Alice in Love and War

By Ann Turnbull

1644 – Alice Newcombe, trapped and unsatisfied on her uncle's farm, unearths her existence reworked while royalist infantrymen are billeted there through the Civil struggle. without notice her days are jam-packed with pleasure – and love for one younger soldier, Robin. whilst the regiment strikes on, Alice persuades Robin to take her with him, and she or he joins the opposite military ladies at the luggage teach. the line forward is hard and long – will there be happiness at its finish?

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She quickly chanced on there has been a lot to be performed. The kitchen maid Joan had left, and woman Weston had no longer changed her. Tom used to be to move as gamekeeper’s boy to a neighbouring property; and Mistress Denham had additionally long past, and Christian had taken over her tasks as housekeeper. It used to be transparent that every one was once no longer good at Weston corridor. Christian advised Alice that the home were pillaged two times considering that Alice had left in might: as soon as by means of Fairfax’s males and previous through their very own facet, males from the king’s military, who took all of the ultimate horses other than Amor, ate the entire inventory of meat and cheese, and sat within the kitchen consuming nice amounts of wine and beer, quarrelling between themselves, and taking pot-shots on the pans and ladles at the partitions.

The wash-ball used to be scented with rosemary, a detoxification scent that Alice cherished. not able to raise the jug in her weakened , she tilted it so as to add clean water to the bowl, rinsed away the cleaning soap, and collected a gentle drying fabric. beneath it she observed that Joan had left a linen shift – previous and patched, yet fresh – and 2 brown woollen stockings. Such kindness, she inspiration; those are actually stable humans. She dried herself, and wear the stockings and shift. an individual tapped on the door. “Are you seemly?

She spoke back, “I’m Alice. ” “Alice. you want to have joined us on the camp? The village at the moor? ” Alice nodded. “I lived on a farm there. yet I’ve left – for strong. ” “You got here with a soldier, didn’t you? ” Nia continued. “That darkish, good-looking guy? ” “Yes. ” She knew she might finish through telling them every little thing, and he or she observed that they knew it too, and may wait. “Come and meet Bronwen,” acknowledged Nia. there has been one other woman on reflection at them. They ran to trap her up, calling out of their personal language. “Are you Welsh?

She merely cried the extra, and not anything he acknowledged may well convenience her. the following morning the warriors went out early and stayed of their encampment. Alice observed her aunt and uncle to the village church. She observed nice job within the camp – an indication of swap that made her worry Robin used to be correct and the total military will be long past the following day. That afternoon she waited in expanding anxiousness for him to reach on the farm. however it was once no longer until eventually suppertime that the crowd of infantrymen got here trudging up the steep music. once more she was once obliged to serve nutrition and beer to them, maddeningly just about Robin yet watched by way of her aunt.

The king strikes directly to Okehampton tomorrow,” he acknowledged, confirming Alice’s fears. He belched, and regarded round on the attendant adult females. “Where’s Sarah acquired to? ” after which he introduced loudly that he had to piss, and went outdoors. quickly after, a rumpus broke out within the backyard: men’s voices, loud and indignant; Sarah screaming; Watch barking. every person ran to the door – other than Alice and Robin, who became to one another. He seized her hand and made for the steps. “No! ” Alice resisted, yet just for a second. this is able to be their one probability.

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