Traitor's Love

The young and handsome, James Thornton joins a venture to put a Catholic Queen on the English throne. He is also deeply in love with Cathy Cordiner. However, she is a merchant's daughter betrothed to a noble advisor to the King. The outcome is the Gunpowder plot to blow up the King and Parliament including Cathy.

How can he escape a gruesome death? Could he kill the one he loves for his faith? How will he find happiness with Cathy together?

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7. Coming Home

Cathy returned to Barton Critchley to find her mother up to 'high doh'. She stood in the hall with servants rushing about with baskets, cutlery, and furniture.

"Where have been girl? Your father's been looking all over for you"

But before Cathy could reply, Mary Cordiner grabbed an old man with a chair and sent him scurrying in a different direction.

Then she continued, "We have had great news – yes great news indeed. We are so honoured..." Cathy seeing her mother stop for breath, asked, "And why are we so honoured, mother dearest."

Irony was a lost cause.

"We are to have visitors here to hunt. Just think here at Barton Critchley," she paused and pushed her adequate chest out "my home – we'll entertain Sir Robert Dudley and Earl of Suffolk. Imagine that!"

"This could quite turn my head," Mary concluded with a little girl's giggle.

"Oh – imagine that" Cathy returned in the dead fish voice she retained for her mother's attempts at social mountaineering.

"Why do you speak to me like that, dear?"

"Like what - exactly?

Cathy was less impressed.

She was more than aware that those two would be coming less to hunt game than hunt gain. Since she knew precisely what these gentlemen were. For, below their social acceptability as an explorer and an admiral, they were also pirates. Pirates, mark you in the King's name, but sea robbers nevertheless.

In fact, Cathy understood how it worked. Queen Elizabeth had given sea-going entrepreneurs Letters of Marque to raid Spanish shipping in her name. They, in turn, were hugely successful in intercepting galleons laden with gold crossing the Atlantic. King James was less keen of these privateers and had brought them fully under the English flag.

Either way, their expeditions cost huge amounts of money for shipping, weapons and men. But those who chose the right raiding party stood to receive vast returns. Needless to say, Cathy's father was building his fortune from this grand-scale looting and not from the wool trade as he liked to pretend.

Bored now to her mother's incessant chattering, she turned to go but ran into John Cordiner. He was less effusive about the arriving guests. Obviously, he suspected he was going to open his purse strings once again.

But then, spying his daughter, an idea came to him. What he was about to say was left unsaid as he pushed past with a singular grunt. Cathy wondered why he hadn't ranted at her absence. Quite correctly she felt a shadow had fallen over her future.

 

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