Letter from Latvia

Out of the gray sullen mists of a Latvian forests came the shrill scream of distant remorse. Lost in legends this wraith of spirit of the wilds is said by many to be the warning sound that announces that death of a Baron. Here in the green flat landscapes of rural Latvia know as Lettland through out lost centuries it is the land of the Lett and the tribes of Germanic Kelts.Riga the capital was built by German Knights and traders.

 

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Riga showing the old airship hangars since then international markets .Each massive glass and iron building houses food stuffs in sections and finest goods in European trade can be found alongside an array of good Latvian grown and fattened goods. Many stalls set out in lanes inside and outside of buildings give every chance for every pocket. You can buy anything you desire here for that table and kitchen.  All you need is good legs and lots and lots of time. Breakfast and coffee cafes in every corner even a good dinner can be found. we shop and rest .meet up with friends and have a good day being happy with what one can buy. Supermarkets have nothing on this place. Even though at times we use them too. The oldest town part dates back to 1200 but my favourite is oldtown itself.

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This tale is of a noble Baron of Tutonic birth. His roots deep in the past of Knight from Germany who formed bands of robbers and when rich enough built their castles in Latvian vales and mounds to protect the stolen lands of their bloodline. The Castles built around 12th century to 14th.

Baron Hesstle was something of a gardener in mind and so we find his mighty gardens all grown over  today. Occupation of German army and in 1945 the Russian over lords brought down the idea of Churhills words of fear for the Baltic lands when he said an Iron Curtain has fallen over Europe .One that will not be lifted in our life times.God help them.

Russia wrecked the property and heritage of Baltic nations and Latvia death camps existed and can still be seen. Many parents torn form children marched to trains to be sent to salt mines in Siberia. Homes given to Russian peasants with jobs on land of those dead Latvian families. Never a free live for youth right up to today many have never heard of King Arthur or movies with Errol Flynn or even Micky Rouke.

The legend of death is perhaps the fate waiting for those who perished in Siberian cold. However the forests today are not as many as then as Baltic timber was sold all over the world as best. Now old forests exist less but can be found easily on walks. A land of beauty wrapped into a mantle of such a bitter past.

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That Baron died in his sleep long ago in 1900. He was the last of the Tutonic Knights of old.  His family grave iron fenced in all holy state .Stones carved with names and dates but ransacked by grave robbers, bones strewn over the plot and ivy breaking stones makes it hard to read the brass inserted information. Latvian poor thought jewels worth the effort of midnight pillage of the dead but revealed nothing. So the wrecking of graves was revenge. Sad but people will stop at nothing to be rich. All the riches on earth can be the chains of woe around your own neck ,forever weighing you down, down to your broken knees. Latvia is hot summered and little rain some years and in others warm wet and English in style. Mostly it s in the 90f all day. Winters same .In past cold Siberian Artic down to 30cel minus. If snow falls it can be deep but protective of garden plants. Not that Gardens as English or Americans know as Gardens though it is possible to build them in true classical fashion if dedicated and skilled.

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Here it is free and easy in the main and many many other nationals from other nations flock here as it used to be very cheap. Not so now but still cheaper than well occupied counties such as said .  I would say food is cheaper so they have it right one can live well with a little planing.

Jobs are not all well paid and even though Government have raised the average wage up to 450 euro a month for unskilled only self employment is on offer for the average no skilled. Saying that a Doctor is on less pay here than a Milk man in England.  Pensions robbed by previous Governments pay out now poor to starvation levels . 120 euro per month is average level of pay. Many I have spoken to on less. A man called Dom Brosky a now EU minister is blamed for the pension raids on Latvian workers many tell me. Brosky was in Latvian department before gaining a place in EU.

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For many who come here it can be an eye opening situation but with freedom financially those can expect a good life here more than many other countries on earth.  For the Latvians are friendly helpful and not a problem in the main though no one will work without some form of pay of course. One finds a bottle of something is the cost for some to cash per day for work for many others.

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There is a wide divide here between the city life and income to countryside which is poor to down and out. No life outside Riga Valmera or Sessis. Cities lager than villages smaller than a town in England. Long open lands between all places tends to have effect on locality. Costs in these towns can be higher than countryside but some can be cheaper in some areas of value.  Latvia boasts one of the best coastline in Europe .Blue sea ocean and 70 kilometers of white sand bay around a cobalt none salt natural Riga Bay. Forests all over help to protect both land and sea here. A public place at weekends yet any day in the week in hot summer one can find the sand empty of people at work. Local folk hardly go but City people drive out to fill the beaches all weekend. I have walked it all .Red sandstone cliffs to Riga shops and bus back home exhausted from market bus terminus. Cost of 2 euro 23 cents one way 50 miles the way bus goes.

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Red deer Elks and badgers wild hawks and now Russian brown bears hunt in deep forest but hardly ever are seen. One morning in April last year I opened my curtains to see two massive horned Elks wander over my lawns .Him and Her just ambling over the land .Lovely sight so massive and peaceful. I went to inspect later not a single proof they had ever been there. I have a pair of read legged Grouse come through iris bed into lawn and watch me feed them standing stock still. Once I go to place to watch them behind glass doors in lounge they feed and bob around before off again through flowerbeds to forest I think. See than often in early summers.

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My near neigbour over the fields has had an attack of wild boar take a row of potatoes out of his veg gardens, making a bad mess too. Yet to date over 8 years never seen a boar here as too near the road and boars come from wild forest right into his gardens where we are some two miles off him.

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Today from early morning stair rods of heavy rain making it cooler and garden plants dont need my efforts today. Having built an arts and craft pleasure gardens on 3 acres and walled gardens gated folly gardens on 2 acres with massive gates that may terrify wild animals thankfully even the veg gardens at side of house are not touched by man or beast. I also have a brick columned iron gated hen yard and palace for my Chinese Pekin Bantams all golden and bright eyed. I allow them out onto one lower lawn at 5pm for last hour grass nibble for doctor greens keeps well fed girls in good shape .

So for now that is it really. Latvia brews top notch beers that cost about 67 cent a litre in cans or bottles.Less than 30 pence. Not a drinker or smoker myself just thought to mention its why so many Swedish coaches pilled in to our area not just for its natural beauty but for the very cheap drinks. Shop keeper are happy to see and greet them.

Thank you for reading my account, as seen by me alone.

Yours always Sir K

COPYRIGHT 2020 KevinParr Bt

Detective James under fire; conclusion.

The sunset over Waterloo Bridge as  old man Thames river sparkled red and lovely passing by under his gaze. It was a sad Chief Constable thinking of the near death account of his friend Detective John James. Was it over.  He would only know in the morning and that was a weight to carry. He waked the embankment watching the sun set before taking the cab ride back home.Another day in the city was over.

” Good morning boss.Any news?”
“No not as yet. Case for you on that desk Jones. I could ring Middlesex hospital. What ward was it Jones?”

