He laughed and looked to Charles. “After breakfast, I want him saddled. You will ride to John Trowbridge’s Tavern and bring back a copy of the Boston Gazette. John will have a few to sell, I am sure of it. Tis’ Monday after all and news of the past week will no doubt be traveling fast. Can you remember how to go?”
Charles was shocked. He quickly looked up to his father and did his best to hide his excitement. Until this moment, he had only been allowed to explore the Great Road from Southboro on which the family farm stood. Even then, he was only permitted to go about a mile east to the small school house or a mile west to the Worcester Road at Stoney Brook. “Yes father. I know the way. You have shown me many times.” He reassured him by detailing the route. “East toward the school and then turn on the road passing Mister Capen’s farm. Follow it along past Mister Buckminster’s house and then the gristmill. I would know it blindfolded. You can trust that Buckley and I will see it done.” Charles wanted nothing more than to make his father proud and show him that he was capable.
(NOTE: Charles’ route to Trowbridge Tavern (A real tavern which existed in 1768 and still exists as a private home) and the weekly publishing of the Boston Gazette is the 1st real inclusion of factual historical data to the novel. Capen house; Location of Lawson Buckminster’s home; Gristmill are all factual. The Capen house still exists as a private residence – Two maps exists as my resource for the period. One is dated 1699 and the other 1832.)
Charles’ father looked him in the eye and reassuringly put his large hand on his son’s shoulder. “I know I can trust you Charles. You are growing and there is no stopping it. You are a hearty, young Massachusetts man. Strong and you carry your wits about you. Certainly more than I did at your age. I am proud of you and I can see how you help to care for your mother and brother and sisters.” Charles’ father awkwardly paused and turned his gaze back to the great quarter horse. A moment passed and concern furrowed in his father’s brow. Charles noted the strange silence and saw a distant stare in his father’s eyes that he did not recognize.
“I worry for only what I can not see ahead son. These days, the world changes with the wind. It is times like this that carrying your wits about you is most important.” He met Charles’ eyes with his own. “May God watch over the designs of our government and our countrymen Charles. May he deliver us with a loving yet firm hand so that men find voice and through their voice, peace in the care of King George.” He paused as if wishing to add something more but instead, forced a slight smile. “Never you mind my nonsense now. Place Buckley in the orchard while I repair the hinge and then go tell your mother I shall be along momentarily.” He turned toward the barn and walked to gather his tools.
Charles did as he was told but would remember the moment and the sagacious wisdom of his father in the years to come.