Notorious Angel [MultiFormat]
by Jennifer Blake
Description: The unimpeachable Elenora Villars is the pride of New Orleans. Her magnificent auburn hair is her crowning glory and her benevolence is the talk of the town. Once a nurse to injured Americans in Nicaragua, Elenora has become famous for her compassionate works. The widow of a Spanish nobleman, Elenora has secured herself a respected place in high society. But she has a secret that could destroy her good name. Colonel Grant Farrell is the only man who knows what Elenora really is and the secrets she is hiding, but he doesn't care. He is overwhelmed with a passion that can only be sated by the warm brush of her sensual lips. He is her sworn enemy, a man who holds her future in his hands, a man who has vowed to win her love. Can his insatiable desire overcome her burning hatred?
eBook Publisher: E-Reads, 1977
E-Reads Store Release Date: May 2001
61 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats [MultiFormat - What's this?]: eReader (PDB) [446 KB], ePub (EPUB) [359 KB], Rocket/REB1100 (RB) [397 KB], Portable Document Format (PDF) [2.0 MB], Palm Doc (PDB) [457 KB], Microsoft Reader (LIT) [355 KB], Franklin eBookMan (FUB) [405 KB], hiebook (KML) [938 KB], Sony Reader (LRF) [463 KB], iSilo (PDB) [373 KB], Mobipocket (PRC) [466 KB], Kindle Compatible (MOBI) [516 KB], OEBFF Format (IMP) [598 KB]
Reading time: 392-549 min.
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"Blake's style is as steamy as a still July night on the bayou, as overwhelmingly hot as Cajun spice" -Chicago Tribune
"Blake is a skilled writer...Romantic scenes that are marvelously effective." --New Orleans Times-Picayune
The noise echoing under the colonnade of the French Market was deafening. Vendors cried their wares, children chased by harried nurses ran up and down the long length, horses and carriages clattered past along the cobbled street outside, women followed by basket-carrying servants called and laughed and bargained, parrots squawked from bamboo-cane cages, monkeys chattered; trussed geese hissed, ducks quacked and chickens cackled nervously, not without reason. New Orleans was in fine form, preparing for one of its greatest pleasures, the evening meal.
The chill wind of late November swirling through the arcade seemed not to bother the men and women who poked at the fishmonger's and butcher's stocks, smelled the pears for ripeness, or hefted pumpkins and potatoes for weight. But Eleanora Colette Villars shivered into her threadbare cloak, wishing for the warmth of the padding of a horsehair crinoline beneath her unfashionably narrow skirts. Standing was not warm work; still she could do nothing else. She could not afford to set her boardinghouse table with the best. It was necessary to wait until everything had been picked over and the merchants were tired of haggling. Then a piteous expression in her gold-flecked green eyes might bring her not only more value for her picayunes but an extra generous lagniappe.
"Mademoiselle! Mademoiselle Eleanora!"
At the sound of her name Eleanora turned to see a young man coming toward her. He held his silk top hat clapped firmly on his head, his black silk cravat was askew, and the full tails of his frockcoat flapped as he dodged around an Indian woman stolidly weaving baskets to sell. He kicked a pottery bowl, bowed, apologized, then came on, his face red.
The delicately molded lines of Eleanora's mouth tightened. Her chin lifted a fraction. The man was a friend of her younger brother's, though she could not for the moment recall his name. Jean-Paul's friends came and went on the way to cock fights, gaming halls, and bear-baitings. Embarrassed by her unmarried state, the condition to which she had lowered the once-proud name of Villars, and their inability to help her, they seldom lingered in her bedraggled salon. She had learned to avoid the furtive admiration and hurtful pity hidden behind their air of dashing nonchalance.
As she realized how unusual it was for any of these young blades to allow themselves a show of agitation, pain closed around her heart. "What is it?" she called sharply. "Is anything wrong?"
"Forgive me if I startled you, mademoiselle," the dark haired young blade said, snatching off his hat, thrusting his malacca under his arm, and inclining his upper body in a swift gesture of respect. "I've been looking for you everywhere. It is Jean-Paul -- no, not hurt. He is at Bank's Arcade talking to one of Walker's agents. If someone doesn't stop him the addle-pated halfwit -- beg pardon -- is going to commit himself as a filibuster!"
