Well, where to begin...it's been forever since I posted here. It's a good bet there is no one out there reading after all this time. However, I've decided to post the prologue to the 4th Deliverers book to see if it generates any feedback. Or a response of any kind. LOL. Well, here goes. Let me know what you think.
The swells of the incoming tide gently rocked the HMS Halifax as she lay at anchor with the other 25 ships in His Majesty’s fleet on Long Island Sound, just off the Connecticut coast. The light of a full moon shone dully through the windows of the aft cabin.
The interior of this chamber, although large, was sparsely furnished. A bunk was built into the wall beneath the bank of windows in the ship’s stern. Against one wall was a bookcase filled with leather bound books. On the other was a dressing table on which sat a wig stretcher holding a powdered wig.
In the center of the room a man was seated at a large desk. A lantern hung from a beam overhead, bathing the cabin in a flickering light. The man pored over a map while sipping from a goblet of Madeira wine. Heaving a sigh, he rose and slowly unfastened the brass buttons of his red officer’s jacket. Slipping it off slowly, he hung it from the back of his Windsor chair and stretched.
Running a hand through his graying hair, he walked over to the dressing table, poured some water from a pitcher into a ceramic basin, splashed his face and rubbed his eyes.
He turned to see a black hole in the center of the room. He gaped. It stood upright. From around the edges, wisps of pale gray sparkling mist trailed out and crawled along the Persian carpet. Someone emerged from the opening and stood in the middle of the room. The figure was hooded and cloaked in black—he could not see a face. He rubbed his eyes again, but the specter stood there still. Was it his imagination, or did it sparkle just as the mist did? Suddenly, the hole closed with a snap.
“Good evening General,” the figure rasped.
“Wh--what is the meaning of this intrusion?” the officer asked.
“That, my dear General Tryon you shall learn soon enough,” it replied. “But for now, sit and pour yourself some more wine. It might calm your nerves.”
General Tryon sank unsteadily into his chair and poured the wine with a trembling hand. Slowly, he raised the glass to his lips and drank, never taking his eyes off his uninvited guest. The wine did indeed steady him, but only just a bit.
Taking a deep breath he said, “You have stolen aboard a vessel of His Majesty’s fleet and broken into the quarters of an officer of the imperial British navy. I do not know how, but once again, I demand to know why, sir.”
“Well said,” the mysterious man replied. “I must say that I expected no less from such an august personage. I admit to being surprised to find you on a ship out in the sound and not in the governor’s mansion.”
Tryon winced. “A governor’s duty is to his king first and foremost. In this time of unrest, King George III finds it necessary to send Admiral Lord Howe to oversee His Majesty’s troops. He declared martial law and so my responsibilities as governor were severely curtailed.”
The figure nodded. “Yes, I know. You were sent here to lead an expedition into Connecticut colony to destroy food and ammunition being gathered by the rebels while more important things are afoot.”
General Tryon grunted. “I am not at liberty to divulge the army’s plans to an unknown.”
“Naturally. Why don’t I run through them for you? Your operation is but a diversion to draw the colonials’ manpower away from the true objective. A force is to sweep down from Canada through New York while Lord Howe dispatches another army up the Hudson Valley to meet them, thereby cutting New England off from the rest of the colonies as one would lop the head from a chicken. A neat little plan,” the sparkling man mused.
“How did you come to know all this?” General Tryon asked.
“I know many things, my friend. You regret not being asked to lead one of the forces.”
“Howe should have sent me to command!” Tryon snarled, bringing his fist crashing down on the desk. “The mission will fail without my leadership.”
“You are correct, they will fail. That is why I am here.”
“What do you mean, sir?” Tryon asked, his eyes narrowing.
“You want fame and glory—your name to be remembered through history. I can give that to you.”
An eager light gleamed in the general’s eyes. “Can you? And what would you stand to gain from that?”
“I can help you carry out Lord Howe’s plans, which will restore the American colonies to the crown. In return, all I ask is to lead the first wave of attackers—my own handpicked troops.”
“Your offer is tempting…” Tryon murmured. “But first I must know with whom I am dealing. Remove your hood, sir.”
“Very well,” the man said and pulled the cloak from his head. His scarred blue face sparkled.
“Wh—who are you?” Tryon gasped.
“Someone who will make the name of William Tryon live forever!” the blue man rasped.