The noise grew louder," Thump, thump, thump." The noise of heavy boots on a hard surface, continued, getting louder.
James opened the front door and stepped out into the chill of the early morning air followed by his anxious sister-in-law standing behind him, looking around his shoulder, as the noise grew louder still. Then she saw them, a column of big men led by an even bigger man. Wearing blue and white striped shirts with white canvas trousers and shining black hats. Across their bulging chests she saw black leather belts. As the column drew closer, she could see the handles of swords showing above their shoulders. She gripped hold of the folds of James's coat as the column came to a halt outside the house. They lined up facing James.
"Came as soon as we could Cap'n. We was lucky to catch the tail-end of the ebb tide that took us out o' the Sound. You didn't mention weapons, but we took our cutlasses-just in case. Where's the enemy Cap'n."
"Time enough for that Coxswain. Are your men up to marching five miles and then handing out some punishment?"
"Are we up to it Cap'n?" asked an incredulous Bates," Five miles is a short stroll and a few rounds nothin' more than light exercise."
Author: Glyn Adams
Title: The Sicilian Aspirant
Series: The Face of the Enemy
First Published by: Glyn Adams
Date: 9 June 2014