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Title: Jess and Jamie
Series: The Eagle Chronicles.
Word Count 13,024
Summary Steven's adopted son and his cousin become involved in a bit of intrigue.
Notes: Steven takes a backseat here as the next generation gets most of the action. The setting in the first part is my hometown so street names and places are real. The title is a bit lame, sorry about that.





33. (Jess & Jamie)


Jamie knocked on his cousins' front door. He hoped they were home, considering he had arrived unannounced. He checked his appearance and waited. The door was opened by an older woman in her early forties. She had brown hair and hazel eyes. "Jamie, what a surprise! How nice to see you. Come in."

"Thanks, Sheila." He carried in his two suitcases. "I hope you don't mind my spur-of-the-moment visit. Where's Jess?"

"She's shopping on The Avenue. She shouldn't be too long. Can I get you something to eat or drink?"

"A Coke would be nice." Jamie looked around. "You've done a lot in two years. Where are all the boarders?"

"There isn't much call for them now--boarding houses, I mean. If someone comes looking for a room, though, they'll get it. But enough of that. How is everything in London?" she asked as they moved to the front porch.

"Well, Dad and Alison have been busy attending fund raisers and the like. Aunt Sarah, Fitz, and Harry are all well. Andrew did well his first year at Cambridge and plans to take a walking tour of the Highlands during the hols."

"Jamie, is that you?" A girl in her late 'teens stood at the front gate. She was wearing kakhi slacks and a light cotton blouse. She ran to the porch, her brown hair flying behind her. "I can't believe it!" She hugged him. "What are you doing in Greenwich?"

"I had some free time and decided to visit. I also thought I might be able to persuade you to come to England with me."

Sheila was surprised. "How kind of you to offer, Jamie, but what about college?"

"Cambridge is a decent university, so I've heard," he said with a grin.

"Cambridge?" Jessica's eyes glowed.

"We can't afford Cambridge."

"Sheila, you are heir to the title of York; you can definitely afford it."

"I'll have to think about it," Jess said. "It's a big decision."

"That's why I prepared for a vacation," Jamie laughed.

"Why don't you take Jamie to the harbor?"

"Mom," Jess groaned.

"It's only an idea for a beautiful afternoon."

"Okay. Is that okay with you, Jamie? I don't want you to feel forced, or anything."

"I don't mind. As a matter of fact, I think I'd enjoy it very much."

"Would you like to walk or ride?"

"I've been sitting down for what seems like forever so a walk would be perfect."

They headed down Milbank Avenue towards Indian Harbor. They were silent for the first few blocks until Jess spoke. "So, what have you been doing the past two years?"

"Aside from Cambridge?" She nodded. "Not much, really. I've played amateur sports, but don't think that I'm one of the idle rich. I've held a job or two as well."

"What kind of sports?"

"Oh, cricket, polo."

"How come you aren't this summer?"

"This summer is special."

"Why?"

Jamie stopped and looked at her. "I'm joining the Navy in September."

"The Navy?"

"It's something of an unwritten rule that members of the royal family have to do military service. I chose the Navy."

"Does Steven know?"

"Of course. I told him first."

They walked under the railroad bridge on Steamboat Road. "Did you mean what you said back at the house, the reason for coming here?"

"Yeah, every word. You should be the one getting all the benefits, not me. You're the one with the Stuart blood."

"But I haven't been raised to it. I wouldn't know what to expect."

"That didn't stop Dad and Aunt Sarah. All I ask is that you visit for the summer and see what you think. Nothing more."

Jessie thought for a moment. "Okay, I'll give it a try."

They were nearing the end of the road. Ahead on the right was a large, white stucco building with a green tile roof. "What's that?"

"The Indian Harbor Yacht Club."

"Doesn't look very imposing."

"It looks better from the back. I'll show you from the public pier." They kept walking.

A car horn blared. "Jessica! Jessica Oakes!" Jess and Jamie turned around and saw a young man in a Mustang convertible waving at them. "Jess, didn't you hear me?"

