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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6. First Blood

James arrived at the front line just in time to see action. The Spanish forces had been besieging the port of Ostend for three years with little success. But now their spirits were raised by their brilliant new commander,  Don Ambrogio Spinola Doria. Once more, ‘Ambrosio’  engaged the defiant city in a lethal struggle of attack, feint and counter-attack. The causalities mounted on both sides but with the weather destroying the fort’s defences, it was only a matter of time.
James’ officer or alferez, a short and thickset Italian, showed little respect for an English aristocrat with no combat experience. In fact, he put him to looking after the horses at his first taste of war. 

This Second Lieutenant outlined the plan for their night assault. The platoon was to creep along a water-filled dyke and make a diversionary attack on a Dutch outpost. With the defenders armed with a cannon and pikes, this was a risky business. However, once the enemy was distracted, they’d ride away quickly while the main force mined the citadel’s walls. 
With morning just breaking, the attackers crawled over the dyke’s parapet towards the enemy position. The horses were veterans of the campaign and gave James no trouble. Suddenly, musket fire rang out followed by the roar of the cannon; the animals didn’t flinch. Now he heard more firing and cries. But the next sound was a massive explosion. The horses shied and tried to gallop off. James calmed them and peered out from his hiding place. The sight that met his eyes shocked him to the core. The field gun had blown up scattering shards of white hot metal in every direction. Its crew died instantly, but his compatriots were mauled as well. Those nearest the epicentre had been sliced apart by the streaking bronze fragments. Others, who lost arms and legs, would soon be dead. A few were lying moaning but seemed less injured. The young man did not hesitate but urged the frightened steeds up the banking towards those who needed their rescue. There he steeled himself not to run but to stay the gruesome scene and so get the survivors mounted. Only when the last man capable of being moved was on horseback did they retreat to seek whatever treatment they could find. 
For James, it was a true baptism under fire; not one with water but other men’s blood. Yet his courage that early morning did not go unnoticed. It would lead him towards a bloodier demise. 

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