It was a cold day in March of 1774 as Brandy Sinclair stood erect, scarcely revealing the inner turmoil and frustrated
thoughts leading up to her fathers death. As the priest spoke the words ‘life ever after’ and throwing the soft
moist earth over the grave, Brandy thought back to the precious hours before his death...
She had been waiting impatiently outside her fathers room while the doctor examined him. Her step brother and step sister
waited with her, but they were lacking the sincere grief that had overwhelmed Brandy when she’d first heard about the
accident. Although her step siblings were not very close to her father she still thought they should have acted more interested
than bumps on fallen logs.
When the doctor emerged from the room he had a grave look upon his haggard face.
"I’ve done all that I can Miss Sinclair." he addressed to Brandy. "The bullet went too near his lungs. I’m
afraid he won’t last much longer."
"Oh no!" Brandy cried, her grief starting to consume her. Scott, her step brother put his arm around her and held her close.
Comforting her as best he could while his sister Lena patted Brandy on the shoulder.
"Are you sure there is naught else you can do for the old man?" Scott inquired as Brandy sniffed back her tears.
"No. Whoever it was that shot him did a very good job at it. Although I think they were aiming for his heart the damage
to his lungs was just as efficient." the doctor stated matter of factly.
"He has been asking for you Miss Brandy. You can go in but don’t expect too much." the doctor told Brandy.
"So he can speak?" Scott asked a little warily.
"Not much I’m afraid. More like a whisper between gasps." the doctor answered Scott as Brandy moved past them in
a flurry of skirts to get to her father.
She composed herself the best she could then gingerly walked around the corner of the big bed where her father lay dying.
One of the servants put a chair next to him so she could sit more comfortably. She carefully took his hand in hers. It was
as cold as the icy winds in winter. She wiped at a stray tear as he turned towards her.
"Brandy?" he asked hoarsely as he tried to rise from the bed.
"Shhh, its all right papa, I’m here." she stated gingerly through her tears.
"Now, now child, don’t cry over such an old man." he remarked, looking at her smudged face. He closed his eyes momentarily,
trying to take a deep breath. Brandy could see the pain he was in as she sat helplessly beside him.
"Oh papa, please don’t leave me like this!" she cried, unable to contain herself any longer.
"Hush my little angel. It’s my time to go. I’m just going sooner than I had expected. That’s the way
life is sometimes. Full of surprises and misfortunes." he coughed spasmodically, then continued. "Brandy you must listen to
me and listen well."
"Yes, papa, anything."
"First clear the room so we may be alone." he whispered between breaths.
She did as he had asked and made all the servants leave them alone. To make sure that they weren’t disturbed, she
bolted the door behind them.
"Tis done papa." she said, returning to his bedside.
"Good, good." he coughed again. "Brandy, you must leave here at once."
"But why papa?" she interrupted.
"I beg of you, don’t interrupt me. I haven’t long on this earth and I must tell you something very important."
He had another coughing attack. Brandy helped him to raise up a bit and get rid of the blood and phlegm in his throat. She
gently wiped his mouth and helped him to lie back down.
"Brandy my dear child, you are in grave danger." he rasped. "I was such a fool to not have given credence to all the signs.
Forgive me my child for putting you in such danger." he coughed hard again.
"What are you talking about papa?" she asked quietly as she wiped the sweat from his forehead.
"I was not shot by accident as everyone believes. He meant to kill me but his aim has always been off."
"Who papa? Who tried to kill you?" she asked anxiously.
"S-Scott!" the old man whispered urgently.
Brandy drew in her breath. A thousand questions frantically flew threw her mind but now was not the time for interruptions.
She must be a dutiful daughter and sit quietly while he spoke his peace.
"Scott and Lena are after the inheritance that you will receive upon my death. Scott approached me about the money and
property some months ago. I’m afraid I didn’t take his threats seriously and now I have put your life in danger
"But papa, this is my home! Where will I go? Scott has to be punished for doing this! How could he do this to you? Leaving
is totally out of the question." she answered adamantly as she wiped the sweat from his brow. Talking was taking its toll
"You must my dear. Go...go to the colonies. I have a dear friend there that will protect you and...and keep you safe."
he paused, taking a breath of air. She shook her head in dismay as he continued.
"He’s expecting you. At least I had the foresight to write to him before this happened. I was hoping this wouldn’t
become necessary." he coughed harshly again. "I haven’t much time left. The letter is in my upper left desk drawer.
Please read it now."
She did as she was asked. Retrieving the letter, she opened it and started reading aloud.
It has made my heart grow ten years younger to have received your letter today. But it has also grieved me to know that
you may not have long on this earth. I know it will do no good to say this for you haveMy home
is her home always. I give you my solemn oath that she will be well taken care of.