Eleanora's relief that Jean-Paul was not lying dead in the sawdust of a barroom floor or on the dueling field beneath the moss-hung oaks outside the city, was short-lived. A filibuster. At eighteen, two years her junior, her brother was too young to be a soldier. It was the enthusiasm in the city for the exploits of William Walker in Central America, the fervent sympathy for the oppressed people of those countries, and the blazing advertisements in the news sheets for soldier-colonists that had turned him in that direction. How she despised these men who played on the emotions of sensitive boys, promising them fortune and adventure for their own gain.
"I've got to stop him," she said, almost to herself.
"My thought exactly. He'll listen to you. But we'll have to hurry before he puts his name to anything." The young man reached to take her shopping basket from her unresisting fingers. "Where is your maid?"
Despite herself Eleanora felt a faint flush rise to her cheekbones. "She is laid down upon her bed with a rheum. I had to slip out of the house without her. This wind would have given her pneumonia."
He looked nonplussed, then with a movement of his shoulders, he set the basket down among the shallots in a nearby bin. "Never mind. Let us go."
Zébe, that was his given name, though she could not call him by that, of course. "It is good of you to be concerned, m'sieur."
He waited until a carriage rattled past before taking her elbow to help her across the street. "Must help old Jean-Paul. Mon père says the men who flock to Nicaragua just because Walker took a city like Granada are most likely to wind up before a firing squad. Jean-Paul don't have a father to set him straight."
No, nor a mother. Until two years before there had been their grand-mère Villars. Pampering Jean-Paul, indulging him as the perfect embodiment of a Creole gentleman such as her son had been, she had not been the best person to tell him how to go on. Still, they had been comfortable, she and Jean-Paul, entertaining all the usual expectations of young people of their class and family distinction in New Orleans. Then Grand-mère had died. It was discovered that they had been living for years on the rents brought in by a small property adjoining their house on Royal Street. Other relatives, in particular an uncle by marriage and his son, had demanded their rightful share of the succession, and the property had to be sold. The portion of the sale which fell to Eleanora and her brother was hardly enough to keep them six months.
Eleanora, with a marriage arranged by her grandmother before her, had thought a home for Jean-Paul securely in her grasp. Then, discovering there would be no dot, her fiancé had found it convenient to remember the mésalliance of her father with the daughter of a Scotch-Irish laborer. He made disparaging remarks about her family and her person, in particular the, to him, embarrassingly fiery brilliance of her red hair. He deplored her grandmother's lack of business acumen on every occasion, and hinted there was something unbalanced in her father, a gentleman, becoming a doctor and working among the degenerate and diseased immigrants from Erie living in shacks on the outskirts of the city. From somewhere he conceived the idea that her father's and mother's early demise from cholera, contracted during their work, was a judgment upon them for deserting their class. Long before the period of mourning for her grandmother was over, Eleanora had broken the engagement.
She had had reason to regret her temper since. It was not easy seeing boarders in the salon and the halls where once only family and invited guests entered. A brother-in-law might have been able to point out the error of his thinking to Jean-Paul. Now there was only herself to do so, and how could he be expected to listen to a sister who had become a drudge and an ill-tempered shrew?
Eleanora and Zébe passed a vendeuse in white apron and tignon crying hot, parched peanuts. Their rich smell lingered in the air, mingling with the smells of coffee coming from the open doors of the coffeehouses, and horse dung and sewage from open gutters that lined the streets. This sewage stench was more pervasive this afternoon since the gutters were being cleaned by a crew of convicts. Moving around the detail of men, chained wrist to ankle, and their armed guards, Eleanora averted her eyes. It was a gesture made not to avoid their degradation but to avoid adding to it by her recognition of their plight.
Bank's Arcade was located on Magazine Street near Gravier. A meeting place for business and professional men as well as filibusters, it boasted three stories, one of the longest bars in the city in its barroom, the most popular auction mart, and the only glass-roofed courtyard. Much of the plotting for the War for Texas Independence, the Mexican War, and Lopez's abortive filibuster expeditions into Cuba was done in its upstairs rooms. Mass meetings held in the auction room usually spilled over into the patio. Many a bargain had been struck and secret passed over the beer and whiskey-soaked tables in the barroom. Now, with this new revolutionary spirit in the city, there was a constant stream of men in and out.
Eleanora could not enter. Only a certain class of woman could do so with impunity and they were not welcome in this establishment devoted primarily to business.
