Hornblower: The Even Chance (1998) Movie Script

January 1793.
The british fleet lies at
anchor at Spithead.
Ships and men rot in idleness.
Across the channel,
revolution in France is sweeping away
the old order.
- Shore boat, ahoy!
- Aye, aye!
You'll be all right!
Welcome to purgatory.
Mr. Eccleston, sir.
- Come aboard, sir.
- Your name?
H- h- Horatio Hornblower, sir.
Eccleston, first lieutenant.
Mr. Chadd, lieutenant of the watch.
Did you bring your dunnage
aboard with you?
My seachest is coming
aboard for'ard.
I'll see it's sent below,
where you should go too.
Get out of those wet clothes.
Yes, sir. I mean, aye, aye, sir.
Mr. Kennedy, take Mr.Hornblower down
to the midshipmen's birth.
Aye, aye, sir.
Mind your step.
Difficult to say
who smells the worst,
the men or the beasts in
the manger for'ard.
One gets used to it.
Watch your head.
There goes His Majesty's latest
bad bargain.
Belay that, Styles
unless you want
to find yourself at the gratings.
Aye, aye, sir.
They're not bad men for
the most part,
provided they're kept busy.
But this, endless waiting
most of us have been here
six months already.
Discipline, you see?
Things will be different once
we transfer to a fighting vessel,
I don't doubt, but who knows
when that may be.
Our only hope is that the
unpleasantness in France
might come to something.
You've heard the latest rumours,
of course?
that Louis was captured just
before Christmas.
What do you think they'll do
with him? You can't kill a king.
It's as my father explained
to his gillie
Perhaps some of these people
have missed the odd meal or two
but lopping the heads of the nobility
isn't going to fill their bellies,
is it?
Still, that's Johnny Crapaud for you.
Well, allow me to introduce
the midshipmen of His Majesty's
ship of the line, Justinian
Known elsewise to her intimates
as the good ship
Slough of Despond.
What's this, Archie?
Another mess mate, gentlemen.
And whose pretty rear did you neglect
kissing to find yourself
among the fleet's forgotten, eh?
- Well, speak, Apparition!
- My name is Hornblower.
What an infernal piece of
bad luck for you.
How old are you, Mr. Hornblower?
Seventeen, sir.
Seventeen, sir! You hear
that Cleveland?
If you wanted to be a seaman, boy,
you should have started at twelve.
I doubt he even knows the difference
a head and a halyard.
No, but I'll make sure it's the first
thing I look up in...
in Norrie's Seamanship.
Now, gentlemen, if you will
excuse me.
- Seasick!
- Seasick in Spithead!
Your pardon, sir.
There. Just lie quiet until you
feel yourself again.
The captain's coming aboard.
Captain Keene...
if ever a man was wrongly named.
He looks frailer by the day.
I must thank you for your
earlier kindness, Mr
You mustn't mind Hether
and Cleveland.
It's just their way till they
get used to you.
Present arms!
Your father writes that
you are a solitary boy.
Well, on a vessel of over 800 souls,
you are unlikely to find either time
or place for solitude.
How is the good Doctor Hornblower?
Well, I trust?
Yes, sir. Thank you, sir.
He said to be sure to thank
you for accepting me
in Justinian as midshipman, sir.
One good turn deserves another.
Your father is an excellent
Yes, sir.
The son of a doctor! Ha!
You'd have done better to choose
a lord for your father
if you wanted to make a career
in His Majesty's navy.
How far did your education go?
I was a Grecian at school, sir.
- Speak up.
- I was a Grecian, sir, at school.
You construed Xenofot, then,
as well as Cicero.
Yes, sir. But, not very well, sir.
You'd have done better if you knew
about sines and cosines.
Better still if you could foresee
a squall
in time to get t'gallants in.
We have no time for ablative
absolutes in the navy.
- No, sir.
- Obey orders, do your duty,
and no harm will come to you.
That will do.
Ah, the Indies, now that's
the place, Horatio
Clear blue skies, and waters too.
I should very much like to see
that, Mr. Hether.
So you may,
if we ever get off this stinking
hulk and put to sea again.
You're in my seat.
The head of the table is my place.
Come on, up!
How now, my sweet brother officers?
No cheer for Jack's return?
We took you for a lieutenant
by now, Jack.
- Did you?
- Your commission?
- Refused.
- Oh, bad luck.
Bad luck indeed.
So, acting lieutenant Simpson is
once again
Mr. Midshipman Simpson.
At your service.
What's this? A new face among
our august company. Mr?
Hornblower, sir.
Pleased to meet you.
What have you there?
Mutton, sir.
Very fine. Very fine indeed.
A mite salty for my taste.
What do you mean by helping
yourself to my vittles, sir?
I should have thought my intention
was quite obvious.
You'll acquaint young Snotty here
with the way of things
or have you forgotten so soon?
N- n- no. I,
Mr. Simpson may levy a toll upon
our seachests for fresh shirts.
Likewise, our issue of spirits,
and the best cuts
of meat go to him.
