It was a cool, dark night on the deck of the Indefatigable, captain Pellew remained on deck gazing at the stars thinking about when he last saw Lieuftennant Hornblower, those two years back this would have been his watch. Captain Pellew often came out onto the deck on the midnight watch which would have been Mr Hornblower's watch.
Suddenly he heard the sound of oares hi the water, then he saw them, five men of lieuftennat Hornblowers division escaped from jail on the mainland of Spain.
As the men reached the side of the ship captain Pellew had ordered some of the hands to get some blankets for them. The first man on board was one he knew well it was oldroyd accompanied by four other shipmatesbut not the shipmates he had wanted to see, when he noticed that Hornblower was not amongst them his heart sank.
"Oldroyd?" asked captain Pellew hoping he was asking the right man.
Oldroyd answered with a shakey voice, "where is Mr Hornblower and the rest of the men"
"the rest of the crew were caught sir, but … we managed to slip away" Oldroyd answered
"and Mr Hornblower?" he asked concerned.
he continued ," Mr Hornblower was last seen 18 months ago, sir he was moved to a more secure prison, a irishman usually came during the night, he served at the other prison you see sir he reports to us to tell us his situation" Oldroyd stopped there and was scrred to continue his conversation.
"arh ….. I see, what was the last report you received from him?" Pellew asked hoping that his young officer would be alright.
Oldroyd was shaking terribly scarred at what his answer might be, " the last report we received was that, ummm …. Well, Mr Hornblower is unable to stand and bearly able to breathe properly he is too weak, every day he would be summoned and used as a punch bag they take their aggression out on him, word is he is chained to wall lying in a flood of his own blood, he is not able to lie down at all or even sit down, his chains are holding his hands in shackles holding him up so he cannot do anything to get out of there his legs have collapsed under neath him so he hangs there waiting for his next punishment"
Captain Pellew was horrified and now starting to panic about his young officer.
" oh, and the irishman also gave me this, it is a map to where Mr Hornblower is to be found." Pellew felt there was a chance and ceased the chance to find and save his young officer.
As Pellew returned to his cabin with the map in his hand.
As he put the map his cabins table he looked at them with great detail and noticed that Hornblower was two bays away to where the ship was settled in the Spanish bay just on the coast, he studied the map and found a route and hatched his mission to save the young officer.
Pellew was very angry that one of his very own officer had been used as a punchbag. Days passed as the captain was planning the rescue mission there was much word going around the fleet that Hornblower was still alive and was being beaten within an inch of his life.
Pellew was studying his thoughts when he was interrupted by leuiftennants Kennedy and Bush.
" sir sorry to disturb you but the channel fleet has come and requests that you are to attend the meeting in one hour." Mr Bush informed the captain.
" What is this meeting about, and where is this so called meeting?" he asked the officers.
Mr Kennedy answered his question' "The meeting I aboard the Dreadnought, and the meeting has been called on the rescue of Mr Hornblower, sir and they see an opportunity to attack the ships in the bay you are to bring the maps and your leiuftennants are to accompany you also" said Archie.
Pellew nodded "I will accompany you two into the joly boat in fifty minutes, that will be all."
" Aye, Aye sir!" Archie and William responded simultaneously.