Romance in the Mansion over the Hilltop
By J P Ronan
The call to the New World in the sixteenth century reaches all countries and every social station among the peoples of Europe. The poor and the rich, the adventurous and the desperate, the honorable and the thief make a shared approach to new lives across the broad ocean. Life is renewed and hope is returned to all who arrive in the colonies of America. Dangers and struggles of the frontier force the common and the privileged to join. Love is an absolute spirit that shall unite a pair of souls otherwise decreed to partition. Here the princess and the pauper are called forth from their disjoined societies to bond in lasting romance. Separated by trials, assailed by villains, and abandoned to circumstance and ready temptation the two survive in America by their love and desire to be with each other. Hearts will be uplifted. Optimism shall be restored. Youth shall be regained. These are promised to all who seek the Mansion on the Hill.
NSBN 1526373849 B Published by Ronan’s Press in 2006
Ace Allison…scout Cathy Alderdyce…indentured maid Dedicated to the ever youthful William H McDonald, PhD John Bacon…banker Myhre Banks…frontier scout Romance Batson…construction contractor Colonel Harold and Lady Agnes Churchwater…. neo aristocracy form London Chaupaug…Chief of the Cherokee Billy Dumf…. vagrant Howard and Vestal Goodman…farmers and gospel singers Clarence Green…thief Darrel Haslet…breeder of farm animals
Hialleeya.... Mingo maiden Martha Hicks…. aged widow Sonny Hicks. …woodsman and son to Martha William Keane. …indentured youth Columb Kiilan…alias used by William as a Nobleman Robert James…. frontiersman and trapper Spike Jones…. first mate of the Scorpion Silas Juaderel…captain of the Scorpion Moise Lester… manager of the Churchwater’s estate Duchess of Leeds ...the former Cynthia Clawsons Menonomee. …champion warrior of a distant Cherokee tribe Thomas McCrady…. scallywag Naupaug…. daughter to Chaupaug Wesley Peck. …frontier man and trapper Erie Pierre. …ship’s carpenter Harold Rednapp…admiral of the Royal Navy (retired) Hovie Skaggs…old trapper Shawaylla… Mingo warrior Scio…. Cherokee messenger Shonbec…Martha Hicks first husband Miss Elisa Stewart…. ward of the Lady Churchwater Captain Smyers…royal military commander in Virginia Bill Sykes... preacher and farmer
Miss Darlene Taylor…daughter of the Governor to Virginia Sir Martin Trevor Taylor…Governor of the Virginia Colony Toronto…. Chief of the Mingo Uriah Vance…moneylender Horace E Warnock, Esq.…. solicitor Reverend George S Younce…corporate business magnate
Figures: Introduction…maiden Chapter 1…mansion Chapter 2…ship Chapter 3…chief Chapter 4…village Chapter 5…cannons Chapter 6…swimming hole Chapter 7…mules Chapter 8…cottage Chapter 9…mountain pass
Hurley and Lace
The night grows longer here this time of year. Late fall begins the time of Saurin. It is the season of evil and misfortune that arrives with lesser sunlight of shortened days that bound the occurrence of the winter's solstice. Most homes in Celtic lands are now prepared. Protective garlands hang about the homes and sheds to ward away the unwanted shadowy spirits.
The people and their livestock will shelter during the extending nights behind those vapors and odors from the harvest's bounty avoided by malevolent creatures. Pieces of iron are attached to sleeping children. The added weight forbids ease of the theft during the darkest hours of the blackest nights. Stones placed for the summer round about a favored wellspring believed to be the home of a beneficial fairy have been recovered. These now have been relocated to the underside of the beds of the living. Their borrowed magic mounds the hopes of preservation from harm by wicked goblins emerged and freely wondering the land in the spreading gloom. Overpowering night brings to an end all but the essential activities of home, farm, and village. In the southwest corner of Dublin Town, Seamus Keane has a home of wood and straw. One large room of his domicile is used to hold a half dozen head of cattle and cow. Meat, milk and cheese from his livestock keep his young family. Out in the yard a shed of chickens produce eggs. Seamus is a master barrel maker. His produce is traded for lumber cut from oak and ash as well for needed iron stays. His finished wooden barrels are sold in the commercial markets inside Dublin proper. Near the end of the 1600’s there is much turmoil about the country. Religious wars have been waged for decades and continue with no end soon to be realized. Many families may no longer be allowed by the introduction of new law to own property.
Seamus fears that his land will be seized and his family displaced without home or income. The civil strife has depressed the economy, and his goods do not presently sell well. His family struggles daily. "Seamus!" Nora calls her husband from his sleep. "Time to move the animals into the fields." Nora has been active about the house well before the call to raise her man. The fireplace is warm. The eggs have been gathered from the roosts. Tea is ready for serving. Scones are being mixed and soon to be baked. "God bless the woman of this house for the whole of the day just beginning." Seamus has worked late the past several evenings. "You'll be off to market today?" Nora is hopeful for a good return on the newly finished barrels to be sold. "As soon as the morning chores are dun!" Seamus stretches his sore arms and legs but he does not rise. "Your tea is poured. It gets cold!" Nora insists. "You’re a handsome woman Nora. I'd keep you but I 'm a married man." A mischievous smile emerges upon his lips. "If you think I'd marry again to a man what spends the whole of the morning in bed when there's loads of work left wanting then you best take up keeping unicorns for a living." Nora eyes flash with glee in the tease of her husband.
"Best get William up from his bed." Seamus suggests. "He must get busy loading them barrels." "Let the boy sleep! He's exhausted from helping his da." "The boy is a natural barrel maker. His arms are strong and his eye is as sharp as any trout." Pride shows for his first-born son. "It's time for the boy to be a man, Nora." "William has a game this evening. If his team wins, William will play in the championship Sunday at St. Stephan's Green. The whole of Dublin will be there watching...and so will we." "Hurley! Hurley! It's all your family lives for...there's no living to come from running up and down a pitch hitting a hard ball." Seamus disagrees. "Me da was a champion at William’s age and his father before him. I can't help if the McMurrays are natural winners." Nora retorts. "I say the McMurray women are champions right enough." Calls Seamus as he rushes to engulf his wife in a hug. He pulls her backwards to his lap. "Seamus!" Nora exclaims in an excited whisper. "The children will be waking...there's no breakfast ready." The tease is lighter than the man's intentions. Nora struggles to bring sense to her man and end his appetite. "Keep your lustful desires until the day's work is at an end if you please." Her soft body pressed against him and removes the discomfort from his limbs. "Is there something special I can bring back from the market what will make the woman of the house happy?" "I want William to play in the championship with a proper pair of boots."
“It’s a large sum that’s needed for new boots." Seamus ponders.” What say I ask about and see if a used pair of boots is to be had?" "It's the last days of William's boyhood. We need to do something special for him." Nora eyes plead for understanding. "He's a fine lad and a fine man at the Hurley...Mickey Rodgers has an older brother what played the game some years back. Them Rodgers never wastes as much as a piece of lint." Seamus laughs. "His brother is as tall and built much like our William. I'll shall do my best for boots… but I can't promise Nora."
In a fashionable section of London stands an elegant gray stone home with long stylish windows and doors. It is surrounded by lovely small gardens. An oval carriage drive allows immediate entrance to the front A cool autumn mist begins this day. Lady Churchwater emerges from the dining room upon the conclusion of breakfast. Her ward Miss Stewart accompanies her. The lady stops and inspects the view of the outside at the front of the residence. "Jeeves!" The lady calls her butler. "Those men are in the front again today?" "Yes madam. The men are yet repaving the stone on the carriage way."
"Do you realize that yesterday when I left to visit my husband at the ministry those men were at work in the front of this home?" "Yes madam." "Those men are very common. They are sweating profusely." "Its heavy work madam...stone work that is..." "I nearly smelled them as I passed in my carriage!" The lady’s stare is one of disgust. "What if one of us...my ward or a visitor arrived before such a collected squalor about the place? What would they think?" "The workmen will finish before luncheon today madam. I regret any inconvenience." The tone of the butler is consoling. "My solicitor arrives mid morning. These oafs must be gone. Can't they work at night in the dark when they won't be seen?" The woman's irritation cannot be secreted. "It is very costly work and to labor at night will slow their progress with much delay and unnecessary increase in expense madam." "Why must we pay dearly to just common folk?" "They have homes and families madam. They pay the same for food and coal as yourself...if they cannot meet their needs they will not do the work." "Most unsatisfactory Jeeves. I wish you to watch their progress and ensure their efforts conclude quickly. I cannot endure their presence any longer than necessary. I shall not tolerate any dally about their labors." "As you wish madam." "Come let us retire to the parlor." The lady directs her ward.
The comely young girl is soon to turn of age. The lady plans her emergence into fashionable society. She has much hope for an arrangement of a most suitable marriage. The lady sits. The girl stands just before her. "Let me see...Shoulders up straight! Head held high!" The girl responds by becoming stiff at an immediate attention. "This is the noble way. Now turn slowly about so I may see your figure." The lady’s hands swirl gracefully in example. As the child's frame rotates the lady's eyes measure every view of her form. "You are just as beautiful as your mother. Every man desired her hand when she was your age. Slowly! Always permit your admirers sufficient time to discover you beauty." "Am I really beautiful?" The child asks. The woman sighs. "You are flawless… absolutely flawless! How can nature be so cruel to everyone else?" "I am taller I think." The child supplies. "Yes I see. I hope you do not take after your father. He was quite a tall man. Tall girls are never in demand by the better families. We shall keep you out of very high heels just in case." "Your skin is lovely beyond any I have ever seen." Her ladyship concludes that the girl’s appeal is second to none. "We shall have to gather the best of fashion to show you properly. There will be many outings forth coming. We shall be very busy. We shall have a handsome suitor for you straight away."
"When will I be married?" The child ponders. "It's proper to marry within a year or two from your sixteenth birthday. However with your desirability I'd say almost immediately once you are eligible. Less than six to eight months would be viewed as vulgar, I'm afraid." "It is there anything special that I should know about being married?" "There are to be a great many responsibilities in a proper marriage. I shall be there to advise you in all these." "I mean should I know something of becoming a wife?" The girl is unsure. "Oh! That's easy! There are exactly three things men take from a marriage. These are food, intimacy, and rest! If you can manage these simple demands then you shall have complete control of your marriage." There is a look of disbelief upon the girl's face. "Is that all?" "It's as simple as that! Our cooks feed my husband. His insatiable lust I have abandoned to his unfaithful relationships. I shall not suffer a lazy man in my presence so he rests at his gentleman's club." This response is unappealing to the girl. Her face shows disappointment. The woman reads her mind. "Marriage is a business. It is precisely the business of appropriate survival for a woman. A good marriage is the gain of wealth. I shall see to it that you have a grand marriage." Nora enters the tiny room where her three children sleep. William is much older and requires his own bed. The smaller sister and brother sleep together upon a second shorter cot. Nora rubs the forearm of the sleeping lad lovingly. The boy stirs. Nora whispers in his ear. “Today is a big game. Get up and have a hearty breakfast.” The lad turns but his eyes resist. Nora’s hand caresses the lad’s back. “I’ve made your favorite scones and there’s hot sausage and eggs ready.” William is always hungry. Sleep pales at the want for the taste of his mother’s cooking. “Your father is already in the field. The wagon is to be loaded for a trip to market. Your dad’s going to look for boots for you.” William is sprung to consciousness by the prize he seeks. “Boots!” “Hush now! The others need sleep for hours yet. Get dressed for work and come to breakfast.” Quick to sit before his mother the lad begins to eat. “Ooh now! Say your blessings! There’s no heathen to sit for a meal in you father’s house.” ~~~~~
“I’m starved mother. Da worked me late last night on the last of the barrels. We redone several old ones. Like new they are!” “You are a good worker like your da. Proud of you he is.” “Da has a good hand at the wood. I’m learning but he’s a master for sure.” The boy desires the favor of his father. “You should be proud of your da. No one in Dublin works harder.” A large plate of homemade sausages is placed before the boy. “Eat deep as you won’t have anything substantial until late after your game.” “I’m gone to ask da to by me a pint of ale before the game?” William is uncertain. This is the first time the boy has spoken of hard drink. His mother is uncomfortable and wishes not to over step the wishes of the father. “And what makes you be needing such now?” She is anxious. “All the lads are going to get a pint of stout so’s we won’t cramp early in the running of the Hurley today.” “What will the lad’s be asking for next…a bowl of liquor I expect?” “We need every bit of help. We play the team from Rathfarnam. They’ve not been bested this year.” “Drink is supposed to help you win?” “No mother, the substance in the stout keeps off leg cramps. We can win if we can out run them…they have better skilled players that’s for sure.” “And how is your hitting at the Hurley?”
“Fine mother! The new stick grandfather brung for me allows me to hit the ball much farther than before. The first time I waked with it, the ball screamed off into the distance a mile out of play.” “My da sent to Galway for that stick. It was made special. He gave up the pub for a fortnight to pay for the thing.” Nora blooms in pride. “If I can run in boots I know I can score plenty.” Nora is unhappy that her son has had to run bare foot in the Hurley games. “Boots is a luxury!” “Lots of boys wear them mother.” William is not one to complain. “All the Rathfarnam lads have them…that’s why they win so often!” “The folks in Rathfarnam have money. We have many other needs for our cash.” Nora says a quiet prayer. “Perhaps we can manage a bit of luck.” Seamus returns to the home. “William the barrels have to go today right off.” “I’m going straight to load the wagon soon as I finish breakfast.” The boy responds. “Tell you father what your wish is for this today!” Nora commands. “I’d like to get a pair of boots for the Hurley ad. Won’t ask for anything more this year!” The boy is hopeful. “We’ll see Mick Rodgers early today at the market and see if a trade can be dun.” The boy’s father responds. The woman tilts her head and winks at Seamus. “And what else are you after asking for?”
“A pint of stout before the match today so’s my legs won’t cramp and I can run further and faster than them from Rathfarnam.” Boldly asks the boy. “One pint! Seems to me that two pints might ensure victory! We’ll have them after business is dun at the market!” Nora is surprised by her husband’s agreeable response. “It’s that easy to have the boy turn to drink with just a nod and a wink?” “Ah! For sure I asked my da for a pint when I was his age and it hasn’t killed me altogether.” “It hasn’t made you one bit richer either.” Nora dislikes heavy drinking. “Drink is not for getting intoxicated son. A man’s discipline is needed to have the proper use of the stuff. Only fool’s and the weak of mind drink stout like as if they were fish returning to the sea.” “Too much drink brings the thirst for sin!” Nora’s looks to her innocent young son then she gives a harsh glance to her husband that is mortal in warning. “Ah, yes! Drink can bring an awful thrust for a woman.” Seamus warns sternly. William‘s head sinks with embarrassment before his parents. “Then see to it there’s sufficient stout had by yourself, Seamus.” Nora eye lashes flicker at her man. “I just want to be able to run hard all game is all!” The boy is over laden from parental responsibility. “You have that boy back without delay. He needs a good rest before the Hurley today.” “Nora darling, he can stretch out on the wagon during the dealings at the market. It’ll be an easy day for the both of us.” Seamus responds.
“Well see to it that he doesn’t run about wild among the throng the whole of the day.” She pauses.” Let him try the benefit of one pint only.” The nod of her head makes the matter final.
Precisely at 10:00 AM, Horace E Warnock, Esq. presents himself at the residence of Lady Churchwater. He is seated with the woman in the library of the residence. “Lady Churchwater I have been through your financial affairs.” He pauses to have her complete attention. “The state of your resources is not good.” “Whatever do you mean?” The woman is surprised. “We have the estate of my ward! There’s plenty of money there?” “Was plenty of money! The expense of keeping this home, the decline in your investments, and numerous unnecessary expenditures…” “What expenditures? I absolutely must have a fashionable home for my ward. Just who has been managing our investments?” The Lady is near panic. “What of my husband’s salary from the ministry? “Your husband has a modest income but barely acceptable for the expense of keeping this house.”
“What of my ward’s inheritance?” “You madam have been paying your over drafts from her estate! In short the girl’s money is nearly gone!” “Our investments? What of these?” The woman’s hands are griped white. “Your husband has taken charge of these some months ago. He has placed his investment in high yield high-risk ventures.” Another pause is offered from the accountant. “The state of the Pound Sterling has plummeted recently with the numerous problems of unrest rising about the Empire. All stocks are falling in value! The risky ones are falling much faster in general.” “What is the prospect for our future?” The woman asks. “Without additional income…you shall be bankrupt within six months perhaps a year if you slash expenses.” The man does not look upon the stricken woman. “Perhaps your ward’s family may wish to assist?” “Her mother was from a modest family they have no wealth.” Lady Churchwater is depressed. “The girl’s paternal family must have worth?” He surmises. “Her father died a year after the mother. My ward was two years of age when I assumed her care. The man was an orphan and gifted from the grave I’m afraid. There is no one!” Lady Churchwater musters a daring moment. “Mr. Warnock my niece is a beautiful young woman. Her father’s family has a near claim to the Crown. She is a true royalist.”
“Her prospects must be very good indeed.” The man confirms. “Once she is shown as an adult in high society, she will have no doubt a rich perhaps a royal suitor! Her dowry will be immense by any standard. Once she is married I shall have no financial problems ever again.” “You have placed all your expectations upon an enormous financial return through the care of your ward!” “The child has the beauty of her mother and the royal line of her father. I shall profit most sizably from this girl, but I need to introduce her in the proper society.” The woman makes her case most strongly. “Is there not some agent who will advance cash on such terms?” “I’m afraid not! The law will not consider the girl as collateral. Your finances afford no long-term equity in the least. No, another way must be found.” The man gathers his thoughts. “The Crown is soon to put into law an incentive for enhanced development of its colonies in the new world.” “What ever does that have to do with my problems?” The lady is distraught. “You must at once salvage what ever worth your stocks may have. Sell this estate. Suspend the consumption of the remaining sums of the girl’s estate.” “Then what?” “I know a gentleman at the highest position in the Colonial Office. You shall apply for a Royal Homestead Grant in the Virginia.” “Leave England! Run off to the wilderness! How shall this bring wealth?” Tears gather in the woman’s eyes.
“Under such a Royal Grant you shall be given a vast area of land. You shall be given a significant disbursement of cash with which to develop this land, construct a suitable estate, and purchase necessary slaves and indentured servants. All at no cost to you for the first two years.” “We would live like royalty?” “Exactly! But at the end of the second year all royal subsidies terminate then the Crown will consume half your annual profits after taxes for the remainder of your tenure.” The man assures her. “Let me understand! We go to the Virginia Colony in the new world and live handsomely at the Crown’s expense for two years?” “Precisely! “And just what development does the Crown demand?” Production of tobacco, wood products, salt, grain, etc in numbers sufficient to have the Crown prosper.” “We know nothing of farming! We have no trade skills! How would we manage?” “The Crown has foreseen this. The Colonial Office will indenture all necessary management and trade personnel. You and you ward…and husband of course must sign an oath of loyalty.” “Do you think we can secure such a grant?” “With the ancestry of your ward it would be a certainty. I can make an appointment for you at the Colonial Office when I arrive there before luncheon. This afternoon? First thing?” Light gleams through the lady’s eyes.“ Is there much profit in such adventures?”
“The Crown offers this kind of program every so often. Many have made fortunes far beyond their expectation. It is a bit of a risk but you risk only the Crown’s money…for the first two years.” “We can return any time?” The Churchwater’s prospects brighten. “After two tears! The commitment is firm. Your oath to the Crown and all that.” “What are these risks?” “The nature of these are best given by the Colonial Office. It’s your only hope for the present.” “Are there any aristocrats in this Virginia…of marrying age?” The woman makes her scheme. “Every Royal House has sent dependants to establish fresh wealth. Numerous bachelors from the finest families must be in much want for a suitable hand in marriage there.” “Thank you Mr. Warnock. I shall appear at this office at the second half of the day coming.” “Certainly madam…and just bring along your ward for presentation as well.”
In the section of docks and warehouses along the ocean port in the midst of the city is an open market. This region is used in the interest of commerce for trade and the barter of goods.
Salvaged merchandise appears in box and parcel. Lumber products for construction and the repair of vessel, and building are offered. Metal products used to brace and bolt are displayed. Transport animals to be sold are collected for inspection. Accountants, and solicitors open temporary offices under tarp and lean-to. Peddlers sell food, drink, and items of clothing, newspapers, stocks, as well human companionship is provided. The drum of intense business beats here through the week from sunrise to sunset. Independent sellers and buyers vie for available retail space in and about the crowded market. Among the drab and noisy avenues of the marketplace are to be found every constituent of the town’s economy. Mickey Rodgers is a provider of metal stays used to place and hold wooden beams. He produces iron nails, and spikes from the same forge that his Viking ancestors originated over a thousand years ago. His small foundry is versatile and produces a range of goods that will vary with the season, and the demand of his industrial consumers. The Rodgers family was one of the first to market here and he uses a permanent stall set in place hundreds of years ago. Mickey’s iron goods are always in request. However his production facility remains limited and his profits are meager. It is here with his friend Mickey that Seamus will bring his barrels upon occasion to sell. The large Mickey lifts substantial weight of his iron products with ease.
Thick limbs and torso permit ready identification of the man in any crowd. He is busy organizing his inventory for the day’s market when Seamus and William arrive with a cart stacked with containers. “You’re plenty early this morn!” The huge man bellows. “Yes Mick, how’s the market keeping these days?” Seamus is anxious for improved sales. “Ships are making ready for sail. The English are going to war soon perhaps. Goods are being collected on ships charted for months ahead. Times are improving for some of us.” “Any one asking about barrels?” Seamus responds. “The first mate from the Scorpion was here yesterday asking about barrels. He’ll be by today I recon. Goods are being purchased out of everyone’s stall.” Mickey points about the landscape at the unusual hustle of the sellers. “You’ve come at the right time!” The excited Seamus bounds from his cart and runs to hug the large fellow. “It’s sure my Nora will be glad to have some extra cash.” “How does the beautiful young wife, and mother of the Keane Family fare today?” Mick squeezes Seamus. “She’s fit and proper as ever!” William calls to the lovable oaf of a man who is adoringly strangling the breath from his father. “William how goes the Hurley? Are you champions as yet?” Greets Mick. “Have a few winnings to make yet Mr. Rodgers.” “Get that cart off to the back. I’ll help you set a few barrels for show to the front here.” Mick indicates as he releases the weakened Seamus.
Coughing and struggling to inhale fresh air, Seamus grabs hold of the large man’s forearm. “Boots…” He struggles for regular breath. Mick is confused “Boots?” Unable to regulate his wind, Seamus points to the feet of William. “The boy…boots…” More coughing. “I need to buy some of your smaller barrels to store assortments of my metal parts for the Scorpion’s hull. The first mate should arrive to haul away a bunch of my stuff some time today.” Mick makes a smile in delight. “I’ll be clean out of goods before long and a fresh lump of money in me pockets.” “I’ll give you a good price! I want to get William a pair of boots for the Hurley. “ Seamus instructs. “Me brother has a pair that might fit William.” The large man shakes his head. “Kevin is a bit tight…not sure he’ll sale them off. “Don’t need to buy…just to have the use of them for a week till the Hurley’s done.” Seamus begs. “Oh that’s a big difference. Kevin is gone to the west fishing for the month. I’ll have his boots fetched out to Nora midday. Just clean’em and return‘em straight away.” Mickey enjoys the thrill in the eyes and heart of Nora’s oldest child at his words. “No payment needed…its a favor to Nora’s whole bunch.”
“That’s grand Mick but William and I will help at the moving and making ready of your things for shipping off with the Scorpion for as long as you need.” Seamus offers his hand. “Done! And I’ll buy the first pint at the day’s end.” The huge man collects Seamus fist in his hand heartily. “I must buy William his first stout…a father’s duty!” Them it’s for me to provide the second…a friend’s duty.” Both men are anxious to share in William’s step form boyhood into manhood by the way of taking up the ale. “What team do you play next William?” Asks Mick. “Rathfarnam! This afternoon.” Answers the boy. “Then we best take ale about lunch and set you to home for a rest. Rathfarnam are as fine a bunch of Hurler’s as can be found in the country entirely.” Directs Mick. “I’ll be getting after making more barrels straight off if the need is growing?” Asks Seamus. “The first mate has given order for metal rods. These are to be shipped to England for the making of muskets and bayonets… many as I can make over the winter.” Indicates Mick. “They are planning for war Mick. Could be some of them guns will come to Dublin to be pointed at ourselves?” Worries Seamus. “William after the Hurley’s done I could use help hauling goods to the market here. A good hand with a cart and mule can make some good cash over the winter?” Mick looks to Seamus for approval. “The cart is free enough Mick but I’ll need William afterwards for barrel making!”
“Just to deliver goods in the morn only...I’ll pay a day’s wage for a good worker!” Assures Mick. “Done!” William extends his hand. “Hold! “ Calls Seamus. “The lad needs his hand for the Hurley.” Seamus offers his hand to Mick to seal the bargain.
A large golden door handle and knocker mark the location from the street. A small blacken plaque with golden print identifies the Royal Colonial Office. A young clerk who shows them into a second story waiting room greets Lady Churchwater and companion. The room is bright and clean but drab in furnishings. The ladies will wait upon the arrival of Sir Clive Parr. One half an hour passes whereupon a commotion at the entrance signals the arrival of someone of importance.
Several anxious moments later a thin neat middle-aged man, most handsome in looks and immaculate in manners, enters the waiting room. “Lady Churchwater I presume! This must be Miss Stewart.” The gentleman bows
“Jeeves!” Calls Lady Churchwater. “Yes madam.” The butler answers as he arrives to attend his mistress. “Have the carriage made ready!” Miss Stewart and myself have an appointment at the Colonial Office at the start of afternoon business hours today.” “Right away madam.” The ride through the London streets in the midday hours is very much a congested and hurried affair. The single horse coach is nimble at the horseman’s command and quick to dart between obstructions and slow burdensome traffic. The coach’s driver is born and raised among the London streets and Lady Churchwater arrives in good time in the heart of London’s governmental section. In the middle of a row of adjoined three story stone structures is an apartment with a dark green wooden entrance doorway.
respectfully. “Sir Parr! I am grateful for your audience. I’ve come upon a matter most important to the future of my ward.” “Yes! Mr. Warnock spoke as to your behalf.” “Our circumstances require us to act. To fail in our promise to the family of Miss Stewart is most unacceptable. “Miss Stewart’s father was named Alexander Stewart of Chelsea and he was the son of the late Sir Edwin Stewart. I understand.” The man looks upon the young woman’s countenance. ’The girl has her mother’s looks. Those ears are pure Stewart as well as the eyes.“ The fellow pauses. “Served in His Majesty’s Royal Calvary with you father.” He acknowledges the welcomed familiarity with the girl with another bow.
“I missed your mother’s wedding… on a tour of military duty in the east.” “Then you are aware that my niece descends from a royal house?” Lady Churchwater is relived to be speaking with a person of the highest station. “Alex’s grandfather was very close to inheriting the Royal Thrown at one time.” The man concedes. Miss Stewart is surprised at the interest shown to her lineage. She does not speak or look directly toward Sir Parr. Miss Stewart for the first time realizes a social status as superior to that of her governess. “We are come to inquire about a Royal Homestead Grant to the Virginia Colony.” The Lady invites the man to inform. “The Crown will enact very soon a proposition for an opportunity of immense return.” He promotes. Lady Churchwater is enthralled. She waits for further presentation. “The grants are to award 10, 000 acres of land in the most fertile regions of Virginia. Cash of many tens of thousands of Pounds Sterling per year are to be disbursed through the Governor of Virginia’s Office in Williamsburg.” The women are astounded at the sums. “Sufficient qualified staff to build and manage the new estate will be indentured…up to as many as a dozen or so. Slaves to be added as needed up to one hundred. Those indentured will serve out a 5-year contract with the Crown.” Sir Parr continues. “I understand the Crown will assume all expenses for the first two years.” This is important to Lady Churchwater.
“The Grantee will have absolutely all expenses paid by the generosity of His Majesty for the initial two years. After that time all expenses fall upon the Grantee.” “What of living conditions in the colony?” “The Grantees will reside comfortably in Williamsburg until the conclusion of construction of all needed accommodations upon the land allocated to them. “ “Just what type of accommodations?” The lady inquires. “All accommodations will be proper to the station of the Royal Grantee. Both temporary and final residences are by the approved by the Crown. They shall be of the same standard as the finest to be had in England.” “Is this not the frontier? A dangerous place? “ Lady Churchwater frets. “His Majesties Army has complete control over of all areas to be developed. The new estates will be short a travel from Williamsburg and quite the distant from the wilderness proper. The Crown will not place its most trusted subjects before any boding menace.“ “What expenses does the Grantee finally assume?” “Initially all profits are shared without taxation for the first two years. Indentured servants are provided until the end of the fifth year when the Grantee must provide replacements. The slaves are the Grantees forever of course. Taxes commence with the third year of operation. The Crown will maintain half share of all profits for a duration to sufficiently recover His Majesty’s original investment but not to exceed ten years from the date of the Royal Grant.” “Is one then left to his own after two years?” The Lady yet frets.
“His Majesty’s generosity shall continue for this ten year period by contractual arrangements to be paid to the Grantee for material and goods to be procured annually for the need of the Crown.” Lady Churchwater understands that a fortune more substantial then any to be made in England is to be offered. “What risks?” She grows intense in her aspirations. “The same as any rural enterprise in England actually… Crop failure, natural calamity of wind, storm, etc.” “These grants have been dispersed in prior years?” The man shakes his head affirmatively. “Some dozen odd years ago. It was a dramatic success for the Crown.” “Is their much aristocracy living in Williamsburg?” Her plans are being laid. “Quite a number in fact and soon to double perhaps. The most influential families have close relations with such estates there at present. Vast fortunes have been made there already. There is nothing to prohibit additional wealth to be forth coming from the Virginia Colony.” “Should I be considered in an application for such a grant?” Her ambitions are set. “Miss Stewart guarantees you approval. Award of the Royal Grant is a matter of formality only.” “Whom shall be the legal owner of this estate under the grant?” Inquires the lady. “Formally it remains the property of the Crown until the investment is recovered then it shall completely belong to your and your husband. Provisions allow for a third party to
assume the contract under sale by the approval from the Governor’s Office in Williamsburg.” Lady Churchwater is close to having enormous wealth endowed to her. Yet she has designs for aristocracy through her ward. “One presumes that Miss Stewart may be properly presented to eligible bachelors from the nobility?” “There are many proper young gentlemen of position suitable to Miss Stewart there and soon to arrive. The Crown prepares for armed conflict upon the continent. Suitable gentleman not wishing to serve in His Majesty’s Military Service will be apt to be after their fortune in the colonies undoubtedly.” “When may I apply my signature to such a grant?” Lady Churchill is overcome with her prospect for riches. “The first of the month, the law becomes legal, I shall have all necessary documents prepared.” “It’s concluded then?” The lady wishes not to misunderstand her hopes. “The grant is yours as of this moment. Travel and expenses will be determined at your convenience when next we meet.”
Thomas McCrady is a thief and a scallywag. His family members are thieves of long standing. The majority of the Dublin’s population knows McCrady’s father and his grandfather as deceitful and untrustworthy. However, the company of any McCrady is to be enjoyed, as they are most affable folk. Each is warmly welcomed except when it comes to terms of money. Thomas is the most gifted of any McCrady ever to walk the streets of Dublin. He is as handsome a devil as was ever to be found. Dark hair, and dark eyes, the man possesses a natural sweetness of the soul and a tongue that can turn words into silk. Every lady young or old takes him into her heart at once to be held there in fondness forever. Not many years advanced of William, the man knows everyone he meets by first name. He is informed as to the circumstances of all whom prosper. Indeed every lady in his acquaintance keeps him informed of opportunities for his personal gain. “Good day gentlemen.” Thomas announces as he approaches Mickey Rodgers stall. “Goodness here comes the idiot himself.” Mick warns quietly. “His father is an idiot and as was his father’s father before him.” “Nora loves the man. Every time he passes by our street she has him in for tea.” Seamus barks. The approaching man is humble. “Kathleen tells me you might have a bit of work for a man today Mick.” “You’ve seen my sister recently? Have you?” Mick responds.
“Left her just now Mick. I heard her kitten got lost yesterday and I walked the whole bank this side of the river till I found it.” The man informs. “Just give it up to her a bit ago. Happy she was to have the thing back in her hand.” “You been after one cat all this morning?” Mick questions. “I heard first thing about the cat and I know how found Kathleen is of her animals.” Thomas smiles with clear bright eyes. Mick knows that his sister will wish to hear of the favor her brother did in return. “I’m honor bound to thank you Thomas.” “Could use a bit of work Mick.” The man shrinks. “Well there be goods to be moved from here down to the Scorpion before she sails. I am offering William here work to haul the ordered parts on his wagon. If you help load I’ll pay you a day’s wage for half day’s labor.” Mick offers. “Do you want me to go with William to the ship?” Thomas asks. “No Tom, load then I’ll pay you cash. I want you off well before the cart leaves.” Mick’s words are stern. The two young men get busy at unloading barrels and loading the Scorpion’s chosen parts upon the cart. “If I let that boy of yours go off with that McCrady my goods, your cart, and young William may never be seen again.” Whispers Mick to Seamus. “Best you ride with your son to the Scorpion.” “I’ll go and make a deal for my barrels. We’ll have a pint with the boy when we return.” “See to it that the first mate accounts the cost of transportation in the final price!” Mick advises.
Seamus and Mickey are industrious at sorting the parts to be moved from the shed to be sent to the Scorpion. As the loading of the iron for the Scorpion finishes the four men gather. “You did a fine job. Many thanks to each of you.” Mick delivers. “Let’s hope the shipping demands for our goods stay strong for some time yet to come.” Seamus answers. “I can sell iron as long as they have need.” Mick replies. “Once the ships delivers enough of this kind of provisions they’ll be coming back to load their hulls with men for the English Army.” Stammers Thomas. Seamus and Mick turn to gaze at one another. They greet each other with stunned looks. Together they turn to stare at William whose distant mind relives moments of past exploits of Hurley. “Takes an idiot to see the plain ugly truth.” Comments Mick to Seamus “It’s no wonder them McCradys can live without brains. They see the world without the obstruction of concern.” Seamus responds quietly. “Thomas what will do with the cash you earned?” Mick asks. “I’ll have a fine meal and drinks at the pub tonight with me girlfriend.” The man counts his cash. “No debts to be paid? Thomas.” Asks Seamus. “I paid me debts months ago…they keep asking from more but I think they are cheating me.” An irritated look reigns on Thomas’ face.
“Who be your girl these days?” Asks Mick. “The magistrate’s youngest daughter. Met her at civil court last year. She takes me along to shop with her Fridays then we go to the pub. Today is her birthday. She expects me to return a favor.” The man looks bored, and anxious to depart. “See ya Mick…I’ll tell Kathleen you where most generous when I see her.” Thomas scurries away. “He’ll be at Kathleen’s directly to see if he can gather some additional reward.” Mick prophesies. “He’ll never mention the true wages he was given here this morning.” “We’ll deliver your goods and return with a contract for our barrels. Then we’ll reload the barrels and return to the Scorpion.” Seamus’ hand moves back and forth to lend insistence. “I’ll get William home straight from the ship’s side to assure his mother that he’ll be rested for the Hurley today.” “Then let’s have our ale at once!” Mick takes the arms of William and Seamus in his huge hands and leads the pair into the nearest pub.
“Your recent investments are failing, and the extreme costs to keep our ward.” Her Lady Churchwater is prepared for the arrival of her husband from the ministry. While dinner is being prepared, Jeeves will serve brandy in the library. It is the habit of Colonel Churchwater to sit and read the newspaper with a warming drink upon his arrival at home. Most often he will return to the library after dining to continue his reading until the ladies appear for the evening’s conversation prior to retiring for the night. The governmental ministry of which Colonel Churchwater is employed is directly involved in military affairs. Budgets, payrolls, material requisitioning, transportation, regulation of contracts, and all matters of administrative affairs for His Majesty’s Armed Service are conducted in a sprawling complex not far from the Royal Palace. The Colonel is a mid level administrator with a secure but modest compensation. Upon his return he is informed that the lady of the house awaits an immediate council. “Is there something the matter?” The Colonel is concerned over a possible calamity. “We need to speak…alone.” The seated woman points to the preferred seat for her husband to be taken. “What of my brandy? This is most irregular.” He protests. “When our words have concluded, Jeeves will bring on you refreshment.” Her nose dips to call him to silence. “Are you aware of the present state of our financial affairs?” Her words are sharply directed. The Colonel squirms uncomfortably in his seat. “I am!” “There are precisely two reasons for our fiscal demise.” Her head tilts accusingly. breathing is shallow from excessive tension over the matter. His response is not to be appreciated. “The investments are perfectly good. As soon as the Crown invokes the necessary incentives all our stocks will rebound handsomely. I assure you!” The Colonel is wishing. “I have no control over the spending on your ward, or her financial estate.” The Colonel rejoins. “If your investments doubled…yeah quadrupled in the next six months we shall yet fall into bankruptcy.” The Lady admonishes his folly. “Nor shall our ward properly come out and we shall not receive prosperity through a concluding suitor’s dowry.” The colonel has for some time realized the unlikely conclusion to his wife’s designs. “We shall all survive. The whole country is in a bit of a slump presently.” “I have no intention of permitting the condition of the state to alter my plans for success.” Her eyes expand in determination. “What ever can one do if even the Crown cannot make ends meet presently.” The Colonel exhales heavily in relief of extended frustration. “Are you aware of the Royal Homestead Act?” She asks condescendingly. The Colonel digs into his recent memory, and then he reflects backwards into an earlier time.
“Some time ago…some favorites of the King were awarded handsome estates in the New World as favors. These elite became richer. It always that way with the royalists near to the His Majesty’s Court.” The Colonel is satisfied to have explained the matter to his wife. “Are you aware of the fate of those who received such a Royal Grant?” More condescension is passed from the lady. “Actually, Lord Remington has a son, Reginald whom worked at the ministry back when…the old boy wrangled a grant for him someway or other. Reginald was shipped off to the colonies for five or six years. The stiff made a whopping great fortune, returned, and now he is a wealthy enough to hold seat in the House of Lords.” Again he is pleased with his personal knowledge of royal affairs. “It is my duty as your faithful wife to inform you this very today I was awarded such a Royal Grant. I understand that I was in fact one of the first to apply and to be approved under the new Royal Homestead Act.” She is the cat who has swallowed the canary. “We shall be rich! Very very rich!” The Colonel jumps up from his seat with hands waving above his head. “Precisely! All you have to do is as I ask. Make no financial arrangements; engage in no fiscal matters with anyone on any matter trivial or otherwise. I shall see to all with regard to money. You my dear Colonel must ride about our estates in Virginia and see to it that the obligation to the Crown is being met.” “What of your ward? Is she agreed to this transformation in our lives?”
“Miss Stewart will do exactly as I instruct her. Whom else will see to her proper future if I do not?” “Quite right madam! The child has no one.” The colonel is most fond of the child. “She is a very sweet girl.” “Do you have leave time from the ministry?” “Yes my dear…several weeks accrued.” The Colonel dislikes sitting about the home under the watch of his wife. “Send word on tomorrow that you are stricken and that you need to make use of your allotment. I do not wish you to wag your tongue about to your associates. You shall keep to the house until our grant is signed off and preparations for our departure are immediate.” The warning in the woman’s words is final.
Late afternoon, Seamus and William arrive home several hours before the Hurley game’s start. Nora runs out to greet the cart holding a pair of boots high for all to see. Her glee is unbounded. William leaps to fly to his mother’s front. He gathers the prize.
His hands rub over them in disbelief. “Get them boots a try on William, so your mother can have a look.” Seamus instructs. The boy drops to the ground and puts on the gear. He stands smiling broadly at his parents. “They’re fine boots William. Do they fit? Nora asks. “A bit loose mother.” The boy walks a few steps side to side before his mother’s view. “We can manage new laces and a new pair of thick socks easy enough.” She says. “They should be fine son. Have a run down to the end of the road…easy just to see if there’s a rub or two on you feet from the boots.” Seamus instructs. Both parents watch proudly at the joy and pride of their son having a try with his boots. “Did you pay much for’em?” Nora looks with gratitude to her husband. “Mick struck a deal…some labor for the week’s use of his brother’s boots.” “Just as well. We owe a favor to Mick just the same.” Nora turns to share her boy’s excitement. “Can’t wait to see you at the Hurley against Rathfarnam.” She calls. “I’m going into the shed to get busy at getting more barrels ready. William can help after his game.” “Sales were good today were they?” Nora is relived at improved business for their home. “England’s going to war. So they say.” Seamus is worried. “I understand…Thomas McCrady was here for tea just after lunch. He delivered the boots from Kathleen.” Nora informs. “Did you give him any money?”
Seamus is sure Kathleen paid him to carry the boots here as well. “A few pennies only after he had some tea and scones is all.” Nora is sure that she acted properly. Seamus will say no more of Thomas, as it will do no good with the women’s understanding. “He’s going off to America soon.” Seamus is shocked at Nora’s words. ”The man said nothing of it. We worked side by side this morning?” “Oh he just decided.” Nora confides. “What! How did such a major decision happen in an hour or so?” Seamus is shaken. “Seems Mary Donnell told him of a way to make several hundred pounds by signing on as an indentured servant. The English are raising manpower for the colonies. Her husband works at the Government House.” “He found this out when?” “On his way to Kathleen’s…Mary lives just down the road from her.” “And where is Thomas now?” “Gone over to the Government House to sign on.” William races to return. ”Feel fine da. I can turn harder and faster in these boots.” “No tender places on your feet…toes?” Nora bends to feel the edge of the boy’s toes inside the boots. “Let’s see them bare feet of yours.” William removes the boots and hands them to his mother. Nora inspects the boy’s flesh.
“Fine enough! I give these back when we leave for the Hurley. You get to your room and have a rest.” Commands the woman. “Did Thomas say why he’s going to become indentured?’ Seamus asks as William disappears into the home. “Not really! He said he’d rather go off to the New World than serve in the English Army.” Nora does not realize the importance of these words. “Nora, the English will be conscripting boys into the army soon.” The serious tone of her husband concerns Nora. “What do you mean?” “The English will be forcing young men into the army. William is of age to serve.” Nora’s eyes freeze and her mouth gapes open. Thoughts are mixed between her son in an English military uniform and William as a small boy at her feet. The reflection of her son always being about the house does not allow the notion of him gone off to war in a distant land. “Thomas is escaping the military draft!” Seamus informs. “He is going to indenture now because the word of the army’s draft is soon to pass about the streets.” ‘They’ll take our William for sure! The bastards will send him off to die in a heathen land. We’ll not even be able to see his grave.” The woman is enraged and nearing hysteria. Seamus has no words to comfort his wife.
His tears begin to fall down his cheeks. He suffers at the coming loss of his dear son. Nora sees the pain in her husband’s dejection. Further discussion is unnecessary. She sighs deeply. Her shoulders lift and her back stiffens. “Get to the Government House and get our boy indentured with Thomas!” She commands. Seamus cannot respond. His body is limp and weak. “Seamus go now! Before it’s to late to save William. There is no other choice soon enough. Make haste!” The mother speaks with a cry in desperation to save her child. Seamus stirs. “Thomas is a scoundrel.” “Scoundrel or not he’s all William has to help him in a new land without us.” Her pleading is soul filled. “I can’t send my boy away Nora.” The man’s heart is breaking. “Go now or I’ll go to save William from a certain death. The English Army will spend our boy’s life as if it were of no account. Thomas knows how to survive instinctively. William can learn to survive with him. God sent Thomas here to save William.” Nora pleads.
“How can I tell my loving son that his father has sold him off to America?” Seamus cannot. “Can you tell William that the we are sending him off to die in the army with no hope of ever rerunning to his home?” “There’s no choice Nora either way we have lost our beautiful boy.” “Seamus darling, there’s hope in the New World. We can make off to there ourselves to save the other children as well. William can return after the war here if he wishes.” Her arms surround Seamus. Her mouth presses against his ear She whispers in anguish.“ We must act at once. Every moment of delay may end all hope.” Seamus raises his head. His stare is one of death. No joy or hope is offered by his countenance. He steps away from Nora and looks to the path toward the Government House. “It’s give him up or let him die. Say noting to William till after the Hurley tournament is done. It’s a father’s duty to crush his son’s heart.” Seamus walks off with no further look to his wife or home. Only emptiness occupies his soul. Nora looks toward her home. She must love and make well her child’s time with his mother. Her aching heart must be hidden. . Elisa Stewart’s room in her governess’ house is as sumptuous and spacious as any royal suite to be found in Europe. The decor is flowing with silk and satin in soft pastels and flowering prints. The Royal Households collect their furniture from the same supplier as used by Lady Churchwater. Grand rugs have been similarly provided. The girl’s suite is not merely a sleeping chamber but a study, and a curative retreat. The room contains Elisa’s childhood treasures, favorite books, and materials for drawing by colored pencil, long held dolls, and an oil portrait of her mother as a young wife. Here the child came to live after the passing of her father. The chamber has become her private home within the Churchwater’s residence. Miss Muriel Cantana has been Elisa’s nanny since her mother has passed. Under Lady Churchwater’s generosity the nanny has continued for all these years in service to the girl. More than a nanny, Muriel has been tutor and social instructress. Now nearing retirement age, Muriel has been a nanny in many royal courts about Europe for generations. ~~~~~
Lady Churchwater has depended extensively on Muriel’s advice on rearing a child of imperial ancestry. The appropriate circumstance for the girl’s appearance and introduction to stately institutions has been under Muriel’s direction. Elisa’s attendance to social invitations has been by conducted under noble protocol identifiable to Muriel’s practice. In short Elisa has been raised as a princess. Under Muriel the girl is literate in Spanish, German, Russian, French and Greek. Elisa is learned in the order of inheritance of the seven principal imperial thrones of Europe. There is no royal function of which she is unaware or unpracticed. No royal child has been more properly raised. Elisa’s manners are the manners of the Royal Court. Her life is lived as a member of the Royal Court. No act of labor or bother has ever been placed before her. Muriel attends to all her personal as well as professional needs. Muriel dresses Elisa. Muriel bathes Elisa. The child is awakened, and put to bed under Muriel’s charge. The girl is pampered, spoiled and indulged to the full extent of a regal heir. Soiled, worn or abused objects are not permitted in her presence. Each day since her earliest years, Elisa looks upon the image of her mother captured in oil upon a small canvas. Elisa has always wondered if her mother would approve of her. Would her mother truly like her if she had lived?
How would it feel to be held in her arms now? What scent of tobacco would she recognize as belonging to her father? These wants are sealed within her heart. Her heart is bounded within her room. “Muriel?” Elisa sweetly calls. “Do I look like my mother more now?’ “Mais qui mademoiselle!” The mature woman is busy preparing the girls gown for the evening’s family time. “She was very beautiful. Non?” “I wished you had known my mother so you could tell me of her voice. How it did it sound…does my voice resemble she?” “You are the very image of your mother. Her feelings are the same as you. Her voice must be much the same. Non?” Many such discussions has Muriel shared with the girl. Elsia fondles the army insignias of her father. ”My father was a soldier.” Muriel has shared the loneliness for Elisa’s lost parents for all the child’s years. It has never been easy for the Frenchwoman. “Soldiers are special men. They have much bravery and strength.” “Colonel Churchwater was a soldier?” Elisa asks again. “Qui.” The colonel is not as manly as Elsia wants her father to have been. Muriel understands. “Some soldiers are much braver, much stronger.” “What did my father do when was angry?” This information has always delighted the child. “Ooh lala!” Muriel enhances the child’s pleasure.
