Mr. Rowan

I’ve been reading Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin series. I just finished The Far Side of the World and started The Reverse of the Medal. In Treason’s Harbour Jack had a Lt Rowan on board and in the beginning of The Far Side of the World, Lt. Rowan had been sent in one of the ship’s cutters to track down the flagship. He never rejoins the Surpise before she leaves Gibraltar heded toward the far side of the world. Now, in Chapter One of The Reverse of the Medal, Surprise has just come into the West Indies with a prize in tow. They have barely been anchored long enough for Jack to have reported to the Admiral. Stephan meets Sam on shore and directly brings him aboard Surprise and says:

Now I’ve made it to Chapter Four and Lt. Rowan has not been mentioned since. When and where and how the hell did Rowan make it back to the Surprise?

That’s why it’s called the Surprise!


It’s been a while since I read it. Is it mentioned that Rowan doesn’t rejoin, or is it just not mentioned that he does?

Oh yes, the poet “somewhere between here and Malta.”
Perhaps he rejoins between books.

It’s possible, but then again he would have had to have been psychic to know that the Surprise would put into the West Indies. It’s very strange that, if Rowan is aboard, Mowlett doesn’t rub his face in the fact the Mowlett is being published, and Rowan is not in the gunroom for dinner with Stephan and Martin later. In fact, the ship’s lieutenants Mowlett, Honey and Maitland are singled out and toasted even though Maitland, having the watch, is not present. Rowan is not mentioned.
Part of the pleasure I derive from this series is seeing that every little strand is quickly tied up with a neat little bow. But the one mention of a secondary character’s name without the telling of ‘the rest of the story’ just jumps out at me as a little off. Oh well, I guess I’ll have to wade through the next ten books to see if the mystery is ever cleared up.