From The Pond

    In 1642 Dutch New Netherland, colonist Catarina is the first to encounter the Spirit Guide

           I had a strange dream just before dawn. The conjured images jarred me awake as night was saying
    farewell to the earth and pulling its great shadow slowly toward the west. This dream was about the seasons
    rushing passed me in a blur as Hendrick and I ran into the forest. I woke up feeling sad and moody and restless.
    And so, at dawn I found myself standing at our double door. I opened the top half to the horizon where I could
    welcome the new day. The bottom half that stopped animals from invading my kitchen also held me inside the
    cabin, preventing me from stepping outside. I stared across the meadow as a meteor shower passed overhead.
    Then, I watched the glow of the rising sun reflected in the pond. Oh, how that warm sunlight turned the pond into
    nectar, rich with a bright sweetness. I knew that at this hour tomorrow we’d be leaving, never to see this
    wonderful view again.
           All of a sudden, I frowned. Something… or someone… was standing by the pond, mingled with the
    shadows of dawn light. I rubbed my eyes and squinted toward the pond. An Indian. Was that an Indian boy
    staring at me? And for some reason, was he smiling at me? Why was he nodding to me? Who was he? What did
    he want? Was he… a ghost?
           I emptied that thought from my mind with a shudder. I knew that my dreams had been vivid that night.
    Perhaps I was still asleep or wrapped within some mysterious place of half-consciousness. But I knew that the
    boy was really out there. And so, we stared at each other for a tense moment of recognition. Then, as I was
    about to go out to challenge his presence, he disappeared into the morning mist. So, I just stared and thought for
    a long time after he left. And deep within my mind I knew that something had changed. Yes, something definitely
    was different.

    From The Chapel

    During the French & Indian War, French colonist Phillip counsels his young niece about her hatred of the British

           "Uncle Phillippe, you don't understand. No one understands me. I want to be useful. I want to make a
    difference in this world. I don’t want to be buried alive in the woods until I die. I must find Montcalm and join him.”
           “But how can you?”
           “They all say he might come here from Quebec City. Don't you believe he'll come by the lake? It would be
    good strategy for him. Wouldn’t it? When he arrives, I can show him where the English guns and troops are
    hidden away. Soon, the French army will return to Acadia. When they do, I can lead them through the back roads
    of our old home. I remember the way. And they'll listen to me. And they’ll kill those English pigs."
           "What are you saying, dear child? Eloise, war is for men, madmen at that. You must wipe this hatred and
    unholy taste for revenge from your mind and heart."
           "Your words are a waste, Uncle Phillippe. You weren't there. We ran away from Acadia. We ran into the
    black of night. The English gathered us into our own chapel and read orders of expulsion. Most of our neighbors
    were pushed into ships, taken away and scattered to the four winds. But Pappa made us run away into the
    woods and travel on a long trail until we reached this part of New France. But I'll never, ever see them again, not
    my friends and their families or Paul. Then, they burned our crops and our homes so that we couldn't return.
    Ever! It was our home. Don’t you understand? They had to right to do that to us. I'll never forget! Never!" She was
    choking on her emotions. “I’ll kill them for that. I will. I hate them.”
           "Eloise, you’re so upset. Let me take you back home. Come with me. All right? We'll talk along the way.
    Joining Montcalm isn't the answer. You can't be Joan of Arc, Eloise. You cannot. Do you understand? Besides,
    you don't know for certain if Montcalm’s even coming here."
           "Of course Montcalm will come this way. He'll come down Lake Champlain to attack the English. I can
    signal and help him. Surely.." She paused and squinted toward the lake. Her expression became one of
    excitment. "Look out there. Is it Montcalm? Look!"

    From Regulus

    During the American Revolution, Anne Woodson lives comfortably in a Tory world until Nathan Hale convinces to
    become a spy for Washington

           "I understand his (her Patriot son’s) fervor. In fact, I admire it. But you must understand, Mr. Hale, that I did
    not create this war. I lived in peace in New York for all of my life. Now, I'm confused. Britain is my parent.
    America is my child. Where do I belong? One son does business with the British. Another son is a Patriot who
    craves independence. The only thing I want is safety, happiness, for both of my sons. I can't leave James. It
    would destroy him. Yet, how can I turn away from John? I must find a way to help him without hurting James.
    Surely, Solomon would have difficulty with all of this."
           "Perhaps you should permit fate to make your decision for you. I can't possibly tell you where to live, my
    dear Mrs. Woodson. However, I can pose a way for you to help both of your sons."
           "How? How could I possibly do something like that?"
           Hale moved closer to me and looked directly into my eyes. He smiled briefly as if already pleased with the
    wisdom of his suggestion. "You could stay here and publicly support James by carrying on with life as usual. But
    you could also provide enough vital information to help John in his cause. In other words, you could become a
    Patriot spy, dear lady."
           "A spy! I experienced a shock that grew from deep inside of me. It almost felt as though Hale had run me
    through with a saber. "Mr. Hale, what a foolish thing to say. How could I ever become a spy?"
           "It's quite easy. You have access to much information. You live on the Sound, very close to the Patriot
    colonies. I’m certain you could help us. General Washington would value any information you provided.”
           "But James would despise me if he discovered that I was a Patriot spy. Can you imagine? I’d be getting
    information from his guests!"