“He would come to stand tall and frozen like the statue of the king. His face, it would burn red with like a volcano. The hands would shake at his sides.” Muriel imitates her father’s actions. Elisa watches the nanny with a smile as if her father had just entered the room in rage. “He would fume so that he could make only little steps. His eyes would bulge in a gathered stare.” Muriel enjoys the recollection of Major Stewart. “He was too sweet a man to hurt those with whom he was angry. He could not make words to wound when he was mad with rage. His lips just puckered in and out like so.” Elsia laughs with joy at Muriel’s imitation of her father. “Did father ever have anger with you Muriel?” This question Muriel has answered many times for the child. “Non! He was my friend always. He was your mother’s friend always. He was a friend to every woman.” Pride swells Elisa’s breast. “You have the courage and gentleness of heart of you dear father.” Muriel must hold the child to share the sadness of his loss ”Always I loved your father. There was no greater gentleman in France or the world than he, Mon Cherie.” Elisa holds Muriel as she would her mother. ”Merci Muriel.” The child is complete again.
“Come you must change. The Colonel wishes to speak with you early this eve in the library.” Wearing the chosen gown, Elisa steps before the long glass for an inspection. As she turns and looks into the mirror’s reflection, the princess becomes stationary. Her gown does not cover and fold as for a child. Gathered tightly about her tiny waist it sculptures her torso to reveal her womanly form. Uncertain she glances toward Muriel. Muriel stands to watch in abject delight. She nods affirmatively. “Mai Qui!” Elisa returns to measure her transformation within the glass. Her shoulders and head rise from slumping child to proud woman. The form sent back to her from the mirror is now a woman beautiful as in the image of her mother’s portrait. The wide-open neck of her gown exposes the soft flesh of her slender neck and shoulders. Her hands move about her waist. She turns slowly to view her well-formed hips and full breasts. In this instant Elisa abandons childhood. The imperial woman has emerged. “Mangnifique!” Cries Muriel in approval as she approaches the new lady of the house. Before Elisa the Frenchwoman kneels. “Your highness, I request permission to return to my native France to finish my years in the home of my brother Philippe?” Elisa reaches down to take her hands within hers.
She stoops to kiss and caress the hands that have kept her for so long. “I love you as a mother. You heart’s desire I shall cherish as my own. Make you arrangements with my blessings.” Muriel departs to announce the coming of Elisa to the library. Elsa looks about her suite. She sees the keep of a child. It is not adequate for her destiny as a woman. As she departs Elsa looks upon her reflection again. Her hands fold about her. She needs the caress and touch of man, not a fatherly embrace but one of passion. Her lips have never been kissed with masculine desire. He hands slip to hold her womb. Did her mother have great pleasure in her birth? When dying was she sad to leave her? These questions Elisa will answer as she takes her place as a wife. Within the library, Colonel Churchwater waits to inform Miss Stewart of the impending plans for the New World.
The Royal Dutch Navy has decommissioned the long narrow two-mast schooner named Scorpion. Its hull is narrow and she carries a shallow draft. The ship is presently leased to a London based consortium to meet contractual matters with the English Foreign Office.
Built originally for speed, the military ship has been refitted to provide for rapid transport of material and personnel anywhere around the world. It mounts a two story upper deck for the pilot and navigator. The ship’s captain’s quarters, and two visitor cabins sit at the highest level. Below the captain’s deck and upon the first floor of the main deck are the officer’s quarters and barracks for a small element of Royal Marines. Under the main deck are three main storage bays located between sections of living quarters for crew and passengers. The ship’s company is about the number of 20 including the Captain Silas Juaderel. Additional accommodations beneath the main deck allow for a dozen passengers with another four or so special guests housed on the captain’s deck. The crew and ship has been heavily employed for months as the future plans of the Crown’s unfold. Upon leaving Liverpool in early spring, the Scorpion will have 30 some souls aboard and her hulls will brim with finished goods bound for the Chesapeake Bay of Virginia in the New World. The trip will take about two weeks. There the ship will dock for several days and return to England with raw materials from the colonies. This will be the Scorpion’s schedule through the coming spring and summer. Thomas McCrady, and William Keane signed on in Dublin. As indentured servants to the Crown, they are required to work their way across the Atlantic in assistance to the regular crew of the Scorpion. Loading and unloading cargo at
each port of call, helping ship hands with the simplest of tasks such as scrubbing and bilge work are to be their assigned chores. Ordinary passengers keep within their isolated quarters except for an occasional walk upon deck at the captain’s discretion. Passengers of position are free under most circumstances to take the air on the upper observation and navigation deck. Royal Marines are at watch here at times. The common sailor or passenger is not free to visit the upper deck. Thomas is not one for hard labor. His gifts lend toward social management. The scalawag has attached to William’s side. He will seek opportunities created by association with the good-natured lad. William is one who thrives upon physical effort. His prodigious achievements mask the lacking in his inept companion. The first mate and captain are quite pleased with the efforts and agreeable attitude of the pair. The two are fondly established and called by their first names by all the ship’s crew. “Look here you two!” Barks the first mate Spike Jones. ”Get below to the cook’s table and haul grub up to the Captain’s quarters for midday’s. Be quick about it.” The Dublin pair is surprised at the honor. Only those considered fit at their duty are permitted access to the captain’s table. The boys commence to song:
Don’t pull on the rope…don’t climb up the mask… if you see a sailing ship it might be you’re last… just get the girlies ready for another stop a shore… a swabbie ain’t a sailor ain’t a sailor any more… The menu for the captain and his guests is a much more cultured affair. The ship’s cook prepares a variety of stews and biscuits for the crew and passengers below the main deck. The captain fares better with pork, fowl and meat fresh or stowed in various stages of preservation. The grog is a delicate wine and brandy with tobacco a plenty. There’s fine eating for the hands that carry away the scraps left over from the captain’s table. The boys have often taken a glimpse of the young royal beauty and her handmaid upon the captain’s deck from below. Today the pair shall have their first face-to-face encounter with Miss Stewart. “What do you think that princess really looks like, Thomas?” Asks William. “Trouble, lad! Blue bloods are them what have use for the hangman.” Rejects Thomas. “Now that buxom blond lady who is her serving maid. Now that’s a woman worth the knowing.” “Blue blood?” William puzzles “William, I hear that the princess is near broke! Her governess has a grant for land and servants in Virginia, but she wants to marry the girl off for cash. You wouldn’t have likelihood at that kind even if you where the mayor of Dublin.” “Where do you hear such tales?” William is confounded.
“Cathy…the Churchwater’s maid servant. The girl tells me everything. Miss Cathy Alderdyce is indentured as well.” “Any how are you knowing this Cathy?” “We meet up on the captain’s deck at night.” “When did you have the chance to make her acquaintance so’s you two can be chummy and all?” William doesn’t believe the man’s tale. “I carried some pieces of baggage up to their quarters when they came aboard in Liverpool.” Thomas answers. “Next you’ll be telling me you’re lovers as well?” “Actually we are…till the voyage ends.” “Where? How? Did you sprinkle magic powder on the woman?” Stunned is the young man. “In the escape boat on the upper deck. It was her idea!” Thomas is nonchalant about the affair. “What is that blond maid doing indentured if she’s such a success with the men folk?” William needs his sensibilities made right. “There’s a lot of illness about the place she lived in London. Hungry people there are getting ill and dying off. Her family is mostly gone. The past few years have left her an orphan with no resources. So it’s to the New World for a hope of a longer life.” Recounts Thomas. “Her father was a constable, her mother a wet nurse. She’s a clever girl and a hearty grand woman.” “Doesn’t she want a husband?” Asks William.
“Of course but she knows I’m not going to be the one. I have no prospects! Courting for fun is one thing but marriage is a business. It takes a dependable income to hold a wife” William is surprised at this revelation. He wonders what finance helped arrange the marriage of his parents. “The princess has taken note of you William.” Teases Thomas. ”What’s the name of that handsome lad? She asked Cathy.” Thomas pauses to see the boy blush. “William I says…The Hurler from Dublin what hit the winning goal in the championship’s match at St Stephen’s Green and his has his stick with him to prove it.” “The princess knows I’m a Hurler do you think? That would have to impress her some.” “She knows you’re the best in Dublin! What’s more she’s apt to take the sea air when we are in view while working upon the main deck.” Thomas knows what will come next. “Cathy informs her every time you’re about to be seen lad.” “Can I meet the princess? Or see her up close do you think?” “When we take grub up to the cabin, be sure to catch the princess’ eyes just once and no more. Let her show to you if she has the want…then arrangements will be made.” Thomas slaps the boy on the back soundly. “A princess! Takes England at war indeed.” Laughs Thomas. Within Miss Stewart’s cabin the young Elisa suffers from the isolation of the open sea. “Did you see that boy?” She asks. “He’s been there all morning. He and his friend.” Answers Cathy as she returns from deck. “He is certainly is well proportioned…very strong looking for his age.” Miss Stewart comments. “Do you want to step out and have a see?” Cathy invites. The girl feels ashamed. “Not proper for one to walk about staring at the help every moment.” “It’s done all the time!” The maid assures. “I can’t help but to look at him. He so gorgeous!” “Thomas is sure a fine handsome man.” Replies Cathy. Her eyes fade into a dream filled fantasy. “You know his name? How?” Elisa is taken up with excitement. ”He told me. Last night when we met.” “You have an encounter with that boy?” Elisa sounds jealous. “Not the boy! The man who keeps time with William.” Cathy has let slip her private performance. “William…you know his name as well?” Elisa sits upright upon her bed and folds her feet under her in enthusiasm. ~~~~~ “And? What else are you keeping back?” The princess looks to her maid for a complete account.
“They both took indentured time to stay out of the English Army.” “Oh! Cowards then!” Sighs Elisa. “Not likely! Thomas has been rewarded for heroism by the courts in Dublin for saving the life of a baby what wandered way and strayed into the river in the midst of this winter past that’s all he did.” Puffs the maid. “He has too much social concern to be taken off to Africa or someplace like there.” “What heroism did the boy perform?” Dreams the princess. “He single handily won the Dublin Hurley Championship against the best team in the whole of the country against impossible odds I understand.” The maid points with extended arm for emphasis. “What is Hurley?” The girl asks. “A bunch of solid brutes with thick long clubs battle one another while running for hours on a field to keep a ball and put in a goal for a score.” “That sounds like a war” Elisa states with satisfaction. “He must want to better himself.” She is sure. “Both men hope to make their fortune in the New World.” Cathy informs. “Wouldn’t you like to see the boy’s face close enough to see if he is as handsome as he seems far away?” The young girl sighs deeply and gazes off in reverie. “You can soon enough. The pair is going to help serve luncheon at the captain’s table today.”
Cathy nods. “I heard them given orders just now by the first mate and saw them heading down to the cook’s galley.” From ecstasy, Elisa jumps up from her bed. She scampers hurriedly about the room collecting her things. “My gracious! Why didn’t you inform me at once! My shoes!” She looks into the mirror. “My hair!” Thoughts of nearing the handsome youth have made Elisa dysfunctional. Her anticipation confounds her. She seizes in her bare feet and wearing only her under garments. “I’m going to be ill.”
A small dumbwaiter from the cook’s table directly below hoists the main fare for the captain’s table. The cook along with his helpers will portage much of the other servings from below main deck. The captain, Mr. and Mrs. Churchwater, Miss Stewart, Miss Alderdyce and the first mate regularly dine together. “You look particularly fresh this afternoon Miss Stewart.” Notices the captain. There is no reply.
“Wine Colonel?” A large bottle of red wine is pointed to the Colonel’s glass. “Right you are!” Responds the Colonel. Mrs. Churchwater drinks very little. “Just water!” She interrupts. Cathy is quick to secure the pitcher and serve her ladyship Miss Stewart is rigid in anticipation. Her hands are hidden below the table, as they are inclined to tremble presently. She has no appetite for food or drink. Conversation is not heard. Human contact is deferred. “Mr. Spike, a storm seems to be a gathering ahead. Prepare all decks and close the hatches.” The captain instructs while waiting the delivery of lunch. ”Lady Churchwater! See to it that none leave their cabin until all is clear.” “Trouble? Captain!” Lady Churchwater is not given to travel let alone upon the open sea. She does not vacate her cabin presently save for necessary amenities. “A small blow at best. Be over quick and sudden if I don’t miss my guest. Could be bit of a sway for a time. All hands will be off deck unless needed. I’ll be at the helm Mr. Spike.“ “I’ll be in the hole securing the cargo Captain.” “Get those two lads from Dublin to give you an extra hand. They’re a fine pair of workers. Wish they weren’t indentured, I’d hire them on to the Scorpion’s crew.” Elisa’s eyes open wide with talk of the boy.
“They’re worth their weight in gold captain. The young lad is a strong as a bull his arms could bend an anchor.” The first mate has been impressed. “The Dublin working class has always been vigorous. They make fine sailors.” Adds the captain. “I think the cook is from Dublin.” Remarks the first mate. There is knock at the cabin door. “Cook asking permission to enter sir?” “Enter!” Bellows the captain. The crusty old chef makes way with Thomas and William at the follow. All hands are full with serving trays. Elisa’s eyes descend toward the tabletop. She is near to fainting. Only her hearing operates adequately. Thomas slips a smile to Cathy then attends the cook. At the last stands William hidden from the table‘s view. He strains to locate the princess. Only heads and elbows are in his sight. The sounds of differing feet that shuffle about the floor off from the table indicate the most likely direction to William. Elisa is lost as a woman and the child returns. She slumps lowly with fright of being seen as inadequate by the fine lad. The cook disperses the goods from his kitchen about the table. Heavy dishes toward the men, lighter in front of the women.
Covers and lids pull away to release aromas and build the diners’ appetites. Elisa is indifferent to the display upon the counter. She searches for William’s nearness. She has to view him. She can sense the beating of his breath. He is just across the table. Moving step wise aside the cook, William is now before the table. He spies the radiant form of a girl from his edge view. The scent of her body reaches him despite the aromas of warm food. He dares to spend his one glance. “Potatoes here lad.” Barks the cook to William. This command calls all to look upon the platter to arrive with William, all but Elisa who lifts to her womanly stature and fixes her eyes upon the boy’s face. William is aware that her look is directed toward him. He lowers the plate of hot mashed potatoes to the tabletop. His eyes rise to find the princess. In this instant, he finds himself just a hand’s reach away from a beauty of form, and face unlike any he has ever experienced. In a flicker, Elisa fills her senses with the rugged handsomeness of William’s face and the tenderness of eyes. Immediately she lowers to view her plate. So brief was the encounter of the two that William is uncertain that he was properly noticed. Elisa has had one deep glance at William. Sufficient for her to detail his lips, memorize his facial composition, and embrace the soul behind his eyes.
The presence of the staff from the kitchen is eliminated as hurriedly as their arrival. “Let’s have grace!” Orders the captain. “Mr. Spike?” All seated about the table bow their heads. “From the master of the sea…thee give us safe passage…” “From the master of the sky…thee give us fair weather…” “From the master of the land …thee send us home…” “For the few who share this ship…thee give us companionship… “For the few who share this deck…thee give us leadership…” “For the few who share this meal…thee give us nourishment.” “Well laid Mr. Spike …now thee give us serving.” All share laughter with the captain.
“Boyoh! Did you seek that princess! There’s never been a beauty on the earth like her.” Screeches Thomas as they make below deck. “What would your mother think of her?” “I never got to see her properly! All I could see was her face for an instant then she was head down after her potatoes. Not interested in me in the least.” Complains William. “Me mother would have me get right to princess’ side and put down her potatoes me self and compel her to notice.”
“I saw her look at you right enough! And she looked mighty pleased with that she seen.” Thomas roars. “I don’t even know what color be her eyes or lips…I saw this bright perfect face. My senses let me down entirely.” Desolate is the boy. He would do it different if he had another chance. “William you are just not used to looking at a woman as a man with needs. It’ll come to you soon enough.” “She looked at me…are you certain?” William’s hopes rebound. “No man could be no more so than me self what has been looked at by most girls in Dublin and parts all around there.” Another slap of congratulations on the boy’s back is made. “You’ve been branded by them girls as desirable.”
“He tried awful hard but that nosy Thomas wanted to gawk at everyone and everything but me. And that oaf of a cook was pushing those two in and out without consideration.” “I have to let him see me again…soon Cathy. Will they serve diner again tonight? I want to see him when he looks at me. Maybe he thinks I’m ugly?” Elisa despairs. “The light in about the captain’s table is not bright enough. He needs more candles!” “You need to see him by yourself. “Cathy advises. “And soon!” Elisa steps upon her tiptoes with her arms outstretched in call to absolute romance. “Yes! How? Where?” “At night by the closet used to store rescue items.” “I can’t go in a closet with a man!” Elisa is seized with fear. Her arms grasp the shoulders of Cathy. Elisa notes that she is much taller than her maid. “Tall…am I taller than William? He won’t want to hold… Kiss a tall girl. Will he?” She
is frantic. Her worried grip pains the maid. “He’s a tall lad…a good bit taller than yourself. If you can get him in that closet then
“Did you see that gorgeous lad?” Squeals Elisa as the two women enter their quarters. “He is handsome but too young for me.” Cathy regrets. “Did you see the dark eyes on that Thomas? Now that’s all man that one.” “I could hardly breathe. It took absolute desperation to force myself to let William look at me. He did…look at me?” Elisa asks. “I’m sure he did! He must have wanted to?” She is confident.
he’ll take hold of you and kiss you with all the passion gathered by the sea.” Cathy assures. Elisa leaps up and down with exhilaration. “Tonight! Let it be tonight!” “There’s a storm coming best wait till it blows off. I have to see Thomas first and make the arrangements.” Cathy understands the haste for Elisa to her first romantic encounter.
“Soon enough dear. You’ll have a night never to be forgotten.” Elisa dives into her bed. Her arms hug her pillow in happiness.
“I too sick to even go on deck so he can see me even at a distance.” Elisa cannot turn her head. “Don’t worry because the poor boy is just as seasick as yourself. Haven’t seen him about in a week.” “What if he dies? What if I die?” She is disconsolate.
“Never to have had love!” “The ship’s doctor tells me all will be up and about like new as soon as the sea quiets.” Cathy promises.
The tempest has passed quickly just after sunset. Brief it was with strong winds and driving rains. However, the sea continued to churn mightily for several days to follow. Now the ship is more than midway upon its voyage, Elisa lays in her cabin seasick and tended dutifully by Cathy her maid. “How long have I been ill?” Asks Elisa. Her head is fixed to her bed. “Not as long as your governess, I feared she might have died.” Cathy responds. “The poor woman has moaned for days with little sleep. The good Colonel has never left her side all this time. The man is devoted to his wife.” “I look terrible. I’ll never have the chance to be with William…I look like a ghost. I’ll scare him away forever.” Moans the girl. Her thin form is shrunken with dehydration. “Thomas tells me we are just a few days from landing in Virginia.”
“What If I can’t move until Virginia? How will I see William while being hauled off ship unconscious?” “You can still be a friend to him…” “Friend! I don’t need handsome friends!“ She sits up in the bed. “I want that man to hold me close and with tenderness. I want to feel the strength of his hands about me. I do not want him for a friend.” Elisa is losing her patience with the difficult situation. “Well!” Cathy is unable to respond to Elisa’s romantic commands. ”You’re certainly moving about now. How about trying some warm broth to regain you’re strength and put color back into your cheeks?” Her will to recover agrees. “Yes…a small glass of wine as well.” “As soon as William is feeling better Thomas will let us know.” Cathy hopes Elisa will hurry in recovery.
In the deepest section of the ships bottom is a storage shed with many pieces of wood and plank for ship’s repair. Carpenters tools and benches are laid about.
William remains seasick in his hammock below main deck. Occasionally the ship’s carpenter, Erie Pierre, tends to him. “Here boy drink this.” The carpenter provides a mug with a bitter liquid. “What is this?” William hesitates. “It smells awful.” “Squeezings of fish blatters mixed with lime squeezing.” Snorts the older man whose white hair curls out from beneath his leather cap. ”Nothing else will get you on your feet as quick.” “If the sea would quit the rocking so hard…” William swallows. “Take it all down lad at once and have done with it. You’ll be fit after.” The heavy calloused hand waves to receive back an empty mug. “Ugh! That’s awful!” William gags from the taste. “No fish ever gets sea sick laddy now neither wills you. This cure is lasting. Took it myself when I first went to sea years ago.” Pierre’s tongue is ruff. William’s dizziness clears almost at once. “Feeling much better Mr. Pierre…just a bit squeamish as yet.” “That’ll pass once you get up on your feet and begin to move around.” Promises the carpenter. Come lad you can hide in my workshop till you get ready to return to sailing. ”
Here Pierre labors for the whole of the day. “I’ve got some trusses to make for to stay the hoist beams.” The older man points to his work counter. William watches as the man places a small heavy section of very hard wood onto his bench. “This wood comes from the Greek Isles. Its weather’s like none other and has the strength of iron. I just shim and cut the pegs for mounting into the deck. The hoist beam sits right into its base. Lots of trimming to make it smooth enough to last.” “Can I have try at the working?” Asks William. “It’s hard wood and hard work.” Warns Pierre. “Me da is a barrel maker. I worked in his shop since I could first walk.” William runs the plane across the truss with ease. “Right strong of limb you be! Them arms worked wood in their time for sure.” Much pleased is Pierre at the lad’s ability. “Keep the lines straight along the truss or the hoist will tilt. That be no good for sure!” “How many trusses will you be making?” Ponders William as he eyes the store in the woodshed. “As many as time will permit till we reach the Chesapeake. There I’m quitting the ship and will build me own shop ashore. Promised the captain I’d leave him plenty of trusses
till he has a replacement. They be the hardest parts to keep when there’s lots of cargo going on and off the ship. Easy enough to replace but not so easy to make.” Smiles Pierre as William continues his apprenticeship. “How comes your leaving the sea?” William begins to perspire. The wood smoothes under the strong mechanical forces William places upon it. “Time enough lad! I’ve seen every salt-water port able to hold a sea vessel. Want to spend my last days with trees all about …lots of big shady trees. Time to be with my wife fore she ships off to the heavens. I owe her that much.” “Where does your wife…where do you make home on land?” “Williamsburg in Virginia.” The old man loads his pipe. “I guess that’s where Thomas and I are bound.” “Indentures are bound there mostly these days. Could use some help in my shop there?” Muses Pierre. “Like to have the work but my indenture is for five years.” William advises. “Indentures can be purchased lad and bought out by the indentured if he can collect the money.” Advises Pierre. “Would you work for me?” Asks Pierre. “Can’t quit my friend Thomas…No way to buy back my indenture just yet.” “That companion of your is no account lad. He’ll lead you to ruin. If he doesn’t spend all his earnings then he’ll have spent yours first.” “I’m obliged to him Mr. Pierre.” The loyalty of the lad is unquestioned.
“Thomas is a different type. Comes from different stock that be most capable of surviving so says me da.” “Rats are the last to die aboard ship lad but all hands do well without need for them.” Notes the carpenter. “Me mother says he’s a prince of a man what does fit in too many places.” “The devil is a prince that can fit in any place he’s not invited.” “Thomas is a friend, I can’t turn on him!” Nods William. “If he goes on his own then I’ll go alone.” “Well if you ever get rid of that rascal come and see me straight away. I’ll buy your indenture and make you a master carpenter long before your friend is released from his debt.” Promises Pierre.
Thomas is busy about his rounds during the rough period of his voyage. He performs no regular task but has been placed into stewardship for the royalist passengers. He carries and delivers all their needs and wants. The vagabond relieves the captain and first mate from the endless requests from Lady Churchwater. “Oh dear boy!” Lady Chruchwater greets the returning Thomas. “How kind of you.”
Thomas has searched the ship for a green plant to sooth the harried woman. “It belongs to one of the sailors. I traded my weekly quota of red diner wine for it. I know it will make you happy.” “How generous! Did you hear that Colonel?” Her smile at the servant is devouring. “Thomas you are disadvantaged. You have been forced to live below your station.” “My grandmother always said we were descended from a Celtic King.” Thomas states proudly. “Have you been in my ward’s cabin?” Lady Chruchwater inquires. “I hope the girl’s quarters are being kept up?” “I never enter Madam. It’s just a knock to the door. Miss Alderdyce answers and I have my words with her from the deck.” “Most correct Thomas. It’s the only gentlemanly thing to do.” The idea of commoners busy about her ward’s confined cabin offends the woman. “However I wish a personal favor from you Thomas. You must ignore the proper etiquette as we are at sea and under bad weather. I want you to inspect Miss Stewart’s room and see to it that there is nothing irregular.” “I can do that for you!” Blusters the Colonel. “Not quite the inspection I have in mind. Thomas has the professional eye of a gentleman’s man. He shall see all.” The woman nods to Thomas who nods agreeably in return. “Thomas how came you to be indentured?” The lady asks.
“My mother! Her needs have been neglected with the turn down of finances with the Crown’s recent troubles madam. I sold myself to the Virginia so the woman could keep up the costs proper to her station.” Thomas offers. “There is just no one else to will help!” He adds. “My goodness what a noble thing to do!” The lady sighs with devotion. “Not proper for a lady to be forced out of her station when a man’s there that can be of assistance.” The vagrant proffers more self-advocacy. “I hope to earn enough in the future to send on to Dublin for her needs for many years to come.” “Go at once Thomas. Announce yourself as my personal aide d’affair. Instruct my ward that you are directed by her governess to assure me personally that all is well and that she is not abused by the sea’s condition.” The woman is relived to have such dedicated help. “That Thomas is so dependable. He will be of enormous value in the New World.” Lady Churchwater instructs her husband after the lad has departed.
Elisa yet rests in her bed when the acting ship’s steward, Thomas approaches the door to her cabin.
There is a knock. “Thomas here! Steward to Miss Stewart.” He announces through the door. Cathy opens to greet him. “What’s all this business of stewardship?” Elisa listens at the far. “Her Ladyship wants me to see Miss Stewart and assure her Ladyship all is well here.” Orders the man. “It’s not proper”, responds Cathy. “The princess is in bed resting.” The maid objects and bars the entranceway. Elisa sees her chance. She sits up and adorns herself with a covering gown. “Admit the man!” She commands as she covers her head with a scarf. Thomas bounds in the room indifferent to the circumstances. He is anxious to view the royal ward and make acquaintance. “You purpose here my good man?” Questions Elisa. While looking about in a silly manner, Thomas responds. “The Lady is concerned that the sea has not put you uncomfortable in the cabin.” Elisa’s looks are most plain in her discomfort of the sea’s motion. “I shall be fine. My unease is departing. I’ve eaten.” She studies the man. Thomas is satisfied that the princess has his attention. “What special favor may I undertake for your highness?”
Elisa understands the character of the man at once. “Tell me of your friend…and yourself!” “I am a handyman…a social adventurer you might say. Come aboard to make way to Virginia where I am indentured.” Thomas notes the items laid about the cabin. He is pleased by the expense paid for the girl’s needs. “You shall apply your trade in the Colonies?” Elisa asks. “As long as there is a fair society I shall be busy and do right well I’m sure.” He responds. He means a feminine society Elisa thinks. “Your friend….” “William you mean, the lad who served you middays a time ago.” Thomas replies. The princess’ hearts stops at the sound of his name but she does not flinch. “He’s come at his mother’s request to establish a wood working shop so’s the whole family can arrive and prosper together. The Keane’s are going to lose their property under new English Law.” Thomas continues. Faithfulness to his mother agrees with the soul of the lad as she has summed him. Elisa invites, “What favor may I do for you?” Thomas is opportunistic. “Ask your governess to indenture me as her steward in the colony?” Cathy is quick. “Her Ladyship values his advice.” “What of your friend? Do you desert him?” The princess asks.
“He’s a grand worker…Strong as an ox. The Churchwaters will need such help.” Thomas hesitates. “He’s an innocent boy in the world away from his mother’s side. He needs protecting.” “I can’t recommend someone I’ve not interviewed.” Elisa states calmly although her mind is calculating rapidly. Elisa would die to become William’s guardian. “I can bring him to your cabin at your conveyance. Her Ladyship trusts my judgment.” The girl’s heart falters. Her thoughts make chase in the possibilities. “When I’ve fully recovered I shall grant an audience if the boy wishes.” “Oh he wishes for noting else. I’ bring him up one evening after dark so’s none of the other lads will take to being jealous of him and cause him mischief.” Thomas explains “Best I be off and report to her Ladyship that you are well. Can I bring you a bit of refreshment from below your highness?” “Yes warm water so that I may bathe! Lots and lots of water.” Just as Thomas departs Cathy responds. “If William comes to your cabin he’ll be too intimidated.” “You mean he would not step close enough toward me in here?” Elisa agrees. “When Thomas brings William I’ll be up on deck. You receive them and send William to me without Thomas.” Her plans are laid. The boy will be with her soon and privately. The next day's morning is arrived "Sail Ho! Off the port bow!" Calls a sailor from the top of the mizzenmast. "Can you make her?" Calls the captain from the main deck to the first mate above. "She's just on the horizon!" He replies from upon the top deck "Too far to make her colors." “What’s her bearing?” The captain asks. Studying the intruder’s progress for a moment through a telescope, the mate calls.. “She’s trying to cut our path!” The commotion of the sighting has the crew alerted. “Call her out Mr. Spike!” Orders the captain. The captain has an eyeglass handed to him. “I make two masts, Mr. Spike.” Announces the captain. “She’s closing! Her hull is shallow. She’ll over take us by midday.” Advises the first mate. “Run up the Union Jack. Show our colors.” Orders the captain. Below deck the call to station is sounded. “What’s happening?” William asks Mr. Pierre. ~~~~~
“A vessel has been spotted. Precautions have to be made by the crew.” Answers the oldtimer. “Precautions? What precautions?” “In case the ship be pirates. We are a day or so out from the coast of the New World. Such waters can hold dangers.” Pierre announces. The lad is alarmed and abandons his woodwork. “The crew will arm if the captain chooses. The ship will be trimmed for maximum speed first.” The old man is not alarmed. “Does this happen every trip?” William’s anxiety grows. “Often enough!” Pierre advises. “Can you shoot a musket?” “Father Mulkeen gave me lessons every Sunday after mass till I shipped out.” The boy informs. “Your priest taught you to shoot a weapon?” Pierre is doubtful. “Fr. Mulkeen was a soldier in the English Army for many years till he got the calling to preach. He was an instructor in marksmanship actually.” Pierre nods his approval. In the Churchwater’s cabin, her ladyship is alarmed. “ What is the meaning of all this shouting? Thomas! Thomas!” “Yes madam?” Answers the captain’s deck steward. “Thomas what is occurring?” The lady fusses.
“The captain wants all passengers from atop into the ship’s galley below the main deck straight off.” Thomas reports. “Whatever for?” The lady asks. “There’s a ship closing from a far. The captain is taking precautions until the approaching vessel is identified. The cook is preparing a sumptuous lunch for you Ladyship.” “Quite so but this is most improper.” The royal passengers are safely tucked below the main deck for their midday feeding as the two vessels continue to converge. “How do you make her now?” Calls the captain. “It’s a frigate flying the English colors. She’s raised the distress flag.” Answers the first mate from on top deck. “Bring her to slow!” Commands the captain. The hands scurry to drop sails and secure the booms aloft. Within the hour the chasing ship arrives broadside. “Hail aboard! Who be ye and where be ye bound?” Calls the captain from the smaller vessel. “The Scorpion …twelve days from Liverpool… bound to Williamsburg.” Answers the captain. “That port is closed! You must make to Georgetown.” Comes the answering command. “Under whose order?” Resists the captain of the Scorpion. “Orders of the Crown!” Returns the smaller vessel. “Who be you and why is Williamsburg closed?”
“We are the H.M.S. Edward. There is a plague ship at Williamsburg.” “What time to Georgetown?” “Half a day or less.” “Bring her starboard Mr. Spike! Make course to Georgetown.” The ship is turned right toward the shore of the New World and all sails are deployed. The Scorpion rushes away from the Edward. The captain joins the royal passengers in the ship’s galley. “Our course is to be changed by orders of the Royal Navy. We make dock at Georgetown this late afternoon most likely.” Orders are announced. “Is this near our final destination?” Asks Colonel Churchwater. “Close enough! Your final passage will be made overland. Arrangements will be made after we arrive.” The captain assures. “Is this regular?” Asks Lady Churchwater. “Not unusual.” Replies the captain. “The trip to Williamsburg by land is most enjoyable this time of year. You’ll have the chance to see much of the colony.” “Why do we not continue on with your ship later?” Asks Miss Stewart. “Obligations to the Crown do not permit. We must make return voyage without delay.” Elisa understands that the last opportunity for a romantic rendezvous with William this night is to be lost. She will lose the company of the lad. Perhaps she shall never be able to see the boy again. His strong hands will not hold or dominate her. He will not kiss her lips.
All her stirring dreams are to be unfulfilled. The princess has waited to be with William through storms, days of surging seas, sickness and obstruction by the Royal Navy. These obstacles were all beyond her power. Her emotions will not be ignored any further. The girl stands placidly, steps before the towering figure of the captain. “What obligation to the Crown?” The captain is unsettled by the request to explain. He looks upon the young lady to gauge her intention. The Churchwaters are aghast at their ward’s boldness. “Excuse me miss but I’m the captain here!” Politely but firmly he shall put the brash girl in her place. Elisa’s heart is wounded by circumstance. She will not endure a bilious salty official’s final choice. Her arms fall to her side. Her hands twitch. Her gorgeous face reddens and disfigures with rage. Her lips pucker. All observe the young woman’s transformation. “Miss Stewart I am not free to…” The royal glare from her eyes stills the captain’s response. “This ship shall not relinquish the sea until the morning of the next day!” The princess command is imperial.
No one dare breathe. The transformation of Miss Stewart has all in attendance floundering. No one is sure as to the appropriate conduct required now before her altered presence. Moments pass. Elisa does not abandon her royal demeanor. The captain considers his options. Lady Churchwater slumps with mouth agape. The Colonel stands to attention before the emergence of the royal personage. Thomas moves to be recognized beside the princes. Cathy hides away so no eyes may now view her. The captain’s judgment is governed by his vast experience. He bows. He relinquishes. “Yes your highness. May the ship be permitted to dock before lunch?” He does not raise his eyes to her. His words relieve. The strain withdraws from the girl. Her mood softens. ”Of course!” She chants merrily with thoughts of being inside a closet with William. “Thomas!” Elisa continues her audience. “Make arrangements! Inform my maid.” The girl turns to depart. She hesitates.
“Lady Churchwater, Thomas shall be taken on as our permanent steward, and his companion shall be taken on as his assistant. Colonel please give notice to the appropriate authorities of our decision.”
The Scorpion’s speed has been reduced. It cruises slowly within safe waters. The evening is warm. The air is fresh. The surface of the ocean is still. Upon sunset the placid water gives reflection of the sun’s rays such that the entire ocean shimmers in colored light. This eve the sky at the horizon will bend the last rays as from a prism. In passing moments the surface of the ocean shall glow in intense hues slowly changing to red then to green then to violet. Cathy and Elisa have gone on to deck and stand before this exceptional happening. “I’ve never heard of anything like this.” Awes the maid as the spectral majesty of the sea passes before her. “This is a divine event!” Announces Elisa. “The beauty of paradise is captured for just we who alone rest upon this vast ocean.” This occurrence fills both souls with humility.
“Whatever happens this night is meant to before God.” Remarks Cathy. “No evil can come at this moment. The blessing of God is upon us this night.” Confirms Elisa. “William will arrive just after dark.” Informs the maid. “I must watch the sea and say prayers of hopeful thanksgiving.” Elisa’s emotions swell. Below the main deck William and Thomas wait. “Why not go up now?” Fidgets William whose resolve weakens. “What words will I say to her that she wants to hear?” “Let her talk…ask you the questions!” Thomas replies. “Haven’t you ever been alone with a pretty girl in darkened setting?” William has not except with his mother but he will not let Thomas know this. No light now passes from the horizon. “Now me boy! Come lets us arrive. Never! Never let a girl wait.” Nods Thomas as the pair ascends. The closet beside the upper deck’s lifeboat is used to store miscellaneous items to be used in emergency. There is just room for two to stand within. Here Elisa waits. The girl hears the footsteps approaching. She takes freight that an intruder should discover her mission. A small lantern reveals the portrait of William in its light. Her heart is racing. What shall she say when he arrives?
Will he find her desirable as a woman or bothersome as an impetuous a child? William strains for an image in the dark. He turns about and begins to raise the candle to light about. “Don’t.” The girl whisper forcibly. She wants no signals of this time given off. “Over here!” Again she whispers strongly. The lad feels cumbersome in movement. “Here!” She says softy just as he is before her. Elisa bathes in the light from her visitor’s lamp. Her bare shoulders and long neck reflect much loveliness. William is paralyzed by the magnificent vision of the girl. Her pure skin, divine face, and womanly form are presented just for his inspection. “I’m William!” He struggles to compose. “You wanted to speak with me…princess.” The girl attends his manly voice. His sound is soothing. Her eyes measure his wide shoulders above his slim masculine hips. William awaits a reply. He watches the girl’s fragile thin hands move up about her folded arms. He wants to hear her voice. Elisa endeavors to release words but her thoughts are lost in the first search of the close appearance of the lad.
Her eyes explore his ruggedly good-looking face. His lips are firm and thin. His teeth are clean and white. She ponders their lips pressing together. The lad is fixed upon her. He observes every movement as her chest takes breath. Her eyes are warm and clear. Her lips are full, wide, and unguarded. The princess fades into childhood. Her lips move as to speak but words will not come forth. “You are the princess?” His eyes sparkle as those of a mischievous young boy. “I’m Elisa!” She exclaims in confusion. Her look cannot depart his face, her passion blooms with his nearness. The frailty of the young woman gives him boldness. He steps to within a few paces. He towers above her. The manly form engulfs her view. His scent reduces resistance. “Elisa…I like that sound better than princess.” William becomes comfortable. The impulse to be held in his arms directs Elisa to lower her hands to her side. Her head lifts to offer. William does not recognize this sign. “I’m not a real princess…I’m a possible princess at best.” Her senses return.
Standing upon a ship’s deck at night in a warming sea breeze does not lend to lengthy discussion. “We need more privacy.” Her thoughts escape into words. “I mean this place is to open for conversation.” Timidly she opens the closet’s door. William is puzzled as to her intention. He holds the light to shine within. Elisa steps inward at once. Her head falls to look upon the floor in shyness as she waits. Obligingly, the lad follows. Now within a private space the two are compressed to within one pace form each other. Elisa raises her head, her lips. William lowers his face to view the lovely princess. Her lips are full and near. Her fragrance is unlike any creature he has beheld. The girl shows no interest in talk. William has only interest in her gaze. For a brooding moment the two behold each other. The passion of one for the other is fully released. Elisa has no reservation. She senses his want for her. William is released from misapprehension. His lips lower to hers. He ponders the experience to come. Her eyes close in permission. She hopes for love.
Upon this ocean, and for all the centuries past, lips of lovers have met in obsession. The lips that meet her tonight join in blamelessness. Youthful trust is rewarded. Innocence is persevered in love’s pairing, which arrives for the first time to each. There is no stain or sin to blemish. No history mares such a beginning. No doubt or default of heart impedes this blending. No false promise tempers here. Their joining embrace is eternal. The two are unbounded by sea or land. Within the stars ascend their beings. Divine is their shared warmth. Sacred is their joined consent. Forever is their bond in emotion. Fresh love is always fashioned as true.
“The sky is much as the ocean. Open from all directions.” The old salt points upward with the tip of his pipe. William’s eyes follow. “There be currents above and below the sea. Some currents must be avoided or there’s destruction. One’s ship may be saved from sinking by finding the right current.” The captain is fond of the lad. William tries to understand the captain’s words. “Each man has to sail on his own.” “Right you are skipper.” The boy replies. “Lad! That girl is a blue blood!” He pauses to gain the boy’s indulgence. “It’s a mighty dangerous course to set sail with such.” “Elisa is fond of me. I’m fond of her.” “In the New World you may have a chance of reaching the same level with a royal. In the world from which you have departed there is to be no chance for you lad.” William knows he would never have the likelihood for an imperial kiss in Dublin.
“Life off this ship won’t be as easy as it be this tonight. There are mighty storms to come for sure.” “I don’t know what will come of us captain.”
Later this night, William abandons Elisa at her cabin. He makes his way across the main deck. “Lad!” Calls the captain from the side. “Yes skipper?” Answers William. “The sea minds her own business, and so does I.” Smoke puffs from a large pipe.
“When a man sets upon a new journey his interest is in adventure and excitement. A woman’s interest is in finding new love and passion. Don’t wear you feelings on your sleeve lad. Protect you heart.”
“Princess or something…I can’t remember my heart was pounding so loud I couldn’t make sense of what he was saying.” “Did he try to hold you right away?”
“Well did you get kissed?” Cathy asks excitedly. “Tell me all about it. You were gone long enough.” Elisa swirls about the cabin floor until she collapses upon her bed. ”He was wonderful.” Her arms squeeze about her. “How was his kiss?” Cathy prods. Elisa’s lips pucker in remembrance. “He is very strong. Those hands!” She sighs. “You must share!” Pouts the maid. “I must know everything.” “I waited by the lifeboat just beside the closet.” Elisa cringes with joy. “Well he came up with this lamp looking everywhere…just like he was looking for a lost sheep in the dark.” Cathy takes a seat near the girl. “All of a sudden there he is right in front of me…close” The two girls squeal. “What did you think when you saw him for the first time right before your face?” Cathy insists. “He is so good looking I could have fainted. There he was after me in the dark. Even in the dim light he is the most handsome thing.” “What were his first words to you?’ The maid asks.
“No he kept trying to talk!” She smiles in recall. “He came closer but not close enough. I was afraid all we were going to do was have a conversation.” “How did you get him to kiss you?” The maid ponders. “You got him into that closet!” “Yes!” The two scream together. “I had to otherwise he might just have talked all night.” “I’ve never been in a closet with a man.” Cathy dreams. “What happened then?’ “We were this close together!” Elisa holds her two hands less than a foot apart. “I could fill his warm breath upon my face.” Her hands caress her cheeks. “Then?” Cathy calls impatiently. “It is warm in that closet. He stopped talking and kept looking right at me. His mouth began to move toward mine…I closed my eyes then…” Elisa puckering lips kiss her pillow. Cathy howls with shared delight. “He held me so tenderly so firmly…I just melted…I just loved being with him.” Elisa swoons. “Will you see him again?” The face of the girl blanches. “I don’t know…we didn’t think about it.”
The girl recalls this is the last night aboard ship “I guess we will…some how…some where.” Tears gather in her eyes. Cathy is lost for a suggestion. “I must see him again…soon!” Elisa cries. “I love him. I need to be with him!”
‘Tomorrow don’t hurry to depart the ship. Let me occupy Lady Churchwater. You find a chance to speak with the princess and find where she’s off to then we’ll follow.” Thomas assures. “How did the princess feel in your arms?” “Light as a feather, soft as a kitten, and anxious to give herself to me, she is mine Thomas.” “William when it comes to women there are two kinds of men. You’re kind that will have
just the right woman for all his life. None other will ever do.” He pauses. “Then there is my kind of man when every woman is just the same as the other. The one
Below deck Thomas waits for William’s return. “How was the princess?” Laughs the knowing Thomas. “Beautiful. She’s as nice as she is gorgeous. I can’t believe she likes me.” “When will you see her again?’ Thomas questions. “Tomorrow night if I can.” “Where?” Asks Thomas. William cannot answer. “You did make plans?” “I never thought…I’ll go up and ask her know.” William turns to depart. “Stop! You need a plan. We have no idea where anyone will be after we get off this ship.” Tomas advises. “You mean I’ll not see her again?” The boy is fretful. “I love her Thomas. I don’t want her to leave me.”
who is close is the only one I need.” “I want a home and a wife to share. Conquering many women makes no home. It makes a public house. When I have a home I want to live in it not outside it. Otherwise I don’t need a home.” Replies the boy. “The streets are my home, my world, and my life. I need many women William.” “Don’t you want the love of just one woman?” “There is one kind of woman…the kind that breaks a man’s heart!” Thomas advises. “Just remember one’s lost love is not as sad as one’s funeral.”
In the morning the Scorpion is making way deep into the Chesapeake toward Georgetown. “Lad you’ll make a fine craftsman after a dozen years or so at the trade.” Mr. Pierre comments upon the boy’s work. “You seem mighty happy this morning.” “We’ll be stepping on the New World soon enough. I have lots of hope for the future.” William whistles away while finishing the last truss for his friend in the woodshop. “There’s more chance for a young man here than back in England that’s for sure. Work hard keep out of trouble and debt. Look to your future. You’ll have a fine wife and a home before you know it.” Pierre replies. “How did you meet your wife, Mr. Pierre?” “Met here at the market one fine spring day. Took a fancy and made right to her stern and called out my colors.” “How old where you?” “I be ten years or more younger lad…this be me third wife.” “You feel the same about each wife…liked them just the equal?” “No woman be the same as the next boy. They come with the same set of sails and rudder though just like any ship, but some moves faster and somes carry a heavier load. It’s the condition of the craft that makes the best voyage lad in love or seamanship.” “Do you remember the first wife?” “I was awful young. Me first wife passed away shortly after the marrying. I was thirteen when I shipped out on me first vessel. Two years later I was a married man. After another year’s passing I was a widower. Can’t recall much about that girl nowadays.”
The length of duration in a marriage is not a meaningful notion to the boy. The sense of need for a wife he can understand. The fact that a wife may be substituted places Mr. Pierre much like Thomas thinks William. “What makes a woman choose a man for marrying?” “Most women are bought and paid for by dowry or such. Marriage is the only way a woman can survive. A woman charts a course through life just like a ship keeping in a good wind and a swift current. Rough times for a woman makes much appeal for a sound contract for a husband.” “You evaluate a woman like a ship?” “Life is a voyage just as the crossing of the ocean. The vessel with which one has to sail the open water, or the woman a man has to navigate life with upon the land, it’s sound choosing that holds the course either way from cradle to grave me boy…sound choosing!” “Love?” Asks William. “Every sailor loves his ship if she’s a good one…same for a wife…same for a husband I expects!” “Port Ho!” Comes the call from the main deck. “Land to the starboard!”
The docks at Georgetown are crowded with the season and the diverted sea traffic due to the obstruction at Williamsburg. Many ships are in port unloading or preparing for departure. The first views of life and the New World have the decks of the Scorpion occupied with spectators. The Churchwaters are out on the upper deck with the company of Elisa and her maid. The crew is busy with the tasks of preparing to dock. William is employed upon the main deck. Elisa has watch over the lad and the looming port of Georgetown. The captain has the Scorpion just tied to the dock whereupon an officer of the Royal Marines appears. “Who be the captain?” “Silas Juaderel…” The officer approaches at the quick. “What be your business aboard the Scorpion?” Asks the captain. “Orders from the Crown…All indentured males are to assemble aboard for departure. These men are to be presently conscripted into active duty with the colonel militia.” Orders the Marine Lieutenant. “How soon?” Asks the captain. “Immediately!” “Mr. Spike!” Calls the captain. “Ayh sir.” Calls the first mate from below deck. “Get the indentures and their belongings atop deck ready for departure at once.”