Jessie walked back to the parking lot entrance. "I'm sorry, Cliff, I didn't. I was showing my cousin the harbor."

"Why don't you show him from the club? The view's much better."

"I don't know," Jess hesitated.

"I'd love to," said Jamie.

"Wonderful. Just wait at the front door while I park the car. Won't be a minute." He turned his car around and went into the parking lot.

"Why did you accept?" Jessie whispered harshly.

"I was invited to a yacht club. Why were you going to turn it down?"

"I always feel uncomfortable around this type of people. I don't know how to act in front of them."

"Have you ever thought that maybe they don't know how to act in front of you? Just be yourself and let them do the worrying."

Cliff met them at the front door and Jessie introduced them. "Cliff, this is my cousin Jamie, who's come for a little visit."

"Cliff?" asked Jamie.

"Short for Radcliffe. Pleased to meet you." He looked at Jess. "You look thirsty. How about a Coke?"

"Sure."

"What about you, Jamie?"

"A drink would certainly hit the spot."

Cliff led them into the club directly to the bar. The inside definitely fulfilled the ideas one had of a club: plush carpets on the floor, a banquet and ballroom, bar, and porches overlooking the harbor. "Hello, Mr. Mead," said the bartender. "What can I get you?"

"A Coke for the lady, a beer for myself, and . . ."

"I'll take a Coke, too."

Drinks in hand, they stepped onto the porch. The harbor was a beautiful sight with all the yachts and sailboats moored in safety. Three islands were in direct view about a mile or so out. "What are those islands?" asked Jamie.

"That's Island Beach on the left, Great Captain's Island in the middle, then Little Captain's Island. There are ferries that go back and forth," answered Jess. "Those houses over there," she said pointing to the slopes that bordered the harbor to the right, "are in Belle Haven. Quite a few celebrities live there."

"I would assume that waterfront property is the most sought-after."

"I'm not so sure," said Cliff. "You don't have as much privacy as you would backcountry."

"Backcountry?" Jamie was intrigued.

"That's where most of the horse people live," said Jess. "Large mansions on large tracts of land hidden by large trees and large fences."

"That's where the country clubs are, as well as the polo club," added Cliff.

"I didn't know Greenwich had a polo club."

"Oh, yes. It's pretty good, too. As a matter of fact, a team from England is playing there tomorrow. Why don't you come and watch?"

"Playing a British team, I'm sure there'd be quite a large crowd. How will we get in?"

"Guest list. Once I get home, I'll call and leave your names. Should I put your parents' names down as well?"

"Couldn't hurt," said Jamie. "If they decide to come, there won't be any trouble. What time does it start?"

"1:00." Cliff drained his glass. "Can I give you a lift home?"

Jamie was ready to say "yes", but knew the decision was Jessie's. She did not answer immediately, but debated in her mind. Jamie wasn't exactly sure of what she was thinking, but guessed that it had to do with keeping Cliff from seeing where she lived. She surprised him with her answer. "I'd like that very much, Cliff. Thanks."

"Great." He put his mug down on the table and the others followed his lead. They went out to his car. Because it was a sportscar, Jamie volunteered to sit in back. Cliff tried to start a conversation. "So, how long do you plan to stay, Jamie?"

"It's up to Jess. She's coming back with me."

"That's great. I was planning to go over sometime next month. Maybe I'll see you there."

"Maybe," agreed Jess. "The house is on the next block," she told Cliff. "The one on the corner with the stone wall."

Cliff dropped them off on front of the house. "Remember, 1:00 tomorrow. I'll see you then."

"Thanks, Cliff," said Jess with a smile. Cliff grinned and drove off.

Jamie watched her. "You like him, don't you?"

Jessie tried to hide a smile. "He's very nice," she said, walking up the front steps. "What's not to like?"

"Nothing. Don't be so defensive. I was only asking."

They went inside and were greeted by Jessie's father, Dave. "It's good to see you again, Jamie."

"It's good to be here. I needed a break."

"How long will you be staying?"

"A week or so. Not much longer."

"Wonderful." Dave sat down.

"Where did you go?" asked Sheila.