- Why?
- He is senior officer in the mess.
We are all midshipmen.
That smacks of republicanism
to my mind, Mr. Hornblower.
Is that what you are?
To my knowledge there is nothing
in King's Regulations
I pee on your regulations!
There is but one law in this mess
render unto Caesar
And I'll leave it to you to figure
which of us is Caesar
and which is to do the rendering.
He takes your meaning, Jack.
Oh Clayton, you gin-soaked sot.
Strangle a tune from that
fiddle of yours.
Cut a reel.
Didn't you hear me, sir?
Dance, I said.
Dance! Dance! Dance!
I've seen men caper more lively on
the end of a gibbet.
Mr. Kennedy,
that Mr. Hornblower might learn
who runs this mess,
you'll wake him every half-hour
day and night
until I tell you otherwise.
Kennedy! Archie!
Kennedy! I said wake Hornblower,
not me and the whole darn ship
- He's sick.
- I don't care if he's dying. Keep him quiet.
He's started again. I feared as much.
Clayton! If he's unfit,
you'll take his duties
in respect to waking Hornblower.
- Do you hear?
- As you please, Jack. As you please.
Help me get him back to his bed.
It's all right, Archie,
it's all right. A bad dream.
Sleep now, sleep.
What ails him?
What ails us all?
Sir! Mr. Hornblower!
Mr. Eccleston asks if you can attend
him in the fighting top.
- The fighting top?
- Aye, sir. At once, he said.
Not afraid of heights,
are you, Snotty?
Mind you, mighty long drop.
Help me! Please.
Help me... please.
Time, gentlemen!
Let's see how you have fared
with the problem
set for you by Mr. Bowles.
Mr. SimpsonWe must all rejoice,
the sources of the Nile have been
discovered at last.
Your ship, as far as I can make out
from your illiterate scrawl
is in central Africa.
see what other terrae incogitiae
have been opened up
by the remaining intrepid explorers.
Mr Cleveland, No.
Mr. Hether, No.
Mr. Kennedy, No.
Mr. Hornblower.
You must be proud to be
alone successful
among this crowd of
intellectual giants.
If you double your attainment while
you double your years,
I'm a-feared you'll leave
the rest of us behind.
Well done, Mr. Hornblower.
Mr. Bowles! Be so good
to see that Mr. Simpson
pays even further attention to
his mathematical studies.
Good day, gentlemen!
I've been thinking, gentlemen.
It's time to reconvene the
proceedings of the Inquisition.
Who shall we question? There can
only be one candidate
who else but the captain's favourite
Mr. Hornblower. Cleveland,
Hether table.
- Jack...
- Do it unless you want to take his place.
Leave me go!
Quiet boy!
You're a bit of a dark horse,
aren't you, Snotty?
Showing us all up in front
of Captain Keene. Turn him over.
Come on!
Now, the purpose of this Inquisition
is for me
to get to know you better.
You see, I know these dogs.
I know what gnaws at their
souls at night
things they'd rather no one knew of.
So, what's your dirty little secret?
A fancier of other boys, perhaps?
Or is it that your mother makes
her living on her back?
You filthy!
Come on, Snotty! Get up!
You've won, Jack! He's finished!
This little whore's son needs to
learn respect for his betters.
Come on, Snotty, get up!
Enough Jack, you'll kill him!
Stay down, boy, for goodness sake.
Stand off.
Clayton, my bold friend.
I've no quarrel with you.
Stand off Jack,
or by cracky I'll trim the
wall with your brains.
Take him to Dr. Hepplewhite.
My, but how bold you are
with a pistol in your hand.
But I know you for the coward
you are, don't I?
Hornblower! Mr. Hornblower!
What is the matter with you this day?
I gave orders
Man, what happened to you?
I missed my footing in the dark
last night and fell, sir.
Onto both sides of your face
at once? Hmm?
Come, no more of this nonsense.
With whom did you fight?
Well, answer me!
Quickly now and you may be dealt
with more leniently.
I fell, sir.
Very well. We shall see if a
spell in the rigging
can't teach you to tread
more carefully.
Dearest Father,
I am pleased to tell you that
everything is going along
I count myself fortunate indeed to
serve under Captain Keene
and with so fine a body of men as
are to be found here in Justinian.
I am very happy here.
I trust this finds you as it leave me
well and in good spirits.
Your affectionate son, Horatio.
A drop of grog in it to
warm you through.
I was thinking on death.
- Whose?
- Mine.
Darned unsporting of the Everlasting
to fix his canon
against self-slaughter,
If you ask me.
You could always desert.
I'd never be free of him then.
He'd have won,
and that should be worse than death.
Someone should stand against him.
The beating he gave you
that was nothing, believe me.
You don't know half what
he's capable of.
The East India convoy is
expected today.
Mr. Simpson will take a party
of men ashore
and report to Lt. Chalk
of the Goliath, who is in charge
of the press gangs.
- Mr. Hornblower shall accompany him.
- Aye, aye, sir.