“We are asking for volunteers.” Announces the Royal Officer. “Mr. Spike!” “Ayh Captain!” “All males departing are asked to assemble as well.” The crew is disturbed by the military presence and the interruption of ordinary events as Mr. Spike gathers the indentured men to leave the ship. Mr. Pierre and Mr. Churchwater are collected as well. They are assembled before the main mask. All others attend their circumstances. “Heave to men! The Royal Marines are represented here and mean to have words with all men from the indentures and them what’s not signed hands to the Scorpion.” Bellows the captain. Quiet overtakes the ship. Every pair of ears is tuned. Elisa is intent on the watch of William. “The Governor of Virginia, in execution of his duties to the Crown has conscripted all male indentures to active service in the Virginia Militia. All free men are asked to enter service at their connivance.” Reads the Lieutenant. Gasps escape from the ladies. Surprise over takes the crew. Alarm and anguish reign over the indentured men. Exhilaration bounds with Colonel Churchwater. Indifferent is Mr. Pierre.
Among all the arrived ships the indentured men are being collected. They are to be formed into a military company ready to march. “Where are we bound?” Asks Thomas. “To secure the frontier at its western boundary.” Answers the Officer. Much clamor rises from the men as they converse with one another. “There must be trouble with the natives. The colony is expanding substantially. Tribal boundaries are once again in dispute.” Reasons Mr. Pierre to William. “Happens time to time.” “They expect us to fight the natives?” Ask Thomas. “Show of English Force, eh what?” Chimes the Colonel. “Plenty of regular troops to be there. We shall be the reserves at best.” Thomas plans an escape. “How long will we have to be gone? Where will we go afterwards?” William is confused. His parents would be disappointed by these circumstances he fears. “Not too long! Won’t know till it’s all over. Some call ups may last a year or more!” Informs the carpenter. “Are you going to serve Mr. Pierre?” The Colonel asks. “Have too otherwise the colony will be seen as divided and weak.” Sounds Mr. Pierre “The more that serves the stronger we be and the sooner the troubles will come to an end.” “Here! Here! Old chap…I’m signing on as well. My duty as a new colonial and all that.” Mr. Churchwater steps to speak with the officer. “Thomas, we’re going to war and we are not on shore as yet!” William is upset.
“Get to Elisa and have words! This officer is going to march us out right off. Tell Mrs. Churchwater I’ll stay with the Colonel.” Thomas instructs. In flash the boy is upon the upper deck. Cathy is taking Mrs. Churchwater into the cabin as she is very much distressed by her husband’s enlistment. “William where are they taking you? Are you being arrested?” The princess is hysterical at the loss of all the men and her hearts desire. “Going to the frontier to have words with the savages.” The boy looks to her eyes for remembrance and the tenderness shared the night before. Elisa senses his despair. She shares his want. Into his arms she plunges. Her tears fall. Her softness and warmth give comfort. He is too shy. His eyes seek to join. “I’ll be back as soon as I’m released.” He offers hope where there is none. “I’ll find you. Leave word!” “Where? With whom? “The girl is lost. William searches about the dock. He spies an inn. Blackthorn Inn reads the sign. “There Elisa at that ale house.” “Company form up!” Shouts the acting sergeant Pierre. “Kiss me!” The girl pleads. “I must have you near me”, she cries. The pleasure of the past eve returns to the lovers.
For an instant they are again free in each other’s embrace. “I’ll wait. Come back to me!” Her heart aches, as she must relinquish his arms. Pain fills his heart. “I love you! I shall love no other.” He pledges as his arms pull back. “William!” Calls Thomas. The men are stepping down the gangway.
Place Figure “chief“
The men collected from the ships for induction into service with the militia have been gathered in front of the main public house of the port, the Blackthorn Inn. Twenty some odd fellows, free and indentured are placed under the charge of two uniformed soldiers of the Crown and a local scout named Myhre Banks.
This company will march to the main assembly area of the army just west of Williamsburg. Departure of the company begins at once. Their need for haste will take the men off the main highways in a route more direct than the ordinary traveler and civilian transport. Along the narrow streets of Georgetown the men casually stroll. Out onto the open commercial road and into the farmlands they gamely walk. Along willowed lanes, across small wooden bridges, aside enclosed meadows in early light their trail wanders. Near
“If we don’t need weapons now why do we have an armed escort?” William inquires. “Lad they be with us to shoot deserters!” The disposition of the men becomes fretful amidst their isolated danger. Thomas knows that two guards cannot retain all the men now assembled after dark should they decide to run off. The unknown wilderness and the closeness of local savages shall be sufficient deterrent. The scout discovers a narrow deer trail along a small brook that is to be followed. It is late afternoon when the next farmlands appear before them. They emerge to pace upon a slim sand and stone highway. The temper of the band returns to jovial.
Late midday the scout turns his band from the well-trodden way. “Pay attention and stay close!” The scout shouts to the men. “Them what’s get lost stays lost for sure.” The civilized path is abandoned and the wilderness is entered. “Be they natives her abouts?” Asks Sgt Pierre. “Yes!” Responds Myhre. “Peaceful?” Inquires the Sgt. “Natives come in two kinds…wild and savage. These unsettled parts they be home to tribes what have made treaty. We are trespassing!” Speaks the scout in a quieted voice. Only the scout and the regular troops are carrying muskets. “When do we get armed?” Thomas asks Mr. Pierre. “Williamsburg I expects matey?” Pierre gives answer.
From the closing distance the sound of singing is heard. Two pure and harmonious voices raise a glorious resonance. “We’ll never be tired …no we’ll never be tired… There’s a cross on the hill that yet loves us still… He’ll never grow old …He’ll never grow old… Our sins be forgiven…our sins be forgiven they will…” The sound calms and eases the pain of the tired legs of the marching mercenaries. “Hears as they be a church up yonder.” Tells one the militiaman. “Mighty fine gospel singing.” Pierre notes. “I have never heard such powerful voices.” William responds. The clear strong tones of the music fill the small vale into which the men enter. After a brief moment of quiet the singing resumes. “I’m not afraid with You…
I’m not afraid with You… Please Lord to me be true… I’m not afraid with You… I’m not afraid with You…” “I have never heard such prayerful singing.” Thomas adds. “The folks here abouts are mighty religious.” Snorts Myhre. “That be why most come to the shores of the New World.” As the sound of the hymns grow louder, the band advances toward a gathering of wood cabins and barn. Upon the porch of a nearing residence sit the pair of singers. Interrupted by the arrival of the militia, a large man with white hair rises from his seat. With cane in hand the old man slowly advances toward the edge of his porch to prepare a greeting. His frame is tall. His limbs are long. His hands and feet are large. His waist is bulbous. Heavy fleshy jowls hang from his face. Behind him is a small oval shaped woman of slightly lesser age. The eyes of the elderly homesteader shines bright. His one free frail arm lifts joyously to the welcome. The men are anxious to see the source of the music that has been much enjoyed. “Virginia Militia!” Announces Myhre at the entrance to the property.
“Howard Goodman.” The voice is pure and youthful. “There’s a well at the side of the house. Cool your thirsts.” Invites the farmer. Cheers are retuned. “You all will stay for dinner?” Invites the woman. “Haven’t eaten today!” Returns Pierre. “Vestal! Get Jack to kill a dozen chickens.” Orders the old man to his wife. “I’ll help!” Offers William. “Jack’s in the back by the barn.” Informs Vestal. ”Just introduce yourself.” Smiles the matriarch. The militia sets down to rest. They drop their packs and stretch their legs. Water is taken from the well in a bucket and served out with a metal dipper. Small children gather at the side to stare. The women get busy in the kitchen. Potatoes will be boiled, cut, and scorched in a large flat pan. Onions will be battered and deep-fried. Loaves of bread are to be baked. Heavy chicken gravy will be served. The large number of chickens will be roasted on an outdoor spit while basted with garlic and sage. “I’ll kill the chickens and you begin plucking.” Instructs Jack Goodman. Jack is the youngest son of the Goodman’s. He is short and portly as his mother but good humored and affable as his father.
“I don’t enjoy killing birds.” Replies William. “No one does! When you have hungry children…sick children in winter...then you’ll kill just about anything.” Jack acknowledges. “Like to eat’m right enough.” William announces as he starts his work. “Had a chicken back some years ago what was as smart as any body to be found in Virginia.” Jack pronounces “Seems when it came time to find a bird for dinner the critter would go into spasms like it was sick and dying.” The farmer laughs as he looks to William’s response. The lad is amused. “Well my wives got to gathering about the hen house here with an ax in hand to start that bird into its fits for their amusement. The event got to be regular entertainment.” William does not miss the wives part of the story. ”What happened to that chicken?” “A large hawk swooped down during one of that bird’s performances and took off with her.” Laughs the man “She got too much attention!” “You have more than one wife…I mean how come you have wives?” William cannot restrain his curiosity. Both men sit and share the cleaning of large fowls. “I married two girls…that’s all.” States the jolly man. “At the same time?” The boy is confounded. “Yep!” Nods Jack.
“Them women folk didn’t mind taking the same husband?” Jack’s head shakes side to side. “Nope…they insisted!” “Let’s put some of these chickens on a spit and get a fire started.” Jack points to a woodpile. “Get a bunch of them Locus logs. Their smoke flavors for good eating.” The wood is gathered and the fire starts as Jack places the spit into action. “Can I meet your wives Jack?” “We can only cook six or so at a time…as soon as these get to smell good the women will be out to finish’em.” The first rotisserie is soon in action. The second is under preparation when a small woman emerges carrying a pan and brush for basting. “Jack don’t get them birds too close to them coals. They’ll burn on the outside and won’t cook on the inside if you’re not careful.” Declares a small perky woman of uncommon good looks. The concern upon Jack’s face shows need. “I’m Bessie.“ She nods. “Jack! Millie is helping your mother finish the bread. Taters are pealed and boiling.” The energetic lady declares. “After all these years you’d think the man could tell his own wives apart.” She tells William. The boy stands to attention to greet her.
“You must be one of the militia. I hate when them natives get angry and begin trouble. There’s plenty of land and food for everyone. Are you in Virginia long?” “Just got off the ship this morning!” William answers. “Well you’re probably not married as yet! Plenty of women to be had…too many really… not enough men as it is let alone when a war is starting to take them what’s available away.” She is in a bother over the present circumstances. ”Yes’m!” The boy interdicts. Jack slides away to make busy elsewhere. Bessie is much younger than Jack notes the lad. “I suppose you’re indentured. All the young men arriving are indentured these days.” The girl looks over the young man as she begins her work. “A good looking lad like you has to wait to take a wife!” Her head shakes in dissatisfaction. “How the governor expects the population to increase naturally when all the boys have no way to support themselves let alone a wife is beyond me.” As the hot fat from the cooking chickens drips into the fires, the smell of preparing fowl reaches about the homestead. The band of visitors stirs in anticipation of a hot meal. Momentarily a second woman approaches to tend the second spit. She is the identical twin of Bessie. “Mille this is William from the Militia. He’s not married. He is indentured.” The second lady is a bit shy.
She smiles at the boy with a curtsy. At the arrival of both wives Jack disappears. “Jack is gone!” Announces Bessie. “Back to the still I expects.” Responds Millie. William takes a comfortable seat to observe. The girls begin to chatter without further notice given to their new companion. “You know that still needs constant tending”. Mille reminds. “That moonshine needs constant tasting you mean” Quips Bessie. “You knew he drank when we married him.” Barbs Mille. “I didn’t know he produced the stuff by the gallons at a time.” Answers Bessie. “Otherwise...” “It was your choice to marry Jack. He provides a good living… as good as any this side of Williamsburg.” Mille defends. Bessie reflects. “If we didn’t marry Jack then we would be separated and living anywhere about the Virginia. We’d probably never see each other or our children.” This topic brings much comfort to the two girls. Their mood turns to tenderness. “We’ve had beautiful children with Jack.” Nods Mille emphatically. “They are all alive and well.” “Yes! Sarah Bolton married that Hess boy from Georgetown. All three of her babies died before their second year.” The two ladies’ looks are troubled. “Her husband turned to drink. The poor thing.” Comments Mille.
“I hear he doesn’t pay any attention to her anymore. She lives without any love or affection.” Bessie testifies. They look to each other with grins of shared knowing. “We don’t have that problem.” Laughs Mille ”That moonshine has some benefit.” The two giggle girlishly. Mille eyes the sedate William. “We came to Virginia when we was a bit younger then yourself.” “We was indentured like you.” Bessie adds. “Our mother sold us off when we was thirteen. Too expensive too keep I suppose.” “Miss your family?” Asks William. The girl’s frivolity fails. “Don’t remember too much anymore. Our father died when we was very young. Remember mother!” Bessie tells. “I see her looks in some our young ones.” Millie acknowledges. “Don’t do to think on those things we can’t change.” The pain shows in the expression of the ladies. “Where did you work…I mean how did you live when you got here?” William quizzes. “Went to work the same day we arrived in that Blackthorn Inn at the Georgetown dock.” Bessie informs. “Hated it!” Mille adds. “The owners were decent but them sailors kept gabbing at us all day!” “Jack was always a gentleman…treated us like ladies.” Mille tells.
“Still does!” Comments Bessie. ”These birds need to cook a spell longer, than have Jack bring’em out to the front.” The ladies depart to attend further duties in the kitchen. Jack returns. “Them was the wives. Fine and as handsome women as can be had. Intelligent too!” “How came you to marry both?” William is now a friend. “Took to Mille right away. Bessie is a bit hard and quick to anger. Mille just sobs when she is hurt. Both are honest good girls.” Assures Jack. “Got to know them in Georgetown.” Jack states casually. “Just told Millie I’d marry her on the moment if she had a notion.” “Just like that?” “No need for a band and a parade William, just the truth meant and given straight out.” “What did Mille say?” “She said she would but her sister would have to agree. Bessie said I had to marry both of them or none. Here we are!” “What’s it like to have more than one wife?” Jack smiles. “They be a lot of fun with them two as long as I know when to get out of they way.” In a short time the birds are done and the women are setting a large table outside for the men folk. When the cooked birds arrive the soldiers fill their plates for a late afternoon meal. Henry and Vestal sit in rockers upon the porch. Jack’s wives and children sit upon the porch steps.
As soon as all have been served Jack stands before the group. He looks to his father. Howard nods permission to his son. Jack chest swells in a deep breath. In a glorious tenor’s voice he commences to sing. “Our father who art in heaven… Gives us this day our daily bread… And forgive us our trespasses…” The celestial sound fills the heart, swells the spirit, and holds the attention of all. The men of the militia bow their heads and stay their appetites. Mothers embrace their children. Babes squirm into positions of maternal comfort. Vestal’s hands rise toward heaven. Howard’s hands fold to his temples’ sides as his eyes lift upward. The power of Jack’s voice fills the air. The ground reverberates with the singer’s unbridled fervor. Never has any who visits here heard such a powerful and stirring sound. William feels the presence of the Lord. All are grateful, inspired, and hungry. The fest is enjoyed and the food consumed with vigor. Much laughter is shared. “In conclusion gentlemen.” Howard speaks. “In appreciation for your service to our homes, we offer you a drink of the pure.”
The ladies descend with a large bottle of moonshine. “Jack that was quite a commanding song of grace.” Acknowledges William. Jack’s eyes yet smile but sadness taints his expression. “I sang so’s God would have to look down and see my father.” Jack bows his head.” My father is dying. We’ll lose him soon. His breathing falters more and more.” “I’m sorry for your sadness Jack.” William attempts to console. “My mother is devoted to father. She won’t live long after he’s gone. Her heart won’t leave him.” This pain is too much for young William. He chokes. No words come. “My parents have brought heaven here to us by their songs and prayers. God has been with us all the days through the sharing my parent’s belief.” Jack comments. William is comforted. “We sing the gospel as often as we may. It pleases my father.” “Won’t your life, your home be darker and lonelier when he’s…they are gone?” Asks William. “They’ll be in heaven and heaven will be here as we sing God’s praise. No! Howard and Vestal go to their future but their love remains.” The smile upon Jacks’ face is not humor it is love and goodness decides William.
“I have never been a proper mother to you…please forgive me!” The piteous condition of her mistress is in contrast to the woman’s autocratic nature. Elisa feelings of concern are genuine.
Colonel Chuchwater had departed the Scorpion at once with the Royal Marine Detachment. He is to meet with the Military’s Office of Adjutants General just east of Williamsburg. Here his rank is to be reactivated and the details of his command presented. The remaining Chuchwater Party was dispatched under the Governor’s Escort to Williamsburg. Lady Churchwater is much disorientated. She is weak and faint during the rapid travel of the day. Elisa attends her constantly. It is nearly sun set when their coach arrives to Williamsburg. Suitable apartments have been made ready within the Governor’s compound. Lady Churchwater requires substantial assistance to make way into the temporary quarters. Miss Stewart and her maid place the stricken lady immediately to rest in bed. “Elisa.” Moans Lady Churchwater. “I am dying!” Her words are faint. “I shall not leave your side.” Promises Elisa whose hand tenderly caress. “I know the Colonel will be killed by the savages.” Her Ladyship’s eyes close in agony. Elisa cannot answer. The bravery of the Colonel has dispelled any remnant of disregard.
Elisa has never regarded Lady Churchwater in a maternal way. “I have always wanted the best for us and for you.” Tears fill the lady’s eyes. “There will be no one…we shall be left alone now.” This expression of dependency by Lady Churchwater on her husband is unexpected. Elisa senses the want by Lady Churchwater to be comforted. The young girl shares the desire to be held. Her arms enfold the pale woman. “We shall pray for the Colonel’s safe return.” The older woman warms to the attention. “Thank you for caring…I have not earned your compassion.” Elisa lovingly kisses lady Churchwater’s forehead. “We are family!” She whispers. The woman’s hands bind Elisa arms to her. “I cannot live with out the Colonel.” “Would you like to share your feelings?” Elisa invites. Her Ladyship’s breath is unsteady and words do not pass easily. Her heart searches for relief. “We were so young. He was a junior officer…so handsome and dashing. We were introduced at a family social.” Elisa offers her a glass of water. The woman’s lips are chapped from fever.
She swallows much. “My Aunt Amelia was very fashionable. Her husband manufactured goods for the military. Her home was always visited by officials from the government.” Miss Stewart listens patiently. “I was just of age…never before had a man paid attention to me as a woman. It was shameful! I showed myself at his every turn. I desired his attention.” Elisa understands. “My Aunt sent me to fetch her eye glasses. He followed me from the room.” Her emotions choke. Elisa waits. Lady Churchwater assumes the person of a young woman. “I came to pass a wine closet. I entered.” Her voice breaks. Elisa squeezes the woman’s shoulders. “He followed me…I let him…I closed the door behind him.” She confesses. Elisa blushes. “I forced myself against him. He kissed me.” She sighs. Elisa sighs. “He is a good man. His love has never left me…never!” Elisa thoughts return to William. She aches. Lady Churchwater sleeps.
Colonel Churchwater has arrived at the military’s head quarters. He is invited to a meeting of the commanding officers. Major General William Stuben and his staff are to brief Sir Martin Taylor, Governor of Virginia. “Colonel Churchwater!” General Stuben greets. “It has been some time since we last served together.” “Good to see you Stubie.” Returns the Colonel. The Governor nods in recognition. “Do we have a plan?” The assembly takes seat about a large table covered in maps. “Can you assess the situation up to the present?” The Governor asks. General Stuben stands. “Chief Chaupaug of the Cherokee has long been a source of trouble to the colony and to his indigenous neighbors. He has been conducting raids in the vicinity near his encampment for the past several months. More recently he has been sending war parties deeper into the colonial lands. He must be stopped.” “How many Cherokee in these parties and what sort of trouble is the bloke causing?” Interrupts the Colonel. “A handful of braves at first, occasionally stealing the one cow or pig…just being a nuisance at first. The number of renegades has increased to a few score that are burning
property, destroying any animal that comes across their path and in greater frequency. They are stealing arms as well.” “Blood shed?” Asks the Colonel. “Not as yet but the colonials are becoming frightened. They are mustering arms. A confrontation is inevitable.” Responds the general. “This sort of animosity will interfere with the Crown’s wish for the immediate expansion of the colony. The economic growth of Virginia is desired by the directive of the Throne.” Details the governor. “Our plan gentleman is quite simple. We shall demonstrate before the home of this rabble with overwhelming force. If he wants to fight then we shall devastate his number. Drive the remnants of his people into the mountains. Divide his territory between his neighbors who I might add are obedient to the Crown and support our cause.” “What are their numbers?’ Asks the Colonel. “They will put between 350 to 500 warriors in the field.” “Our numbers?” “Some 600 hundred regulars and about 800 militia.” “Seems to be no difficulty to enforce our will?” Reasons the Colonel. “Chief Chaupaug is a cunning and capable leader. It could be a bit of a ruff go colonel.” Responds the general. “When do you proceed”’ Ask the governor. “Advanced infantry is already in the field.” The general points to the flanking positions upon a map. “Two regiments of light infantry form our edges.”
“Chief Chaupaug’s village sits in the upper part of a deep valley in the foothills here.” The general’s sword points again to the map. “The militia of 800 strong will advance before the cannonade and cavalry of some 200 hundred strong into the mouth of this valley. Our flanks will close to seal the enemy within.” “You will confine the brute under arms.” Acknowledges the colonel. “If he fights he must face our cannon and horse. If he runs then the infantry will cut him down.” The general pauses. “As soon as the enemy postures we engage. There will be no quarter given. We shall purge the country of this menace once and for all.” “When do you take to the field?” Quizzes the governor. “The militia is all but complete. We have awaited a capable office to lead them.“ The general looks to the Colonel. ”The command is yours if you wish?” “How are we to be armed?” Asks the Colonel. “Nearly 600 hundred muskets the rest with pike and ax.” “What are our orders precisely?” “Advance under the command of Captain Symers. Establish a fortified perimeter at the base of Chaupaug’s valley and hold. Support the cavalry and cannon.” The general is explicit. “Are we to charge?” “No you will defend the frontier of the colony at all costs. Forward action is by the regulars and will be undertaken at the discretion of Symers.” Orders the general.
“Reserves?” The Colonel questions. “You may organize your command as you need. There will be no other forces dispatched.” The terms are final. “I am ready general to serve!” Confirms the Colonel. “When do you want my command in the field?” “You leave by first light!” “March time?” “You will arrive near the frontier at day’s end tomorrow and by the middle of the second day you shall be approaching Chaupaug’s position.” After the departure of the Colonel, the general speaks privately. “Churchwater old boy how is her ladyship?” “The woman is a strong as iron. She has high hope for the New World. Obtained a Royal Grant for us. Quite the ideal wife I say.” “After this campaign the governor will give you choice in the land to be appointed.” “Her ladyship will be most appreciative. She is devoted to her ward.” “You must have her over…after you have settled your affairs.” The general is most confident in the Colonel’s ability. “Do you have any personal request before you march?” “There is a chap from my ship that served as our steward. A first class gentleman named Thomas McCrady. I wish him to serve as my personal attaché.” “Is he indentured?” “Yes general but he is most loyal and devoted.”
“I shall see to it personally that his debt to the Crown is forgiven at the conclusion of this campaign. He shall be a free man upon the militia’s return.”
“Cathy! Please return to the downstairs and inquire about a serving of warm chicken soup. Lady Churchwater will need sustenance when she awakes.” Elisa orders. “I’ll find the kitchen with my noise and prepare the dish myself if necessary!” Sparks the maid. Sometime after the maid’s departure a large commotion arrives outside to the door to the Chuchwater’s apartment. A large well-dressed woman enters. A train of servants all of whom carry trays burdened with food, beverage, flowers, and favors follows her. “Here!” The full-bodied woman points to where the hot food is to be placed. “Where is Lady Churchwater?” The enormously commanding woman overpowers the young Elisa. Elisa’s hand lifts to show the door to the lady’s room. The person of charge indicates for the two women holding towels and bowls to assume their duties.
“These are my nurses. They shall see to the needs of your governess through the night! You my dear need food and rest.” Elisa welcomes this relief. The maid Cathy returns with empty hands.. The invader’s eyes direct Cathy to be seated. “You too!” Her hands steer the shoulders of the young Elisa to the serving table. Immediately servants present and dispense sumptuous morsels of dinner for the travelers’ repast. “I am Miss Taylor, daughter to the Governor.” The shapely woman is some years older than Elisa. “Call me Darlene.” The hostess pours a ruby wine for Elisa and her maid. “ This is made locally from rhubarb. It is delicious and easy on the digestion.” Elisa is yet unable to respond. Darlene’s presence is too controlling. The aura of the governor’s daughter enlivens the room. Her personality is endearing. The travelers are eager to comply with her wishes. “Now do not fret over her Ladyship! Many have such a response to a long sea voyage…especially when it’s a might ruff.” Elisa relaxes for the first time since William has marched off to war.
“I’ll have my surgeon visit her first thing in the morning. She’ll be up and about in a day or so I’m sure.” The diners enjoy fresh roasted turkey with gravy served with boiled sweet potatoes. Onion soup with croutons and slices of cheese are enjoyed. Darlene has personally chosen all dinning items to be agreeable with digestions just arrived from the hardships of the sea. The appetites of the two guests soar with the wholesome goodness of the meal. Darlene slices and portions. She serves her guests’ bread and directs clearance of debris by her standing attendants. “Tomorrow you shall enjoy a morning meal in your apartment as well. The doctor shall assure you of her Ladyship’s care. Once you are comfortable we shall have a visit.” Darlene inspects the response of her guests to their supper. She is satisfied. “Tomorrow night the governor will sponsor a small social. Music, dance, 100 or so guests from the best families…just local folk. We shall take this opportunity for your introduction to our society here Miss Stewart.” The excitable woman is bubbling. “We have never entertained anyone so close to inheriting the Crown.” The personal baggage from the ship has been misdirected. The look of forlorn by Elisa is noticed. “Fear not! I have loads of gowns about the manor. We shall find something perfect for you…from my earlier years.” Darlene laughs. This night is long and restful.
A lavish breakfast of fresh fruit, eggs, fried meats, and scones is enjoyed at the Church water’s apartment. The surgeon arrives just as Lady Churchwater awakens. In the following moments Miss Taylor arrives as well. “Miss Stewart you are absolutely beautiful!” Darlene views the refreshed young girl. “You are very kind and generous.” Replies the ward. “If you please, you and I shall make plans for this evening. I want your appearance at the ball this night to be special.” The enthusiasm of the woman is unbounded. “This night will be a high point of the year!” “Is there some holiday for cause of tonight’s gathering?” Elisa questions. “Oh, No!” The curvaceous woman stammers. “I love to dance…don’t you? Father allows me once a month to arrange an evening of festivity.” Darlene swirls in demonstration. Elisa is thrilled. “Who will be here?” “All of father’s friends and their families. My friends of course…you will love all the girls, and loads of bachelors!” Darlene promises. The appeal of the high social event sweeps Elisa into joyous anticipation. “Father is determined to have me married but I simply can’t take the notion serious. Marriage seems so bothersome at present.” Darlene informs. “Are there many young men?”
“Too many! The New World is too new for most woman of society. They return to Europe before long. There are more proper bachelors than available lady’s hands for marriage. You shall have your choice!” The surgeon arrives from his examination of Lady Churchwater. “Miss Taylor! Her Ladyship needs to rest. The voyage has been very hard for her.” “How is my governess?” Asks Elisa. “The woman will recover…however her heart is not a sound as it should be. Perhaps it has never been quite so.” Elisa is shocked. The tenacity of Lady Churchwater does not agree with a frail condition. “Is it serious?” The girl pleads. “Not necessarily! However, I must advise that her condition will require sedate living. Any undo stress, any physical hardship can bring dire consequences. I should not have advised her of this sea voyage that she has just undertaken.” The man shakes his head in displeasure. Elisa is without words. “Can the woman get along?” Darlene interrupts. “Yes with restrictions of no excess in food, drink, labor, or worry. She will do quite well in such circumstances.” “There it is then! Her Ladyship will simply have to enjoy herself!” Darlene is reassured. “That’s precisely what we do here in the colony!” Elisa smiles with her hostess at the good prospects. Elisa and Darlene escort the physician to his departure.
Aside the circular entrance foyer is the access into a large rectangular ballroom. It is an ornate room with a high ceiling. The exterior wall contains a series of floor length doorways that open to give access to outdoor balconies. Small tables and chairs circumvent the main floor permitting a grand central area for promenade. “It’s beautiful!” Exclaims Elisa as she inspects the room’s panorama. “Father spent substantial sums to replicate his favorite hall from the Royal Palace. He wishes all visitors to share a sense of being an important part of the Realm.” Darlene’s musical voice echoes among the walls. Elisa’s eyes perk at the quality of the sound in the room. “This room is designed for excellence of acoustics. The music here is divine. Everyone dances! You’ll love every moment.” Darlene twirls with arms raised in expectation. “I haven’t really been to any dances.” Elisa confesses. “I do know how to dance however…with my nanny.” Darlene is considerate. “We shall have you start with some of the more senior less rambunctious male partners” Elisa is reassured. “Well we need to decide upon your dress.” Darlene eyes pass over the girl. “You’re too beautiful! The men will give you no peace and all the women will hate you if we reveal all at once.” Darlene’s hands fold about the girl’s hair.
“Let’s lift this a bit off the shoulders but not to uncover the entire neckline.“ Elisa’s eyes enlarge as they lift to read Darlene’s thoughts. “Augustus! Mirror hurry!” Darlene’s operatic voice rings through the halls. A small servant scurries with a large round mirror in hand. “This is a more mature look but it permits just a bit of naiveté in your profile.” Elisa agrees. “I like it!” Her smile confirms the future position of her locks. “You are tall…flat shoes are a must. “Darlene ponders. “Theses should be patent leather, as you dress will not meet the floor. I shall have the servants collect several pairs for your choice.” Elisa looks to her feet. “I have long narrow feet!” “I shall send one of your shoes to the local shoemaker. We shall have a proper pair for dancing if we have to have a pair made.” Darlene trumpets. “We have one serious problem…your figure…it’s perfect. There is no dress that will hide all this perfection. So we must choose what if any lines are to be shaded.” Darlene has never undertaken such a task. The young ward slides her hands over her waist and hips in self-measure. “If we go a size larger than you actually wear but gather the waist just a tad you will be seen as a woman but the goddess will remain covered…for now!” Darlene decides. “I love blue…an azure color. A plain dress that is sharp in line but delicate in composition. No ribbons or frills.” Elisa requests.
“Augustus! Send for our dressmakers. Have them bring all their blue fabrics and lot’s of help. We shall have this woman fitted and stitched by dinner.” Darlene is consumed by her assignment. Go at once Augustus without delay.” “Where will the musicians play?” Elisa asks. “There at the far end.” Darlene points. “The smokers will keep near the doors…mostly the men. The women assemble on the opposite side.” Darlene again notes Elisa’s distant view when men are mentioned. “Did you leave a man behind?” “No.” States Elisa sadly. “You met a man on the ship?” Darlene surmises. Elisa nods affirmatively. “A wonderful boy from Dublin.” “He must be indentured!” Darlene barks in surprise. “Yes, I suppose.” “Oh everyone has a ship board romance! They rarely last. Where is he now?” “He’s gone off with the militia as soon as we landed.” Her words are forlorn. Darlene realizes the passion the girl holds for the man. “Sometimes such beginnings last. You are of Royal Stock! This man may find another woman in his own station before you will ever see him again.” Her words are not kind but realistic. Elisa has difficulty to forget.
“Let this evening be free. Welcome the company that is to arrive, and then laugh, dance, and live. There is no wrong in having enjoyment and making friends. There will be men from the government, the military, landowners, solicitors, and from every level of importance. There shall be several of our station that you must meet.” “I promised I’d wait for him Darlene.” Her heart is not free. Darlene knows of first love and its lasting imprint to one’s soul. “Come let’s see what the kitchen is to prepare for refreshment for this evening.” Darlene’s arm holds the child’s waist as they walk away.
The morning in the military compound is busy. Troops have been fed and begin to muster. Arms and weapons are being dispersed. Transport animals are gathering and being harnessed. “It seems ironic to me that we haven’t been in the New World an entire day and we are marching off to war for the English.” Thomas notes. “Aye lad! There’s fate for ye.” Pierre replies. “Why us? Why not a couple of other lads?” Thomas complains. “Better we not be the few that may die tomorrow or in the next week.” Pierre suggests. “Have you fought before?” Asks William.
“Aye! On land and sea. It comes with being a subject of the Crown…any crown.” Answers the carpenter. “Have you killed a man?” Asks William. “Aye! That be the job we be shipping out for.” Pierre hands muskets to the Dublin pair. “Is it easy…to kill?” Wonders William. “Not at all! It’s easier than dying that be for sure.” “Sgt Pierre!” Interrupts the scout. “The Colonel wants you to report.” Colonel Churchwater and Captain Symers are planning the forced march that is soon to begin. “Colonel your militia will lead the advance, with cannon, and horse to follow.” Orders the captain. “Mr. Banks scouts out on the point.” “Captain the militia will be exposed without horse escort on our flanks.” The Colonel protests. “Colonel our orders are to protect the Crown’s interests and property. The militia is the most expendable element in this action. The Crown can easily replace large numbers from this rank. Cannon and regular troops are too valuable to waste.” Sneers the captain. “Do you realize that if we are separated the protection we offer for your regulars will be gone? “ The Colonel is in disbelief. “The regular troops will be over exposed and could easily be routed!” The colonel continues.
“We are going to fight savages not Imperial forces! The orders stand! We leave within the hour.” The captain departs with distain. “We shall gather several handfuls of militia to serve as outward elements on our flanks. Groups of five at the forward are to advanced to the sides at 100 paces with muskets and swords.” Pierre is informed. The Colonel will try to secure his detachment despite the poor judgment of his field commander. “Them savages will be watching us as soon as we depart this here compound Colonel.” Informs the scout. “Old Chaupaug is a gifted leader.” “You know the man?” Asks the Colonel. “Visited his camp many times.” Answers the scout. “Mr. Pierre you maintain the lead and continuously push small squads from there to stand post out on our edges until the column passes then they will rejoin the main column at the rear.” The Colonel continues. “Just like tiny skips that circle the main ship in a narrow channel at sea.” Suggests Mr. Pierre. “Excellent! I shall ride the exterior perimeter in a clockwise circle. Mr. Pierre! Disperse the first squads as soon as the brigade is fully in the field. Have them report any suspicious sightings directly to me as I pass.” The Colonel agrees. “You’ll be on your own and seriously exposed Colonel.” Warns the scout. The Colonel nods in confirmation. “We can’t have the enemy cut our column! This is our only recourse.”
“Mr. Banks scouts forward. Keep me appraised of the terrain well before there’s any change!” The Colonel is determined. The march of the colonial force commences. The men stride casually along a well-used road toward the west. Pipe and drum keep cadence at the rear of the column. “Thomas! William! You two stay together and just behind me.” Orders Sgt. Pierre. ”If any fighting begins, then get to Colonel’s side at once. Keep your muskets powdered and an eye on the Colonel’s position at all times.” “Will we be attacked?” Asks William. “If we knew that an army were coming to make war on our homes we be taking out after them right off.” Answers the sergeant. “They’ll find the right place and ambush us.” A small older man marching just behind the pair states. “You’ve fought the natives before?” Ask Thomas. “I’m Hovie Skaggs. Been trapping these parts from the nearly sixty years. Fought one indigenous nation or t’other at some time.” The man states with a pipe in his mouth. The man speaks through his empty gums. “How come you’re fighting now?” Thomas is mystified. “Get free grog…two pints every day after we make camp.” The old man smacks his lips in delightful expectation. “Can’t you buy your own?” Asks William.
“I can purchase as much drink as you lad…or any other man what be indentured here.” Informs Hovie. “You still indentured?” Asks Thomas. “Nope! But becoming a free man don’t entitle one to cash. I’m free but work in exchange for food and a warm bed.” “That’s the same as being indentured!” Thomas is distraught. “Yes but I can move about freely, here and there wherever I choose to go.” The small man is lively afoot. “Been all over the colony?” Thomas questions. “Been everywhere more than once …more than twice. Like the open lands the most. Trap in the fall and winter mostly. Critters don’t move in daylight. They prefer the night. Get all the drink I need then.” “Where do you find lots of city folks and women?” Thomas plans. “Richmond up to the northeast, it’s as big as some places in Europe nowadays.” Hovie obliges. “There be many free men what move about looking for work?” Questions William. “The roads be mighty busy these days. The economy of the colony has never been better. That be why the Crown wants more taxes. Folks, wagons of all kinds coming and going. It’s easy to hitch a ride anywheres.” Hovie adds. “Come down a few days ago to sign on for the grog.” “No one questions you when you’re traveling?” Thomas is hopeful. “Nah! Stay out of trouble and folks leave well enough alone.” Replies the older man. “Indentures run off ever?” Thomas continues.
“All the time but there’s plenty more coming to take their place.” “What happens to an indentured if he gets caught after running away?” William asks. “They send him back and will lock him up at night for a spell. He might get a beating, but no one wants to lose their investment so it’s not a serious hurting.” Hovie remarks. “Been caught and whipped a few times in my day.” “What about a wife Hovie?” Wonders William. “Had a few but them women don’t want to wonder any. Work is all they think about. They hate grog!” “Children?” Continues William. “Some but none have any respect for their dad...better off without me I guess.” The small vagabond shows no regret. “You know much about these natives we are after?” Thomas is inspired by the tramp. “The Cherokee is an honorable man easy going and good-natured. They don’t hold with folks bothering their privacy. They are mighty fierce warriors. All the other tribes here abouts are afeared to make war with’em.” “You fought Cherokee?” William asks. “Fought in every major action of the militia for over thirty years now. Cherokee make a tough fight…tougher than them young regular officers can imagine. Can’t make no mistake when fighting Cherokee.” Hovie advises. “What happens if someone from the militia gets caught running off?” Thomas’ mind is still affected.
“Catch a run away from the militia with a musket…they’ll hang for sure! There’s always a regular unit in the rear to shoot deserters. Only a fool tries to sneak out of the militia cause the regulars do most of the heavy fighting.” “How about them Cherokee women?” Thomas’ plans are laid to rest. “Fine healthy women what can carry a baby and pack a heavy load over a mountain, travel day and night, and fight damn near like a man when they have to.” Hovie respects these natives. “Friend married a Cherokee woman back a time ago. Had five sons…all run off to become wild. Them boys of his just loved being free in the wilderness. Civilization didn’t keep a one of them!” “You ever have a native wife?” Asks William. “Sure…a pretty little girl half my age…good worker.” Replies the little tramp. “Well! What happened to her?” William wonders. “She got to like my grog and began to drink more than me…had to send her back to her people. Can’t afford a drunk!” The Dublin pair laughs uncontrollably with the irony.
Governor Taylor arrives at his residence midday. “Hello father!” Calls Darlene as her father enters.
“Missy…your evening maybe a little tainted.” Hugs are exchanged. “The army is underfoot to face down the Cherokee.” “The army is always underfoot. The evening is tainted cause it taint for fighting it’s for dancing.” The effervescent woman laughs. “Father this is Miss Stewart, ward of the Churchwaters.” Darlene introduces. “I knew your father and his father quite well. Splendid! It does Virginia proud to have more royal blood to mingle here.” The handsome politician mesmerizes Miss Stewart. She curtsies politely. “We shall have a meeting this afternoon with all the Royal Grant holders. I know Colonel Churchwater is heading the militia under present circumstance.” “Her Ladyship is recovering from a difficult voyage and is not disposed for boring speeches.” Darlene interrupts. “Well miss Stewart you shall have to represent your family. Just a formality!” The governor sends a warm smile. “Just after lunch in the main library.” Elisa strolls the balcony of the main floor that overlooks the gardens. Much activity is found as the gardens are much prized and serve as a visual presence of the Crown’s representation. Men and women are busy at pruning and planting. Small handcarts burdened with nature’s parts are being pulled about. Water stored in barrels are drawn by horse to remove dry conditions where noticed. The pleasantness of life about her, the loveliness of nature before her, and the goodness of the people who attend her, brings Elisa’s senses to full elation.
Elisa has taken to her new homeland. Below two small girls carry a basket. They approach a virile young man busy at planting, The older boy eagerly accepts the parcel presented to him by the pair. His lunch has arrived. The two girls are enamored by the good looks of the lad. They have taken refuge near the balcony and in a chosen place where the boy keeps full view of their presence. The taller girl speaks. “We best get back to the kitchen and continue our deliveries.” The shorter girl is intent on being seen by the lad. She makes a comment. “I think we best be sure that Albert finishes his lunch first.” “I wonder why!” The taller sings with sarcasm. “I just think…I wonder why you’re face is so ugly!” The short one’s adolescent feeling has been hurt. “I wonder why your mother is!” Barbs the taller adolescent. “I wonder why you’re family is!” Stings the shorter. Elisa enjoys full audience to this spat. The needs of the two younger girls are not distant to Elisa. Albert has moved off to find shade and lunch. As soon as the girls realize the man of their interest has abandoned all watch, they recover.
The two skip away pleased. The laughter from nearby on the balcony awakens Elsa to another’s presence. An older woman of fine figure, bright red hair and ordinary looks has captured the juvenile debate. “I remember all so well my years at that age.” The red headed woman approaches. “Duchess of Leeds!” She introduces. The older woman’s head tilts formally. “Cynthia Clawsons to my friends.” This title is familiar to Elisa. She curtsies. “Elisa Stewart, the ward of Colonel and Mrs. Churchwater.” “Ah yes!” The Duchess inspects the girl. ”You have claim I understand to the throne?” Elisa smiles. “It would take an enormous calamity upon England for a claim such as mine to be realized.” “I fear such calamity would fall only upon one as lovely as you. Royalty can be loathsome particularity if you are the queen.” “Do you not have claim to the Crown as well?” Elisa solicits. “My husband…not myself…I carry no royal blood.” Replies the Duchess. “Let us be as wise as Albert below and take our lunch together.” The day is warm. The breezes are gentle and the fragrances from the gardens arrive with delight. The ladies have luncheon served upon the terrace. A garden salad is served with a delicate red lettuce, fresh sliced vegetables.
Hot tea and lemonade are placed at their table. Half a fried chicken is served with a light cheese sauce. Oven fresh bake bread provides the dominant aroma to the meal. A fruit cup is offered for desert. “Tell me Miss Stewart why the New World?” The Duchess pours tea. “Elisa, please!” The young lady invites. “Elisa whatever inspired your arrival here in Virginia?” The girl is hesitant to reply. “Don’t be shy…I can keep secrets. I am here to get away from the Duchy of Leeds.” The red head provides a warm smile. “I was a nanny to the house of Leeds. When the original Duchess passed away I was left in the house with the children.” Distress shows on the older woman’s face. Elisa is secretly amused and relieved at the commonness of the Duchess. “My husband…the Duke…made his appeal for our marriage such that I could not resist. I never wanted to be a Duchess!” “Where is your Duke now?” “Dead! He was very much older in years. He had a wonderful life and I was a good loving wife. A bit of a loss as a Duchess mind you!” “So you are in Virginia because?” Elisa wonders. “To find a husband!” Elisa is shocked. More anguish shows upon the mature woman.
“I don’t want any more Dukes…just a regular healthy male to love me as I have always wanted.” Desperation replaces the Duchess expression. “What of England? No such men there?” “I want to rid myself of the Duchy. My husband’s children may have all their father’s wealth with my best wishes. They are content with my decision.” “Can’t you dump the Duchy and remain in England?” “No!” The red head lowers her voice. “I took this Royal Grant to get away. As soon as I have my home every royal connection will be erased. I want a man that will hold me and love me and make me feel like a woman…not an official of the Royal Court.” “You came her to get lost with your true love!” Elisa understands. “Exactly…but I’m broke! I surrendered the Duchy and all the money that goes with it.” “Broke?” “I have only the clothes in my luggage, and the stipend from the grant.” Freedom shows upon the former Duchess. “So how shall I address you?” “Cynthia…please…just Cynthia. My father was a tailor named Clawsons.” “We are going to be neighbors forever.” Laughs Elisa. “So tell me! Why are you here?” Cynthia requests. “Money! My governess has spent most of the estate of my dead parents. They have used my royal lineage to receive a grant here in Virginia.” Elisa informs.
“Everyone who ventures to this New World is here to improve their life. The want of a fortune is no shame.” Cynthia offers. “Nor is the want of a loving man with whom to share that fortune.” Elisa confirms. The flash in the eye of the girl catches Cynthia’s attention. “You have a man in you’re heart!” “Yes!” Confesses Elisa. “Who? Where? When?“ Cynthia has found the first sign of the treasure she seeks. “William…from my ship…just a few days ago.” Elisa beams. “You where in his arms!” “Yes!” Elisa beams continue. Both women sigh. “Have you seen a suitable man as yet?” Elisa asks. Hesitation answers for Cynthia. “Who? Where? When?” Elisa demands. Cynthia is fearful that her revelation may dispel her wishes. She is obliged by womanly duty to divulge all. “Last night! Here!…” Serious faltering overtakes Cynthia. “The governor!” Elisa conjectures. “He’s a widower!” “He is so divine my knees shake in his presence. I can’t but look into his gorgeous eyes. The sound of his voice has the heirs on the back of my neck standing up.” The woman is delirious in her feeling about the man. “Does he know?” “No! He hasn’t noticed me.” Cynthia is forlorn.
“Tonight! The dance will be your first opportunity. You must dance with him! I’ll see to it. Darlene is my friend she’ll arrange to have the governor request a musical promenade with you.” “Oh, Elisa if you only could. I need to know what kind of woman he fancies.” Cynthia’s hopes swell. “Indeed you shall!” Elisa asks the servant to have Miss Darlene summoned to the table. Eagerly Darlene arrives and joins the women. “Elisa, Cynthia! You two have meet. How wonderful!” “We were just talking about the dance.” Elisa instigates. “How exciting!” Cynthia adds “It is always a fun festive time for all. Everyone dances…even my father.” The ladies in attendance squirm at these comments. “Why has your father never remarried? He is so attractive!” Elisa is quick at the opportunity. “He loved my mother so much that I think he is afraid that he may never love another woman so well. He just is afraid to be less loving the second time.” Darlene confides. “Tell us what your mother like? What kind of woman?” Elisa asks and nods to Cynthia. “Mother was so sweet so delicate. I am nothing like mother.” “What did she look like? Was she built like you?” Elisa closes. “No I am like my father’s mother in build. Mother was…a red head…like Cynthia here.” Another positive nod is given from Elisa to Cynthia. “Mother’s figure was…ah …much like Cynthia’s as well.”
Elisa’s eyes bulge as this note. Cynthia winks to Elisa. “The governor has never had any interest in another woman?” Cynthia cannot hold her curiosity. “Never! I think that’s why father took this post in Virginia…just to forget!” Darlene is certain. “Here one never hears singing like mother’s. The musical theaters in London often provide similar voices to her. Father is hurt by those distant reminiscent sounds.” Elisa mutters quietly just to Cynthia.” Can you sing?” Cynthia nods yes. “Cynthia can sing!” Elisa interrupts. “Oh! How lovely! Perhaps you’ll favor our guests tonight?” Darlene invites. “I not sure I have any thing prepared. It has been forever since I gave a recital.” Cynthia apologizes. “Father would love to hear an occapela rendition of Softly He Comes. I have the music for it somewhere.” Darlene requests. “I know that hymn by heart! I shall be delighted. However it must be known that my voice is not in its best form!” Cynthia’s chances are improved. Her eyes send remark to Elisa. “I hope you father will like blue. My dress is to be azure tonight Darlene.” Elisa prods.
