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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4. Departure

While James took the quiet byways south, Cathy reluctantly returned home. She did not mention her meeting to servant or relative but bore the misery of the parting as best as she could.

The happenings as Coaton Hall were common gossip by midday. And so, as the family sat for their meal, her father relished the news.

"Seems that old Thornton should heed his ancestor's advice–meddle not in politics." His heavy face unused to smiling broke into an unbecoming smirk. New money loves putting down old.

Mary Cordiner knew her husband's rants and so kept silent. But no such restraint was possible for his daughter.

"But father, they just want to be Catholics"

John Cordiner with as much disdain he could muster replied:

"Girl, religion is politics. If he wants to follow his true faith and hide Jesuits around the place, he'll face the consequences."

Then after a pause for effect. "He'll enjoy being a martyr"

Cordiner suddenly looked round at his daughter and asked:

"You haven't heard anything of his son, have you?"

Without the slightest hesitation, she returned the stare and declared:

"No, I have heard nothing of him. Why do you ask?"

"Well, you were friends before he went up to University. And it wasn't there he got himself involved with the Bye plotters?" He was referring to a recent plot to kidnap the King to soften his restrictions on Catholics.

Now more bullish, he went on, "Let me make it absolutely clear, young lady, I don't want you anywhere near him"

Then, with final malice," At least he can't marry you–you are not of his religion-a bit of a bummer that"

Seeing her father's self-satisfaction, she followed her mother into silence.

James made good progress towards Bristol. Many great houses on his route did not refuse him sanctuary. Keepers too opened their gates and shut their mouths for a bribe.

It was late when he wove his way between the bails of wool ready for loading on the quayside. His last host advised him well on which captain to approach with the result he slipped easily onboard a ship. Soon the vessel made its way into the river Avon. At that point, he was safe although much gold had exchanged hands.

Far to the north, such security was being denied his family. The King's men were either very lucky or well-informed. For, within hours, they discovered the priest's hole, unearthed the silver religious vessels and dragged away Father William Benbow to a limited future. The House of Thornton now faced the full panoply of a merciless law.

James however, as he surveyed the open sea with adventure ahead, was ignorant of his parents' demise.

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