They had been at sea for several months now. Their mission was to intercept the Acheron, a French ship. It was turning out to be quite difficult for everyone. They had been attacked already and there were several sailors killed, and many others wounded. But Captain Aubrey would not give up. The orders were always to press on, even through storms.
Joseph watched Will climb up the mast to pull in the sail. He had to be honest with himself—he was worried. The rain pounded down and the wind was blowing so hard. And there went Hollom up the mast to help him. Hollom…Joseph narrowed his eyes. Since the first time he saw him, he knew he was trouble. The man was a walking disaster—a Jonah. Bad luck followed him wherever he went.
Suddenly there was a loud crack, and the mast broke. It crashed into the water, and Will along with it. Joseph could not say or do anything for a moment, and then he was screaming, "Man overboard!" The next several minutes seemed to last for hours, and by the end of it he had shouted himself hoarse. It had all been in vain, of course, because Will, despite how many times Joseph had affirmed he would, did not make it back to the ship. Joseph himself had taken part in cutting his only path to safety from the Surprise. Though it had saved many lives, he could never forgive himself for that.
He glared at Hollom through narrowed eyes. Here, concealed in darkness, could he fully loathe the man responsible for William Warley's death. His fist clenched and he gritted his teeth. Somehow he knew Hollom would pay dearly, and he couldn't help but feel he would be to blame. That old mutinous feeling rose up within him again and he had no desire to stop it.