Author: nostalgiagoat PM
set in 1775, Katherine is the daughter of a middle class farmer who is highly involved in the militia. Ever since the conflict started to heat up she has longed to fight with her brothers, but she knows this is unladylike. It all starts to heat up for her when she steals one of her brothers guns and hides it in a pond, waiting for the British to come.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Romance - Chapters: 4 - Words: 16,369 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 3 - Follows: 5 - Updated: 11-06-12 - Published: 03-14-12 - id: 3005235
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Author's notes: this is the revised version of chapter one. not much has changed, but the most important thing is that her age ahs changed to 16 instead of 15. the name of the story is still up for change, any suggestions are appreciated. critique is welcome. enjoy :3
She inched forward on the beam, the hem of her dress getting caught on a splinter as she did so. The stupid thing was always in the way when she was doing something exciting. Really it would be nice if women had the fortune to be able to wear trousers if they chose to do so. Although the thought of seeing herself in trousers did seem very humorous. She giggled slightly with her mouth closed, but kept silent again as she reached back and pulled her dress free of the splinter.
Below her, her father and brothers were speaking with other towns people about how it went with moving a large stock pile of munition in Concord to other towns. She got situated on the beam as they spoke of war and battle. So far it seemed that the colonies were in a stalemate, the continental congress hadn't announced that they would officially go to war against Britain the other year. Her father though seemed to think that war was the only solution at this point. Every where in the North they were already starting to feel as though war was eminent.
Massachusetts was an epicenter for rebellion, especially after the Boston massacre. After that had been the Boston tea party that hadn't happened but two years ago. Her father was an advocate for rebellion and he always spoke to his family about it, telling them that Lexington should start to speak up like it's neighbor Boston.
The thought of the colonies rebelling against the mother country fascinated her. That was why she was lying on a beam of the family barn eves dropping on the militia men. If her father or mother knew where she was right then, they would have raged with anger. She stopped squirming as she focused on what they were saying.
"The munitions in Concord have been distributed among other towns now. We've heard tell that the British are planning an some sort of expedition here soon." She heard her father speaking to them very plainly. She couldn't believe what she was hearing though. Would the British really march against them? If they did then surely the war would officially be declared.
"The real question is if they'll stop here and search for Mr. Adams, and Mr. Hancock." Another man spoke up suddenly.
She knew that the two leaders had been hiding in town to avoid arrest, but no one knew if the British were aware of this or not. Still it was very exciting to have such important men in town, they had gone to the continental congress to represent Massachusetts. She leaned over the side of the beam as the men continued speaking. It was so exhilarating to be doing something like this. Normally she wasn't so daring, but the recent rise in tension had made her extremely invested in what was happening.
Suddenly she lost her grip and she felt her self fall off the side of the wooden beam. She cried out as she fell for less then a second and landed on her back in a pile of hay. Her heart was beating violently in her chest and she tried to comprehend what had just happened. This cannot good. She told herself as she heard the startled shouts of the men in the barn.
She closed her eyes and didn't even attempt to get up. The next thing she saw when she opened them was the stern face of her father. His brow was wrinkled as he looked at her, obviously very angry with her. She looked away from his face as he extended a hand to her. She grabbed it and he helped her out of the hay. A few pieces of hay were stuck in her dress and she pulled them out quickly before they really started to bother her. She brushed herself off, not wanting to say a thing to her father. It appeared that he had dismissed the other men and only her brothers were in the barn now.
"Kathrine. Mind explaining what were you doing up there?" She heard him ask, but she still didn't look at him. Instead she laced her hands together and looked at the barn wall. He still acted like she was a child even though she had turned sixteen last month. Well she probably still was a child, and acted like one in some respects, but she was a woman who thought and cared about things.
"Pa. I'm a citizen of this town just as much as you. I cannot help but want to learn about what's going to 'appen." She stood tall, as if she were wearing a stay or a corset, which she wasn't.
Her brothers were looking at her, Tom was chuckling snidely, but Will seemed to be concerned with her. He only looked concerned because he thought that she wasn't right in the head. That was what she assumed of him anyway. Her father didn't say another word. It meant that he was furious with her, he was always silent when he was very angry. "I know that you want to learn about what is happening. There is nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is how you go about gathering your information. Have you ever thought to ask me instead of climb up the barn beams?"
She tried to contain her rage, but her brow sunk at the attempt and her face began to twist with anger. "I don't want to wait in the house. Why can't I come to these meetings?"
"Because you're not going to be the one fighting." Will walked up to her and looked at her sternly. He was always the most serious in the family. It probably had to do with him being the oldest of the children at the age of twenty one.
She looked at him with pleading eyes. Begging him to understand her distress. "What if... What if when the British came... I could hide among the trees and fire on them once or twice? I need to do something! I can't just sit idly by in the house, while my brothers and father are in harm's way!"
Tom stopped smirking once she became frantic. Will was still just as serious as ever, and her father was shaking his head, "There are plenty of ways you can help that aren't through battle. You forget that you can supply the militia and military with food and other provisions. The best thing you can do is to stay home and watch out for your mother and the rest of your family."
She couldn't help but sob as he said that, "You know that, that's a lie. You'd rather have Timothy hold a musket then me, even though I am the oldest when you three are gone, and Timothy is not even a day over twelve!"
