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PostSubject: Refugees   Wed Apr 16, 2008 9:54 pm

Hew wandered through the empty house 10 bedrooms so much smaller than Casa De la McDraig. It was within crawling distance to the Pub. A long crawl but a crawl none the less. Painted yellow with lots of wrought iron up front and on the balconies. It broke his heart to sell the mansion but it was no longer tactically sound. First he needed a new house and this looked nice. An office, a library, but no ballroom. I could entertain a party but no new dances.

Cathern promised to give temporary housing to his Clan on her land. They loved her like a queen, and I believe she was realizing it. Hew and Cathern sealed the deal in a most pleasant way a kiss instead of a handshake. Clan McDraig would provides the labor to rebuild her family mansion and she would supply materials and land for the Clan as payment. Hew dreaded moving but his Clan safety was first, later they could take the fight to the British again. He talked to the owner signed the papers. Hew took a sizable bag of gems from his sash, and paid the man.

Sancho and Camilla said they would move their children all have grown and had lives of their own. Some of his clan found Mexican wives and husbands already. He would not make them move but they were welcome. Hew went back to the Inn to inform his staff. First he would have them find the largest bed in Tampa and secondly he would have two cutlasses put up over the fire place. Then he was off to Tampico to talk with the magistrate.
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PostSubject: Re: Refugees   Mon Apr 21, 2008 3:06 am

The mansion, or rather the remains of it, had become overgrown with foliage in the years since the hurricane that took her parent’s lives. The whole structure had not collapsed, just one wing of it. However the loss of structural integrity made the remaining parts unsafe and exposed to the weather. A couple of small trees had sprung up through the collapsed portion. The undamaged works of art, silverware, and other valuable items had long been removed and most sold to finance Cathern’s business ventures and ships. A pang of guilt ran through her body while looking at the ruins. Her parents had been fighting over Cathern the last time she seen them. Intellectually she knew it wasn’t her fault but emotions were funny things.



A few shacks had been put up on the grounds near the mansion with the understanding that if need be, the residents would have to relocate. There were already a good hundred or so people living on her lands, mostly working the fields. All told, Cathern possessed 2000 acres a few miles to the west of Tampa. At least 300 of it was swampy and unsuitable for habitation or farming, though tasty frogs were in abundance. There were currently near 300 acres being farmed, both as cash crops and subsistence for her workers and their families. Another hundred acres were dedicated to worker housing and her other business ventures. That left her around 1300 acres of forest, coast, scrub. A stream marked the western edge of her land and there were four large ponds dotting it.



“Miss?” A man’s voice speaking French interrupted her thoughts. “Miss? I have the charts ready for your inspection.” Cathern turned and looked at the man, two men actually. One was a surveyor and the other a cartographer. They worked together to help sort out property lines and draw maps of said property. Cathern nodded to the men. One unfolded a portable table and the other spread the maps out, the edges well overhanging the table. Cathern traced a finger along the various landmarks, the men repositioning the maps as she examined them. “Yes, this will do. I want you to survey and mark out…..” Cathern paused a moment thinking, then continued, “Mark a square of 400 acres here, along the eastern border and the coast on the south. This will give the Scots coastal access, around 50 acres of cleared land already in use for farming, some forest, easily cleared scrub, and a bit of swamp for frog hunting. Delicious frogs in the swamp, though I don’t know if they have a taste for them. Still, it’s the New World and we all must adjust to new ways.” The cartographer nodded, “If I may say so, you are very generous Miss. A lesser person would have apportioned the worst parts of the land. You instead give them some of the choice portions.” Cathern smiled, “They are nearly my family.”
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PostSubject: Re: Refugees   Mon Apr 21, 2008 9:57 pm

Hew and several of his men road horse back to the old mansion. It was Hew, Angus, Sancho and five men from the crews. They Dismounted and surveyed the land.

“Angus go hunting for a bit, camp out over night let me know what is about. Maybe we will find more than frogs in the swamp.” The large Scot took his satchel and musket and set out.

Hew followed Sancho around the collapsed section of the mansion. It was over grown as Cathern said. Salvaging nails may not be a good plan but a fire to clear the area may be good. The bottom floor of the mansion was salvageable. The upper floors would need to be torn down. The biggest job would be building a dock on the new land of the clan to facilitate supplies getting in and for fishing to start. If we only had a pile driver like the one in Port royal. Hew's face beamed a smile.

