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Quote


  • "'Then I am the first,' cried Pullings with infinite satisfaction. 'Let me wish you and Mrs. Aubrey all the joy in the world.' He grasped Jack's limp, wondering hand, wrung it numb, and showed the printed page, reading aloud, '"At Ashgrove Cottage, Chilton Admiral, in Hants, the lady of Captain Aubrey, of the Boadicea, of a son and heir,"' following the words with his finger.

    'Give it here,' said Jack. He grasped the magazine, sloped the page to the light and pored over it intently.

    '"At Ashgrove Cottage, Chilton Admiral, in Hants, the lady of Captain Aubrey, of the Boadicea, of a son."

    'Well, I'll be damned. God bless me. Lord, Lord … upon my word and honour … I'll be damned to Hell and back again … strike me down. Killick, Killick, rouse out a bottle of champagne -- pass the word for the Doctor -- here, Killick, there's for you -- God love us all -- ha, ha, ha.'

    Killick took the handful of money, put it slowly into his pocket with a look of extreme suspicion and walked out of the cabin, his lips pursed in disapproval. Jack leapt from his seat, took several turns fore and aft, chuckling from time to time, his mind filled with mingled love, happiness, fulfilment, and a most piercing nostalgia."

    -- from The Mauritius Command by Patrick O'Brian

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