“Yes father is fond of blue but he prefers pastels of beige, pinks and dull yellows. I like floral, and strips, and bright patterns.” Darlene glows with thoughts of her selections. The completion of lunch brings Elisa and Cynthia to the business of the Royal Grants within the Governor’s Library. “We must ready ourselves with business of the Grants with your father.” Elisa excuses. “We must freshen.” The two women move alone to their accommodations. “Do I have time to change my dress?” Cynthia asks. “We shall make time. Come I’ll help you.” Elisa accompanies the Duchess to her suite.
“Ladies! Please be seated. This formality will take but a few minutes.” There is a thin string of a man already placed. He is not young. He gives the appearance not of a lord but of an administrator. There are two empty seats near him. To these the governor directs the ladies. “The Royal Grants presented her today are by generosity of the Crown. Each awarded are asked to sign an oath of loyalty to the Crown as well as a monetary promise to return sums advanced as per your agreement signed at the Royal Ministry in London.” States the handsome governor. The greedy little man attempts a smile but a sneer is his best effort. Cynthia hears the sound of the governor’s voice. She is deep into rapture by the nearness to him. All other notions are presently suspended from her mind.
Elisa has not thought of William for over an hour. This is an apt moment to relive her escapade with him in the ship’s closet. “Miss Stewart! As the Colonel is upon active military campaign and you governess is ill.
The governor has set his office in the library. Here today the grantees are to sign their formal contract with the Colony of Virginia. Afterwards the fiduciary arrangements obliged under the Law of the Crown by the Colony of Virginia shall begin. Elisa and Cynthia enter the library together. Cynthia wears an orchid dress that is calm in tone but flows sensuously. Elisa notes her friend upon their entrance distracts the governor momentarily.
You shall sign for your grant with my signature as witness.” The document is placed be fore her. “Duchess of Leeds!” Cynthia hears and dreams. Elisa prods her with an elbow. “Yes! That would be me Governor…What is your first name please?” Cynthia uses her position.
“Martin…eh… yes… Duchess ….Martin but please do call me Trevor!” The appropriate document is placed before the Duchess. “Lord Earl of Cumberland!” The governor looks to the piteous shaped little man. “Sorry! I am Uriah Vance. The Earl will not be here.” The wisp of a man hands a crumbled document to the governor. “This is an order from the Office of the Royal Exchequer to deliver in my name all grants and properties awarded to the Lord Earl of Cumberland in the Colony of Virginia as lawful settlement of loans past due under the terms of the Crown’s Monetary Lending Polices.” The governor is shocked. “Times must be very hard back upon the continent.” “You shall find all is in order.” The shrew of a man cracks. ”The Solicitor General of the Colony must review and advise upon such terms, Mr. Vance. If all is in order your grant will be awarded. However this business is most unusual and it shall have to stay upon the return of the Solicitor General from Richmond at the week’s end.” The small man is patient. “However, the signature upon this document places the grantee into the Crown’s debt. This is a very strict covenant. The terms are absolutely clear. This grant is an advance to be retuned to the Crown. The consequence for failure to comply with the terms in the grant shall be considered a direct offense to the character of the Crown. Punishment will
be most severe. I advise each of you to consider all your options first then sign only after clear and considered thought.” “Governor? How many grantees are there presently in the colony?” Elisa asks. “You are the first three to arrive. Additional grantees will arrive every few months until the Crown’s allotment is filled. The final umber is not yet decided but a dozen or so one might expect.” “What of the impending war?” Elisa continues. “The military expects the frontier to be stabilized and at peace within a week or two maybe three at the absolute most.” “Can we see the land contained within the grants?” Uriah pleads. The governor unfolds a large map. He points the western most edge of the colony’s boundaries. “We shall expand some tens miles to the west. Natural boundaries that provide sufficient water and land for farming, logging as well as other commercial needs will be proportioned under each grant. I believe ten thousand acres per grant is to be a rough estimate. There will be some variance in the actual number but each grant is most generous is size. These boundaries are presently being surveyed. The awards will be given upon the return of the militia to Williamsburg.” Cynthia wonders how it shall feel to be in the governor’s arms tonight. Will he like her cologne? She should have asked his daughter about his favorite fragrances. Elisa knows that she is expected to sign or her family faces ruin. “We shall sign presently.” Elisa invites a pen.
“Sign Duchess!” Elisa instructs This is Cynthia’s last hope for a new life and true love.
The principle designer circles the standing Elisa. A second shoe selection is provided. “Grandmother’s straps! This child is a sprite, a vision, and a prayer’s answer. Note an unsteady old witch to have her steps harnessed.”
The dressmaker is irate. “Give me delicate, divine, inspired footwear.” He pleads in desperation. The cobbler has but one last selection.
Darlene arrives to the Chruchwater’s suites at midafternoon. Three seamstresses and two dress fitters, and one shoe cobbler accompany her. “Let’s get serious.” The effervescent Darlene chimes. “Elisa into your slip!” Cynthia arrives with her two maid and several bottles of rosé wine. “I am here to advise and be entertained.” Cynthia has voyaged to enjoy. She yet holds a high station in society. The raucous gathering calls Lady Churchwater from her bed. She recognizes the Duchess of Leeds, and eagerly slumps into a chair to observe. The tall lean Elisa has the face and figure of a goddess. “Perfection!” Announces the head dressmaker as he unravels his measuring tape. “Shoes!” He demands. His assistant brings a dark pair of dress shoes forward and offers them. “Boots! These are boots for the army.” The first choice is dismissed with disdain. “If only I had known what celestial form is to be found here.”
“It’s all I have in her size.” The shoemaker says apologetically. Into the dressmakers hand is placed a pair of low profile patent leather flats. “Yes these will do nicely!” He calls as he dresses the girl’s feet. Elisa is delighted with the comfort, lightweight, and shine of her new shoes. “You can run a horse race in those shoes and your feet will never tire!” Cynthia states as her hands caress Elisa’s feet. Darlene agrees. “Your dress will not be dishonored by these shoes.” Lady Churchwater eyes water with the beauty and attention being paid to Elisa. Her hopes are being realized. “Now for the material!” The giddy dressmaker bobs and swirls through the reams of materials at his disposal. “Ah ha!” He announces as he produces a spool of azure blue cotton. “It’s my finest! Silk will not wear so well upon this heavenly frame.” The cloth is presented to Elisa. The Duchess and Darlene race to feel the fabric.
“So soft so light.” Darlene interrupts. “The color is perfect for you Elisa.” The Duchess decides. Elisa is excited by the hue of the blue material. “What pattern have you chosen?” Inquires the dressmaker. Darlene is still in thought. Elisa looks to her friends. “I have just the pattern.” One of Cynthia’s maids brings forth a book. “It is fashion from Paris. There is the dress style worn by the Royal Princess from Liechtenstein last summer at Buckingham. Her figure is identical to Elisa. Her dress was a smash!”
Sabers and Silk
The column of the Virginia Militia has matched continuously through the day. It is mid afternoon. The movement under arms comes to a halt. The commander, Captain Smyers has pressed the advance. The horses need rest. Their saddles and coverlets are to be removed from the animals. Their front legs are tethered.
The mounts are to be watered and their coats brushed while the riding tackle is allowed to dry. The ranks of men will rest and take a bite of food. In a few hours the military force shall pass into the land of the Cherokee. By evening a fortified camp is to be made from which the units will engage the Cherokee forces of Chief Chaupaug. Small fires are now busy heating coffee and tea. The men consume dry biscuits and jerky. The brigade’s collection of horses and oxen are grazing. There is no threat or sense of danger. “How does a free man survive here?” Thomas asks. “Get a trade! If you can learn.” Answers Hovie. “I never did well at schooling or difficult tasks.” Thomas replies. “Not much to begin trapping and hunting…hides pay well enough for a fella to live by.” More advice comes forth from the old beggar.
“You do much bartering?” Asks Thomas. “Most of my life.” Answerers the brawny scamp. “Bartered himself out of jail!” Hovie laughs. “True enough!” Confirms the intruder smiling devilishly. “This here be Clarence Green!” Hovie introduces. “You got into the militia to get out of prison?” Thomas continues. “Easy enough…fighting men are always in need!” Assures Hovie. “You do much fighting Clarence?” Queries Thomas. “Nearly none…but volunteered for every engagement of the militia what comes about.” “How comes Clarence?” Thomas persists. “The militia gets about real welcomed like…folks are comfortable and a body can have a good notion what’s about for trading. Like back to that singing fella’s home…they be an abundance of young hogs there!” Winks Clarence to Hovie. “Couple of traders could make a fine profit getting some tasty pork back towards Richmond.” Hovie adds. “You want to get into trading Thomas? We three could do real fine after this here trip
“I’m used to a town, a city large enough to get about without being noticed.” Thomas prefers.
with the militia.” Clarence asserts. “All’s we have to do is make off once the heavy shooting commences.”
“Bartering!” Announces another misfit man who has taken a seat nearby. “No body’s a watching then!” Confirms Hovie. “Three’ll get off easy sure enough.” “What would I barter?” Thomas questions. The Colonel is busy ensuring the safety of the column’s perimeter. “Goods, services, animals…anything folks wants that another has extra of.” He rides continuously encouraging the guard and correcting the misplaced sentry. The dirty lump of a man tells. William admires the dedication of the Colonel to the organization of the militiamen.
His eyes follow the Colonel. William moves afoot about the column to keep his musket ‘s range upon the Colonel as ordered. “You aiming to shoot that officer out there on horse back… are you?” Myhre Banks directs to the young lad. “Nope! Shoot any that goes after him!” “Well them natives keep out of musket range. Once a body steps within the range of their bows there’s not much you’ll be able to do.” Banks informs. “How can I know when the Colonel’s in danger?” “Once he’s closer to the cover of trees and bushes than your rifle can reach…he’s in trouble!” “The ground’s open all about out there now!” William reports. The Colonel is as safe as we be here. Take a seat lad! Rest! We’ll be on the march soon and heading into them hills off in the distance there.” Myhre points. William takes hold of a water jug and fills his thirst. “Never been to a war…or a real fight before.” He states nervously. “Well fighting natives is different. They likes to not be seen. A native will stalk you like an animal and come after you from ambush.” Myhre details. “How do you fight them then?” William puzzles.
“Stay low and out of sight! Look out behind! Can’t hear‘em but you can smell’em down wind. Don’t run. Crawl to cover…then you has a chance.” “You come to the new world indentured?” William asks. “I be one of the few simple folks you’ll meet that did not! Came as a volunteered soldier. Just liked the land and all enough to stay.” “Fought the natives much?” “Since day one that be nearly twenty years or so.” Myhre answers. “Married me a Cherokee.” “Where’s home?” William wonders. “On the frontier. Cabin and kids in the woods not too far from here abouts.” “Why a native wife? If you don’t mind my asking?” “Like them better than regular women. Like living in the forest. The way things are changing we’ll be making home a bit further west soon.” “How did you meet her? What made you think to marry?” William searches to compare his feelings for Elisa. “Well! Back about eight years I was turkey hunting at the edge of the Cherokee Nation. Got some big gobblers in this part of Virginia.” Myhre notes. “Them natives uses every part of a turkey…bones and all.” Ace Allison inserts. “Ace this be William just from the continent.” Points Myhre. “Ace be a scout as well.” The two Dubliners await resumption of Myhre’s tale.
“When I turkey hunt I like to walk up a creek bed what looks out on meadows and open fields and such. Places them birds like to forage. The creek gives me cover and it’s not unnatural for a sound to be given out from there. I can call a bird back toward…” “Let’s keep the tale on Little Flower.” Ace reminds. “Oh yeah Little Flower…that’s my woman’s name William.” Myhre hesitates to recover. “You were going to meet her for the first time.” William prompts. “Yes! Was a bachelor all my days. Never intended to be wife finding while turkey hunting,” Ace coughs. “Yes sir! Was out in one creek or the other all day. Hadn’t gotten a single shot off. Well I was just turning back to the camp when I heard a sound like turkey scratching across a small open to my right.” Myhre imitates his response by raising his rifle to the ready. “I could see a motion in the bush. Saw me a bunch of turkey feathers and I fired.” The Myhre’s hands give reenactment. “I never saw no sign, no sound, no indication whatever of another human but I shot me a native woman in that there bush.” “Back then that would be native child more likely.” Ace comments. “I shot that girl in a bad way.” “What was she doing in that brush?” William asks. “She where cleaning a dead turkey, pulling off the feathers and the like. Little Flower set a snare and had caught herself a fine bird.”
“So you blasted away and near killed the child?” Ace barbs. “Surely did…thought I had killed her for sure.” ‘What did you do?” William is distressed. “Got the bleeding stopped. Made a camp. Tended that woman.” Myhre nods. “A native girl is a woman long before our kind.” Myhre continues. “Had everything I needed right there. Water, moss for stopping fever, plenty to eat. Had I shot her anywhere else she’d died right on the spot.” “How long did you stay with her?” William asks. “She was unconscious for about five days. Couldn’t get on her feet for another ten days. Was nearly a month before her anger passed.” “Took a miracle for an old snake like yourself to find a good woman like Little Flower.” Ace assures. “So when did you decide to marry her?” William waits. “I had to return her to her people in Chaupaug’s camp.” “Bet you were mighty anxious.” Ace foretells. “I figured I was going to be skinned alive or worse. I had shot a young maiden. Kept her captive for too long a spell and was probably hunting on their grounds.” “Could have let her die and staid clear of trouble with the natives?” Suggests Ace. “Never came to my mind. I felt bad I had shot the poor thing and for all the suffering I caused.” “Was an accident Mr. Banks!” William advises. “Never no mind! Have to do right by people!”
“Well you survived.” Ace confirms. “Little Flower was too weak to travel without help. I brung her to her people. Seem them natives set a whole lot a store by doing the right thing. Any way I had the choice of marrying the girl or running the gauntlet. So I took a wife.” “What does it mean to run the gauntlet?” William has no idea. “Two lines of natives with clubs wait for you to run down through while they beat on you. Most that run the gauntlet never live to finish or live long after if they do!” “So it’s a painful death one way or t’other.” Ace laughs. “Little Flower have any say in the decision?” William wonders. “Plenty! If she had not taken a fancy to me I’d gone down that gauntlet for sure. I owe her my life.” “She owes you her life what were nearly taken wrongly by you.” Ace analyzes. “You are her villain, her hero and her husband!” William concludes. “That all be the same to a native spouse! She was mostly married to you before you got her home. Guess that’s why she saved you from the gauntlet.“ All laugh at Ace’s comments “Mighty pretty lady, Little Flower. Couldn’t live without her now!” Myhre confesses. “What makes a native so different?” “Attitude William! Them natives move through the woods like they was walking on their mother’s belly. They don’t see no difference from themselves to any other critter or any piece of rock or twig…all comes from the same mother to them.”
“They see themselves different from us?” William reasons. “Yes! Cause we be unnatural! Our fences and our homes are built to restrict the mother that made the world. Them natives think of us as sick in the head and dangerous.” Chaupaug want’s to kill us?” “No! He’s just teaching the men who speak for the settlers a lesson. Lesson’s not over yet. Could be some folks get hurt even killed if’n Chaupaug wants to leave a hard lesson.” Myhre spits his tobacco juice at a near by beetle. “You hunt natives but live with’em and live like’em. Why?” William sees confusion. “I hope to keep them Royal Officers from getting carried away with making a tough war. Encourage them to ease up on the killing and maybe some native sense will get through to’em.” “Who’s going to get them natives to ease up if’n they decide to start killing?” “Here the government is correct to make show of a big capable force.” Myhre studies the youth. “Ever kill a man?” William does not respond. “Ever shoot a man…or hunt a deer?” Myhre asks. William’s head gives a droop to show not. “Well, you don’t shoot at a man especially a native what’s running in the bush. He be like a deer, points one direction before he scoots to the other. You pick a spot he’s likely to enter then fire a musket ball just before’em.”
“You shoot natives to kill?” “Nope! Won’t shoot at all unless I have to and then just to scare’em off. Natives mostly choose killing as a last desperate want. Find a mean one every now and then what’s gone bad and needs killing.” More tobacco is chewed. “What do you think Chaupaug is after by causing trouble now?” “Boy it’s just one thing…he wants his valley and them parts about left undisturbed. He means to have a new treaty.” Myhre announces. “What about this here army marching to his home?” William questions. “I don’t expect to see any final show down with Chaupaug’s forces. A skirmish or two most likely but they could be impressive though.” “You know Chaupaug personally?” “Yep, married his niece! Been to their village often…be there in a couple of months for tribal celebrations my woman fancies highly.” Myhre responds. “Fighting then peace right quick…just like family!” William decides. “Like brothers…that’s what our military officer’s have to be forced to understand.” “You expect Chaupaug to show his disposition before we enter his valley?” “I certainly should, be I he and just before the sun gets at its lowest.” “I’m going to get closer toward the Colonel.” Decides William. “Keep your powder dry!” States Myhre as the lad walks away.” And keep looking over your shoulder!”
The Colonel’s horse trots to meet Sgt. Pierre. “Sgt. Collect your best marksmen into the center of the column.” “Yes colonel!” The carpenter gives answer. “Have their muskets loaded and have them carry extra shot and powder.” “Yes colonel!” “Bring the smallest and quickest men to the rear with muskets loaded and bayonets mounted. “Yes colonel!” “Have your stoutest men with sword and ax to the column’s front.” “Yes colonel!” “Your best scouts outward till we make night’s camp.” “Yes colonel!” “Have the scout Banks meet me at the column’s front at once art once.” “Yes colonel!” “I suspect the enemy will try to split our column before dark…from ambush. When the attack commences order the center of the column to form a firing line to march toward the enemy at a walk. Send the small and quick element to strike at the run upon the ambush. The sword and pike contingent is to remain in reserve until the enemy should be engaged hand to hand.” “Yes colonel!” “As soon as you see my horse go to the charge, immediately place the column into action without delay.” “Yes colonel!” 163 164
The Colonel rides forward at the gallop. Despite his years he is every bit a capable officer in the field. “McCrady! Keane! Banks!” Bellows the command from the carpenter. The echo of these names flows down the seated column of the militia. William and Thomas respond by running at once followed by the curious Skaggs and Green. Myhre Banks understands the need and he makes directly to the forward point of the column and the waiting Colonel. “Yes Sgt!” William answers his call. “You two keep to my side until we camp tonight! The column has special orders from the Colonel.” Mr. Pierre directs. “Colonel expects a fight soon?” William replies. “When the shooting commences you boys get after the Colonel and keep your muskets in his direction. We’ll all be positioned to react quickly!” Captain Smyers searches for the Colonel. His cavalry prepares to retake the field. “Banks!” Calls the Colonel. “Yes sir?” The scout replies. “Where will Chaupaug make his ambush?” “Most likely in them forested dales ahead. Plenty of narrow strips of woods through which this here road must pass. Any of’em will do!” Myhre advises.
“I want lead time before we pass through any such hazard.” The officer gives order. “You going to condense your troops while passing though them narrows?” Myhre asks. “Would like to go through four abreast if possible.” Indicates the Colonel. “Should work unless the column separates on its own then Chaupaug will seize the opportunity.” Banks confirms. “How soon to camp?” “Make camp an hour or so before dark.” “How far to Chaupaug’s village?” The scout points to a high point in the near distance. ”There! Not far from here.” “Does the enemy have scouts out now?” “We’ve been watched since dawn for sure maybe longer.” Banks insists. “I want all your scouts ahead and any wooded narrow searched for the presence of natives and their numbers.” Orders the Colonel. “Colonel!” Shouts Captain Smyers as he arrives to the column’s front. “Your column afoot is to immediately resume the advance to Chaupaug’s valley. There will be no delay until you arrive to make suitable camp.” Smyers continues. “Captain we are to about to enter covered retreats where the natives can easily make ambush upon our column. I ask for mounted troops to sweep our advance to dispose the chance for the natives to gather.” “Request denied! We have had excellent progress to now and I see no reason to change our tactics.” The Captain is bothered.
“Captain! We can be in a heap of trouble if our column gets split among vegetation. Natives swill be waiting for sure!” Banks advises. “Your advice is unwarranted Mr. Banks. The Royal Command is capable of dealing with any disorganized rabble.” “Chaupaug is a very capable war chief. The action of his natives will be highly organized and directed.” Banks assures “Our cannon will shatter any resistance organized or not.” The captain tightens the reins of his horse. “You are to resume the march at once Colonel! We shall meet next at night’s camp.” The captain races away. “That officer is going to make for himself a monumental failure out of this here expedition.” Banks tells. “We shall not let poor judgment be our guide Mr. Banks. However we cannot save a fool from his own imprudence.” Sgt Pierre has organized the column of infantry into three sections as instructed. Additionally these sections have been compacted into a linear sequence of squares of men 4 x 4 deep. One square separated from another by the length of an extended musket. The column will move at a more rapid pace in the attempt of reducing the time exposed within the wood ravines ahead. The terrain soon changes from flatland to rolling woods and exposed unleveled meadows.
The contingent under Captain Smyers moves confidently as the local militia is poised to absorb the thrust of the enemy’s attack. Several miles of woodland trail passes with the column well positioned to discourage the enemy. Later the oxen pulling the wagons of material at the column’s very end begin to fatigue from the heightened pace. Captain Smyers permits his mounted detachment to fall slightly behind the Colonel’s infantry. He intends to keep the forward positioned men afoot within sight and within charge of his cavalry while allowing the effort by the oxen to be reduced as the place for night’s camp nears. This decision has not been conveyed to the Colonel. It has been noticed however by the scouts sent by Chaupaug who have long been keeping watch upon the Army of Virginia. The armed intruders will pass through one large field that drops into a path constricted by pinching short dense tree stands in the middle of the meadow. Here an ambush may be rapidly set in the time period permitted between Captain Smyers’ detached units. Unknown to all who approach, the number of Cherokee warriors available to Chief Chaupaug has surged to over 1200.
The Valley of the Cherokee is presently home to the gathering of three local nations of Cherokee. Councils, games, dancing, and feasts will be held for the entire passing of one moon. Chief Chaupaug sits upon deer hides that cover a fallen log. Several senior members of the three tribes of Cherokee attend him. Chaupaug is a tall lean muscular man. His frame is angular with vertical lines of age upon his face. A scout appears before Chaupaug to give report. “The homesteaders approach the Pasture of the Woman.” He announces. Chaupaug’s hands rest upon his knees. His back straightens. His attention is complete. “Their number?” Asks Chaupaug. “Many hundreds by feet, less by animal. They haul big guns that send round stones to explode at a great distance.”
“This band of homesteaders is directed by the wisdom of the ox!” Declares Chaupaug. “We have enough warriors to slay all that come to the land of the Cherokee to fight!” Declares another chief. Chaupaug ponders. “Let this day be a game for the sport of the Cherokee!” “Kill all!” Demands another chief. Chaupaug’s expression is as granite. “If all the pests in one’s village are destroyed, then will come only those pests that are more aggressive and bothersome than before!” The great chief announces. “When time is passed for the Cherokee, this land will hold the spirits of all our people. This must be so! When the earth shall give no more life to man, the Cherokee will be the last to dwell here.” All attend the wisdom of the great Chaupaug. “Let fifty warriors of each nation gather. Together we shall make smoke and fire and sting the pest to disperse. Let the warrior with the greatest claim from this game take a prize of his choosing.” The arms of Chaupaug rise to announce the war game is to begin.
‘Their formation?” Chaupaug listens intensely. “As the thick black snake.” “Where does the snake hold the horse?” “At the last!” This news excites the chief. “Does the snake separate in to parts?” “The space between the feet and the horse grows as the animals tire.” 169 Chaupaug leads a select group of the finest warriors to be found among the Three Nations of the Cherokee to the Pasture of the Woman. The Cherokee will amuse themselves with the Royal Army of Virginia. The column of militia under the Colonel’s command is just entering the wooded squeeze in the Pasture of the Woman. The regular detachment lags by hundred or so yards. 170
This space is adequate for the needs of the Cherokee. At a safe distance Chaupaug watches the scouts under Myhre Banks move through the dense woods of the slim pass. The Colonel’s column walks confidently through the tightened corridor. They disappear in the forest and are hidden from Captain Smyers’ view. Chaupaug points to the pass. Through the cover of the trees his band of 150 warriors races to secure positions to command the possession of the straight. Silently they remain as the last of the Colonel’s men exit the wooded gateway. From both sides within the woods facing Captain Smyers’ detachment, the bands of Cherokee wait. Chaupaug sends fifty of his braves to set to fire the brush along the empty forested trail. At the close of Smyers’ unit to the path, Chaupaug hoots as the tiny owl. The quiet of the verdant landscape erupts with the hoops and fierce screams. From each side, the Cherokee race along opposing arcs through the ranks of the mounted column. With undaunted valor they charge horse and wagon. The horses are sent into panic. The wagons are sent ablaze. Unprepared and caught with surprise the cavalry struggle to gain control of their steeds. The canvas that covers the wagons and bags of goods within turn to flames instantly.
The wagon’s occupants are desperate to face the heathen and control the fires. The sweeping attack of the natives concludes with Captain Smyers calling his unit to formation. Suddenly a warrior takes control of one rein of Smyers’ horse. With a mighty jerk the mount spins and Captain Smyers spills to the ground. The native collects the lost Royal Cap of the fallen commander. By the time the men of the Calvary have regained their composure and pulled their muskets to the ready, the Cherokee have vanished into the woods. “Fire at the woods damn it!” Bellows Smyers who stands isolated upon the ground. The resulting fusillade lacks purpose as well as target. It does serve notice to the Colonel’s command of the danger. The militia turns to see the trail behind a blaze and savages moving about the tree lines. Dumbfounded Sgt Pierre watches as the Colonel’s horse speeds directly toward the burning pass. William races a foot to follow. Thomas and his two new companions instinctively move as William. Nearing the woods, the Colonel is greeted with a hail of loosed arrows. The Colonel as well as his horse is struck. Both collapse before the ambush.
William is at full pace after his fallen commander with rifle at the ready. The lust for blood sends one native out of cover and toward the stricken Colonel. With hatchet raised and blaring fiercely the native is bent upon finishing the Colonel. William freezes. His musket rises. He marks the space just above the sprawled body of the Colonel. As the native is just reaching the mark from where he will strike the Colonel, William’s musket discharges. The musket ball strikes the native throwing him in a death’s spiral to the ground. Recovering William continues toward the collapsed Colonel. He recharges his musket on the run. At the death of their comrade several natives are determined to slay the youth who runs upon them. As these warriors emerge from the woods, Chaupaug steps to the front. The tall chief towers over his command. He raises his hand to halt the attack upon William. Chaupaug has been watching.
William sights upon the chest of the chief. He cannot miss from this distance. The handsome warrior of much age will fall dead if William chooses. Chaupaug has taken much respect for the young man who fiercely guards his leader despite overwhelming odds. With the motion of one hand, Chaupaug calls for the injured Colonel to be lifted and carried away. William yet with aim held upon the natives’ leader is lost. He watches as the Colonel is cautiously placed upon a stretcher fashioned from a pair of tied tree limbs. The natives are busy in readiness of the Colonel’s departure. William lowers his musket. Chaupaug nods in agreement to the valiant youth. He waves. The lad is invited forward to join the chief. Thomas and his lackeys are near. The natives move to surround them. They are prisoners. Chaupaug again invites William to follow. William’s duty to the Colonel decides his fate. He shoulders the musket and walks to join the gathering of the natives.
The great chief walks to stand before William’s path to his Colonel. By the time Sgt Pierre calls the command into the attack formation the natives are William again halts and lifts his musket to a firing position. Chaupaug carries no weapon. He looks to William and opens his empty hands. 173 174 receding.
At the same time, Captain Smyers’ command is in retreat from the woods that held the natives. As the militia volley fires upon the burning pass, the natives are all in the close of their retreat.
A late afternoon nap will serve to make all in attendance energetic. Elisa and her maid have been invited to the quarters of the Duchess to dress for the evening. “Elisa I had a most unusual dream!” Cynthia announces. “I hope it was pleasant. “Replies the young ward. “I found myself in a small house with several small rooms.”
The Duchess’ hands move conceptually about the air. “The walls were beautiful. Each room was painted in a different bright pastel and framed in wood colored in a slightly deeper shades.”
The governor’s mansion is immensely busy in preparation for the coming soiree. The entranceway and ballroom are heavily scrubbed and polished. Bouquets of fresh cut flowers are dispersed. The attendees will be greeted with elegance and the finest décor. Darlene has engaged several groups of musicians. Dance will not have cause to abate throughout the time of the festivity. Servants from the mansion as well as many borrowed from neighbors to the Governor will be adorned in white tunics, white gloves, soft crimson colored silk caps, dark shirt or trousers. Their attire will be pressed and shoes polished. Darlene will personally inspect all. The ladies who shall attend will sup early. They have fasted for over a day or longer.
Cynthia’s eyes sparkle in her recollection. “Sounds lovely.” Elisa encourages. “The rooms were comforted by a luscious breeze. I moved through the house effortlessly, longing to find where it was I had arrived in my vision.” The attending women join in the revealed emotion. “Suddenly a small child of two years in age rushed toward me. His little legs hurrying with his tiny hands outstretched calling.” Cynthia smiles. “So sweet was the baby.” “I wash surprised at the child’s desire. He wished to be taken up in my arms at once!” “Did you recognize this child? Someone’s baby of whom you had acquaintance?” Elisa asks. The head of the Duchess shakes to say no.
Rapture in the reverie over takes her expression. “I lifted the child into my arms. The dear thing immediately kissed me upon my cheek. He cold not be old enough to have been walking for long.” “How did the child look? What was he wearing?’ Cathy questions for more details. “His hair was short and blond. His eyes were brown and so large! His arms so small held me so softly. He wore a beige colored tunic. His cute small legs were bare.” All the women share the delight of the dream. Cynthia sighs. Cynthia wants to hold this moment. “It was so wonderful. I could have just eaten the little man up!” The pause is extended. “Well?” Exclaims Cathy. Cynthia recovers. “The little man began to tell his tale. He was most anxious and his baby words were given with fright.” Cynthia attempts to match the baby’s tone. “Seems his father had taken a wagon off the main trail into a rough meadow where upon it became stuck in the mud. The child was seated in the wagon as well.”
“How sweet! How deer!” Elisa sighs. “Wait!“ Cynthia advises. “You haven’t heard the best as yet.” “The little boy would not end his tale. He’d look into my eyes and then he would turn to look off in recollection of his tragedy with his daddy’s wagon.” The Duchess continues “His young mother comes into the room She holds another baby boy half the age of the one in my arms.” Cynthia looks to Elisa. “It was you!” “Me!” Elisa is startled. “I was confronted by you, Elisa with your two children. That is Sean Michael…This is Patrick David, you said in greeting.” Elisa screams in delight. “Two! Boys!” “Elisa you looked so happy so content. You didn’t know me. You told me that your husband got the wagon stuck in the mud yesterday and that he was out in the field now recovering the thing.” Elisa bends over with her hands covering her face in embarrassment.
“The little one wanted an adult’s comfort as he struggles to survive the freight of the day.” Cathy suggests. “He wouldn’t let me put him down. He talked and kissed my cheek several times. How terrible, I told him to be in all that mud.” 177 All the women laugh with joy. “The newer baby reached out with one hand toward me and babbled something that sounded like grandma.”
What does it mean?” Elisa asks. “I haven’t the slightest notion. I spent the night in guilt that I should have spent more time with your two-year-old making things all-better for him. That baby was absolutely devastated by being held in the mud!” Elisa hugs the Duchess in gratitude for caring so much for her children yet to be born. “Dreams tell the future of the soon!” Cathy notes. “I had a most unusual dream this afternoon myself.” The maid announces. “Oh! Let us here all!” Demands Elisa. “I was walking along a steep road at dusk. Mist had settled all about. The fog was everywhere as being in a cloud.” The maid’s anxiety of her dream returns. “I was searching but I knew not for what. I had been sent to this place, as if someone wanted me to appear there.” The listening women puzzle at such an experience. “As I walked through the mist, the corner of a huge building began to emerge ahead. A woman appeared holding the hand of a small boy.” Elisa and Cynthia wait. “The figure of the woman was that of a young mother. Her head remained veiled by the vapors. I could only see her torso.” “What did the child look like?” Asks Cynthia. “An adolescent lad, thick curly hair, light complexion, a handsome youth.” “What color hair?” Elisa inquires. 179
“Light brown hair…brown eyes.” “Did the woman speak?” Asks Cynthia. “Yes! She said here is the home of the greatest man in the world.” Cathy states. “Whose home? What man?” Elsie demands. “The woman and child moved away into the mist. A tall beautiful structure of wood, glass, and stone appeared monetarily, and then the cloud covered my view. The dream ended but so impressive was my experience that I was moaning as I awoke.” “What ever could it mean?’ The Duchess ponders. “Why would the woman speak so?” Elisa questions. “It was more than a dream. Never have I had such a vision.” Cathy remarks. “This was a foretelling not just a fantasy.” Cathy and Cynthia turn to gaze upon Elisa. The pair expects a response from her in kind. Elisa is private. She examines her needs. She takes a deep breath. “I had a strange dream as well!” Elisa reveals. Cynthia and Cathy are not surprised at a further coincidence. “We must hear.” Instructs the Duchess. “It was a lovely day in my dream.” Elisa clarifies. “I was in a huge mansion. Truly, it was a beautiful residence but empty. I felt a complete void of the living about me. One would sense life as if living inside a painting.” Elisa’s head hangs low for a moment. 180
She does not enjoy this recollection. “I understood that much was missing in the home to which I had arrived. My only ambition was to seek my exit and return to life!” Neither of Elisa’s friends is able to share this experience. “Out through a grand entrance I ran, rushing away from the emptiness to anywhere that offered existence.” Confusion shows upon the face of Elisa. “Into an open garden lush with flower and bush I strode. The emptiness of my dream yet was not dismissed. No sight of bird or sound from a warm heart was to be had.” Elisa rings her hands from the anxiety of her tale.
“Just a dream my deer, showing your unease with the tiresome adventure of your sea voyage.” The Duchess proffers. “We all had children in our dreams.” Cathy concludes. “Each of our dreams contained an unseen man of uncommon excellence.” Cynthia calculates. “I could not go to him?” Elisa confesses her truest heart’s desire. “It was not yet time?” Assures Cathy. “The dream tells that the time for your family is to come.” Consoles the Duchess. “Your dream warns that care must be taken or that which you most desire may be lost forever!” Analyses the maid. Elisa is not consoled.
“At the edge of the estate and down below in a basin I saw a cottage. The rich sound of a man’s voice I heard. The laughter of children and their screams of delight summoned me.” Elisa’s eyes burn with desire. Cathy and Cynthia are held in suspense. Elisa’s words fail. Her hands are held forth open and empty before her friends. “You could not escape the mansion on the hill?” The Duchess interrupts. “My life, my love, my want was below in that cabin at a distance. A dreadful force held me just as if I had been painted upon a canvas.” Her Tears flow. The women hurry to place their arms bout Elisa. “Fore warned is fore armed. Your dream shows where your true happiness is to be found. I wish I had such advice.” The three girls laugh at Cynthia’s comment “I hear a carriage! Exclaims Cathy as she hurries to the window. “All the torches along the entrance road are burning.” She continues. “The first guests have arrived.” The Duchess pronounces. Elisa’s joy does return. “When shall we go down to the ballroom?” “It is yet dusk! When the music begins we shall have a sip of sherry just to put some color in our cheeks, than we shall dress!” Orders the Duchess. The evening’s gala is to be heavy in attendance. 181 182
Many want relief from the anxiety of probable war with the natives. Many intend to gain the acquaintance of the very rich Duchess of Leeds and the Princess from the Royal House of Stewart. The ballroom within the governor’s mansion easily holds 300 souls. Tonight this number will nearly be met. Social pleasures will dominate the night accompanied by much music, and dance. Leaders of the various communities as well as the governor will chance the opportunity to engage in private discussions of both personal as well as civil matters. The ladies will acquire the recent in developments of home and heart. Small children will be present. They will play and conduct themselves under the eyes of scores of nannies.
“Your excellency!” The guest who just enters speaks. He is with an entourage of some thirty of his prodigy. “We have special guests tonight George!” The two men are the best of friends and engage arms warmly. “I have all my eligible men folk on hand.” The two smile invitingly. “The Duchess is already spoken for and the Princess is not of age as yet George.” “We shall have a see about this!” Barbs the Reverend. Reverend Younce is a tall thin man. The bright red hair of his youth is now faded into a lustrous blond color. All his children are similar in hue and stature. Mrs. Younce is a small plump white haired woman. Her tiny steps are comical as she
The governor’s guests collect in large family gatherings of the very well to do from the close and the distant regions about Williamsburg.
walks rapidly beside the long slow strides of her husband. The pair is trailed by family members of all ages as they are escorted into the ballroom.
The first prominent family of Virginia to arrive is that of Reverend George S Younce. “Darlene we always enjoy your hospitality. It is the highlight of the month for George Dr Younce has degrees in medicine, law as well as divinity from Oxford, England. He amassed a large wealth in business in the Old World. His family’s riches have multiplied with his many enterprises in the New World. The Younce family has members in the Colony’s agriculture, civil, and governmental endeavors. “George wants everyone to see the young Princess. My husband was once a barrister for “Georgie!” The governor greets the stately elder gentleman. several in the House of the Stewart. He is very fond of the entire lot.” and myself.” “Thank you Mrs. Younce. We love having you all.” The number in the Younce’s contingent surprises Darlene. “I see many of your family are here tonight!”
“Well! All shall have a chance to meet and dance with Elisa.” Darlene assures. “You call the Princess by her first name?” Mrs. Younce is shocked. “The Princess insists.” Advises Darlene. “My twin sons are soon to choose wives. I should like each to have an introduction to the Princess?” “I shall see to it myself!” Promises Darlene. The second important folk to arrive are the Haslets. Darrel Haslet is the founder of a strict Christian Sect that has sought escape from persecution in the Old World. The Haslets are bigamists. Despite the extraordinary rules within the sect, the Haslets have become a rich and influential group within the agriculture business of the Colony. The Haslets are successful farmers and excel at animal husbandry. They are the leading provider of quality breeding livestock in bull, heifer, horse, and mule. The bloodlines of their animals are in much demand. Although always invited, Darrel Haslet rarely attends and then with only a small number of his relations. “Darrel!” Greets a surprised governor. “Delighted that you able to attend.”
The governor as most of the households in Virginia does not agree with the ways of the Haslets. Their presence is however most important to the success of the Royal Expectations for Colony of Virginia. Thus the Haslets are indispensable to the prosperity of the territory. Darrel is most serious and smiles little. His face normally wears an expression of burden. He grunts in return to the governor’s greeting. Darlene is quick to relive her father. “Mr. Haslet! I have not had the pleasure of you company for some time.” The vivacious girl interrupts. “May I show you a comfortable table?” The ox sized man nods politely. He waves his hand for the others in his company to follow. A dozen or so adults comply. Darlene has never seen so many Haslets in one place. The women in the Haslet sect are not permitted social contact by other than their own. This puzzles Darlene. “I hope all your people will join in the dancing?” “We dance!” Darrel blurts. ”Overindulgence not permitted!” Darlene understands this to mean that dancing will stop for the Haslets when it becomes pleasure.
“If there is any thing you need please ask. I’ll be about all evening!” “This Duchess is a widow?” Darrel questions. “Yes!” “I want to speak with her!” Darrel orders. “I’ll mention you request.” Darlene is concerned. “There are to be plenteous refreshments served throughout the evening.” She adds. “We take only water after sun down!” Demands Darrel. Darlene makes a note to insure the staff provides for their limited need. Darlene departs as she searches among the Haslets to determine how many of the women may be a wife to Darrel.
The Batsons are regular attendees at the mansion. They are always elegantly attired. Their numbers are always few about ten or so upon arrival. “R.B.” Announces the governor. “Would not be the same with out you!” “Governor! Wouldn’t miss an evening like this for the world.” The answer comes in a deep rich voice. The two are good friends and spend much time of the business day together. The governor depends heavily on the experience of Mr. Batson. “Here tell there’s royalty here tonight.” The tall dark man replies.
As the hall begins to be populated Darlene instructs the musicians to begin a soft waltz in a slowed tempo. A few servants carrying trays of refreshment begin to mingle. As the first notes sound through the mansion, Elisa becomes apprehensive. ”Is it time?” “Time!” The Duchess declares as she makes to collect a bottle of sherry. Mr. Romance Batson is the descendant of the first African Slaves to arrive in Virginia. His early ancestor won has freedom by military service to the Crown. Mr. Batson continues the early enterprise of his family in construction of roads and bridges for Colony. A provider of affordable labor and dependable work, the Batsons are affluent farmers as well. 187
“And where is Darlene?” Asks Joyella, who is the wife to R.B. “We have the Haslet’s tonight.” Whispers the governor. The Batsons are surprised. “We shall make our way to our regular place.” Advises Joyella. “Welcome Joyella…thanks for the coconut cake you sent over!” The governor is partial to Joyella’s baking. John Bacon clasps the governor behind the shoulder. “I heard that!” Laughs the jovial man. “John!” The governor greets Mr. and Mrs. Bacon. John Bacon is the richest banker in all of the Virginia. He underwrites all the civil projects directed by the governor’s office.
Mr. Bacon is a skilled salesman and financier. He is responsible directly to the Royal Exchequer. His influence is second only to the governor in Virginia. “We have the whole family here tonight!” Informs the banker. The Bacons are bright and pleasant people. They are upon first view distinctly unattractive in appearance. With enormous round behinds, small shoulders and upper torsos, the Bacons are flawed from the shape of norm. Their faces are round and flat with thin unmanaged hair. They are clones by an ancestral deformity. Yet their presence is deemed enjoyable by one and all. John is a close friend to Darlene, and hopes one day to have her as a daughter in law. “Where is that gorgeous daughter of yours? She is never in one place for long!’” “Darlene is busy about like a queen bee in her hive.” The governor gives a smile in sympathy to his friend’s plight. Darlene has arrived to the Churchwater’s suites.
She will not miss the introduction of her ward‘s presence into the best of colonial society. Her monetary investment will not be abandoned. Darlene is stunned by the Lady Churchwater’s intention. “You’ll sit at the Governor’s table. But absolutely no dancing or hard liquor until you’re quite fit!” “I must meet all my peers. I should not want Elisa to lack the benefit of my presence upon this occasion.” The woman’s face yet shows poor health. Darkness still tints the flesh that circles her eyes. Darlene has noticed improvement in Lady Churchwater’s physical strength. She remains wary of her Ladyship’s overall condition. The nurses escort the madam into the ballroom via a side entrance. Elisa is the last to finish dressing. Cynthia assists. Wearing a long slender skirt with a waist length jacket, the figure of the Princess is all but covered save for her lower arms. Her long slim neck remains exposed. Despite the intentions of her comrades, Elisa’s womanly beauty is complete and not to be
“Lady Churchwater? I’ve talked with the physician and he feels you should consider coming down to the dance for a time.”
muted. As she stands before a long mirror, Elisa notes the onset of an element of maturity in her
”Oh my! This would be wonderful!” The woman is fully dressed and determined to arrive regardless of any caretaker’s wish.
reflection. She wonders if William would approve…would he find her desirable this night.
The intense change in Elisa is not lost to Cynthia who approaches and kneels upon one knee. “Your are divine! Regal!” Cynthia exclaims as she lowers her head to wait upon Elisa’s response. Unaccustomed to such a greeting Elisa is silent. Her friend does not jest. Cynthia is sincere in her devotion. Elisa turns to sight once again upon her image in the mirror. She now stares beyond the look of her dress. She beholds her present womanly form. A form transposed to an importance not previously revealed. Her newly emerged poise is dissimilar from her governess and all others about her. At this instant Elisa views for the first time the regal bearing of her lineage. She now understands the reason of her elevated social position. She is regal not by salutation or title. She is imperial by birth. The vision of Elisa this night confirms Divine Right. As she looks upon her dear friend, Elisa extends the back of one hand to be kissed. “Arise Duchess of Leeds and be my truest companion forever!” Cathy looks upon the pair of grand women. She follows the example of the Duchess to curtsey fully at the knee. The mood is disrupted by a knock upon the door.
Admiral Harold Rednapp wearing the fine handsome uniform of a naval officer of the highest rank has arrived to provide escort. “Your Highness!” The retired naval commander bows at his entry. ”All wait upon your presence…at your ease I shall be delighted to attend you.” The ballroom is now a melee of dance, gossip, laughter, and smoke. Elisa descends the stairs gracefully with the arm of Admiral Rednapp. The Duchess is holding the Admiral’s other arm. At the entrance to the ballroom they repose momentarily. Upon the Governor’s command the music halts. A trumpet blares. The crowd comes to order and waits upon the Governor. A signal is given to the Admiral. “The Duchess of Leeds!” Announces a butler in formal voice. The Governor arrives, offers his arm, and escorts Lady Cynthia to be seated at his side. A pathway is given for the pair as they walk the length of the ballroom. All eyes devour the handsome Duchess. All pockets yearn to share her wealth. As the Duchess is seated, every member of the room turns to view the presence of the Admiral and the heavenly vision yet about his arm. A wider corridor is granted to the way of the Princess.
“Her Highness of the House of Stewart!” Elisa sways elegantly along the path toward the opposite end of the hall and the Governor’s table. Her royal manner is not assumed. It is part of her very being. So naturally, so extraordinary is her presence that each member assembled bows and curtseys as she makes pass. The eyes of no woman are permitted to greet her. No woman is without jealousy of her beauty and bearing. No man can deny want in his heart upon his glance. No man dare dream of such fulfillment. Elisa is at ease before the adoring crowd. The grandeur of the hall, the finery of the garments, and the excitement of the gathering please her.
The orchestra resumes the gala. The first invited to greet the ladies is John Bacon. “Miss Stewart! I am pleased to offer my services to you and your family.” Business is not to be entertained by the young woman this night. “I accept. Let us dance!” Elisa will waste none of the lovely music. “I haven’t…I can’t really!” The banker balks. Elisa is to her feet and her hands seize the gentleman. The pair is to the floor. “Just follow me!” Elisa commands. The music is gentle and slow. Elisa watches as other pairs dance about her. She follows as she encourages her companion. “Let us be brave as well.” The Duchess extracts the governor from his seat and onto the dance floor. Both ladies plunge into the revelry with Cynthia and Elisa exchanging partners.
She senses the absence of William, and she is angry with him. After several dances Elisa has become accustomed to an adult male partner. Upon Elisa taking a seat, the Governor speaks. Her joy is unbounded. “We are most fortunate to share the arrival of royal presence. Tonight we shall show our guests the hospitality of Virginia. Your personal requests shall be collected and invitations extended to join us for a personal audience as appropriate.” The Governor’s waves. Next to advance to greet is George S Younce. “Miss Stewart I knew you grandfather as a lad. I was a confident to your father for some years.” Elisa is pleased. 193 194
“I did not know your mother but you certainly must have her ability in dance.” Elisa is further delighted. “I submit my humble self to any service that I may render. I shall always be indebted to the house of Stewart.” “Dr. Younce…how comes one to retain the services of one who is indentured?” Elisa intends to use her position. “One simply purchases the indenture if one may afford. All indentures ultimately belong to the Crown. The purchase price and terms of the indenture are a matter of public record.” Younce advises. “Did you have any special need in mind your Highness?” “What if I should wish the services of a particular person who is indentured?” “Any solicitor may undertake a search of records for any indentured individual, determine who is the holder of the indenture, and negotiate a sale of the contract. Although possible, I strongly advise acquiring a newly indentured where possible. The terms are always better.” “Let us dance my dear Reverend. I shall have some business to discuss with you in this regard very soon.” Elisa is to act upon her dream. “As you wish but please allow me to introduce my twin sons?” “I shall dance once with each after I have the distinct privilege with their magnificent father.”