Later that night Hew and the crew of the "Fast Lady" were in Port Royal flying English colors. After a few drinks with the harbor master, who turned out had a grandmum in Sterling. A few lines were slipped. A few lines were attached.The piledriver was hoisted aboard and the new McDraig LLC pile driver was bound for Tampa.
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PostSubject: Re: Refugees   Wed Apr 23, 2008 10:06 pm

The second day of construction was running well. More of the family was arriving.The two big jobs were the pier and the first billet. Hew was not the best carpenter but he could dig, break rocks, and chop trees. The pier work was based on the pilings, so Hew helped with the billets. He didn’t have to help but every hour spent working meant an hour closer to getting Cathern the home she wanted. The first billets would be a log cabin log house that could be reused later. The communal housing wouldn’t be great but it was a start. Some families used their fishing boats as shelter. Tents would be used as well but Spring storms were due. So solid shelter was needed. Once the debt owed to Cathern was paid, they agreed then they would build there own homes. The lumber mill Hew had was used mainly to produce charcoal for the powder mills. But It will soon be turning out lumber for the mansion and the new homes. One problem he didn’t foresee was the need for more mules and oxen. He would have to buy more for hauling logs. Carts and wagons will be needed for supplies soon but first things first. The women and children would start arriving this weekend. So more housing and work on the mansion would start in earnest.

The day wore on and the billet was completing work on the doors an windows could be left for another day. Cots were unloaded and put up Hew decided to stay with his kin tonight. Angus found a nice Alligator about an eight footer. So it was gator stew and hardtack for dinner. The hard work made him tired and he slept briefly. He woke up thinking about Cathern. He walked to the shore. They walked on the beach a lot holding hands being silly. Hew kept thinking of the day near the careened ship, he stripped down and jumped in the water to cool off. When he started to shiver he went ashore warmed up and finally got some sleep.
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PostSubject: Re: Refugees   Mon Apr 28, 2008 9:16 pm

Everything was going very smoothly. Building continued briskly. Clan MacTavish Supply of workers over the weekend, as well as lumber made housing quicker to build. nearly knocked off a weeks time of work. The third billets was up as well as tents and lean-tos’s. Rubbish lumber from the collapse where used in cooking fires. And a about one quarter of the rubble was cleared. The standing remains were cleaned out what could be refurbished was left in place. Many hands were making fast work. Hew wished Cathern could see how her home was progressing.

He wondered about how his loves childhood was. Did she run and play here? Did she skip stones by the ponds? Where there trees with her initials carved in them? Hew wanted to spend time learning about Cathern’s past. Someday when Scotland was free he would take her to his home. A ramshackle cottage near the sea.

Duncan his cabin boy was running toward him very fast. Hew was handed a letter with the seal of the trade union. The letter said he was needed in Pitre for a meeting. Just when things were so well.
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PostSubject: Re: Refugees   Wed Apr 30, 2008 7:54 pm

The contrebandier made good time as they sailed north. The trade union found out about his purchase of a small barony in Obernai. They wasted no time in taking advantage of him. Hew had no intentions of making a big deal of the Barony, especially to his friends in the Confederacy. He bought it only for Cathern’s freedom.

Hew’s Mission was to discuss trade with the Caroll’s of Maryland, and to meet with the Baron of Baltimore. They were Catholics and could be great future partners of France. Hew was no diplomat, and hated diplomacy. But the offer of giving his family a tax break was too good to pass up. With the time they were making the ship was to reach Annapolis close to 7 at night.

Hew pulled out the handkerchief, the heart though asymmetrical was beautiful. Probably one of the best gifts he had ever gotten. He loved her dearly, and she loved him. If she said no he couldn’t quit her he would ask again.

They pulled into port closer to 8 pm Hew hired a carriage and made it to the Caroll house in short order. He would at least call if it was too late he would make an appointment for the morning. Upon arriving Hew greeted one of the servants and offered to buy the masters breakfast at the tavern. Ahh yes to the tavern.

The Middleton tavern was A nice wee pub house serving oysters and crab in about any combination you could have. A black slave was schucking oysters at an amazing speed. My favorite was the oysters in wee dram glasses with porter. The bar doxie’s overtures were entertaining but Cathern’s beauty was far superior. Hew would never bring anything home Cathern couldn’t pet or put on a shelf. So he left it at mild entertainment. The colonial whiskey was a bit raw, so he stuck with the ales. Hew had to admit to himself that just being the common salt was a nice break. No ledgers, no unrest, no contracts from unsatiable clients. Hew had about five more pints And stumbled to his room at the Inn.
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PostSubject: Re: Refugees   Thu May 01, 2008 7:58 pm

Hew awoke with the sun well rested, washed and dressed for his meeting with Mr Carroll.Hew ordered coffee, bangers and eggs. His guest had smoked oysters and eggs. They talked at great length and was able to secure some trade agreements. Hew then went to the docks to stretch his legs.

