"Order the gunners to fire as they bear, Mr Gidman, let us see how many rounds we can put in her before we slip past."
A deafening, mind numbing "BOOM" exploded over the ship as the Captain's order was acted upon. The guns fired from both decks in an extended, irregular barrage, as each cannon in turn sighted their target. Immediately big gaping holes appeared in Le Tigre's bulwarks, lower down on her hull a number of large, ragged holes were evident. The result of the twenty-four-pounders, firing single shot at point blank range from the gun deck.
Pandemonium broke out aboard Le Tigre. Without the help of the glass, James could see the gun crews scrambling out of the hatches, officers pulling on coats, dashing about shouting, just the sort of effect he had hoped for. He allowed himself a smile but it soon vanished when he saw the gun-doors of the French ship slowly open and the black muzzles of their guns appear.
The Osprey's guns had been reloaded and once again the barrage boomed out, proof of the effectiveness of the long hours of practice the gun-crews had put in.
Author: Glyn Adams
Title: Moon Cay
Series: The Face of the Enemy
First Published by: Glyn Adams
Date: 6 June 2014