He was about to pick up the receiver as Doctor Dee wandered in to the main office.’ No need I have just come from ward 2 .He is out of danger they said he needs rest. Bullet passed through his lung you see no way can they patch it up.  Breathing is a problem which ever way it goes. ”

” They will retire him then Doctor?”

” Not my bag to share is it ?”

“Then thanks for the news Dee, best get on with it, take my mind off the horror of it all.”

“Indeed but the bullet I have as evidence matches the slug that killed Rita .Find that .38 and you have who shot our friend the good Detective James.”

 

He slowly turned and walked out back to his lab. The phone burst into life cutting through the barrier of silence like the echo of machine guns in 1917.

The call from staff upstairs gave them first clue. A hand gun had been found in the mens toilets blocking the water flush and found by janitor at 8.23am that day.

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‘Right you Jones go and bring that pistol back from Fenchurch rail station .It can be we have all the staff fingerprints on it. Speak to Harry Waterman hes the janitor who discovered it. Someone couldnt pull the chain in the loo. get on with it then man we have a department to run. ”

The streets of London full of public figures rushing this way and that in an effort to go no place. Jones came back with a .38 Smith and Wesson hand gun in a specimen bag. In the barrel Dee tipped out three rounds and took the gun to his test station and fired one round into the barrel of sand.  In moment it under the microscope revealed it was the very gun used to fire the bullets into Rita and later into James.  Fingerprints showed at least 12 sets of fingers had held this gun. They looked at Dee for help.

 

‘Not a grain on use but the bullets were loaded by someone.If no one fiddled with them we may still be lucky. ”

The bullet fired and shell plus the able round in the barrel chamber revealed nothing.Cleaned and left to be found by someone who either wanted to finger a killer or perhaps just puzzle the police a bit more.

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Detective James came around at 3,34pm. In the mist before his eyes he slowly saw a vision before him .She leaned over him to build up his pillow saying :Arnt you the lucky one.” She was fresh and crispy white starched and nurse like .He relaxed as her slight scent of Chanel drifted near his nose. If only he could focus,

The morgue was still and silent as Dee tried hard to think. The corpse of Rita had gone for burial the empty slabs rare in this room lay accusingly as he sat ta his desk .Then it hit him. The water tank lid many have prints and only Harry the Janitor and if any other print is found we have the killer,or at least who left the gun there. He picked up the phone at announced it all to Chief Constable who organized it with department.

The fingerprint gang arrived half hour later as police manned the toilet door. Six sets of prints one Harry Waterman the others to sort out on interpol list and office print room.

By noon Detective James sat up in bed feeling almost himself. Nurse Julie Haskins at his side again. “So sir how is your wound in the neck coming on. We can change bandages and maybe you will feel more comfy.”

James looked up at her and he knew for the first time in his life that she was the one for him. She smiled and sang sweetly to take his mind off the gaping hole in his neck. It was nicely healing .The bullet had passed through. He could speak and that was a good sign. She did her duty and left him to see to another. He watched her every move which kept him very involved with nurse Julie until flashes came before his eyes .Red jaguar black windows. He was looking at the gun man through a half opened window. He tried to bring his face to him but all he could see was the flash of metal and the fire from the gun flashed before him again. She looked back .He was asleep again. She smiled and went about her duties happily.

“So the gun is registered to a company we know. get the cars around Adams fast,”

The ride through to East End took an age in the mind of police inside that car. Armed up and able they pulled up and marched into to Lenny the Jewelers shop.

‘whats this about then?

‘Lenny dear man we meet again.”

“Your the copper that put my daughter away for life, you bastard no help from me.”

” Really Lenny, murder is murder and your Gill went down for killing her friend for her car. Now come with us. Jones pack up whats in his safe. Key Lenny or we blast the bloody door off it.”

The contents a tray of diamonds worth some half million on sale. A gun loaded Glock and box of shells. A small metal rod and a box containing a set of photos of Rita Coleman the murdered woman.

Dee examined the box fingerprinted with no match to anything. Only Lenny. The hand reached the rod. Picked it up and gave it all he had but it was just a brass like metal rod. He looked at the five photos of Rita shopping in some supermarket. He need the mind of James for this he knew that. He moved the rod and box out of his way as the rod rolled it opened into a silencer. Dee amazed at the workman ship gloved as always took it up to PC Jones and Detective Adams.

No one had seen anything like it ever. Lenny said little of any use but when faced with the gun and silencer fixed he came clean. He hid it for Peter the Painter a hit man for Prestons gang.  This Peter had been brought in for a job by Preston. His target Detective John James.

“Did he murder Rita too?”

“Want to go as police witness I can tell you a bit more rest will be what I think happened.”

” Deal can be made if your info leads to arrest.”

” It will . Rita got in the way. More when deal is done.Protection new name and full story of what I know happened. Deal first if Preston finds out even in prison he will kill me dead out here.”

‘ France, new name and set up as Jewel dealer honest trade of we tell French police. Best we can offer. Better be a good story we can act upon.Fire away Lenny.”

“In writing signed by above and clear my shop for me to move as I cant can I ?”

The thing was now in full swing .He told his tale that nailed some twenty top drawer criminals.

At this moment Detective James was able to sit back up in bed. His nurse came to feed him and feeling helpless she knew he was not comfortable being served.  Here was a man of action of kindness and duty she started to feel his power and his eyes told her he liked her. Not a word was said but they both knew the future at that moment together.

‘So you say Preston from prison brought in this German Peter the painter just to kill our Detective James .Rita was able to see the execution of a gangland drugs dealer called Gordon Miles. Why was he snuffed then Lenny?”

” He owed money to Preston been skimming to pot. Cant do that and live you see.”

“Shot by whom and where .Supermarket car part Id guess but who pulled the trigger on both victims. Give than the name and your free to go. ”

” No cant leave here now my shop.”
” you can sit in the cells .Your shop is now being searched but really stored into a furniture van marked police. By now maybe ready to ship by container with all you home and workshop gone from London cleaned out by police raids. You can be taken upstairs for new passport new identity and vanished within the hour. My promise you stay under the radar and your safe for life. Understand as much as a driving fine for speed and they may find you. ”

” Yes and thank you. Your man is on his way to collect that tray of diamonds from my safe at 5pm tonight. He will be at my shop. Peter the painter is also called The Shark by those you book his services on the deep web.  I have met him only once but he is noticed . Nothing to look at but eyes dark and eyes as lifeless as a shark look right into your soul as meat only. He is a complete killing machine Id say. ”
“Where did you meet him?”

“Last month at a party in Marylebone. Given by some big wig in Government .Not my scene really but had to deliver a necklace to madam Preston who was accompanied by the Shark. ”

‘Was he introduced?”

” Not to me I am just a delivery boy. No it was Prestons wife who let it out to her daughter Carina as he was in ear shot leaving by the side door .”

At 5pm Detective James was out of bed on a stick being aided by Nurse and doctors as he made his first steps and breathed in air. In East end The shark was captured and finger prints sent to Interpol. In the cell this arch criminal opened his veins with a glass shard from the crushed water jug. . He was bleeding to death but doctors attended to revive him successfully. Interpol had been on his tracks for four years but he had always vanished. The killer had been captured and jailed read for Interpol to take charge on this international murderer.