"I won't be long." The young man known to his friends by the nickname Zébe frowned, pausing with one hand on the barroom door. "It's awkward for you without a maid, but you should be all right. If I might make a suggestion -- your hair, it would be better to cover it."
In their hasty progress the hood of Eleanora's cloak had fallen back. The wind had disturbed the smoothness of her severe, center-parted style. Gold-red wisps had escaped from the plaited chignon low on her nape to curl about her temples. With a nod she accepted the advice, drawing her hood up and stepping back against the plastered brick wall.
The light was growing dimmer. Across the street the uppermost fronds of a banana tree, just visible over a courtyard wall, thrashed in the increasing wind. Dirt blew along the wooden banquette, or sidewalk, on which she stood, stinging her ankles as her skirts billowed about her. It looked like rain might set in, in which case more of her boarders would stay in to dinner. She would have to add to the rice pot.
Through the door as it opened and closed she caught snatches of conversation. Slavery, states' rights, secession. Men talked of little else these days. There seemed to be something in the air that encouraged strife. She did not understand the undercurrent of anger she heard everywhere, possibly because she had no time to concern herself with it. If slavery were abolished she would suffer no great loss. The Villars slaves had been sold to satisfy the succession laws and reimburse their other relatives so that she and Jean-Paul could keep the house on Royal Street. Their sole remaining slave was the woman who had nursed both their father and themselves. They loved her dearly, but her only value was as a dueña for Eleanora. She was too ancient, too weak to do more. In truth, she was an added responsibility on Eleanora's shoulders, another person to look after, another mouth to feed.
She straightened as Zébe left the barroom and strode toward her.
"I'm sorry, mademoiselle. I seem to have disturbed you for nothing. Jean-Paul refuses to see you."
"It touches on his pride, I think. There was no way I could speak privately to him, and he would not have those around him think he is at your beck and call."
"Tell him -- tell him the matter is urgent. I need his advice."
"Your pardon, mademoiselle. It's more than my life's worth. Jean-Paul -- he is not himself."
"You mean he is in his cups?"
"No, no. Only a trifle piqué."
Her dark, winged brows drew together in a frown, then she gave a nod. "I see. He threatened you."
"Jean-Paul has a good eye. I'd have no desire to face him on a dueling field even if he wasn't my friend."
"A churlish return for your efforts to help him, was it not?" She pushed her arms through the slits in her cloak and clasped her hands together. "I doubt he will offer me a challenge."
"You can't mean to go in there?"
"Can't I?" she asked, stepping past him.
"It might be best if you went home, as Jean-Paul said."
"Oh? You seem to have lost your zeal for saving my brother from himself very quickly."
"You don't understand--"
"Nor do you," Eleanora said, anger coloring her tone. "My brother may not be at my beck and call, but neither am I at his!"
The blue smoke of fine cigars draped the ceiling beams. It swirled and eddied about her as she made her way through the tables to a long trestle in the corner. Papers were spread out upon the mahogany surface. Scattered among them was an assortment of pewter steins, and shot glasses with a single drunken fly buzzing their contents.
Five men were at the table. One had been pointed out to her before as Walker's agent in New Orleans, Thomas Fisher. One was her brother. The others wore uniforms, blood-red jackets trimmed in gold, white doeskin breeches, and black cavalry boots.
Eleanora expected them to rise at her approach. The lack of this token of respect, coupled with their cool appraisal, was disconcerting.
Jean-Paul made a movement, then was still as no one followed suit. His wavy brown hair was ruffled into soft curls, as if he had been running his hands through it. Annoyance increased the naturally high color on his cheeks and darkened his brown eyes to black. Under Eleanora's accusing stare defiance compressed his mouth into a thin line.
Fisher was a nondescript man made noticeable only by the fanatic light burning in the depths of his eyes. Beside him lounged one of Walker's men, a battle-scarred veteran with his left arm in a sling. In his right he held a glass of beer, which he used to push his campaign hat to the back of his head, the better to see. On his left, at the end, sat a sandy-haired, broad-shouldered man, his chair tipped back on two legs against the wall and a panatela glowing red-tipped between his fingers. The third soldier stood at the opposite end of the table with the flat of one hand resting upon it. Like the others, he was tall and wide of shoulder, but there was a different stamp to his features. With his copper-bronzed skin and straight black hair, Eleanora put him down as a mercenary of some foreign nationality. Her summation was hasty, but it seemed they were young to be carrying the epaulettes of such high rank on their shoulders.