Now in closing, dear Robert, please watch your back! My heart is with you my dearest friend. I look forward to Brandy’s
arrival. Take care.
Your devoted friend always,
Sir Drake Melbourne.”
Brandy paused as she put the letter in her dress pocket. The shock of the days events leaving her mind numb and confused
about many things.
“You will be happy there, my dear. Please promise me that you will go!” her father demanded urgently, grabbing
her by the arms and holding tightly.
“All right papa, I promise. I’ll leave just as soon as you are well enough...”
“My dearest and brightest, don’t start acting like a muddle headed female now. We both know I’m dying.”
he rasped. “You are an intelligent young lady. Don’t coddle this old fool. You must leave quickly, please! If
Scott and Lena should ever find out that I told you anything...”
“All right papa. I will leave right away. I promise.” she tried to soothe him. Tears streamed down her face
as he labored to breathe, his hands falling from her arms. She took his hand in hers and kissed it.
“Oh papa, I love you so much!”
“As I...love you...very much...my dearest angel. Now...you must...go...” he repeated with his last breath.
She cried her heart out until she couldn’t cry anymore. Then she went and told the rest of the household of his passing.
As the final words were spoken over her father’s grave and they started back towards the house, she began
to think of how she was going to leave. As soon as they returned to the house she went straight to her room and started packing.
She decided she would leave right away. The sooner she was aboard ship the sooner she would feel at ease. But she swore that
Scott and Lena would pay for their treachery. She just needed to be with Sir Drake to be able to accomplish that task and
the sooner she was there, the sooner it would be done.
Before long there was a knock on her door.
“Yes Chelsy, what is it?” she asked as her maid entered her room.
“I’m sorry tae bother ya missy, but those two would like tae sees ya. They said it twere
important.” the old maid replied with a twinge.
“I bet they do.” Brandy said under her breath. “All right Chelsy, thank you.” Brandy
replied to her maid as she started emptying her wardrobe.
“Are we going somewhere Miss Brandy?” Chelsy asked.
“Yes. We’re going to the colonies for awhile. I’ve decided I need to get away.” Brandy
answered as she and Chelsy dragged her large trunk into the middle of the floor.
“Have ya told Master Scott and his sister of this yet? That might be what they wanted tae see ya for,
my lady.” Chelsy replied as she carefully laid a folded gown in the empty trunk.
“No I haven’t. I’m sure I’ll find out what they want when I go down to see them.”
Brandy stated absently, not giving them too much thought at the moment.
“Humph...if’n ya asks me I think those two are up tae no good! No good at ‘tal!” Chelsy
remarked heatedly as she helped her young mistress fold an especially delicate gown and wrapped it in tissue for the long
“Be that as it may. They are of no concern to me. When papa died that broke all ties that I have with
them. They can go their way and I will go mine. For now anyway.” Brandy stated softly, as she warmly smiled at the old
woman who had been her maid since she had been born.
Brandy walked over to her dresser and opened up the ornate jewelry chest that her father had given her just
last month for her birthday. It was made of ivory and brass with ornate French carvings that decorated its various sides.
When the chest was opened it played her favorite melody, Greensleeves. She had went to market with her father one day last
year in the village and a traveling band of troubadours had been entertaining the lords with their musical talents when she
had first heard the tune. It had filled her soul with such happiness when she had heard it. Now she could hear it when ever
she had a mind to.
She gingerly ran her fingers over the smooth surface as she fought back the tears that strained to spill forth.
It had been such a grand surprise when she had opened the beautiful gift. She would treasure this gift for always. She carefully
reached in and pulled out a velvet pouch. You could clearly make out the sound of coins as she carefully tucked it within
her hand and re-closed the chest.
“Here Chelsy.” Brandy said as she handed her maid the pouch of coins. “Take this and book
us passage on the next ship bound for the colonies. When you are done packing have Paul take the trunks to the docks. I will
meet you there.”
“But what if you need me here?” Chelsy asked with alarm. She knew how ruthless her two siblings
could be if they were provoked.
“I will be fine Chelsy. Just do as I say. We’re packing light so only take what you think is necessary.”
Brandy stated as she picked up her musical chest and tucked it safely within the truck with her gowns.
“You can count on me, missy.” Chelsy said, laying an old wrinkled and gnarled hand across her mistress’s
“I know I can Chelsy.” Brandy stated, patting the old woman’s hand affectionately. “Now
hurry. I want you and everything else we’re taking out of here within fifteen minutes.”
Chelsy nodded her head as she continued her work. Brandy looked around her room. The walls were papered in a
floral motif with lots of lavenders and pinks. The bed was a massive four poster that sported layers of lace and netting around
the top of the bed with a lavender and lace down comforter that draped across the bed itself. Lots of pillows and throws graced
the top of the comforter. She remembered how soft and inviting it had always been. She had felt safe wrapped within this room
when every thing else seemed to go wrong. Now she would not even have this small comfort to ease the hollowness she felt inside.
