Please read no further if you don't want spoilers for the Aubrey/Maturin series that inspired the movie Master and Commander.
I'm on book 4 now. Back in Book 3, the author goes and lets Maturin be tortured... AND breaks his heart - eeee!
But in Book 4, he's done worse. *look of deep disapproval and diappointment*
HE LET BONDEN GET FLOGGED.
Yes, you heard me right. Bonden, Killick and others have signed up on ships bound for the Cape in order to be able to join up with Jack Aubrey's ship. Unfortunately, the captain of this particular ship is horribly brutal in his discipline. Bonden, in all of his long career as a sailor, has never been flogged - there's never been a need to. But this... *bastard* ... has him flogged because a bit of brass on a cannon wasn't quite shiny enough. grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.... BASTARD! .......grrrrrrrrr. Four... dozen... strokes. An unheard-of amount for such a minor offense, and an unheard-of offence for a sailor like Bonden to be rated for.
Both Maturin and Aubrey are shocked when they hear of this, and, fortunately, Bonden's request to be transferred along with the other former sailors of Aubrey's to Aubrey's ship is granted. Aubrey and Maturin's shock, as mentioned above, is also particularly gratifying, and a sign of the great regard in which they hold him. In fact, before Aubrey realizes what happened to Bonden, his first response to Maturin's relay of Bonden's request to transfer is to say that a sailor like Bonden is golden, and he doesn't know how he'll get the other captain to part with him.
*showers points on Aubrey and Maturin*
*sticks tongue out at nasty Patrick O'Brian, who, being dead, probably doesn't care what I do*
*sits and sulks... and continues reading*
(BTW... is anybody surprised that every page upon which Bonden appears is dog-eared in my copies? *G*)