    From The Portrayal

    Andre takes refuge from death during the French Revolution in Azilum, a settlement in the Pennsylvania
    wilderness. But the arrival of two strangers make him very uneasy

           By the early summer of 1794, the terror back in France became so unbearable that every night I could do
    little else but sit and listen to the cries, to the anguish of families mourning their dead loved ones. And within this
    pall of grief, the strangers came to Azilum.
           Upon one particular summer night, I was walking home with my brother, Charles. We were strolling near
    the river, returning home from a party. We had danced hard and eaten well and spoken bravely about the future.
    Throughout the party, we reveled in all the giggles of admiration granted by flirtatious girls. We also ignored the
    expressions of pity bestowed by the elderly, by those who understood what we elegant, young men of France
    had really lost.
           We were dressed in our best court clothing of light shoes, silk knee breeches, ruffled shirts and
    shimmering jackets. The sound of laughter lingered in the distance. We could still hear the music as we walked.
    And so many candles illuminated our way. The torches flickered like earth-held stars in the night. The reflection
    of lanterns sparkled in the river. The moon was full. The air was sweet. No one had received news from France
    for several days. So, hope blossomed with the meadow flowers. Loved ones might still be alive. And so, there
    was laughter.
           But for some reason, something ominous walked with me that night. It interrupted my complacency.
    Something tapped on my instincts and made me glance repeatedly over my shoulder. I don’t know what
    disturbed me, but I sensed that some imperceptible form of danger was stalking us.

    From Lava Seed

    Why would Jane, an affluent young woman with outstanding social status, go to live in a Hawaiian colony and
    marry a stranger?

           "The education was confining, Father. I learned nothing more than how to mimic and repeat the words of
    others. No, I'm afraid you don't understand me at all. I'm sorry that we don't understand each other,” I said. “I'd
    leave here, go my own way, except that to do so would deprive me of funds. Your funds provide me with the very
    freedom that I need to create my music. But now, I know that I'll have to look for another way to live."
           "No. It's gone beyond that, Jane. Mrs. John Caswell mentioned something after last Sunday’s service that
    caused me great alarm. She saw you in the woods the other day on the Sabbath, bowed psaltery in hand. You
    were playing a light tune, Jane, returning the call of ravens in the trees and ... you were tapping your foot.... on
    the Sabbath! My God, Jane! She asked very gently... very respectfully, if you might not have a touch of madness."
    My father arose from his desk and clenched his fists. "Can you imagine? Madness! In my family? My family? The
    very thought causes me dread and anguish. How could I continue as their banker? Or your brothers and their
    families function in their society? And what would happen to you, Jane?"
           "Father, I'm not mad. Surely, you know that."
           "I know," he said. "I do know. But Jane, if Mrs. Caswell ever said these words, ever shared her suspicions
    with others, or if she explored the possibility of you being mad, we might face ruin. She does covet my position
    in our church. After all, I do have the pastor’s ear and a fine pew. But Mrs. Caswell could be a vicious foe if our
    paths crossed. I think she expected me to marry her after the death of her husband. She's more the scorned
    woman than concerned citizen. So, she'll act without any sound reasoning. She’s very dangerous, Jane."

    From Soul Hunt

    James Gant, a novice minister, enters the world of Rusty Ben Marker, a reclusive former slave.

           "Rusty Ben, I didn't come here only to fish. I'm the minister in this region and I wanted to know if you were in
    need of any spiritual help or guidance."
           "Why you askin' me this, Preacher?"
           "Only to be friendly. I know that you've had a difficult life, being born into slavery and such. I know you lost
    a good friend in John Fullerman and ... well, you might need someone to talk to now that you're getting along in
    years. Do you understand what I’m saying?"
           "You meddling, Preacher?"
           "I hope you won’t take my concern as meddling, Rusty Ben." I gave a disarming smile that might display
    my best of intentions. "May I ask you, are you a Christian? If so, wouldn't you like to get out of here more often
    and come to church and mingle with the people of the town?"
           "I already mingled with enough people in my life, Preacher. And yes, I believe in Jesus. But I met too many
    folk who take his name, but not his beliefs. Besides, I also believe in other things... " He lowered his eyes and
    looked into the rushing water that heightened his words. "I believe in powers that come from a long way off.
    There are powers on earth that come from a different kind of spirit world."
    I paused when I sensed a profound moment of uncertainty within Rusty Ben’s manner. It was as if he was
    deciding whether he wanted to share something with me or hide something from me. "Tell me what you mean
    by these powers, Rusty Ben. As a man who devotes his life to the spiritual, surely I can understand."
           "I don't think so, Preacher." The yellow leaves of a birch tree tickled his wrinkled face. "I know spirits that
    are way too powerful for you."


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