Some of the hands of the East India
may try to sneak ashore
to escape being pressed
for further service.
It's our business to cut off
their retreat.
- Mr. Simpson and
- This is Mr. Hornblower, sir,
distinguished as the midshipman who
was seasick in Spithead.
You shall arrange a cordon along
the waterfront
to sweep up any absconders.
I leave the details to
you, Mr.Simpson.
Aye, aye, sir. Thank you, sir.
Rendezvous is back here
at "The Lamb."
Why aren't you on watch
where I left you?
The convoy has not yet signaled.
Then all is well with the world.
Here's to the East India convoy
long may it be delayed.
Come on Hornblower, give us a toast.
Come on!
Confusion to Robespierre.
Your men are all properly placed,
Mr. Simpson?
Indeed they are, sir.
This is Mr. Caldwell,
also of the Goliath.
Mr. Simpson and Mr. Hornblower
of the Justinian.
We have a long wait
before us, I fear.
Will you gentlemen join me in a glass?
- Yes, sir.
- And a game of cards to pass the time.
- Gladly, sir, gladly.
Excellent. Potman! Cards and a light!
And the rest are mine.
What do you mean the rest are yours?
- Five tricks. Game and rubber.
- I might take another.
I trump a lead of hearts
with diamonds
and make three more clubs.
- You're very sure.
- It's a mathematical certainty.
You know too much about this game.
He seems to know the backs of
the cards as well as the fronts.
That is an insulting remark,
Mr. Simpson.
For that I shall have
to ask satisfaction.
Come,Mr. Hornblower. Mr.Simpson had
a momentary loss of temper.
I am sure he will explain.
I have been accused of cheating
at cards, sir.
That is a hard thing to explain away.
The wine was in and the wit was out.
Mr. Simpson was speaking in jest,
I am sure.
Let's call for another bottle and
drink it in friendship.
- With pleasure
- Excellent.
if Mr.Simpson begs my pardon at once
before you two gentlemen,
and admits that he spoke without
justification and in a manner
no gentleman would employ.
Apologize to you?
Never this side of hell.
You hear that, gentlemen?
I have been insulted.
Mr. Simpson refuses to apologize,
while insulting me further.
There is only one way now in which
satisfaction can be given.
A duel? Are you mad?
Tomorrow sees an end to it, Archie.
One way or another, I shall
be rid of him.
I have an even chance.
An even chance?
Simpson is reckoned one of the best
shots in the navy.
He'll kill you certain sure.
I'll act as your second, of course.
But, have you ever fought
a duel before?
You ready?
I can't prevail upon you to
change your mind?
Very well. Hand me my cloak.
Where is he?
I regret my principal has met
with an accident,
which prevents his attendance
this morning.
The coward has wet himself.
As his second, I am willing
to stand proxy.
- Proxy?
- I shall fight the duel in his stead
unless Mr. Simpson is willing to
withdraw his accusation,
of course.
- Never.
- Wait a moment Mr. Clayton,
I'm not sure if that's legal.
Legal or not, Dr.Hepplewhite,
it would settle the matter,
I am here.
And you're not afraid of me,
are you, Jack?
I will say, "One, two, three, fire."
At the last word gentlemen, you
can fire as you will.
- Are you ready?
- Yes.
One, two, three,
Got you, bastard.
I'm sorry. I didn't kill him.
What is it?
What are they shouting about?
I don't know.
Archie, see if you can't quiet them.
You were right, Horatio.
Someone had to stand against him,
but not a boy.
You shamed me.
Even a coward can't run forever.
I thought I could beat him
I had an even chance.
Horatio, is it evening?
I'm not done with you yet, boy.
Im going to flay you alive!
- He's dead.
- Yes.
No, you fool, not Clayton.
The frogs have murdered their king.
Tried and executed for crimes
against the people.
It means war, Horatio.
Don't you understand?
It means war.
- Well, what's the word?
- Do we transfer?
A third of the crew are to remain
with Justinian.
A third will go to Arethusa
under Black Charlie Hammond.
And we few,
- we fortunate few
- Don't keep us on tenterhooks!
Keene has recommended our
transfer to Indefatigable!
- Yes, a frigate!
- You hear that, Horatio?
It means prize money.
Poor old Clayton, he always
wanted to serve on a frigate.
It is a sure opportunity
for advancement,
for distinction, for prize money.
It is the opportunity of a lifetime,
sir.I thank you for it,but
Any ambitious young officer
would jump at the chance to serve
on a frigate!
I know, sir. But, you accepted me
here as midshipman and
of course, I must stay with you.
Not many young men would have
said that, Mr. Hornblower.
I am very touched by your loyalty,
even though I won't live to
appreciate it.
No, please, don't interrupt.
Youth and quick wits
belong where they can be rewarded,
not on a channel groper with
a dying captain.
A midshipman's share of prize
money is not much,
I grant you, but at last you
can start to repay
the debt that you owe your father.
It is the good of the service I have
in mind, Mr. Hornblower,
when I insist that you take
up this posting.
Aye, aye, sir.