James had survived .The hole in his neck had healed and nothing damaged.Not so the hole in his lung.  The Police board decided to retire him on full pension as awarded top detective by Police top brass. He married his nurse and bought a house in Surrey with gardens to work in.  All was fine happy and best days of his life and hers. Until a call came offering John James consultancy job from home as police needed his brain on cases even now.  He looked at her hard as he told her.Julie James was on his side and he loved her with all his heart.

So that must be it for now. Hope you will read my blogs and enjoy is all I ask of you.

Yours Sir Kevin.

Copyright Kevin Parr Bt 2020 July 23rd

 

 

Detective James under fire.

The view across to the hotel was all he could see from the window in his tiny room. Laying out on the new made linen bed clothes his bed so comfy he slept.Slept for the first time in days on this case.

The alley between Detective John James and the next shanty hotel along Paton Row had guests. Two men with pistols slowly slid up the narrow stair to James room. Hearing the creak of dry floor boards James awoke and from the pillow drew the gun from under his head just in time as the bedroom door burst open .Before anything they could do James had shot them both dead.

The Guard on the hotel opposite was at the window when James turned to look. He waved to say all was good and waited for the signal. It came to say witness asleep. James was not sure and raced from the room over the bodies on the corridor. Something had clicked in his mind.

Inside of witness protection the hotel room where Rita Coleman was being held was empty.The police man dead and so down the stairs he fled as the car sped away he wrote down the registration and fumbled for the mobile phone in his pocket. One call left on the charge and he got trough with trace just long enough to make it work. Back at his desk ten minutes later.

” So welcome back sir ,coffee in the kitchen if your wanting one.”

” Good man Hastings. Yes thanks one sugar, no milk. ”

” That reg sir traced to one Johann Berk an antique dealer Old Kent Road. ”

“Pick him up will you?”

“On the way in sir with PC Jones”

“Knew I could rely on you.”

” No trouble ,coffee .”

‘Lovely thanks. ”

“So who are they sir.’

“Search me. Heard them on the stairs aimed and fired as door flung back.”

” Bodies in morgue with Doctor Dee.”

“Good. I will take my coffee down to see him now.”

Down to the Morgue door he was welcomed by a very welcomed voice.

“Ah! Horatio dear dead eye  dick, both corpses shot clean in the fore head. ”

” Hello to you too Dee.”

“Yes. One is Perry Holister, son to boss of Mafia in West End. He will be pleased with you John.”

“And the other?”

“Not a clue as yet just another hired gun perhaps?”

“Must be something heavy to send his loved son to finish you off ?”

” They got way clean with only witness to the murder.”

” Yeap! afraid so”

Time rolled over and Dee discovered the dead man was none other than Richard the Cosh Dean. Famous gunman from New York. Detective James informed and the chase was on for the witness.

” Detective James New Scotland Yard let me through. ”

“Glad its you Horatio .Your hopes may be sunk meet Rita Colman ,that was. ”

” Any facts on what caliber that shell in her head is Dee?”

“Not a magician just a wizard in my lab. Tell you after I remove her brain. ”

Back at his desk the Chief Super at his elbow. “Let us talk James .The whole fish is out of the net is it?”

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” Seem that way sir. ”

” Where are we now Detective.”

” Sunk unless-”

“Come on man what is in that fast mind of yours?”

” One chance sir. If Rita saw it happen maybe Tom her husband saw the same.Both at that counter each time I go on for fish and chips.”

“Yes indeed from the counter the window looks right out into the street. He may cough up as his wife is dead because of this. Revenge may be on his mind. ”

The walk into the fish and chips bar was not easy as all lights off and door locked at front.Side door led into the room behind. Head in hands sat Thomas Coleman.

John James walked over to the armchair to console the poor man.

” Sorry it came to this Tommy nothing can bring Rita back .Will you help me nail the bastards that did this. ”

It was no bedside manner but his head nodded yes and that was result needed so very badly. Tom was set in a cell with machine gun guards all four of them.One in cell with witness two in the corridor one at the very back in small room where anyone coming through that door at front of cells could never see him.

The hours ticked by and at eight next morning Tom was guarded to the court without incident.

By 10.44 am he had given his statement to cross examination. The court now in session.

‘The bullet in Rita Colemans head fitted the gun that Johhny Logan used in the robbery and under four hours of fast arguments as he took stand he broke down and fingered Mob boss Stan Preston as orders came from him direct.

Logan and Preston indited on six offenses of murder received three lifetimes of sentences at HMS pleasure.

“You did it again James .The top room send thanks.”

“No rise in pay just thanks sir. ”

” Coppers lot is not a happy one dear John. Keep the chin up good job old son.”

” Something like that sir. Fish and chips anyone.On top room as they pay the bills let them give us celebration dinner on the bloody cheap sir. ”

” Go on then we did put away the most dangerous crew ever out of East End of London even Crays could not have dealt with Mob boss Preston. Not for me Im off for dinner at the Ritz .Comes with rank john.

Rank ,he thought as he made his weary way to buy fish and chops for all. Then it happened and out of a passing car window two shots fired at Detective John James brought the good officer crashing down to meet the pavement as the red Jaguar speed away.

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He lay in his blood for just a minute before PC Jones was at his side ringing Hospital assistance as officer down.

All sat shocked in the office silence at the loss of such a man. Dee raced up to learn the truth that his friend for nearly 20 years lay on an operating table fighting for life. One shell passed through his left lung. The other hit in in the neck.

“So we can only pray sir.”
Yes but we can also trace that car .Two witnesses saw what happened but in waiting room one. Get to it lads we cant help Detective James any other way.

Continued next week.

Thank you for joining us and hope you found it interesting.

Yours Sir Kevin.

copyright Kevin Parr Bt 2020 July 18th

 

 

Will the real Sir Francis Drake stand up.

Even this mans birth date is unknown. 1502 -1509 anyplace either side or between. He was one of 12 children born in Tavistock Devon on a farm belonging to the Earl of  Bedford   .

Drake loved the stories of his older cousin John Hawkins and at age of 15 took to aid John in what seems to have been transportation of Gold Coast African slaves. He then entered the navy and rose to rank of Captain soon after. Then craving expedition he sailed his own ship around the world anti clock wise into fame.

He was in fact in search of the truth was part of New world an island.  It was now he saw how Spanish sailors armed and able robbed the Inca Indians of gold. He decided to help himself out at sea by capturing the laden ships and becoming rich  Back in England he  had a ship built to cope with fast sea battles and speed was the need. Out came the ship he called the Pelican but soon after Drake changed his mind and renamed his newly built ship The Golden Hind. {A deer female is a Hind. } Gold , speaks for itself.