"Forgive this intrusion -- gentlemen," Eleanora said tightly, "but I crave a word with my brother outside."
"I have nothing to say," Jean-Paul muttered.
"I have a great deal, and I do not intend to go away until I have been heard, Jean-Paul."
When her brother looked away without answering, Fisher cleared his throat. "We were discussing a matter of business--"
"I know what business you were discussing." It was warm in the room. She threw back the hood of her cloak with an impatient movement of her head. The lamp, lit against the gathering gloom, slid over her hair with the glint of bright flame as unexpected as a sulfur match struck in the darkness.
"Then it looks as though you must hold your brother excused until it is completed."
"I think not," she replied evenly, though her eyes flashed emerald green at the attempt to dismiss her. "Jean-Paul," she said, turning to her brother. "This is no way to repair our fortunes. You are not a soldier."
"I have faced the muzzles of guns on the field of honor!"
"Yes, boys of your own age and station who know the rules, who know there is to be a little pain, a little blood, but not much chance of killing or being killed. This will be different."
"I'm not a fool, Eleanora," he said with dignity.
"Then don't act like one! Think. What is it you hope to gain?"
"There is land to be had. Recruits are promised two hundred and fifty acres just for entering the country as a colonist. There will be more, much more, to be had once Walker has consolidated his position. Whole estates will change hands--"
"And they will be fought over by all the rest of the paid killers. What chance do you think you will have against the rogues, thieves, and murderers, the scum of the world that is flocking to Nicaragua?"
"Take care, Eleanora," her brother warned.
She flicked a glance around the table, scarcely seeing the stiff faces before her. "Why? It cannot matter to them what I think."
"It matters to me," Jean-Paul said quietly. "They are Falangistas, three of the fifty-six 'Immortals' who sailed with Walker in May of this year. They risked their lives to free the oppressed peons of Nicaragua in the name of democracy. I will not have them insulted."
"Democracy? For glory more likely, glory for themselves and William Walker!"
The man standing at the end of the table straightened to attention, his startlingly blue eyes hard in the darkness of his face. "Are your motives any less selfish?" he demanded. There was an edge in his voice, but the cadence, the accent, was indisputably American. "Tell us why you are so determined to keep your brother tied to you. Maybe you see your security slipping away from you? Maybe you're afraid he'll discover he can do very well without you?"
Eleanora stared at the hard-bronzed soldier. "Sir--" she began, at a loss. His estimation was far off the truth, but she could not set him right without embarrassing her brother.
"Colonel -- Colonel Farrell," he supplied, the name definitely not a foreign one.
"Colonel, you have no personal knowledge of my brother. He is not a soldier, his nature is far too sensitive."
"Soldiers are not born, they are made," he answered curtly, "as are men."
"Forged in the crucible of war?" She quoted the bit of rhetoric with irony. "First you must have the right metal."
Jean-Paul came to his feet, pushing his chair back so hard it bounced off the wall. "Enough. Give me the pen and paper. We will see if I am inferior metal!"
"I did not say inferior, Jean-Paul!" Eleanora protested, "Only too fine." He was not listening. He slashed his signature across the enlistment agreement in a splatter of ink and took up his beer stein.
Fisher picked up the page, waving it in the air to dry it. "Drinks around," he called, his smile as it rested on Eleanora unpleasant. "Drinks around for everybody!"
The impulse was too strong to deny. Eleanora reached out and snatched the paper from his hand.
Quickly as a striking snake her wrist was caught, imprisoned in a strong grip. Her breath trapped in a startled gasp, she stared into the blue eyes of the colonel, vibrant with anger, as he leaned across the table.
"The paper you hold belongs to the American Phalanx in Nicaragua. Drop it!"
The fingers biting into her arm were dark against the paleness of her skin. Their strength was cruel and utterly unrelenting. From the corner of her eye Eleanora saw her brother move uneasily, as though he would come to her aid despite his irritation with her. A glance at the set bronze mask of the man who would be his superior deterred him.
Eleanora would not willingly capitulate, but it was not a question of will. Her hand grew numb, feeling left her fingertips. The foolscap slipped from her grasp, settling to the table, where Fisher pounced upon it.
"Someone should teach you not to meddle in the affairs of men," he said testily. The moment she released the paper, the colonel dropped her wrist and stepped back, his gaze resting in a grim and derisive amusement on her white face.
