Good morning. Spring has arrived in my neck of the woods and with it I can see things starting to turn green. Hostas have poked their noses out of the ground, but as always, the dandelions are the healthiest things around.
Welcome to this week’s edition of Tuesday Tales, the weekly blog where I and other authors share an excerpt from our work in progress based on a particular word or picture prompt. Word prompts are limited to 500 words.
I am continuing with my Historical romance, The Price of Courage. Today, I’m leaving Lucien, Yves. and Okwaho hunkered down for a snowstorm and returning to Ville-Marie where Guy is setting things in motion for a little undercover work of his own. The word prompt is HEAVY, but I’ve sneaked a second one in as well. With the “cocky controversy” at play, I’ve given you the French translation. Enjoy!
After a feast fit for a king, Guy led the intendant’s secretary into the room Sophie had set aside as a private parlor for the use of her guests and poured brandy into Patoulet’s goblet and then his own. It was the first time the man had traveled to the settlement. While the path from Quebec was a good one, it was by no means a road. Given the snow, the horses pulled a covered sleigh over the fields, while under heavy furs, the occupant remained fairly warm.
“My Lord,” Patoulet said, accepting the drink and then leaning back in his chair. “Your mother’s an excellent cook. I’ve never had coq au vin that tasty in a very long time. Hospitality in Ville-Marie far exceeds that of Quebec these days.”
Guy chuckled. “Maman will be flattered. I’ll pass your words along. It’s her intention to run the best inn in all of New France. Madame Gaudier owns the land and the building but she and my parents run it together. In time, they plan to expand as well.”
“Of course. I’ve seen the legal documents. Very generous of Madame Gaudier to share her inheritance this way, but of course the woman is young and alone. Hopefully, that condition will change once her mourning period is over.”
Guy frowned. Now that he was married to the woman he loved, how could he wish any less for Sophie?
“Do you think the king will agree to Talon’s suggestion for forced military duty?” he asked.
“With the threat against the colony and the proof we’ve provided, I don’t see how he can refuse. The other option is sending troops back to New France, and I can’t see his majesty agreeing to that as long as hostilities continue with the Dutch and the Spanish. The troops we have will serve as adequate teachers, and if we make sure every male between the ages of sixteen and sixty does mandatory military service, every parish will have its own militia. Men fight best when they fight for what’s theirs.”
Guy nodded. He was one of the luckier ones since the men working his centimes were all soldiers who’d been part of his regiment.
“Akhilesh has vowed to have his braves fight at our side. We will include them in our training sessions and they in turn will train our men in the Mohawk fighting style. It’s best to be prepared for the worst.” He sipped his brandy. “Sister Gabrielle took me on a tour of Maison Saint-Gabriel last week. The stone building, just down the street from here, is easily defendable. The furnishings are now in place—Sophie helped set things up. The house will be ready to receive its first full shipment of the King’s Daughters when they arrive in June. My men were pleased to hear of that decision since so many are still without wives and fear the loss of their land. Having each shipment disembark in Quebec was a disadvantage to them.”
That’s it for this week! Don’t forget to check out all the other posts on Tuesday Tales.