Hi, everyone. Today’s sample is from my multi-award winning dual-timeline historical, Bayou Fire. Enjoy!
Alcide presented himself at a small law office in the newly-established town of Chicago, operated by one Aloysius Bryan. He was wearing a new suit, and had removed the earring he’d sported since his earliest days as a river man. He presented a letter of introduction, from John Gallagher of New Orleans, and asked for an opportunity to read the law and serve as a clerk. He also presented the letter of reference from Daniel Harper, attesting to his skills. Bryan found the young man on the other side of his desk well-spoken and, upon discovering that Alcide could write a tidy hand and had some experience in Missouri under his belt, hired him on as a clerk with a promise of steady access to the law books. That he got a lawyer for the price of a clerk was not lost on Bryan.
Alcide was now ready for to keep the promise he’d made to himself.
He started attending meetings at the local Quaker establishment, having learned that members of the faith were ardently opposed to slavery. At first, the quiet in the meeting house was difficult for him; the services were radically different from the pomp and circumstance of Catholic mass back home. But he stayed, and he listened. Soon, he was invited to remain for coffee and a piece of cake … and before long, people started talking to him. When he let it be known that he was sympathetic to abolition, he was finally approached by a congregant, John Silas, who asked for his help.
“If you can write free papers, Mister Devereaux, it would be a huge help to us. We can get people more easily into Canada if we don’t have to hide them in wagons. Your imprimatur from a law office would be a huge help,” the man said.
“I can, and I will.”
“Now, Mister Devereaux, I need to remind you that you could get in a lot of trouble if you get caught, maybe even lose your license to practice law. You might end up in jail, or worse. If you don’t feel up to the risk, I will certainly understand.”
Alcide extended his hand to the gentleman in front of him. “Sir, you have my word.”
Want your own copy of Bayou Fire? Here are the back cover copy and purchase links.
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