My name is Captain Sir Edward Pellew,
and I am here to tell you that your
days of idling are over!
You have in mind to fight?
That is well, for you shall
have your fill!
Yesterday, His Majesty received
a communication from Paris.
The Revolutionary Government
in France
has declared war on Britain.
The old adversary may wear
a new face, but whatever mask
he choosesto hide behind, a Frenchman
is still a Frenchman, and
we will beat him as we always
have beaten him!
For there is no power on earth
that can withstand
the might of the British Navy!
God Save The King!
God Save The King!
Midshipman Hornblower, sir.
You sent for me.
Mr. Simpson, as I am sure
you will be glad to hear,
shall recover and rejoin the service.
However, he is to remain with
Captain Keene aboard Justinian.
You should know, Mr. Hornblower,
that I do not think much of men who
let other's fight their battles
for them.
No, sir.
But, neither will I base my opinion
of an officer on hearsay.
I judge a man on what I see him do,
not what
- others tell me he has done.
- Yes, sir.
Doubtless, had you been properly led,
this situation would not have arisen.
Captain Keene bears no blame
It's not your place to condemn
him or defend him.
No, sir, I meant only that what
befell was outside his control.
Aboard his ship, sir,
there is nothing outside
a captain's control
- and you would do well to remember it
- Yes, sir.
England is at war, Mr. Hornblower.
You have already cost this navy
two midshipmen
one injured, one dead.
No one mourns Mr.Clayton's loss more
than I, sir,and I resent
You resent?
Darn your impudence, sir.
I will not lose men to no better
cause than
the satisfaction of their own vanity.
Whilst under my command,
you will issue
no further challenge,
is that understood?
- Aye, aye, sir.
- Very well.
I have it from Lt. Eccleston that
those hands formerly
of Mr.Simpson's division
are something
of an ill-disciplined rabble.
- Would you concur?
- Yes, sir.
They are now your division.
We sail to battle, Mr. Hornblower.
I cannot afford to feed men
who do not pull their weight.
You will make them work
- or you will answer for it.
- Yes, sir.
Division line up for inspection.
What's the matter with
your face, Styles?
Oh, he gets bi...
Boils, sir, awful bad.
- Have you done anything about them?
- Oh yes, sir.
- Well?
- I've put plasters on them, sir.
Very well. What's funny, Oldroyd?
- Nothing, sir.
- Matthews?
Nothing, sir.
All right, carry on.
Be about your work, now.
Aye, aye, sir.
Break his back. Break his back.
Time! Time, Styles!
Five dead, pay your bets,
evens or better.
- Six!
- Five!
- Where?
- There, that one's dead.
- No, he ain't. Come on
- Look, yes he is, his back is broken.
Oh, fuck!
Who's in charge, here?
- We're not on watch, sir.
- No, you're gambling.
This is now't but a bit of fun, sir.
It's hardly what you could
call gambling.
There are other charges possible
here, Matthews.
Other charges?
A member of His Majesty's forces
can be charged
with rendering himself unfit
for service.
Similarly, there could be charges
of aiding and abetting,
which might include you.
I should consult the Articles of War.
Punishment for such an offense is
- flogging around the fleet,I believe.
- Really, sir.
I could bring charges against
every man jack of you.
You could be court martialed,
dis-rated, flogged.
By God,one more look like that
from you, Styles,and I'll do it.
Belay that, mate.
You'd be in irons five minutes after
I've spoken to Lt.Eccleston.
Mr. Simpson had no argument
with our sports.
Mr. Simpson is no longer in charge
of your division.
I am.
And I'll have no more of these
filthy games,do you understand?
The next hint of misbehaviour and
you will be at the gratings.
- But, sir
- I've said it and I mean it!
After this, I want to see you in
the dogwatches,
sky-larking on deck,
not skulking in the cable tiers like
a lot of darn Frenchmen.
Are you going to tell Mr. Eccleston?
No, not this time.
I'm giving you a chance to prove
yourselves worthy of my trust.
Aye, sir.
Right, now. Get rid of
those rats there.
Styles, get your face
plastered up again.
Matthews, coil these cables
down properly
before the boatswain sees it.
Oldroyd, it was six.
Hands to quarters! Hands to quarters!
Enemy ship to larboard!
- Fire as they bear, Mr. Eccleston.
- Aye, sir.
Lay us alongside, Mr. Bowles.
We can carry this action
by boarding her.
Hard a larboard!
Styles,help me get him
to the surgery!
Come on, Davey.
- This man needs help.
- I'll tend to him presently.
Lt. Chadd, may I inquire as to
the extent of your injuries,sir?
- Splinter.
- Sir, this man is from my division
He'll take his turn like
all the rest.
Well darn it, if he's not seen to now
he'll bleed to death!
Mr. Hornblower! It's all right,
Hepplewhite, I can wait.
Very well.
Come on Styles, let's return
to our station.
Did you see me? Did you see me?
Well, where were you?
We carried her by boarding.
I killed two.
Well, one certainly. Oh, you should
have been there, Horatio.