Her words seemed to distress her father and brothers. Tom had already started walking towards the door, not a word said. Her father looked slightly towards his son as he left, but looked at her again and said in all seriousness. "A woman's place is not behind the gun."
She knew that it was true, women were not suppose to physically fight. She couldn't help but feel how she did though. It had never been a good idea to speak of how she felt among her family, "Yes, father." She spoke more calmly now, "I know that..." She began walking away. Just barely she could hear the aggravated sigh of her father. He was disappointed in her, she knew that. In reality she did love looking nice and not having to do the same work as men, but she had an overwhelming desire to fight for her town, or even this nation that might rise from the war. She had just as much drive as any man and she thought that meant she had the right to fight also.
Distraught, she exited the barn, still feeling slightly embarrassed from her actions. As she exited the barn a man stepped in front of her. She jumped at first, but realized it was only Jack. His pale brown eyes shone with amusement. His brown hair was tied back with a blue ribbon that day, and he wore his fine long jacket. Well as fine as he could afford. "Quite a show back there. Falling off the beam during the meeting and all." He spoke mockingly towards her, but she knew it was mostly just playful. He had been courting her for the past year, and almost acted as if she were already his, but he had never openly admitted his love for her... Yet.
"And so you wait out of sight and then startle me like that?" She really didn't like him that much, though by now all of her family expected them to get married once Kathrine turned the proper age. At least that was what she got from the subtle hints her mother gave her.
"I figured I'd wait for you to finish speaking with your father. Would you like to walk around town with me? We can stop by the tailor's shop. I know you like to watch him making dresses."
She smiled at him slightly. Even though she didn't love him, he was fun to be around. He was a bit of a joker though, sometimes a bit to much. "Yes I would love nothing more then to gaze at silk dresses that I can't afford. Really Jack, I'm not in a good mood this evening."
"Did you hear the news of the British then? Don't worry if they do come, I'll be fine. I'll make sure that those red coat fools don't go home without a few wounds to remember me by." He grinned at her jokingly.
She shook her head at him. He always seemed to joke about how she felt about the conflict. It annoyed her to no end. She just looked at him with dissent. Her light blue eyes were very expressive, and she could tell that he had caught on that it wasn't nice to pick at her emotions. "I'm going to go home Jack." He nodded slightly and let her walk away.
She walked from the barn over to the steps of the house. Her father had probably already gone back and told her mother of what had happened. She didn't feel like going through the same old thing again. Her mother would scold her for not acting like a lady and go on about how she was getting older and needed to start acting proper. Kathrine did act proper, she loved looking beautiful. The only thing that stopped her from this was that unexplainable urge to fight for her home. It was reasonable, but she knew that as a lady it wasn't right for her to dirty her hands with men's work. She felt so conflicted.
Instead of going up the steps she turned away from the house and headed towards the pond. Not before she noticed something interesting though. For some reason there was a Brown Bess leaning against the railing of the porch. Maybe one of her brothers had left it there and was going to come back for it. It sounded like something Tom would do, he was so careless with things like that. Still it gave her a sudden idea.
She looked around cautiously, to make sure no one was watching. As soon as she was close enough she grabbed it and cradled the gun in her arms as she took off running towards the pond. Her shoes nearly got caught in the soft ground, but she never stumbled forward. It was hard to run when she couldn't hold her dress up though, and she tried not to trip over the hem. She couldn't help but grin when she saw the pond not to far away. She came here often, but her family didn't know just how often she went over here to simply relax and think things over.
The musket was extremely heavy, though it was large and she had expected that. Now all she had to do was pick a spot to hide the gun from anyone who might pass by the pond. Barely anyone came around it though, and if they did they were usually just passing by. She found a good spot by some trees and lied it flat on the ground between the trunks. She grabbed some leaves and covered it quickly. As she stood up she admired what she had just done. If the British were to come soon, then she would not be caught off guard. She could sneak out and actually do something about it. She knew where her father usually kept his musket balls and powder cartridges so that wouldn't be a problem. She had also been around when he had taught Tom how to load and fire the Brown Bess. It was a little fuzzy, but if she were in a fighting situation she was sure she could remember how to load it. Tom would be a little confused when he saw his gun was missing. Though she expected him to forget about it for a while then think he hadn't left it outside after all. Her father would probably think he'd lost it. She smiled and took in a deep breath satisfied with the knowledge that she would be able to fight, or at least fire off a few rounds at the British.
She was suddenly so excited and ready for the British to come any day. She began walking back to the house, not minding to much if her mother scolded her once she got back. It would all work out and now she now had a chance to fight. If she felt like fighting wasn't what was meant for her after she'd experienced it then she could simply retreat and forget that she had ever attempted. Though she expected that she would give the British all hell.
She reached a hand up and felt her hair as she continued back towards the house. The only bad thing was that her hair was very messed up now, and the black powder probably wouldn't be good for it. She pulled out a piece of stray, thinking for a second that it was a couple threads of hair. The stray was almost the same color as her hair, light blonde. It would take a while to comb out the knots in it. It was very hard to maintain, since it was naturally curly.
In all she thought of stealing the gun as a success. Now she would simply go home and wash her hair. She bounded up to the porch and walked up the steps. She tried not to smile to much, lest her family become suspicious.