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Three Spies and a Soldier
Lenora Alexandrine stumbles into the room and takes a seat, smitten over the three dashingly handsome soldiers dining with us. She is my second oldest sister, aged eighteen. She has short honey brown hair with slim delicate features and blue eyes, just like my mother, Victoria. She commands the maid to bring in the food. My mother is now well, she just got over a sickness, her face no longer looking hollow. My father, an aging man with peppered hair, the top British general in New York, sits down. My little five year old sister Rebecca Catherine hops up into her seat next to me, along with Charlotte, her baby doll. My oldest sibling, Mahulda Victoria, twenty-two, walks into the room with her snob of a husband, fifty-six year old Edgar. We sit down and eat pheasant with butternut squash. Finally, we are able to talk about the British! This is my favorite part of the day, because I get all of the information on the British army courtesy of my father. I need this because I am a spy for the continental army.
Everyone in my family are tories. I love them, but simply do not support the king's decisions at all. So, I decided to become a Patriot spy. I live in West Point, New York, and I came here three years ago when I was thirteen. My father employed men to build our three story house, and here we are now.
I am sixteen years old and my name is Elizabeth Rose Brewer. It is now July ninth, and General Washington has just set up headquarters here in West Point. That is where I am going to report my news. I was recruited by General Washington and General James, because they know of my situation. Twas only nine months ago, but feels like forever. Ever since, I have been gathering information from my family chats at supper, and information from my father’s study. I have all the british plans at my hands. This makes me a very important help for the patriots.
A bit after supper, past sundown, it is my daily chore to go accompany Rebecca to the bakery, so she can pick some sweets. We walk in the bakery, Rebecca jumping with glee, her thick curls bobbing up and down. She has just spotted a row of beautiful French pastries. They were small and purple with a pillowy shell, and smooth white cream in the middle. They are called “macarons.” We purchased five, and then I decided to get an adscititious one for Christopher. Becca wanted to walk home herself, so I let her. Off she went down the street, walking past the corner, until I could no longer see her.
I am now walking to Washington’s headquarters. I hear a whistle and turn around. “You think your attic-salt is so funny.” I say. It’s Christopher James Carter walking towards me. He just turned seventeen yesterday. He has been my best friend since we were four. Christopher came to the colonies when I did, because his father is also an officer. He has dirty blonde hair, piercing green eyes, and sharp features. He is quite intwig. “Where are you going Lissa?” He says. “You know where I’m going, and you know I don’t like you calling me that!” I reply. “Alright Lissa, let's go.” He says playfully. I shoot him a look. We start walking towards headquarters, and pass some rag-tags on the street. Soon we get to the front doors. “Ready?” I exclaim. He looks at me and nods. We go inside and walk down the hallway.
We walk to the room at the end of the hall. I knock the pattern to get in. “Enter.” Booms a loud voice, it is General Washington! Surrounding him are General James and six handsome soldiers. They give Christopher nasty looks. Somehow he doesn't understand why. I go to Washington's desk.
“General Washington, I am Elizabe..” He stops me.“I know who you are Elizabeth. I remember recruiting you. Now what is your news?” I stand there, confound that he remembers me. “Uh.. S..sir we..uh” is what I manage to say. Christopher steps up and says, “Sir, Lissa...I mean Elizabeth, is here to tell you that the British are planning an attack.” “Yes sir.” I say. “The British plan to attack the French Navy with their fleet, around ninety-five miles west of Ushant.” I quickly say. “Explain.” Says Washington. “On July twenty-third the British Navy plans to attack our, and the French Navy, ninety-five miles west of the island Ushant.” I slowly exclaim. “Any more details?” Says General James. “Not that I know of right now.” I say. Washington turns to the side and says,“General James, please take four soldiers and get this out to the French, and our army at once.” Elizabeth, thank you. You may leave now.” Washington exclaims. We are escorted out.
“Well that’s over now.” “What did you think?” I exclaim excitedly. “ I did not like the way they were looking at me.” He replies. I stare at him. “You must obviously know they like me, right?” “ They are just jealous that's all.” I say. “Well I.. wait, they think… that we.. are..” He says slowly. “ Yes Cristopher! They think we are together!” I say in a “ I can't believe you didn't know this” tone. We continue walking towards the end of the street.
