Cup of Tea
Mr. Thomas Davenport sat at the mahogany desk in his office sipping a cup of tea that one of his servants, Lucy Brown, had brought him only moments before. He sighed, knowing that the tea was not to perfection. "Lucy!"
The girl herself strode into the room, "Mr. Davenport?" She was confused as to why he would call for here after she had delivered his tea only moments before.
Thomas frowned at the girl, "Do you know what this is?" He held up the cup of tea.
Lucy's eyebrows furrowed in confusion, "Yes sir."
Thomas then continued, "Then pray tell Lucy."
"A cup of tea?"
Thomas frowned, "No, it is not a cup of tea; it is a cup of cream!" Thomas threw the cup against the wall angrily. Lucy shrank back as the shards fell to the imported rug on the floor.
"I'm sorry sir, last time you said that you wanted a lot more cream in your tea."
Thomas put two fingers to his temple in frustration and grimaced, "Just forget the tea Lucy, you can't make it right."
Lucy nodded and turned to leave before remembering something, "Mr. Davenport, a letter for you sir." She set the cream envelope on his desk and left the room.
Thomas sighed and looked at the letter lying on the desk. Upon further inspection, he found that it was from the King! He broke the seal and opened the letter, scanning the words inside. It couldn't be; yet it was! The King had assigned Thomas to be the new Royal Governor of Massachusetts! A grin spread across Thomas' face as he began writing a letter of gratitude to King George III, thanking him for the position.
He stood quickly and left the room, calling to Lucy as he left the grand house, "Lucy, clean up that mess in my office!" Thomas then promptly left. He rather enjoyed showing off his nice things, knowing fully well that that others would be jealous, and he would relish the looks on their faces.
Lucy walked into Thomas' office hesitantly, nervous about his earlier violent manner. She bent down over the maroon and gold embellished rug and carefully picked up the porcelain pieces of the once pretty teacup. She winced when a smaller piece cut her forefinger. Lucy stood quickly, rushing out of the room, carelessly dumping the shards into a waste bin by Thomas' desk, before entering the servant's quarters to dress her wound.
Thomas meandered through Boston town, relishing his new position as Royal Governor of Massachusetts. A young boy, no older than thirteen, ran into Thomas, the newspapers spilling out of his hands, fluttering through the breeze, then settling, scattered amongst the bustle of town, all over the street.
Mr. Davenport sent the boy a stern look, "Look here boy!" The boy did as Thomas had asked. "Look where you're going boy! Do not fritter my time away by being clumsy! What say you?"
The boy looked down nervously, "Sorry sir."
Mr. Davenport sighed dramatically, "Well I should say you are." He continued down the cobbled road, giving not a single glance toward the young boy as he picked up the scattered papers, feeling that it would taint his new reputation as Governor, by having been seen with a common boy.
Thomas Davenport returned home shortly after dark. He had been Governor for three glorious months now, and was still proud to show off his lavish new lifestyle. Thomas had adjusted quite well to his new position in the upper class. He only associated with high class people, for those were the only people worth his time. He only dressed in the finest of clothes, which were thought quite ostentatious by his peers. But not only had Thomas become rich and powerful, he had also become harsh, stuck up, and shallow, and not a soul felt pleasure in his company.
Thomas sighed and walked over to the fireplace in his parlor, the embers glowing dully. "Margret! Stoke the fire!"
The elderly woman came hobbling into the parlor, picking up the poker, and then she started to tend to the fire, beginning to hum quietly to herself as she did so.
"I expect the fire to already be going when I return home from my endeavors in town, not for the fire to be dying away!"
The woman stood and nodded, "Yes Mr. Davenport." Margret returned to the kitchen only moments before Lucy bolted through the door into the parlor, minding her skirts so that she wouldn't trip.
"Mr. Davenport! A letter for you from the King!" She stopped in front of Thomas, who was lounging in a chair near the fire.
He took the letter hesitantly, "Get my letter opener." Lucy turned on her heels and bounded toward his office to retrieve said letter opener. Thomas frowned, thinking that Lucy, who could not have been older than seventeen, had simply too much energy for his liking.
Lucy returned with the letter opener; handing it, she sighed, looking at the marvelous gilded handle. It was a handsome object, Thomas agreed; his father had given it to him before he'd left London many years ago. Thomas didn't look up at Lucy, "You are dismissed." Lucy nodded once and left the room. Thomas opened the letter, only glancing at the wax seal once to confirm that it was indeed the King who had sent the letter.
After reading the letter, Thomas set it down on a small table. The King had stated that the colonists were to be taxed upon tea; this heady tax must be enforced by him. Thomas grimaced, knowing that the colonists would not like the tea tax one bit. He feared that they may try to tar and feather him, like the tax collectors. No, he couldn't let that happen. He was the governor for a reason and he would not let the colonists get the best of him. He would show them who was in charge. So with that new mindset of determination, Thomas retired to his bedchamber, unknowing that this simple decision would change a lot.
