Tuesday, June 19, 2012

"A Salute to Captain Midnight!"

Excerpt of Some Enchanted Waltz, copyright Lily Silver 2012, available on Amazon.com

Setting, Baron Bantry's home, Seafield House, County Cork, Ireland, 1798. Lord Adrian Dillon and his wife, Tara, are attending a ball given by Loyalists to the English crown for Sir Ralph Ambercromby, the new English Military Commander-in-Chief of Ireland. Adrian is uncomfortable being among his enemies, yet, listens to their conversation as they discuss his alter ego, the masked highwaymen known as Captain Midnight:
        “Sheriff Burke, I am sorry to inform you that my cousin  died three years ago. You are chasing a dead man.” Adrian said in an aloof, bored tone.
       “Says you. There are others that say he’s alive, and heads the masked riders of the Fianna in this region.” Burke responded.
        “Aye.” Lord Knox mused, his eyes twinkling with intoxicated mirth. “He’s a phantom, nothing more, a fanciful legend of the peasantry, another Finn Mac Coul who lives in the dreams of the impoverished, promising them redemption from their oppressors. I’ve heard reports of the illustrious Captain Midnight being responsible for every deed against the government from here to the far north regions of  Donegal, Connacht, and County Down. No man can be everywhere at once, gentleman, only a ghost, conjured up in the minds of the whiskey sodden masses.”
        “What of the reports of his role in the ambush on the Beara peninsula?” The sheriff whined, not ready to let sleeping dogs lie.
         “Posh, man, you’re chasing down a myth. As we speak, Captain Midnight is this very night in Galway, Kerry, Tipperary, Dublin, Roscommon and far off Londonderry, fighting injustice, championing the cause of every tenant farmer on this island province. When we are all cold in the grave, this figment of legend will still be roaming the countryside righting the wrongs of the oppressed. I propose a toast to Captain Midnight.” Lord Camden lifted his glass in a stalwart salute to the phantom rebel leader.
         The other men at the table, one by one, joined him, some with amused smiles, others with a measure of consternation. Adrian meekly lifted his glass, turned to Tara, who was regarding him with those exquisitely beautiful, discerning green eyes.
         “To Captain Midnight.” He smiled, privately enjoying the irony of the situation.
         “To Captain Midnight.” Tara echoed with a sparkle of amusement in her eyes.

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