Latest from YouTube and Other Websites

In my Writing Motivational Tip videos, I am in the middle of doing a series on Conservative Writing. Head over to my YouTube channel videos to check them out! Here is the first video in the series:

I have begun a new series on YouTube! In real time, you get to observe my work on my stories. This is an insider’s peek on what it actually takes to make a story come to life. Watch this series for inspiration as well as for a relaxing background noise when you go to write your own story! Here is the first video:

From my Treasure on the Southern Moor and The Williams House websites, I am beginning again to re-broadcast story snippets. Head on over to check them out!

Treasure on the Southern Moor: https://treasureonthesouthernmoor.wordpress.com/

The Williams House: https://thewilliamshouse.wordpress.com/

Your fellow writer,
Joshua Reynolds

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How to Eliminate Boredom by Keeping Things Fun!

Have you ever wished that you could imagine something at any time of day? Do you ever pause your work to take a glance outside and see what the weather’s like? If I gave you something that could with %100 certainty help you enjoy your day, would you take it?

Not wanting to spend money, yet? Try reading The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor for free! Go to my Free Resources tab and read free chapters of them in PDF form. Also go to their perspective Amazon pages and read the sample Kindle previews of them!

The Williams House at Amazon
Treasure on the Southern Moor at Amazon

All you have to do is take a few minutes away from your social media networking and watch how imaginative and inspirational stories can impact your life. In a day and age when fiction portrays hopelessness, read something that gives hope and light. After all, good stories cannot be written unless they are read.

Your fellow writer,
Joshua Reynolds

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Say ‘Hello’ to My Examples in Five Minutes

Let me convey my message through example, today.

“Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.” ~Albert Schweitzer

Take five minutes, read through the excerpts of my books below, and see if you can easily imagine the scenes described.

The trees were swaying in the gentle breeze. Long shadows of branch and limb stretched across green grass and winding trails. It was near dusk, and the red sunlight was lighting up the sky and reaching down to the earth in a burst of a million rays. A line of trees stood along a fence and marked the end of the park. Several black lattices arched over many trails, wreaths upon wreaths of flowers dangling from them. Winding stone and brick trails snaked through the wet grass, long shadows covering some of them, and warm sunlight drifting down on others.

It must have been raining earlier in the day, for several puddles were reflecting trees upside down. Dry patches of grass baked warm in the sunlight, yet other grasslands of the park were quite wet, little or no sunlight reaching their soft blades.

~The Williams House, Chapter 1: In the Park

Now the attic had long ago been considered the great place to imagine the most impossible games and congregate between the working orders of the day. It was a singular but very large room, taking up about as much space as one of the great rooms on the floor below. The ceiling curved around to a few points, revealing the shape of the roof with its wooden timbers. Window seats were in front of three large dormer windows, their bases wide and their tops narrowing to a peak. Two narrow staircases spiraled down from either end of the attic, reaching to the floor below. Their closed stairs were made of wood and creaked when tread upon. In two places in the room were a set of sofas and chairs that were fairly worn, yet still comfortable, and the children would at times string sheets and blankets across these to make a large tent. The carpet was not as thick in the attic as it was in the rest of the house, yet it was still soft and a nice shade of blue. The worn down piano lay against the wall that did not have a window, and the instrument looked weather-beaten and old. Yet it was in tune and sounded almost as good as ever. A few stacks of books and several toys lay scattered around the room, with plenty of space in-between.

~The Williams House, Chapter 2: The Start of School

One light that did not extinguish over the now quiet town of Plymouth was that of the old Southgate Inn. Its yellow firelight could be seen glowing from the windows and shining out upon other walls and roofs in the streets. If one had looked into its front window, he would have been able to observe a few customers, chatting around a few randomly placed tables. Firelight danced upon their faces and made their eyes glow as they laughed and spoke in soft, quiet voices. Some of the sailors were there as well, mostly keeping to themselves along the wall nearest the fire.

