Out of an autumn sunset he rode. Black as silk lining against the mighty setting sun he stood out as a hero in the young ladys eyes. The chill of the late hour once the heat had left the earth ran through her.
From the thicket near her a bird screamed and flew out in a flury of leaves .Frightened her to let out gasp as the horseman reached down and gathered her up like a mop hen and fitted her down on the horse behind him without slowing down his trot. Once she was seated the spurs brought his stead to the gallop which was so fast took the wind out of her breath .
Before them,over the hill loomed the manor of Gorton . Its great Tudor chimneys famous all over the county of Kent as a house of rich and noble family of De Brin. .The rider brought down the speed to a gentle walk over that last of the way. She stead steaming ready for the groom to take charge of the reins.
He lifted her gently down and patted the neck of his mare before sliding down from his saddle . “Give her a good wipe down Edric .She ran well today.Maybe even a half hand of oats extra at lockdown .”
‘My lord all will be as you say. ” He lead the great 16hand mare back to her loosebox .She snorted at the door to stables as her announcement to the other occupants that she was back.
In the house now sat Sir Alister De Brin father to the horseman . The girl shivered in front of a great log blaze in the grate.
‘Come to my ears John my son that a war is brewing slowly but sure as eggs will burst into something nasty soon. America is but a young pup leaving her older mother England. Lord North is making light of it in the House . The Government too is relaxed as he. Tell you son things are building up .Tax is the problem . These new Englanders are mighty upset of the Kings taxation ”
He smiled showing his white teeth from under the heavy black mustache . ” Father if we have to pay up why in the name of justice cant they. Crops are good im told in the new world estates. “
“That may well be. But you see John they want to break from us so tax is just another thing to moan over . Washingtons uncle in Durham is worried what is going on asked me this day to look into it . I am to send in spys North says its pointless but old chap is not a thinker beyond his London club. If he rattles the cages he will be bitten is my thought John. ”
The girl sat down her legs stiff with walking.
“So little sister tell our father your news ”
She looked up as if sleepy but Johns booming voice woke her mind up .She rose and walked to the table.
“Well! child what news is this you bring me? “
She threw back her raven black hair and said. ‘I was in the village of saint Ives this morning father. I was sat with cousin Mary near the garden gate and two men walking slow in thought we saw and heard but they failed to see us. The concourse was like this. First an said aint right Dan we sail on morning tide to New York. What with that is so worthy on Sir Jeremy Strong on board. The other man said ,mind your words you fool. We are aiding the colonists with arms .What do I care we are being paid more for silence now shut it will you. I dont want to hang because of your loose mouth you hear? Then they went out of ear shot still muttering down the hill out of sight and sound. “
” Can you say who they are dear Grace?”
“No father not locals Id at guess may say Bristol. One was wearing a tricorn the other a bare head . Not sailors Id say bankers by sight or tricorn hat was the other maybe in trade. They walked from the east nothing there but warehousing .”
‘Good daughter. Now ring that bell for dinner someone Im famished .”
At Midnight John and two of his gaming friends rode silently down to east road to see what ware was in the building. It was not a break in just a examination of how to get in.
By moon light they forced the window shutters open but the room was empty . All rooms seen as the same .
‘They must have loaded the hold on one of those ships in the dock . Wait here whats this.?” John bent down with the candle lit in his hand and picked up coin. Small and dark but clearly he saw it as an American cent.
Part one to the story .
Thank you for joining us this day .
Sir Kevin Parr Bt.
Copyright kevinparrBt2021late August.