Taking a deep breath, Brandy descended the stairs. As she drew closer to the study she could hear voices. Calming
her shaking hands she entered the room.
“Well, I see you have finally decided to grace us with your company. I was about to send Scott up to fetch
you.” Lena said disdainfully as she set her cup of tea back down upon the table next to her chair.
“What do you want Lena?” Brandy asked coldly, stiffening slightly as Scott’s eyes raked over
her maliciously. She felt a wave of apprehension wash over her. She took a deep breath and tried to control the quivering
in her legs.
“My, my, aren’t we the cool one today.” Lena remarked pointedly.
“Yes, Lena, why don’t you tell sweet Brandy what we want.” Scott replied with a slight slur
to his voice. “No use beating around the old bush about it. We’re all family here.” Scott continued as he
ran his finger boldly down Brandy’s arm.
She shivered uncontrollably and jerked her arm away, side stepping his attentions. His laughter sounded hideously
like an evil omen as she tried to block him from her thoughts.
“Sit down Brandy. It may take awhile for us to come to some sort of agreement.” Lena gestured towards
the chair across from her.
“What agreement would that be, Lena?” Brandy asked as she stepped closer to the door. There was
no way she was going to sit next to her father’s assailants.
“Very well then.” Lena replied, noticing that Brandy wasn’t going to sit down. “It has
been brought to our attention that you are the soul heir to papa’s mass fortune. What he left Scott and I to live on
isn’t enough to sustain our present status of living. We just want to rectify that little matter once and for all.”
Lean stated, stretching lazily in her chair. “After all Brandy, we were here first.”
“I’m afraid I can’t help either of you. You will have to take the matter up with my guardian.”
Brandy said as she turned to leave the study. But Scott’s words made her feet heavy as lead.
“I don’t think you quite understand what we are saying here, Brandy. We are only giving you two
choices in the matter. Either you sign over everything willingly to us or...” He shrugged his shoulders lightly and
let the sentence dangle heavily in the silent room as he refilled his whiskey glass.
Brandy stared at them both for a long minute. She couldn’t believe that they had the audacity to confront
her like this. All her plans for leaving now felt way out of reach. The brevity of her situation hit her like a cold pail
“Or what Scott? Are you threatening me? Do you plan on killing me outright or just blackmailing me? As
I told you before, you will have to take this matter up with my guardian. I have no control over the money.” Brandy
“But dear Brandy, Sir Drake isn’t here. You are. You will sign the documents. That I am positive
about.” Lena stated adamantly.
So they did know about Sir Drake. She wondered what else they knew about.
“I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were you! Sir Drake has full control of all of papa’s estate.
I have nothing to do with it. I won’t sign anything!” Brandy yelled in frustration. “You wouldn’t
dare kill me. There would be too much talk. You’d never get away with it.”
“On the contrary my dear. We won’t have to kill you. You will be signed to a fate worse than death!”
Scott gritted out as he blocked her exit from the room. “After I have filled my lust with the soft touch of your silken
hair beneath my hands and tasted of your maidenly fruit beneath my body, you will be sold to a slaver. You will be indebted
to a live of filth and sexual amusement for any man who wishes to have you. You, my pretty little sister, will be thrown back
into the spawn of evil corruption from which you were conceived from!” he breathed heavily, grabbing fistfuls of Brandy’s
long golden hair, holding her body so close to his that she could smell the liquor on his breath.
“The men will be so enchanted by your rare beauty that they’ll go insane with the mere smell of
your luscious fragrance. Ah, but the poor fools will be inanely stricken when they look into those emerald green eyes of yours
and see the fiery depths of hell trying to consume them. You will be whore to any man that owns you.” Scott stated,
squeezing Brandy’s arm tightly.
“I don’t care what you do to her brother, just as long as she signs those documents!” Lena
stated, disgusted by her brothers all too obvious lustfulness.
“I’ll never sign anything! Never! When Sir Drake learns of your evil doings he will...”
“He will do nothing except give us what is rightfully ours to begin with.” Lena stated as she stood
up and walked over to where Scott held Brandy in place. She reached out and took an errant curl in her hand and softly toyed
with it. Brandy jerked her head away in disgust.
“You see Brandy, Sir Drake will think that you have drowned in a storm crossing the ocean to the colonies.
At least that is what our sad letter to him will state. He will have no recourse but to give the remainder of papa’s
fortune into our keeping.”
“You wouldn’t!” Brandy declared in disbelief. Lena nodded to Scott and he literally dragged
Brandy from the study and up the stairs.
“Turn me loose!” she demanded, trying to break free of his vise like grasp.