An older gentleman could have also been seen, coming in now and then to stoke the fire and serve late supper for those who had put off the occasion until now. There was an abundance of fish – freshly cooked trout (that had been caught that day), codfish cakes, warm soda bread, and great slabs of Muenster cheese. There were also steaming mugs of tea and warm milk with honey for those who wished to soon be asleep.

Into this inn trudged a tall gentleman, sleek but well built, late at night (a quarter after twelve), and it was clear he had been out in the very bad weather for several hours. But a different look in his eyes suggested that he had been out in bad weather his whole life and didn’t mind in the least. Everyone remaining was scattered thin now, in groups of threes or fours. They were speaking in even quieter tones than before. Some cast wary looks at the stranger, except the sailors and the innkeeper. The innkeeper seemed to know the man, whispering in his ear and ushering him over to a table in the corner. They exchanged a few words before the innkeeper left.

The stranger looked up and around and smiled brightly. He seemed well familiar with the old inn timbers, and after looking about, he settled down to his own supper and contented himself for the moment about that business. A sheathed cutlass dangled from his side, and on its sheath, inlaid with gold, were the letters C. H. for Captain Horne. His eyes continued to glance at the room with a glint of old memories and a sense of hominess, and he gave his coming voyage no thought at all, looking on cheerily, as if he had spent every night of his life in that inn, eating and laughing at the other customers’ remarks.

~Treasure on the Southern Moor, Chapter 1: The Voyage

If you want to gain more benefits than what you already have in this post, purchase The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor today!

Your fellow writer,
Joshua Reynolds

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A Further Insider’s Look

I wanted to share something with you today.

If you’ve read any of my former posts, you may be interested in stories that captivate your imagination. Below, I would like to give you a further insider’s peek to the stories that I have written.

This is a story about eight children whose names are Lilly, Ann, Will, Johnathon, Timothy, Margaret, Susan, and Maria. They live in a very large and mysterious house where they have all sorts of adventures. It is a stone house on an old country lane, and it is not only the place where they explore, imagine, tell stories, sing, and play musical instruments, but it is also the place where they do school and study, and so you see, between the work and play, they became very familiar with the house indeed. Yet it never ceases to surprise them, how it can look in the moonlight, or on a rainy day, or with morning beams of sunlight flowing through its windows. Join them in the attic for a story on a stormy night, or find them in a park on a summer afternoon with the warm wind in their faces, or see them bent over candles as they look at old rooms and dusty shelves.

Friends of theirs are the Bentley family, who are allowed a peek into many of their family adventures. Find them all listening to birds sing while they look for buried treasure, or listening to bassets howl on an autumn night. Though there is a sad moment between them, it is also strangely filled with joy and contentment, as those who are filled with light cannot be anything else.

Perhaps the most exciting moment of all is when the Williams’ children find something on the basement landing of their home. The basement is not a place they are allowed to go to often, and the children have called it the cellar among their whispered stories, yet the discovery makes the cellar stairs a more easily traveled lane. . .

~Back Cover of The Williams House

The thrill of the sea – the song of the ocean winds – out sails and up anchor! – guided by the compass and stars – as a poet once said, “to the lonely sea and sky”. It is the eighteenth century, and the sailing vessel is the only way to travel the raging seas. The Southern Moor sets sails from England to Africa with a crew of forty-two persons, guided by a captain with his son and daughter, where those of the trusted crew hope to find treasure with only the guidance of a map an old friend of the captain’s had given him and a handful of the treasure itself, brought back from the African shoreline. With the smell of cooking from the galley, you may find them about on the weather decks reefing the sails or lashing down the ship’s boats, or listen to the captain play on his fipple flute with the accompaniment of the cello and violin. Hear the ocean waves lap against the bows, or have cataracts of sea water come flooding over the main deck in the midst of a raging storm.

In Plymouth, England, there are those few friends of the captain who wonder if he will ever return. Is the Southern Moor, newly finished vessel and never before tested in the ocean waters, strong enough to sail through storms and cannon fire to reach the warm lands of the African shoreline and make the same journey back? With all of its rectangular sails billowing in the wind, bowsprit brass tip of heather shining in the sunlight, and the polish of the wood shining without a fingerprint to be seen, the Southern Moor leaves the harbor of Sutton Pool to test itself in the ocean and plough the stormy seas. . .

