Ghosts That We Knew - Chapter 2: Splinter
Turn: Washington’s Spies
Relationships: Edmund Hewlett / Anna Strong
Characters: Anna Strong, Edmund Hewlett, Abraham Woodhull
Summary: With the war at an end, Edmund Hewlett takes possession of Whitehall and does his best to settle into a life of science, scholarship, and solitude. But Anna Strong has returned to Setuaket as well, and the more their paths cross, the more they both realize that it is not such a simple thing to move on.
Chapter 2: Splinter
This is a song Anna knows of old.
Tankards clattering, a percussion of metal and wood. The popping of logs in the fireplace, the scrape of people pulling out their chairs; Mr. Robinson’s even brought his fiddle to provide some proper strings. And above it all, the voices, raised in good cheer. Men laughing. Women visiting; children playing on the rug in front of the hearth. For the first time in years, all the gossip is of betrothals and crop prices, with no mention whatsoever of battles or drilling exercises or how the mattresses in the barracks are shite. Not for years has she heard such a tune. And yet, like one of the long-lost lullabies sung by her mother so long ago, Anna’s heart recalls the rhythm even if it has long since forgotten the words. And she dances it to it as gracefully as any fine lady of breeding, weaving easily between tables with her pitchers in hand.
“Ah, thank you kindly, Mistress Anna.”
“Mrs. Strong, more ale, if you please!”
“As I live and breathe—little Annie Smith. Child, so good to see you home. When’s that husband of yours plan to show his face in these parts again?”
The dance stumbles. Her footwalk falters a moment, but she finds the beat again with a tight stretch of her mouth. “Much work to be done in Congress, Mrs. Egerton. I’m sure Selah’s needed more there.”