"Over to the harbor. We saw Cliff Mead who invited us inside for a drink." Jessie poured herself a glass of water. "He also invited us--all of us--to the polo match tomorrow."

"You two should definitely go."

"But what about you, Mom? Why don't you come?"

"You should join us, Sheila. Polo is a great sport to watch," put in Jamie.

"It would be a nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon," said Dave.

"No. I always feel uncomfortable around that type."

"Maybe it's time you should make them feel uncomfortable around you," said Jessie, using the same argument Jamie had used on her. "At least think about it."

That night Jamie had a hard time sleeping, so he went down to the porch. The air was cool and comfortable. As he leaned on the rail, he heard a voice. "So you couldn't sleep either."

Jamie turned and saw Sheila wrapped in a bathrobe, sitting in one of the chairs. "No, I couldn't. Don't know why. What about you?" he asked as he sat beside her.

"It's this polo match. Jamie, I don't know what to do. I'd love to go, but I don't know a thing about the game--or horses."

"Then it's a good time to learn, isn't it? Why should you worry?"

"I just don't fit in with that crowd. I don't know how to act."

"Now I know where Jess gets it from. You're better off than these people, you just have to admit that fact. If you act naturally and be yourself, they can't deny you that. If they do, I don't know why you want to be like them." Jamie spoke somewhat from experience. He had been adopted by Sheila's cousin, the duke of Edinburgh, and had to prove that money hadn't spoiled him.

Sheila looked at the twenty-year-old and smiled. "You know, you're absolutely right."

"So you'll go?"

"Yes, I will." She stood. "Thanks for the talk. I think I can sleep now."

"Great. I think I'll stay here a little longer."

"Good-night, Jamie."

"Good-night, Sheila."

***************************************************************

Sunday, after going to church, all four drove backcountry to the polo club. They were an hour early, but there was already sizable crowd. Jamie and Dave carried their folding chairs to a spot that Sheila had found. Jessie carried the picnic basket. Jamie could not sit still, being in such proximity to a game he loved but wasn't playing. He decided to go to the stable and asked Jessie if she wanted to join him. They couldn't get into the stables, but stood at the fence and watched as the ponies were prepared. One in particular caught Jamie's eye. "That looks like ______, the pony I rode."

"How can you tell?"

"After riding a horse for two years, you know." He whistled and the pony turned. Jamie whistled again and the pony tried to break away from the handler.

A player came to see what was the matter. "I don't know, sir," said the groom. "He heard a whistle and started."

The rider looked at the people lining the fence. "Jamie! What are you doing here?" He strode over and gave him a handshake.

"Visiting relatives. Pete Frazier, I'd like you to meet my cousin, Jessica Oakes. She and her family live here in Greenwich."

"Pleased to meet you. Come, see the rest of the team. We were wondering about your reasons for not playing this year." He looked at Jess. "Now I know why."

They climbed over the fence and followed Pete into the stables. Jamie had to stop and soothe _______ who was still nervous. The rest of the team was happy to see him and tried to convince him to play a few chukkas. Their main argument was that he was still a member of the club and had to follow the majority. Jamie finally gave in. "Can you make your way back?" he asked Jess.

"Yeah, don't worry. Have fun."

Jamie went to change. Pete watched him go. "He's one of the best players in England. Quite a break for us."

"You don't sound too confident about your earlier chances," remarked Jess with a smile before she walked away.

Ten minutes later, the match was ready to start. "Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to this match between our Greenwich team and England's Guards Polo Club." The announcer paused for applause. "I have just been notified of a change by the Guards' team. Lawrence, #5, has been replaced by Stuart, #7."

Jessie didn't know much about the rules of polo, but she knew enough when a goal had been scored, when someone had played well, or that someone had been fouled. Jamie scored seven goals in three chukkas before he decided to stop. "I only game here to watch!" Pete talked him into hanging about, possibly playing the final chukka.

As play resumed, Jessie and Jamie walked to the concession stand and bought a drink--or tried to. The man refused to let him pay. "All the players get free drinks, your lordship." He handed the two drinks over. "It's quite an honor watching the best in the game."