~Back Cover of Treasure on the Southern Moor

Both of these stories are meant to do the same thing: Captivate the imagination while awakening the reader to good storytelling. You can look up my books at my bookstore, or purchase them from Amazon below.

The Williams House
Treasure on the Southern Moor

Your fellow writer,
Joshua Reynolds

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The Gun Deck of a Ship

Treasure on the Southern Moor; Chapter 5: Cleaning the Southern Moor; Pgs. 120-124

.     “Come along,” said Adrian when they finished. “We’re done with the prow. Let me show you more of the inside. You still haven’t seen the majority of it, and I have only seen it briefly while I was being tossed about as though in one of the sailor’s hammocks.”
.     Once their eyes adjusted to the dimmer light, they walked down the short hall, past the two cabins. “These are the chaplain’s and doctor’s quarters,” said Adrian as he pointed to the cabins. Past the front doors of the cabins, they walked around the stretched-out hammocks, a little further aft but still under the forecastle. The pole of the foremast was near the center of this area. Shafts of sunlight came down through open shutters above, though dimmer below the forecastle than in it, and a dim yellow light spread out from two lit lamps. It gave a slight glisten to the floor that had just been cleaned. No one was currently in any of the hammocks, though several chests aligned the walls where the sailors kept their belongings.
.     “We’re under the forecastle here,” said Adrian, “near the bows and in the belly of the ship. Yet there are more levels below us. This is called the gun deck, and as we begin to move aft, you’ll see why.”
.     Adrianna looked up warily. “Is it safe?” she whispered.
.     “Oh, yes,” said Adrian, “just wait until we’re under the waterline.” He looked keen. “Then you’ll really feel the weight of the ship above you. We’re as good as in the open air here.”
.     An open doorway at the end of the rest of the hammocks led further aft, and through this threshold Adrianna found the room to open up and expand widely from port and starboard. Many a sailor and soldier were about. They ran into Dick just past the doorway. His rusty red hair was slightly askew, and he nodded a brief acknowledgment.
.     “Isn’t the quiet nice?” Dick asked. “I fancied I was pretty near deaf when I woke up this morning without the cracking and snapping of the ship. And you might want to stay around to watch this! They’re about to test the cannon.”
.     Down along the vast room that expanded below the main deck, on either side along the walls, could be seen the cannon that were spread out and pointed out of little square holes in the walls, widely and evenly spaced. Shafts of light could be seen beaming in from these holes and dancing on the ceiling. There were eight of these holes, four on each side of the ship, and eight cannon to go with them.
.     “What are those open windows?” asked Adrianna. “I don’t remember seeing them when we were in Plymouth.”
.     “Gun ports,” explained Adrian. “The ports were closed during most of the storm and when we were looking at the ship in Plymouth, but they’ve opened them again now.”
.     The roof was high enough that a grown man could stand on the gun deck, and several shafts of light were also beaming in from open shutters from the main deck above. Several sailors were walking about, some cleaning and others attending to orders given by Mr. Heath, the master gunner. Captain Underwood was down inspecting the deck, looking over the powder kegs (a couple were found to be moist – a great nuisance at sea) and muskets, and he was preparing to observe the cannon reports. The cannon were oiled and checked for operability, and the ramrods were cleaned. They had been hoisted by ropes to stick out of the sides of the gun ports, and the soldiers would fire from one side before loading and firing from the other, allowing two soldiers to each cannon.
.     “Are you ready to load the port side?” Mr. Heath asked the captain.
.     “Yes,” said the captain, and then he shouted, “Load on Port!”
.     “Load on Port!” Mr. Heath echoed the command, for in war, the captain would most likely be above on the quarterdeck, and the master gunner would have to translate the command to his men.
.     The soldiers were quickly loading the cannon with their thick ramrods, and Adrian and Adrianna plugged their ears as the first volley sounded. Loud explosions rumbled in their chests and filled some of the gun deck with smoke, but only for a moment before it flitted through the open shutters and ports and dissipated out at sea.
.     “That was quick,” said Adrian as he saw his father smile approvingly.
.     Mr. Heath had the soldiers run to the other side upon the command to load on starboard, and the cannon was quickly loaded and fired when the captain gave the command, “Fire!” The smell of sulfur filled the air.
.     “It smells awful,” said Adrianna.
.     “Perhaps it just takes getting used to,” said Adrian, “like fireworks. You love the smell of fireworks.”
.     “I don’t think I shall ever get used to it,” said Adrianna. “The cannon powder smells different from fireworks. Shall we go below?”
.     “In a minute,” said Adrian. The soldiers were pulling the muskets out of the magazine and showing them to Mr. Heath for inspection, the captain watching. Sunlight was coming down through the shutters to gleam upon the flintlock muzzles. The smell of the explosions drifted away and soon the swords were pulled out and the blades checked.
.     “Oh, come along,” said Adrianna.
.     “Very well,” said Adrian, “Let’s explore the rest of the ship.”
.     When he and Adrianna walked aft, they could see several powder kegs lashed to the floor against the walls in case of emergency. In the middle of the room was a separate small enclosed closet where the weapons were stored, known as the magazine. Toward the stern of the ship was another set of walled-off doors, each leading to a separate cabin.
.     “That’s where Mr. Allen, Mr. Heath, and Mr. Thrussell sleep,” said Adrian. “And of course, right above them is the bottom floor of the aftercastle, where Mr. Toller and Mr. Northrup sleep. They all have their separate rooms.”

