Jamaican Sunset: Buccaneers Series #3 [NOOK Book]

Overview


Publicly betrothed to Baret Buckington, her handsome sea captain, Emerald Harwick can scarcely contain her joy. She will manage her plantation's Great House on Jamaica until his return from sailing with buccaneer Henry Morgan, and then they will marry. Meanwhile, she will begin a singing school and translate the African slave chants God's songs of redemption.

But then problems out of the past put in an unexpected appearance. Emerald is ...

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Jamaican Sunset: Buccaneers Series #3

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Overview


Publicly betrothed to Baret Buckington, her handsome sea captain, Emerald Harwick can scarcely contain her joy. She will manage her plantation's Great House on Jamaica until his return from sailing with buccaneer Henry Morgan, and then they will marry. Meanwhile, she will begin a singing school and translate the African slave chants God's songs of redemption.

But then problems out of the past put in an unexpected appearance. Emerald is abducted and finds herself on an unscheduled sea voyage. That long-ago stolen treasure from the Prince Philip comes into play once more. Baret hopes to free his imprisoned father and unearth the treasure.

But Baret's enemy--pirate Rafael Levasseur--emerges as a final threat to Emerald's cherished hopes. Can the God in whom she trusts indeed cause all things to work together for good?

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802483478
  • Publisher: Moody Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/1/1997
  • Series: Buccaneers! , #3
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 772,825
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author


LINDA LEE CHAIKIN has written over thirty top selling books, including The Silk House series and For Whom the Stars Shine, a finalist for the prestigious Christy Award. Two of her novels have been awarded the Silver Angel Award for excellence. Linda is a graduate of Multnomah Biblical Seminary in Portland, Oregon, and taught neighborhood Bible classes for many years. She and her husband make their home in Northern California where her favorite recreations are reading and taking vacations where the wind blows through lonely deserts and ghost towns.
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Read an Excerpt

Jamaican Sunset

The Buccaneers ? 3


By Linda Chaikin

Moody Press

Copyright © 1997 Linda Chaikin
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-8024-8347-8



CHAPTER 1

BRIGHT PROMISES


The Jamaican morning sky was boiling with enormous red-gold incandescent clouds.

"Like my heart," murmured Emerald happily as she turned from the small window in the upper loft of the old lookout house on Fishers Row. She fingered the ruby pendant at her pale throat.

The jewel burned with a dark red glory all its own, and she told herself that in possessing the ruby she also possessed the hard-won heart of Baret Buckington. The pendant had belonged to his mother, the woman he esteemed above all others for her martyrdom for the Christian faith.

"Yet, he has honored me by bestowing the pendant as a fitting expression of his feelings," she said aloud.

At the moment the ruby was more precious to her than the ornately carved and jeweled gold Buckington ring that he would also give her at their public betrothal at Foxemoore within a few short weeks.

Emerald relived the thrilling moment when Baret had taken her into his arms in the garden at the Jamaican governor's residence and told her that he loved her, not Cousin Lavender Thaxton, a wealthy future duchess!

She would hold his disclosure close to her breast and relish every detail again and again, remembering how he had willingly made the decision, speaking the golden words of Proverbs 31: "'Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.'"

Emerald's emotions were tender, and musings came easily as she indulged the moment of youthful promise, drinking in and savoring the realization that he now believed in her chastity and honor, despite the lies that continued to dog her steps.

"I'm to actually wed him within a year!"

The idea of marrying a viscount left her distracted. Could she live up to this new status that would now be her mantle? With each day bringing new responsibilities, she wondered how she would fit into the customs of royalty and the upper class.

Matters had changed rather drastically for Baret these last weeks. Following Baret's victory over the Dutch Admiral de Ruyter near Barbados, his grandfather Earl Nigel now proudly received him. And the High Admiralty was willing to smooth over the piracy charges that were weighed against him, at least for the duration of the war with Holland. If Baret could locate and free his father and retrieve the hidden treasure of the Prince Philip, he might freely return to Whitehall and be received by King Charles.

And I'll be on his arm, bowing to the king, she thought, shaking at the thought of the role she must learn to live in order not to shame Baret. How dreadful it could be to be received at Whitehall, to be requested to sup with the king, and then forget to say or do something important!

Baret would help her, she decided. He knew exactly what was required. He would teach her how to behave at royal events. She could envision the knowing smiles hidden behind jeweled fans, though, and the jealous mean words spoken behind her back.

Emerald shut the distant future from her mind and concentrated instead on the wonders of the present. The Lord was her stay. She must never forget that.

Last night she had returned to her father's lookout house on Fishers Row in a romantic daze. She had sent Baret away when he hadn't wanted to leave, nervously laughing off his insistence that she reconsider and marry him before he sailed with Morgan. The romantic change that had come over him was astounding. She hadn't been able to sleep for thinking about his ardency. This was a Baret Buckington she had never seen before, and she contemplated. She must be careful to keep matters between them from becoming too amorous until the year of engagement was over.

He had left her, leaving behind a guard and assuring her he would return in a few days. She had been so absorbed with these thoughts last night that she had tried in vain to fall asleep. She had also been basking in the astounding news that her beloved father was alive. Sir Karlton was a galley slave aboard a Dutch ship and in danger, yet she was thankful, nonetheless, that he was believed to be alive.