"Thanks, but I wouldn't say I was the best in the game."

"You're too modest, m'lord, for a man who has been declared the best amateur player three years in a row."

"Thanks again," Jamie said as they left.

"I could have sworn you blushed back there," said Jess with a smile. "I didn't know you were so respected as a player. People must be proud to lose against you."

"I'm a team player, Jess. People lose against the Guards, not me." They stopped and watched the game. "See how well they're doing without me."

"The score's hardly changed at all."

"They haven't lost the lead."

"The man at the bar was right; you are too modest."

Jamie laughed. "Maybe I am, but I take credit where credit is due."

Jamie didn't play again, but he wasn't upset. The Guards won and invited him and Jessie to their hotel that night. "We plan to have a bit of fun. We ended our tour with a record of 10-3."

"That's fantastic! I'd love to join you, but I don't know when I'll be able to get there."

Sheila and Dave came over to the stables. "What a wonderful match! I don't think I've ever enjoyed watching sports so much," said Sheila.

"Playing must take quite a bit of concentration," put in Dave. "I have a hard enough time staying on a horse, let alone attempting to play polo."

"These are my parents, Mr. and Mrs. Oakes. Mom, Dad, this is Peter Frazier, the captain of the team," said Jessie, making the introductions.

"Pleasure to meet the both of you," said Peter, shaking hands. "I was just inviting Jamie and your daughter to a small party we're having tonight at our hotel. I hope that won't disrupt any plans."

"Of course not. We planned a nice dinner and that was it," Sheila told him.

"Wonderful." Pete turned to Jamie. "We're staying at the Pickwick Arms. Do you know the place?"

"At the top of Greenwich Avenue. We'll be there sometime tonight."

"Till tonight, then."

"Till tonight. Ta."

*******************************************************

That night over a dinner of roast chicken, potatoes, and salad, they talked about family. Sheila told them of a time when Steven, Jamie's adoptive father, had returned from London in disguise because he was wanted by the police and vengeful fiancé. "This man was so obsessed with putting Steven in jail, in failing that, he was ready to kill him."

"I remember when he came here for a vacation only to become involved in preventing the selling of government secrets. I was very proud then, having my famous cousin staying with us. I also like to say I rescued him from a burning building."

"How old were you?" asked Jamie.

"Eleven. Not bad, eh?"

"Not at all. I remember when he came back from that trip. I didn't know he was at the time because I was trying to solve my own mystery."

"He certainly gets around, doesn't he?" said Dave with a laugh. "Enough of your father, tell us about what you've been doing."

"Well, I've finished university this past spring with a degree in history."

"What kinds of history?"

"British, American, French, Russian, most kinds. I also had to learn the languages in order to read most of the research material. Of course, I didn't have my nose stuck in a book the whole time. I played quite a few sports: polo, cricket, rugby, and rowing. A friend even talked me into doing some acting. It was fun, but I don't think I could make a living from it."

"Quite a well-rounded character, Jamie. What does the future hold for you?"

Jessie looked at him, wondering if he was going to tell them about the Navy.

"For the rest of the summer I plan to take it easy, spend some time in the Highlands, play a little cricket, go to some parties, the usual. Alison's offered me a job at the publishing house if I want it, but I don't think so."

"What are you going to do then?" asked Sheila. "You're not going to be one of the idle rich, are you?"

"Oh, I'm going to be far from idle," said Jamie with a smile. "I'm joining the Navy."

"Jamie, that's wonderful! I bet Steven was very proud when he heard that!" Dave remarked.

Jessie decided to see if her parents would be proud of her decision. She took a deep breath. "Jamie's asked me to go to London with him and I've said yes."

Her parents said nothing for a few moments. "I had a feeling you would," said Sheila.

"You're not upset?"

"No. All I want to know is how long you plan to stay."

"At least the summer. If I decide to go to Cambridge, I'll let you know." Jessie looked at her father. "You understand why I have to go? When will I have another chance to go away like this? You'd take it if you were me."

