Upon discovering her father, a Union doctor, is ill and imprisoned in Virginia's infamous Libby Prison, Barbara Thackery is determined to travel south from Ohio to bring him the medicine he needs. Her attempt to catch a train, however, results in her being hauled into a boxcar by Rebel prisoner Trevor Ishmael Sandoe, a Confederate officer who escaped from the stockade on Johnson Island, just offshore from her home.
Attraction and rejection flare on both sides as Barbara and Trevor must join forces, since their goal is the same--to reach Richmond. One dangerous obstacle after another rises to impede their journey. But when they finally reach their destination, neither is able to accomplish want they'd hoped--until Trevor makes Barbara an offer. If she accepts, her father will go free, but she will be betraying her country.
Before her final decision, the ship on which they're traveling is blown off course during a storm. Danger awaits on Jamaica's shores, then later when they finally reach Ohio and Lake Erie. By now both their love and their lives seem doomed. Will either survive a horrible fate?
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Amber Quill Press, LLC
January 01, 2008
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Excerpt from Rebel's Revenge by Jane Toombs
.."Why did you raise that ungodly hue and cry out there?" he asked.
Barbara remained silent. If she could get to the door, she might be able to drop off when the train slowed going through town. Even though this string of boxcars was empty, getting up the slight grade would reduce its speed. She'd give it a try--she must outwit this desperate fugitive who'd made her his prisoner.
"Your reticence disappoints me," he said. "I was beginning to look forward to our becoming better acquainted on our journey to Cincinnati. If nothing more, you could have told me of your life among the Indians, and I could relate some of my recent adventures vagabonding through Ohio."
"Don't lie to me. I know who you are--Captain Sandoe."
"I feared you might have discovered that. Those louts with the lanterns told you, I expect."
"Louts? Who are you to call names? Reb. Secessionsist. And, no doubt, a slave-holder." She paused for breath. "Do you enjoy auctioning off men, women and children? Do you like to destroy families? Sell loved ones into bondage? Watch your slaves whipped and branded? Does it pleasure you to have your way with their women?"
"You sound like an abolitionist tract. I'm surprised you've read them."
"Of course I have."
"And believed every word." His tone was cynical.
"They print facts."
"It strikes me as a waste of education to teach a half-Indian girl to read, simply so she can then be fed twisted truths and outright lies. Tell me, Snow Bird, do you believe all you read? Do you think setting letters into type and printing them will magically produce some sort of revealed truth? Have you ever visited the South?"
She struggled with her anger before answering. He thought she was part Indian, and that's why he was so surprised she could read. She didn't mind him believing she was a half-breed, but he also thought her stupid. How dare he.
"I don't believe all I read," she snapped. "Not all I hear either--Ishmael."
"Touch?." He laughed. "My full name is Trevor Ishmael Sandoe, so I do have some claim to honesty. And I have been a wanderer of late. Now you have the advantage for I know you only as Snow Bird. Have you no other name?"
She hesitated. Perhaps if she told him who she was he'd let her go. Weren't Southern men supposed to be exceptionally chivalrous where ladies were concerned?
"Not that Snow Bird isn't a lovely name for a lovely young woman." His voice had softened, and she noticed a drawl she hadn't heard before.
Shamed color rose to her face as she realized she was glad he found her attractive. What did it matter coming from a despised Reb?
"When are you going to let me go?" she demanded. "I'll be missed in a few hours if I'm not already. Those men from town know me. As soon as they hear I'm missing they'll realize what must have happened and they'll telegraph ahead to Cincinnati."
"I doubt anyone will put two and two together so quickly. By the time those gentlemen collect whatever wits they possess, I'll be far from Ohio. I doubt they know how to do much other than burn and loot and kill defenseless Indians. Besides, will you really be missed soon? A young woman who spends her nights at Indian encampments or walking the streets?"
She fumed. How dare he criticize her.
"Aren't you a mite confused, Snow Bird? Why did you try to give me away to those self-appointed vigilantes? They're your enemy, not me. They burned your village, I didn't."
"The village burned because of you," she accused, her voice rising. "Because you were hiding there. Like the other two escaped Rebs would've been if they hadn't been caught. You set fire to those lodges just as surely as though you'd lit and held the torch."
"I've heard some befuddled reasoning in my time," he said angrily, "but you top it all. Reading those abolitionist tracts has addled your wits. What you say is madness. It's all madness."
"I'm not mad."
"Yes, you are. You, me, this country, the world. Burning, looting, killing, the war pitting brother against brother, fathers fighting sons, thousands dead, bodies left maimed, lives ruined. And what for? To punish a few Southern states that want nothing but the right to go their way in peace. Is that sanity? Is that freedom?"
Momentarily taken aback by his vehemence, Barbara pulled herself together. "You're the one who twists the truth, Captain Sandoe. You're the one who--"
She stopped abruptly when she heard him move, saw his dark outline come closer, closer until his lips touched her cheek, moving on to her mouth. He kissed her, his hands firm on her waist. Startled, she stood frozen while his tongue parted her lips. She felt strange, light-headed, giddy. An excitement rose in her, a strange expectancy coupled with outrage at him because he dared to touch her, and at herself for not ending the uninvited embrace...