The Contraptionaire

With the Merry Elizabeth's boilers stoked once again, and repairs made to her canvases and cannon, we regained most of our previous altitude and swung towards London. Enemy planes harassed us well into the night, but the armor held, as did the lads' nerves, thank God. Miss Hawthorne and her governess, the formidable Mrs. Posey, kept the coffee flowing and even lent their eyes to the watch. I yet believe we shall see Mrs. Posey take the crow's nest, though I would not wager soon.

But the good spirits on board belie my worries. I am more certain than ever that our mysterious enemy is none other than the Comte de Saint Germain after all. This engagement over Calais is therefore but a foretaste of the great approaching contest, with the fate of all Europe hanging in the balance. But then, as our dear Miss Hawthorne says: isn't it always?

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