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My Life as a Spy

"Let tyrants shake their iron rod, and slav'ry clang her galling chains; we'll fear them not, we trust in God; New England's God forever reigns." As the proud men sang heartily with their shoulders back and chests puffed out, the myriad of enthusiastic Rebel soldiers marched through the pelting rain. I, however, grudgingly trudged along. How much more of this can I take? I thought desperately to myself. Exhausted after three long weeks of no sleep and hardtack (several men broke their teeth biting into it), I felt my eyes begin to droop, longing for a wink of slumber. “Now, now. You don’t want to be dozing when the British arrive, eh?” a kind voice asked. As I looked up to see who my inquirer was, I froze. There stood a tall man with numerous badges and white hair curled at the ends: General George Washington. Sweat began pouring down my back. “I-I …n-no sir.” I stammered hastily, avoiding eye-contact. I held my breath. He looked at me a bit strangely, but then relaxed, chuckling to himself. “Aye, then.” He clapped my back and strode away. I let out a sigh of relief and continued on.
This is my life. My name is Amelia Harding, and I am a female spy for Britain. Now it may sound glamorous and exciting, but in reality, espionage is rough, dirty, and overwhelmingly exhausting.
My story began on July 12, 1778. It was a typical day for the citizens of Williamsburg, Virginia; children laughed, women chatted while sewing blankets, and men audibly argued about politics. However, this certainly was not a typical day for me. As I opened my eyes and yawned to embrace the new day, I heard the deafening cacophony of doors slamming and pottery shattering. Alarmed, I flew out of my warm blanket and dashed outside. My 18-year-old brother Nathaniel stormed out of our small cottage, shouting furiously, “I am not a Loyalist! You won’t change my opinion, Father! Ever!” My father soon thundered out, scarlet like a tomato. “You will move to Liverpool, and you are a Loyalist! You hear, boy? You are a Loyalist!” he roared. As he said that, all the people nearby threw dirty looks at our family. Tears streamed down my mother’s eyes, and I heard my heart pounding. “Nathaniel, dear. Just come to Liverpool. That’s all we ask of you…” my feeble mother faintly whispered. He stared at his feet. There was a long silence. Finally, he spoke. “I…I cannot. I…have enlisted in the Rebel army.” My mother gasped, and my father, now a deep crimson, looked like he was about to explode. Father glared at Nathaniel for a few long minutes. “You are no longer part of this family,” he whispered coldly. With that, my father loaded our family’s belongings into a carriage, leaving Nathaniel’s aloof. That was the last time I saw my brother.
My parents and I moved to Liverpool after a heated argument between me and my father. Over the next several dreary months, I constantly pondered about my brother and longed to see him again; I never even got to say goodbye. How could I ever see him again? I questioned. He is in the Rebel army after all... Suddenly, a crazy but brilliant idea popped into my head. I could be a spy for Britain! I could go to America and find my brother, and everything would be perfect. “A woman spy?” I chuckled to myself. “Could I possibly…?” However, the more I thought about it, I already knew the decision had been made.
Two weeks later, I rushed down the dusty road outfitted in an electric red uniform; my knotted auburn hair was tightly concealed under an enormous red hat, and my feminine body was hidden under the numerous layers of the baggy outfit. My twelve-pound military boots thunked loudly as I dashed past shops and street vendors, and my three-foot-long musket sat heavily on my bruised shoulder. I desperately attempted to hide my face as I waited in line with the hundreds of eager men uniformed as I.
“HARDING, SAMUEL!” an intimidating voice boomed. I looked around, confused, wondering who shared my last name. “HARDING, SAMUEL!” the impatient voice barked again. I jumped up, realizing that it was me. A towering man strode over to me. “Army or navy?” he growled. “E-espionage?” I whispered hopefully. He eyed me, amused. “A little shrimp like you? Well, we need spies keeping an eye on them American farm boys anyway.” And with that, he yelled, “NEXT!”
After that day, I knew I could never return to my former life; the quiet young woman named Miss Amelia Harding destined to cook and clean for the rest of her life no longer existed. Instead, the brave Sir Samuel Harding, who secretly was a woman (me), daringly spied in America, risking everything to serve Britain; I did not for a moment regret my decision to become a spy.
However, there were some precious things I had to leave behind. On July 25, 1778, my distressed parents scampered around the cottage, discovering with horror that I had vanished. My distraught mother wailed while my father covered his hairy face, probably speculating, what went wrong with my children? It devastated me to leave my parents, but I knew that it would be impossible for them to understand my decision. It was best to simply disappear without a word.
Being a spy has had its consequences. Going for weeks without bathing is truly a nauseating experience, and I get poor food with little water. I constantly have to be vigilant; I must be tremendously careful not to show that I am a Loyalist…or a woman. Sometimes I question why I became a spy, and to give up and die seems like an easy option.
But I know that when I finally see my brother, everything will be worth it. All I can do now is puff out my chest, bend back my shoulders, and trudge along.



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kielymarie said...
Jul. 19, 2010 at 3:16 pm
Really good. It sounds very well-researched
 
Lauren101 said...
Feb. 19, 2010 at 10:20 am
That was good. Could you check this out and give me feedback? http ://www.teenink .com /fiction/historical_fiction/article/97138/The-Tripoli-Chronicle/
 
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