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Eddie, Teddy, and Freddie. Midshipman Jones stepped closer and peered at the photos. Yes, they were photographs of three young men about his age. Tannenbaume turned to face him, her hands still clutched to her heart. Oh, I was a wild one when I was young, Mrs.

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Tannenbaume confessed, pointing at the picture on the left. He was a sailor. His ship pulled into port during the war. My father was a tailor and he made uniforms for the merchant marine. I brought a bunch of uniforms down to the ships one afternoon. Eddie was the youngest sailor on the ship, and oh, I tell you, that Eddie was something to look at. She pointed at the middle one. He was a tailor. An apprentice tailor, really. All his uniforms had too many buttonholes. To tell you the truth, Mrs. Tannenbaume whispered to Midshipman Jones, I think I distracted the poor fella whenever I was in the shop.

Not for nothing, but I was something to look at, too, when I was seventeen. Tannenbaume turned back to the photographs with a wistful look in her eyes. Freddie was a jailor, Mrs.


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Tannenbaume said. He worked in the Durban jail as a guard. Freddie was a nice guy. Dumb as a bag of hammers, though. My father made the uniforms for the jailors is how I met him. Oh nothing, I guess, Midshipman Jones said. Tannenbaume smoothed her hands on her housedress. Tannenbaume turned and walked out onto the porch.

Midshipman Jones followed along. My sonny boy is the captain. The God is Able? Where had he—. I knew I had heard the story before. Captain Tannenbaume is your son? The stories about the God is Able are the best! Tannenbaume beamed. You just made my day, young man. Then together Mrs. So what do you think? Tannenbaume asked.


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  • Dickey marched across Barney Square in full view of the cregiment of midshipmen. The midshipmen had just finished mustering for Morning Colors and were standing at attention in formation. The Commodore felt them follow his every step with their eyes and basked in their adoration. Dressed in his summer whites, he knew that he was the very essence of the officer and the gentleman.

    His shined brass belt buckle glinted off the morning sun.

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    The Filipino Martinizer at the Great Neck Martinizing Dry Cleaners knew that the Commodore liked his shirts pressed crisp, and this morning his shirt was so crisp it audibly crackled as he walked. And even though his hair was mostly covered by his gold-braided white hat, it, too, was perfect.

    The Commodore took great pride in his hair. His hair was patrician white and possessed a natural luster that needed no mousse, gel, oil, or spray. He looked forward to his semi-weekly visits to the academy barbershop. His hair was gorgeous, the barber would say, gorgeous, and so thick and white. When the barber finished trimming his hair this morning, the Commodore asked if he needed any mousse or gel. He knew what the barber would say, but he liked to hear him say it anyway.

    In your hair? The barber placed his hand to his mouth in mock horror. Commodore, please, your hair is so thick, so gorgeous. A good barber would never soil your hair with such junk. As the Commodore strode across Barney Square—taking care to avoid the bigger cracks in the black asphalt—three regimental drummers began beating bass drums with mallets that looked like long sticks with marshmallows stuck on the end.

    Ba boom, boom, boom! The Commodore timed his walk across Barney Square to coincide with the beating of the drums. The sound of the big bass drums stirred his heart with pride. The Commodore pursed his lips and sucked in his cheeks. The effect on the midshipmen, he surmised, must be overwhelming. The Commodore entered the cool marble foyer of Wiley Hall, doffed his cap with a flick of his wrist, and tucked it beneath his left arm. He greeted the secretaries gathered inside the foyer—it was the only place in Wiley Hall, built before the advent of air-conditioning, that provided a natural respite from the oppressive heat—by pulling up with a click of his heels and then bowing like a butler.

    The secretaries responded as they usually did, by covering their mouths to muffle their giggles and comments, presumably about his beautiful white hair. The Commodore walked toward the staircase to the left of the foyer. And what kind of day is it today? The Commodore took the stairs two at a time. He did this out of habit, not because he was in a hurry. Indeed, he intended to join Admiral Johnson on the balcony at the precise moment the regimental band struck its first note of the Star-Spangled Banner and not a moment sooner.

    So the Commodore waited in the alcove until he heard the regimental band strike a few extraneous notes preparatory to playing the song. Then he stepped onto the balcony, whipped his hand to the brim of his cap, and saluted the flag. Johnson stiffened. Late again, I see. Even though they were alone on the balcony, Johnson spoke out of the side of his mouth.

    Is the humidity messing up your hair this morning, Bobby? The regimental band fumbled through the National Anthem the best they could. Staying up half the night drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes while hitting the books was poor preparation for blowing on a trumpet first thing in the morning. The Commodore winced. They are hopeless. Johnson looked straight ahead at the American flag lying limp against the flagpole in the still air. The band is fine. At least they show up on time. The song was coming to its familiar close now. Try as they might, the stressed-out band jocks simply could not muster the energy to finish the song with the flourish the Commodore craved.

    This day, like every other in July on Long Island, was shaping up to be hazy, hot, and humid, the kind of weather that can sap the spirit, making it all the more imperative that the regimental band kick off the day with gusto. As the anthem died with a whimper, the Commodore dropped his salute and turned to Johnson. Might you want me to look into the matter, old boy? Old boy? Enough with the Gatsby bit, Bobby. I like the band just the way it is. Yes, of course, sir.

    The band is perfectly fine. Fine indeed. What a wonderful reminder it would be that today is just another day in which—. An awkward moment passed between the two before Johnson broke the silence. Anything special? The Commodore grinned, his mood brightening. Well, I do think it is my best speech, sir. It does seem to get the best response from the midshipmen anyway.