The following morning, Thomas sat at his desk writing a letter to Captain James Abbott. Abbott was a merchant sailor, his main export: tea.
Thomas had a strange, feeling to order an exceptionally large shipment of tea for himself, the feeling of what drastic things the colonists would do to get themselves tea unsettled him. Thomas smiled; soon he would have a hoard of tea and not a soul would know, save for his servants. Lucy walked into Thomas' office slowly, setting a cup of tea on his desk. Thomas looked at it with wariness, but took a sip.
He grimaced, "What did you bloody do to it?"
Lucy was frightened at Thomas' tone, "You said less cream."
"Did you put in any cream at all?"
"This is awful! I've sullied my mouth by tasting this cursed liquid! Throw it out and have Margret make a new cup." Lucy nodded slowly. Thomas' patience flew out the window, "Come on! Hurry up, you useless girl."
Lucy rushed out of the room, terrified.
Thomas knew that word of the Tea Act would have been spread throughout Boston like a fog. To confirm his assumptions, during his daily "flaunt about town," many colonists asked if it was true. He told them that it was and they grew outraged. Thomas just shook off their fury, telling them that they owed it to their King. He knew that these people, though low in class as well as behavior, compared to him, were quite angry.
He quickened his pace, deciding to abort his mission to the tailor's for his new ensemble, and instead agreed upon returning to the safe confines of his house. As he rounded the corner, he stumbled into a young woman, sending her to the ground. "Watch where you're going, you filth!" he snapped, not wanting to be bothered by this lowly woman.
When Thomas finally arrived home, his manor was cold and dark; nighttime had fallen earlier and he had expected to come home to a warm house.
"Lucy!" he called out, "Why are there no candles? No fire? And is dinner ready?" He received no reply, and this angered him further. "Lucy!"
"Mr. Davenport," her voice sounded coldly from behind him.
He turned to face her, "Well there you are girl, start a fire!"
Lucy shook her head.
Thomas' face reddened, "What do you mean no?"
Lucy smiled eerily, "Mr. Davenport, you will rue the day you were appointed Governor of Massachusetts," she told him calmly, no emotion in her voice. Thomas remained silent and Lucy continued, "You are a vile, dissolute man, lacking any kindness. You will fall eventually, all great," she stressed the word, mockingly, "men fall."
Thomas grabbed Lucy's arm and pulled her toward the door, "You are dismissed of you duties. I have been lax with you and now see where it has gone?" He shoved her outside in the snow, then returned inside, starting a fire, then went to his office.
Thomas woke with a start, hearing a pounding on his door. He rose quickly, realizing that he had fallen asleep on his desk. Thankfully, no ink from the inkwell had stained his face. Thomas went to meet whoever was at the door. "What is it? He asked groggily.
A soldier looked up at him with no emotion, "Governor Davenport?"
The soldier looked down at a something on a piece of parchment, "You ordered ten cases of tea?"
Thomas was discombobulated, "Yes?"
The soldier sighed, "Come with me." The soldier grabbed Thomas' hands and cuffed him with a pair of irons.
"Sir, what are you doing?"
"We need to have you further questioned."
"Were you aware of what happened in Boston Harbor?"
"I don't believe you Governor. My sources tell me that you knew of the plan."
"I was not!" Thomas called, appalled.
"Then why did you purchase ten cases of tea, mysteriously before the tea was dumped into Boston Harbor? But you did not buy it from the regular sellers, no, you bought it from someone unheard of. A Captain Abbott?"
The Governor nodded, "Yes."
The man nodded, "That's all we need sir." Thomas was taken back to his prison cell, Lucy's statement ringing in his ears, knowing that she had been right.
The steady beat of the snare filled Thomas' ears. Six months he had spent in that jail, awaiting his trial. The judge had been corrupt; someone who he had known wanted his position as governor. He could be the governor now that Thomas would be gone.
"Thomas Anthony Davenport," Thomas looked down at his bound hands sadly. The man continued, "Be known that you have been charged with treason for your willful crime against the Crown, and for this crime, you have been sentenced to be, on this day, hung by the neck until dead. May God have mercy on your soul."
Thomas looked up at the crowd before him. It was full of Loyalists, people he had been friends with, who now looked upon him with scorn, as well as some other colonists who mostly stood in the back, who looked like he deserved exactly what he was getting.
The executioner pulled the noose over Thomas' neck. Thomas looked back at the crowd. Something, or rather, someone caught his eye.
Lucy Brown stood, smirking, holding a teacup. Lucy had been right; he would fall, and fall hard. Lucy smashed the teacup against the cobblestone courtyard. Thomas winced, looking at the shattered shards and cobblestones darkened with tea. Then suddenly, the floor went out from under him and everything went black.