Her wrist throbbed, her hand tingled, but Eleanora refused to allow them to see her discomfort. With a supreme effort she steadied her voice. "I have no interest in your warmongering or your search for glory. I was concerned only for my brother's welfare, something I considered very much my affair. It seems I was mistaken. I will bid you good day."
Blindly she turned away, making her way through the tables more by instinct than sight. She heard behind her the thud of chair legs hitting the floor but the sound held no meaning. A man with a silly grin on his face and a whiskey glass in his fist put out a hand to stop her. She brushed past him, her mind refusing to assimilate the crude suggestion he mouthed.
The door was her goal. Just as she reached it, it swung open and a man entered in a rush of wind-driven rain.
They collided, and for an instant she was swung off her feet, held tightly to a red uniform jacket. At the flash of that hated color, she pushed violently against the embrace, which automatically tightened.
"Ah, what have we here? A small, flame-haired puta, one of the devil's favorite handmaidens, of a certainty."
The lilt of the Spanish was softly Castilian. The face, dark and mustachioed, was alight with exultant laughter.
"No--" Eleanora began.
A voice, cutting despite its drawl, came firm behind her.
"I hate to blight your hopes, Luis, but the woman in your arms is, despite appearances, a lady."
"Es verdad?" the Spaniard asked, one brow lifted as he gazed down at her.
Eleanora nodded. Instantly she was released.
"My most humble apologies -- and regrets." His bow was a model of grace despite the guitar slung across his back. "An introduction is permitted?"
As he spoke he looked beyond Eleanora. Turning, she recognized the sandy-haired giant who had been sitting against the wall. His insignia was not like that of Colonel Farrell.
"There is no need to apply to me," the man said. "I have not the pleasure of the lady's acquaintance."
"I find your attitude bewildering then, Major. Who appointed you the lady's protector?"
The undercurrent of friction did not escape Eleanora's notice. These men might both wear the same uniform but they were not friends.
"I find myself in sympathy with all who run afoul of the temper of Colonel Farrell."
"Especially if they are female, eh?"
"Please," Eleanora said. "Let me pass."
"You will be soaked if you go out there," the major objected. "Perhaps you would care to wait in the courtyard. The glass roof leaks like a sieve but it should be an improvement over the streets."
"Thank you, no."
"Then permit me to offer you my escort."
"I -- couldn't--"
"Because I am a stranger? Major Neville Crawford, at your service, mademoiselle."
"And I, Lieutenant Colonel Luis Andres Charles Emmanuel de Laredo y Pacquero."
"You are most kind," Eleanora said, her hands clasped tightly before her, "however--"
"You cannot go alone," the Spaniard insisted.
From vagueness Eleanora's senses sharpened to a painful perception. There were spatters of rain like dark blood on the red jacket of the lieutenant colonel. The lamp nearest them flared in the wind from the open door. In the humid atmosphere the reek of spirits was strong. At the trestle table in the corner there was a shift of men as the colonel started toward them.
Panic scoured Eleanora's mind. "You -- you must excuse me," she said in a parody of good manners, and slipped past the Spaniard out the door.
Cold rain directly in her face took her breath. She could not go back, however. Ducking her head, she hurried along the banquette already slick and shining with wet. She could hear someone calling after her, but she paid no heed. Only the dark form of a carriage looming up beside her caught her attention.
It was Zébe, holding the door of a hired hackney wide. "Get in. Get in, quickly."
The carriage lurched away down the street, sending geysers spouting as its wheels spun through the gathering puddles. Eleanora leaned back on the dingy upholstery. Talking a deep breath, she forced herself to calm. It was good to be away. She did not care if she never saw that place where she had been so humiliated and insulted again. Her life in the past years had been far from easy. Still, never had she been treated in such a manner. And, as bad as it had been, why did she have the feeling that she had escaped lightly, that it could have been far worse?
"You were too late?" Zébe said at last.
"I -- yes. Jean-Paul has signed." How could she explain what had happened when she wished above all to stop thinking of it?
"No doubt he -- wished to celebrate?"
Eleanora inclined her head in a weary nod.
"Under no circumstances would I have let you enter that place alone if I had not been certain that Jean-Paul would feel himself obliged to escort you from the premises himself at once. I feel I have failed you."
"Jean-Paul was not pleased to see me. There is no harm done. Let us forget it."