You may purchase this book directly here at Xulon or here at Amazon

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Joshua Reynolds on Conservative Cornerstones – Author of Children’s Books, Young Adult, Historical Fiction / Family Stories – Finding Conservative Thought in Olde Books. Check out my Authoring Conservatism Post. Look up my two books, The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor in my bookstore!

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A Chat at the Inn – Part 2

Treasure on the Southern Moor; Chapter 1: The Voyage; Pgs. 22-26

.     “So,” said Mr. Underwood at last, “I could look around here . . . try to find a captain willing to-”
.     “That would not do, I fear,” interrupted Captain Horne. He hesitated, something on the tip of his tongue. But for some time, he did not speak it. Finally he added quickly, “I would not trust this journey with anyone except my most trusted friend.” He went on even quicker, “And there is little time, for the longer we wait, the longer the chance that the gold will be found by someone else. Alas, that my men and I could not bury the treasure to be dug up at the best convenience! We had no time, for we were already behind our schedule, and as it is, this was the last day we could have arrived here before my entire crew and I would have been dismissed. Even so, we almost did bury it, and the vote to go back was only the majority by one. As already noted, I leave harbor tomorrow, headed for the Americas. I’ll be shipping tea, along with other goods. In any case, there is nothing for it now but that you find it and bring it back.” He gave the last sentence as an afterthought, and his speech slowly died away.
.     “Captain again,” whispered Mr . Underwood, “It has been many a year . . . But no,” he added. “What about Adrian and Adrianna?”
.     “Take them with you,” Captain Horne suggested. “They should be a help on deck.”
.     Mr. Underwood hesitated. For many moments the two became silent, Horne expectant and Underwood reluctant. The rainfall continued to beat upon the windowpane. Booms of thunder were growing sparser, but they still would rattle the walls every now and then. Murky lamplight glinted off the golden coins. Underwood could hear someone snoring in the room right above him. He finally spoke, “I do know of a ship, brand new, that does not have a crew yet. I personally invested in its make and was planning to sell it. It could do the job, I suppose.”
.     “Does it have a name?”
.     “No,” said Underwood, “it was just recently completed, but what about crew?”
.     “Aye,” said Captain Horne, “Crew is another problem. We would have to find them all tonight. But first I need your answer. I will need help finding the others, but I know I have found the captain.”
.     “I suppose you have then. Very well,” said Captain Underwood, “I’ll go. And now,” he continued as though he had not just made a great decision, “how do I know where it is? I presume you have a map.”
.     “Right here,” said Captain Horne. He scooted the gold coins and other treasure to the side of the table and grasped back into another fold of his clothing. This time, when he pulled it back out, he held a folded piece of parchment. Slowly, he unfolded it on the table. “Don’t worry,” he added when he saw his friend’s eyes looking warily at the water stains, “I have two more copies in locked chests, one on the ship and one in my room here (though I don’t expect to get any sleep tonight).”
.     They both looked at the map for some time, “It was in this harbor, here, that we sunk them,” said Captain Horne as he pointed. “We met the pirates here, and when they found that they were outgunned, they retreated around point into harbor, like so.”