You should have been.
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 submit
all things to himself.
Therefore,in the sure and certain
knowledge of the resurrection
- we commit the body of
- Davey Williams.
Davey Williams to the deep,
May God have mercy on his soul.
Mr. Hornblower.
What is it, Styles?
The lads have...
asked me to say they value the effort
you made
on Davey's part, sir.
That was all.
Please convey my thanks to the men.
Their conduct in this afternoon's
action was exemplary.
Aye, aye, sir.
A salute.
Well, it's a start,
I suppose.
Bay of Biscay
"Indefatigable" attacks
a French food convoy.
Quel bateau?
Claudette, de Marseilles.
Qu'est-ce-que vous emportez?
Trois cent tons.
- Claudette of Marseilles, sir.
- Cargo?
- Molasses, 300 tons.
- Lt. Chadd!
- Sir.
- Take 6 men,board that vessel,take her
into any English port you can
make and report there for orders.
Aye, aye, sir.
Mr. Bowles, the schooner
to starboard, if you please.
Aye, sir.
Brace hard to larboard!
She's still running under
colours, sir.
It's not my intention to chase him
across the Seven Seas.
He's asked for it, Mr. Eccleston.
Let him have it.
Starboard bow chaser, fire!
Not into the hull, darn it.
Cripple her!
That's better. More like it.
She's hauling down her colours,sir.
Well Mr. Eccleston?
Marie Galante of Bordeaux, sir.
Twenty-four days out of New Orleans
with rice.
About 200 tons, I should say.
She'll sell for a pretty penny when
we get her home.
- How many of her crew?
- Twelve at most.
A prize crew of four then, I should
say. Midshipman's command
- Mr. Hornblower!
- Sir!
Take 4 men, board her. Mr. Bowles
will give you our position.
Take her into any English
port you can
- make and report there for orders.
- Aye, aye, sir.
Your first command.
My congratulations.
Today, if you please, Mr. Hornblower.
I don't intend to lose any more
of this convoy
through your dawdling, sir!
Aye, aye, sir.
They've made best use of
their time, sir.
- Drunk as lords.
- Wish we were as happy, eh?
Where is your officer?
Midshipman Hornblower,
of His Britannic Majesty's frigate,
Indefatigable. Good-day.
This vessel is now a prize of war,
Captain, under my command.
A midshipman?
You have no officer more senior?
Sir, to the British Navy, a schooner
such as
this warrants no more than
a midshipman's command.
But you are no more than a boy!
You will find, sir, that even a boy
in His Majesty's Navy
is capable of an easy two-day
run to England.
Put that down, Styles.
At once, do you hear?
And take these men for'ard.
Throw them into the fos'cle.
Come along, you Frenchie.
This way. Come on.
- Right, move!
- I am an officer. I do not go with the men.
- Sir?
- He goes with the rest.
You, come on!
The prisoners are secure, sir.
Matthews, you've the longest service,
I believe.
- Aye sir, 18 years.
- Very well. I'll rate you petty officer.
Aye, aye, sir.
Thank-you, sir.
Get to work and clear that raffle
away for-ard
so we can sling the topsail yard in.
- Aye, aye, sir.
- Haul in the fos'cle sheets.
- Aye, aye, sir. Styles, Oldroyd.
- All right, all right!
I'll be busy aft.
And get that staysail in before
it flogs itself to pieces.
Well, what are you waiting for?
Those were my orders.
Beg 'pardon sir, but if we're to
sling that yard again,
- we'll need to use the jeers, Sir.
- Yes?
Well sir, we'll need more hands than
we have
to use the jeers, sir.
Can I put some of those
Frenchies to work?
That was my intention, of course
if any of them
- are sober enough.
- I think we can get them to work,sir.
drunk or sober.
Oh boy, what do I do now?
- Matthews!
- Aye, aye, sir.
We'll square away.Then return the
prisoners to the foc'scle.
Aye, aye, sir.
Square away!
Return the prisoners to the foc'scle.
- Matthews, take the wheel.
- Aye, aye, sir.
- What course, sir?
- Norwest by west a quarter west.
Norwest by west a quarter
west, it is sir.
Not into the hull, darn it!
Cripple her!
By God! She's holed!
She's holed all right.
About 2 feet below the waterline.
Thank-you, Styles.
She was close hauled and heeling
right over when we hit her.
Her bows must have lifted just
as the Indy fired.
And of course, she's lower in
the water now, sir.
At least, on this tack, the hole
is not so deep under, sir.
On this tack, we're headed
for France.
We must further a sail and get it
over that hole.
Use an old t'gallant.
Get the Frenchmen to help.
She is riding a bit heavily, now.
She's taking a little water, yes.
A foul wind for England, monsieur.
- Winds may change, monsieur.
- So they say.
Sir, she's riding a bit heavily now.
- Yes, thank-you, Matthews.
- I just said so to your captain.
Well, so much then for your easy
2- days run to England.
- Sir!
- What is it?
The deck seam is opening up!