The Younce twins are handsome, intelligent, affable, and identical. “What did you think of those two?” Cynthia inquires after Elisa’s concludes a dance with each. “They are sweet and true gentlemen but I can’t tell one from the other!” “It’s very difficult for a woman to choose between them.” Cynthia comments. “How will any woman marry the one but not the other?” Elisa is confounded. “The father will have to separate his twin boys in society. One will go to Richmond to work the other will stay here perhaps.” The Governor advises. “At least until they are both married.” Replies the Duchess. Mr. Batson is next to be introduced. “Your Highness may I have the pleasure of this dance?” “Indeed you may! First I must know how come you to be called Romance?” Elisa is thrilled. The dark gentleman has answered this question many times. He understands that royalty deserves a proper answer. “I just usually tells folks my mother chose the name from the title of a favorite book as a reminder. This is however not the case.” Elisa is receiving special attention. “My father was a shy lad. He was a good student. Read everything that was available. He worked in the family business and traveled about the whole of the colony therefore.” Elisa’s attention begs.
“My mother arrived as a captive child slave from Africa. Spoke words only in her dialect. After several years she came to understood English but refused to communicate in this language. My mother was a very beautiful woman and a very obstinate one.” The man who speaks is quite attractive, and beautiful ladies are always stubborn thinks Elisa. “My father caught her eye while he was laying a new roadway near the farm where she lived. She gathered my father’s attention. Father spoke only English.” Elisa begins to understand. “Upon their first encounter, Mother tried to ask the reason for father’s presence at her residence. Father understood her to ask what he wished to ask of her.” “Romance!” Guesses Elisa. “It was the first word my mother spoke in English and she did so full with laughter as she understood its meaning from the first.” “So you where named as answer to your father’s first request?” “Exactly! Most folks would never have surmised the correct reason.” Elisa is curious. “Do you have any siblings?” “Yes…three sisters!” “Dare I? What might be their names?” “Fidelity, Tenderness, and Generosity!” “All named by your mother?” “Yes!” “I’d love to meet this woman?”
“This Sunday we have a family gathering after service. Please come?” Elisa curiosity is peaked. “I’d love to but my governess ….” “Then we shall ask the Duchess, the Governor, and Darlene to come as well!” Elisa braces. “What is your mother’s name?” “Anawyo…short for Anwysumbto Angiina Yosanpf.” “Meaning?” “A long day of rain with nothing to do!” Answers Mr. Batson. Elisa is crushed with delight. She bends in convulsed joy. The dark man hands take hold of Elisa’s shoulders in order to steady the young girl. He shares the glee provided by his mother. “Anawyo has made the lives of her children full with much unordinary pleasures.” “Let’s dance Romance!” Elisa desires. “The princess loves to dance!” The Governor remarks to the Duchess. “She does so divinely. Those Stewarts were great knights of the realm.” Cynthia offers. “Noble family…some say the most noble.” The Governor agrees. “Be careful! Such favoritism borders on treason.” Cynthia’s fantasy is fixed as she stares at her handsome host. The Governor has not yet asked another woman to dance. This fact has gotten the notice of his daughter. “Father all the ladies are waiting for your companionship upon the dance floor.” She reminds.
“I have no choice this night Darlene. Royalty must be fully served. Our friends shall forfeit their host this eve!” The Governor orders. “Duchess? What of a song?” Darlene hopes to separate the two. “I shall try but I am not much practiced.” Darlene leads the Duchess to center front. The musicians become still. The guests take their seats. All become quiet. Calmly with serene composure the Duchess looks out upon the crowded hall. With a slow breath her voice lifts in a simple hymn. Pure in tone and angelic in quality her soft sweet singing fills every portion of the hall. So inspiring and flawless is her voice that tears begin immediately to flow from the eyes of all the adult women. Servants hold their place and halt their labors. The hearts of the men turn chaste. The children contort for clearer views of the celestial presence. Each refrain brings the godly message deeper to each soul. Yielding to divine love the hands and arms of the most devout lift in salute to a heavenly claim. It is not Cynthia’s voice that fills the Governor hearing. It is not her fine womanly form that consumes his watch.
The soul of the Duchess pours forth in her voice to lift the hymn to the holiest of renditions. The heart of the Governor is won by Cynthia’s goodness. His want of her shall never fade. He intends to marry her. There shall be no other way. Darlene views the love that fills her father’s look upon the Duchess. She has never seen the man so fulfilled and content. Darlene shall never step between her father and the Duchess again. Her chest aches with emotion for happiness returned to her father. Uriah Vance has made his way to Elisa’s presence. “Miss Stewart, I should like to place an offer for the sale of your Royal Grant. I am prepared to advance sums that will allow you and the Churchwater’s to return to England to live most comfortably.” “This evening is not a suitable place for the affairs of business!” Elisa decides she does not like the frail man. “Business is life Miss Stewart. There is always need for commerce. I have made a huge wealth from those nobles who ignore this reality.” Noble society is the object of his distain. The advantage to wealth by birth he refutes.
“My family has placed much expectation to this venture. I doubt there is any interest in a sale.” “This is a large business enterprise Mss Stewart that you are undertaking. I know your circumstance as well as those of the Churchwaters. Quite frankly success is far from a guarantee. I offer you a substantial profit with absolutely no risk.” Elisa tires. “I think your audience is at an end Mr. Vance!” “I shall be available whenever you have need. Be advised that should your venture fail and be forced into the Crown’s receivership there will be no salvation for you or the Churchwaters. The penalties for default are most severe. Indeed you may find your self compelled by the Crown to be indentured and sold with the Grant.”
“He is a special predator! A marauder who profits on the misfortune of the most privileged.” Elisa does not miss the irony of her circumstances. “We shall see to it that you are safe from that sort!” Darlene changes subjects. “Father has taken a walk with the Duchess in the garden.” Both girls squeal with excitement. “Can we watch?” Elisa asks. A huge smile of satisfaction grows across Darlene’s face. Her hands seize Elisa. “Of course! Follow me!” The two race out of the hall and up the stairs. The pair enters into a suite that looks directly over the favorite garden of the Governor.
The craggy man has great expectations. Upon the overlook of a balcony they steal to hide and observe. “You will be the one to purchase my Grant from its receivership?” Elisa surmises. Directly below, the Duchess walks beside the Governor. “I assure you that I shall see to it that my Grant possesses the adjoining land awarded in your Grant. There will be no hesitation and no mercy under such dire circumstances. My offer will stand till then!” The loathsome figure withdraws. Elisa is sure that the greedy man is correct in his evaluation of the business skills of the Churchwaters. “What did that troll want?” Darlene asks. The two youthful spies shall see and hear all. They are beyond enchantment at this prospect. “This is my favorite place in the whole of Virginia.” The Governor states as he escorts the Duchess into the garden. “Lovely!” The duchess is not fee to speak. Her breath is stilled by the nearness and privacy she shares with the governor.
“I come to gather my thoughts, to pray when times are difficult. It is always serene and peaceful here.” The night is pleasant. The air is filled with the scents of bounteous nearby flowers. The Duchess looks to the bright nearly full lunar presence.
She is embarrassed. The Duchess is stuck for the use of another word. “When my wife passed my world ended except for my little girl.” Elisa and Darlene become acutely aware of the very private discussion upon which they intrude. They take freight and slump to their knees to further hide by peeking through the rails of
“The moon in Virginia is somehow softer, kinder than I remember from the Old World.” The Governor gives comment.
the balcony. “Darlene is my only joy. She has always thrilled and pleased me.”
“Lovely!” This is the best the Duchess can produce. Her heart races with the attention of the man she desires. Her emotions dumbfound her thoughts. Above, Elisa whispers.” Why does she not speak up when she has the chance?” Darlene whispers in return. “The best way to ruin a hopeful moment is with one’s tongue.” “That is Jupiter…the brightest star in the universe.” The Governor informs. The Duchess is aware that Jupiter is no star but the largest planet. This issue must be avoided for now. The couple halts just below the perch of the detectives. “I enjoyed your singing tonight.” “Lovely!”
“Lovely!” The Duchess chokes with unease. Her ability at conversation remains lost. She is resolved to speak no more. “My Darlene has always listened to me. I love her as fully as any parent can love their child. I admire my dear little girl tremendously. I am proud of her and her accomplishments.” The Duchess nods in understanding. Darlene has never fully comprehended the extent of her father’s feelings. She collapses in weakness and begins to sob. “Not now!” Murmurs Elisa as she holds her friend. “My soul has been empty for too long…Duchess…your Highness.” “Cynthia!” More words are not yet possible. The Duchess is relieved with this much success. 203 204
“Cynthia…thank you!” The governor turns to look directly upon his stricken companion. “Please call me Trevor.” “No one ever calls my daddy Trevor.” Moans Darlene. Elisa places her hand over Darlene’s mouth. The moment grows intimate. Cynthia stands supple and submissive. “At last, my soul is not empty this night…this moment!” This the Duchess understands. “Tonight my soul is inspired…my heart is full…my being content!” The Duchess hopes. Her hands fold upon her breast. The girls above are astounded. Their mouths gape, their eyes bulge, and their heads press forward. They share the anticipation of the Duchess. “Duchess…Cynthia it is you…your goodness that saves me.” The girls above swoon. The woman bellows gasps. Her arms fall to her sides for invitation. “I need your love, your friendship. I want always to be at your side.” Tears fall from all who hear his words. “I ask you to be my wife?” The Governor hands take hold upon the waist of the Duchess. “Lovely!” 205
The woman moans as her lips lift to receive his. The heads of the two girls above close together, tears of joy flow slowly. Cynthia is fully recovered. “I want us married on the tenth of next month…here in this garden just before noon. That is the date and time of my mother’s death. I want her to share our happiness Trevor.” This fact does not help stem the tears on the balcony. “Of course Cynthia.” The man agrees. “Trevor you must know that I have surrendered my Duchy. All my wealth is contained in my Grant.” “I have ample funds for our life dear.” The Governor confides. “I do not wish to run a business. I have a generous offer to purchase my Grant. I intend to sell.” Cynthia asserts. “Vance that fiend! He is to profit on the love of the Duchess.” Elisa speaks softly to Darlene. Suddenly an officer of the guard appears before the Governor. “News from the front!” He salutes at attention. “What word do you bring?” Asks the Governor. “The army has engaged the enemy in heavy fighting before arriving at their final destination.” “Ambush? Casualties?” Begs the Governor. “Yes! Several injured some colonials taken captive.” “Do we yet hold the field?” The Governor inquires.
“Yes but the militia is without a senior officer.” The guard reports. “What do you mean?” “Colonel Churchwater was wounded and taken captive by the Cherokee along with several of his men.” Elisa is in panic. “William! I know William is lost with the Colonel.” The Governor instructs the guard. “Send men about Williamsburg into every tavern and public house until they are find Wesley Peck and his companion Robert James. Have them escorted here without delay.” Darlene perks. ”Oh my! Peck and James…here at the house this night!” “Whatever does this mean?” Elisa is confused by the eruption of enthusiasm in Darlene. “Peck is as handsome a brute as there is to be found in Virginia. He and his friend are the fiercest frontiersmen. I just go crazy when I see that man.” Darlene blurts in a whisper. “Whatever shall we do?” Elisa is lost. “I intend to find out what father has in mind for Mr. Peck!”
War and Diplomacy
PLACE FIGURE “cannons”
The Governor’s nighttime gala continues. Darlene and Elisa have returned to the ballroom. In a dark tavern in the roughest part of Williamsburg, two men in deer hide clothing and fur caps sit drinking ale. “We be done Peck. Money be all give out!” A large muscular brute makes declaration. His huge hand covering a mug now void of drink. “James my man. Thou be no optimist. Thou see empty mugs where another see mugs with room for fresh ale.” The small lean Peck declares. “There ya be again using long with words that have no meaning. How’s ale to flow without money?” “It’s simply a matter of whose money at this point.” “Peck there’s no a lass in twenty miles of Williamsburg what will be having any of your horns waggle. They all be use to your ways.”
Robert James is sure the night’s pleasure is to end. “It’s for sure our faces are known everywheres about the commons. Let’s try our luck at the Royal Inn near to the Governor’s mansion.” “They let none there but the fancy pants. Let’s go!” The large man leads on. At the road’s entrance to the Royal Inn, fancy carriages are moving. Ladies and gentlemen in fine dress prance about. The two frontiersmen stand with muskets in hand while invisible in the upper class society. “How’s a bloke to get a penny of the likes here about?” James grumbles. “We shall offer our services against any villain or bully who makes himself felt here.” Peck is certain. “We shall have a gold coin before the passing of a half hour.” Standing under shadows that view the walkway, the hardy pair observes the passing of all who enter or depart from the Inn. By and by a group of several well-dressed men emerge to wait upon their carriages. Having much to drink, the band has become loud and obnoxious. “Wager there’s one in that group that wants to start a fight!” Peck determines. A slender man with an attractive woman approaches the group. The lone fellow is shoved off and the woman clutched by her one arm in an unsuitable manner. The woman’s companion is out numbered and out matched. He is helpless and embarrassed at the present predicament. “You want your lady friend back do you? Come and take her if you are a man!”
Laughter roars from the drunken lot. The woman screams for release. “Ah there’s no fight in this one!” The ruffian’s companion yells. The woman is pushed away. “She’s not much to look at either.” The drunk bellows with amusement. “Here’s our payday!” Peck declares as he moves to stop the couple as they flee the scene. The abused man and woman are anxious to avoid further disagreement. “If you permit me I can teach that bully a lesson of his own kind!” Peck tells as he walks along with the escapees. “I assure you he will be most mortified in front of his garrulous friends.” Their desire for revenge is full. “How?” The woman asks. “When?” Her companion asks. “Now! Lend me one gold coin that shall soon be recovered from the unconscious fore head of the man who mistreated you.” Peck offers. “If you put that jackal to the ground at this moment you can keep the coin.” “Can you really knock him down?” The woman hopes. “Just follow me!” Peck extends his hand and receives the gold coin. Walking briskly up to the villain, Peck stops just within his reach. “I’ll wager this gold coin that you can not knock me off my feet with your fist.” The pugnacious drunk is delighted to have the chance.
“Little man you must be crazed.” “Toss a gold coin to the woman behind me.” Peck orders The lady whom has been intimidated steps up and collects the second coin and returns to safety to watch. “Well! I intend to earn my profit.” The thug roars with his friends in laughter. The man’s hand rises to gain strength for the throw of a hard punch to Peck’s head. At the same instant one quick jab of a fist at the end of James long arm strikes the bully sending him insensible to the ground. The bruised couple cheers in delight. “You cheated!” The male crowd complains. “You can’t cheat a bully!” Grumbles James. “Here’s the second coin. Keep both and many thanks.” The affronted couple delivers. “Let’s get to where the ale flows right off!” James recognizes a small tavern near by.
Elisa chooses to retake the dance floor. Here she will stay to avoid extended conversation. The Governor and Duchess retreat to his study. “I must act to save the situation. The entire frontier may erupt into violence if the military missteps.” “I have to tell Elisa of the capture of Colonel Churchwater.” Darlene requests. “Please wait until morning. The news will spread prematurely.” The governor begs. The handsome Peck has long enamored Darlene. The tales of his adventures upon the furthest reaches of the frontiers have captivated her. She understands the manner in which her father will respond to the news from the military expedition. She prepares. Her heart is filled with excitement. Darlene sends word to Elisa by the maid Cathy. Elisa is to be informed on the evening’s end that Darlene will be absent from
Williamsburg for several days. A physician will be present to assist lady Churchwater until the Colonel is returned. While upon the dance floor, Elisa is approached by Admiral Rednapp.
Elisa is thrilled for Cynthia. Elisa must feint ignorance of the Duchess’ plans. Elisa shall not reveal that she has learned of Colonel Churchwater’s present fate or speak of her suspicions concerning William’s captivity. These emotional burdens are difficult for the young woman.
“Princess I wish you to meet my son, Harry.” Before Elisa is a dashing naval officer. He is tall and lean. His features are extreme in appeal. Slight gray at the temples reveals maturity.
“Enchanted!” His richly masculine voice raises the hairs upon the back of her neck. Elisa turns from woman to child in his overwhelming presence. Never has she seen a man as good looking as the man before her. Immediately she wonders at the thrill to be held by the elegant officer. “May we dance?” Harry invites. Elisa stumbles at first steps, as she is preoccupied at sensing the nearness of such a divine choice of humanity. “Sorry” Exclaims Harry as he steps upon her toes.” I am usually a better dancer than this.” Elisa blushes at his embarrassment. “It’s just you are so beautiful, my feet get no share of my attention. My mind only has claim to your presence.” The gorgeous face of the sailor nears Elisa. Her knees weaken. Her stomach churns. She becomes rigid. “You have an intended of course.” Harry apologies. “I am compelled to be flirtatious by such beauty as yours.” “I take it that you are not married Admiral.” Elisa must know. “Captain…. Captain Rednapp of the H.M.S. Liberty bound for England on the ‘morrow’s tide.”
“Oh I shall not see you tomorrow?” Elisa is disappointed. “I shall be at sea for six months…can you wait?” “I cannot hold a wait for an hour…I am a woman.” The two share a laugh. “Where you ever married?” Elisa has serious interest. “Once…years ago…my wife died of the fever in England.” “Never wanted to marry again?” She asks sweetly. “If I find the right woman I should gladly give up the sea and raise a family!” The man attests. “Well we shall have several dances so that we can remember this evening!” Elisa feels free to enjoy Harry’s favor.
In the camp of the Cherokee, William is received as an honored guest. He is free to move about the camp. He keeps possession of his weapons and pack. In a guarded hut, fellow captive militia tends the Colonel. “The man is with fever.”
Hovie Skaggs states. “He needs a surgeon to remove that arrow head else he’ll die.” Clarence Green confirms. Thomas McCrady is unconcerned. He tugs on his ear with one hand and waits for a chance to make good his escape. “Let’s sneak off tonight when the camp quiets.” Green suggests. “I can lead us out.” Skaggs notes. McCrady is unmotivated. “What do we do with the Colonel?” Skaggs makes question. “Leave him!” Green decides. McCrady is comfortable. “We need weapons!” Green recommends. “We can get some from them guards outside.” Skaggs peaks out. “Some knives and an ax is good enough to get us back to our camp.” At the fire of the Chief Chaupaug, William is invited to food. The One Who Stands is the name given to William by the Chief of the Cherokee. “The bravery and devotion of the young militiaman has won the respect of the natives. “Eat!” The Chief barks to William to cut a hunk of roasting pig. William nods eagerly. “The One Who Stands is welcomed to the home of the Cherokee.” Chaupaug announces to all. A tall dark haired maiden of much beauty carries a jug of drink.
She bows to the One Who Stands and pours his refreshment. William is taken by her presence. His eyes follow her as she moves about the campfire serving those who attend the Chief. Chaupaug notices his interest. The meal is heavy. The natives eat large portions with great zest. It is considered polite by the Cherokee camp to enjoy dinning in quiet. Business and social matters are to be entertained with passing of tobacco. After much indulging, Chaupaug looks about his company to ensure all are satiated. He summons pipes and tobacco. Again the comely maiden attends William. The lad is able to search her olive skin and view fully her green eyes. Her loveliness is unlike any other maiden. Her dark hair shines in a luster that begs to be touched. Chaupaug notices the attention to her by the One Who Stands. The Chief stands. “Let the spirit of the smoke enter all who share the goodness of the Cherokee.” Pipes are lit as the maiden again serves William. “The union of the Three Cherokee tribes is as one spirit of the smoke.” All nod and grunt in approval to the Chief’s words. “Tomorrow we shall have the match of the running clubs. The winner is to enjoy his right as champion until the next year.”
“What of the army of the colony who approaches the valley of Chaupaug?” The question rises from one native. Others grumble in support. “Should the three nations not make war tomorrow?” Insists a second. Chaupaug lifts his pipe and turns to look at each near the campfire. “The army of the homesteaders will leave at first light. If they do not then the nations may deal with them as the council shall choose.” William is amazed at the confidence of the great Chaupaug. The council of natives is anxious to show their combined power in war. “The ox is not directed with the blow from a stick but with the proper touch in comfort. Today we have made the way of the ox to return home. It shall be so!” “What of the captives? What of the One Who Stands?” Question is made by a third. “Is must be decided!” The chief nods in agreement. “The spirit of the smoke shall lead us.” Pipes are inhaled and the gray smoke of exhale fills the circle about the fire. William is not accustomed to this habit. The bitter smoke burns and chokes his breath. He does not hesitate to act with his hosts. Several pipes of tobacco he consumes. A comfort and sense of belonging overpowers the lad from Dublin in the midst of the gathering of Cherokee warriors. A tall lean youthful warrior stands before the council. He throws a military cap before the feet of Chaupaug.
“This I took from the scalp of the chief of the colonial warriors without shedding his blood.” Menonomee declares. Many comments of approval rise from the council. William recognizes Captain Smyers’ military hat. The proud Cherokee warrior enjoys the adulation of the moment. His chin is raised. His torso turns for all to search his strength. Chaupaug sits. He will smoke his pipe until he retires for the night. The medicine of the smoke permits ease in his sleep. His eyes glance askew to view the cap. The chief nods in acknowledgement. “Is there any greater trophy taken by the Cherokee this day?” Chaupaug asks. All in the council agree. Menonomee has the right to claim the prize of his choice. “I wish to have the daughter of Chaupaug as my new wife.” The native champion requires. Chaupaug shows no response. The council is quiet in anticipation of Chaupaug’s reply. For several minutes all look upon the expressionless chief. As the beautiful native maiden returns with fresh tobacco, Chaupaug answers. “Let my daughter speak!” The maiden is uncomfortable as all eyes devour her upon return.
“Menonomee claims your hand in marriage.” The chief states. The maiden is her father’s daughter. She is proud and not shy before great men. She glances over the form of the tall native who declares his want of her. Without expression she turns to face her father. She waits. “How does Naupaug say to this?’ The chief makes question. The maiden grimaces with distain and shakes her head to indicate no. “Your must ask for another reward?” Angry the warrior points to the One Who Stands. “I wish the life of this colonial!” Many in the council groan in displeasure. The chief shakes to say no. “The One Who Stands has given Chaupaug his life as he stood against many to save his chief. No Cherokee may strike down a warrior blessed so by the Great Spirit” Menonomee has broken the code of the Cherokee. Chaupaug is not pleased. “You may ask but once again then your tongue shall be still and your presence is to be absent before me.” The camp is apprehensive for the fear of the wrath of the Great Chaupaug. Menonomee picks up his prize. The captain’s hat is tossed upon the fire. “Let the One Who Stands enter the contest of the game of the sticks tomorrow.”
Chaupaug looks to William inquiringly. William feels his host’s discomfort. “I shall play!” The look of satisfaction on the face of Menonomee is the last view the council will have of the angry warrior this night. “It is good!” Chaupaug declares. “What of the captives?” Another warrior puzzles. Chaupaug reflects on the protocol of the Cherokee. The present situation s complicated. He stands. “It would be the right of the women who lost their husbands today to do as they pleased with the captives.” All the natives agree. “One Who Stands has kept the way of the Cherokee. Truly the Great Spirit has made him our brother. I declare the One Who Stands a member of our nation and member of my own family.” The gathered natives are surprised. They are all favorably impressed by One Who Stands as well. “Let the Great Spirit choose by the choosing of the One Who Stands!” The council accepts the wisdom of the great Chaupaug. The chief invites William to speak. “The Colonel is seriously injured.” William is unsure. He will speak as he would to his family in Dublin.
“He has given his years and his blood for his nation and family. Let the Cherokee return the Colonel to his home as a sign of respect.” “What of the army that comes to make war on the Cherokee?” A native asks brusquely. William cannot interpret the emotions of the natives. He asks. “What message would the Cherokee nation send with the Colonel to the Chief of the Colony?” All look to Chaupaug. “Let my word be told that the people of the colony are to move no closer to the land of the Cherokee than the distance walked in one half of the day. This will bring peace. This is to be said to the face of the Chief of the Colony.” “How will the Chief of the Colony know these words are from Chaupaug?” An older native questions. “Naupaug will carry my words.“ Answers Chaupaug. “What of justice to the women who have lost their man?” A lesser chief inquires of William. “How did Naupaug lose her man?” William asks. ‘The One Who Stands took his life with his musket this day.” Chaupaug states. William did not think of the native’s death as he fired to save his fallen Colonel during the ambush. He did not think of the native’s family and their loss. His eyes see the hurt in Naupaug. “What justice does Naupaug ask?” William inquires to the maiden.
Such open discussion with a maiden is unusual for the Cherokee but it is tolerated for the One Who Stands. “I want the colonial who is held captive as my man!” She announces. “The young strong one who pulls his ears. “Thomas!” William is surprised. The maiden has taken a strong liking to William’s comrade. “What of the other women…do they wish a captive as their man?” Chaupaug injects. “Green and Skaggs?” William asks to clarify. “The others are too dirty, and weak in their stance.” Naupaug replies. “They wish to have a dowry to lighten their burdens.” “How does One Who Stands decide?” Chaupaug inquires. “Each woman will be sponsored to colonial citizenship with the rights to marry and live within the colony. Naupaug will have Thomas as husband only if Thomas agrees.” William is cautious. “Let Naupaug now that the man Thomas does not share the honor of the injured Colonel.”
In the field just beyond the pass where Chaupaug launched his ambush, the army has made camp.
“Mr. Banks! “Calls captain Smyers. “Yes sir?” The scout responds. “I want a night reconnaissance into the Cherokee’s home valley.” “Can do captain…what in particular have you in mind?” “All elements under Royal Arms will move at first light to seal the valley. Our attack will begin as soon as we have taken position.” “We start a war with them Cherokee they’ll kill all the prisoners...including Colonel Churchwater.” Banks warns. “The Colonel and all others know the risks of military service. They all might be dead as we speak!” Smyers responds. “Cherokee take prisoners for several reasons. When war is near they mean to bargain with their freedom.” “I want you to scout ahead and assure the command that no further ambushes are to be encountered." “Do you want me to make contact with Chaupaug?” “Mr. Banks, you have my direct order to kill Chaupaug on sight!” “Captain usually terms are given to the enemy before engagement.” Banks reminds. ”I had Chaupaug’s terms at the pass. I intend to reply with conditions on my account.” “I expect your report at first light!” Smyers nods to dismiss the scout. “Mr. Pierre!” The Captain barks again. “Aye Aye Captain!” The sailor replies. “You shall assume command of the militia!” “I’m just a poor sailor Captain what served in the Crown’s military some years ago.”
“Your orders are simple. Form a line and hold the center at all costs.” “That I can do captain but I not trained in maneuvers. I can’t promise to make the right decisions if things begin to go wrong.” “Just do as ordered. I am all the command needed to execute this campaign.” The stuffy leader dismisses the sergeant. The army’s camp this night makes ready for an intense action come first light. Armament is inspected and uncrated. Munitions and shot are dispersed among the troops. Extra containers of water are filled. Extra rations of biscuits and dried beef are given out in advance. “Banks?” The sergeant calls. The two men gather outside the command post. “The captain is determined to fight” “I’m not sure he understands his opponent well enough to succeed.” Banks responds. “I worried that he’s going to get a lot of people killed unnecessarily.” Pierre continues. “On both sides, I agree.” The scout confides. “What can we do?” “Chaupaug started this fracas. My guess he has a plan. We wait.” “Any advice for tomorrow?” Sgt. Pierre asks. “Keep you men in close formations…don’t let them break no matter what!” Banks advises. “I am afraid that we are less prepared than we should be without the Colonel.”
“News of today has already reached Williamsburg. The Governor will send instructions before morning.” Banks assures .
The guard escorts the two frontiersmen through a side entrance and into the Governor’s study. Here the Governor and the Duchess are busy. They are animated while over looking a monthly calendar.
Both smile and look to each other with desire. The arrival of the frontier’s men does not alter the mood in the room. Peck looks to James.
Peck and James reach the Wild Duck Pub. Here they intend to consume the liquid worth of their gold coins. The officer of the guard whom has been dispatched by the Governor recognizes the pair as they enter. Just as Peck and James lift their lips to drink, the officer arrives. “Peck! James! The Governor wants you both to appear at his residence at once!” “The Governor? What be his need at this hour?” Peck is stunned by the disruption. “If he wants to have a drink with us …tell the Governor we be here.” James is not pleased. “If you don’t report at once I’ll have the guard here to place you in chains. We shall drag you there if need be.” The officer instructs. “We want to finish our ale first!” Peck begs. James lifts his mug and gulps its contents dry. Peck follows the example of his friend.
“Seems we are invited to a fancy party.” He whispers. “I can’t dance!” James coughs under his breath. “Wait here!” The officer of the guard gives order. “Peck and James as requested.” The guard informs the Governor. ‘That was quick!” The Governor remarks. “Found them on the other side of the commons. They’ve been drinking all night.” The guard informs. “Well done! Gentlemen take a seat.” He excuses himself from the presence of the Duchess. “I have urgent business for the both of you.” The Governor addresses his guests.
The two wild men have never been privileged to enjoy such comfort as they find in the Governor’s mansion. “I have a dispatch to be taken to the army at the foot of the Cherokee Valley. Further I want a message taken to Chief Chaupaug before first light tomorrow. Can you oblige?” “Depends!” Peck declares. “Upon what pray tell?” The Governor questions.. “Just how much danger be they! What’s the army doing so close to the Cherokee nation?” Peck insists. The Governor is not anxious to reveal all. “A military exercise…demonstrating our strength before Chaupaug.” “Well I hope you are aware that the Tri-Nations of the Cherokee have begun their annual celebrations. They have over 2000 warriors camped in that valley…everyone of them full of spunk and vinegar.” Peck informs. The Governor concedes. His message must arrive this night without delay. “Can you achieve my requests?” “Just what word are we to bring to Chaupaug?” Peck persists. The Governor has no other hope. “I want his conditions for peace, and I want the return of Colonel Churchwater and any other captives at once!”
“I can tell you Chaupaug’s terms right now. He don’t want to see no colonial domiciles near his Cherokee land. He don’t want to see colonials. He don’t want to hear colonials, and he don’t want to smell colonials.” The Governor can expand the colony without approaching Chaupaug’s land. Chaupaug will not always be chief. There is presently plenty of uncontested land available. “What of the captives?” “Just Chaupaug’s way of getting your attention Governor.” Peck decides. “He’ll surrender the men he holds?” “I don’t think he’ll turn them over just to anyone…not James and me that’s for sure?” “Who then?” “Well it be Chaupaug’s way to send a member of his family as escort. That member be carrying his words to be give out faithful like.” Peck shrugs to convince the Governor they’ll be no other way. “I can’t go! The risk to the Colony is too great.” The governor replies. “It be the same for Chaupaug.” Replies peck. “I’ll go father!” Darlene announces as she enters dressed in leather riding attire. Peck is taken with the appearance and vivaciousness of the young woman. “Impossible! It’s too dangerous!”
The Governor’s eyes bulge in dismay. “If’n all them Cherokee warriors get provoked into war the whole frontier will follow. Could be years before there enough peace so’s the colony can expand.” Peck assesses. “The Crown will not welcome this event! How much risk is there?” The Governor must act. “You let this here female carry some bright Royal Seal. There not be a Cherokee alive what would interfere with the Great Chaupaug’s office as Chief of all the Cherokee!” Darlene and the Governor look to one another and ponder the choice of such an emblem. “Here!” The Duchess calls. She has removed two garters from her stalkings. They are large brightly decorative in color and gaudy with the depiction of the seal of the House of Leeds. Peck takes them into his hand. “Just the right thing. Them natives will de delirious with the status of the one who wears these.” “They be only two…but they be three of us!” James breaks silence. “I’ll have a dozen brought from my wardrobe at once.” The Duchess offers. “One for each arm…six will do…no a dozen we’ll give a mess out to Chaupaug for favor.” Peck requests.
The Governor holds Darlene by her shoulders. “Tell Captain Smyers that he is to withdraw at once. Failure to do so will bring charges against him of sedition against the Crown. Tell Chaupaug his lands will be preserved and there will be no homesteads built near his land” “Best keep a day’s walk from Chaupaug home Governor!” Peck recons. “Granted!” The Governor concedes. “Darlene take no chance...I love you.” He whispers to his daughter. “Peck! If anything happens to my daughter I shall personally hang you!” “Fair enough…James and I want a hundred gold pieces each.” “Agreed but payment made upon the return of my daughter and the captives here at the Governor’s residence.” “Agreed! But we want horses…quick and strong!” Peck barters. “Start counting them coins.” James is anxious. “Let’s get it done!” Darlene is enthusiastic. “Be careful!” Cynthia is worried. “Follow me!” Commands Peck.
“Better to follow Darlene!” The governor calls out.
Thomas senses he has entered a native fashion of a court of justice. His manner becomes most innocent and naïve. “Evening Will! Colonel is still with fever and his wound yet seeps some.” “Thank you Thomas for attending.”
William remains the center of judgment for the native council. “I speak with the approval of the Great Spirit and the permission of the Chief Chaupaug of the great Cherokee people.”
Naupaug orders. “Bring the man Thomas now!” The maiden is not to let time pass from her audience before the chiefs of the Three Cherokee Tribes. Her fate may come one day to take charge of her tribe upon the passing of her father. Unlike Chaupaug, the maiden is fond of many of the ways of the colonials. Thomas saunters to Chaupaug’s campfire with the same causal manner as if he were in the heart of Dublin City. His arrival before William stirs Naupaug. Her head rises. Her back straightens. Her eyes shine. Her lips smile broadly. Thomas is indifferent to the natives. He glances inquiringly to William. William’s manner is officious. This is very much to Thomas’ liking.
This is exactly what Thomas wants to hear. His demeanor turns solemn. He becomes even more attentive than the natives that look from the one colonial to the other. The handsome Thomas holds Naupaug’s concentration. She dotes on his child like manner and his rugged manly form excites her. Naupaug wants this man to hold her. William will not make discussion of their release before the council. “Today, several warriors have died as a result of gunfire from the militia. Several wives of the Cherokee are now without their husband. The Great Spirit asks for justice for these maidens and all members of the Cherokee nations.” Thomas thinks William sounds much like an inspired preacher. William strains to ignore Thomas’s presence and tries to make a show of strength before the natives in his audience. Approving grunts from the attending lend confidence to William’s choice. “Naupaug, daughter to the great Chaupaug asks for the colonial named Thomas.”
William pauses to give his friend time to conclude the reason for his presence. Thomas is solemn and dull. William is annoyed. He needs help in this opportunity. “The Great Spirit has spoken to Naupaug.” The maiden’s smile becomes broader. Her eyes are afire. The words of William permit hope to burn in her breast William makes more delay. Thomas makes no connection. William is frustrated. “Thomas has no woman. He has no wife. He is new to this world and his heart searches for the comfort of a lodge to holds his family. Thomas needs to end his days as a lone warrior!” William’s voice is just short of a shout. Naupaug moves into the front view of Thomas. Her beauty is not to escape him at this moment. Thomas is distant in his thoughts. William can delay no more. “Naupaug is to have Thomas as her new husband this moment!” Now Thomas understands. He tugs the end of his right ear. He does not speak. “How say you Naupaug?” William goes for the sale.
“Man Thomas. I will be your woman. I shall lead you and the Colonel and the others to Williamsburg. I will stay with man Thomas.” Many grumbles of agreement come forth from the native assembly. “Thomas how say you to a new life and freedom with Naupaug?” William is desperate for cooperation. “Thomas looks to William for assurance. William nods in answer. “Sure…Notpog!” “Naupaug!” The maiden replies. “Sure!” Thomas affirms. He now pulls on his left ear. “Best kiss her to make good your expectations of a trip home Thomas.” Sings William Thomas sees the beautiful maiden before him. Her attractive form relaxes to offer him approach. Her smile is reduced to timid. She awaits her conquest. Naupaug is desirable to any man. The gift of survival in her acceptance makes her irresistible to the rapscallion. Thomas has made escape through less desirable circumstances. He moves to her with care. His passion for life brings want for the maiden. His hands hold her waist tenderly. His face closes to her.
His lips reach. Naupaug’s body constricts. This form of intimacy is new. The warmth of Thomas’s need is overwhelming. She cannot but yield. Naupaug melts. She presses fully against the hard body of Thomas. Her hands run up his muscular arms. Her yearning is to be satisfied. It is concluded decides the maiden. She grips Thomas’ collar and pulls him away to her lodge. Chaupaug rises. “The wedding is concluded!” He announces. William has missed the details of any ceremony but he shouts along with the native band in calls of celebration.
“Will Darlene get to Chaupaug with any hope of recovering the Colonel…he maybe dead as we speak?” Cynthia worries. “If Peck is correct then Chaupaug will jump at the chance for an agreement. The army has a surgeon in attendance…the Colonel shall have care immediately. We will have a conclusion to this affair by midday tomorrow”. The governor holds his intended bride caringly. “What of Elisa…she knows nothing of this?” Cynthia inquires. “Let her enjoy tonight…the morning will be soon enough to inform her.” The Governor requests. “We should return to your guests. I’m not sure I can face Elisa.” “I would like to announce our engagement?” The Governor asks. “Please not until Darlene and Elisa are recovered?” “Yes dear.”
He kisses her. Outside the horses arrive. Darlene mounts a black stallion of great power.
In the governor’s study the Duchess yet holds words with the Governor. “I fear for Darlene and Elisa.” “If Darlene must go to the home of Chaupaug then she goes with the best to walk on the frontier. James and Peck are folk heroes.”
“Can you ride that beast?” Peck wonders. “Ever since he was no longer a colt.” Darlene takes reins. “Steady Thunder!”
She calls to her mount that is excited, as a late night race is about to occur. Peck and James mount lesser breed but fast paced animals. “Follow me!” Calls the famed Peck He does not start his horse. He hesitates. “James what’s the quickest way west out of Williamsburg?” Darlene kicks Thunder. Clumps of sod fly about the frontiersmen as the horse bolts away at full speed. “Where in the blazes is that woman going?” James blurts. “I don’t recon but I figure we best follow her!” Peck concedes. The two race at the follow but have difficulty to keep her form ahead within sight. Across the streets of Williamsburg, through turns and corners the trio hurries. Out through the clutter of homes at the edge of the town the swift horses pass. The main road from the west is wide and open. At each hilltop Darlene pauses to gather the nearness of the fading Peck and James. Miles fly under the quicken hoofs of the Governor’s messengers. A fair distance from Williamsburg, the road grows slim and rough. The ruts left by the passing military cannonade yet leave trace that is visible in the moonlight. Here Darlene must wait for Peck to lead.
“That horse of yours gone lame?” Peck asks with annoyance as he arrives. Darlene does not respond. Peck notes the trail to be followed. He admires the accomplishment of the woman on horseback. James points in the direction the military column they must follow. “So you need me!” He declares. Darlene does not respond. The woman knows that Peck does not yet understand the full implication of his words. “We can cut their trail and save time by riding along the ridges where the wagons must go around.” James decides. Peck nods in agreement. “Best stay close to me.” The wild man suggests to Darlene. “Else a native may force you into his lodge.” Darlene is delighted with his recognition of her as a woman and as being desirable. She cannot resist. “Worried about me?” She coos. “Worried about what you daddy will do to us if’n you’re returned damaged.” Darlene beams. His reply is not believed. The trio rides at lesser pace to make sure the horses’ hoofs find solid ground. Following the long lines marked by the army’s preceding pathway they travel. Shorter trails over steeper grades and through rooted tree stands Peck leads onward.
It is very late in the night as Peck’s band closes to the camp of the Colonial Army. James brings his horse to a stop. “Chaupaug’s homeland isn’t far off. Them soldiers be coming near soon.” The large man lifts in the saddle and sniff’s the air. Darlene cannot imagine after what the brute seeks. James drops to the ground and places his ear firmly to listen. “Any thing?” Peck inquires of his friend. “There’s running water up ahead.” James detects. “Couple miles maybe more.” The long arm of the woodsman scrapes across the horizon. “Buffalo Creek!” “Them musketeers be on the other side for sure!” Peck concludes. Darlene is amazed at the ease with which the pair orientates their place on the local topography. “Native scout camp ahead.” James’ hand points off to his right in the direction of the wind. “How many fires do you think?” Peck inquires. Darlene is again lost. “Few…maybe a dozen or so…no more.” James pulls his musket up into his arms. Peck follows.
Darlene is alarmed. She yields to be directed for the first time. Peck notes her discomfort. “Natives be scattering large scout parties to watch the militia’s movement. We don’t want to ride right into one this far out.” Peck is now in his realm. Darlene is not. James searches the visible sky. He spreads the fingers of his one hand against the display of a chosen constellation while his thumb is held along the horizon. “Dawn comes in the next hour.” Darlene understands her father’s conviction of two men. “Straight, left, or right?” Peck asks out loud. “Straight ahead.” James votes. “I want to go left away from the native’s camp.” Peck chooses. The two men of the wilderness glance to each other. “Right it’ll be!” The two men declare at the same time. “Why?” Darlene blusters without hesitating.
“Cause we know what’s there for sure.” James responds. “That native’s camp is probably located directly behind our militia and in line with the Cherokee valley.” Peck closes. “Best tighten up.” James suggests. The band secures all items that can rattle or make noise. They proceed toward the scout camp of the natives. No talk is permitted. Hand signals are only to be used until the danger is cleared. As the scent of burning embers grows strong, all in Peck’s band dismount. They walk softly keeping the wind to their right. As they pass a stand of brush Darlene hears a muffled roar. She seizes. Peck and James stop at once. All search for the source of the rumbling sound. James makes sign. “Sleeping warrior.” He indicates. “Snoring!” Peck marks with a finger to his nose. Suddenly Peck removes his deer hide shirt. His deer hide trousers are then removed.
Darlene blushes. She has never seen a man’s body so lean and hard and so naked. Indifferent to Darlene’s presence, Peck begins to rub dirt over his bare body. The man has the bodily form of a god. The woman thinks to herself. She now understands the reason that women swoon when Peck‘s named is raised in feminine company. Her intentions toward the man are sealed. Uncontrollably Darlene begins to undo stays of her jacket. Peck is puzzled at her action. He hands to her his gather clothes. These she holds tenderly to her breast as the musk from his body over powers her. The forlorn look upon her face is her request to follow him. He indicates for her to move with the horses away to wait his return. His musket he hands to James. He signs his intention to visit the nearby camp of the Cherokee. As he walks into the bush, Peck makes signal for the horses to be moved at once to a distance safe from their sound to reach the sleeping native’s campsite. With stealth Peck walks quietly into the camp among the still Cherokee. Into the camp’s center he creeps searching for the leader. The glowing embers of the fire are nearly spent. Only an occasional crackle of combustion is heard. Peck spies a gray haired warrior deep in slumber.
Near to native’s blanket rests a band with several feathers that compose the aged one’s headdress. This Peck collects and then departs. He races off into the distance where his comrades wait. When he arrives he shows the trophy to Darlene. He indicates the marks upon the feathers. “Chief!” He whispers to the woman, and then he ties the band securely upon her head. He reaches for his clothes. Darlene is awkward in the presence of his nakedness. She refuses. Peck does not understand. He pulls his clothes loose from her. Darlene’s hand extends open toward Peck to show her disappointment. James remarks to the horizon. “The first shade of new light.” “We must hurry.” Peck orders. James also indicates the direction to follow. “The last light from the militia’s campfires.” “How far do you make them?” Peck inquires. “Better than five miles.” Darlene observes nothing in the distance. The three mount and their horses pound at full speed.
Darlene struggles to keep her steed as close as possible to Peck.
The woodcock rustles well before first light. The doves coo in the trees to welcome the first of day. These beacons bring the native women from their lodges to start the morning fires and begin first meal for their families. Naupaug has awakened her man. She warms meat, and fries corn fritters. “Man Thomas we leave at full light to Williamsburg. We must gather the captives and depart before others make difficulty for us.” Thomas has rested. He anxiously assists his wife. “Ready when you are Notpog!” “Naupaug.” The woman reminds sweetly. “I’ll call you Pog. How do we get out of here?” “The eaglet that does not try will never fly!” The maiden states lovingly to her weak husband. Thomas pulls on his right ear.
Chaupaug arrives. He leads the captives. The Colonel rests on a stretcher of poles held by rawhide straps. Skaggs and Green carry the burden. The Chief’s hands makes strong signal for all to march at once. “Depart before the camp is alive. Stop not until you are in the arms of your military.” “Where is William?” Asks Thomas as he pulls on his left ear. “One Who Stands rests in my lodge. He is to stay with his people…his family.” The great Chief swipes his arm across his chest in finality. “Man Thomas we go now if we go at all!” Naupaug senses her father’s urgency. She seizes her husband by the collar. All preparations are immediately abandoned. Thomas is hastily pulled away from the camp into the last of darkness The other colonials follow at the haste.
He will end any further conflict from the Cherokee rabble. He regularly checks the progress of the night through the flaps of his tent. “Sergeant of the guard?” Calls Smyers. “As soon as the first ray of light comes from the east assemble the command. I’m going to shave…have my saber sharpened and cleaned.” The commander is furious that his Prussian style cap has been taken. Its loss will lessen his image in the field. As Smyers continues to groom, Peck’s riders close. In a short while news arrives. “Captain the command awaits!” The guard announces. Smyers emerges invigorated for the action of the day. His command is noticeably less motivated. “Gentlemen the moment is at hand. We shall serve the colony, and the Crown nobly today.” He stares. “We shall take no prisoners man, woman or child!” The Captain renders the order. This news is disconcerting to his commanders. Their mood is resentful.
“Captain riders at the advance!” The guard gives warning. Having ridden through the night with pace and no rest, the horses of Peck’s band are
Captain Smyers has slept little. He intends that his campaign unfold with the highest degree of military precision.
tired. Darlene flies under the steady legs of her horse.
Peck holds Darlene and Thunder to share the same great heart. James and he pursue at the behind. The morning light shows the dispersion of the colonial troops as they muster for battle. Into their midst speeds the messengers of the Governor. Darlene barrels through the perimeter at full rapidity sending man and animal before her to scurry. The resulting commotion disrupts Capitan Smyers. Before the commander’s front, the magnificent Thunder breaks to a halt. Peck and James are just entering the compound. The exhausted rider and horse prance just before Smyers. The Captain recognizes the daughter of the Governor. He wonders at the garters upon her arms and the native feathered headdress upon her head. He is speechless. “Captain Smyers! Order’s from the Governor.” She calls as she struggles to bring her steed to full rest. The great beast is lathered and pants heavily. Thunder snorts his readiness to continue the chase. “Too late! We leave to engage. The field is ours.” Captain Smyers is consumed. Peck and James arrive. Peck dismounts at the run while carrying his musket to Darlene’s side. Here he takes the hold of Thunder‘s bridle.
