((A little look into the death of Skye Thomson, James's wife.))
The young boy dug quietly around in the underbrush, searching for the yellow flowers he was sure he had seen. He would give them to his mother, for they were her favorite color, and how she would like them!
“Liam! Liam, where are ye?”
'Should Ah answer?' Liam asked himself, 'or jus’ ge’ tha flowers an’ surprise Mother?'
The boy decided to stay and continued to search.
Still several hills away, a dozen English soldiers were riding hard and they were bent on only one thing: Scottish blood! However, they failed to realize that they had long-since given themselves away.
Skye Thomson had seen an approaching dust cloud from the south and she was sincerely worried. England was to the south and the village where she and her family lived was too close to the Border for her liking. She looked quickly around again, searching for her youngest son.
“Liam!” She called, almost scared to raise her voice over a whisper, “Come out, Liam! We need tae go back, now.”
Something in his mother’s voice made Liam listen. Gripping the small bunch of yellow flowers that he had just found, he ran to the edge of the sparse forest. But something made him stop.
There stood his mother, her red plaid dress unmistakable against the green of the hill behind her. And there, over the hill, came the English soldiers with their swords drawn, shouting curses at all Scots. Liam’s brown eyes widened in horror as the cavalry charged down the hill towards his mother. The seven year-old wanted to scream to warn his mother of the danger, but all that came out of his mouth was a hoarse whisper. He saw his mother turn toward the sound of approaching horses, saw the Englishmen closing in.
As Skye turned, she knew that her time had come. There was nothing she could do now, running would not help her. If she screamed, it would only give the English more pleasure and it would scare her son even more.
“Dear, God,” she prayed silently, “Please, keep my family safe.” She placed a hand on her belly, “Ah never go’ tae tell James….”
At the last possible second, Liam turned his head away and closed his eyes, not wanting to watch. More shouts and cheers came from the English cavalry as they rode on. A few minutes later, though it seemed like hours, Liam opened his eyes. Looking around, he saw no sign of the cavalry, only his mother, lying on the ground. Still clutching his flowers, Liam ran down the hill. When Liam reached his mother, he saw that she was still breathing, though she was badly wounded. He knelt down beside her and held out the flowers.
“Ah picked these for ye, Mother. Do ye like them?”
Skye smiled, she gently took the flowers from her son, “Ah am so very glad ye picked them, Liam, they are pretty,” she paused, out of breath, but still needing to speak, “Liam…….ye need tae run….run tae tha village…..tell yer father tha’ tha…..tha English are attacking. Och, William….Ah am so sorry tha’…..tha’ ye never go’….tae see yer little sister.”
Skye smelled the flowers and sighed, smiling at her son. “Go on, now.”
She closed her eyes, still smiling and the hand that held the flowers slowly relaxed.
“Mother?” Liam gently shook his mother, but she didn’t stir. “Mother?”
Liam was stunned. He had known his mother was hurt, but he had not known how badly and he certainly did not think that she would die!
“No!” Liam screamed, tears streaming down his face. He hurriedly looked around him, afraid that his shout might have brought the English back.
Then, suddenly remembering what his mother had told him, Liam took off running towards the village. It was only a short distance to the village where Liam lived, but it seemed like it was miles and miles.
Liam arrived at the gate out of breath and sobbing. A strong hand gripped his shoulder and Liam looked up into the piercing blue eyes of James Thomson.
“William? Wha’ is i’, lad?” James asked his son. He scanned the surrounding hills and his grip tightened on his son’s shoulder, “Where is yer mother?”
Aware of the slowly gathering crowd, Liam explained everything to his father.4/23/2008 . Edited 4/23/2008 #1
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