Dave smiled. "I'm glad you're taking advantage of this opportunity. If I had had the chance at your age, I definitely would have." Jessie smiled.

"Where would you stay?" asked Sheila.

"Oh, I've already thought of that," put in Jamie. "She could stay with Dad and Alison. . ."

"Or?" prompted Dave.

"Or share a flat with me." Jamie was unsure as to how this would be received. He didn't think Jessie would want to spend most of her time under his father's watchful eye. He hoped that Dave and Sheila wouldn't think he had ulterior motives. "Two bedrooms, of course," he added for good measure.

"How very kind of you, Jamie," said Dave. "The decision is up to her."

Jessie finished dinner and looked at her watch. "I'm going to get ready for the party. Do you need any help in the kitchen?"

"No, Jessie, you go ahead. You, too, Jamie," Sheila said as she began to clear the dishes.

"Before you do, when do you plan to leave?" asked Dave.

"Tuesday or Wednesday, I'm not sure." He followed Jessie upstairs.

She was waiting on the landing. "Did you mean that? About sharing an apartment with you?"

"Yeah. I didn't think you'd want to spend the whole time under Dad's watchful eye. Besides, I think it could be fun." Jessie looked questioningly at him. "C'mon, I'm your cousin!"

*************************************************

At the party, Jamie was glad to see friends he hadn't seen all year. They talked of sports, old college professors, and girlfriends. Jessie took everything in, asking questions when something confused her. "At least I'll know what's going on in the sports world over there," she said with a laugh.

"When are you leaving?" a youth asked her.

"Sometime within the week, I'm not exactly sure."

Jamie heard this and came over. "I was thinking either Tuesday or Wednesday."

"We're leaving tomorrow, an evening flight."

"We haven't decided yet how we're going." Jessie looked at him as if to say What do you mean?. "Either the Queen Anne or by plane."

"It must be tough living the way you do," said Pete sarcastically.

"We can take a liner?" Jessie had only dreamed of such luxury after seeing them in the movies.

"The decision is up to you. The Queen Anne leaves New York on Tuesday for Southampton. Should take about six days." He took a sip of his drink. "Of course, it means a new wardrobe for the formal occasions," he said with a sly smile.

Jessie smiled back. "I guess we'll have to go shopping tomorrow."

**********************************************************

Tuesday arrived and Jessie bid good-bye to her parents, promising to write. Her two trunks were packed into the limousine which then took them to New York Harbor and the Queen Anne.

"I'm just going to buy a paper, then we can board," Jamie told her.

In the stationer's, a man came up to him. "Aren't you Jamie Stuart?" he asked with a slight Welsh accent.

"Yes," replied Jamie, moving forward.

"I knew I couldn't be mistaken. I said to my associate--he's gone to get something to eat, I think-- 'George,' I said, 'Doesn't that lad look like Jamie Stuart?' He said 'Couldn't be, he's home playing polo'."

"I played some here, actually. I met up with the Guards in Connecticut."

"Oh, yes, I read about that." He pointed to his copy of The New York Times. "A surprise appearance."

"I'm sorry, Mr. . . ."

"Harper. Eric Harper."

"Mr. Harper, I have to hurry. I hope you don't mind. My cousin is waiting."

"I'm sorry, m'lord. It was an honor meeting you. I suppose I'll see you again onboard."

"I suppose so." Jamie paid for the paper and met Jessie outside.

"What kept you?"

"Some man started talking. A harmless chap, really. Are you ready?"

"As ready as I'll ever be."

They walked up the gangplank and were greeted by a young officer in white. "I didn't know you would be sailing back with us, m'lord."

"I didn't either until recently. Evan, this is my cousin Jessica and you are to do all you can--within reason--to ensure she has a fun trip," Jamie said with a smile.

"Yes, m'lord." Evan saluted smartly. "It will be a privilege, milady." He checked his clipboard. "Your suite is available."

"Good. I won't get lost finding it. Thanks, Evan."

"Thank you, Evan," said Jessie with a smile before she followed Jamie.