James holds guard at Darlene’s back with musket at the ready. “The Governor orders the military to quit the field and return to Williamsburg at once. Do not engage the Cherokee!” Darlene shouts. The Captain hesitates. His campaign is to end. He ponders disregarding his orders. Darlene reads his mind. “The Governor speaks for the Crown.” She declares for all to hear. “To ignore this order is sedition. Any and all who do so are bound to be hanged for treason.” Smyers looks to his orderly. “Dam politicians!” He prepares to give a command. Peck’s musket lowers. ”Hold on there! Any attempt to resist and I’ll send a musket ball through your heart.” Pecks cocks the firing hammer as his musket sights upon the captain’s chest. “What is your name?” Darlene calls to the captain’s orderly. “Lieutenant Pritchard.” “Lieutenant! Take command. Place Smyers in shackles and begin a full retreat immediately”. The Lieutenant is confused by her command. He searches Smyers for direction.
“If you hesitate Lieutenant you’ll be arrested and charged for incitement to rebellion and hanged.” Peck loves this woman’s domination. “I want a wagon to hold a surgeon as well as the Captain, fresh mounts, and a full squad of dragoons flying the colors of the Colony to escort me to Chaupaug’s camp. I want these immediately.” Lieutenant Pritchard yet hesitates. “Peck shoot Captain Smyers!” Darlene orders. ”I mean to have co operation for the wishes of the Crown without further delay.” Peck looks to Darlene for finality. “I’ll have the wagon at once!” The Lieutenant responds. She turns her head side to side for the woodsman to disregard her order for execution.
Skaggs agrees. “He’s mostly dead anyhow.” Thomas tugs on his right ear. He does not give attention to the two who transport the injured Colonel. “Do not the colonials give reward for the saving of their chief?” Naupaug questions. Green and Skaggs look to each other. Thomas pulls on both ears. “Some offer a gold coin for the return of a runaway indentured.” Green recollects. “We should be able to get a gold coin each?” Skaggs considers. “Why not ten gold coins each?” Thomas proposes. The excited vagrants glance at Thomas with a murderous glance. “A live chief is worth much more than a dead chief.” Naupaug advises.
“He weighs the same either way!” Thomas notes. This dialogue spurs the men to renewed vigor.
The band of escaping colonials follows Naupaug along a well-trodden path east. “He’s heavy!” Complains Green speaking of the burden he supports. “Let’s leave him.”
Their pace quickens. Down through the valley, a sizable distance has passed from the Cherokee Camp that is just now coming to full wake. William emerges.
“One Who Stands…eat!” Commands Chaupaug. “Soon we shall have word from the colonial warriors.” “The Colonel is gone?” One Who Stands asks. The great chief nods. “All captives are gone. Naupaug leads her man east.” William begins to consume his first meal. Chaupaug sips hot sassafras tea sweetened with honey. “Today we hold the great game of the clubs. All the young warriors will enter.” Chaupaug gives details. William nods in an agreement. “After a great feast and dance is to be held through the night. Soon the other nations will return home.” William is bold. “Why do the Cherokee make trouble with the colony at this time?” The great Chaupaug responds “One Who Stands was not free in his own land! The Cherokee live free always…we will not be indentured to the great Chief of the Colony.” “Why not just talk over the problems?” William ponders. “The colonials are a people who greet others with their fists. They have little respect for words unless they fear the hands of their neighbor.”
“How many colonials died in the ambush at the pass?” “None as yet…maybe the colonel?” Chaupaug answers. “Should the army of the colony attack this day many colonials will die. The Cherokee will not make sport with your tribe here.” Darlene’s rescue group enters the valley of Chaupaug. Native drums sound into Chaupaug’s camp. “They come…One Who Stands must prepare for the game…it shall commence as soon as the sun dries the land!” The motion of the militia’s wagon is noted first by Naupaug. “Help there!” She points. “Dragoons!” Shouts Skaggs “We’re saved!” Green declares. Thomas scoops up Naupaug into a hug and twirl. “Pog…I’m going back to civilization.” The maiden is trilled at the happiness of her man. Dragoons see the captives who approach at the foot. “Colonials ahead” They report to Darlene. “That’s Chaupaug’s daughter with’m.”
James notes. “Carrying Chaupaug’s words most likely.” Comments Peck Darlene is surprised. “Why would he send his daughter?” Peck looks with disbelief at the woman. “Be the same as with thee I’m a guessing.” Peck says with sarcasm. As the two parties join, the surgeon inspects the wounds of the Colonial. “How is the man?” Darlene asks. “The head of the arrow is pressed against the blade of his shoulder. It must be removed at once and the wound cleaned. He will survive!” The physician gives his analyses. Naupaug looks to the woman who leads the colonials. She notes the bright seals upon her arms and the captured Cherokee headband upon her head. “I am Naupaug of the Cherokee. My father sends words to the chief of the colony.” “That would be my father the Governor.” Replies Darlene. “I carry words for Chaupaug.” ”My farther awaits you now.” Naupaug replies.
Surprised, Darlene looks to Peck. “Them drums we been hearing are for us.” Peck comments. “Are these all the captives?” Captain Smyers asks. “Not all captain.” Thomas replies. “William stayed with the Cherokee.” “Deserter!” Smyers announces. “How come these captives have been made freed?” Darlene poses. “Man Thomas has made bond with the Cherokee.” Naupaug tells. “Good work Thomas!” The captain gives congratulations. “I’ll see to it your indenture is terminated myself!” “Well them chiefs be waiting!” James reflects. “Best get up there!” Peck invites Darlene. “Smyers you’ll ride with us to speak with Chaupaug. The rest will return to the column as soon as the surgeon has the Colonel ready to travel.” Darlene orders.
“What will you do?” Darlene asks of the native maiden. “I am bonded to man Thomas as his woman.” Thomas jerks his left ear. “Seems proper to me!” Darlene comments to Peck. The four horsemen gallop straight into the heart of the Cherokee nation to meet with the great chief Chaupaug. Again, Thunder leads the way. Darlene gives her horse its head. “Take me right to camp.” She instructs her mount. The roar of pounding hoofs alerts the camp of the Cherokee. Chaupaug and the many assembled chiefs gather for reception. Typically Darlene enters at the fly. Skirting lodge and native, Thunder drives to the camp’s center. Peck and the others follow. Thunder breaks before the waiting assembly of elders. In courtesy, Darlene dismounts and walks straight to the fore of the great Cherokee leader. Her entrance dazzles the waiting Cherokee. They note the magnificent garters as signs of her authority. The great beast she commands gives her much strength in all eyes in the camp. The colonials who follow are considered as unneeded escort only. Chaupaug reads the feathers upon her head.
He points to these before he speaks. “Appalachia wore these feathers.” “We passed his camp last night.” Darlene replies. “He will arrive soon as I have sent the army of the colony back to Williamsburg at first light.” “I have sent words to the Chief of the Colony.” Chaupaug instructs. “I carry words to Chaupaug from my chief…my father.” She adds. Peck, James and Smyers join her. “The governor wants peace. He will guarantee no homestead will be raised for one day of walk by the ox away from the land of the Cherokee.” Darlene states. The other chiefs who listen lift many cries of approval. This prize increases the power of the great Chaupaug. Darlene is not hesitant. “Further, the Governor of the colony warns the Cherokee, if hostilities resume for any reason, the Crown will send ten times the number of horses, cannon, and regular troops. This army will occupy the lands of all the Cherokee.” This causes Chaupaug to flinch. Such a number is impossible to fight. He is to lose face before his attendants. Darlene gives Chaupaug the final act in diplomacy.
“The Governor is grateful to Chaupaug for peace. The colony sends apologies for trespassing. The Governor asks what gift does the great Chaupaug desire.” This restores the balance. “Let the land that separates our nations be granted to Naupaug and her descendents. The path of the ox gives measure to a place where native and colonial may live together in peace where both our nations shall not rule.” Darlene is impressed by the wisdom of the great chief. She bows before him in admiration. Hoots of the natives approve the words of Chaupaug and the action of Darlene. From aside William watches and hears all. “What of the colonial named William?” Smyers blurts. The upstart is recognized. Smyers' manner offends Chaupaug. “One Who Stands is now Cherokee!” The chief’s head lifts in revulsion. “Let the one who is led by the ox depart.” Chaupaug’s arm rises to point east. ‘Time to ambulate!” James nudges Peck. “That man is going to get us killed.” Peck whispers. “Bind Smyers again! Gag him as well.“ Darlene orders.
“James, take the Captain back to the Williamsburg. Do not release him until after you report to my father.” What about you and Peck?” The big man asks. “Inform the Governor that his representatives will attend the conclusion of the Tri Nations gathering and will return in a few days.” Peck nods agreeably to his friend. “Tell the ladies I’m being delayed.” Peck and Darlene are expected to observe the day’s match and the night’s celebration “Let the game of running clubs begin.” Chaupuag dismisses all other issues. Each of the three Cherokee tribes will form its own team consisting of young warriors painted in identifying colors and marks. Each team will prepare an elaborately decorated and carved monolith made from the trunk of an old tree. These totem poles will be placed at three corners of a large open field. A piece of rawhide will be stuffed with dense moss and wrapped by leather strips into ball shaped object. This item is tossed high into the air at the field’s center to begin the game. Players line the perimeter of the field at the start of the game, then to rush in mass after the lose ball. Over a thousand natives carrying clubs fashioned in many forms will compete to hack the ball out and toward their own obelisk.
The first team to strike their wooden marker wins. The game is played for hours. The individual’s use of his club is not limited to the striking of the ball. Indeed heavy blows at an opponent to gain an advantage in play are permitted. Such matches are used to settle accounts of conflict over the past year. Today Menonomee will seek gain over William. His loss of the hand of Naupaug in marriage he attributes to the presence of the colonial. “Watch behind at all times.” Chaupaug cautions William as he prepares to enter the contest. “The point of the game is to survive the clubs of your opponents.” The game is not unlike Hurley. The huge number of players is maddening and makes the rules of conduct impossible. William yet possesses the Hurley stick brought with him from Dublin. “This game can be vicious!” Peck warns Darlene. “Have you ever player it?” She asks beguilingly. “Yes but on a small scale with just warriors from the same village where enemies do not gather.” “Chuapaug have you played this game?” Darlene asks. The old chief nods yes and points to a long scar across the top of his fore head.
“One must play with the marks of a great man to gain the favor of the spirits…courage, daring, heart.” The game commences with a loud roar as the contestants merge at the run with clubs swaying all about. Those more timid make hold at the outer perimeter of the compressed crowd. Here William begins sheepishly. He watches the play of the ball. He notes little strategy is used among the teams. A lucky strike will send the ball upward and over the pack to fall in the open. This sends the entire throng scurrying in pursuit. Blows of the club continuously strike across the back and head of the less skilled. The game is one of absolute mayhem for the first hour. The field thins as many who are injured and bruised quit. Darlene grows weary of the exercise. Her attention prefers her companion. “Peck why have you never married? Haven’t found the right woman?” “Most ladies appeal for an evening of drink and fun…I guess I am not fit to become a spouse?” “Never once had the itch to try?” “Whenever I see a fine soft decent woman a weak feeling comes over me… a guilt…a uselessness I can’t deal with… Oh! Did you see that strike! It dam near tore the hide off the ball. Never saw a hit like it.” Darlene is now annoyed by the distraction of sport.
“Yes wonderful…what kind of woman makes you feel changed?” Noithing will let her alter the subject. “Drink!” Calls Chaupaug as refreshment is served to his guests. “What is this stuff?” Darlene asks Peck as a bowl of milky liquid is handed to her. “A kind of ale from berry and honey fermented. It’s not strong but very refreshing.” Peck replies. “What kind of woman?” Darlene persists. “Woman for what purpose?” Peck has lost the subject. “What kind of woman is different from the kind of woman you spend most of your time with?” “Oh! Someone like you!” “Like me! What does that mean?” Darlene is bewildered. ‘The kind of woman you want to settle down with and have babies and things like that.” Darlene swoons. “You want to have a baby with some one like me…even me?” “No I want to live free and wild…but if I wanted a family it would be with some like you for sure!” Darlene is speechless.
She wants to take hold of the man and kiss him until he surrenders. “You can still be wild and go into the woods if you were married…I won’t hold you from living as you want.” She wishes he would look into her eyes and forget this dumb game. As the number of players decrease the speed and difficulty of the game increases. The lesser able retire. The attention of the fans rises. “You are afraid to try marriage because you have no appreciation of how wonderful marriage can be!” “I think I see the lad named William out there playing for Chaupaug’s tribe.” Peck points. “Where? I wonder if that is the boy Elisa met on the boat?” “Who is Elisa?” Peck asks. “A wonderful girl that all the men want to marry because she is so loving!” “She won’t want to marry me!” Peck is certain. “Why would she not?’ Darlene is degraded. She is offended. “No woman wants to marry into a family where all the men have the githers!” “Githers? What are githers?” Darlene is perplexed. Peck turns somber.
He abandons the watch of the sport. “My dad died young...his dad died young and his father’s father died young…all the Peck men die young from the githers.” Darlene observes sadness in Peck’s expression for the first time. She places her arms about his. She rests her breast against his shoulder. She wants to share his pain. “Peck can’t there be something done about this githers thing.” Her voice is compassionate. He shakes his head no. “Some kind of brain abbess inside. We all are dead when we get to be thirty.” The two are still. They are detached from all others. Their attention is directed deeply into the souls of one another. Darlene’s love pours out to Peck. Peck has never been so consoled. William has been running at the outside of the contest. He waits for a loosely hit ball to fall before him. The warrior Menonomee has been the fiercest competitor, savagely beating members of the other tribes to wither their number. He has kept awareness of Williams place.
The Hurley stick used by William has range of a strike far greater than any club carried by the natives. As a result William has remained near his goal post and the range of his stick’s power within reach of the others. At the end of the second hour only several hundred of the most able opponents remain. The ball begins to fly in longer measure as the game’s skill level peaks. In a period of exceptional rush, the ball lifts outward in line playable by William. This is the first choice William will have to hit the intended post and win the game. Until know only the occasional short pass for field position was to be had by the lad. The flight of the ball leads Menomonee to sprint after William. William eyes are fixed in the falling course of the ball. His bat rotates in a twist away from the direction of the coming sphere. William holds position. His legs spread to maximize his swing. Menonomee reads the play to be made by the colonial. He surges to make obstruction. Those who view become focused on William. All eyes follow the ball and wait for his action. In an instant of brilliance and power sounded out with the crack of his Hurley club, the ball is driven toward Chaupaug’s totem pole. It whizzes in a low straight line. The distance to be traveled is longer than any believe possible. All obey the flight of the ball’s passage. All save Menonomee who continues toward William with desire for assault. As the ball bounces off the post, Menonomee‘s club swings at William’s head.
William senses the attack. He shrugs. Menonomee‘s blow appears fatal. William’s head is bludgeoned. He collapses into an unconscious state.
Our tale must advance in the time of two years. Important happenings during this time is revealed
I. The Crown Captain Smyers was immediately recalled to Europe. There he was promoted and given a magistrate’s position in the west of Scotland Much of the pending hostilities in Europe have abated.
The economies of the countries in the old world have slumped dramatically with the occurrence of devastating plagues. The Crown has instituted stricter measures to prevent loss of its treasure.
Upon return from the military expedition to the Valley of the Cherokee, Thomas was hailed as a hero for saving Colonel Churchwater’s life and negotiating the release of the captives from Chaupaug’s camp.
His indenture was fully canceled. A commercial deal was awarded to McCrady for the transport of goods for the government and the military about western Virginia. Drive horses and wagons were provided with the contract. Naupuag has mothered two daughters for her man Thomas. Clarence Green an employee of McCrady Transport, died one Saturday night in a tavern from knife wounds resulting from a fight over cards. Hovie Skaggs also an employee of McCrady Transport was killed when he fell drunk and was run over by the wagon he was driving. Thomas spends his time philandering and has become an important member of the black market.
One Who Stands, the adopted son of Chief Chaupaug of the Cherokee survived a serious injury in the Tri Nations’ match of the running clubs. The youth sustained heavy trauma to his brain. A near fatal blow left One Who Stands semi comatose for nearly four months. Under the supervision of the Cherokee, the lad received constant care. The physical strength of William was fully restored. His mental state remains impaired. One Who Stands has lost all memory of his past. He speaks only the native tongue of the Cherokee. He knows only life as a member of the Cherokee Nation. He will spend this time isolated from the colonials by hunting and traveling deep within the Cherokee Nations. The family of William Keane and his former home of Dublin is to be lost by a viscous epidemic.
The Churchwaters took first choice of land under the Royal Grant’s Acquisition. A magnificent swath of land full of rolling hills and sloping golden meadows with narrow lush valleys became their property. A fashionable manor was constructed on a hilltop at the eastern boundary of their land.
Colonel Churchwater never completely recovered from his wound. Six months after his arrival in the colony, and two months after occupying his colonial mansion, the Colonel passed away from lung favor. Mrs. Churchwater continues to suffer from dropsy. She is totally dependant upon the kindness of her ward, Elisa.
Burdened by the care of the handicapped Colonel Churchwater, Elisa plunged into her darkest period. She both grieved and nursed hour-by-hour, day-by-day, and month-by-month. No joy, no hope, no comfort was to be had for her own. Rather she gave hope, love and relief to the ailing Mr. & Mrs. Churchwater. At night, alone in her bed, Elisa would relive the moments she shared with her true love William.
The governor and his family
She would pray for his peace and ask his forgiveness for living on without him. Tears of loss and love accompanied her into many nights’ sleep.
Cathy and the Governor of Virginia were married with in the year. Also within this year the Governor was transferred to a new post in the Carolinas. The couple is immensely happy. Darlene would marry Peck and bare him a son. Peck would die before his 31st birthday from the githers. Darlene left Virginia to raise her son in her father’s house. James remains with Darlene as the protector of Peck’s son. The new Governor has placed additional burdens on the colony.
After the passing of Colonel Churchwater, the young woman assumed the duties of managing the lands and business of their Royal Grant. Only the return from sea of the dashing Captain Harry Rednapp brought any light into her life. Elisa came to depend totally on his advice. His kindness permitted her to heal. His devotion to her was unwavering Elisa responded with her affection. One year from their acquaintance, Elisa and Harry where married. The happiness they shared gave Elisa cause for life. Her world centered on her husband
and her home. Elisa had hopes for a pregnancy. Before the conclusion of his military career, Captain Rednapp was required to make one last voyage across the Atlantic. He would do so five months into his new marriage.
Upon the return of Darlene from Chaupaug’s camp, Elisa was informed that William had been slain.
This would be his last voyage but not by his choice. A severe storm would sink his ship with all men abroad lost. Admiral Rednapp would upon hearing the news of his son’s loss suffer a fatal heart attack. Months before the date of the expiration of her Royal Trust, Elisa is a widow and an expectant mother. The second year of agriculture for the Churchwater estate was severe. Drought dries the sloping meadows, hay prices skyrockets, and the value of their livestock plummets. Blight devastates the tobacco crops in the colony. The depression in the European countries slows to a stop the demand for oak and timber. Elisa faces ruin with the responsibility of her coming child and the failing health of her guardian Mrs. Churchwater.
In the forest, the night brings illusion of movement. Objects fixed in position upon the earth give forged impressions of shifting by faltering starlight. The glimmer of moonlight seizes the timid deer in its frame. The unfaithful night confounds the sentry’s eye and assists the prowler’s intent. Tonight in the darkness, two shadows streak deep through the lands of the Cherokee. Their purpose is to arrive unnoticed into the place of the bordering tribe of the Mingo. The distant drums of the Cherokee nations have been heard for days. Chaupaug is much disturbed.
The beats tell of pending war. The Mingo are a rugged people. Large and muscular they are fierce enemies. Many generations have passed without conflict between the Cherokee and the Mingo. The Mingo live on the far side of Cherokee lands with much distance from Chaupaug’s valley. Chaupaug has sent emissaries in secret to make talk with the Mingo. These ambassadors carry the sign of Chaupaug to the Chief Toronto of the Mingo. The envoys carry important words to be spoken to Toronto. One Who Stands, and the young Cherokee named Scio race upon their mission. Scio is a trusted nephew to Chaupaug. Moving west for several days, the pair hopes to reach a wide river, cross into Mingo country, and head north to Toronto’s village. The trail west from their native home is familiar and it is easily negotiated. The second night brings the messengers into the neighboring Cherokee land. Wishing not to be seen, worn trails are traveled only in the dark. Rest is made during midday in dense hidden groves. “Tomorrow we enter the land of Menonomee’s ancestors.” The older Scio directs. “I would like to meet this warrior again…we shall see if he can be as fierce when his victim can see his face.” One Who Stands replies. The sun now approaches its highest point in the sky.
“We rest till the shadows lengthen then we return to the trial. “ Scio gives order. “It is easily to sleep when pleasant dreams stir the mind.” The younger warrior gives testimony. It is the warm season. The grass is high. Into a shaded patch the two retire. “What dreams call you?” Scio asks. “A beautiful tall maiden of blond hair and milky white flesh invites me to come to her.” “All warriors have such dreams.” Scio. complains. “This maiden is more than a dream. I can feel her breath. I see her lips wet and warm.” “Enough! It is not good to share too much or the dream shall escape.” “What wish will Scio have in his dreams?” “My woman’s food! I am starved for warm meat that holds juice and much flavor.” In the midst of a scrap of thick bracken, grass is matted to make bedding for the day’s slumber. “Have you been to Toronto’s camp?” One Who Stands inquires. “Once when I was soon to become a warrior, My father and many from our camp went to trade with the Mingo.” “Why so far? What do the Mingo offer?”
“The lands farther west of the Mingo hold the wood bison. The hide and bones of this beast are much prized by the colonials.” Scio informs. “What do the Mingo wish in return?” “Pieces of the heavy yellow stone to be found in our lands.” Gold nuggets are occasionally found in small streams in the most remote sections of the Cherokee lands. “Do not the colonials wish such yellow stones?” One Who Stands asks. “Very much! If we trade in such stones the homesteaders will take our land from us.” The Cherokee people do not keep gold, as it is too much hardship to acquire. “Shall we trade when we arrive at Toronto’s camp?” One Who Stands puzzles. “Our journey will pass through the place where yellow stones may be found. It will be good to take Toronto a present.” “Can we ask for bison parts?” The One Who Stands questions. “Toronto will welcome us! It is for our host to choose the way of his generosity.” Scio notes. “The Mingo women prepare much cooking. You shall eat as never before!” Meadowlarks call above the pair as they compose to sleep. The breeze moves to refresh the exhausted runners. Safe from view of any who may pass in the near distance the warriors recline.
“Have you named the maiden in your vision?” Scio asks. One Who Stands sighs with a smile of anticipation. His long arms stretch to relax. His legs straighten monetarily as he muses. “Daughter of the Sun!” “High praise for a simple maiden.” Scio replies. “Is there enough praise for the sun? This womanly spirit brightens my heart just as the sun warms my body.” The caw of a passing crow is the last sound heard before the spent warriors drift to sleep.
“I have dreamt of the Colonel again.” Informs Lady Churchwater as she wakes from her nap. “He comes more often now.” Elisa is busy assisting the woman. “I shall not be with you much longer. The Colonel offers his arm for me to take and follow. He is so young and handsome. His invitation is hard to resist.” Elisa has heard this from her governess many times in the past days. She allows Lady Churchwater to keep her privacy. Elisa politely refrains from comment.
“I will not abandon you. I wish to be here to help when the baby arrives.” The woman measures the figure of her pregnant ward. Elisa is touched by the concern of the sick woman. She takes hold of the hands of Lady Churchwater. “You have always looked after me” Elisa eyes beam with warmth “I have never told you how grateful…how very grateful I am for all that you have done for me.” “I have always loved you Elisa…I have never told you so.” Weak with a failing heart, Lady Churchwater cannot hold her tears. ”Forgive me for being so demanding of you and the colonel.” Elisa hugs her. “I always felt your love.” “I do not deserve your kindness…I have not been as caring as I might have been.” Lady Churchwater confesses. “I have always loved you Agnes, and the Colonel.” Elisa tears flow as if saying her last good bye. Agnes Churchwater feels the chest of her young ward heave in agony. “Do not cry for me dear child, I am now free. The one thing that is important…is to be with the one you love. I will soon be with my Colonel. I go freely and happily to the future.” “We shall soon have a new baby to make up for all the tender moments we both should have shared.” Elisa’s joy brightens Lady Churchwater.
Although ailing Lady Churchwater is soundly aware of the financial crisis that looms. “Do not fret Elisa. God has sent you a child from heaven. He shall provide for you both he will make us all free!” The burden of managing a huge estate overwhelms Elisa. She has little time for thoughts of others. Her hands caress Lady Churchwater’s face “I will not fail you as a daughter…I will not fail my child as a mother!” “It’s far better to lose wealth than lose family…so late and so sadly I have learned!” “Our Royal Grant will go into receivership just about the time the baby arrives.” Elisa informs dolefully. “I’m sorry. I have failed with the estates. We shall lose everything.” “My dear child! It was never intended that you were to have taken on such a task. It is I who failed us. God will come to our aide do not fear.” “I don’t know what we shall do or where we shall go!” Elisa shrinks as a child before her governess. “Sweet Elisa.” Lady Churchwater holds her as a mother holds an injured child. ”One can not do great things. One can now only do little things with great love. I shall leave you too soon. When I am with my Colonel we shall both be with you…our love will go with you always.” Elisa stands at the foot of Lady Churchwater’s bed. She has taken great comfort in the words of life from the woman who is looking to death. “I shall return with your tea.” Elisa promises.
“My father used to dance at the foot of my bed when I was a little girl going to sleep. How simple. How sweet a man. He loved me so. He will hold me again before long.” Her Ladyship informs.
“How far will you take us?” A warrior asks. “My third wife shared the same blood as the great Chaupaug. He will grant us shelter!” There are five warriors, two dozen women and children by Scio’s count. The number of warriors is too little he thinks.
Their provisions are plentiful. They will be in Chaupaug’s camp in three days, reasons Scio. As Scio spies on the travelers, One Who Stands is awakened by the footfalls of two
The aroma of food warming upon the spit rouses Scio. His stomach aches for a hot meal. One Who Stands yet sleeps. Scio moves cautiously toward the campfire. It is early evening. Another group of Cherokee is moving. They have settled for the night. Warriors together with their families have been uprooted. These are the people of the third Cherokee nation. From the far west, they are blood relatives to Menomonee. Scio closes to hear the words from the camp. “Father the children can not keep this pace.” A maiden says to an elder warrior. “The children will not survive if we are forced to return to our village. The Mingo will soon come with their ax to revenge their dead.” The white haired leader dictates.
warriors who pass near his retreat. Peaking over the edge of his concealment, One Who Stands recognizes Cherokee warriors wearing signs from another tribe. He also recognizes the disappearance of his companion Scio. The scent of cooking meat indicates to One Who Stands the purpose of Scio’s departure. What One Who Stands does not recognize is that other warriors closing behind have detected his presence. Scio muses how to deal with the presence of his Cherokee brothers without breaking the command of Chaupaug for strict secrecy. His thoughts are interrupted by the arrival of One Who Stands under guard by Cherokee sentinels. “Chief Powhatan we have discovered in hiding this warrior.” The guard informs. The bound One Who Stands is forced to kneel before the aged chief. “He must die to keep our way unknown.” A warrior demands.
The old man looks with consternation at the warrior before him. “He wears the sign of Chaupaug but has the look of the homesteader.” Notes Powhatan. “Why come you to this land?” One Who Stands is bound to keep his reason silent. He does not reply. “Kill this one!” Demand his captors as they unsheathe their knives. The chief raises his hand to stay his warriors. “If he is from Chaupaug’s camp then we shall offend our cousin.” Powhatan states. “Is he alone?” The chief asks. The guards look one to another for answer. None is sure. “Then we may be watched by his companions.” Powhatan analyses. “If we slay this one, will not his companions slay us as we sleep?” The old man is disappointed by the foolishness of his children. “You shall live. You shall accompany us back to the valley of Chaupaug!” The aged warrior determines. “Speak!” “Cherokee should not kill Cherokee when visiting another’s land.” One Who Stands answers. Nods and grunts confirm this wisdom.
“I must continue my journey. I travel with haste and purpose.” Powhatan considers the words of his captive. “If you are released what would you ask of me?” Without hesitation One Who Stands answers. “To share a large piece of the pig that sits upon your campfire.” This pleases Powhatan. The young warrior travels light…at the run he surmises. Scio listens and watches. “What direction will you journey?” Powhatan asks. One Who Stands points in the direction of the setting sun. The purpose is now clear to Powhatan. This warrior belongs to a party sent by Chaupaug. The old chief nods to a woman. He makes sign of the knife cut. A large piece of cooked meat is delivered attached to the end of a stick. The old warrior stands and speaks so all who listen can hear. “My village rests at the edge of the Cherokee land across the river from the Mingo. My family seeks shelter from the troubles that are to begin. We go to my cousin Chaupaug’s home for refuge.” One Who Stands does not speak. “Go in peace. No family of Powhatan will interfere with Chaupaug’s messengers. We share each other’s secret. It is good!”
Elisa knows her cause is loss. ”Is there nothing we can do?” ~~~~~ Sadly the foreman shakes his head to show not. ”Unless we’uns can fins a pile of gold to buy out the grant.” “That’s not possible…is it?” It is just after dinner a man enters the mansion of the Churchwaters. Moise Lester is the foreman of the farmlands and works for Elisa. “I moved all the livestock down into the flatlands where they can find water.” “Many losses?” Elisa asks. “At least 30%…the drought has thinned the animals real good madam.” Moise replies. Lester is a middle aged thin man. He has worked for the Churchwaters since the day they occupied their land. He is honest and devoted to Elisa. “I’ll have the tobacco with the blight cut and burned as soon as possible.” “How much of the crop can we save?” Asks Elisa. “Lest than half if the blight don’t come back.” “How about the saw mill?” She puts to the foreman. “I shut it all down and brought the men back from the woodlands to help with the tobacco. Demand for timber is gone to nothing madam.” Moise confirms. “It’ll all go back to the Crown soon Moise. Someone will take it all for a fraction of it’s worth then.” Elisa questions. “Well, they say back up in the Cherokee hills there’s a place where gold is found. I could take a couple of the last weeks and have a look. Might find enough to do us madam.” “It’s too dangerous Moise. I can’t expect you to take that risk.” “Been in them hills many times tapping and hunting. Cherokee know me and let me be.” “There’s not enough gold for our cause.” Elisa is dejected. “Let me try! Not much need for me here anyways…be back long before that child of yours be come.” “I have no choice but to agree…but take no chances with your life.” “I’ll take me one mule just in case.” The man announces as he departs. The maid Cathy has been listening. “That poor man will do anything for you!” “He has been my only ally in running the farms.” Elisa returns. “What will we do when summer ends?” “Its in God’s hand now Cathy. I intend to see my governess die in comfort and my baby have a home.”
The Crown will take all you have and all the Churchwaters have left.” “It was a grand dream…wealth and position. My prayers are to survive with my child.” “Madam I had a dream last night about gold!” The maid confesses. “A premonition of good news I trust.” Elisa hopes. “William was in my dream also!” Elisa bends in pain at the mention of his name. “William is dead.” She moans. Elisa wonders what the past would have been if her love had survived the fight with the Cherokee. “William came with an animal carrying a heavy load of gold to save us.” Cathy foretells. “It’s just as likely as Moise sticking it rich. Both are dreams that may not come true.” Elisa announces. “I want a grave prepared for Lady Churchwater next to her husband’s father. My family will rest in piece on this land where they gave their lives.” Elisa orders. “We will spend the money before we lose all!” “I’ll have a garden planted about the graves so her favorite flowers will always be near.” Cathy cannot hide her tears. She has come to be dedicated to Lady Churchwater. “We shall turn our attention to my baby’s needs before we become destitute.”
Elisa is now resolved to her impending fate.
One Who Stands and Scio consume much pork. Their abdomens are distended. They cannot begin their journey at the run. They walk west for several hours toward the home of Menomonee. At the last hour of light the two begin to hasten their journey along a worn path. “The nations are disturbed!” Scio makes comment. ”We will certainly chance to find more Cherokee upon the foot.” “We may not escape another encounter.” One Who Stands fears. “We must choose the ways less used.” Soon the come upon a tangle of paths that cross and intersect in a maze of directions. “This is a busy location.” One Who Stands notes. “Many villages in all directions.” Scio gives comment. “We are at the heart of our brother’s nation.” “Signs are many of large as well as small moccasins. We are sure to be discovered again!”
“Then we move away from any used paths into the way not traveled.” Scio decides. “We follow the stars.” Most of the night, the pair make way in dense brush and tree stands. There is little open land to make the fast run but their effort is continuous at quicken steps. The moon is bright and aids much the task given to the warriors sent from Chaupaug. Several hours before dawn the two are descending a steep hillside. Below are many fires from a large village of Cherokee. Dogs bark on occasion in the distance. On the land below sits the largest Cherokee camp between Chaupaug’s valley and the river that bounds the Mingo. “How did we come to this?” Scio is annoyed by circumstances. “This must be the home of Menomonee.” One Who Stands surmises. “We have little time to circumvent this place.” “It is too early. None will move about for much time yet.” Scio gives reason. “Let us walk trough the camp!” One Who Stands agrees. ”We can run out from the other side and be a long way from here when the camp awakes.” The Cherokee keep sentries at the camp’s edge to watch where the approach is most easy. In long days of summer not much importance is given to watch at night. Those who hold the duty tonight are few and asleep.
The last portion of pork meat is cut into strips to feed to the pesky dog that may bother with the activities of the night.
Romance Batson has been building roadways for the colony for more than 30 years. The Crown has spent much to develop the new expansion of land by Royal Grants. New bridges and highways are needed to bring the goods produced here to market. The change in economy of the colony with the extended drought and crop blight has terminated his contract. He faces difficulty. His last day on the present job has Romance traveling near to the hilltop where the Church water’s mansion sits. He travels with his son Edward. Edward was named after the King of England who reigned when Romance began his career as a highway contractor. Romance is aware of the trouble the Churchwaters face. He brings word from Anawyo to Elisa. The riding coach that carries the businessmen arrives to the front of the Churchwater’s estate. It is early in the day.
Elisa has just recently risen. “Romance and Edward…how nice to see you both. You are in time for breakfast.” “No thank you Elisa.” Romance sings in his rich voice. “Our business won’t wait. We are removing our workmen from the area. All contracts have been canceled until further notice.” “Times are hard for everyone?” “Not all Elisa…Your neighbor Vance seems to be doing well enough despite everything.” “He has always wanted this land for his own but I can’t fault the hard times as his doing.” Elisa confides. “The devil helps his own!” The man replies. “What brings you to my doorstep then Romance?” “My mother wants me to offer help with the new baby and all.” The man speaks with assurance. “Not much a body can do now…too much debt for most folks to take on.” Elisa acknowledges. “Anawyo worries what will happen to you and the child?” The brutal truth is to be told. “We will be indentured and sold with the estates to settle the debt with the Crown. There is nothing to be done.” “Anawyo wants me to buy your indenture and bring you home with us to live till times get better.”
The black man implores. “I love your mother and all of you for thinking of my child. There’s no reprieve. I am legally part of the estate. Least until a new owner is to be found.” “If’n you don’t mind we’ll speak with the new owner when it comes time and see about you release.” “That’ll be Vance and he won’t sell me. He will enjoy having a princess serve his household!” Elisa’s words anger the man. “There be other ways to set a body free. Edward here and some of the family are moving up to New York to an open branch of our business on roadway engineering. A couple of extra travelers wouldn’t be noticed any way.” Tears of relief fall from Elisa eyes. ”No one but you Romanced has offered to help my child.” She can say no more words. “When Vance takes ownership he will place you in the stableman‘s house over the hill below. Look each evening at dusk for my coach. You will be gone within a week.” “I will not leave until Lady Churchwater passes and is properly buried!” “Then the day she is laid to rest…God take her soul to heaven…you and your child will be on your way to freedom. This I promise!”
“I must be true to the spirit of my dreams. As long as she calls to me I must be ready. Is One Who Stands and Scio made quiet steps through the Menomonee’s slumbering camp. No ears hear a sound of their steps. No eyes see their passage. No sign of their presence in the camp will be discovered until first light. Upon emerging from the large camp the two warriors flee at full sprint westward. Their pace does not relent until the sun is fully lifted from the horizon. “Tomorrow we shall near the Mingo land.” Scio remarks. ”Did you see those maidens last night in the tent with the signs of the moose?” One Who Stands is confused. “Maidens? You looked for maidens as we walked in Menomonee’s camp?” “Of course…it is warm…the maidens sleep in the open. I saw several beauties. When our business is done I shall visit this camp again.” “Food and women! Scio is this all your mind holds?” One Who Stands puzzles. “I shall need another wife soon…one that cooks well. I must return.” “How will you have welcome here? How will you explain your presence in this land? Who will let you take away one of their daughters?” ‘The nephew of the Great Chaupaug needs no reason. To make strong the bond between our nations I shall have my choice of maiden.” Scio speaks. “Is it not the same for the adopted son of Chaupaug. Let us both return and take our choice of maidens.” ~~~~~ this not the way the Great Spirit expects?” “Food and women are gifts to be gathered from the Great Spirit. To refuse these gifts is to refuse the Giver.” “Why does a warrior take more than one wife?” One Who Stands wonders. “Why is the stag attended by many elk doe at the same time?” Is it not the way of the mother spirit that gives prosperity to the earth?” Scio replies. “Does not the eagle take but one mate for life?” One Who Stands answers. “I prefer the way of the stag. You may choose the way of the eagle.” Scio replies. “You guide us across unknown lands through several nights. You find the best in food and young maidens along the way. You truly carry the spirit of the elk.” One Who Stands declares. “If you follow the spirit of the eagle than you will see what others may not.” Scio warns. “Come we move to the place where yellow rocks are found in the streams. We shall see what your eyes will discover.”
“My daughters are smart! Paupuag is the oldest and she can walk and talk…mostly Thomas McCrady travels about the countryside of the colony with his wagon. He makes calls of courtesy and information. His likeable personality and knowledge of the current news makes him welcome at all homes including the most well to do. He never passes the mansion on the hill without visiting Elisa and speaking of William. Today he is heading to the Vance estate. His wagon is loaded. “Mrs. Rednapp good day to you.” Calls Thomas. Elisa has kept a friendship with Thomas out of respect for her William’s memory. Elisa has never seen a deep soul or honor in Thomas’ face. She considers him immature and dishonest. “Thomas how is your wife and little girls?” “Naupaug is always visiting her family and she takes the girls with her.” Thomas pulls on his right ear. “You are not neglecting your wife are you?” Elisa senses the truth. “Oh No! My business keeps me on the road a lot.” He continues to tug at his ear. “Do you not visit the Cherokee nation with her?” “I am not comfortable among them natives…best for me to stay away.” This seems strange to Elisa. Cherokee.“ His ears are now free. “Do you see much of the girls?” “All the time.” He laughs. “I’m going to take the family to the wine festival next month in Williamsburg. Paupaug will ride her first pony.” “How is business these days?” Elisa is curious. “My business is always the same! Good! I’m carrying some supplies over to the Vance place now.” Elisa wonders what business Vance makes with a scallywag like Thomas. “You do a lot of work for Vance?” “Lots! Folks are always interested in a good deal and I am always finding good deals.” Thomas advertises. “I found a good cradle for your baby. It’s in the wagon now. Mrs. Dieter was throwing it away. Her husband owns the largest warehouses in Williamsburg. She never reuses the same piece of furniture twice.” Thomas hops down and uncovers a gorgeous hand carved cherry wood cradle. “Its beautiful…I shouldn’t it’s too expensive.” Elisa hesitates o accept it.
“It’s free. All I did was save Mrs. Dieter the cost to have it carried away.” Thomas lifts the piece to carry it into the mansion. His kindness and sweetness are the reason William liked the man Elisa realizes. “If I see anything you can use for the baby I’ll fetch it over.” Thomas promises. “Thomas I can’t accept anything that isn’t acquired honestly!” Elisa warns. Thomas pulls on his ear. “Of course not! William would help you if he was here in the same way!” Her heart aches at William’s name. “Leave it Thomas and thank you. I’ll have it placed later.” Elisa hugs the man. “I want to send something over to your wife. I have some dresses that are no longer suitable perhaps she a can make some things for her little girls.” “Not necessary I always bring lots of presents for my women.” The man laughs. “Naupaug could use some help in schooling the girls when it’s time.” “I’m not sure what my circumstances will be soon Thomas but if possible I’ll be happy to help with the teaching of your girls.” “Well! I got to deliver my load. I‘ll be back in a week or so.” “Any news?” Elisa asks. “Got a new chief magistrate for the colony and he’s a tough one!”
Thomas announces. ”Captain Smyers was just appointed. He’s on his way from Scotland as we speak.” “Won’t that interfere with your business with Vance?” Elisa suspects complicity between the two in dishonest affairs. “Ha! Mr. Vance is responsible for Smyers appointment here. We’ll have no problems.” Elisa has learned much.
There is a region of steep higher hills that run to the far west just before the flat Cherokee land that reaches the Mingo’s river. Many small streams trickle down these slopes cutting into the soft earth. Here pieces of gold rise to the surface. In the midst of early day One Who Stands and his companion Scio arrive. “We shall spend the day searching, sleep here tonight and make our way to Toronto’s camp by late day tomorrow.” Scio instructs. The land is ruff all about. The streams run among roots that over hang and tangle. No footpaths are obtainable.
The pursuer of gold must crawl and slide along the stream to be searched. It is hard unclean work. Water snakes come into these streams to breed in the summer. Some species are poisonous. Those who venture into this habitat must respect the spirit of the serpent. “You follow up, I’ll follow down.“ Scio indicates the direction for William to search. ”When the sun moves the width of one shadow …we will meet and search another place.” Looking in the water and along the banks, the two struggle through the day with no results. They are tired and desire to be clean, to eat and to sleep. “One last stream One Who Stands, then we abandon the hunt for yellow stone.” Scio is not enthusiastic. He looks for the glitter of the gold, but he avoids further strain. Stepping casually he glances into the stream from atop where footing is easy. One Who Stands on the other hand is determined to be the one to find gold. He surges into the rough foliage and his hands rub the stream’s bottom to stir the deposits. Cautious of places where a snake will hide One Who Stands is fearless in his task. Hesitating to quit, he looks once then once again. In a steep bank much over grown with tree roots he makes his final attempt. Stepping upward his footing slips and One Who Stands falls flat into the stream. His head is covered with water as he recovers.
Rising to look about a flash of bright light comes from a hallow place under one large root. Prodding with a stick to clear any serpent he scratches about the earth. A small yellow stone is exposed. His finger feels the metal object of his search. The piece does not budge with his grip. Digging further the gold appears to be the size of a one finger. Yet again his tug will not free it. More scraping uncovers a rock of gold the size of his hand. Reaching with both hands One Who Stands cannot recover the object. Compelled, One Who Stands digs furiously. He uncovers a large block of solid gold larger than a man. Impossible for the young warrior to move, he slices an edge of gold with his knife. One Who Stands replaces the dirt to cover his find. Flat stones are piled to hold the bank in place. Identifying marks are secretly cut into the trees of the location. He will not divulge his treasure but will make sure he can return to it.
A great river flows north to south at the western border of the Cherokee nations. It is the eastern demarcation that defines their homeland. This boundary is not composed of water only to the Mingo native. It is the flowing presence of the Great Sprit and it is a source of much magic. The western boundary of the Mingo nation is a flat desert that leads to lush mountains and it is revered as also as a gift from the gods. The Mingo have lived so confined for all their days since the mother moon arrived to circle the sky and give life to the earth. The Mingo have never been conquered. They have repulsed all invasions. Docile by habit, the Mingo have no fear of another people. They are much skilled in combat. They hold no envy of others. The Mingo are unusually tall, handsome, and strong. A river’s current is swiftest in its narrows. Upon opening to a broad expanse a current will slow. Here the depths are found to be the least. Upon a tree covered knoll overlooking a widened portion of their sacred river stands a Mingo warrior. His long loosed hair moves gently with rising thermal drafts that lift from the cooler waters to race along the terrain. Clad in deerskin he wears the pelt of a mountain lion slung over his shoulder. His wide shoulders are massive.
His hips are slender and his waist is narrow. Heavy muscular legs bulge and stretch his leggings. The eyes of the Mingo warrior watch as two Cherokee wade through his river to enter his land. Shawaylla looks down from his perch. He ponders the fate of the two who trespass. With mighty blows from his tomahawk, he would easily kill both. Shawaylla is not alone. He leads a score of warriors. Toronto has been forced to disperse his forces to guard against marauders from the Cherokee county. Shawaylla sends his companions to seek cover behind bush and tree. His brings his archers bows within a range that will cover the water’s edge. As Scio and One Who Stands emerge from the river, Shawaylla saunters forth to become exposed in full view and make confrontation. “Who enters the land of the Mingo?” His deep voice resonates and snaps the two Cherokee to attention. “Chaupuag! Toronto!” Scio calls in return. “He is not alone.” One Who Stands whispers. Shawaylla studies the signs carried upon the bodies of the two Cherokee. These he has seen in the past. They tell of Cherokee from a great distance.
“Menomonee?” Shawaylla asks. Both visitors shake their heads no. One Who Stands makes a sign with his hand in an arch to indicate they have traveled away from Menomonee’s village. “Toronto!” The two Cherokee call together
“How may I help you?” Elisa replies as she studies the thin man. “I seek a woman who suffers from dropsy. I have been directed to this residence.” He tells. “What might be your name?” Elisa finds the man confused. ”What is your business?” “Reverend Sykes mam…come with a message from the Lord.” He nods politely.
“Come from where?” Elisa asks. “Several days ride up from the south.” “How come you to find my door? Can you tell me the name of the woman you seek?”
A thin older man sits upon an aged mule. The man and his animal have been on the road for several days. Presently they are closing on the entrance to the Churchwater’s mansion. Bill Sykes owns a small farm. The land has a small pond and a deep well. His livestock and crops have always prospered. Mr. Sykes is also the local parson in his village. Reverend Sykes comes to visit Lady Churchwater. It is just before the dinner hour when the servants inform Elisa that a visitor is inward. As reverend Sykes arrives at the entranceway, Elisa steps out to greet him. Mr. Sykes wears a dark long coat and a black circular hat. “Good day!” The preacher announces.
Elisa finds no understanding to his presence. “I do not know the woman’s name…an angel of the Lord has led me here.” Elsa looks about for another’s presence. There is no other to be found. “You are lost!” “No mam. An angel called me from my bed in the middle of the night and bid me follow. The angel hasn’t been out of my sight till I arrived here just now.” He informs. “Do you know where you are? What part of Virginia upon which you stand?” Elisa asks. The elder shakes his head to indicate that he does not. “God has brought me here!” He states. “What message do you carry?”
“My words are to be spoke to her in private.” He states softly. “My governess suffers from dropsy…but how will you know it is she that you seek?” “My angel walked through your door just before you came out. The woman I seek is inside.” The reverend steps down from his mule. Elisa gauges the man. His eyes shine with a divine fire. His face shows an innocence of youth eternal. “Lady Churchwater is quite ill. She saves her strength. My child comes soon. She wants so to be able to help.” Elisa’s smile solicits understanding. The reverend removes his hat. His head is bald. This stains of gray hair dot about the sides. He steps closer to Elisa. “Lady Churchwater will never hold you daughter. She will see the child only from heaven.” Stunned by these words, Elisa’s mouth hangs open waiting for thoughts to drive her speech. “I have come with a message from God for Lady Churchwater.” He affirms. “I have a message from God to you as well.” “Daughter?” Elisa mutters as her hands rub about her protruding abdomen.