.     “So here is where the pirates fell?”
.     “No, here,” corrected Horne, “in this narrow inlet that connects to this larger inlet, in an inlet of an inlet, if you get my meaning. We dismantled sail, mast, and rigging, so that the surrounding hills and ridges hide the spot quite nicely, not mentioning the forests. It is a mountainous area of jungle. As noted, the exposed chests are under about two fathoms of water, some half buried in the sand. The hull of the vessel split open from running aground and our repeated assaults. Their cargo hold must have been on their bottom deck. Many of the chests spilled out, though we saw more in two sunken chambers of the ship. It will be tricky diving, but ropes and hooks should do most of the work.
.     “And of course,” he added hastily, “the money is to be split fifty-fifty between us, giving very handsome sums among the crews as well.”
.     “Yes, yes,” said Captain Underwood, “no question about that. But what if the treasure is gone?”
.     “Then each of us pays half the cost for the trip,” said Horne. “The money I have brought back can help with advance payments.”
.     “Agreed,” said Underwood, “and now for crew. Where do we start? There is much preparation to do, and it will take dogged work if we are to have the sails ready by two in the afternoon. That gives us about twelve hours.”
.     “I was hoping you would have some leads regarding crew,” said Captain Horne.
.     “I might,” said Captain Underwood. “I could start with a couple places here in town, though I expect people to be rather grumpy at this hour of the night.”
.     “No time for that,” said Horne as he swiftly scooped up money and map and put them back away. “They’ll perk up when you show them the gold. The handfuls I have brought back will help motivate them. They only need to be trustworthy, as every member of my crew is.”
.     “Then let us be going,” said Captain Underwood as he blew out the lamp with one whiff of air. “Every moment is of the essence.”
.     Captain Horne followed him. “My own crew is making the rest of the preparations for my coming voyage,” he said, “so I can be of some aid. Two in the afternoon would be the latest I can start, and I will have an hour of inspection before, but that still leaves time. I can sleep when the voyage is underway.”

You may purchase this book directly here at Xulon or here at Amazon

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Joshua Reynolds on Conservative Cornerstones – Author of Children’s Books, Young Adult, Historical Fiction / Family Stories – Finding Conservative Thought in Olde Books. Check out my Authoring Conservatism Post. Look up my two books, The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor in my bookstore!

Subscribe to my email list and receive my free eBook, titled Rhymes for a Child’s Picnic Lunch, plus email updates, writing news, and more!

Showcasing on YouTube

Hello everyone:

Here are my latest two videos from YouTube. They showcase my books The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor respectively. I hope you enjoy!

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Joshua Reynolds on Conservative Cornerstones – Author of Children’s Books, Young Adult, Historical Fiction / Family Stories – Finding Conservative Thought in Olde Books. Check out my Authoring Conservatism Post. Look up my two books, The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor in my bookstore!

Subscribe to my email list and receive my free eBook, titled Rhymes for a Child’s Picnic Lunch, plus email updates, writing news, and more!

