Seasons of War 2-Book Bundle

Seasons of War 2-Book Bundle by Cheryl Cooper Read Free Book Online

Book: Seasons of War 2-Book Bundle by Cheryl Cooper Read Free Book Online
Authors: Cheryl Cooper
sharply. “Trevelyan?”
    “Yes, sir.”
    The colour drained from James’s face and there was a slight waver in his voice. “Captain Thomas Trevelyan?”
    “That was his name.”
    “Did you … did you … at any time overhear the extent and nature of his war orders?”
    “No, but I suspect they were comparable to yours, Captain Moreland: to sink or take a prize all enemy ships along the Atlantic coast.”
    The men exchanged glances, then regarded Emily with expressions of curiosity.
    James’s left leg bounced up and down as he resumed his questioning. “How was it you came to be Trevelyan’s prisoner?”
    Emily hesitated. She lowered her glance, and stared at the bandages on her hands.
    “I would appreciate your answer before sunrise.”
    “Sir … please … I do not want … I do not wish to speak of that morning.”
    “Very well, then,” James said unhappily. “Was there anyone else, besides yourself, taken prisoner?”
    Emily’s lips quivered, her eyes still on her hands.
    James inhaled in exasperation.
    “May I, sir?” asked Fly. James settled back on his stool and gave Fly his assent with a wave of his hand. Quietly, Fly tried a different tack. “I assume it was Trevelyan who attacked your ship, Emily.”
    She nodded.
    “What kind of ship were you on?”
    “I’m not certain.”
    “A large ship-of-the-line? A frigate? A merchant vessel, perhaps?”
    “I am guessing … it was most likely a merchant ship, Mr. Austen.”
    “Bound for … ?”
    Emily looked up suddenly, and tossed her head, as if trying to recapture her previous confidence. “Upper Canada.”
    “What was this merchantman carrying?”
    “Besides human beings? I do not know.”
    “Guns … soldiers … food supplies?”
    Emily shrugged helplessly.
    “With whom were you travelling?”
    “Companions.”
    “Companions? And did your companions have names?”
    “Does it really matter, Mr. Austen?” challenged Emily. “Surely their names are of no consequence to you.”
    Angered, James rose from his stool. “That is for me to decide.” He studied her a moment. “Was this merchantman of yours conducting some sort of reconnaissance mission?”
    “How would I know?” Emily snapped, adding with sarcasm, “Perhaps her hold was crammed with crates of gold.”
    James’s voice rose in response to her impertinence. “There must have been some reason why Trevelyan attacked your ship?”
    “My guess is … he attacked it for no other reason than the British colours flew from her topgallants.”
    “What was the name of your ship?”
    Emily turned towards the darkening sea beyond the open gunport. “I – I don’t remember.”
    “ That I find hard to believe,” muttered James harshly.
    “Sir, as passage was booked for me, I did not concern myself with the ship’s name.”
    James drew nearer to her cot. “Would you perhaps remember the name of this unknown ship’s captain? Surely you were acquainted with him. If you could provide me with this detail, I may then be able to deduce – ”
    At that moment, Leander placed his hand gently on James’s shoulder and said, “Sir, I think we best allow Emily more rest.”
    James rubbed his eyes, causing the baggy bits to redden. “For God’s sake, might we at least know who you really are and why you were on a British merchant vessel?”
    “Sir, I have told you,” Emily said in a tone that pushed the boundaries of civility. “I am from Dorset. My parents’ names were Henry and Louisa George. They are now both deceased. My father was once a farmer. I was on – what I believe was – a merchant ship. We were bound for Upper Canada. If I have displeased you, I am sorry, but I do not know Trevelyan’s reasons for attacking my ship, or why I was taken prisoner.”
    James gave Emily a cold stare. “I find it hard to believe, young lady, that you are the daughter of a Dorset farmer.” He threw aside the curtain and stalked out.
    With frustration etched on his face, Fly followed,

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