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The King's Word

The King's Word

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The King's Word

143 pages
1 hour
Feb 8, 2021


Against all odds, Willy and Raja continue to fight to become Privateers, even though the country's most powerful man, the popular and victorious General Christian August, stands in their way. He has issued an order of irrevocable incarceration of them. They must be hanged for piracy.

In the shadows of this chase, the promiscuous bounty hunter Frans Dove, fond of love's peril and gunplay, does not spare the powder when he takes up the hunt for Willy and Raja.

There is only one who can pardon them now - the king. But he has his own dangers and demons to fight …

Feb 8, 2021

About the author

About Tom Thowsen If you enjoy books of Wilbur Smith and Ken Follett, you`d likely enjoy Tom Thowsen too. He is a Norwegian illustrator and fiction writer with a passion for history. This passion is also reflected in his books, where he often uses two different time frames, two different stories woven together. One from the present time and the other from the past. His novels have received very good receptions from both readers and newspapers. Halden Arbeiderblad said this about Kayaweta, his newest novel: "Thowsen manages to combine facts with fiction and writes excellent novels." Another newspaper, Demokraten, concluded: "The author sparkles with the joy of storytelling and knowledge."

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The King's Word - Tom Thowsen

The story so far:

The fisherman Willy Lauer and his gifted friend Raja Romanova want to become privateers, and with some cunning and the help of their friends, Armel Dumas and the twins Odd and Jens Kaspersen, they seize a Swedish pleasure craft named The Sea Lion. But in the absence of a valid letter of marque, their ship is confiscated. Willy and Raja travel to Christianssand to find the bookkeeper Atle Christensen who has promised Willy a favour. The bookkeeper introduces them to County Governor Nicolai Emanuel de Thygeson who agrees to issue the letter of marque. Around the same time, The Sea Lion shows up unexpectedly in Christianssand. Their friends have recaptured it and are immediately arrested by a bounty hunter by the name of Frans Dove. But when the bounty hunter fails to produce a valid warrant for their arrest, the thieves and the stolen goods are placed in the town’s custody. Later that day, Willy and Raja meet Mark Wilson, Jan de Jong, and Linda McLaren—deserters from the British brig HMS Seagull who want to become Willy’s crew. That evening, Willy and Raja attend a party at the home of the county governor and his adorable wife, Louise de Thygeson. Out of nowhere, Willy’s father and brother show up. Ulf and Gustav Lauer. The county governor invites them inside. After dinner, the men head to the host’s library to discover that there is a warrant for Willy and Raja’s arrest. But County Governor Thygeson has an idea. He has an acquaintance in the royal court who might help them get an audience with the king.

Only time will tell...


JUNE 28TH, 1808

When it dawned on Captain Frans Dove that he had been tricked out of his reward, he decided to seek the counsel of one of the townspeople. He anchored his ship, John Bull, by the Gallows promontory, lowered the lifeboat, and headed for the town. Purposeful, he rushed along the streets until, finally, he found what he sought.

THE PROUD COCK, the sign read.

Frans entered the inn. Three decked out women were standing by the bar. They were having fun with the server, laughing loudly and chatting away, and Frans realised that the server looked like his father. The same cleft chin. The same gleam in his eyes. Just as big and strong.

Frans approached them.


The chatter died down.

Hello, young man. The giant grabbed an empty tankard and prepared to fill it. Beer?

Uncle Oscar? Frans tried a smile.

The giant studied him closer. The women, too.

Are you one of Birger’s sons?

Frans held out his hand. I am. My name’s Frans.

Oscar put the tankard down on the bar. They shook hands.

Are things well? the uncle asked his nephew.

Yes and no. We’re in good health. But things could be better financially. Yourself?

I’m doing alright. Working away, as you can see. Making ends meet, and all that. But enough about that. Oscar fell into a short thoughtful silence before continuing, Are you staying for a few days?

No, Frans said. I think I’m heading home tomorrow.


With an unresolved case, unfortunately.

Oscar’s eyes narrowed. Please, do tell.

He refuses to believe me.

Who? Who are you talking about?

Your town’s representative. I think he was the county governor.


That’s him. Thygeson...

Stop right there. Oscar raised his hand and signalled for Frans to follow him. Come here.

Frans smiled at the women and raised an eyebrow.

Farewell, he said as he passed them. But they turned up their noses and looked the other way nonchalantly.

Between piles of rubbish in the back room, Oscar found a place where the two could talk in peace. With beer and sautéed reindeer.

