Rules of the Game

[Midshipman Kennedy appears on precisely 1 page of C.S. Forester's novel 'Mr. Midshipman Hornblower,' and he has no Christian name. He has no fits, merely some highly entertaining mannerisms. After the incident with the Papillon, he is presumably alive and well, as Capt. Pellew doesn't mention that he was involved with it.]

"You are a lucky boy, Mr. Hornblower."

"Perhaps I am, sir."

Kennedy chuckled. "Don't 'sir' me. You're favored, don't you see? The Papillon, Pellew, commanding already!"

"A jolly boat," Hornblower said derisively. "I don't understand why it matters." It signified nothing to him.

"I do." Rather than elucidating, Kennedy embraced Hornblower and kissed him soundly. This unspoken point of naval etiquette -- comfort between junior officers -- was far simpler than problems of seniority. Their respective tallies of years shipboard did not matter in the dark, stolen moments when they could cease being officers and be boys sharing friendly affection.

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