"But your good name? What of that?"
"It scarcely matters, though it is good of you to be concerned."
"If I may be allowed to make reparation--"
"You are not going to do anything foolish such as make me an offer, are you?" Eleanora asked, striving for a light note to relieve the gloom.
"I would be most honored--"
"No, no, really, m'sieur. I spoke in jest only. Forgive me if I sounded facetious, I did not mean to be. All I want is to return home and try to think what I am to do. Believe me, you owe me nothing."
Nor, it seemed, did Jean-Paul; not even loyalty.
It was a great pity that she could not think well of the dead, but Eleanora placed her brother's defection squarely at her grandmother's door. The three years they had lived with her had been more than enough to spoil his character. Their father's mother -- she had cosseted Jean-Paul, indulging his every whim. He was her husband and her son come back to life, especially the latter, and there was no red-haired Irish woman sprung from the world of work gangs, shanties, filth, and disease to wrest his love from her this time. At thirteen Jean-Paul was impressionable. He had accepted his grand-mère's evaluation of his own worth and the overweening importance of his desires. Sometimes it troubled him to see his sister pushed into the background, ignored because she reminded the old woman of the daughter-in-law she had despised, and because she did not fit the image of raven-haired beauty then in vogue. To have the taint of Irish blood, only a little more acceptable than a touch of café au lait, was bad enough; to look it was a disgrace. Jean-Paul was too young, at first, to make his displeasure felt, and with time the discrimination ceased to be remarkable.
Not that Eleanora was mistreated; far from it. She was fed and clothed and, at the proper time, introduced to society with due ceremony at the St. Charles theatre. Grand-mère would have scorned to allow New Orleans to see that she considered her granddaughter in the light of a penance upon her old age. Still, Eleanora felt it, and learned early to depend upon her own devices.
It was natural for her brother to be more affected by the death of the old woman. There was not only a vast change in his style of living, there was no longer anyone to bolster his ego or approve his every action. He could not quite reconcile himself to giving up the image of himself given to him by his grandmother, that of a fâted young rake, welcome wherever he chose to go because of his birth and position. He loved his sister, but her warnings and strictures carried no weight with him. He obeyed no will other than his own.
Dinner was late. Because the roux was not simmered long enough the gumbo was thin. There had been no time to heat the bread, and the custard did not set properly. These defects were pointed out in minute detail by the pair of maiden aunts who hired the bed-chamber which had been used by her mother and father in happier years. The retired army captain from Kentucky, a veteran of the Seminole Indian War, made no complaint, eating everything set before him. He slept downstairs in the room which had been her father's surgery because of difficulty negotiating the stairs with his wooden leg. He never complained of it either.
In order to head off the recitation of the unfailing success of the aunt's various methods with custards, Eleanora turned the conversation to William Walker.
"Knew the man well," the captain said, leaning back in his chair. "One of those damned -- forgive me, ladies -- liberals. Never quite came out antislavery in his paper, the New Orleans Crescent, but had some hard words to say about it. 'Twas a much better doctor than he was a newspaper editor, in my opinion. Looked at this leg -- forgive me, ladies, appendage -- of mine once, seven or eight years ago. Gave me a salve for the -- ahem, well, we won't go into that, not at the dinner table. Odd little man. Remember he went around summer and winter in a black hat and overcoat. Constant mourning for his sweetheart, some said, a New Orleans beauty who died of yellow fever. You remember him, don't you, Miss Eleanora? He used to drop in on your father right there in that room of mine. They both studied at some university in Germany, had a lot in common. I used to see you in there helping your father before he died. Just a little thing you were, but not afraid of blood or hard work, no, sir, not like a lot of these fine ladies you see today. Why, I bet you teethed on a mortar and pestle!"
The captain's conversation had a tendency to be colorful and rambling, but he had spent most of the last twenty years since he lost his leg sitting about the city, watching people go by. He had a son with political ambitions back East who had married into the Tidewater gentry in Virginia. The son sent him a monthly stipend to live on but never a steamboat ticket. In the last years of her grandmother's life the captain had been an admirer of hers in a gallant, unassuming fashion.
"I seem to remember a man like that, though he couldn't have been much older than I am now."
"That would make him barely over thirty now."
"It takes a young man to have the nerve to set out to conquer the world -- and old men to stop him."
"What do you think of his campaign in Central America?"
Copyright © 1977 by Patricia Maxwell