They walked along the deck towards the stern of the ship. Jessie peeked through windows at the glamorous décor. She couldn't believe it. "This looks like a palace." Jamie just smiled. They walked up a wide staircase to a private deck. Jamie took her hand and led her through the door.

Her eyes were greeted by a luxurious suite decorated in soothing colors. The deep pile carpet was royal blue, a color used sparingly in the furniture's upholstery. There was a large sofa, a loveseat, three or four chairs, a desk, and even a bar. "What d'ya think?" asked Jamie. "It'll be yours for the next week."

"It's beautiful! I'm afraid I'm going to wake up and it'll all be gone."

"Let me show you your bedroom." He led her to the back of the suite and through a door on the right. "I hope you will find this satisfactory, Madam."

"It will do," she replied, playing along with him. The room had a window facing the deck, a wardrobe, bureau, vanity, chaise lounge, and a bed, of course. The color scheme from the sitting room was continued in here.

"In here is the bath, and my room beyond that," Jamie told her. "Why don't you freshen-up then we'll go for a walk."

The size of the ship amazed Jessie. It was like a floating city. Everyone smiled and nodded at Jamie and whispered among themselves about Jessie's identity. She liked the thought of providing mystery. They stopped at the bow to wait for the journey to begin.

After her last glimpse of the Statue of Liberty, Jamie took her on a tour of the Queen Anne. He showed her where to find the pool, the gym, the lounge, and the dining room. All of them in first-class. "If you ever lose your bearings, which is quite easy to do, just ask one of the stewards and they'll direct you. Everyone is quite nice here. I know you'll probably want to be by yourself at times, so you should know your way around."

"Right now, I think I'll go lie down. I don't know why, but I feel tired."

Jamie laughed. "Fine. While you're resting, I'll nose about to see if any interesting people are onboard and if there'll be any parties this trip."

************************************************************

Jamie tapped on Jessie's bedroom door. "Jess, you awake? It's time to get ready for dinner." He cautiously opened the door. Jessie was stretched out on the bed, breathing softly. He smiled as he tip- toed over to the bed. He gently shook it and whispered her name.

She opened her eyes slowly. "Hullo, Jamie." She yawned.

"Hullo. It's time to get ready for dinner. We'll be at the Captain's table tonight. Proper attire required."

"I have to wear a gown, eh?"

"Nothing flashy. Just something to make a good first impression. I'm debating about wearing a tux. You can use the shower first."

"If I have to wear a gown, you are wearing a tux." She stretched and walked to the wardrobe. "Maybe I'll wear the blue. What do you think?"

"The blue, definitely." He went to the connecting door. "Let me know when you're out of the shower." She nodded and he left the room. "This is going to be a fun trip," he said once he was in his room. "Moreso than the one over." He stretched out on the bed and contemplated sending a telegram to his father. If I do, should I mention Jessie? No, I'll surprise him. On the pad he had taken from the desk, he wrote: Dad, Coming home on the 29th, via Southampton. Will see you once in London. Jamie. He'd stop off at thee radio room on the way to the dining room.

He heard the water start in the bathroom. He hoped that Jessie would be able to take the sudden publicity in stride. The Press would be after her as well as people clamoring to be her "friends". Maybe if he showed her a few pointers or a few subtle hints. . . He just didn't want to treat her like a child. That's what she was trying to escape.

Two hours later they were walking along the deck. The sun was just starting to set. Jessie paused at the rail. "Do you mind if I watch the sunset? It'll be the first time I've had an unobstructed view."

"Sure. I'll just run this telegram to the radio room and meet you back here."

Jessie nodded, her eyes not leaving the horizon. The colors spread across the sky--orange, yellow, red, purple--and reflected on the water. "It's at times like this I wish I was a painter."

"Or a poet," remarked Jamie.

"How long have you been standing there?"

"I just got back. Ready?" He held out his arm.

She nodded and wrapped hers around his. They strolled into the dining room and a white-clad waiter ushered them to the Captain's Table. All the men stood as they approached and the Captain welcomed them. "Welcome aboard, m'lord."

