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By Ann Turnbull

1644 – Alice Newcombe, trapped and unsatisfied on her uncle's farm, reveals her existence reworked while royalist infantrymen are billeted there throughout the Civil conflict. by surprise her days are full of pleasure – and love for one younger soldier, Robin. whilst the regiment strikes on, Alice persuades Robin to take her with him, and he or she joins the opposite military ladies at the luggage educate. the line forward is hard and long – will there be happiness at its finish?

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Do you've got brothers and sisters at domestic? ” Alice requested. She felt green with envy of Nia, regardless of the most obvious poverty. “Three sisters and 5 brothers. I’m someplace within the center. We funny story that my mam most likely hasn’t ignored me but! yet our cottage was once so crowded, Lisi, and my father drank, and he beat my mom. I regularly desired to be at Bryn’s. that they had simply Bronwen, Bryn and Rhian – Rhian’s the youngest, just a 12 months older than you. And their father performed track, they usually all sang. It was once a beautiful condo – the spirit in it, I suggest; they have been very negative. after which Bronwen bought married, and later I married Bryn, and Gethin was once dating Rhian; and all of the speak one of the younger males used to be of going to the wars…” “Bronwen has no kids, then? ” “No. Bronwen is barren. It’s an outstanding sorrow to her, however it left her unfastened to commute with Edryd. ” “But you – you and Bryn… How do you…? ” Alice stumbled, embarrassed. “We are cautious. And we belief to success. ” yet Nia appeared as though the query had stricken her. Alice in brief questioned why, sooner than Nia started speaking of different issues. It was once their final day on the camp. day after today they have been certain for Chard, in Somerset, and it might be an extended day’s march. The Welshwomen lit their night campfire early and commenced cooking: a stew with turnips, mushrooms and cabbage. No meat. They’d had rabbit nights out of the six, and there has been cheese packed for the march, yet offers have been low. Alice helped with the cooking, and carried a jug of stew around the box for herself and Robin, in addition to new bread, and a few blackberries in a fold of linen. He was once happy with her efforts, and amused on the considered her foraging, dressed as a boy. Later, as they walked to the barn jointly, his arm around her, tight opposed to the coolness of night, she inspiration, he does love me, and he’s completely satisfied to have me with him. And the doubts that Nia’s questions had raised in her brain light away. Seven “Prince Rupert is coming,” Robin acknowledged. that they had stayed per week close to Chard, and through that point the camp had buzzed with an alarm that the enemy – common Waller’s males – have been sighted close to the coast at Bridport, elevating troops. And now Prince Rupert, the king’s nephew, was once come from Bristol together with his military. there has been an excellent rendezvous at the Downs. the ladies, left in the back of with the wagons, heard the drums and fifes and observed infantrymen within the lanes and at the hills throughout. while ultimately the military took to the line its numbers have been highly elevated. Mistress Erlam advised Alice that the shire they have been now passing via was once Dorset. It was once a land of excessive ridges and deep eco-friendly combes: a stunning position, although the elements used to be rainy and the folks unwelcoming. all over the harvest have been undesirable, and there has been little nutrition for hungry squaddies. one other lengthy day’s march introduced them to a spot referred to as Sherborne, the place they remained nearly per week, and the place the alarms subsided and not anyone knew what was once taking place or why they have been ready there. The gentry and officials stayed in a superb condominium, the military in cottages, barns and farms throughout.

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