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By Paul Almond

Think you are on a British man-o'war, anchored in an estuary of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, round 1800. at the back of the excessive pink cliffs lie hundreds and hundreds of miles of uncharted desert. should you leap send and are stuck, you can be branded a deserter - topic to dying via 100 lashes. if you happen to leap, the icy waters may possibly freeze your physique and declare your soul. this can be your one likelihood for a lifestyles within the New international. Do you leap? Thomas Manning did, and his jump into uncertainty starts the epic story of a pioneer relatives. The Deserter is publication one of many Alford saga, a chain chronicling 200 years of North American background.

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The Deserter

Think you are on a British man-o'war, anchored in an estuary of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, round 1800. at the back of the excessive crimson cliffs lie thousands of miles of uncharted wasteland. when you leap send and are stuck, you can be branded a deserter - topic to demise through 100 lashes. for those who bounce, the icy waters may possibly freeze your physique and declare your soul.

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Two unstrung bows and quivers of arrows hung high under the birchbark covering. Her husband’s, obviously. Just then the flap opened and an older man came through. He spoke simply but tersely to the woman. Thomas noticed his left arm hanging useless at his side. The woman rose and followed him out. So now, he was alone. But only for a flash. The flap opened again, and a girl crawled in. His eyes widened. Was she the woman’s daughter? The sheerest long black hair framed her perfectly formed features, a nose oddly European in size, delicate, between piercing black eyes, about eighteen, hard to tell with Indians.

They stood back and indicated he should enter. Thomas paused, looked at them both, and they repeated their gesture. What lay inside? Taking a deep breath, he dropped to all fours and made his way in. His eyes slowly widened and he made out the form of the Chief sitting on the right of his fire. Behind him, he felt another enter. He turned to see the stubby shape of the translator come to sit at one side. Thomas was ushered to the back of the wigwam. He noticed on the left side, a woman’s cooking tools, provisions of wood and food, and her bags and blankets.

Very bad for our merchants, like James Robin in Paspébiac. ” The translator gestured with his hands. ” Damn, thought Thomas, that will get me nowhere. “Biggest ship on sea. Very strong. Many big cannons. ” The translator nodded and passed it on. The others seemed to understand. “Privateers very afraid of my ship,” Thomas repeated, pleased. “My ship can beat every other ship. ” Thomas smiled. He would almost be enjoying himself, if his life were not somehow hanging in the balance. “But now she sails back to Europe, to fight Napoleon again.

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