"This is my cousin Jessica. This is her first trip on an ocean liner."

"I hope you will enjoy yourself," said the captain.

"I plan to," Jess replied.

Jessie was seated next to a young couple from Boston who introduced themselves as Joseph and Ellen Kinney. Across from her sat a widower from Leeds, and, next to him, a fledgling actor who hoped to make it on the British stage. Over soup, Jessie learned about her fellow travelers. Mr. Kinney was being transferred to the London branch of his firm and they had to settle-in before things became "official". "My grandfather was born in Richmond, and I'm so glad we found a house in the general area," said Ellen.

"My grandfather was born in London and this is my first trip over."

"You grandfather?"

"Lord Charles Stuart, duke of York."

"Ah." This statement gained the attention of the widower from Leeds, Mr. Lyle, who happened to be a historian. "Such a tragic story. A very noble man, from what I understand." He began to tell the story of Charles Stuart. "He was told by his brother, King James, to take the children out of the country to the United States. The Windsor faction was preparing to make a move. They escaped on a liner and heard the news over the wireless. Charles changed their names and they settled down in Connecticut. A year later he returned to England to help the children to the throne. He was discovered and tried for treason. However, he never told a soul the location of the children."

Jessie was fascinated. She had never really heard the story. It had only been alluded to. Jamie, however, being a student of history, knew it by heart.

After the main course had been served, Jamie asked Mr. Lyle, "Why do you think my father was so readily accepted as king?"

"Guilt, mainly. Because of what your father had done and the name he had made for himself, they couldn't very well ignore the truth. Another possibility was that they feared the consequences of they didn't give up the throne. The public, surveys tell us, would have backed him instead of the Windsors."

"Where are the Windsors now?" asked Jessie.

"They have an estate in Norfolk and the two girls are raising their own families not too far away."

When dessert arrived, the conversation turned to lighter subjects such as sports, music, film, and the weather. Jessie tried to keep from yawning, but the excitement of the trip plus the sea air was making it impossible. She stood and excused herself. "I'm sorry, but I can't keep awake."

"I'm going to stay for a little longer. I hope you don't mind," said Jamie.

"No, I'll be fine. I'll just stroll back to the suite."

"Allow me to escort you back," said Dennis Howell, the actor.

"I don't wish to take you out of your way, Mr. Howell."

"It will be my pleasure, Miss Oakes."

After Dennis Howell said good-night and left her at the suite, Jessie smiled and kicked off her shoes. She twirled about the sitting room before heading to her bedroom . She then changed into ivory silk pajamas that Jamie had insisted she buy. They felt positively decadent next to her skin. Taking a small book from on top of her bureau, she curled up on the bed and began her journal.

* June 24, 1965--Today marks my first trip outside the States, on the Queen Anne, no less. I met a good-looking man at dinner tonight and I hope to see him often during the trip. I think he's from Canada; his accent is neither American nor English. I also heard stories about my grandfather and one of the first things I'd like to do is visit where he's buried. Enough for Night One.

* June 25--The weather was gorgeous today so I sat on the deck and took in the sun. Jamie did some skeet shooting (Well, he won't have to brush up on his marksmanship). The Kinneys invited us to lunch--they're a wonderful couple. I plan to visit them sometime. After dinner we did some dancing--Jamie and Dennis taking turns. I've never had such attention paid to me!

* June 26--Today I did some more sunning and swimming--I'm definitely building up a good tan. I brought a handful of mystery paperbacks and sat and read almost all day. There was a fun party in Economy tonight and Jamie and I sneaked down and had a fab time. The music was fantastic: a mix of American and British. Jamie certainly knows how to blend in! I had people asking me who he was!

* June 27--Day 4. Today Jamie received a telegram from his aunt, the Queen, asking him to pick up his cousin Henry at school when we arrive and bring him to London. She'll be in Scotland and unable to meet him. Jamie said we'll stop in Windsor since we'll be that close. Dennis Howell has been paying me a lot of attention and I don't know what to make of it. Is it an innocent shipboard romance? Does he really like me or is it that fact that I might have a title? I'll talk to Jamie tomorrow.