We arrive at the corner. “Lissa?” Christopher says. “Yes?” I reply.”Why did they think we were together?” He answers. I reply, “ The way you looked at me. Everyone thinks that's true you know,” “They all think what?, That we're together?” He exclaims. “No,” I state. “They all think you like me.They say that they see it in your eyes. You know, every morn’ they ask me if I like you too.” I say. “Well, the thing is..” He says. “ I do.” “But that doesn't help anything. Unless you feel the same way.” “ That's for you to figure out, and for me to know.” I say smiling. “See you tomorrow Christopher.” I say kindly. “ Bye Liss.” I stand there shocked as he walks away. He has only ever called me that once before. When we were seven, and he told me he loved me.
I begin walking home. I am approaching the water pump now. It is on the corner of the street. The water pump means I am halfway home. I pass it when a girl, not paying attention, bumps into me. We both apologize. I study her features, as she does to mine. She has dark skin, with her black hair up in a white bonnet. She is wearing a simple cream dress with a powder blue apron, and is barefoot. I tell her my name is Elizabeth, and she says that she is Ann. “ Such a plain name you have.” I say. “ Let me call you... Annabella!” “Well I think that is very pretty. Thank you.” She exclaims. “Where are you going to now?” I say. “To the water pump.” She replies. “Let me accompany you! We can talk more.” I exclaim excitedly. We walk to the water pump. We begin talking while she fills two buckets of water. Somehow, I trust her. So, I tell her that I am a patriot in a family of tories, and that I am a spy. She is tace. Then, she proceeds to tell me everything about herself. She is not actually a slave, but a free fifteen year old spy that has been helping General Washington for a year. I do not know how I have not met her before. How have I not seen her in New York? Have we always come to headquarters at different times?
“So what brought you to New York?” I say. “ I am from pennsylvania. Came here on orders from Washington. When he was going to leave Valley Forge, he said that I come with him. He “sold” me to tories in order to gain information. He says I am soon to be done.” She exclaims. “How long exactly are you staying?” I say right away. “I should be leaving in four months.” She replies. “I think we should work together for a while. Everyday I come to the bakery and then pass the water pump.” I say excitedly. “I don't know, I have to sneak out. But I can see you in two days after sundown.” She says. “See you then.” I reply.
I wake up in the morning. ‘Tis wednesday, July tenth. The time is nine o'clock. It is a cool summer's day. My window is open, and my linen curtains are gently rising and falling in the breeze. I get up and my maid dresses me. I go downstairs. Fruiise, Anika, and Dianthe, our dutch maids, have breakfast ready. I thank them and help bring it to the parlor. We are having warm spiced milk and tea cakes with jam today. Everyone joins together in the parlor. “I have some urgent news.” Says father. “Everyone please sit down and listen to your father.” Says mother. “Father?” Lenora murmurs. “Girls, I must leave tonight to go on a ship for the next battle. I will not see you for three months. After the battle I must go back to Great Britain for a while.” Father says hesitantly. I gasp. Lenora tears up, and Mahulda looks away. I hug Rebecca while she cries. “It is very important that I attend.” He says.
“Will you make it in time? ‘Tis already the tenth.” I say. “Do not be silly Lizzy, of course he will make it.” Lenora replies. “Where must you go father?” exclaims Muhalda. “One hundred miles off Ushant, Madie.” says father. “We all wish you the best father. Please be safe.” I say. “I will miss you all dearly. I will write you every week.” “ Listen” He says, seeing the looks on our faces, “You shall see me again in no time at all.” Father says. “We love you. And I will miss you.” I say. “ please do not leave daddy." Says Rebecca, now sobbing.
After that, I leave and walk Rebecca to her school. We go down a few streets, and are almost there. I meet Christopher there. I see there is someone next to him. As I walk closer, I see it is a boy in a uniform, about our age. Christopher introduces him. He is a French soldier who enlisted one year ago. The boy says, “My name is Alexandre Blaise Dufour.” He then bows to me, and kisses Becca’s hand. She giggles. T’was very polite of him. I say goodbye to Becca and send her into her school. We walk to the other side of the street.
“Good day monsieur Dufour.” I say, curtsying. “Good day my lady. May I ask for your name? And I must say, you are very beautiful.” He replies. I blush, as Christopher scowls. “Why, my name is Elizabeth Rose Brewer, and I am to be seventeen in two months, monsieur.” “Ah Elizabeth, the name of the fairest maiden in the land. Please, do not call me monsieur, for it is I who should call you mademoiselle. And if you were wondering, I am only seventeen.” He replies with a smile, as I blush once again. “You have a very intwig name monsieur, I mean Alexandre.” I reply. He smiles. “Alexandre just arrived yesterday. We became friends, so I am showing him around.” Christopher says, averting my gaze from Alexandre. “That is so kind of you Christopher!” I say. We begin walking.