It was auction day at the docks with an arrival of slaves from Africa. Hew watched as auctioneers peddled his wares. It was a lucrative trade. Hew had no taste for it personally but to each his own.. Although it would drastically cut his overhead. Poor buggers, he thought. Hew left to go gather his things. He noticed a lot of redcoats around but he, shrugged it off. It was an English port.

Hew was about to hire a coach to Baltimore. When he was approached an An English lieutenant“Here we go” he thought to himself. Hew presented his papers, explained he was a simple Scottish free trader. The young officer exclaimed. You are under arrest for Treason. “Treason preposterous” he denied. Carroll new nothing of his history, Hew was set up. Hew want sure how many redcoats he could take out. 20 was way more than he could alone. He gave up for now.

Out of the many ass kickings Hew received in his life this surprisingly wasn’t the worst. The day was early though. None of his stories were working. He couldn’t even get to speak to an officer in command. Make them wait key to hostile negotiations. Hew sat in a make shift prison cell. Manacled to a ball. Sometime maybe early afternoon a colonel came to visit him. The colonel explained why he was arrested, and expanded that there would be questioning involved. “Colonel we are gentleman yes, I am a French Noble, and a ships Captain. Our Nations are at a state of war I am a Scottish Free trader under the French flag. I request Parole and shall not attack Annapolis on my word as a gentleman.” he stated. “Mr McDraig..” “Baron Or Baron McDraig” Hew interrupted” I expect the same courtesy you have gotten from me Colonel”.“Very well Baron” the officer replied “I will inform my superiors, but I do not think they will agree. My superiors Have ordered me to question you. Then transport you to Port Royal for sentencing” Hew absorbed the information. “Then Sir I request that the favor of my Lady be returned to me. It is a simple harmless handkerchief.” Done the officer agreed. Hew received the favor. With the steel pin he added to it just in case.

The interrogation soon started and he was reduced in rank from noble to treasonous scum. Ah the ass kicking he thought was coming had just arrived. Hew lost his English for a bit which probably helped him some though his captors were none to pleased.

Hew finally came to, He wasn’t sure of the time. He found the pin and started to pick the lock in the dark. Maybe an hour he spent on the damn thing but he finally got it. Hew listened to the door. Snoring good, Hew was able to trip the lock with some of the pin that was left. He found the musket and bayonet, and dispatched his guard. Everyone was asleep confident in the beating given their prisoner. Hew hurt no doubt but he had to keep going. His love was back In the Caribbean. He cant quit.

Hew was able to slip out. He made it to the dock and was able to convince a smuggler to make passage to Florida. He lost consciousness on a bale of cotton.
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PostSubject: Re: Refugees   Mon May 05, 2008 9:54 pm

Hew hadn’t seen the mansion in nearly a week. He was surprised at the pace. The first level was nearing completion and scaffolding on the 2nd floor was in progress. The kitchen was separate from the house to keep the house cooler in Florida’s tropical climate. Camilla would love it, to keep her out of the way. She was sent to Pitre` to become a true chef. A small stable was finished it would soon expand for a full carriage house. Cathern would be pleased he would have to bring her out. She would need to shop for furniture very soon or at least gets some ordered. Hew gave it maybe 2-3 weeks at best that’s even with the paint dry. A house warming party would be nice. Maybe he would talk to it with Cathern to see if she wanted one. It was going to be a beautiful estate.

He had a lot on his plate; the businesses, the trade union, the mansion, and the proposal. At least the businesses were running well. The Mansion would soon be rebuilt. He hoped she would give him an answer soon. He Loved Cathern deeply he was never going to rush her, but the suspense was nerve racking at times. The trade union was a headache he found that an agent was killed in Tortuga attempting to steal the books of the brethren bank. The same week he was arrested. If Hew was to go to Tortuga there was no way Cathern would let him go alone. He liked fighting by Cathern’s side. So much so he refit one ship and was planning on more based on their plans. There was a lot of work needed to be done. Day by day it was progressing and each problem was closer to being solved. Maybe Friday night they could camp out in the mansion as she got used to her house. Not theirs yet but definitely hers.
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PostSubject: Re: Refugees   Tue Jun 03, 2008 1:14 am