He sailed to capture as many Spaniards as possible. Any ship he could keep in one piece after battles he sold as salvage.This was legal to perform and still is.  In fact he shared half this treasure with Queen Elizabeth I st in England. So much gold and tons of silver made her very happy. So much her minsters worried over war with Spain. She decided even so, to award Drake with a Knighthood. However she did not go down to his ship she sent the French Ambassador to Knight Drake on the deck of his ship in dock. Cunningly distancing herself from support for his actions. Then she did grant him a license to make money as a Private owner of ships he became a privateer. This meant he could sail where he wished and he did ,right back to plundering the gold ships sailing from South America on route to Spain.

Phillip King of Spain placed price on Drakes head but they had stolen the gold from Incas so Drake thought it only proper to steal it from the thieves.

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It is interesting to know that half Drakes crews where Black men who had equal rights on deck to work and be paid. If we think of Sir Francis as a Pirate I will say his men,all of them loved him. He never went after other honest traders he stuck like a limpet to the ships of Spain and the gold silver and jewels worth the danger of battle.

The Pope contacted King Phillip of Spain and told him he would pay for Spain to built a new vast navy. That navy to sail and take England as theirs and handing the Godless Queen to Pope for torture. Phillip chopped down his forests leaving the lands flat. He brought in ship rights from all over and in four years built the mighty navy that the Pope wanted. Drake hearing of this sailed back to the Queen for permission to attack the Port of Cadiz where most of the new navy lay at birth. He sailed in with old vessels and set fire to them directly in line they sped to target and burned to ash many mighty galleons that in turn set fire to part of that city. It is called by the English records the shinging of the King of Spain s beard. It took Phillip another year to replace his loss. So England in the know devised a plan. It went like clockwork in 1588 when Spain sent hundreds of galleons armed to the teeth into Dover ports. Then the Thames but in fact fire ships and good navy shooting broke down masts but the big ships could not turn around became sitting ducks as our tiny ships ran circles around them.

The rest of the navy arrived and dropped anchor to say prayers when in came the fire ships into the tightly knitted groups of shipping .Too late the anchors raised by then all on fire burned and took over half of Spains fleet. Then the English wind blew hard and drifting ships and maned vessels went windward around our coastline. So many wrecked on the rocks what was left reached Scotland and swam ashore. That is why many Scots are darkly none native looking now.

Phillip hearing the news was told the Pope refused to pay as failure was an insult to the Vatican. He was bankrupt personally and his nation too. Phillip the might Catholic King whom all feared was bankrupted and Drake was rich as he had the largest galleon for salvage money.  Queen of England in her armour ready to die among  her army was to hear a service for victory in much relief.

Sir Francis Drake was happy to retire .Help build defenses and bring in a proper water system in Plymouth Devon. Paid for it all and water in the city for first time since the Romans was the result.  Aged 55 ,Today would be age of 78 he was called to see his Queen again .She need the gold that Drake had buried owing to the singular fact  that his men could not carry it all back to the ships. I bet he was not happy but no one refused Elizabeth anything. This was Englands golden age and Drake the most famous and most loved mariner of that age.

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Drakes statue In England.

In this act he sailed back with many ships to again find the spoils of war. Trouble is that Spains spies in England had alerted Phillip the King. A reception awaited Drake and so he could not land. In the battles he suddenly felt ill and 3 days later he was dead. 55 years old in 1596.

Now  all say he died on Dysentery but if he did they had time to dress him in his armour as he himself had requested. Lay him out in the lead lined coffin that was not made in seconds. You see having seen first had what happens when dysentery attacks it is a smell so bad no one will go near a sufferer as contents of stomach is putrid and out it all comes every time the sick man coughs. In 3 days of it i say that metal suit of war armour they buckled on to the body taking save half hour to effect that would be impossible to suffer. Anyway 3 days is short for that complaint to kill Drake. 7 days is the time for death as your insides rot. My guess as he complained of pains in his chest too that he died of a stroke, or heart attack. just my guess but think its right.

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Exact replica of the Golden Hind in Devon built for movie use.

That haul of gold we know all about .Drake and twenty crew member carried the sacks of gold down from the attack loosing the mules by gun shot sounds the Spanish fled after a stand up hard fight. Drake ordered the sacks two per man about 40 pounds per sack so about half the man could not carry through jungle so much. Drake ordered half the gold and silver to be buried and site marked on chart. They hobbled back down the track to the ships and sailed way with the gold they had.

No one since has ever found it. They say around half what was recorded by Spain has value of 78 million pounds today.

The Archeologist TV producer and star of the Discovery channel  Joss Gates shows us the exact path in the Portobello jungles that Drake buried the treasure was very good to watch it. He found a sword hilt an English dagger blade and other proof that the site could be very near. Then as always never finds what they went to find. This treasure remains hidden.

Drakes coffin should not be found or moved it is a grave site. The ships that English sailors could not man they sank in the bay near the massive stone called Drakes Rock that sits in, Portobello, Panama waters even today. The two ships cannons found suggests that Drakes coffin may be in that same area.

Was Drake a nice man ? yes by all account he was a good man. The slaves he freed stood by him to the end. Rare in a time when it was not thought wrong and dealt in on the lesson of blacks selling blacks to Seaman as normal trading. Elizabethans harder more daring and perhaps less concerned with ways that we have learned since that time is wrong.

My take on Sir Francis Drake is he was a man dead set on riches. Then he shared all with his crews and gave half to his Queen shows he was not so tight pocketed as history makes him look. In his mind if Spain was the gold thief it did not make him a  pirate for scolding them. He then sailed into battles so powerful that victory gave him every human right to take the wealth and let the sailors go. Then two wrongs never make a right and only the proud Inca was the looser in truth.

What will they find if they do locate a 424 year old coffin in deep water? Lead lined on a ships deck may not have been the best job of metal work. The wood rotten years ago the lead knocked by rock movement. Perhaps only bits of metal and a few bones not taken by shark and larger fish. My guess it accounts for the reason no one has ever found Drake. Then if by some massive reason its intact this coffin it is a grave site . Do we really need to disturb it ?

b1eafd72bc1e1f018790ee499c8cc7fd Sir Francis Drake as Historic research finds him and wax model made to show him perhaps as he was.

Thank you for reading hope you want to research more of this amazing mans life.

Yours Sir Kevin.

Copyright Kevin Parr Bt 2020

 

The gift of love.

Morning had appeared over the hill the golden sun came bright and warmed the face of young Taria a man laid out in the sands of wild  desert expanse .Far from his home and  still feeling the lump on the back of his head he rose frozen only for the warmth of the sun now he may never have woken.

The road to the town of Parbhani was another three days on foot from him. He felt weak but faced the now burning sun . The sky already turning purple as rain was hoped for soon. He had set out from the city to deliver a baby and after successful birth he had taken his leave to go home to his wife . His motor cycle was no place to be seen then suddenly he felt the heavy weight on his head and no more.  Some how he had been taken and dumped in the desert by unknown hands. That lump on his head was painful but he edged on with only his handkerchief over his head knotted each corner to keep it on. his leather medical bag was also missing. It had been the gift of the people he had served since leaving medical school in Delhi.