A Chat at the Inn

Treasure on the Southern Moor; Chapter 1: The Voyage; Pgs. 19-22

.     “Come in; come in,” said Captain Horne in a whisper, “though I find it strange I am letting you into this place for a change. It should be the other way around, Captain.”
.     “It’s just Samuel to you, Jim,” said Mr. Underwood. “I gave up that line of work long ago. Is there any supper left?”
.     “More like breakfast,” replied Captain Horne. “It is rather late. But I think the keeper kept something warm on the back stove in the kitchen.”
.     “Old Bill,” said Mr. Underwood. “Bless him. I’ll have a look.” He left the room, and Captain Horne sat down at the table closest to the fire, pulling up a lamp to light the table’s surface. It was only a moment before Mr. Underwood had returned, holding an iron skillet with a closed lid.
.     “Supper and breakfast,” said Mr. Underwood hurriedly. “There is leftover trout and fried eggs and mushrooms. Would you like some?”
.     “No, thank you,” said Captain Horne. “I have had mine. And now,” he continued as Mr. Underwood sat down opposite him, “for the reason of this meeting.”
.     Captain Horne paused a moment as he sat back, and Mr. Underwood prompted, “Go on.”
.     “Well,” said Captain Horne decidedly, “as I said, we ran into pirates.” He paused as he looked into Mr. Underwood’s eyes, almost expecting some kind of response. “Pirates, Samuel, I say pirates – people who rob treasure and gold.”
.     Mr . Underwood hesitated. He bowed his head and said a silent prayer and then was busy picking up his utensils and looking over the cooked food. “Did you find any?” he asked mildly as he began eating.
.     “Chests upon chests of it,” Captain Horne said with a glint in his eye, knowing he had sparked his friend’s interest. “We counted over two dozen chests, and we know there is more hidden in other chambers of the hull.” He spoke as though finding such wealth was an everyday occurrence.
.     “How do you know gold is inside?” asked Mr. Underwood, but his eyes were lit with wonder despite himself.
.     “We opened a few of them,” said Captain Horne. He thrust his hand into a fold of his clothing and threw a handful of something onto the tabletop. It clattered and clanked as it hit the table, and in the lamplight, what lay before the eyes of the two friends was undoubtedly solid gold coins, glittering back at them and sparkling as if on fire.
.     Mr. Underwood looked at the treasure for a moment in surprise; then he reached and picked up something he couldn’t see too well. Only once he had it in his fingers did he know it was a gem, a ruby, shining back the light as he held it up to the lantern. “But surely it is gone now,” he said. “That must have been at least a few months ago.”
.     “It’s a risk; that’s for sure,” said Captain Horne, “but my crew and I don’t think it is gone. Of course, we could not take it with us, for there was too much weight with all the cargo we already had on board. But we took the pirates, and they were allegedly the only ones who knew about it. The ship was wrecked in a small harbor, well hidden among mountains, and I would assume generally unknown, for there are much better and larger harbors to the north and south.”
.     “And natives?” prompted Mr. Underwood.
.     “We searched the land,” said Captain Horne. “It is clear there is no one for several miles in all directions. No one saw the wreck or battle, and we made sure to smash up the masts and rigging so as to not draw attention to the site. The deepest treasure is buried in about two fathoms of water.”
.     “It would take some time and skill hauling it out,” said Mr. Underwood.
.     “That it would,” said Captain Horne, “but not unprofitable.”
.     The two sat in silence for a few minutes. Mr. Underwood finished his meal, and Captain Horne looked about the room, sometimes at the walls, sometimes at the roof timbers, sometimes in the firelight (now just a dim red glow of coals), and sometimes into his friend’s eyes. The lamplight continued to burn, casting the room in a murky yellow.

You may purchase this book directly here at Xulon or here at Amazon

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Joshua Reynolds on Conservative Cornerstones – Author of Children’s Books, Young Adult, Historical Fiction / Family Stories – Finding Conservative Thought in Olde Books. Check out my Authoring Conservatism Post. Look up my two books, The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor in my bookstore!

Subscribe to my email list and receive my free eBook, titled Rhymes for a Child’s Picnic Lunch, plus email updates, writing news, and more!

Catching Up

Sorry everyone! ‘Tis been a long time since posting on here before today. I hope you enjoy both of my articles about my two books, The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor.