    Johnson turned to leave the balcony but stopped and turned back when he got to the door. Oh, and, Bobby. The gesture was ignored. And by the way, Johnson said, did I hear you say yesterday that someone is joining us for lunch today? Yes, sir. The Commodore held back what he knew Johnson really wanted to know. He wanted to make the old horn-dog grovel for it. That depends on what you consider good looking, sir. Miss Conrad is blonde, has piercing blue eyes, and a rather shapely pair of legs. Johnson could not hide a lascivious grin. I look forward to meeting her.

    See you at lunch. The Commodore waited until Johnson left the balcony before he turned to face the flagpole and the rest of the academy grounds. He gripped the stone balustrade with both hands and spread his stance wide, devouring all that stood before him—the neat flower beds, the pathways bordered by white painted stones, the shined brass bell at the center of the oval. Yes, the asphalt-covered oval was just as badly cracked and splintered as Barney Square, but the Commodore chose, on this fine morning, to look past the unsightly aspects of the campus.

    He knew the physical plant of the Merchant Marine Academy fell far short of the other federal service academies, with their elegant brick and granite pavers, but he also knew that with the proper leadership, his alma mater could one day be as pristine as the others. A group of midshipmen marched by, and one of them looked up toward the balcony and said, Good morning, Admiral.

    The Commodore did not bother to correct the midshipman.

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    Good morning, boys, he said, sounding, for all the world, like an admiral himself. Along the way he greeted still more midshipmen marching to class, only now, up close, they called him Commodore. Admiral Dickey had a ring to it, and he so desired to hear it again. But there was room for only one admiral at the academy, and if it was going to be him, Admiral Johnson would have to be taken out of the way first.

    The Commodore thought of Miss Conrad. Ensign Dickey happened to be in the right place at the right time to hear Ensign Johnson seduce a young secretary on her first day on the job. When the young secretary demurred, sighting the strict fraternization rule outlined in her employment package, Johnson assured her that some rules were made to be broken.

    Why, even the visiting navy chaplain would be joining in on the wholesome fun, Johnson had said, quite smoothly. Still, the secretary was not sure about having a drink after work with one of her bosses. It just did not feel right, she told him. It was then that Dickey heard Johnson clear his throat, lower his voice, and say, If size matters to you, young lady, I can assure you that I am the biggest the academy has to offer.

    Well, no, not exactly, although one day I will be, Johnson said. Well, no, I am the only officer named Johnson. Dickey heard Johnson lower his voice further, almost to a whisper. What I am trying to say is that I have the biggest johnson here. The next day her coworkers gathered around the new secretary at the water-cooler and asked her if she had met Ensign Johnson yet. Indeed she had, the new secretary said. The new secretary nodded her head over sips of coffee. The ladies collapsed into giggles around the watercooler and reminded each other how lucky they were to be working at the Merchant Marine Academy.


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    • Ensign Dickey listened in on this exchange as well. Yes, he was happy to be working at the academy, too. Ever on the lookout for an advantage over his colleagues, Dickey wasted little time in doing what he did best: damaging his adversaries through gossip and innuendo. Indeed, none other than Henry kissinger himself came calling, anxious to find out if what he had heard was true.

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      In the locker room after a game of squash, kissinger saw for himself what all the fuss was about. Admiral Queen had been showing a group of midshipmen just how close they could get to the shoals without going aground. What sad irony. After he turned fifty, his own career stalled. For seven long years now he had been stuck at Commodore which, as everyone knew, was not even an official rank in the United States Maritime Service—it was an honorific, a title, not a rank.

      The Commodore swept into Bowditch Hall only to find the bandleader using the same auditorium in which the Commodore wanted to practice his speech. It felt like a slap in the face to be inconvenienced like this by a subordinate. The bandleader was busy lecturing several band members on stage. Why were they not in class by now? The Commodore took a seat in the last row of the darkened auditorium.

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      Midshipman Gillard stared at the floor in front of him. After a long silence, he said, You play your Walkman too loud. It really throws me off. Now, Mr. I suffer from dyslexia and I have trouble keeping the song straight in my head. FP now includes eBooks in its collection.

      Book Details. Though he has set sail a hero, one misstep may ruin his chances of ever becoming an admiral. Hostile armies, seductive Russian royalty, nautical perils such as ice-bound bays, assassins in the imperial palace—Hornblower must conquer all before he can return home to his beloved new wife and son, as his instructions are to sacrifice every man and ship under his command rather than surrender ground to Napoleon. Limit the size to characters. However, note that many search engines truncate at a much shorter size, about characters.

      Your suggestion will be processed as soon as possible. Forester wrote many novels. He is best known for the book Horatio Hornblower series, depicting a Royal Navy officer during the Napoleonic wars. He began the series with Hornblower fairly high in rank in the first novel, published in The last completed novel was published in With demand for more stories, Forester filled in Hornblower's life story, in effect.

      Hornblower's fictional feats were based on real events, but Forester wrote the body of the works carefully to avoid entanglements with real world history, so that Hornblower is always off on another mission when a great naval victory occurs during the Napoleonic Wars. Forester is also credited as story writer for several movies not based on his published fiction, including Commandos Strike at Dawn He wrote several volumes of short stories set during the Second World War. The last of the stories in Gold from Crete was "If Hitler had invaded England", which offers an imagined sequence of events starting with Hitler's attempt to implement Operation Sea Lion, and culminating in the early military defeat of Nazi Germany in the summer of In addition to his novels of seafaring life, Forester published two crime novels Payment Deferred and Plain Murder and two children's books.

      Poo-Poo and the Dragons was created as a series of stories told to his younger son George to encourage him to finish his meals. George had mild food allergies that kept him feeling unwell, and he needed encouragement to eat.