoreboat,
Come along side. Come along side,
blast you!
Come alongside or I'll fire into you.
You, sentry there, make ready
to give them a shot.
- Come on Hammond,for God's sake, man.
- Move yourself, sir.
Darn it, Harvey.
For God's sake, what are
you doing, man?
She's heading for the Indefatigable,
- Pull for the Dreadnaught.
- Darn it, I'm the senior, here.
Pull for the Calypso.
Pull, men, pull!
Pull for your lives!
There she is!
She's swinging right!
Heaven help them aboard there.
- She'll be alongside her in a minute.
- With a man at her wheel,
- she could be steered clear.
- Are you mad?
Sir,nobody could survive on that
- The boy's right,we should try
Pull! Pull away!
Pull away, darn it and you may
live through this! Pull!
The heat is too great to board her.
Now lay her under the counter.
Jump for it.
Let me go, sir.
The Indefatigable is my ship.
Be my guest, Mr. Hornblower.
Be my guest.
Use spars to fend her off!
Hand pump!
We've got to get to that wheel.
- Here, sir, take this!
- Right.
- Hard-a-port.
- The wheel's jammed, sir!
Here, cast off this lashing.
Cast it off.
- Now, hard over! Hard over!
- Hard over it is, sir.
She's answering the helm, sir!
Fend her off, there!
Our stern will touch her.
Hard-a-lee! Hard-a-lee!
Hard-a-lee, aye, aye, sir!
Put out that fire!
- Put that fire out!
- Fire on the deck!
- Midships!
- Midships, aye, aye, sir.
We'll lay her ashore over
neutral ground.
The tiller ropes have burnt away,sir,
she can't be steered.
Right, Mr. Hornblower.
Abandon ship.
Captain Foster! Captain Foster!
Save yourself, man. Jump!
Into the water!
Captain Foster! Captain Foster!
Mr. Hornblower, are you all right?
A little singed, sir.
Where is the boat? It's supposed
to be following us
- to take us off.
- I can't see it, sir.
Ahoy, Hammond! Ahoy!
Darn it, they should have been
following us.
Over there, sir!
- Captain Foster!
- Hammond!
We have you, sir.
Come on! Over here!
Quickly, man!
Here, sir.
I'll have your hand, sir.
Your hand sir. Well-done, sir.
- Thank goodness, sir.
- Yes, but no thanks to you, sir.
We followed as fast as we could get
these rock scorpions to row
Mr. Hornblower, come aboard, sir.
You were supposed to be following
us to pick us up, sir.
I thought at least I could rely on
a brother captain.
- What are you implying, sir?
- I make no implication, sir.
But, others may read implications
into a simple statement
- of fact.
- I consider that an offensive remark,sir.
I congratulate you on
your perspicacity, sir.
Would you care to withdraw
your statement with an apology?
I would not!
Very well. We will continue this
further when we reach shore.
We will sir, when I shall expect
an apology from you.
My God sir, I will not stand
for this! I shall have recompense
- in a duel at first light.
- I shall look forward to that
- with pleasure, sir.
- I shall send a friend to wait on you
He will be most welcome
What are you staring at, man?
Nothing, sir.
My life is in your... debt,
Mr. Hornblower.
But not for long, it would seem, sir.
In all my years at sea, I have
many an act of courage,but that, sir,
must rank
amongst the most memorable.
My men owe you their lives, and I
owe you my ship.
These events will be noted
in your records.
Thank-you, sir.
Might I inquire about
my examination, sir?
That particular examination Board
may never reassemble,I fancy.
Now look here, Hornblower,
from what Harvey told me, you were
flat aback, about to loose your spars
with the Dover Cliffs
under your lee. One more minute,
you would have been failed.
It was the warning gun that saved
you, was it not?
Yes, sir.
I think in the last few weeks
we've seen you face
and pass a much sterner examination.
- Sir?
- I think you've tasted the bitter brew
that is a captain's life.
I think next time, sir,
- you'll be better prepared.
- Yes, sir.
- Mr. Hornblower.
- Sir?
It has been an honour
to serve with you.
And with you, sir.
Mr. Hornblower.
Mr. Bracegirdle, sir.
The officers would appreciate
your attendance
in a celebratory tot of rum.
I shall attend presently.
Something disturbs your thoughts,
I fancy.
Just thinking of the distances
we travel,
and yet how far we've still
to sail as men.