Authors: Dewey Lambdin
This one is dedicated to Forrest
“Nathan Bedford,” my “little general,” and his “bubba” Mosby’s groomer, fellow prankster, and “hot water bottle” on cool nights. Forrest was white-furred, with a grey tail, ears and nose, and the brightest, widest jade green eyes. He was an ambusher, a talker who’d hold long conversations with me, or any message left on the phone, and could purr louder than any other cat I can remember. He was only 9½ when he left this life on July 2nd, 2010, and Mosby and I miss him very much, and wish he could have stayed with us many years more—if only to help Mosby open every under-counter cabinet door in the house, or lay side by side to “paddle” all the sliding closet doors open so they could get inside and prowl.
Forrest was my shadow, and my foot-warmer under the desk whenever I wrote even a short letter, much less a chapter of the books, and I miss that very much, too.
Forrest, I give you the Sunday wardroom toast,
Pateant montes silvacque lacusque
cunctaque claustra maris; spes et metus omnibus esto
arbiter. Ipse locos terrenaque summa movendo
experiar, quaenum populis longissima cunctis
regna valim linquamque datas ubi certus habenas.
Let mountains, forests, lakes
and all the barriers of ocean open out before them;
hope and fear shall decide the day for all alike.
I myself by shifting the seat of empire upon earth
shall make trial which kingdom I shall elect to let
rule longest over all peoples, and in whose hands I
can without fear leave the reins of power once bestowed.
BOOK I 556–560
GAIUS VALERIUS FLACCUS
Woe to the vanquished.
, BOOK X
TITUS LIVIUS (LIVY)
59 B.C.–17 A.D.
“Damme, but I do despise the bloody French!”
“Understandably, sir,” the First Lieutenant softly agreed.
“Their bloody general, Rochambeau,” Captain Alan Lewrie, RN, further gravelled, “he’d surrender t’that murderous General Dessalines and his Black rebel army, but he’s too damned proud t’strike to
give them ten days’ truce to make an orderly exit, sir,” Lt. Westcott pointed out. “Else, it would have been a massacre. Another, really.”
“If they don’t come out and surrender to us, soon, it’ll be all ‘Frogs Legs
’ and Dessalines’ truce be-damned,” Captain Lewrie said with a mirthless laugh as he extended his telescope to its full length for another peek into the harbour of Cap François … and at the ships anchored inside, on which the French now huddled, driven from the last fingernail grasp of their West Indies colony.
Evidently, the Black victors of the long, savage insurrection were getting anxious over when the French would depart, too, for those solid stone forts which had guarded the port from sea assault showed thin skeins of smoke, rising not from cook-fires but from forges where iron shot could be heated red-hot, amber-hot, to set afire those ships and all the beaten French survivors aboard them—soldiers, civilians, sailors, women, and children.
Root and branch, damn their eyes,
burn ’em all, root and branch!