Son of the Revolution

Free Son of the Revolution by June Venable

Book: Son of the Revolution by June Venable Read Free Book Online
Authors: June Venable
Tags: young adult historical
off to her room and slammed the door.
    “Poor Bess.” Seth grinned. “In another life, she commanded a great army as she rode a white horse and led her troops into battle.”
    Caleb returned the smile. “And I’ll wager she won.”
    “I’m certain of that. Now, let’s plan to meet in the morning and see what we can do for Major Hunt. For now, I bid you good night.”
    “Good night, Seth, and don’t worry. We’ll come up with something.”
    It seemed to Caleb he had just closed his eyes when voices woke him. Going into the hallway, he saw Seth and his mother. The young man was dressed for outdoors, most unusual for the late hour.
    “Has something happened?” Caleb looked from one to the other.
    “My father has taken ill. I must get the doctor. Will you come with me, Caleb?”
    “Of course. Give me a moment to dress.”
    The boys hurried from the house while Seth explained how his father had awakened with a high fever and chills. Reaching the physician’s door, they knocked loudly. Waiting a few moments, they knocked again.
    The doctor answered at last, rubbing his eyes and holding a lighted candle high to see who had need of him before dawn. “What do you want? A man can’t get a good night’s sleep anymore,” he grumbled.
    “It’s Seth Larkin, doctor. My father has taken ill. Can you come?”
    “Just give me a moment, Seth.” The doctor came fully awake upon hearing the news of his old friend.
    When they reached the Larkin home, the doctor hurried to the room where his friend lay. The boys followed him in. Mary Larkin stood by her husband’s bedside, pale with worry. James Larkin’s face looked as if it burned with fever.
    “Boys, please wait outside,” the doctor ordered.
    By the time the door opened again, the two boys who waited outside the bedroom were nodding with exhaustion.
    “Seth,” the doctor said, gently shaking the boy’s shoulder. “Your father has the same symptoms I’ve seen among the soldiers. He will recover, but it will take time and care. I’ve given him something to make him comfortable and break the fever. You must assume his duties for a time, but for now I want both you boys to get some sleep. You mother will sit with him the rest of the night, then tomorrow you must make ready to take over the running of this place for as long as it takes.”
    Seth slipped into the sickroom to comfort his mother for a moment. As he climbed the stairs to his room, Caleb had a thought. Since Mr. Larkin had fallen ill, what would it mean to Major Hunt and his men? Would the vicious “Bloody Ban” Tarleton sentence them all to death? Caleb prayed that he had not already issued the order.
     
     
    ELEVEN
     
           With only a few hours of sleep behind him, Caleb woke to a wind that bent saplings and a rain that sounded like pebbles thrown at windowpanes.
    As the storm raged, the family gathered in the morning room. Few words were exchanged. Worry etched lines in Mary Larkin’s face. Candlelight threw strange shadows on the ceiling.
    “Mother, as soon as the rain stops, Caleb and I can see to the chores,” Seth announced.
    “And I will help you here in the house,” Elizabeth chimed in. “Just tell me what you need.”
    “Thank you, children. Your father wants us to go about our daily routine. The doctor will come by later, but we must eat something now to keep up our strength.”
    Even Charity, who always had kind words for all, served breakfast silently.
    Everyone ate quietly, and by the time the meal ended, the rain had stopped and a weak sun broke through the clouds.
    “Will you excuse us, Mother? Caleb and I will see what needs doing outside.”
    Elizabeth fidgeted, gazing at her brother and Caleb. Seth threw a warning glance at his sister. “Mother needs your help here, Bess. Be a good girl, won’t you?”
    Caleb stifled a laugh when the girl stuck out her tongue at her brother.
    “Stop, you two! Elizabeth, you know your father wouldn’t approve of that. He wants

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