In 1892, Commander Peter Wake has left the world of espionage behind and is back in the sea-going navy. But duty has called him from his new Spanish lover back to Key West to investigate an assassination and prevent another oneall of which leads him to old German foes in Mexico as well as Spanish ones in Cuba and Tampa. The life of the great patriot of Cuba, José Martí, is at stake.
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Gneisenau wasn’t at Havana.
Instead, she was right there in front of us, the officers on her bridge staring and pointing at our arrival. Anchored close nearby her was the large Spanish cruiser Reina Regente . I was well acquainted with that formidable ship, having been chased by her while in a stolen Spanish patrol boat in Cuba four years earlier. To add even more spice to the trouble brewing, Lieutenant Lambert reported that Chicago had German and Spanish captains’ gigs alongside her.
Obviously, old Blau was smarter than he appeared and, though he could have been in Key West only a few hours ahead of us, had wasted no time. Presumably, Reina Regente was already visiting the port. The wily German was innovative, increasing the international repercussions by using the Spanish captain as his witness while complaining to Rear Admiral Walker about my stealing his collier in Mexico. A quick glance at my executive officer showed him standing there watching the scene like the proverbial cat that ate the canary, for his nemesisIwould soon depart the ship in disgrace once the leadership in Washington discovered what I had done. He was probably planning his promotion party.