The preacher’s eyes offer only the truth. Reverend Sykes soul is straightforward for inspection. “I have guessed so.” Elisa’s delight confirms her belief in the preacher’s foretelling. Her mood changes, as she understands the loss she is soon to face. “Agnes is to die soon?” Her heart aches with the suddenness of his revelation. Elisa’s complexion turns white. Her hands clasp in prayer. Her love begs for hope. “She is in the close presence of the Lord. God wants me to tell you that He is aware of the two innocent souls that are of your body. God will not abandon you no matter how difficult the future seems.” Tears of loss flow.“ I have not finished the preparation of her grave.” Elisa eyes question. “Take me to Lady Churchwater.” The preacher turns and enters the house. Lady Churchwater rests in her bed. Her body is swollen. Her lips show loss of health. Darker color circles her eyes. “Elisa is that you?”
Lady Churchwater’s vision is failing. “Yes! Agnes! I have a visitor. Reverend Sykes has come a long way to speak with you.” “Sykes that is a name common to my home in England.” The woman is weak but her mind does not fail. The reverend sits near her bed. “God has sent me…he has sent an angel to guide me here today.” “Tell me reverend from where do you originally hail?” Lady Churchwater does not recognize his accent. “I came to America upon a ship some forty years passed…a ship from Liverpool.” The preacher is agreeable with her questioning. Lady Churchwater’s hand reaches for his. “I was a prisoner of the English…a condemned prisoner.” He tells as his hands hold hers. She tightens her grips to encourage. “Our ship was bound for Charlestown carrying cargo as well as passengers.” He speaks slowly. The pace of his words permits full measure of her comprehension. “A great storm raged as we neared land. The waves surged over the deck washing souls in to the sea.” The power of his tale fills Lady Churchwater’s ears. The emotions relived by the preacher enter through Lady Churchwater’s hand. “Water filled the ship. The hull split in two.” Reverend Sykes voice breaks in anguish.
“All were spilled out.” Lady Churchwater’s hand trembles. “I found a small skip. It was empty. I climbed aboard.” The parson’s head lowers in guilt. “I was saved but so many good souls were lost. I did not deserve to live when other did not!” The man lifts his head to repeat his situation in the tempest. “A woman struggled in the water before me. She held two small children. They were drowning.” Elisa listens from a distance. She bites her folded hands in despair. “Only with God’s help did I manage to move through the coursing waves close enough to pull the woman and her children to safety.” “How did you become a preacher?” Lady Churchwater asks.. “The small boat made to shore with the tide. I could not abandon my helpless companions. I found work.” “You became her husband?” Lady Churchwater guesses. “She taught me the bible. I assumed the identity of her dead husband.” He confesses. “What word do you bring to me?” The man has her trust.
“Tell me of your dreams…most recent.” The vicar instructs.. Her voice is weak. “My colonel…” She pauses. ”Comes to me. In my last dream he was in the company of a young boy dressed in a white tunic.” Lady Churchwater’s eyes dance about as she strains to recover her vision. “The youth had black hair of tight curls… and his complexion was dark. My husband introduced me as his devoted wife.” “Did you recognize this boy?” The reverend asks. Lady Churchwater looks for an answer. “The youth is the Christ Child. He came to greet you.” The preacher informs. Lady Churchwater’s hand turns limp. Her eyes flicker in thought. “Why does he come to me?” She whispers. “He wants you to know that all your sins are forgiven. All your obligations are now loosed.” Tears of joy swell in the ailing woman’s eyes. She mutters. “I want to be with my husband! I want to go with him.”
“No more darkness no more pain.” The parson promises. “No more loneliness. You will live always in the light of the Lamb.” Discomfort leaves her. Peace fills her. Elisa holds her mouth still as she shudders in sorrow and joy. Lady Churchwater’s eyes make question. “God is sending a messenger to save your ward. He shall arrive just as I. She will not be abandoned.” Sighing the woman drifts. “I see the Colonel. Her slight moan rises. ”He comes again with the young man.” The reverend kneels. He bows his head. Elisa kneels. She bows her head. Her hands lift upward. Lady Agnes Churchwater will be forever still when the sun sets this day.
Toronto’s camp is nestled among three ridges.
It is approachable by one narrow path. It is late afternoon when Shawaylla’s party returns with the two Cherokee captives. William finds the camp crowded with many busy warriors. Warriors are making shafts and attaching arrowheads of flint. Shields of deer hide dry in the sun. Many fires are busy preparing evening’s meals. Toronto is chief for the passing of many generations. He is very old. He is not feeble. The two Cherokee are brought into his presence. “Why do the Cherokee take to the war path with the Mingo?” Toronto asks. Scio is to speak. “Chaupaug sends words for Toronto”. Scio nudges William. “Chaupaug sends present to Toronto.” William adds. The old chief calls Shawaylla to his side. He mumbles in Shawaylla’s ear. The huge warrior indicates the type of signs to be found upon the body and face of the two Cherokee. Toronto nods vigorously in approval. He extends his open hand to receive his gift.
William looks to Scio for direction. Scio’s elbow strikes William’s ribs brusquely. William strides forth hurriedly. He recovers his find of gold. The flash of yellow metal catches the eyes of all the Mingo who watch. The eyes of Toronto bulge. His mouth puckers. His hand is agitated. Scio coughs. He wants William to make words. “Here Toronto!” The lad utters as the piece of gold is offered. Scio interrupts. “Chaupaug offers this large yellow stone to his brother ; Toronto of the Mingo.” William withdraws from the immediate presence of Toronto. “Let the eternal life of this stone mark the length of peace with the Cherokee.” Scio continues. William understands why Chaupaug was chosen Scio to make words. Toronto is delighted. Never has he held so large a piece of gold. His look is hard upon William. He considers the meaning of this gift. “Only the Great Spirit can make such purity.” Toronto speaks only to William.
“Only those much favored by the Great Spirit may discover such treasure.” Toronto eyes search. “One Who Stands is adopted son to the great Chaupaug. It is to One Who Stands that the earth mother gave the large yellow stone.” Scio now understand the reason Chaupaug chose One Who Stands to travel to the Mingo. Toronto looks to question Scio. “This warrior is nephew to Chaupaug.” William hastens to introduce. “I knew the father of Chaupaug. We fished together in the river of the Mingo at night with spears for the large turtle spirit.” Toronto’s memory brings much pleasure. “We were blood brothers.” Scio and William stand patiently. Toronto’s face shows anger. “The Cherokee drums speak of war.” The old chief wants explanation. “Chaupaug tells to Toronto that the Cherokee nations will not take to the war path.” Scio announces. The old chief’s countenance shows acceptance. “Messengers have gone to all villages in the Cherokee nations. The drums of the Cherokee will soon be silent.” The head of Toronto nods in decision. “Call our warriors back from across the river.”
Toronto instructs Shawaylla. William is surprised by the nearness of large combat. Scio is relieved by Chaupaug’s wisdom. Again Toronto looks to Scio for more words. “Chaupaug tells Toronto that any Cherokee who breaks the peace is to be exiled from the home of the Cherokee.” Scio concludes. “Menomonee?” Shawaylla asks. “Menomonee does not keep the peace. Menomonee will not keep the peace.” Toronto advises. “Do you have words for Chaupaug?” Scio asks. William is amazed at the diplomatic skill of his companion. “Menomonee must die!” Toronto states. “When you return to your village, tell Chaupaug that Menomonee is dead!” The old warrior’s hand swipes across his front. His face shows disgust. William nods in agreement. Scio nods in acceptance. The hand of Toronto waves to call forth a maiden. A young woman of great height and size appears. She is voluptuous and beautiful.
She stands two hands above the Cherokee warriors. “Hialleeya is sister to Shawaylla. Shawaylla is the son of my grandson.” Toronto tells. The two Cherokee look up in amazement at the substantial maiden. “Hialleeya is to marry the blood of Chaupaug!” Toronto commands this act as consolation for the death that has come to his people at the direction of the Cherokee Menomonee. William takes relief in this slight. Scio is confounded by the matrimonial efforts required by such a large maiden. “Can she cook?” William blurts. Toronto is stunned by his question. Shawaylla answers eagerly by rubbing his belly with smiles of delight. Scio is grateful. Hialleeya views her husband to be. She is pleased. She beams. Hialleeya fidgets. Toronto looks now to William. “Shawaylla is to kill Menomonee to satisfy the spirits of those killed by the Cherokee.” William understands. “I shall lead Shawaylla to the village of Menomonee.” This night the impetuous Scio marries Hialleeya.
The mound of a woman suggests to Scio extraordinary good foods to be served. William departs with Shawaylla at first light. They plan to cross the river and arrive at Menomonee’s camp where Shawaylla will challenge Menomonee to a personal contest. William has no doubt that Shawaylla will slay Menomonee. At the river’s edge, William and Shawaylla follow the bank on the Mingo side. They will cross at a wide bend in the river. Presently they walk beside narrows with much white water. Suddenly at the other side appears a group of Cherokee dressed with signs of war. This band follows behind Menomonee. Instantaneously William and Menomonee recognize one another. Menomonee yet wishes revenge upon William. Enraged and quick to strike, Menomonee chooses to cross in ruff water. Shawaylla’s huge arm presses to hold William from entering the white water. “Wait.” He whispers. The other Cherokee recognize the signs worn by William. They hesitate. They do not follow Menomonee. Struggling into the midst of the river’s swift channel, Menomonee lunges to swim through the rapids. All eyes on both banks measure his progress. Bobbing momentarily in the surging currents Menomonee disappears from sight.
All wait his recovery. Seconds pass but Menomonee does not reappear on the surface above the water. A minute passes. Alarm rises. No sign is seen of Menomonee’s presence. Frantic warriors rush into the water to search. Shawaylla again prevents William’s motion. “He is gone!” Poking into the foam, the Cherokee warriors reach to find Menomonee’s body. One Cherokee lifts a limp leg out of the water. A second, then a third grip the lifeless leg. They strain but the body of Menomonee is seized beneath the surface. It takes a half dozen Cherokee to free the corps. In death Menomonee appears weak and placid. “It is good.” Shawaylla tells. “The spirit river of the Mingo has taken the life of the hated Menomonee.” “It is good indeed!” William shares. Peace is fully returned.” Moise Lester has moved well into western Cherokee land. Following old trials used by only the few, he has avoided detection. He has been digging for several days seeking gold in remote streams and waterways. Moise is cautious of the passing warrior. His trail is well covered. He is careful to work where he has a commanding view of approach. It has been several days since the marriage of Scio. William has left to return to the valley of Chaupaug alone. Scio remains behind with obligations to his new family. Moise moves about a rocky ledge that bounds a small trickle of water. The site is most remote. He has found here many small pieces of gold. The rancher’s perch is precarious. Below William makes haste in passing. Roused by the arrival of a Cherokee warrior, Moise scrambles to take cover. His feet come onto loose dirt and pebble. The foreman’s balance is lost. He slips downward. Debris falls from above. William’s head lifts to see the colonial fall freely from the cliff’s rim. Moise lands just at William’s feet with a thud. He is unconscious and does not move. ~~~~~ The appearance before a lone Cherokee of one in desperate circumstances is considered to be an act directed by the Great Spirit.
The lone Cherokee will bond to the helpless one. It is considered a sacred duty. Moise has a large gash on his fore head. William wraps this with a moss covering and a clean bandage. Moise has a broken leg. William ties the leg with slats of birch. Moise has broken ribs. William removes rope taken from Moise’s animal and coils it around the man’s chest. A liter is constructed from young pine boughs. William is to return his injured new brother to his colonial home. Moving east, William will find the tracts Moise left when he made his entrance into Cherokee country. These he will retrace to Moise’s home.
“I shall have my daughter dressed properly despite what comes.” Elisa insists. “It that all madam?” The made asks. “On your way have the cherry wood cradle moved into the Moise’s cottage down below the hill.” Elisa replies. “If you see Mr. Batson tell him I’ll be ready in a week.” She adds. “Ready for what?” Cathy asks. “The man will understand! Hurry Cathy.” Elisa begs. All day Elisa has been collecting and burning items left by the Churchwaters of no value
to anyone but herself. A new start and a new life must be made for her daughter soon to come. All identifying connections with the past must be sacrificed.
At the first of day, Elisa calls Cathy. “Take the wagon. Have one of the staff drive you to Williamsburg.” She orders. “There find material to make several small dresses.” Elisa hands the maid some of the last money to be had. The Crown will foreclose upon the Church water’s estate by month’s end.
Much of the day is spent in cleaning and preparing the mansion for its future owner. Elisa will vanish but she will not leave her home, as would a vagrant. It is late evening. Elisa has made one last trip to Moise’s lodging to hide items. There is little more for her to do. She is prepared to make good her escape.
As she prepares to leave Mosie’s cabin, a figure approaches in the dusk. It is a man on foot leading a mule. The figure closes toward the cabin. Elisa is not alarmed but curious as to who arrives to visit Moise. She is duty bound to inform the party of his absence. At several dozen paces, Elisa makes observation of the form of a native warrior. She recognizes Moise’s animal and observes an injured person being dragged upon a stretcher. She is now most apprehensive. “Who goes there?” Her voice is shrill. William hears her words. He does not speak. “Who comes?” I am Mrs. Reddnap. You are on my land.” Elisa speaks in a loud voice and hopes others above will hear her. William stops the mule tens of paces from the woman. He understands her tongue. It is not Cherokee but her words are understood. He is confused. Elisa strains to see the warrior and the injured person. She cautiously steps closer. The late sun does not permit identity. The warrior is tall, lean, and his face, neck, and body are hard with muscle. The appearance of the warrior is pure wilderness.
His bare skin is much painted. His face is marked as well. William beholds a woman swollen with child. Her face is flush and heavy. Her appearance is worn. Her hair is unkempt. The woman’s hands race to make her form presentable. “Who is that injured man?” She barks nervously. William makes strain to speak. He cannot form the words he wishes to speak in her tongue. He uses sign language to tell of a fallen colonial that sleeps for several days. Elisa takes another step toward the liter. The man’s head is bandaged, his leg is bandaged and his chest is bandaged. “Did you give care to this man?” Elisa asks. Both are surprised when William nods his head to say yes. “Oh you understand me!” Elisa is more comfortable as the native must be accustomed to colonials. She moves close to see the injured man is Moise but she remains out of reach of the warrior. “Moise!” She cries. Her foreman gives a groan of life but he does not yet wake.
William does not recognize Elisa. Her motherly condition and her exhaustion disguise her youth. The falling light hides her regal beauty. Elisa points for the warrior to step away from the mule. ”Wait there!” She directs. Elisa does not recognize William. He has matured. He is heavier with the added strength of an adult. His untamed look gives no hint of his nonnative ancestry. William moves to permit her access to the injured man. “He is hurt very badly. You saved his life?” She declares as she examines her friend. William can only grunt in reply Elisa kneels to adjust the man’s bandage. William nears. He extends a leather bag. The bag is shaken for the woman to take possession. It is heavy. Elisa inspects its’ contents at once. “Gold! Moise found gold.” She looks again upon the warrior. His eyes sparkle in a familiar way. Elisa softens her voice.
“There’s not enough gold to save my estate. There is enough gold to pay for the freedom of every slave and indentured person here.” She is relieved. Tears run down her cheeks. In this moment of her compassion, William recalls the visions in his dreams. He is with the maiden of his thoughts. He remembers. He yet cannot make words in her tongue. Elisa observes the transformation in the native’s expression. His eyes burn bright with need. He steps backward.
The native replies. “I need a message sent to the carpenter Erie Pierre in Williamsburg.” He pauses. “Your man Thomas must not know I return!” Naupaug understands. “There is much man Thomas should not know. I shall keep the wish of my father in this matter. Man Thomas does not know the tale of One Who Stands.” “Can you find the carpenter?” One Who Stands asks. The maiden nods yes. “He must come alone with a wagon to meet me at the Pass of the Woman in five days time.” “It shall be so or I shall come with a wagon myself.” Naupaug promises. William hands his adopted sister an amulet from Chaupaug. “This will keep Pierre safe from all Cherokee. Pierre must not speak of One Who Stands
After helping place Moise in his cottage, William steals into the night. He makes away with a pair of mules. He stops at Thomas McCardy’s home. He is careful to avoid Thomas, as he wants no fool involved with the matters at hand. Naupaug and the children are alone. “Naupaug my sister, I need your help.” He calls. “One Who Stands, my brother is welcomed.” 323
or our meeting!” “It shall be so…go soon …man Thomas comes tonight!” Naupaug advises.
“William is that you?” One Who Stands sits in the woods that see out onto the approaches to the Pass of the Woman. He awaits the arrival of his friend Erie Pierre. During his watch he has much memory of the battle with the Cherokee is relived. He views the Colonel being wounded and falling from his horse. He sits as a native at ease with nature about him. His life as a homesteader was ended that day as he accepted Chuapaug’s invitation to accompany the captured Colonel. One Who Stands has buried the boy William and he wants to bury his dreams of the lovely Elisa that calls him back to her arms. Life as a Cherokee warrior brings him much freedom. This is cause for him to go on with out her. The pain of her loss will never heal. She was his best friend. He will save her from ruin. This act will release him from remembrance of her. Erie nears the pass with great trepidation. It was here the Cherokee ambush occurred. Erie wonders if his friend William is truly waiting The site of the wagon coming in the distance excites William. He rides forward into the open. The native ahead with two mules is unknown to Erie. The man holds up Chaupaug’s amulet to be seen. Erie does not recognize the warrior. The warrior struggles to answer. As the two men come to a stop, they search one at the other. Erie sees a formidable warrior. William is joyous at seeing his friend. “How’s living full time in the same quarters with your wife?” He cries out unexpectedly. The deep voice of the warrior does not convince. The brawny arms of the native do not persuade. The rugged face of the Cherokee before him does not sway. The sharp smile and bright eyes of the mule rider does. “As good as being in any typhoon at sea…we were told that you died.” Erie is delighted to view his young friend again. “I’m afraid that I did die just enough to be reborn as a Cherokee named One Who Stands.” “Well One Who Stands what business are you about that calls me here today?” “I wish to settle the affairs of the Churchwater’s so that they will not lose their grant.” “The Churchwaters be dead. Only widow Reddnap…Elisa holds the estate at least for a short while.” Mr. Pierre replies “Widow?” William puzzles.
“Her husband be lost a sea some months back. The girl is all alone in the world now except for her baby what be a coming.” William wishes he had made himself known to Elisa. He may have comforted her. Perhaps it’s best to stay out of her life. “Erie I want to help Elisa but I don’t want her or anyone to know my true identity.” “Love is wanting to be were we can help.” Mr. Pierre advises. “The Cherokee believe that sharing another’s hardship is the way of walking with the Great Spirit.” William replies. Erie agrees. “Kindness gets in a person’s soul by sharing small things. Sharing what’s not possible can only be survived through love.” “Life moves on! My dreams will tell me the future.” William declares. “Spoken like a true native.” Erie reflects. “Maybe you’re best fit for the wilderness. Least ways Elisa needs help and I’m your man.” “These mules are loaded with gold…found deep in Cherokee land.” William informs. “You be Cherokee for sure…so it’s your gold legal like.” The two men transfer many arms filled with the precious metal into the wagon. “By the Crown, there’s enough gold here to buy most of the Virginia Colony.”
Mr. Pierre exclaims. “I want to purchase the Churchwater’s Grant.” William attests. “Need a good solicitor then…George Younce be the one.” Erie counsels. “I want you to turn this pile of rocks into bars of gold. Take one to Mr. Younce and retain him for me.” William requests. “Under what name?” Pierre questions. “I need to be unseen and my identity accepted without suspicion.” William responds. Erie pauses for deep thought. “You can’t hide your age. You can hide your language. You can hide your nationality as any from Europe.” “You must become an Italian…no someone will ask you to speak the language.” Erie continues. “Munster… no one will speak the language or question the roots of a man from Munster.“ Mr. Pierre decides. “That’s easy Erie. My grandmother was indeed from Munster and I could hold a conversation in her language.” “Ah that will do nicely. Now! How to make you a noble?” Eire scratches his head.
“Cannot make you any relation to the Crown. Such could easily be discovered as false. “You can’t be married into wealth otherwise you will have to produce a rich wife who can be traced.” Erie is a bit confounded. “Not many options unless you found a treasure…a Spanish treasure.” Both men look into each other’s eyes. They men blink at the same time with the same thought. “I could make marks upon the bullion similar to them signs I’ve seen of Spanish ships at sea.” Erie smiles. “I could be moving up from the southern regions of the new world after my find of gold…how did I find all this gold?” William asks. “Easiest way was to be upon the ship when it sank…the only survivor!” Erie concludes. “Your name?” “Columb Kiilan!” Retorts William. “Means lone wolf in Munster.” “You got a load of names lad.” Erie continues. “You’ll need a right handy man to watch your back.” “I could use another Cherokee.” William considers. “You need a colonial what knows the folks and the important goings on in Williamsburg as well as the frontier…Myhre Banks!” Erie recons.
“I see him right off. He’ll keep our secret!” “I’ll need cloths, a carriage and servants.” William requests. “Lad you come to my home in three nights time…all will be well. The next day you have an audience with Reverend Younce.” “Take as much gold as you’ll need for yourself Erie and hide the rest.” “The whole treasure will sit under the floor of my cottage till it be needed. Even the Mrs. won’t suspect.”
Cathy has just retuned from Williamsburg. “I bring as much material as I could afford. The baby will have all that shall be needed for several years.” “Cathy I’m going to pay off your indenture.” Elisa is truly happy. “I may have a bit of cash to help you move on as well.” Seized by her freedom, Cathy is ecstatic. “I can finally think of my own home, my own family.” The maid hugs Elisa in gratitude. Cathy senses the sadness in Elisa’s soul.
”But what of you? How can you get along…you’ll need me …someone when the baby arrives.” Elisa will not hold the woman from liberty and happiness. “I’ll…we’ll be fine.” The two girls hug in memory of all they have shared. “I will not leave your side until I know you are safe!” Cathy declares. “Some one is coming to help! Soon!” Elisa retorts. “I could not find Mr. Batson. He and his family have moved hurriedly.” Cathy informs. “Why? I have expected word from him.” Elisa is dejected. “The new magistrate…Smyers has charged him with embezzlement of the Colony’s highway funds. The man apparently had advanced warning and is gone…north I’m told.” “He is too honest a man Cathy.” Elisa is suspicious. “I have a letter of recommendation for you. Take this to Mr. Younce. He will see you properly placed.” Cathy knows that she has been dismissed. She will honor her friend’s decision. “I will leave in the morning.”
The two women look upon each other as they did upon the sea where they shared adventure, romance and the beginning of a new life. “We shall always be sisters.” Elisa tells. “Without you I am lost.” Cathy mumbles through her tears. “I would never be free but for you.” “Find yourself a good man…stay away from Thomas McCrady or his kind.” Elisa warns. “I saw him in Williamsburg with Vance and Smyers. They were all very friendly together.” “I want you to take the wagon and help Moise to see a physician. Moise is to stay there until he is fit!” The mistress orders. “I have a letter which you are to hold for Moise and also one addressed to Mr. Younce.” Elisa hands a heavy bag to Cathy. ”This is to be given to Mr. Younce as well!” Cathy recognizes the sack contains the last of Elisa’s wealth. “You are going to free all the workers!” The maid guesses. Elisa head rises. Her shoulders turn square. Her lips are tight in determination.
“I can not expect God to save my child later when there are so many that I can save from bondage now.” Cathy has never looked upon greatness so near. The maid bows and kneels. “Yes you highness. I shall see to it that all your wishes are obeyed at once” “Before you depart we shall move my belongings to Moise’s cottage. I shall be very comfortable when my new duties are assumed.” In two days time, Thomas McCrady appears with his wagon. “Good day Lady Rednapp.” The vagabond cheers. “What news Thomas?” Elisa is anxious. “I am going to be in charge of the highways in this part of Virginia. Begin my new post the first of the month.” The man chimes. “What happened to Romance Batson?” She asks knowing full well the circumstances. “He’s in trouble! Charged with stealing highway funds.” “I thought Mr. Batson was very honest.” Elisa challenges. Thomas pulls on his ear. “He didn’t finish all the roadways and the ones done recently aren’t very proper. Magistrate Smyers wants him arrested.”
“I didn’t know you were trained in road building Thomas?” “Just a political appointment. All I have to do is see to it the right person gets the work contracts.” More pulling is made on this ear. “Mr. Vance going into the highway business… is he?” “His son can do engineering. Mr. Vance is going to bid on at lot of the new road work.” “Sounds like you and the Vances will be busy together for some time.” Thomas does not sense the meaning of her remark. “Brung your baby a present.” Thomas pulls a wooden child’s high chair from behind. “Thomas don’t tell me someone is giving this beautiful item away.” Elisa is overwhelmed. “I won’t believe it.” “Naupaug asked me to look for a good one real cheap. She wants to give you a present before the baby comes.” Thomas informs. Elisa is dubious. “How could Naupaug afford something this special?” “Them Cherokee have access to bits of gold somewheres back up in them hills they protect.” “Seems someone should do something about the colonials getting our share of that gold.” Elisa baits. “Magistrate Smyers wants to send the militia back up there in Chaupaug’s valley again to rid the place of natives once and for all.”
Thomas divulges. “I thought we had a treaty with Chaupaug?” Elisa continues to push the thief for information. “Don’t worry Lady Rednapp my land is safe as long as Naupaug and I live there.” Elisa wonders if Thomas does not see a lesson in the fate of his predecessor Mr. Batson. “You thank Naupaug for me and tell her to come for a visit with the girls.”
At the request of William the room is intentionally faintly illuminated. “Mr. Younce may I introduce Lord Kiilan?” Mr. Pierre speaks. “Most unusual to meet in such a fashion. I refer to do business in the light of day.” Younce states. “My presence must be kept secret!” William responds. “Just what is the necessity of all this furtive conduct?”
The solicitor insists. “Several attempts upon my life have been undertaken. My enemies will stop at nothing to acquire my wealth.” William misleads.
George Younce‘s residence is among a row of the most elegant homes in Williamsburg. His large spacious dwelling is surrounded by sculptured gardens. It is found within walking distance of the Governor’s mansion as well as all the official governmental buildings of the colony. It is night and it is late. A carriage arrives before the Younce’s manor. Mr. Bank, and Mr. Pierre exit quickly. Both are attired fashionably as men of enterprise. A man follows from the coach. He wears a large rimmed hat, and he is covered in a dark cloak. His face and form are hidden. The three men are escorted at once into a dim room within the Younce mansion.
Mr. Younce snorts uncomfortably. “I shall participate in no illegal activities.” “It is precisely the legal nature of the action to be undertaken that brings me to you.” “Just what would you have me do?” “I wish to purchase the Churchwater’s Grant! Cost is no object.” William declares. “I wish to purchase a suitable residence for Lady Rednapp and have her live free and comfortably.” “I see you wish to endow her Ladyship.” Younce considers. “You wish to save her from her impending indenture?” He asks. William responds.
”Exactly!” “A Royal Grant can be acquired for its original value plus ten percent before it enters receivership. After that the estate goes for auction to the highest bidder.” Younce advises. “You will obtain a more favorable price at public sale!” “We are prepared to offer several times its worth.” Mr. Pierre informs. “As Lady Rednapp is in no position to counter your offer nor do I foresee anyone else throwing away such sums …I see no reason you cannot acquire her grant.” Younce determines. “However, her ladyship is legally part of the estate and cannot be separated from it until she should once again become the legal owner.” Younce is straining to measure the intent of Lord Kiilan. The dim light prohibits his appraisal. “I don’t understand…the lady cannot be set free?” William puzzles. “By order of the Crown if you buy the estate you purchase the debtor. If you sell the estate you must sell the debtor with it. Royal form of punishment…Eh what?” Younce states. “There’s no way Elisa…Lady Rednapp can be saved?” William is desperate. “Just one…you must marry her!” Younce informs.
“We can ship her off to another colony!” Banks suggests. “If she is found out then she will be hung…as well as all those who act against the will of the Crown in this circumstance.” The dire nature of Younce’s warning chills the three visitors. “You must marry her!” Mr. Pierre implores. “She may not wish to have me?” William replies. “Actually she has no choice as you own her…legally. Should you wish, you may turn her over to the magistrate and have the poor woman executed for failure to comply with the wishes of the Crown.” Younce continues. “However once you make her your wife all property will reenter her ownership exclusively. Upon such terms if she wishes then she can have you dismissed.” Younce shrugs. “Again an act of the Royal whim!” William is dismayed by the serious circumstances in which Elisa is to be found. “I insist that she marry me at once.” “I can have a receipt in your name by tomorrow night signed by the governor…contingent upon the proper sum delivered before hand.” “I’ll have the gold here the first thing in the morning.” Pierre advises.
“I shall have to inform Lady Rednapp of her options at once. You can assume occupancy of the Churchwater’s manor tomorrow night.” “Myhre, Erie we shall move into the mansion on the hill tomorrow night. The wedding shall be arranged as soon as convenient to Lady Rednapp.” William concludes. “Will there be any trouble from Mr. Vance or chief magistrate Smyers?” Myrhe asks. “They may wish to counter your offer.” Younce advises. “Then buy all the Royal Grants available at twice their value.” Lord Kiilan instructs. Younce is expressionless at the sums involved.
“Once we are married than she can be restored as the proper owner. All her debts are then paid. She’ll be free to resume her life.” He replies. ”Elisa needs help to run the estate! Otherwise she may go into bankruptcy again.” “Erie there’s enough gold to keep her, you, and Myhre for the rest of your lives.” William states. “A woman needs more than finances…she needs a man to see after her. Elisa loves you William. She deserves a chance to speak her will.” “I don’t fit into her life anymore Erie. She’s a princess and I’m a…” “A Cherokee warrior…I know!” Erie is insistent. “Ask Elisa want she whishes!” At the cottage below, Myhre appears. “Lady Rednapp?” He calls at the door.
Elisa answers. .’ She is dressed most elegantly. “I am here to take you to meet his Lordship the new owner.“ He advises.
The eve of the next day William and his associates occupy the mansion of the hill. Myhre Banks has left to fetch Lady Rednapp. “William you must tell Elisa who you really are! You are going to marry the woman for goodness sakes.” Erie asserts.
My owner!” She replies in a defiant tone. Lord Kiilan is a fair and generous man. He’ll do right by you.” Myhre assures. “From where does the man originate?” She is curious.
Myhre is hesitant to provide details. “I am just a hired associate.” He states. “His lordship made his fortune somewhere near Spanish Florida.” “There are a good many southern folks coming here as of late.” Another mystery man she thinks. This could be the help promised by the reverend. “Does his Lordship drink?” Myhre answers” Never! In my presence.” “Has he ever been married?” “Not as far as I know.” Myhre understands the difficulty of the lady’s position. “His disposition?” “Very pleasant madam I assure you.” “He has no relations with him? Another woman?” “There’s just myself and Erie Pierre. Both of us were hired recently.” Elisa has much to think about. Her circumstances are most difficult. Her choices are none. When she arrives at the mansion, William sits again in a dimmed room that permits no close examination of his person. Upon her entrance William’s heart races. Her form is elegant and stately. Her beauty pierces.
Elsia’s soft form, golden hair, and proud bearing cause William to relive his first view of her. He is intimidated. He feels insignificant and unworthy as when he strode the decks of the Scorpion where upon they first met. Elisa is silent. Her eyes search. William wants to reach for her and hold her in his arms. He is frightened by his emotions. He will not speak. Elisa feels a manly presence in the shadow. She is offended by his anonymity Her head rises. Her hands are folded in her front. “I am Lady Rednapp!” Her voice gives a command. “Columb Kiilan.” William replies. His voice is made soft to disguise. Elisa senses some familiarity. “Do I know you…did we meet at a Governor’s ball?” She asks. “You have been fully informed by Mr. Younce?” He replies.
William is thrilled to hear her voice. He wishes to be closer to her. “I am told you own the mansion and all the lands…and you now own me!” Her words challenge. “I have purchased your Royal Grant.” “You have ordered me to become your wife.” Her words are sharp. He is nervous. His blood warms. His desire grows. ”I shall not answer until I see your teeth…eh face.” She is uncertain. Her life and the life of her child are held by this stranger’s caprice. “I want my baby to be born first…in a few weeks time.” She pleads to make certain the child’s welfare. “Accepted!” She steps toward the shadow. “Wait!” He exclaims. ”I shall reveal myself to you after we are married.” She is alarmed by the strength in his response. “Why do you choose to marry when you have all?” He dies not reply.
“I know that I can send you away once we become man and wife!” These words are not easy for her to speak. Because he loves her, William wishes to lose her. “I have no love for you!” Her tears are held back. ‘”I don’t…I can’t wish you for a husband.” Her words become emotional. “I will marry you and be a good wife…even if I need not so that my child will have a father in this world.” Her logic is lost to William. “Your home remains as before but for the exclusion of remaining away from my quarters. Only my aides Banks, and Pierre are to enter my suites.” He commands. “I have sent all the staff away!” She confesses. “A new staff will be arranged immediately.“ William responds. “I shall have no indentured child in my home!” Elisa threatens. “All the staff will have their indentures and bonds settled. They shall all be free and they shall all be paid a proper wage while in my…our employ.” His kindness overwhelms her. The unseen man must be warm and gentle as well.
Elisa is emboldened“ Why do you hide?” “To be seen will end all my plans, my hopes for those I hold most dear. Lord Kiilan will be no more.” “Are you in trouble?” She asks. “Yes! There is much trouble at the near but for the many not only I.” “Are you a friend of the chief magistrate?” Intrigue is her supposition. William does not answer. “Do you know the Cherokee Chief Chaupaug?” William does not answer. “Is Thomas McCrady an acquaintance of yours?” William does not answer. His silence tells Elisa that he knows much. “Smyers and Vance intend to steal the Cherokee land for their gold. They shall take McCrady’s land as well although the fool does not know it.” This news alarms William. “If you are to be part of this I should rather be dead than be wife to such a villain!” Elisa threatens. “These men are not part of my plans!” William asserts.
“I shall retain my accommodations in the cottage below the hill top...until we …eh until later after the baby…” “Indeed!” William suffers from her distress. “I am sorry for your circumstances at present. Soon you shall be at peace and happy.” There is nothing William wants more in this world. “I have peace with my baby. Happiness is only a distant memory.” The woman cannot smile. Her head and shoulders are lifted as a queen before her audience. “Are you Lord Kiilan at peace and are you happy?” “I am at peace.”
Later in the midday, Thomas McCrady’s wagon appears at the entrance to the mansion. Magistrate Smyers is in his company. Above in the mansion William watches below. He views Elisa’s cottage. He waits for her to pass before his eyes. “Lord Kiilan!” Myhre interrupts. “Visitors!”
“Who pray tell?” “Captain Smyers, and Tomas you old traveling companion. They seek audience with your Lordship.” “Preposterous! Thomas will recognize me at once even if he is blindfolded in the dark.” William stammers. “They are probably returning from Vance’s residence.” Myhre assumes. “You speak with them as my representative!” William begins to change into Cherokee dress. “I’ll be with Chaupaug for sometime…no one is to know!” While waiting in the Churchwater’s library to be received Thomas McCrady and Magistrate Smyers converse. “It is vital that we have this Kiilan person on our side!” Smyers informs Thomas. ”I want you to become his ally. Spend as much time and do as many favors as necessary but get to know this man.” “I’ll find a way to his favor soon.” Thomas relieves. “Good day gentleman!” Myhre greets as he enters. “Banks!” Smyers exclaims in surprise. “Myhre good to see you again.”
Thomas announces. “How come you to be here?” “I was hired by the new owner as his assistant.” Replies Banks.
In the garden Elisa has planted fresh flowers upon the graves of the Chruchwaters. “Safe from the flight of the arrow…safe from the terror of the night…when next we met is will be upon that beautiful shore called heaven.” Elisa prays to her departed family. The arrival of Smyers and McCrady is noticed. Elisa knows their presence is foretelling. She must know. Elisa will sneak into the back of the mansion and busy herself near where the men will converse. She will not spy but if they are loud then it will not be her fault that others may hear. As she arrives at the rear entrance, she notices the movement of a native into the nearby woods. “That fellow came from here!” She comments to herself. The hurried figure looks familiar.
Yes, she recalls the Cherokee that help Moise return with the gold. It is the same warrior. “Well Lord Kiilan is familiar and has dealings with the Cherokee.” She mutters. His business is gold she thinks and the Cherokee’s gold as well.
“Banks this is most important and pressing. We must insist on speaking directly to Kiilan.” Smyers commands. “Lord Kiilan is very private…he most likely should not see you if here he where.” Replies Banks. “He’ll need to speak with us sooner or later! He can’t deal without the government.” Smyers is imperious.
“Kiilan has enough wealth to buy the Governorship of Virginia. He’s bound only to the Crown direct like!” Myhre Banks warns.
“Myhre what kind of fella is this Killan?” Thomas asks. “Decent enough…smart…fair with his workers.” Banks states. “We wish to speak wit his Lordship!” Insists Smyers “I’m afraid Lord Killan is out and about …not likely to return for a spell.” Myhre informs. “We can wait.” Thomas adds. “Maybe a few days before his lordship returns…I screen all his appointments. May I help?”
“We hear Lord Kiilan is to marry Elisa?” Thomas changes the subject. “Indeed there maybe a wedding Thomas sometime in the near future but nothing is for certain.” Elisa arrives in the hallway and attends a vase of cut flowers outside the door to the library. “His Lordship found a treasure of gold in the ocean near Florida?” Thomas promts. “His Lordship never discusses his wealth and I would not even if I knew.” “There are matters that will affect all of us and our wealth. The colony must expand.” Smyers states. “There’s gold near the river to the west. The Crown will reward all of us if we can produce it.” Thomas begs.
“The Cherokee know there’s not much gold. They find a piece or two now and then Thomas. Folks been sneaking into them nations digging for years with out success.” Myhre advises. “We have suspicion that Lord Killan is conspiring with Chaupaug to take gold from their land without notice to the Crown. This act is a violation of all treaties.” Smyers announces Myhre understands the villainy at hand. Elisa understands the evil plot at hand. She is certain that Mr. Vance inspires the plan. Lord Kiilan will lose all his wealth and property, the Cherokee will be invaded and their lands forfeited. All made with the excuse of gold being accumulated illegally.
She has no option but to enter Cherokee lands to seek the whereabouts of her master and intended husband. Her baby’s future depends upon her actions. Tired, afraid, and heavy with child the courageous Elisa is determined to see Mr. Vance fail. “It is late for you to be on the trail.” Naupaug greets. “There is danger ahead. Chaupaug must learn of this.” Elisa’s voice is passion filled. “The man Kiilan wants to take care of my baby and myself. He is in much peril.” “How can Naupaug help?“ The native maiden responds. “I must speak with Chaupaug and find Lord Kiilan who visits the Cherokee land” “Man Thomas will be here tomorrow.” Naupaug informs.
Thomas is in Williamsburg with Smyers thinks Elisa. “Man Thomas is in trouble as well but tomorrow may be too late for all!” Elisa responds.
It is late at night when Elisa arrives to the home of Naupaug. Her carriage has been on the road without stop. She has come to ask Naupaug’s help to send caution to Lord Kiilan whom she believes is within the Cherokee land conducting his affairs. Elsa fears that Lord Kiilan will be arrested by order of Smyers upon his return to the mansion on the hilltop.
Naupaug reads the great anxiety in Elisa’s face. Naupaug hears the truth in Elisa’s words. Naupaug shares concern. Her mate and the father of her children must be saved. “We go to Chaupaug now!“ The fierce spirit of the native calls her to action.
“One Who Stands, my son. You have been among the colonials?” “Yes! I tend to the family of the Colonel who was captive here some years ago.” ~~~~~ “Your mind has recovered the past of your youth?” Nods Chaupaug. “It is the way of the Great Spirit. It is good.” One Who Stands has been gone several weeks. He is delighted to leave the business of the colony behind and return to his Cherokee homeland. Mile by mile his spirit lifts to full native pleasure within the wilderness. His mansion on the hilltop will keep. Besides Elisa will not have her baby for a week or two he thinks. It is good to let her think of Lord Kiilan during his absence. One Who Stands arrives to find the camp of Chaupaug disturbed. There is much private gossip. The business of the day has been altered. Has peace with the Mingo been interrupted? Has sickness come to the camp? These thoughts pass William’s mind as he seeks Chaupaug. It is midday. Normally Chaupaug would be found in counsel in the camp’s midst. Today Chaupaug is at the lodge of the shaman. “Father!“ One Who Stands greets. “I wish to remain as the Cherokee warrior father.” Smiles One Who Stands as he embraces the great chief. “There is duty for me to conclude among the colonials.” “There is duty to the colonials to be attended here.” Chaupaug points into the shaman’s lodge. “A woman homesteader has arrived with Naupuag. She carries warning and seeks a man called Kiilan.” Stunned, William is unable to speak or respond. “She is filled with child.” Chaupaug is troubled by the visitation. “Elisa!“ William exclaims. “The child comes.” Chaupaug adds. The journey was too difficult for Elisa. She arrived in the Valley of the Cherokee and the camp of Chaupaug in the labor of childbirth. “This sign must have great meaning. We must search for understanding!”
Chaupaug announces to all who attend. “I know this woman. She must not be told I am the man William of her past. There is danger for her otherwise she would not risk her child.” William warns. “Naupaug tells this colonial woman brings caution to the Cherokee of troubles that are near. No one can make the meaning of her words. One Who Stands shall speak with this woman.” The chief asks. Inside the dwelling of the shaman, Naupaug tends Elisa who is in the early stage of child delivery. Naupaug begins to speak to William as he enters. William makes signal for no words to pass. Only hand signs are to be used. “Mention not of me to this woman.“ William signs. “Or to any other including man Thomas.” Naupaug nods her head in agreement. Elisa is in discomfort. Tired and without rest her delivery begins with much complication. Although disorientated, Elsia senses the arrival of a native warrior to her side. The light from the tent fire gives sufficient glow for her to recognize the form of the native who helped Moise. “You understand my tongue!” Elisa states.
One Who Stands only nods to say yes. “I need to find a colonial named Kiilan. Do you know this man? Is he here near to Chaupaug’s camp?” She questions. The warrior gives many nods of affirmation. “I thought so! I recognized you sneaking away from the mansion on the hill” Elias tries to again fix the face of the warrior. She looks for the reason of familiarity felt. The light is again inadequate. The course of the impending birth does not permit further study. “You must bring Kiilan to me. I must warn him!” One Who Stands only nods to say yes. “The baby will come soon!” Naupaug interrupts. Elsia grimaces. “No matter what…bring Kiilan to me at once! Do not let him leave this camp without speaking to me!” Elisa begs. One Who Stands nods to say yes. “Go!” Naupaug gives order. “I shall call when this woman may make words with men.” William’s eyes question Naupaug on the health of the mother and child.
“Go! It shall be well if the Great Spirit wishes.” Chaupaug waits for understanding. He stands outside the lodge. “What words does the young mother tell to One Who Stands?” “There is much danger! Such a risk this woman should never take otherwise.” William is apprehensive. “Captain Smyers had arrived at her home just prior to her taking to the trail.” “The soldier that is ruled by the will of the ox!” Chaupaug snorts in disgust. “It is the stubborn brute that is born to carry troubles.” “How does one survive the path that is obstructed by such a bully?” William asks. “A new path is to be found or the brute is to be killed!” Chaupaug looks to the sky. Never has a homesteader been born on Cherokee land. Never has a homesteader been born in the presence of Chaupaug. William listens. “The child is an omen from the spirits of the settlers as well as the ancestors of the Cherokee. There is much magic in the presence of this child.” The chief concludes. He rises. His hands sway above his head. Chaupaug’s voice booms. “Call the counsel of elders, the counsel of war, and the lodge of eldest women to gather. Let the drums call the chiefs of the other Cherokee nations to our camp!”
Chaupaug looks to William. “In three days time we shall know the fate of our people, this woman, and the colony.” Late that night, Elisa’s daughter is born. In the morning Naupaug comes to William. “One Who Stands, the woman calls for Kiilan to come. She is very weak. She has lost her sight” “Will she die?” William asks in desperation. “Will she recover her sight?” “This woman is in the hands of the Great Spirit!” “The child?” William asks. “Her daughter is strong!” Naupaug tells. Within the Shaman’s lodge Elisa rests. Her daughter sleeps at her side. Elisa’s complexion is pale white. Gloomy circles ring her eyes. Elisa’s face is relieved at the presence of her newborn. The breathing of the baby at her side makes her content. William enters alone. “Lord Kiilan?” Elisa calls in a weakened voice. “Yes!”
Responds William tersely. The woman struggles from her bed to make words. “They will charge you with taking the king’s gold. They are to arrest you.” She whispers. “Who?” William asks. “Vance! Smyers! They will invade here to take possession of the gold.” William understands the cause for Elisa’s visit. His heart aches. “Rest!” He pleads. “My child! Take care of my child?” She begs. Despite her piteous state the woman’s heart shines pure. William is touched deeply. “Promise me!” Elisa commands as she holds forth her hand. William’s shoulders shutter in compassion. He bits his lips to prevent any moans of his compassion from reaching her. His tears stain his cheeks as he takes hold of the frail woman’s hand. His touch stirs her. Her hand squeezes faintly with the slight strength she yet possesses. “William it is you!“
In a darken room in the Vance residence Uriah and Magistrate Smyers plan. “Rumor has it that this upstart Kiilan has applied for Governorship with the Crown.” Smyers informs. “Under what pretense does he solicit such considerations?” Vance blurts. “He has commissioned influential forces associated with the family of Stewart.” “We must accelerate our own plans! “If we act contrary to the will of the Crown we will hang for sedition!” Smyers warns. “We can not be held culpable for that which has not yet to be declared.” Vance ponders. “How soon will word of this application be released?” Smyers thoughts linger for the moment. ”The decision of the Crown could be made any time. Formal declaration might arrive in a little as a month.” “Therefore my dear magistrate we must shift the balance of power immediately into our favor.” “It is too soon to strike Chaupaug without guaranteed success.”
Smyers counsels. “We need another three months to muster the strength needed.” “Our position will be absolutely unimpeded if Kiilan is no more.” Vance proffers.
“Not to the Colony’s Official Seal has been formally handed to him by his predecessor.” “Lord…Sir Killan holds about 70,000 acres of Royal Virginia Grants by now.” Banks informs. “That makes him the largest land holder of the colony.” Younce replies. “What of Vance and Smyers?”
This evening at the home of Reverend Younce, Banks and Pierre gather. “I have been informed that Lord Kiilan’s application for governor ship has been received.” Younce advises. “We’ve ported enormous amounts of gold over seas with it. That make it be certain the gold has been gotten by the right hands.” Pierre announces. “There was enough wealth shipped to make Kiilan Governor of all the colonies.” Banks asserts. “It appears that Sir Kiilan will be announced to be the next Governor of Virginia at the month’s end!” Younce continues. “Is it legal as yet?” Pierre asks.
Naupuag enters the lodge that holds Elisa and her newborn daughter. She carries a bowl with a potion. “Place a touch of this on the tongue of the child.” The bowl is offered. “It is honey with crushed herbs. The liquid will keep the Fire Spirit away.” Elisa‘s strength begins to return. “My eyes see shadows now.” Naupaug nods at her words. “The Great Spirit speaks. Finish the potion! The Fire Spirit must stay from you as well.” “William? Did you know he was among your people these past years?” Elisa wonders at her friend’s concealment.
