"Of the Yankees and the King's Men"
Chapter one: The Encounter
"How old are you, lassie?" the tall bearded British guard asked.
The bearded man grunted. "Are you one of them damned Yankee Doodles?"
"I suppose so," I answered, trying to keep my patience. It had only been a couple hours since I had entered the British territory, and already, I was being treated with such hostility!
"What makes you think Kilroy would want to see you?" he demanded, suspiciously."
It dawned on me, the question—oh, it did. Would Matthew really want to see me after I had almost so coldly let him leave around four years ago and hardly ever wrote back to his letters, and in the end, terminated the process completely? "I...I am an old friend." I managed.
The bearded man grunted once more. "Fine, enter the damned factory, Yankee!"
So I did enter that rusty old shoe factory. Matthew would be inside, and we would be friends again! Such a foolish thought it was...any sane human would not forgive someone so quickly for such things...not only did I not write him back much, but I had also told him that I had found someone, and I take back what I had said about how mayhap I might change my mind someday and marry him. That must have broke his heart, considering that fact that he had always seem to have great affection towards me.
When I found him, he was talking to one of the other workers, passing back and forth a bottle of rum. He was dressed in what seemed like old rags—torn and ripped, and his face smeared with grease. He looked filthy, and his comrade, even more scruffy. He looked my way twice, but showed no sign of recognition. Well, it has been around four years! "Matthew," I said softly, yet loud enough for him to hear.
Matthew hesitated, and then his eyes met mine. Those same precious blue eyes! Except this time, they were so much more gorgeous...and he so much more handsome!
"R-Rachel?" he sputtered. "R-Rachel Marsh!"
I nodded, smiling.
Before I could take any action, Matthew sprang towards me and
embraced me long and hard in an affectionate bear hug. "Why did you
stop writing to me?" he asked, "And what about your...your
fellow? I would've expected you to be perhaps already have married
Turns out, Jonathan Bowers, the man I had fallen in love with ever since I had turned seventeen was already married and had been committing adultery by seeing me when he had made full commitment to his wife. I had just so recently found out...and because I had been so heartbroken—I decided to leave Philadelphia. I had been dismissed by my masters anyhow. Their children were not at all like the Adams' children—they were brats, I tell you—spoiled to the core! And because of my not getting along with them, I had been fired. Not that it mattered at all to me—by the time of my dismissal, I was so aggravated by those spoiled children that I was actually glad of losing my position!
In 1770, John and Abigail Adams had released me and I had lost my position of taking care of their children. I had grown to gain that position over the years I had worked for them—yet I had lost it. I had lost it because of my risks I had taken in order to be friends with Matthew Kilroy, even after the Adams had gave me orders not to. And mayhap I had not noticed that I was in love with him until now, when I look back. And mayhap I still love him...
"I didn't marry him," I answered simply. "And I do not wish to speak of it."
"I'm sorry," he
quickly said, regretfully. "I am very sorry."
I smiled at him. "It's not your fault he ended up being married to some other woman," I mumbled.
Matthew appeared to be even more embarrassed than before as he looked down. Just then, his scruffy-looking dark-haired friend came up to us. "Come, Kilroy—our break is almost over!" he told Matthew.
"Aren't you not going to introduce me to your friend?"
Matthew quickly apologized, then said, "Rachel, this is my coworker and friend, Wesley Humphrey."
"Nice to meet you," I said, grinning.
Wesley seemed to have been examining me, for he looked taken aback when I had spoken to him. "Err...Hello."
I giggled. "I am Rachel Marsh," I exclaimed, "Matthew is an old friend of mine—back from the Boston Massacre."
Matthew nodded. "She was my one and only true friend I had met in America."
Wesley raised his thick, dark eyebrows. "Ah, an American! Kilroy, my friend—you've associated with Yankees?"
Matthew laughed. "Well I sure needed some company when those damned army officers didn't even allow me to fight!"
I winced as he mentioned that. Sure, I had taught Matthew of many, but Matthew had still been taught to kill by the military. That was as soldier's job, to kill. And I had been so ignorant to think that what I had taught him would just override all the things the military had taught him.
"Kilroy, Humphrey! Get moving, break is over!" one of the factory officials shouted from a distance. Yet his voice was so deep and echoed throughout the chambers of this vast building.
apologetically at me. "I must go," he said, "but if you may,
please meet me here around eight o'clock. That's when I am
dismissed. Meet me in the front of the factory."
I nodded in understanding, watching Matthew adjourn, back to his work. And then I realized: back when I was fourteen-years-old, I had been too naïve to realize that: I was in fact in love with Matthew Kilroy. My friend Jane had told me not long after I had met Matthew that a man may never be just a friend. I had found it as rubbish, but now I realized that she was right. And the realization just struck me so hard I could hardly stand on my own two feet! I was, in fact, and forever more in love with Matthew Kilroy!