* June 28--Jamie said that I should treat Dennis like a good friend which will make him tell me his true feelings or turn him off completely. I only have one more day to find out. Mr. Lyle, the historian, recommended some books for me about my grandfather because, he said, he was usually overlooked. Tonight was a farewell party of sorts and it was fab. I had a hard time getting away from Dennis. Tomorrow being the last day, I plan to catch up on some things I haven't done yet.


*************************

The morning of July 29, Jessica woke and remembered it was the final day of the crossing. She wrapped her robe about her and walked out into the sitting room. Jamie's door was shut. "He must still be asleep," she murmured. She walked to the main doors and looked outside. It was still early and the sky was a pinkish-grey. Evan had said that the weather was going to be cooler and that there was a chance of rain.

She curled up on the couch and picked up one of her mystery novels. She became so engrossed that she didn't hear Jamie until he had said her name twice. His hair was rumpled and his eyes half open.

"Have you been up long?"

"An hour or so. I want to try and make the most out of my last day."

"Doesn't look like it's going to be a good day for outside projects."

"I know. I think I'll write a few letters and maybe visit the sauna."

"Has anything happened with Dennis?" Jamie sat down next to her.

"Well, he hasn't left me, nor has he proposed. I think he just wants to be friends."

"That's good. Just remember, if you ever want to talk, I'm here. Okay, how about we go get some breakfast?"

"You're on."

That afternoon Jessie was in the sitting room writing a school friend when Jamie came in. "We're nearing Ireland and I thought you'd like to see it. Do you have everything packed? The porters will be coming to collect the baggage."

"Everything's done. Let me just finish this letter." She signed it then slipped it into her purse.

Jamie held the door open for her and she stepped onto the deck. "We won't be that close so you'll have to look carefully. It's just a strip of land and you might not see it at all if the weather's bad."

"It'll still be exhilarating." She leaned on the rail. "I meant to ask you, how are we going to London?"

"Car. Aston-Martin. It's actually Dad's, but he won't use anything other than his Alvis."

"So you decided to use it yourself because a car like that can't go to waste."

"Of course." He pointed to the horizon. "Thar she be, the Isle of Saints and Scholars." There was a mass of land with a mist hovering about it.

"All it needs is a rainbow to complete the picture. God, it's so enchanting. Let's make a trip there, okay?"

"I'm sure we can squeeze it in somewhere."

"How much longer until we reach Southampton?"

"A couple of hours. We should be home in London by dinner tonight, if all goes smoothly." He looked down at the aft-deck. "There are the Kinneys. It looks as if they want to chat."

The couple actually wanted to play cards. Euchre was the game decided upon. Jamie invited them into the suite knowing that an announcement would be made when they were nearing the docks.

**************************************************************

The passengers lined the rails as the liner docked in Southampton. Jessie eagerly leaned forward. "It's not much of a first glance of England, but at least it's different from New York."

Jamie looked along the rail. "That's funny. It's that man who spoke to me before we left New York. The thing is, I haven't seen him at all this whole trip."

"Maybe he was seasick."

"Then why not fly? There's something not right about him."

"You worry too much. I'm sure there's a logical explanation for the whole thing." Jessie waved to the people on the quay.

"Guess you're right." He smiled and waved as well. "We'd better start to fight our way down to the plank or we'll never get off."

They made their way down to the disembarkation area and waited with the other smart passengers. Jessie stayed close to Jamie and followed him off the ship and imitated his every move. They were followed by a porter bringing their cases on a dolly. The Customs official greeted them with a smile. He stamped their passports and wished Jessie a happy stay in England.

Once their things were packed into the Aston-Martin's boot, Jamie tipped the porter and then held the passenger door open for Jessie. "What do you think so far?"

"I haven't seen enough to come to a conclusion yet."

"Well, you'll get a nice view of the country. It's about 90 kilometers or 60 miles to Eton. Let me know when you want to stop." The Aston-Martin pulled out of the car park and headed for the motorway.

**************************************************

Part 2.

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