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The Indian sun beat down relentlessly he could hardly see ahead, mirage after mirage puzzled his eyes. Then he swooned and hit the sand heavily. Above his still body black shadows flew in circles after food. He lay many hours and woke cold and wet with sweat. His head banged, his eyes hurt but it was cold and he marched on until the hard road surface connected with his bare feet. In time a vehicle stopped and picked the man up. On hearing the strangers tale the driver was a mechanic who had been asked to start a motorbike as two men from Lahore had lost the key. Doctor Taria Pandit now asked the description as he himself had wired the bike to start only be key. The driver thought hard as at that time he had thought it strange. By the time they reached the town gates he had written down the half remembered registration . Taria was now sure it was his machine. No medical bag was noticed by the driver but even so his description of the two men matched with his memory of two men he had seen at the birth and were uncles to the baby born. He had now a starting point but first must find his wife. His loyal helper, wife and dearest lady, was opened armed so frantic and worried over him it was some time before she learned the truth of his time way. Bathing his head and with hot towels around he fell asleep.His wife slipped out to inform her brother of the news. He sat at his desk as chief of police taking it all in.

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It was afternoon of the following day that Taria awoke, his medical bag on his bed side cabinet. It was joyous to see it again and he leapt from the bed to find it empty. His tool and medicines all gone.The newly purchased stethoscope  too had gone. It was while he sat thinking, bag on his knees, that his wife arrived with teapot and two cups  on her best tray. He smiled but opened and tipped up the bag to show it void of goods. She nodded slowly knowing all.

His wife no stranger to life put her hand on his head softly, caring and said so gently that she loved him no matter what. He looked up at her with moistened eyes and nodded his head into her arms.

It was as the burning morning sun came over the garden house that Taria looked from his window to see many people calling him down to see them. He sleepy headed opened his front door to all the village who handed him a canvas bag. Inside ,to his astonishment they had given him new tools. He was told that all had clubbed in to help him as he could only help them if he had tools for the many illness about.  His wife at his side,all knowingly ,smiled . Doctor Taria was back again as doctor to all.

From the bushes a man stood watching .His head down, his hands at his side ,his guilt hurting him .Slowly he walked away sad and alone his bottle in his pocket bought on the proceeds of the sale was all he had .He was so angered at his need for whiskey that he failed to see the car, off the hand brake,       before it rolled over him. The doctor was rushed to aid him but found he was too late.  Too late for that man too. Then Taria would never know he was with the man who robbed him.

Short tale of greed. Thank you all for reading my work. Gavitar new comers a big thank you for joining us. Welcome. Sir Kevin.

Copyright Kevin Parr Bt. 2020

 

Detective James at the ready,concluded.

The sun hung low over the tree line birds flew and the sound of voices heard in the Dell. The land almost dry at the edges of the Mire as police teams searched every inch.

” Danger is John you lads are very near the heart of this bog. May be sun has dried the spread of the soft part all up but the land is but a march vibrating under footfall.  Be careful man nothing is worth dying for.”

” My men are experts in this area sir Andrew but treasure is the last thing on my mind .”

“Sorry.I dont understand you now. ”

” That girl Alison Gibbs that served in your employ is dead sir. She never left this house. Her remains are out there someplace. ”

” Good God sir you mean someone murdered her,Why?”

” She told her killer of the treasure is my guess.”

The call went up at that same moment and after just four hours her remains had been located.

“Hello Horatio. Died of a large bang on the head. Broken scull. Some one with a heavy arm. ” Panted the overworked police pathologist.

” Thanks Doctor Dee. My hunch is right you see. ”

“John as long as I have known you your hunch is always right. See you back at the Yard .Oh! your lads are finger printing a large ball hammer head found above the victim just a meter down in the earth. Enough for now will know more when I have her loins on my table. Later then”

The afternoon went slowly on the team muddy and tired transported back to base .

“So who killed her then?”

” Wait for fingerprints we can only hope enough proof is left on a hammer 12 years in the earth. ”

“But you have a hunch who did it.”

“Your ghost sir Andrew. ”
“My sister could not have dragged a body as a ghost. ”

” Your sister is dead sir no place in this case. You see someone wanted you to walk into a trap set for you. See that mark in your carpet. ”

“Faintly but no chest in my time sat on that spot.”

“Some place in this wood panel is a catch. I have traced it all over and nothing. “Proclaimed the Detective.

“A door you mean. ”

” Yes exactly it was perhaps a priests hiding hole built by Catholic workman long ago. Usually built near a fireplace so the victim chased by Crown could keep warm in winters. Small room just enough to sleep flat out in. The family would feed him .”

” Catholics we were long ago yes. Same as all older families all changed over to Anglican when King Henry Tudor ordained his own church. ”

“There. This candle holder moves.Watch out sir Andrew.”

“My word your right a space behind it. Hardly used in centuries until of late someone used it to spy. That mark on your carpet fits this door opening.”

“Ladder in here John.”

The Detective climbed into the attics and used his torch with the new bulb Dee had fetched for him. In the ray of the torch light a bed was unmade and bread lay in slices on a plate with very stale jam. No one had been there in years as mold set on the bed blanket and plate told of time gone by.  He reached down to pick up a shiny disc. It was in close light a button from a soldiers jacket.

“So John the 3rd Light Infantry first world war uniform. ”

“That food is less than 3 weeks old Sir Andrew .No ghost here. See this pot it contains theatre grease .It shines in the dark. Who ever played your sister hid up in that attic used the ladder to reach the stairs and perform her role to appear before you. We are looking for an actress who is somehow connected to the dead girl who worked here. ”

 

“My word what ever else.?”

“More is the case .Your ghost is exposed but now work out why she performed is far more interesting than her act.”

“She was after the treasure then.”

” Yes but more to this than treasure.  Ill get to it straight soon. ”

Back in his office in Londons Met he called Dee.

“Yes two clear prints. Both belonging to Mrs Elsie Banks of The Strolling players company London.”

“Pick her up Harris and book her for murder.”

” Bit of info for you Horatio.”

“All ears Dee come in.”

” That body was moved some weeks before we found it. ”

” I know .You see dead by a fall from a ladder her mother buried her at night in the gardens. Then when we came to search she had to move her daughter again out of our way but she could not have know the full extent of my search plan.”

“You have been doing your homework Johnny boy. ”

“Mrs Elsie Banks is an old friend .I arrested her twice for fraud. Her child in care while she served time in Holloway prison. ”

” That child was her that worked for your Sir Andy then?”

” The very one. Soon as your fingerprints came to light i had it worked out.”

“That army button then, explain that?”

” Elsie was playing at the Dukes stage and played a soldiers moll .That great coat she still had on racing to find Sir Andrews treasure. ”

” Did she find it then.”

“She did and so did I. ”

” What.You have it here old son. ”

He smiled as he opened the desk drawer and took out a box.

“Go on man whats in it.”

“Here take it.”

The good doctor did as asked and to his surprise took out a broken rusted iron key.

” What will it fit in this state Horatio?”