“Thank you good sir for the information.” Cathern couldn’t help but show her disappointment. “I’m sorry the news I bring wasn’t better. I must depart now. May the Virgin bless you and yours.” The well dressed man got up, bowed then spun on his heels and left the room. Well it official now. The order she had placed for furniture had come to naught. The ship transporting it never arrived and was presumed lost though from weather, pirates or some other cause was unknown. Some wreckage and bodies had washed ashore north of Charlesfort but anything could have caused the loss of the vessel. Cathern said aloud to herself, “I guess I’ll have to settle for the locally produced rubbish.” Jazelle gave a soft giggle from the other side of the room. Cathern glanced over at the girl. She was busy mending one of Cathern’s outfits. “Yes ma’am, though I am sure the local crafters will be more than happy to have the business. We could move into the house with just a minimal amount of things. I wouldn’t mind.” Cathern laughed a bit. “Oh, I am sure you wouldn’t mind being closer to your sweetheart.” The slave girl giggled once again and nodded. “Indeed ma’am! That would be most welcome. I know you must be missing Mr. McDraig.” Cathern nodded and said a simple “I do” then left the rented room. She had another order of furniture to make, this time she would include some things a man might like in the house.
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PostSubject: Re: Refugees   Tue Jul 08, 2008 3:14 am

“No, more to the left; yes that’s good.” The work crew wiped their brow as they finished positioning the last bits. The new oak furniture was light in color but not in weight. The full ensemble was pricey but not nearly the cost of the imported furniture now sitting at the bottom of the sea, no doubt making a lovely home for schools of fish. “Will that be all then, Mlle. Flowers?” Cathern looked about den then nodded, “Yes, see my factor for payment and thank you for a job well done.” The workmen bowed then departed.

The hired help was already cleaning the place up, replacing paintings and treasures. The den was a man’s room, or rather, Cathern’s view of what one should be. She thought it ironic that she would find it more comfortable than the traditional room reserved for females, the dreaded sewing room. The den had a sword rack, a cabinet for muskets, large book shelves, a fireplace, and of course, large comfortable chairs with matching foot stools. There was empty wall space for paintings, deer heads or the like. Yes, she was certain a man could be happy spending his time here.

The rest of the house was well appointed too. Canopied beds with the delicate silk netting to keep out the mosquitoes in every bedroom. The kitchen was quite large with a cellar below. The house wasn’t large enough to have a ball room but there was a music room. There was a smokehouse just a few yards from the kitchen. The servants’ quarters while not extravagant, were a cut above the usual. The flower gardens were doing well and the whole place smelled of them and the other greenery around the house, at least, when the smokehouse wasn’t in operation. Cathern employed a dozen souls on staff to maintain the place. She could certainly afford extra staff but since she was often to sea it seemed pointless to employ so many for little more than idleness. She could always hire temporary help if needed.

It was unusual to be here or anywhere really without Jazelle at her side. She would need to find a replacement if Jazelle did well as a captain. Well, she would need to find a replacement in any case since Jazelle’s freedom was promised. It wasn’t something Cathern would go back on. And Hew, her darling Hew; what of him? Well, her tailor had a bolt of white silk with which to make a special dress….just in case.
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PostSubject: Re: Refugees   Wed Aug 06, 2008 3:00 pm

Hew had taken Laddie for a walk, it wasn’t too far to the mansion a small book bag was fitted for him. He carried some sagas he borrowed from Snorri. While I carried the Tacitus, and book on Flavius Aetus.
It was hurricane season and a storm near bermuda had kept lots of ships in port Hew had convinced Cathern that it would be a good date together. Lunch and reading in the after noon he had not seen the complete construction or the furniture. He had heard about the sinking on his return from Madacasgar.

He was elated to hear about Jazelles emacipation. Andrew must be giddy with news hes love is free.

After dinner they settled in as a tropic strom dumped rain in what seemed barrel fulls. They read by the fire and oil lamps. Laddie had appointed himself chaperone, and was clearly very in tent on stealing attention from the loving couple. “ Cathern its so good to finally have you all to myself” has he holds her hand. Laddie proceeds to roll on his back and assault Hew with tail flicks. Cathern leaned over the panther and kissed Hew sweetly. Hew darling its late stay with me and hold me tonight I need to feel you around me. Cathern lead Hew to the new room and the couple laid down together. Gently kissing and spooning. Then a small growlcame from the door and hew got up to let the panther in.
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