The Obversant Voyage A Parody
A Parody of Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey/Maturin historical fiction series, in this book (set in the dead center of the series between The Far Side of the World [WW Norton] and The Reverse of the Medal [WW Norton])the HMS Surprise visits San Diego circa 1813.
“Patrick O’Brian would have loathed this book”
-Starling Lawrence, Patrick O’Brian’s Editor at W.W Norton
From The Obversant Voyage…
‘Oh, the box,’ said Jack smiling, ‘not to worry about that, it’s in a very safe place.’
‘I don’t think it is, Jack, look at this,’ Stephen withdrew the draught from his pocket and laid it on the great desk.
Jack stared at the bill for a moment and said: ‘A clever forgery, Stephen, nothing more, I assure you. The box is safe, I’m sure of it; but where did you find this?’
‘Jack, listen to me, during dinner Don Onofre made several comments that disturbed me greatly in their recondite knowledge of British secrets. I believe he has read the cover letters and that the other eleven notes are still to be recovered.’
‘Well then, let me just put this little concern of yours to rest, Stephen,’ Jack reached into the footwell of the desk and found the short butt. Stephen locked the cabin door from the inside and Jack pulled the box out of its cubby and placed it on the desk. ‘There, you see, Stephen, there’s your box, safe and sound.’
‘My sealing wax has been broken.’
‘Perhaps it was jostled, with all these many miles at sea,’ and Jack twisted the clasp, popping it open.
He looked into the box, then at Stephen, and then back at the box again.
‘Red Hell and death!’ He stuck his hand all the way in and felt the empty bottom: Empty as Pandora’s Box–no, worse than that–for Pandora’s Box had at least still contained Hope. But hope, if there were any to be found, certainly did not reside now in this despicable box.