“A good question but I know the answer. It connects to a bank box belonging to Sir Andrew now. He is as we speak, on his way here. ”

Sir Andrew on a stick managed to arrive safe at Detective James office.

‘So which bank is it John?”

” You tell me Sir Andrew. ”

“I beg your pardon.”

” You may but your under arrest for murder Sir Andrew.”

” Your maid found out about that key .I fond the box in your attic and before her and her mother could get to that bank you threw the girl down stairs killing her stone dead. You then set her body on a sack and dragged her into the garden.  For over a year she lay under your roses.Then hearing from me about the search you panicked and reburied the body in the dry march. That hammer head you had kept and used it now to frame her mother if body was found by us. ”

“What rubbish. Why would I do anything like that. ”

He smiled and took up the phone. “Send in Elsie.” was all he asked of Harris next door.

Elsie was marched in in handcuffs she told her part of this story as mistress to Sir Andrew who owed her more money than said. She found her daughter a placement in his service but he did not know the relationship to the mother.Between them they found the clues and as the key as found Sir Andrew overheard the plan and decided to act. Mother was back on stage, girl faced Sir Andrew and he killed her. Mother than appeared to soften the old boy up and find her daughter. When discovery came that she was indeed dead a mother lost her temper in grief and tried to kill Sir Andrew by poisoning his food. Result he lost control of his legs.

‘Arrest both of them book Andrew for murder and her for attempted murder .”

‘ Hate to ask Horatio but how do we know the account. ”

” We have it Dee. Here across the page 78. This history of his family .Page 78 line 6 and 090 in the margin. Try any combination may well work. Bring the car around. ”

‘Yes Sir. ”

The oldest bank in the world  of Medici fame held the account. 090786 opened the safety box and before their gazes lay on a blue satin cloth a sparkling necklace of pink diamonds best ever seen. The setting of Stuart silver edged with gold and six exactly same sized large pink diamonds with lesser size around chain. The bank had it valued at 226 million pounds.  To the Banks grateful thanks Detective John James placed the lid down and locked it.

‘Thank you .I do suspect another 500 years may pass by before that box is opened again by another relative of the owner now serving life in Wandsworth prison. ”

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End of story hope you found it an entertaining read.

Yours sincerely Sir Kevin.

Copy right Kevin Parr Bt 2020.

 

 

Detective James at ready, continued

The dusk fell over the house. The little dressing room bed he lay on had him sleep soundly until dawn at 6am. Then as he stood looking out across the gardens from a window over the sink he noticed a strange vision linger among the tree belt that marked the drive. He could just make it out as it darted back into the undergrowth. It was a figure in white and visible as it glowed.

He hurriedly dressed and made his way down to the locked side door in the kitchens. Up at the place he had witnessed the figure he searched and down on the long grass his fingers touched a greasy substance. Lifting this substance to his nose he suddenly knew what he was up against.

At breakfast he said nothing of his find to the cook and ate in silence alone. At length the master arrived and selected kippers and so sat at far end of table from John.

” Sleep well John?” Said the master of the house as his fork took up the smoked fish.

“Yes thank you. How many retainers do you employ sir.”

“Well! Mrs Tuttle my cook ,been with me 12 years. Peter ,my do it all man. Drives me and gardens ,fixes problems around the place .Plumber joiner that sort of thing. 5 years to date. Used to have a kitchen maid but we fell out as I cook caught he stealing silver. Bad show too it was. Police and such. ”

“How old and what became of her sir.”

“Oh! 17 perhaps Ill check in my book. She left with our reference and went ,well who knows.”

“Matters little these days .factory more the thing. Worcester girl then. ”

“No thats the thing. London, orphan. Came through agency my dear wife rang.”
“So she lived in.”

” Of course. Why?”

‘ No matter just a hunch. Can I see her room sir. ”

Day went on and Detective John James sat reading a book he had taken down from the shelves in the lounge room. As suspected grease marks on the page that held the information gave the game away. In his mind the girl had read this book and many times the same page. It was a history of the owners family. The page 67 told of an ancient Lord who had buried a treasure in the grounds of his estate to save it from the soldiers hunting him.

It was Civil  War in England the family lost at the battle of Towton  in Yorkshire and the Knights father killed in fight leaving only his younger son to escape from the slaughter grounds. The Duke of York dead and so many Englishmen of Nevile line had joined the ranks of the dead there. He had raced back to the house and gathered all valuable together and buried in in sea chests in the area of the land around house. He had taken ship to France and died of fever in Paris two year later with no money in his purse.

James came to the line that suggested the treasure was in the area of the rear of house drive. The land then four times larger that today took the fields to the left away sold off by the Earl who came a century later.

“So there you are John .Good read is it. ”

” Sit down sir.We have much to talk over now.”

“Really.”

” This book tells of the family treasure. Your kinsman buried it in sea chests on the land behind this house.”

“Yes so they say but my father,God love him.He spent all he had searching for it. Someone dug it up years before was his conclusion.”

‘ I think not. You see the porch on the entrance was built in the years 1816.1820. Who was owner then.”

“God knows. Lord Harry I think. He fought Waterloo with Duke of Wellington you know.”

“Waterloo was fought in June 1815 so yes Lord Harry it must have been. You see this house is wrong way around.”

” What ?”

“By building that porch so grand and turning the drive to it it shortened the drive and altered the entrance. That is why your rooms and all in the sunshine. The old entrance is your great hall.”

” So that great stone lintel was over that doorway. ”
” Yes Queen Mary Tudors time that part was built it says here. So he turned it all about easily and made it grander by far .It also faces the sun in the morning room he also built and made an old dark house far lighter by so doing. ”

“Lord Harry hmmm!”

‘ You do see what this means.”

“Well my poor father dug over the wrong part of gardens looking for that treasure.”

“Yes but more so someone else worked that out too. ”

” Who else not me I had not a single clue.”

“No but that girl that you dismissed had read this book many times.Here see this greeze.Its kitchen stained by working hands. Either your cook or most likely the girl. Her name would be handy sir. ”

“Never Mary my cook. That girl .erm! let me check. Something like Alice something. Ill go and ask cook. ”

I must come with you as she may know something we need to know. ”

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Part Three to follow.

Thank you for reading .Sir Kevin sends love to all.

Copyright Kevin Parr Bt 2020

 

Detective John James at the ready

Dark the night high the moon over the heather lane. The detective sorry he had not changed the bulb in the flashlight hand torch. Dimly he picked his way as a man lost in a dark cellar hugs the walls.

The Queens Men public bar was the first place he called at.

‘You look done in sir. On foot on a night like this?”

“Car left in next town car park engine failure. Anything to eat here?”

“Closing time in ten. I can ask our cook for soup and roll but thats about it”

“Lovely make it with butter if possible.”

The bar man marched off to the kitchen door and vanished into the affray beyond.

Just then Detective James saw he had a signal on his mobile and rang his desk hoping someone was working late in New Scotland Yard. He need not have worried as that someone was Detective Constable Harris.

“Where sir?”