“So.” Christopher murmurs. “Ah yes. So what do you do Elizabeth?” Says Alexandre. “Well, right now I am helping the army. And I am so glad you came to help us.” I reply. “So I take it you help the Continental Army then?” “Yet, Christopher told me your family are loyalists.” He said. I look at Christopher. “Alexandre, may I talk to Christopher for a moment?’ I exclaim. “Absolutely.” He replies. I go over to Christopher. “Do you think ‘tis safe to tell him? I whisper. “He is a soldier for the French, I cannot see any harm in doing so.” He whispers back. “Shall I tell him about you as well?” I say. “I think that is safe to do.” He says. We go back to Alexandre. “Alexandre,” I exclaim. “Yes, mademoiselle?” He replies. “I think it is safe to tell you what we are.” I say. “Christopher and I are spies for the continental army, and have been for nine months.” I exclaim. “Do not tell anyone.” Says Christopher. “Thank you for trusting me with such information. I promise to not tell a soul about this Elizabeth.” He replies.
We arrive at the bookstore. No one is inside. Christopher’s parents own the shop and it is closed, but we are allowed to go in. We take a seat at the table in the back. Alexandre sits down next to me. “Elizabeth, tell me more about yourself.” Says Alexandre. “Well, I am the third daughter of four to a British general. I dislike the king's decisions, so I decided to become a spy for the Patriots nine months ago. I use information from my father to give to General Washington. Almost everyday, I walk to the headquarters when I have information.” I reply. “May I ask directions to where you live, so I can accompany you on your strolls?” He says. I blush. I live on Kingsmen road. I have the three-story blue and white house.” I reply. “That is quite a far stroll for you Elizabeth! Tomorrow, will you be going outside?’ He asks. “Yes. at noon I shall be going out for a stroll by myself unless you or Christopher would like to accompany me.” I say.
Both boys look at each other. Then at the same time, Alexandre says “I will go!” And Christopher says “I will!” “You two can figure out who is coming tomorrow by yourselves. I must get Becca and go home. ‘Tis already two! I will see one, or both of you tomorrow.” I say with a smile. I walk out, leaving them to talk. I walk to Becca’s day-school. She comes out and we walk. She tells me about her day, like always.
When we arrive home, Lenora is crying in the hall. A feeling of sadness is lurking inside. “Mother lays weak in her bed. She fainted with a fever this morning after you left. She has a horrible rash all on her body.” Lenora says. I run to her room. “Mother? What has happened?” I say. I stay at the doorway. “Elizabeth” She says weakly. “I am afraid I have gotten sick again. I fainted in the parlor. My head is dizzy and I am very weak and tired.” She says. I go out.“Mahulda.” I say. “Tell everyone to keep mother’s door shut and to not go near. I am afraid she might have a bad disease . One we can catch. I am going for the doctor now.” I exclaim. I return home with the doctor. He is in mother’s room now. It has been a while. The doctor comes back into the parlor where we are waiting.
“Elizabeth, can I speak with you for a moment?” Doctor Jackson says. “Of course.” I reply. We go to the hall. “Elizabeth, since you came to me, I am going to tell you first. Your mother has smallpox. I know she has recently gotten over a mild case of it a few weeks ago, so I do not know how she has gotten it again, or if she will survive it. I am going to do an inoculation to her. This will help her chances of surviving. It is a one out of thirty chance she will die, as without the inoculation it would be much higher.” He says. “Thank you doctor Jackson.” I reply. “Elizabeth, so your family does not catch the smallpox to, I must do an inoculation to all of you now as well.” He inoculates everyone. I must say it is an odd wonder this works. It is a strange sensation when it is done. It feels just like three bee stingers in your arm. He makes three cuts and then puts the puss of mother’s pox on it. Once it heals we should all be fine.
I go put Rebecca to sleep. Leaving my sisters to talk alone for a little. I come back downstairs to the parlor. “I do not think mother will make it.” Whispers Mahulda. “To survive a second time is very unlikely.” Lenora replies. “I suppose when she does, we shall send a letter to father and stay here together planning her funeral and taking care of Rebecca.” Exclaims Mahulda quietly. “Let us not make such saddening plans yet, sisters.” I say as I appear in the doorway. “Lizzy!” Says Lenora. “What did Doctor Jackson say to you?” Says Mahulda. I take a seat. “It is very unlikely she will survive a second time, and the inoculation will prevent us getting it from her.” I reply. “Well then, we must not just wait for it to happen.” Exclaims Edgar. “I will go to the doctor tomorrow morning. Now I am going to get some sleep. I have a busy day tomorrow.” I say. “Goodnight” They all say together.