“In the game of running sticks, One Who Stands…William was struck by a mighty blow upon his head.” Naupaug informs. “He slept with death for many days. Between this world and the next his spirit moved” Elisa feels every word. “The Great Spirit returned him to this life but kept his memory.” Elisa understands. “The Great Spirit decided the One Who Stands was to become Cherokee only. The colonial way for William was to be no more. It is for the Cherokee to honor the way of the Great Spirit.” Elisa did not hear of William from the Cherokee because there was no William to the Cherokee. “When the Great Spirit needed man William then his memory was permitted to return.” Naupaug declares. Heavy tears flow. “I deserted William for another. I could have searched for him?” Naupaug does not respond. “I did not keep my love for William… One Who Stands.” Naupaug now recognizes the woman’s regret. Naupaug holds her two hands with fingers intertwined. “It is for the Great Spirit to bond the maiden to the man. It is for the Great Spirit to rend this bond.”
Naupaug’s tugs her hands apart then rejoins them to show that force is needed to make a union. “Man Thomas replaced my dead husband. One Who Stands will replace your dead husband.” Elisa beams. “Did not the One Who Stand ever speak of me?” “It is known that a fair maiden was kept in his dream always. He is true to this maiden in his vision.” More guilt arrives for Elisa. “I let my dreams of William fade! I have been unfaithful.” “My dead husband does not enter my dreams. There lived then no William for your dreams.” Naupaug relieves Elisa’s hurt.
“How shall we accelerate a successful end to Kiilan’s interference?” Vance asks. “He cannot be found. He simply disappears in to thin air. My emissaries cannot find him. They believe he is with the Cherokee presently.” Smyers informs.
“Then we must make him seek ourselves!” Vance suggests. “How so?” Smyers inquires “It takes trouble in the right place of the right kind.” Vance answers. “What kind?” “His friends of course! His most trusted allies!” Vance answers. “The Cherokee!” Smyers concludes. Vance looks to Smyers for the solution. “Death squads!” Smyers declares. Vance looks in question. “I shall have select groups make about Williamsburg and the outskirts with authority to shoot to kill any suspicious Cherokee. It will become a matter of supreme urgency to insure the safety of the Crown’s agents in a time of impending native unrest.” “Kiilan must come forward to protest for his friend Chaupaug.” Vance gathers. “Indeed! At this time the minion will be ours.” Smyers gives a smile. “He will then be extinguished once and for all.” Vance agrees. “It is our only chance for a quick victory.”
“Have your best and most trusted marksmen a foot at once.” Orders Vance.
“Kiilan will be in danger from Smyers until he has been installed as the new Governor of Virginia.” Banks fears. “Smyers has the full resources of the colony at his disposal.” Younce acknowledges. “Word must be sent onward to Kiilan!” Pierre insists. “Where does this Lord keep himself?” Younce makes protest. “He moves with ease about the entire colony.” Banks informs. “He could be anywheres.” “I’ll make to the Cherokee and inquire right off!” Offers Pierre. “I shall have the courts issue a warrant for his appearance. He will seek me immediately.” Younce announces. “Have care!” Banks warns. “Kiilan may now be a target of assassins.”
“Then how shall we notify him? Post an advertisement?” Younce puzzles. “Precisely!” Jumps Pierre. “Form a Hurley team and post notice to apply at you office!” Younce is baffled. Banks is confused. “Don’t fret lads. Have the circular posted at once and Kiilan will be right here before a fortnight.” Pierre argues.
To Chuapaug’s right is the counsel of war. They have been chosen by their might in battle. Here gather some dozen of the fiercest and most cunning of the Cherokee warrior. All these men have fought in many conflicts. Each warrior wears decorations of victory over the enemy of the Cherokee. Each has fought the colonial military in their time. To Chaupaug’s left rests the gathering of women. Ten of the matriarchs of the tribe will represent the needs of the women, the sick, and the small. These women have been chosen for their maternal strengths. Their peers have selected
them. All await Chuapaug. All shall speak.
The private counsel of Chaupaug consists of Scio and the One Who Stands. These are his most trusted confidents. Before this tribunal gather the counsel of elders, the counsel of war, and the counsel of mothers. Before Chaupaug sit the elders. They have been chosen by their age and wisdom This band is composed of the most senior warriors of the tribe. Some thirty men sit side-by-side all whom has contributed to the welfare of their nation over many generations. All have served on many counsels over many generations.
All shall choose. All shall obey the final command of the great Chaupaug. “How do we fight the colonials if they come in great numbers?” The war counsel considers Chaupaug’s question. “Shall their number be as that we last fought at the Pass of the Woman?” One commander asks. Chaupaug holds out both hands with his fingers separated. “Times ten of that number!” Mumbles arise from the war counsel. Heated discourse ensues for a moment.
“Not upon the open field can the Cherokee fight!” Their speaker announces. More discussions pass among the counsel members. “Trapping the enemy is the only way to avoid their horse and cannon.” Chaupaug and those who attend patiently wait and listen. Here the contest among opinions rises to near anger with opposing views driven hard within the ranks of the war counsel. The eruption collapses into calm with their final agreement. “We must lead the whole of the enemy into a narrow where their numbers will compress.” The spokesman delivers. “There the horse and the cannon will be restricted by the many feet!” Chaupaug agrees. “If the narrow is chosen well then the horse and cannon will become useless by the many that will be pressed into one great mass.” This is the counsel’s reply. “What narrow does the counsel suggest?” Here the spokesman becomes timid. “The narrow that will lend to the colonial army’s rush for victory…the narrow that is to feint their victory…. the narrow that the leaders of the colonials will direct their charge.” Chaupaug waits for the name of this place. His hand beckons for the name to be announced. “The valley of our village!”
The senior member of the counsel declares. All are shocked. Moans of disapproval are made. Chaupaug alone is silent and pensive. He is aware that his nation has never faced a foe so powerful. “Our losses?” “Many!” The spokesman declares. “Is there another choice?” All the members of the war counsel shake their heads to indicate not. “Retreat west into the hills and fight small battles with heavier loss over a greater time.” The counsel gives answers Difficult reality settles upon the gathering of leaders. The One Who Stands speaks. “In the time of one moon’s travel the Colony will have a new Governor. The thrust for war and the taking of gold from the Cherokee will end with the removal from authority of those who now make such plans.” “We need to make delay for one moon!” Chaupaug affirms. “Let us plan for the defense here in our home valley and make retreat as a last resort.” The chief concludes. Many grunts of acceptance are made among the Cherokee. The Chaupaug looks to the women. He invites their comments.
“The old, the weak and the young must move now from our home.” A mature handsome woman speaks. “To where?” Chaupaug asks. “To the river of the Mingo where the colonial is not to travel.” She responds. “What time is needed for this relocation?” “Ten days maybe more.” “What provisions will you take?” Chaupaug asks. “Food, clothing, medicine for the time of one moon only.” Chaupaug realizes the calamity that will befall his people should there not be peace. Hunger and illness will begin at once. If the delay comes forth then there will be no need for evacuation and all suffering will be avoided. If the delay is not made then the suffering may be many times than otherwise. “What help is needed?” He asks. “Pack animals, scouts and the escort of sufficient warriors for protection and hunting.” The maiden tells. “The weakest shall move for five days travel with sufficient stores and pace to relive their hardship.” Chaupaug determines.
This is half the effort needed to reach the Mingo. “The remaining will wait until the army of the colony begins to march. They shall depart and gather with the first to escape. Together all shall then make to the Mingo.” Chaupaug concludes. Much has been decided. Much confidence is taken. Chaupaug looks to the counsel of elders. “How to delay the colonial army?” The elders speak amongst each other briefly. “Such delay cannot be made here or by the Cherokee nation.” They have no answer for their chief. Chaupaug is stunned. “The spirits must speak.” The spokesmen for the counsel of elders continue. Chaupaug waits. The counsels wait. “There is one woman who is favored by the mother spirit. She must know. She is close to the colony.” Scio interrupts. William looks for understanding. Chaupaug nods to Scio. “It is decided the tribunal will speak with the woman of Shonbec.” Much elation passes among the gathered Cherokee.
St John’s Road
In every province of land, in every span of prairie, in every rise of mountain there is a place not to be found. A place that is unobserved, unknown, and undisturbed. Martha Hicks is now going blind. Her hearing is difficult. She walks with a thick cane in her hand. The small woman is yet able however. She keeps chickens. Her tiny stone house sits in the midst of a sumptuous garden that she tends daily. Her only surviving son works the land. Sony Hicks is now an older man. He is unsocial by nature but devoted to his elderly mother.
Their small farm is in a bit of lost woods located walking distance from the center of Williamsburg. It is early in the day. “Sony get them dogs and get your self deep into them woods. Don’t come back till late tomorrow night.” Martha sits in her rocking chair upon the front porch. She is breaking beans into a pot of cold water. “What for ma? I was going to gather them peaches today before the critters get to‘em!” The man carries two buckets in his hands “Company’s a coming soon!” The old woman nods to the west. “What for ma? Who would be a wanting to be here…them peaches are ripe!” Sony is fond of fresh peaches. “Them peaches will keep a day or so…Trouble maybe nearing!” The aged lady raises her head to study the wind. “What for ma? We don’t bother with no one!” Sony looks longingly toward the orchard. “Take the musket with you and don’t be hanging around close. Trouble don’t need an invitation” Martha’s wish is resolute Martha will send her boy away to keep him safe. “What for ma? Why don’t you get on the mule and come with me?’” Martha knows the mule won’t do.
“Them what comes be wanting to speak with me Sony…best you and the dogs be gone so them folks have less reason to stay.” Martha knows this notion will win Sony’s cooperation. “I’ll wash some of your cloths ma so’s you’ll have extry.” Sony likes to see his mother clean and neat. He views her always as the young mother. “Want some ham from the cold cellar? I’ll cook a mess of biscuits and put plenty of fresh water in the house before I go.” Martha yet has a bit of near sight enough for her to get around. “Be fine Sony…when your gone get some venison. I’m fancying some deer jerky the way your daddy use to cure it.” Martha ‘s grandfather lived over a hundred years, her uncle died at 103 years of age and her great grandmother died at the age of 104 years. Martha is well worn from age but energetic. “How many’s a coming ma?” “More than two, less than a hand full!” “Want I should kill’em before they gets here?” “No! That would not be neighborly! Chaupaug be one of‘em.” Sony nods in agreement. His mother’s visions are always right. “If’n they do any mischief then I don’t want them folks leaving our place alive to do more harm elsewheres.” Martha decides In the early days of the colony a road ran nearby the Hick’s farm.
It has been little used for years. The road was named for a small church placed upon it. St. John’s Episcopal Church was destroyed by fire in an early frontier conflict. The area was abandoned for settlement many years back. It has never been reclaimed. The Hick’s farm has always been safe by its hidden nature. The Hick’s family has never had to withdraw. A flutter of pheasants in the distant gives alarm to Sony. “Body’s a coming…could be Chaupaug!” “Taint! That there is a soul making his way out of the Beadlings’ meadows.” Martha rocks away upon her porch without concern. “Get busy about scattering boy.” The Beadling’s farm adjoins and has been the closet neighbor since the first. Sony busies with his final chores before his departure. He keeps watch. A small thin raggedy man makes way toward the Hicks cabin. The visitor is an itinerant of common looks and poor dress. Known to travel in and about Williamsburg. The well-recognized vagrant is arriving. He carries a bulging sack hung over his shoulder. He is armed only with a heavy oak waking staff. “Hey!” He shouts as the Hicks’ farmhouse comes into his view. “Hey!” Martha calls in reply from her porch.
“My name’s Billy Dumf…I’m a coming in!” The beggar rejoins. Sony retires his musket at the sound of Billy’s voice. Sony will give all his attention to complying with his mother’s directive to ready his speedy retreat. Laboring under a heavy burden, Billy Dumf smiles with glee as he closes to the Hick’s porch. The thin man is poor but exceptionally clean. His meager dress is neat and mended. “Got some fine possums.” He announces. “You’ve been hunting on the Beadlings’ land again Billy?” Martha questions. The hobo shakes his head in contest. “Possums run the roads. I come here to get some…off St. John’s road.” “I recon them critters belong to anyone when they be encountered on the highways.” Martha doesn’t take to poaching. Lesser in acumen that just about all, Billy Dumf is exceptional at survival. Taking shelter in one sanctuary or another and finding provisions upon the season, the man has lived for decades as scavenger. His appetites have taken him along every alley and roadway to, in, or from Williamsburg. “How old be you now Billy?” The fellow looks confused and timid as he musters a response.
“Sixty…six. I’m sixty six.” “How many years you been coming here with possum?” “My mother showed me how to get them possums off St. John’s road.” The man comes to Martha’s every year since he was a boy. “Come to share!” Billy states. He knows Martha’s fondness for fresh possum meat. “What you asking?” Martha is a long time acquaintance of the Dumf’s. “Trade Please!” Billy Dumf was raised polite and to be agreeable in his words. “Peaches bring you?” Martha knows that Billy can barter peaches in Williamsburg at this time of year for many of his needs. “Half bushel…want half bushel.” Billy implores. “Can’t carry more than that Billy?” Martha does not hesitate to buy game taken from her own land as an act of kindness. Martha admires the character of the humble man. “Your mother was a fine woman.” Martha reminds. “What will you do this winter?” “Mr. Foxworthy’s barn…he let’s me stay with his milk cows in the barn. It’s warm. I help. I help milk.”
“Old man Foxworthy pay you some? “Cold! Too cold for Mr. Foxworthy in the winter. I help milk in the winter. Sleep in the barn. He gives me food too…good food!” “Foxworthy remarry since his wife died?” Martha is curious. “He still a fine looking man?” She asks. Again Billy is stunned with the burden of demanded thought. “Norma Giggs is after him.” Billy eyes swell in excitement. “Whatever for?” Martha is surprised. “She wants him!” Billy‘s head slumps in loss of further understanding. He knows this circumstance is being much talked about. “She likes him!” “What about Norma’s husband?” Martha is excited. “That woman is near to half his age!” “He ran off last year. Died somewheres when his heart give out.” “What for did he run off Billy?” “He didn’t want to go into the army. All the men are being called up!” The man stammers. “They is! Who be calling them boys away from their homes?” Martha is not pleased.
“New magistrate from Williamsburg.” “Norma is looking to be kept… is all Billy. Foxworthys always did have wealth but they are no fools.” “Mrs. Giggs is a real pretty woman. She cooks real well. Mr. Foxworhty likes her company too”. “You see much of Norma over to the Foxworhty place last winter?” “Yep!” Billy declares. “Near ways just about everyday…she lives close enough to walk.” “She didn’t waste no time.” Martha exclaims. “She’s a dreaming…making a dream with Mr. Foxworthy.” Billy giggles. “Everybody is entitled to have dreams…especially a dream that has a chance to come true. A body becomes depressed and resentful when someone interferes and makes sure their dreams are ended. Losing their dreams takes the life out of a body’s soul it do!” Martha informs. “Some lady say it’s the devil …the devil has that woman after Mr. Foxworthy.” Billy states with agitation. “Don’t listen to such talk. Norma probably has a halo over her head with the word provider write on it along with a heap of other virtues. Heaven is full of souls what helped themselves while listening to God’s Word, Billy. Anyone tells you otherwise keep clear of them and their’s.” Martha hates mean gossip.
Billy does not comprehend the meaning of her words. He digs into his sack and produces the remains of a plump young possum. “He’ll eat real good!” Billy announces as he holds his prize high to be judged. Martha is distracted by the news Billy has delivered. “What is this magistrate after?” “People says he wants to be appointed as the new governor of Virginia.” “What about the present governor?” ”People say he’s being called home by the King.” Billy looks toward the orchard. “Get your peaches Billy. Tell Mr. Foxworthy that I’m going to take a trip over to make him a visit.” “Yessum! I’ll be stopping by to give him a possum for his table.” Billy confirms. “Is there some reason I should tell him for you’re a coming?” Martha is not going to miss seeing the Giggs woman busy at catching her man. “Just need to be neighborly Billy.” As Billy saunters away, Martha calls after him. “Norma have any children?” Billy holds up one finger. “A boy that’s makes lot of trouble wherever he goes.” “How old?” Martha asks.
Billy holds his hand out to indicate the height of Norma’s child to be that at half of his own. “See you next year!” Billy calls as he steps into the orchard. Sony appears before his mother just as the vagrant departs. “How in tar nation does a soul live without any wits?” He asks his mother. “God Lord gives each one of us all that be needed to live. You couldn’t live like Billy Dumf nor could Billy live as we do. Each in his place as the Lord intends!” “We’ll I’m near to ready to hide out for a spell Ma. Don’t understand why that Chaupaug keeps showing up here?” Martha has kept a secret from her son for all these years. Martha has kept a secret from all the settlers for as long. This secret she has long intended to take to her grave. In her final years Martha has been well cared for by her son. She has a deep sense of guilt, and betrayal now with regards to her hidden past. “Sony there’s a reason Chaupaug comes to see me.” “I expects cause you can tell some about the future!” Martha folds her hands. Her rocking chair stills. Her head turns to gaze straight upon her child. “Sony when I was a very young girl I ran off from this here farm and took a husband… long before I came to know your pappy.”
Sony is stunned by his mother’s words. “The man I married was kilt soon after wards. I returned to my parent’s home here never to stray again.” Sony is silent and attentive to his mother’s words. “I loved your pa! I love you. I never spoke of this before but I want you to know fore time gets along much further.” Sony looks puzzled. “There was a child born from my first marriage. Baby died three months later. I never marked her grave!” Tears begin to appear on Maratha’s aged cheek. “I was too ashamed…and too much a fool to knows better all these years.” Sony cannot remember the last time he saw his mother cry. “I can mark the grave for ya ma.” Sony offers in a tender voice. “Buried my child in the same place your grandma now rests.” Martha details. “What would you have me place on her grave? Could carve some words in a big stone!” Trembling in emotion long kept, Martha answers. “Here rests Lounpaug, daughter of Shonbec of the Cherokee nation.” Martha can utter no more speech. She is overcome with relief, joy, pride and love for her secret family. Sony views the shaken form of his mother. She is frail. A quiet moment passes.
Martha joins the past. Sony senses his mother’s attention drifting from his company. He waits respectfully. Her feelings long held have been released. Martha now has gained the accomplished peace of life long lived. “Why for then does Chaupaug comes to visit you ma?” The old woman smiles now. “He comes mostly to hear of his ancestors that I knew so well. His parents and grandparents and even his great grandparents were alive when I lived among the Cherokee.” “Did he know your daughter…my sister I mean…Lounpaug?” “Lounpaug…her name means Sweet Water…Chaupaug was just a bit older but a child and yes he comes to pay respect to her memory”. “The Cherokee would prefer her to have been buried among the tribal grounds of their dead.” “You want I should take you to visit the grave of your first husband some day soon ma?” Her mother’s heart melts at her son’s kindness. Her tears are held. “Be right fine Sony…maybe when the leaves are well turned.” Martha pauses and holds her breath. “I was married in the fall to Shonbec…Chaupaug’s uncle. I’ll ask permission to visit his burial site when Chaupaug arrives.” “So I be related to Chaupaug in some ways?”
Sony surmises. “I be an elder of his tribe…maybe the oldest now. You be kin of their kin.” The old woman shakes a finger at Sony. “Cherokee are mighty serious about knowing their own. Suppose you and I be talked about regular to the young Cherokee.” “Chaupaug ever have other reasons for his a coming ma?” “This time in his life he needs to now about his death calling.” Sony is puzzled at this remark. “Death calling?” “Cherokee believe the elders of a tribe can receive signs of the cause for a body’s what’s about to die…they calls it the death sign.” “You ever get death calls ma?’ Martha shakes her head to say yes. “About pa’s death?” Martha shakes her head to say yes. Sony is compelled. “Get any call about your death to come ma?” Her head shakes in no. “Not soon Sony…be a while I expects for I get my call.” “Chaupaug come to tell you that your death call be coming?” He asks nervously. His mother understands his need. “Perhaps!”
“You be a fine son and a good man. When I’m gone you get your self down to Williamsburg.” Sony listens intensely. ‘Take some of the cash from the hiding place and get your self an indentured woman.” Sony nods in agreement. “Look for a good woman…what don’t drink or swear. Keep her if she’s good to you and works hard.” “How will I know what woman?” Sony asks. “Nature will tell you right off. Don’t hesitate to take on a darkie woman cause they be good natured, clean and loyal to their family.” “What if I take to a woman with children?” “All the better! Raise’m as your own. If they take then they’ll make good family else they’ll leave off soon enough.” “Should I marry then ma? “Don’t rush to bring a woman in or to marry. Keep the full time of the indenture before deciding about marriage. If the woman don’t fit here she’ll make off quick enough.” “Then what? “Try again or get word to Chaupaug…he’ll send a Cherokee woman to be your wife.” Sony’s interest is light. “You’ll need family!” “I’ll get a woman.” Sony complies hesitantly.
“Whatever you do don’t treat no woman nor child nor any body like an animal. Whoever you get shares if they work and stays.” Sony nods agreeably. “Don’t keep no trouble makers! Kill such a person only as last resort” “Death call…what would one be like?” Sony persists. “Is it hard to tell?” “A good man has an aura of welcome about him. A bad man causes a sense of uneasiness right off to a body.” Sony understands his mother’s meaning. “A sense of doom will follow about a soul that is sure to die soon! One can feals it. Sometimes one can tell how a person is to die.” “Will I ever get death calls, ma?” “You have to spend time with a person first Sony!” Martha knows her boys lacking in sociability will prohibit such an opportunity. “Bury me near my daughter!” Sony nods in affirmation as he and the dogs march towards the woods. It is midday. Moving toward the Hicks cabin are three pairs of Cherokee moccasins. They move in stealth. Chaupaug, his nephew Scio, and William are making their way carefully to visit Martha. The colonial militia has increased patrols all about the western frontier. Natives report that muskets from these squads of militia firing in their direction. The chief magistrate has ordered natives to be driven from the colonial lands.
Chaupaug leads the way. The reputation of Martha’s son with a rifle makes the natives normally stay clear from the Hicks property. Chaupaug ventures forward with great attention to the woods about him. As the Cherokee party closes upon Martha’s home, all become most tense. Before the clearing about her house, Chaupaug orders his companions to remain at the watch. Chaupaug stands tall with his arms folded. He steps forward into the clear. He is visible to all within the cabin. At a slow causal pace he strides toward the front porch. Martha is inside. It is late afternoon now she has just finished a small meal of beans warmed with one chunk of fried ham. The songbirds have turned quiet at the presence of Chaupaug in their midst. Martha is alerted to the presence of a stranger. She makes her way on to the porch. Ten yards before her stands the tall Chaupaug in wait. “I see the Cherokee warrior! Who be you and why do you come?” “It is Chaupaug, chief of the Cherokee. I wish words with Shonbec’s woman.” “I recognize the voice of Chaupaug. He is welcomed…as are his companions.” Chaupaug hesitates. He is concerned.
Martha senses the cause for Chaupaug’s worry. “My son is upon the hunt. He will return after your departure.” Martha points to a place beside her for Chaupaug to advance. “Bring your friends as well.” As Martha takes her place upon the rocking chair, the Cherokee make seat upon the deck of the porch about her. Martha eyes do not see well but the features of Chaupaug occupy her. She listens to the sounds of his breathing. She gauges the ease in his body’s movement. “Chaupaug is well.” Martha does not concern herself with the others. Chaupaug snorts. His one hand moves brusquely to the side to certify her assessment. “Chaupaug looks more each day as his great grandfather. You have his eyes and his jaw.” Notes Martha. Chaupaug is much pleased. He sits with legs crossed and his arms draped over his knees. Martha notes he sits as a child waiting before his elders. “Your great granddad was a man of many years when I lived among your people.” Chaupaug relaxes further. “He was a warrior of many accomplishments and respected by all the Cherokee.” Chaupaug listens intensely.
“He enjoyed tales of great humor and great meaning. He would always have a joke or words for laughter.” Chaupaug know this to be true. “I lived in the same lodge with you great grandfather. He would sit with me and talk of the early days of the Cherokee.” Chaupaug’s interest is keen. “He had one special story…a legend from the earliest times of the Cherokee.” All who listen stir. Warmth comes upon Chaupaug, as he is to hear the words of his great grandfather spoken by Shonbec’s woman. “Long ago at the first days of the Cherokee a young brave walked alone upon the hunt.” This tale Chaupaug has heard many times but it comes now sweetly upon his ancestor’s words. “Along a narrow trail into a mountain pass the youth followed the trail of the elk.” Chaupaug has walked this same trail many times. “As the young Cherokee came to end of the narrow, he discovered a great bear entering into the mouth of the pass below.” The expressions of Chaupaug and his companions are now serious. They share the fright of the tale. “Quickly the youth turned backwards to make his retreat in the same direction as that from which he had just traveled.” The blood races now in the veins of the Cherokee who listen to Martha’s recounting.
“Hurrying to make out of the narrow trail before the bear may sense his presence, the youth dashes at full stride.” Anxiety mounts among her listeners. “At the opposing end where he wishes to make good his escape, the youth encounters a second bear of greater size who is making way into the pass towards him from above.” The Cherokee wish for no sound but Martha’ voice “The youth finds him self trapped by two enormous bears both of whom stride with their great noses to the ground.” The limbs of her comrades grow tense. Martha hesitates in the same manner as the old warrior who first told her this tale. Her audience is apprehensive. “The young warrior had to face one or other of the large bears…he had no escape.” The eyes of the men about the porch make dance in thought. “To one end he ran to see no way past the one bear…to other he darted to find the same.” The hunters who attend her words agree to young warrior’s choice. “The youth moved to stay in the middle of the distance between the two bears hoping to discover an escape.” All the warriors who listen have tracked upon the hunt through this gorge and know that there is no escape possible. “As the two bears close upon the lad, both bears discover the youth at the same time and both bears rise to make their attack.” Each before Maratha have had close encounters with aggressive bears and their hearts thump at the full.
“The two bears closed upon the youth.” So vivid is the tale that Chaupaug and his companions now react as if they sent the stench of the bears. “Just as the youth is to be descended upon, the two great bears discover each other.” Every Cherokee warrior knows what must follow. “The greater the size of a bear the greater is his temper.” All nod in agreement to this. “Fury overcame the competing predators at once.” Numb are the listeners. “Both bears forgetting the Cherokee warrior drive with full rage at each other.” Again, Martha hesitates in the same manner as the old warrior who first told her the tale. “Without notice the youth dashes from between the two fighting bears and makes his escape.” Relief descends upon the audience. “Your great grand daddy said that there is lesson for all who hear this tale to learn.” Chaupaug listens as if his ancestor is just before him. “Just as two bears prefer to share their anger so it better that a man have two wives to share antagonism instead of just one.” Chaupaug cannot control his laughter. His shoulders heave in delight. His head lifts back and joy passes from lips in a roar of mirth. All share the hilarity of the ancestor’s wit. Youthfulness beams from Chaupaug eyes as he nods in gratefulness of Martha’s tale.
Martha’s mind dwells in the past and the lodges of the Cherokee of her early days. Chaupaug wishes more. He waits for the elderly woman as she reveals in her memories. Now oblivious to her attendees Martha’s thoughts flow out loud. “The lodge of Chaupaug’s grandfather was very special. Never has one seen such sumptuous dining and such happy gatherings. Not even the richest homes in the colony could rival the feasts provided there daily.” Chaupaug remembers the later days of his grandfather only. “Lamoma, your grandfather was an archer of supreme ability.” Chaupaug grandfather’s ability with a bow is still legendary among the Cherokee. “Fish, venison, turkey, pheasant all were to be had at Lamoma’s hut. His bow provided for his large family and guests as well as the lodge of the needy.” Chaupaug has had many such meals in this lodge. “Lamoma loved to swim. He would swim until the water froze solid. In fact his hunts would always make trial past his favorite water holes so that he would refresh with a relaxing swim.” In the hot summer all Cherokee make such excursions. Her listeners share this pleasure. “Far off from his home and near to a neighboring land are a small water fall and a deep lagoon. This was your grandfather’s favorite place to swim.” All in Martha presence know this pond and have themselves entered its waters. “Here one day swam the youthful Lamoma. It happened that a group of young maidens of the local tribe arrived also for a swim.”
Chaupaug returns again to his youth with Martha’s familiar story. “Unseen Lamoma gathered his things to depart. He wished to make his retreat before his presence disturbed the maidens. Suddenly before his eyes a handsome maiden quickly prepared and entered the water.” Chaupaug loves this tale as he loved his grandparents. He shares their youth through Martha’s words. “So fair and so lovely was the maiden’s form that Lamoma could not break from her presence. Hidden he watched the joy and fullness of life made by the antics of the beautiful native girl.” The men are envious of the ancestor for having been granted the experience of such a rare pleasure. “I had conversation with this woman many years later. She informed me that all of the maidens knew of the preference of the handsome Lamoma for this water. It was indeed her plan to trap the warrior there before her and to win his heart by showing her complete beauty.” Chaupaug blushes with the audacity of the girl’s trick. “Your grandmother was a most beautiful woman all of her days.” Martha adds. Chaupaug nods to agree. “The young Lamoma followed the trail of the maidens back to their camp. The Cherokee girl of his interest was easy to track.” Martha looks to Chaupaug for confirmation. “My grandmother wore large moccasins.”
The chief states. “No maiden wore larger! Your grandmother knew that if the warrior wanted her she would be easy to find. She was grateful for the size of her feet ever since.” Chaupaug smiles at the remembrance of his first recognition of his grandmother’s big feet. He was yet a baby. His grandmother would tease him by gently covering his two tiny feet with her one. “Her lodge was easy to discover for Lamoma. The girl’s father was not interested in Lamoma’s request for marriage. Indeed it took the intervention of elders from both tribes to negotiate the marriage.” Chaupaug eyes dance with reflections of private moments with his grandparents. He is melancholy. Martha attends his wish for delay. “Both your father and my husband had large feet…both were very handsome warriors as is Chaupaug!” All look to see the size of Chaupaug moccasins. They are large. “There is food on the table. possum, ham, and warmed greens with meat gravy. Get some dinner!” The old woman invites. “Fresh bread on the stove and water in the jug.” The men saunter into the cabin and help them selves to generous portions. Inside William whispers to Chaupaug.
“The old lady was expecting company. There’s enough food here for six men!” “Her vision is now for the future. The Great Spirit provides the very old with such gifts.” William understands the purpose of their visitation to Mrs. Hicks. As the men eat, Martha notes. “I am going to decorate the grave of Lounpaug.” Chaupaug interrupts his meal. He has been much disturbed by the absence of recognition of the child’s burial. “It is good!” “When the leaves turn, I wish to visit the place where Shonbec rests?” Chaupaug studies the woman. He wonders if she has received her death call. It is not his business to ask. “It is good! I shall take you there myself.” Light begins to fall towered the horizon. Chaupaug wishes to return to his camp for tribal meetings. As dining ends Chaupaug comes to the matter for his presence. “What war comes to the Cherokee?” “Chaupaug’s days shall see no more conflict with the colony!” The woman of Shonbec declares.
In Chaupaug’s village, Elisa’s vision improves. Her strength returns and she rises from her bed to tend her daughter. Naupaug is devoted to her and the baby. “You must name the child!” The native maiden instructs. “The Great Spirit has spoken in my dreams.” Elisa tends her words. “I am to marry William.” She is overjoyed. “William is with my father. They return tonight.” “My baby is beautiful. I wish nothing to interfere with our happiness together. I should like to have his opinion on the child’s name.” Elisa responds. “Your child is now part of the Cherokee nation. It is custom to have the chief’s approval of a newborn’s name.” “Is there a Cherokee name that fits our circumstances?” Elisa invites. Naupaug answers quickly. “Lualua… the name means Princess!” The delight of the mother for such enlivens her soul, and bolsters her physical well being. We shall call her Lualua Caroline Keane…. after my mother …if William and Chaupaug agree.”.
Erie Pierre is mounted and decorated with the Cherokee medallion delivered to him by William. He is to course through the heart of the Cherokee lands, into their home valley and to enter the camp of Chaupaug uninvited before nightfall. He fears his friend William is in danger. He fears his colony is in danger. He fears his family is in danger. Ben Spears is a crack shot. He is in long association with Smyers. He and a squad of militia are passing along St John’s road. It is soon to be dusk. Spears and his companions spy three Cherokee warriors in the nearby woods. Lifting his musket, Spears fires a round at the warrior presenting the best profile. ~~~~ Moving in the same vicinity is Sony Hicks. Sony has also been watching Chaupaug and his companions retreat westward from his property. Uriah Vance has taken temporary residence in Georgetown. Here he awaits the outcome of the contest for the governorship of Virginia. His plans are to make a ready exit via the first ship to sail should Smyers fail. Unlike his associate, Smyers stands in the center of Williamsburg with absolute control now of the military and civil affairs. The outcome of the future for Virginia rests in the unfolding of the villainy underway. Smyers has already invited consideration for the chief magistrate’s duty in the Bahamas. Should William survive to take the governorship, Smyers will be comfortably placed with out recrimination. One warrior falls wounded from Spears’ shot. Fearing his Cherokee kin are threatened, Sony spins, eyes the assailant, raises his musket, and returns fire. From a thousand yards away Sony’s musket ball enters the forehead of Spears In an instant, William has fallen wounded in the chest. Spears sprawls dead upon the ground The remaining assailants of Smyers’ death squad vanish Chaupaug and Scio tend their comrade. Sony is making way toward them when Pierre rides upon the scene. William is fully comatose but he yet makes a shallow breath Having some medical experience from his sea days, Pierre examines his friend’s wound. ~~~~~ “That musket ball is lodged right up against his heart.” He informs.
All look to Pierre and then to William and back to Pierre. They wait for words of hope. “If we move him he’ll die straight away!” The old sailor declares. All look for Pierre’s instruction “He needs shelter and warmth at once!” Scio looks to Chaupaug. Chaupaug looks to Sony. Sony looks to Pierre. “I’ll fetch some blankets and bedding.” The farmer makes to leave. “Bring back a long sharp knife as well…. and some whisky!” Pierre instructs. Scio nods to Chaupaug and begins to cut tree limbs for a shelter. Pierre looks to Chaupaug. “Best get some help from your tribe. Them assassins may return.” Pierre states as he builds a nearby fire. Chuapaug waits to understand Pierre’s intent. “That musket ball is restricting the flow of blood in William’s body. He’s dying slow like.” Chaupaug understands. “As soon as he is warm and comfortable that ball has to be cut out careful.” Pierre’s head shakes from side to side in uncertainty with the task he must undertake. Chaupaug seizes the hand of the sailor. The free hand of the chief makes thump upon his own chest.
“Many arrows have been removed. I send for the one who has much practice for this to come here.” Chaupaug orders. Relieved of an effort in which Pierre fears his failure. He nods in agreement. “Hurry!” Scio is to be sent by Chaupaug to their village for assistance. He races off in haste.
“Ma! Ma! “ Sony shouts at his home as he arrives in haste. “Boy! Slow down.” Martha calls. “One of’em Cherokee been shot real bad by the militia over nears St. John’s Road.” Sony runs. “He’s dying ma.” Sony informs his mother without slowing. “I’ve gathered bandages for you Sony.” Martha sits near the door. It is dusk. “I saw the death sign on that youngest warrior today Sony.”
“Didn’t you warn him ma?” “No sir! Never was asked.” Martha states. “It don’t do to pry into another’s private business unless asked. Dying be right personal son.” “Don’t make no sense to hurry then?” Sony is confused. “Best get along and lend a hand… dying or not that be your kin what’s be hurting.” Martha instructs. “Do he have to die?” Sony questions. “Not unless them Cherokee raise enough fuss that the Great Spirit sends a miracle.”
Thomas is worried. “Our daughters are here and with their grandmother. Why are you concerned?” Thomas pulls on his ear. “Some militia from the colony is making all the natives leave Williamsburg…they say there’s to be more shootings.” “I came with Elisa. She has given birth.” Thomas is surprised. “Thomas!” Elisa interrupts. Recovering much of her vision and strength, the woman overhears. Elisa fears that William will be recognized and betrayed. “Mrs. Rednapp? You could have had the baby born at my home?” Thomas misunderstands. The return to the village of Scio creates a stir that calls upon the attention of all.
A hundred warriors are sent upon the path to the Hick’s property with orders to make safe the way about the place of the wounded warrior. “One who Stands is injured. He needs much medicine.”
Just before dusk Thomas arrives at Chaupaug’s village. “Man Thomas why have you come?” Naupaug greets her husband at the lodge of the Shaman. She is unaccustomed to his presence among her tribe. “There be shootings about Williamsburg. I arrived home to find you and the children missing.”
Commands Scio. Elisa hears these words. She is anxious. “Thomas take me to him.” Thomas does not understand. “I must help!”
Elisa begs. “Take the woman in the wagon.” Naupaug orders. Scio guides the band of fighters and medicine men at the quick to the injured William’s side. Thomas and Elisa in a horse drawn carriage follow closely. Upon their arrival they find William bandaged Pierre and Sony Hicks tend William who lays still where he fell. Chaupaug waits. The Cherokee band disperses to protect. The chief medicine man inspects William’s wound. Thomas and Elisa join. The old medicine man shakes his heads is disappointment. He points to the place where he wants the drums to begin to beat. “This one is to greet his death”. The old one tells. “The drums will sound till his end. Let the Great Spirit find this warrior to be much honored in life by his people” Elias shakes with fear. “Help him someone?” She pleads. Pierre moves to take Elisa in his arms to comfort. He notices the bewildered presence of Thomas. “This warrior was shot by the militia.”
Pierre informs Thomas. “The musket ball is pressed against his heart.” “Just cut it out.” Thomas suggests. “No one knows how! I’ll try but I know I’ll kill him for sure.” Pierre makes his apology to Elisa. With the last of her will, Elisa becomes resolute. Her form strengthens. Her head lifts to view all. Her eyes beam with Divine Direction. Her royal bearing calls forth “I want this man saved at once.“ Elisa commands as if she wears the Crown. Pierre kneels immediately and opens his arms in service before her highness. Thomas is much puzzled by Elisa’s deep distress for the wounded warrior. He is fretful before Elisa’s imperial figure. All before her fade under her authority. All attend her. Chaupaug has his first encounter with true royal power. He now understands the reason for the ready compliance of the homesteaders with the will of their King. No native chief’s authority carries such weight as the colonial princess now before him. Thomas wishes to depart. He pulls on his right then left ear. He is unable to comprehend the presence of Pierre with Chaupaug. He is lost for the motive for Elisa’s birthing among the natives. He realizes that all depends upon the dying of an important Cherokee warrior.
“I can remove the musket ball.” Thomas declares plainly. Elisa is stunned. Pierre disbelieves. Chaupaug is surprised. “I use to take lunch for Mrs. Sagan to her husband who works at the Dublin College of Surgeons. Her husband does lots of thoracic operations. He would let me watch his different surgeries.” Thomas inspects the wound of the stricken warrior. In his comatose state and native dress, William is not recognizable. “I need lots more light above his chest!” Thomas sizes. Several warriors bring torches to be held nearby. “I need a hand sized piece of sharp flint.” Thomas asks. The chief medicine man cracks a large piece of flint. “I need a thin metal blade or a large metal pin?” Thomas requests. Sony hands to the scalawag a long slender blade used to skin elk hide. Thomas feels along the blade. He sniffs. “Too dirty…I’ll have to heat this in a fire fore a few minutes.” As Thomas moves to the nearby fireside, Elisa slips to William’s side. She takes his hand to her breast.
She loving kisses his face “If we never met again this side of heaven…” Her words end at this moment. Her tears are heavy. She whispers. “Then we shall meet on that far-away shore…where separations shall come no more.” Her heart is ruptured with sorrow for her dying love. Elisa is disconsolate. Pierre takes her by the shoulders. He lifts her away to make room for Thomas. Thomas returns He stands above the wounded Cherokee. He looks to Elisa. She slumps in grief. He looks to Pierre. The sailor returns a wary look. He looks to Chaupaug. The chief is anxious. He will not be pleased to see his adopted son die. Thomas pulls on one ear. “Just make a small slit.” He gestures across his chest to show the line of the cut to be made. “The musket ball should be just above the mark of the wound.” He articulates the movement of the blade to lift the ball out from the wound.
“It’s simple.” The plain look of the ignorant thief indicates confidence. “Perhaps his daft manners are to William’s benefit.” Pierre whispers to Elisa. “His lack of concern may lend to a steadier hand.” He adds. Elisa is deep in prayer. She knows that even if the bullet is safely removed her hero may die. She understands that a mistake by Thomas’ hand will make certain William’s end. In a manner most easy, Thomas makes a cut with the flint’s edge immediately above William’s heart. Probing effortless with the thin metal blade, he makes contact with the lead musket ball and pries the deadly missile out and away from William’s flesh. Instantly William’s body relaxes into calmed breathing. Calling for a torch to be held near, the thin blade is heated white-hot. With several dabs of the hot metal inside the chest, William’s wound is sealed against bleeding. Thomas hands the musket ball to Chaupaug. “Most cut above the wound but it’s better to cut above the heart.” Thomas notes to all. “The wound will heal over. If there is no fever he’ll live!” Pierre has seen surgeons’ work over many decades. None has shown better skill than Thomas. Thomas notes the disclosure in Pierre’s expression.
“I’m not good at manual work, or thinking hard but I’m real good with my hands.” Thomas explains. “The Sagans wanted me to study to become a surgeon but I can’t read good enough.” “Thank You Thomas…I shall never forget what you have done here today.” Elisa comments Thomas smiles at Elisa but does not fully grasp the favor he has rendered to her. He wonders why the life of this one Cherokee warrior is so special for her “These Cherokee men live dangerous lives. I do not wish my daughters to marry a native.” Thomas consoles. “I want to marry that warrior!” She declares. Thomas looks dumbfounded. “Why?” He stumbles. “Be cause that warrior is William.” “William is dead. I thought you wanted to marry Lord Kiilan?” He responds. “That is Lord Kiilan!” Elisa replies. Thomas pulls on his right ear. He does not recognize the reality of the man whose life he has tried to he save. His face is absolutely empty of thought.
“William is Lord Killan!” Elisa attempts. “Then who is the warrior, One Who stands?” Thomas charges. “One who stands is William as well.” She explains. This is too much for the thief. “William died and Killan is dying but the warrior is William?” Thomas states in utterly befuddlement. Elisa is lost as how too offer more explanation. “William did not die. He assumed the identity of a warrior named One Who Stands. He has also assumed the identify of Lord Kiilan.” Pierre explains. “Oh! William is alive and pretends to be a native warrior and a rich colonial at the same time?” The deceit aids Thomas. “Not at the same time. Here he is a warrior. In Williamsburg he becomes a rich Lord.” Pierre continues. Thomas yet tugs on an ear. His left ear is busy now. “I saved my friends William’s life?” “Yes Thomas…we are all very grateful to you.” “Where did Kiilan…William get all his gold?” Thomas asks.
“From allies in Florida!” Pierre will not surrender Kiilan’s secrets to a thief.
Thomas returns to Chaupaug’s camp. Here he will not be permitted to leave until the time of the present troubles with the colonials is brought to an end. His skill with the surgeon’s knife gives Thomas much respect among the medicine men of the Cherokee. The next evening William is transported to Martha Hicks cabin for safe recovery. Here Elisa tends him. Here Pierre is joined by Myhre Banks. “Erie we have to act against Smyers before he commences with an all out war” “What can we do to stop this here war from taking sail?” Pierre asks. “We need to have a meeting between Lord Killan and Magistrate Smyers.” Concludes Banks. “That be impossible…the lad is yet too close to death’s door. He’s remains unconscious.” The sailor responds.
“We need some one to take Kiilan’s place. We need someone who knows how William thinks.” Banks suggests. “No one other than be ourselves have ever laid eyes upon Lord Kiilan.” Pierre admits. “Anyone could hide in Killan’s disguise in a dim room.” Banks decides. “Who?” The two ask together. “Elisa!” The two answer together.
The room is unusually dim. “Could use more light old boy!” Smyers suggests. “We are to have guests!” Younce announces. “Less light is required.” At this instant Pierre and Banks enter. “Magistrate Smyers! I am to inform you that Sir Kiilan has been appointed Governor of Virginia.” Banks unfolds a copy of a document containing the Royal Seal. “A formal declaration has been received by the present Governor ordering the installation of Sir Kiilan at once.” Smyers realizes his plans are lost. “My congratulations to Lord…Sir Kiilan.”
Smyers is a poor loser. Elisa dressed in Kiilan’s garb enters. She does not speak.
The next evening at the home of Rev Younce, Chief Magistrate Smyers is attending dinner. At the conclusion of the meal Younce invites. “Smyers how about some sherry and a cigar?” “Certainly!” Smyers agrees. The two men enter the library.
“Governor!” Greets Rev. Younce as he rises. Smyers stands but does not speak. Speaking in a muffled low tone, Elisa directs. Her rage is not lost. “All charges against Mr. Batson will be dropped at once and he shall be reinstated to his former post.” She declares with all the bravado she can summon.
Smyers is uncertain and hesitates. “Else you shall be bound upon the next royal frigate in chains to stand trial in London’s Tower for sedition of the Crown.” She hands to Mr. Pierre a blank but sealed document Smyers takes alarm. He fears premeditation. “I shall write the order tomorrow.” He smiles. “It shall be written out at once and delivered to Rev. Younce to execute.” Elisa blasts. Smyers immediately begins to scribe the required directive. “There is to be another order written at once canceling all military directives against the Cherokee and standing down all recent conscripts to the militia.” Elisa enjoys her borrowed influence. “Myself?” Smyers fears the worse. “You shall be a guest at the Governor’s mansion under Mr. Pierre’s care until the first ship departs to your choice of destination.” Elisa replies. “Should you or any agent under your employ return to Virginia by any circumstance, then your death warrant shall be issued summarily!” Smyers chokes. He coughs.
He is silent.
William is transported into the mansion on the hill. Here Elisa spends all her time in care of him and her newborn child. It has been a fortnight since William was wounded. He has not eaten, nor drank, nor moved. William has made no response during this time. Elisa fears her lover is dying. She watches him moment by the moment. Each instant she is in prayer. Prayers are made for her newborn. Prayers are made for her present companion. Prayers are made for her dead guardians, the Churchwaters. Prayers are made for her departed husband, Captain Rednapp. It is late this night. Elisa is tired beyond her expression. She says good night to her valiant William. “When we first held each other it was a moment enduring. I became your woman and you my man not for the now but for all past and all coming.” Her breasts rest against his chest.
He is alive and warm. Elisa’s love and desire is offered to William. Her hands caress his. “We shall never part again.” Her lips touch his. “I shall live in wait. The union of our souls has been made before God Almighty.” Her contentment can be no greater. William’s hand makes a firm press against hers in reply.
Elisa will mother two sons for William. She will be a devoted wife all her days. Her first cousin Henry will become the King of England. William will serve as Governor of Virginia for many years. However he will spend many summers in the Cherokee nations hunting withy his sons. Chaupaug is to be survived by Scio as the Chief of the Three Cherokee nations. The Cherokee will prosper under William’s Governorship. Sir Thomas McCrady will become Head of the College of Surgeons for all the Royal Colonies. His wife Naupaug and his six daughters will reside with Thomas in a most posh residential section in Richmond. The End