Chatterbox time again! Click here to see Rachel's blog. Please. Because it's nicer to say please. :D
“May I please have a cup of tea?” Charlotte asked timidly.
The boy narrowed his eyes. “Tea? What are you, anyway? A Loyalist, I’ll wager, from the looks and sounds of you and...” his eyes scanned her dress, “a rich one at that.” Turning, he darted away, shouting, “Mr. Covington! Some Loyalist girl wants a cup of tea! Should I tell her to go check Boston Harbor?”
Charlotte felt her cheeks grow hot. The impudence! She rose to the feet and made her way toward where the boy had disappeared. “Sir? Excuse me, sir?”
A large man turned to face her from a table covered with vegetables and meat. Beside him was the boy. “What would you be wanting?”
“I politely asked your boy if he would get me a cup of tea, but he mocked me, and very impolitely at that. I only asked to be served.”
The man turned and grabbed hold of the boy’s collar. “What did ye say to this young lady, Solomon?”
Solomon wriggled out his employer’s hold. “Nothing that would be offensive to a sound Patriot. She’s a Tory, that one! Comes in like a queen, she does, and asks for a cup of tea! Tea! So, shall I ask her if she’ll take kindly to riding up to Boston to take a dip in the harbor? There might still be a bit ‘o tea in there!”
The man chuckled and slapped the boy fondly on the back. “That’s the way we treat these Tories, lad. Well done, Solomon.” He turned back to Charlotte. “I would advise ye, miss, to keep your head down. We Patriots don’t take kindly to Tories. Good day to ye.” He went back to his vegetables.
Charlotte sucked in her breath. “Your advice may be well meant, sir, but I shall not keep my head down and be ashamed of my loyalty to King George! Michael has been more right than Gerald in this case! The Loyalists are better behaved and have more common sense than the Patriots! And to think I once wished Great Britain to let you colonists have your own way!” Whirling on her heel, she left the shop as swiftly as possible. But she had hardly gone a few paces down the street when Solomon caught up with her.
“Excuse me, miss, but I wanted to say--”
“That you’ll tar and feather me if I don’t break my allegiance to the king?” Charlotte snapped. “Because in that case you will have to go ahead and tar me right now, for I won’t!”
“Oy, but you have a sharp tongue,” Solomon smiled, showing crooked teeth. “I only wanted to say that I admire that stand you took with Mr. Covington. Not that it’s right, but I always did like to see someone stand up against that man. He’s not a bad old fellow, but still.” He stuck out a surprisingly clean hand. “So. I say you have a fine way for speaking, even if you are a Tory. Shake?”
Charlotte stared at him for a moment. “Thank you.” She shook his hand and turned to walk on. He stayed by her side and so she said, “I have just arrived in the colonies, you know.”
“Come from England, did you? Ah.” Solomon stuck his hands in his pockets and whistled through his teeth. “Why’d you come over if you’re so loyal to your old king?”
“My brother. He... he’s in the British army; come over here to fight you Patriots.”
Solomon’s nose and forehead wrinkled. “Poor old fellow.”
“Poor old fellow? Why would you say that?”
“Because we’re going to beat you British,” Solomon yawned, as if this was childish talk. “Why, everyone knows it.”
“We British don’t,” Charlotte said primly. “Our army is much bigger, stronger, and more well-trained than yours.”
“Oy, listen to the proud Tory’s speech!” Solomon snickered. “So sure of yourself, are you?”
Charlotte raised an eyebrow. “And are you so sure that you will win this war?”
“Aye,” Solomon said simply.
“And why?”“Because,” Solomon turned to face her directly. “We have the courage and initiative to win. Your fine British officers will soon be or are already wishing that they could go home. Us Patriots? We’ll keep fighting until our goal is reached. Can your English toffs beat that?”