In the novel Edit
However, made curious by a comment by Finch that "the devil's in the cable tier", Hornblower decided to investigate the happenings in the cable tier and found Styles in the middle of a rat fight, with surgeon's mate Muggridge, bosun's mate Partridge and others watching. Appalled by this, he threatened to charge Styles with rendering himself unfit for service, and the others with aiding and abetting.
Styles isn't mentioned after that, but it is likely that the rat fights stopped.
In the TV series Edit
Styles had a much greater role in the TV series than in the novels. He was a part of Jack Simpson's division originally. However, when Hornblower was transferred to HMS Indefatigable, Simpson's division became Hornblower's responsibility.
As in the novels, Styles engaged in rat fighting in the cable tier, with Matthews, Oldroyd, and others betting on the results. While this went unnoticed under Simpson, Hornblower soon found out and stopped the fights.
When another man in his division, Davey Williams, was badly injured in an attack, Hornblower tried to help him, but the surgeon couldn't do anything for Williams and he died. After this event, though, the rest of the division respected Hornblower, especially for getting the surgeon to try to treat Williams before Lieutenant Chadd (who was less severely injured).
A while after this, he was among the men to go ashore in Oran for supplies when the plague struck Oran, and they had to serve three weeks of quarantine aboard the Caroline before returning to the fleet with the much-needed supplies.
Around 1797, Hornblower was supposed to sail to England in Le Reve with the Duchess of Wharfedale, and Styles was part of Le Reve's crew when Hornblower sailed her into the the Spanish fleet by accident. Despite Hornblower attempting to convince the Spanish that they were French, they were captured. When Hunter attempted to escape from the Spanish prison without Hornblower's help, Styles disapproved of Oldroyd's support for Hunter's plan.
When Hornblower saved the crew of a Spanish ship, he gave his parole that he wouldn't attempt to flee, and his men wouldn't, either. After they were picked up by the Indefatigable, Sir Edward Pellew reminded them that they weren't bound by Hornblower's word, but everyone decided to go back to prison out of loyalty for Hornblower. However, Hornblower and his men were soon released for their bravery.
During General Charette's campaign, Styles, along with some others under the command of Archie Kennedy were to destroy the bridge to Muzillac should anything go wrong, and did so when the French Revolutionary army retook the village.
After the Peace of Amiens, Styles spent three months in prison for fraying, and worked in the kitchen there. When Hornblower was given the HMS Hotspur, Styles served as captain's steward since there was no other place available. However, he soon found that Hornblower tended to be more particular about his food than the inmates at the prison, and Lieutenant Bush strongly suggested that he improve his cooking.
Styles still took part in shore action, such as the destruction of a semaphore tower.
However, he didn't need to improve his cooking, as Hornblower was given a "wedding gift" by Sir Edward Pellew: James Doughty, previously Pellew's steward. Styles was jealous of the "usurper" and made his dislike of him rather obvious. He also was superstitious about the young couple, Jérôme-Napoléon Bonaparte and Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte that the Hotspur rescued, although this might've been merely prejudice based on the man's French accent.