Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Angus wore his red coat and leather boots for the hunt. He'd slicked back his fine red hair with a splash of water and tied it in a plain ribbon at the nape of his neck. It was the morning of Colonel Drayton's famous annual fox hunt, a post war tradition of bringing friends from far afield to enjoy the chase of the fox and a hearty breakfast afterwards. It was 1786. Five years had passed since Angus' run into Virginia carrying escaping prisoners to safety. The colony seemed to have forgotten it all, including the hardships and the sudden disappearance of their loyalist friends and neighbors. But not Angus. His head was not for forgetting. He mounted his horse and trotted down a winding path of thatched leaves onto a narrow dirt road which led to Drayton Manor. Cutting that road to his friend's plantation was one of his first acts after having received a parcel of land from the Colonel as payment for maintaining the night room and other discreet services during the British occupation of Charleston. He paused momentarily before taking the turn and absorbed a glance of Ashley Loche. There was still much to be done on his plantation. The left wing of the manor house was yet unfinished, and the dock rising across the swampy marsh into the river Ashley needed poles sunk into deep water to tie up supply vessels.