- I've never seen anything like it,sir.
- It's the rice.
The cargo, Matthews.
We're carrying rice.
The water has got into
it and it's swelling.
The sooner we get a sail over
that hole the better.
Hurry these darn Frenchmen up!
Come on mesdemoiselles.
We're not sewing petticoats!
I told you I thought
she was riding heavily.
Go to the devil.
Another few feet.
All right, sir.
Right, lay her back on the
larboard tack.
This is folly, monsieur.
On this tack, we could easily
make Bordeaux.
You're risking all our lives.
Look! The rats!
I don't think our problem
is the hole, sir.
The rice must have forced her seams
open under the water.
We must jettison the cargo.
Get the sails in and rig a tackle
from that yard.
We'll sway it up.
Madness, this is madness.
We must have moved about 50 tons.
My men are exhausted.
She's lower in the water, sir.
Settling fast.
Another hour we'll be swimming.
It's no go, sir. Sorry.
I shall make preparations for
abandoning the ship.
- Sir?
- You heard me.
Get water and bread into the
ship's boat
and get everyone aboard.
- We shall abandon the ship, Monsieur.
- Enfin!
- Ready to shove off, sir.
- Very good. I'll be up presently.
Beggin' your pardon, sir,
but you should see as you have
some warm clothes, sir.
I've been in an open boat
10 days once, sir.
- It can get darn cold.
- Yes, thank-you, Matthews.
- Is everyone off?
- All save yourself, sir.
Come aboard sir, she's done for.
Matthews, take the tiller.
Get off!
Bear off!
She is going down, sir.
- Breakfast, sir.
- Thank-you, Matthews.
The wind's backing a
little westerly today, sir.
That's so.
There's a chance we might find
the Indefatigable again.
This is her hunting ground, afterall.
- We'll make sail.
- Very good, sir.
Finch, take the sheet.
Styles, take the tiller.
Keep her close hauled on
the larboard tack.
Close haul on the larboard tack, sir.
The wind is still fair for Bordeaux.
We could be there by tomorrow.
- Why do we sail northwest?
- We go to England.
But,this is going to take us a week,
even if the wind is still fair.
The boat is too crowded.
Should there be a storm,
you are risking all our lives.
I insist
that you head towards Bordeaux.
Matthews, take this.
Beggin your pardon,sir,but hadn't
you better cock your pistol?
Monsieur, I was in a stinking
English prison for 5 years,
so let's make an agreement.
Let's go to France.
When we reach shore, anywhere
you choose, we will land,
- and you may continue your journey.
- No!
- I said no!
- Shall I clout him on the jaw for you, sir?
Not unless he misbehaves himself.
Put that pistol away,
it's dangerous.
I will do nothing to interfere with
your command of this boat.
Do you swear it?
- I swear it.
- And your men?
- Well, what do they say?
- They swear it too.
Very well.
Both hands, you fool!
That water has got to last until
we reach England.
Or do you want us all
to die of thirst?
Lay down your arms!
- Do as he says.
- Sir.
Do it!
- I'm sorry, sir.
- It's all right, Finch.
sir, thank-you.
My men are in mind of throwing you
overboard, monsieur.
But,I think you deserve some time
- to reflect on your own stupidity.
- Monsieur?
As I told you, I have spent
5 long years
in one of your country's
fine prison hulks,
and I am grateful now for
an opportunity.
to return the courtesy
The chart and compass,
if you please.
Fish for it.
As you were, Styles!
That was a foolish thing to do, boy.
I might have killed you.
And forgo the pleasure of crowing
over my discomfort?
I think not.
Nevertheless, it was a futile act.
All I have to do to gain France is
to turn this boat about
through 180 degrees and
then sail southeast.
- If you can find it.
- Oh, I can read a chart, monsieur.
I only need the sun and
the pole star for reference
a feat of navigation that even
you might manage.
- What's to do, sir?
- A crisis of confidence, Styles.
Forget's men are complaining,
and rightly so,
that we should be in sight of
the coast by now.
And where is it, though, sir?
He said he had only to
follow the charts.
So he did.
That would presuppose that our
position upon the chart
was accurately plotted.
Nine against five, the odds of them
gaining the upper hand
were always favourable.
It would be a poor captain that did
not take precautions
against such an eventuality.
So, where have you got our
true position, then, sir?
In my head, Matthews.
We were sailing north, not northwest,
when they seized control.
Forget's simply turned us about.
Then we're headed south,
not southeast.
Indeed, Styles.
We're rowing parallel with the coast,
we're getting no closer.
Now you may see how the tree
of indiscipline bears fruit.
An interesting situation, Monsieur.
Sail to windward!
The Indy!
It's the Indy, sir!
Thank goodness, it is!
Right, that's the last one, lads.
Take him away. Lock him up!
So, I'll tell you what he does.
Listen to this.
He drops the compass over
the side,
"Fish for it," says he,
bold as brass.
- He did!
- And him with a pistol in his face.
- And so the frog captain
- Here he comes lads.Step lively now.
Well done, sir.