I wake up. It is eight o'clock. I must go to the doctor immediately. I quickly go downstairs. I say good morning to the maids. My sisters are already up. “I am going to fetch the doctor now.” I say. “You cannot even stay for breakfast?” Says Lenora. “I think I can do without tea and pastries today.” I reply with a laugh. “Elly please don't leave.” Says Rebecca. “I must go get the doctor for mummy to get better.” I reply. But will she really get better? How will I explain this to Rebecca? “Okay. Hurry.” Rebecca says.
I go out of the house and head down the street. I turn down the corner, and see Ann! “Ann!” I call. She turns around and smiles. “Hey Elizabeth!” She exclaims. “It is nice to see you again!” I say. “So, any news to report yet?” She replies. “No. My father just left for the next battle, and my mother is sick, so I have not had the chance to get anything.” I say. “Nor have I.” She says. “So where are you headed?” I exclaim. “Just to the medicinal shop for Mrs. Sarah. What about you?” She replies. “To fetch the doctor for my mother. She has the smallpox again.” I say. “Well have a nice day. Oh, later around three o'clock I must go out again. Would you like to meet here?” She says. “I would love to. We can meet here and then go to the bookstore to talk alone. It is closed for the week, but my best friend's parents are the owners, so I can get us in.” I reply. “Lovely! Goodbye!” She replies.
I go get the doctor. He comes back home with me. Then goes up to mother’s room. We wait in the dining room, gathered around the table. “Bad news, your mother seems to be showing no signs of the inoculation working. Her health has declined.” Says Dr. Jackson. “Thank you for checking on her.” I say. I must be going now, but give her this for pain relief.” He says. I take it. ‘Tis a small round bottle. I hand it to Lenora. “Take this to her. Give her the exact amount the instructions say. I go up to my room, and lay down. I think about mother, and father gone off to battle. I start crying. I cannot take this burden on myself, and I cannot stand it any longer. It is very hard for me to be so mature and responsible for my family with no one to help me. I feel I am alone on the inside. So I lay down and wait in my bed, for noon to come.
‘Tis noon when I get up. I fix my hair and change into my favorite dress, a aqua blue dress with white lace along the edges. I tell my sisters I am going, and I leave the house. Alexandre and Christopher are waiting for me outside. They are arguing about who can walk next to me. I walk to them. “Will you two stop it! I will walk in the middle for god’s sake.” I exclaim. We begin walking down the street. We head to the bookstore. “So how are you Elizabeth?” Alexandre says. “Not well at all.” I reply. “What is wrong?” Christopher exclaims. “My mother, Christopher. She has the smallpox again and I do not think she will make it.” I reply. “Why say you that Elizabeth?” Alexandre answers. “My mother has just gotten over the smallpox and it was a hard battle.” I reply.
“I am sure she will be alright.” Says Alexander. “I believe not, Alexander, for the inoculation has not worked, and to survive a second time is unlikely.” I reply. “Oh Christopher, what am I to do if she does?” I ask. “Lissa, do not fret. Your family will be there for you. As will I. We will get through this together.” He replies. “Lissa?” Alexandre says. “It is a nickname for myself that Christopher made.” “I see.” He replies.“So what happened yesterday, that both of you decided to walk with me?” I say. “We both wanted to come. So decided to come together.”
We walk down the street to the front of the bookshop, and five british soldiers walk to us. “Mrs. Brewer.” One of the soldiers say. “Yes?” I reply. “We have come to tell you your mother died of the smallpox one hour ago.” One exclaims. “This cannot be true, She must be fine.” I say. “We are very sorry. We have just sent a letter to your father.” “Please tell him to come back at once. Thank you.” I say. They walk away, as I watch them turn the corner and go out of my sight. The three of us go inside the bookshop.
I collapse and start crying. Alexandre rushes over and helps me up, and sits me down on a chair. Christopher kneels down next to me and takes my hand. We sit in silence for a few minutes. “Lissa, we will get through this. I know how you feel.” “No you don't. You have no idea how it feels to lose your mother when your father is not even here. I will never be able to hear her voice again. Do you know what that is like? “ I barely manage to say. “No, but I know we will get through this, and I will always be there for you when you need me.” He replies. “You are not alone in this Elizabeth. I have lost my mother and father, but they never left me. Your mother lives on in you and your family. She has left this world, but not your hearts.” Alexandre says. “Thank you two, for being here when I most dearly needed you.” I say. I stop crying and hug them. We walk back to my home, and I am ready for whatever awaits me there.