“Lower Slaughter Harris. One mile outside. I am having a bite to eat in a pub so can you send someone to the car park behind Police Station there as car engine packed up on my. Where ?No  Cotswolds area. Why?  Harris I was on my way to see Sir Andrew Barber at Chambell manor Worcester.”

“Your soup and bread and butter sir. Its carrot soup sir .Everything to your taste?” The barman handed the tray over.

‘Thank you, many be a glass of dry red wine to wash it down seeing Im not driving tonight. Alas. ”

“Dry red French sir?

“What ever you have mister? ”

“Bob Prentice sir. Barman and church sexton on weekends.”

Harris rang back as James took to spoon to soup bowl. “Yes Harris. ”

“Found your car sir, garage man says new engine.”
“What ever upstairs says Harris ill hire a car on expenses.

“Roger that sir .Nothing in your tray Ill inform command in morning.Good night sir”

The soup he enjoyed the bread stale but he decided a bed would be better and was lead to a room above the main lounge looking over the fields of middle England.

It was therefore after a good hearty breakfast that James hired a new fiat and drove down to meet Sir Andrew at his old manor house front door.

‘So your the fellow famous for ghostly events . Im Sir Andrew Barber. Come in. ”

The purpose for this meeting was Sir Andrew as brother in law to Chief Constable who as boss to Detective James department had asked for help.

“You say a ghost stood over your bed Sir Andrew ”

“Well John if it was not, im a Dutchman .”

Old place like this can seem so ghostly could it not have been a dream?”

” No it was as clear as a lamp shining and face of a woman all white and pale .Not a thing to recall but cannot get it off my mind.You see I knew who it was.”

“You knew her?”
“Indeed I did.My sister Eveline .Dead these last 12 years.Cancer aged 40 took her you know. ”

“Yes sir  I drove my boss to the funeral at Saint Oswalds churchyard near here. ”

“Look old boy I had not touched a single drop that evening she came to me. ”

“What .Did she speak ?”

“No but she handed me this note?”
” A literate ghost what ever next.”

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“You can mock if you wish young man. Here read this.” He took up a paper from his side table and handed it carefully to the policeman.

“I see. Short and sweet. Take your self to Atlade and pay for your sins. Atlade sir?”

” A ridge looking over from my land to the dell beyond.”

“Have you been there since sir?”

“No. legs not up to that. Stick in soft ground after so much rain you see no good.”

” How far?”

” About a mile as crow flies. across the moor is only way from this house. ”

” On foot or car. ”

” Barley a foot can find a path across the mire.”

“Wet lands then. ”

“This weather indeed more than wet lands suck you in like worms.”

” Can I take a look at your bedroom sir. ”

” Rather take you up to my room than walk to Atlade John. ”

So it was that John James entered a large wood paneled room with a stone mullioned window bearing in stained glass the arms of the old mans family. The room dark in all corners but no board creaked under his foot fall.

“It was here I lay and from that door she drifted to me.I was in fear but she brought a skin and bone arm white as cotton sheets from inside of lowing silk gown and handed me that note. As I took it, dazed  was  I ,she drifted backwards into that wall.  “He pointed out to an oak wall in six large panels. A great brass lamp with six shades affixed to centre place.

James tapped at all panels and side timbers but the sound assured how solid that wall was. It was then as he gazed at the carpet were a slight depression took his eye.

“What is it John my boy.” Cried Sir Andrew.

‘ Cant say its anything.This depression have you moved a chest of drawers from this wall recently. ”

“Not to my knowledge Chest on chest 1670 against that wall. He lazily pointed across to the opposite wall. James then looked at the feet .Great solid balls under the cross beam told him nothing. He searched for clues but nothing came to light .Then as he walked to the door to leave he felt a chill come over him and as he looked into the corridor a ghostly figure peered back at him from the far end. For seconds only and as he blinked it vanished. Onwards he ran to that spot but nothing came to his hand to say anything was wrong.

“So we both saw that Detective did we not?”

“Yes.  I saw it I admit fearful, what ever it is.”
‘Its my sister, that was what we both saw”

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Next week part two.

Thank you all Ill make it worth the wait.

Copyright Kevin Parr Bt.

The young Kings man.

The moonlight led the way across the cobbled stable yard. The driving rain swinging the lantern. The creak of stable doors disturbed the hound. Sniffing the way to the prey he slide in behind his master ready to be his guard. The Inn was mid way from the Gates of York with its many heads of spikes .Traitors all of them who fought against their Duke. Edward was King now and golden haired golden voiced and giant to his subjects was more a God to his troops.

The thin line of soldiers traversed the mountain track down into the valley behind their leader.The Road from Wakefield had been long and this patrol Scottish loyal and Edwards faithful friends.

The wind howled thin and restless as from under the hay came the stable lad sleepily. The riders hand quick to the blade saw in time the need to relax. The horse hot and steaming white on the blue black mare shone in the moonlight as a ghost .The boy rubbed her down with a straw whip and curry comb in hand he began his task. She spluttered with vapor as much to say thanks. His touch told her to trust.

In the Inn now her able master was being fed a gruel of lamb and carrots in barley. Red wine in goblet he was engaged well in silent meaning. Over the cobbles iron shoes rattled to a stop .His men now arrived .He raised a hand to tell the landlord to make haste with grooms and feed for his horses and men.

In the gloom of the yard no one noticed the lean and quick figure of a beggar in rags pass out of the way into the barn of hay.  He was Robert the servant of Phillip the Bold the disguised spy ready to listen at cracks in doors for the slightest clue to race the wind back to his master with news of the young Kings army.

Captain Crompton was a leader born .He sat now watching his men eat. A pipe of baccy hanging from his lips a hand steady with the taper ,he drew the hot smoke into his body and exhailed with ease.

The inn was full of travelers and one young boy was listening to the landlords wife.A big strong and no messing lass from Devils Bridge. She roared to the cooks to hurry with the food. More had arrived and Crompton was busy deploying his men as horses filled the cobbled yard and sparks flew as iron hooves scraped and pawed at the uneven stone floor.

Inside that inn sat a silent hooded man. His cloak of ragged ends had once been noble cloth. He had ridden hard in it from way back in time. He was known to the Landlord as Black Jack a man who was best left alone.

The boy was interested in the traveler and served him a dish of food. Ale not wine and he handed over a golden crown telling the boy to tell him when it was all gone. Not once did the boy see his face his voice was gravel hard and he decided not to befriend him.

The morning broke clear and bright the last dregs of the storm no more. The horses mounted the post horn broke in as a stagecoach rattled in to the yard just as the troops raced out. Confusion as bags and trunks remained as grooms and ostlers flew to clean the overnight bays and mess of many horse.

The stage guard and Whip non to happy flung the passengers trunks and bags down and without warning raced the team and coach out and away.

The Landlord came out to help saying his peace on go. The passengers upset slid in the horse muck and down went one fine lady crying as her husband helped her up asked if anything was broken to be moaned at about the ruined dress.

That man was Simon Best the Judge and the landlord was reeling with un ease as he was put in his place.