Mr. Hornblower!
The Marie Galante was damaged
when you boarded her.
And had you had a larger prize
crew you might
have been able to save her.
No, better by far that France was
deprived of her cargo
than England should benefit by it.
it's fortunate for you her captain
was so poor a navigator.
else we might never have found you.
- No, sir.
- Sail to larboard!
Make sail before we lose her!
Darn this fog.
That's one of ours.
By God, a Frenchman!
Ship to starboard!
She'll hide in the fog.
After her, Mr. Bowles!
Starboard two points.
Starboard two points, sir.
We're losing her,
darn it!
Where is she?
Where is she?
There she is!
Now we have her!
Mr. Bowles, we're in over our heads.
Take us out of reach of their
shore batteries.
Mr. Eccleston, what was the ship
you saw afire?
I couldn't see, sir. One of ours,
though, certainly.
Launch boats. Pick up survivors.
Over here!
Help us!
Courage boys, you're safe now.
Keep shouting, we'll find you!
There they are, sir.
Hold water.
Give him this. Keep him warm.
Well, Mr. Hornblower.
The Papillon jumped us from the fog.
Every time we thought we knew
where she might come from,
she came at us from somewhere else.
It was like there were
four ships, not one.
Poor Captain Keene. I was standing
with him when he was hit.
Tore his insides out and
Yes, all right, Mr. Simpson, please,
do not distress yourself
even further.
Mr. Bowles, the chart if you please.
The mouth of the Gironde,
the Papillon lies just here,
between the shore batteries
of St. Dye and Blaye.
You gentlemen, will go in with
the boats and cut her out.
Lt. Eccleston will be in general
command. Mr. Eccleston
As you have seen at first hand,
she is a ship of war,
well-armed and fully crewed.
But, we will be attacking her
at night, taking her by surprise
Kennedy, you'll acquaint Snotty
here with the way of things.
Mr. Chadd will command the gig,
Mr. Kennedy and Mr. Hornblower,
the jollyboat.
- Mr. Bowles
- High water tomorrow is at 4:50. Dawn is at 5:30.
- The attack will
- So,what's your dirty little secret?
Is it that your mother earns
her living on her back?
Mr. Kennedy, Mr. Hornblower,
board as you see fit, and at once
ascend the main rigging.
You will ensure that the main
topsail is loosed
and sheeted home, on receipt
of further orders.
I myself,or Mr. Bowles, in the event
I'm killed or wounded
Hornblower! I'm not finished
with you yet, boy.
I'm going to flay you alive!
Kennedy, I said 'Wake Hornblower,
not the whole darn ship.
You mean the coward has wet himself,
has wet himself.
So much for the theory.
Any questions, gentlemen?
Sir, I would like to volunteer
to go in with the boats.
If you think you're up to it,
Mr. Simpson.
- Lt. Eccleston?
- We will be glad to have you, Mr. Simpson.
You will go in with Mr. Hornblower
and Mr. Kennedy.
Hello, Archie.
It's been a long time.
Jack's missed you, boy.
We were just catching up on
old times, Mr. Hornblower.
These are new times, Mr. Simpson.
- You have no hold over us here.
- No.
No, I see that.
Time we were away, Archie.
Boat crews away.
Mind what you're doing, sir!
Mind what you're doing!
- What's going on?
- It's Mr. Kennedy, sir. He's having a fit!
Mr. Hornblower, can't you keep
your boat quiet!
Shut up.
Archie, for mercy, shut up!
- Do something!
- Sir!
I know, I know.
Mr. Hornblower!
Mr. Hornblower, get your men
aloft quickly now.
Loose the mail topsail.
Styles, Matthews, lay aloft.
Come on men!
- Follow me boys!
- Stevens, wait!
There are no foot ropes.
What'll we do, sir? What'll we do?
Mr. Eccleston, the fos'cle is
secured, sir.
Thank-you, Mr. Chadd.
Darn it, why does he delay?
If Hornblower doesn't loose
the sails, the attack will fail.
Styles, Matthews, starboard yard.
Finch, Oldroyd, follow me.
- Drat! Drat! Drat!
- God Blood
Quickly, now, quickly!
Well done!
Mr. Chadd's complements, sir,
the ship is ours.
Christ. My compliments
to Mr. Hornblower.
I'm afraid Mr. Hornblower
is dead, sir.
I saw him fall from the yard myself.
Ahoy there, Papillon!
Help! Help!
No sign of the Papillon?
They must
have cut her out by now.
Sail to windward!
My goodness, French corvettes!
It's not too deep. Head wounds
always bleed terrible bad, sir.
I expect it hurts like the devil,
but you'll mend, praise the Lord.
What about Mr. Kennedy?
He was still in the boat.
She came adrift when we
went about, sir.
That's what Mr. Simpson said.
I swear, you were born
to hang, Mr. Hornblower.
It's a good thing these Frenchmen
are such a poor shot.
French be cursed, I was
shot by Mr. Simpson.
It is a serious accusation,
Mr. Hornblower, and one I trust
you would not make without
the evidence to support it.