So, you say Thygeson refuses to believe you. Oscar downed a mouthful from his foamy tankard. His nephew had made quick work of summarising the events. How he had recaptured the ship stolen by Armel and the twins but that the county governor had turned him away.

Frans placed a chunk of sautéed reindeer in his mouth. As he chewed, he continued to talk.

Tank didn’t have time to write a warrant for their arrest. We had to leave in a hurry, you see.

Oscar eyed up his nephew. The rolled-up trousers didn’t suit him but made him look like a shorebird—an inherited trait. Oscar used to be the same way. For all of his childhood, he had been one of the small boys. The others had called him the Dwarf until, one day, he had shot up. He had grown like a beanstalk. In a few short weeks, he had become as gangly and thin as Frans was now, only he’d been smarter about it than his nephew and worn clothes that hid his quirks. Frans, on the other hand, looked like he’d outgrown his clothes.

That’s a shame. Had you been in uniform, dear nephew, things might have gone differently.

Frans shrugged and threw his hands up in resignation.

The members of the citizen’s militia who can afford a uniform are few and far between, he sighed in resignation. And a man of his position should know that.

Of course, Thygeson knows that, the uncle replied and thought for a moment. "Besides, he knows every last privateer vessel in the country. Every name and number. Even John Bull. Had he bothered looking through the ship registrations, he would’ve seen you listed as the captain of the ship. So, I think something suspicious is happening."

Oh, yeah, Frans said eagerly. It’s all coming together now. He was walking with Willy Lauer and Raja Romanova.

What about them?

They’re wanted by Akershus prize court.

Oscar lit up. Well, I’ll be darned! You don’t say.

Yeah, and I believe the warrant has been spread up and down the country, so it should have reached the authorities in Christianssand as well. I don’t know what this Thygeson fellow is up to, but something doesn’t feel right.

I agree. We can’t trust Thygeson. He only cares about himself. We should talk to Thomas...

Frans frowned. Thomas?

And Caspar, of course. We’ll start with him.


"A close friend of mine. I served under him when I was your age, on the frigate Sea Knight."

An hour later they marched into the bailiff’s office, accompanied by Caspar Claudius Bierck. Casper wasn’t retired, though his 72 years made him old enough. No, he was commander of the navy, not to mention chief of enrolment and maritime pilot of the district of Christianssand. So, he looked impressive as he stood there in full uniform, complete with his hat and sabre, his back straight as a pin. Holding his head high, he walked up to the desk of a bald man preoccupied with a mountain of papers.

Hello, Thomas, he said. I apologise for the disturbance.

Thomas Lahn, the 58-year-old bailiff, was both the judge and the chief of police. On top of his other roles, he served as a judge on the district prize count, where he and Commander Bierck were colleagues—on paper. In practice, the commander was usually represented by proxy because he had too much to do. So much, in fact, that the Government Commission had made him exempt from his duty to attend trials. Still, the pair convened often.

Hello, Caspar, the bailiff said and looked up, attempting to be gentle and welcoming. That’s alright. I see you’ve brought guests. He nodded towards the unfamiliar young man standing next to the commander. A lanky fellow who had a military air about him; even in the absence of a uniform and other distinctions, his back was straight, his eyes fixed straight ahead of him.

Commander Bierck made a gesture with his hand. "Allow me to introduce the brave captain of the privateer vessel John Bull. His name is Frans Dove."

Hello, Captain Dove. Are you related to Oscar?

I am, Frans answered briefly without moving his gaze, trying to exude as much respect as he could muster, as is expected when meeting powerful men. Much would depend on whether Bailiff Thomas Lahn would comply with his demands or not.

But the conversation didn’t flow because nobody had prepared, and the bailiff was tired. Besides, he had a great dislike for being interrupted in the middle of his work.

My brother’s youngest son, Oscar said proudly.

I see. The bailiff glanced at Frans before turning back to Oscar. I see a certain resemblance.

I was scrawny too, the giant said and stroked his broad chest.

The bailiff smiled crookedly. "Hm. I wouldn’t have guessed.

Oscar laughed. Right? That’s what I think when I look in the mirror.

And is Captain Dove perhaps as daring as yourself? the bailiff wondered, opting for the word daring because it sounded better than strong or harsh. Because Oscar, the owner of the inn, was known for picking fights. 

Excuse me, I’m afraid I don’t follow, Oscar said, not recognising himself in the description.

So, we were talking about the brave captain...

Right, yes. I do admire him...

Of course. Now...

Did you hear the shots this morning? the commander asked.

Down by the harbour, Oscar added.

The bailiff looked at the three of them in turn. "Of course,

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