The yard soon was back to normal and the stable boys darted back in the hay to rest. A stable wicked creaked and behind it the spy was ready to listen to the boys talking.

He learned that Cromptons men had spoken over common news of battle expected but he learned nothing he had not guessed.

Over the moor lay the city of York and the other way led down to Pickering. it was sun up and soon the guests were at table dining. All was back as normal and no one noticed the beggar slip away into the thickets and and over the gypsy lane to York.

Black Jack had seen him leave and was soon mounted and spurring lightly his horses flanks he headed to the west.

That evening a tawny sunset had him back at table hood over his eyes in his usual corner. The boy asked if the ride was good. The travelers hand shot out like lightening and grasped hard the boys arm. Pulling him close he whispered in his ear. ‘ Mind yer business lad .What you do not know will not hurt you. ”

It was never enough to scare him well and being released from the Travelers iron grip he slipped by silent in the night from that day forth.

Black Jack never showed his face but was known far and wide for his voice was that distinct and his walk long stride and fast. His sword as sharp and long as his stride Black Jack was a strange man who all who had him in their camp asked no questions so told no lies.

The day had come for the battle ahead. The great armies combined in the mingled mass of uniforms. The roar of battle heard 20 miles off in the town of Taunton. Yellow the sun ,thin in a grayblue dishwater sky. The dead lay like fallen carrion all over that land but only the commanders rode fast back to hide.  The rain clouds building over head as the long knifes of the local wives cut ring fingers of the dead and clothing and boots able to be worn as the dead no longer need them. The rains fell with avenging rage ,bouncing like lambs off the dead.

From the hiding place of General Fowler in the forest above Monmouth to the north he and four officers played cards over a barrel of strong beer taken by force of the retreat.

Blacker that the forest glades a rider softly approached . Within moments the cards lay spread over the ground .The barrel on its side and five dead men spoke not another word in this life.

This dark rider mounted and rode fast to reach London by morning. His entrance in the war office of Royal Edward was at 11am and the great oaken doors slammed shut behind him. In talks only the council and the spy master sat. By 2.13pm that day a rider on a black mount slid out of that room and raced the Kings highway to the town on Monmouth on border of Wales. Here his mark , a strong hearted farmer who was forming a revolt against the new young King was addressing his men. Twenty or so plough boys and farm horse men. None had any idea that the hooded rider in their midst was Black Jack.

Six days later the son of York rose to the throne of England as an 18 year old general six foot six inches tall towering as a hero blonde and golden to be King Edward 1V.  He was the Sun in Splendour King,  long before the French Louis was ever born.

 

Selby and his tale

Far flung the mist of  dawn with the sun rising across Tiger Paw bay. The ship on her side on the rocks and her cargo of black gold drown to a man in chains. In the downy turf of land the survived sailor clung too and had slept in exhaustion wet and steaming now in the golden heat of an African day. His name being Edward Selby and this his story in all.

Born out of wedlock,child of the parish of Dawlish in Devon England in 1767 and now aged 23 in the year of God 1790 he was lost in the country of slaving. From his position he saw below him, long before he could hear them . A tribe of native males.From the spears they shook as they marched forward to the wreck on the rocks his fate lay in escape only.

Up they came in hundreds . Slavers all of them black as jet polished in the sunlight he watched them traverse across the rocks as fleet as mountain goats. Before they went down the hold to see  what was worth taking he had taken to his feet and slide down the mountain side to the worn path and discovered a row boat had floated up into a cave. Here he made good and took the oar and was about to push the boat out into the retreating tide. When suddenly the man stood over him pistol in hand and dressed in the robes of a pirate. No time for introduction Selby shot him dead.The powder had dried in the pan and had worked. He had not time now as taking sword and pistol with bag of lead he shot back to join the tide not knowing at all a plan. The shot had alerted the Blacks and only by skill with oar did he manage to ship off before they could reach him. he left them hurling spears at him and one struct the oarlock. rowing for all he was worth he reached the ocean and effected his escape.

 

Four hours later he had speared a fish but had no option but to eat it raw. Days drifted by the sun beating down and no shade to hide under young Edward was blistered and lips crusted badly. He awoke to the blue cloudless heavens and a cobalt calm sea. his eye lids burned he in pain could just make out a headland . He however had no power to row fell back and slept. Some time later that day he came to in a shady room a hand maiden tending his lips with sweet honey. In a language he had no knowledge of she talked softly and calmly to him. He had no idea what she said but he was sure she was helping him.

The weeks rolled by he was eating well  now. He noticed his pistols and clothing over ata desk on far side of a lavish room. He managed to reach the window and saw the ocean blue and perfect as he was healed by treatments and felt obliged to this maid.

Her name was Elmeria and she the hand maiden of Royal household of Imire of  Syria. He taught her English over a year and soon they were friends.  She found him work as water carrier to the Sultan son. Selby was fed on fresh fruits and decorated meals of olives and fish .Goat and spices with rice .He loved peaches and creams and found he loved this place. Elmira and he talked often of England and he told her all he could of his land of birth. But he did not tell her he was a slaver on a ship of black slaves as cargo to Liverpool docksides. He just told her he worked on big sail ships with trading all over that part and Africa.

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She learned that Africa a Roman name for the land of deserts and jungles that lay lower down from Iranian lands. Over time she fell deeply in love with Selby and he with her. in days that passed it became clear to all and even to the great Emire himself. Nothing was said but eyes on him he became aware of.

In the soft evening light as the singer called his song out from minaret Edward Selby placed her in a boat with boxes of food and water he slipped out into the harbour and with cloth sails he reached the gates before they close for night. Outside in the ocean he hugged the coastal waters beyond Iran and around the land a Arabs he made it to an English ship leaving from Nicosia on the Greek island of Cypress. It had been a five day sail and once aboard with his love besides him and offered a cabin he slept. In the strong light of day he woke to find his  Emeira gone and he locked in the cabin fast. He battered at it with all he could by the oaken planks did not give way.  At change of watch they let him out to find they had locked in Captains cabin as gift to the King of England.  Selby was to serve on deck. Here he so used to ships let loose the missen mast sails and watched them fly in the wind away to sea. Uproar prevailed and sailors ran this way and that until the captain appeared on deck where Sebly hit him hard with a wooden mast peg.Down he went Selby sprang tiger like and took the pistol from his belt and held off the crew. The Captain was dead and so not much else to do than accept Selby as Captain. Up went the rescued sails and rigged for bad weather the ship raced home. Elmeria much relieved to be untouched and back with her bow. Offered to cook the crew a meal. So it was that the crew who had hated Captain Evens rejoiced at freedom.

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Edward made it clear once docked safe he wanted no part of that ship and the crew must have it. So in 1805 in London Saint Marys Edward married his dark haired wife. Selby became a member of Parliament and owned a hall in South Yorkshire. Selby Hall still stands today.

Hope this tale of truest love will bring joy to all hearts.

Yours Sir Kevin, thanks you.

Copyright Kevin Parr Bt 2020