I have the evidence of
my own eyes, sir.
This is hardly the time or the place
to do anything about it.
Get back to your division,
Mr. Hornblower.
I will address the matter when
we get back to the Indefatigable
- Mr. Chadd?
- It's Mr. Hornblower, sir. Surgeon!
Where is Mr. Chadd?
I regret that Lt. Chadd
is dead, sir.
The ship is yours, Mr. Hornblower.
Take command.
Get us back to the Indy...safe.
I'm senior here, the ship is mine.
Lt. Eccleston instructed me
to take command.
You heard him, Mr. Bowles.
Mr. Simpson is senior,
Mr. Hornblower.
Styles, Matthews, confine
Mr. Simpson below.
You heard me, Mr. Simpson is
under close arrest.
Who do you think you are? I have
command here!The ship is mine!
Any man, any man,
stands against me,
he will regret it!
Now, get to work shoring
up this damage.
Get back to work, do you hear?
I have command!
Mr. Bowles, you will carry
out my orders.
If Mr. Simpson resists, you have
my permission to shoot him.
Come on!
- Helmsman, hard to starboard.
- Hard to starboard, sir!
Sir, the Papillon!
My goodness, it is the Papillon.
- God!
- Mr. Bowles, engage the corvette to larboard.
Engage? Sir, we can't take on
three French corvettes.
We can give the Indy an even chance.
We've a third of her crew
aboard this vessel.
If any of the Frenchmen get
close enough to board her,
- she's finished.
- Aye, aye, sir.
Why don't they fire at us, sir?
It may have escaped your
notice, Mr. Bowles,
but we are still flying
French colours.
Shall I have them run down, sir?
If you want me to shoot you
where you stand, by all means.
Sir, it goes against all
articles of war.
When we have leisure, you must
show me where it is written
and I will gladly concede the point.
Until that time, please confine
yourself to following my orders
Fire as you bear!
Starboard side!
My goodness!
Poor devils!
Mr. Hornblower.
They're surrendering, sir!
They are surrendering!
Three cheers, men.
Launch boats to pick
up survivors, Matthews.
Mr. Bowles,
you may raise the Ensign.
Timely, Mr. Hornblower, timely.
I take it by your appearance,
Lt. Eccleston is indisposed?
I regret to inform you, sir, that
Lt. Eccleston is dead.
Lt. Chadd is also among the fallen.
I see.
Who then had command of the
Papillon during the action?
The honour fell to me, sir.
How so? What of Mr. Kennedy,
Mr. Simpson?
Mr. Kennedy was left behind after
the boarding of the Papillon.
- And Mr. Simpson?
- It's a darn lie, sir!
Begging your pardon...
but he's had it in for me ever since
that incident in Spithead.
Mr. Simpson, are you
saying Mr. Hornblower
brought this charge against
you purely out of malice?
He's impeached my honour,sir,and
for that I demand satisfaction
There, you see, he's afraid.
Mr. Simpson, I would be very
wary of calling a man
only lately distinguished
in battle, a coward.
Oh, I do call him a coward,
and a liar.
If he spoke the truth, he would not
hesitate to face me.
Mr. Hornblower's reluctance to accept
this challenge is, I fear
the result of an order
I gave him when
he first came aboard Indefatigable,
is that not so?
Yes, sir.
Mr. Hornblower, I remove
that impediment,
but I must caution you against
accepting this challenge.
I maintain the charge against
Mr. Simpson, sir.
However, since I cannot prove it
other than with my body,
I have no choice but to accept
his challenge.
For the last time, gentlemen,
cannot you be reconciled?
I'm going to kill you, Snotty.
Just as I killed Clayton.
And your little pal, Archie.
- Kennedy?
- Very well.
You may step out
the distance.
And, one, two, three, four, five.
Are you ready?
I did not say, "fire", sir!
It just went off. It's a misfire,
I assure you.
Is he dead? Did I kill him?
No, you did not!
Mr. Hornblower, you will
return fire at will.
Return. I shot him.
The duel is over.
You must stand your ground and
attend fire, Mr. Simpson!
Don't shoot!
For the love of God,
please don't shoot.
Don't shoot me!
I beg you!
You're not worth the powder.
Not worth the powder?
Exceptionally fine shot, sir,
if I may say so, sir.
You may, Mr. Bowles,
you may.
- Sir.
- Mr. Hornblower.
You have fought your duel,
that is well.
Never fight another, that is better.
I owe you a debt of gratitude, sir.
I dispensed justice as I saw fit.
I told you, Mr. Hornblower,I judge
a man by what I see him do.
Nevertheless, you saved my life.
As you saved the life of every man
aboard this ship, sir.
Come on man, no false modesty now.
I see something in you,
Mr. Hornblower.
If you continue in this service
as you've begun,
- a great future awaits you.
- Thank-you, sir.
Carry on, Mr. Hornblower.
Aye, aye, sir.
Styles, coil those cables
down properly now.
Matthews! Lend a hand there.