I have not posted for a little while because I’ve been updating my YouTube equipment and working on my third novel. Both things are coming along well, albeit slow. If you are concerned because none of my YouTube videos work from this past semester, don’t worry! I have created a video discussing what my YouTube channel will be about in this upcoming year (below). In short, I’ve moved my previous videos from last year to private for now, but I will be recreating them with my better equipment, so hang tight! More content will be coming out shortly.

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Joshua Reynolds on Conservative Cornerstones – Author of Children’s Books, Young Adult, Historical Fiction / Family Stories – Finding Conservative Thought in Olde Books. Check out my Authoring Conservatism Post. Look up my two books, The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor in my bookstore!

Subscribe to my email list and receive my free eBook, titled Rhymes for a Child’s Picnic Lunch, plus email updates, writing news, and more!

Sword Practice

Treasure on the Southern Moor; Chapter 8: Repairs and a Rest; Pgs. 207-209

.     “As a longtime clerk of ships that sail the seas,” said Mr. Thrussell softly to Adrian afterward, “I have learned a thing or two about swordsmanship. I saw the way you handled your blade with Winton Northrup back on the supply deck. Winton is clever with a sword, and if he had been given another moment, the contest would have ended quite differently I fear. It was well you did not meet him alone.” He paused before asking, “Would you like a lesson or two?”
.     Adrian, eyes lit with wonder, stood for a moment without speaking. “Rather,” he said at last, “or that is, I would like to learn if I could.”
.     “It is just the exercise needed before breakfast,” said Mr . Thrussell. “Follow me down to the magazine, and we can lend you one of the duller swords for practice.”
.     The master gunner was now departing with the captain to meet those who were hired for ship repairs the previous night. There were already many who could be seen gathering on the shore, and morning sunlight was beaming down on them from the ship. The seagulls were out and about, and many were perched on the remaining yards of the Southern Moor. The cook had caught a few of them, and it was them that were currently being cooked for breakfast, though it was some time in the cleaning.
.     Some were still continuing to sing while others had left off, attending to other duties. All of the shutters to the weather decks were open on such a fine morning, and the gun deck was rather airy and fresh smelling. Adrian stood right outside the magazine as Mr. Thrussell rummaged through the armament to find a dull sword.
.     “I think this will suit you,” he said as he handed Adrian the weapon, hilt first.
.     Adrian played with the feel of it a little, testing its weight as he tossed it from hand to hand. Mr. Thrussell eyed him intently, and as soon as Adrian seemed comfortable with the weapon, Mr. Thrussell lunged forward with his own sword, eyes glinting, bearing down upon Adrian’s blade. No more had metal hit metal when Adrian’s blade was twisted out of his hand and a slight sting felt at his side as the clerk swatted him with the flat of the blade.
.     “I say,” said Adrian, “but I did not even have chance to move away.”
.     “It is a tricky skill,” said the clerk with a smile. “Now stand, like so, with sword point up.” He demonstrated. “Toller might tell you of the Scottish way, with hilt held high and sword point down at an angle. Yet these are not claymores, and we are true Englishmen.” He began to lunge in different ways and show Adrian how to parry and block his attacks.
.     Time and time again, Mr. Thrussell twisted Adrian’s blade away, yet the clerk was very patient in instructing his mistakes. Adrian was sweating before the ship’s bell rang for breakfast, and his arms were sore and aching. His sides were stinging in several places where Thrussell had taught him with the blade’s flat.
.     “You have learned something,” said the clerk. “I am not sorry to teach you, though there’s a great deal more to be taught. Tomorrow, if we’re not too busy, we can practice again.”
.     “Did it hurt much?” asked Adrianna once Adrian had stepped onto the main deck. The plates and dishes were just being passed out.
.     “No, or that is, not much,” said Adrian. He sat down tenderly.

You may purchase this book directly here at Xulon or here at Amazon

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Joshua Reynolds on Conservative Cornerstones – Author of Children’s Books, Young Adult, Historical Fiction / Family Stories – Finding Conservative Thought in Olde Books. Check out my Authoring Conservatism Post. Look up my two books, The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor in my bookstore!

Subscribe to my email list and receive my free eBook, titled Rhymes for a Child’s Picnic Lunch, plus email updates, writing news, and more!