And this morning she would go to Foxemoore to free her cousin Minette from slavery in the cane fields.

Indeed, the bright change in her previously dark circumstances was almost too much blessing to handle in so few hours. The Lord had been so good and gracious to her that she felt like the "sweet singer of Israel," who had written, "My cup runneth over."

She turned, hearing a loud rap on the front door below and Zeddie leaving the cook room to answer it.

Who could that be? Emerald came out of the loft used as a bedroom and peered down the steep ladderlike steps into the small room below.

A young lad stood in the doorway, whom she recognized from the Regale as Jeremy, Baret's bosun. He offered a warm grin to Zeddie and, seeing her on the steps, swept off his hat and bowed low.

"There's boxes for Lady Harwick. All from Cap'n Foxworth—I mean, his lordship. And where would ye like 'em all?"

Zeddie, who had returned a few hours earlier from Foxemoore with news of Minette, straightened his golden periwig and went out to help bring them inside. Soon, the warped and creaking floor was piled high, and Emerald stood staring.

"A good mornin' to ye, Miss." Jeremy tipped his hat again. "I'll be telling his lordship you're looking fair." And he backed away from the door and left.

Emerald came rushing down the stairs, amazed at the sight. Boxes sat everywhere, dozens of them. They proved to be full of astounding gifts that left her oohing and aahing like a bewildered child at Christmas. Frocks made of lush velvet, sateen, and silk—the velvet in her favorite color, royal blue. There were crinolines. And even silk stockings! She blushed to think he would dare to send them, but the blush did not last long once she held them and felt their smooth, rich texture. There were slippers too. She could only wonder how he had known her size, for they fit perfectly. He had noticed more about her than she had thought.

"I must be careful," she lectured herself. "We're not married yet—even the engagement isn't for two weeks. Some would say I shouldn't be accepting gifts—but, oh!—Baret isn't a rogue like that odious Sir Jasper. I can wear them safely enough. And anyway, I'll die if I can't!" And she held up a pair of adorable black satin slippers with tasteful buckles.

Zeddie chuckled. "Aye, m'gal, ye've got yourself a treasure chest of fancy things, to be sure. Captain Foxworth knows how he wants ye to be lookin', that's plain to see. Next thing is jewels, but ye'll be gettin' them in England at Buckington House, I'm thinkin'."

Once Emerald and Zeddie had carried all the clothes up the steps to her loft, she spent the next hour trying them on and admiring them, while Zeddie, singing, left the lookout house to catch some fish for their supper. She was humming and looking at herself in the mirror when she heard a horse whinny and the call of male voices below the front steps. She rushed to the window and leaned out, looking below, and a moist warm wind tossed her dark hair.

Two men were leading a magnificent horse, whose neigh greeted the morning like merry laughter.

"Ho, there!" came the lead man's voice. "Anyone home?"

The large bewhiskered man looked up to the window and, seeing Emerald, swept off his battered straw hat, showing a tangle of gray-black waves. "A fair mornin' to you, Miss. Kennedy at your service. His lordship Baret Buckington bade me to make a delivery to his soon-to-be bride." He settled back on his heels and shifted his glance to the ramshackle house. "But I be thinking a wee mistake is made. We're lost to finding the proper abode. 'Twas wondering if ye might tell us where to find a miss called Lady Emerald Harwick."

Emerald's cinnamon-brown eyes twinkled, for they obviously didn't expect to find a viscount's "lady" living in a lookout house. "I'm Lady Emerald Harwick," she said with a laugh. "Do you wish to speak to me, Mr. Kennedy?"

The man was rabbit quick to redeem himself. Clearing his raspy throat, he looked up at her with a grave face so as to hide his contrary thoughts. "Aye, I shoulda known, m'lady, 'twas you," came the polite voice, and he fished in his pocket and withdrew a sealed envelope, which he held up. "This be for you, m'lady, from Lord Buckington. Will ye come down to fetch it?"

She smiled. "I'll be right down, Mr. Kennedy."

A moment later she stepped out onto the front porch where the Port Royal morning welcomed her with sea breezes laden with brine. Gulls screamed their familiar cry over the wharf, where the port's water tugged and sucked at the pilings. Accepting the envelope, Emerald gazed at the seal bearing an elaborate "B."

Before she could open it, Mr. Kennedy explained. "The mare and buggy are a gift, m'lady," and he gestured across Fishers Row.

Another gift? Curiously she looked across the narrow cobbled street to see a charming little horse-drawn buggy with a blue fringe top dancing in the breeze.

"Oh! It's stunning," she cried.

Then she read the brief message: "One so lovely should ride home to Foxemoore in style."

"Home." Emerald lingered over the brief but warm, telling words, smiling wistfully. She was overwhelmed by Baret's thoughtful gift, for his was no pauper's generosity. She knew something of horses, and this mare was a fine-blooded specimen. She laughed to herself. She would certainly make a stir returning to Foxemoore now, wearing blue velvet and lace, a ruby pendant, and driving a new buggy drawn by a blooded mare! She suspected Baret knew as much and had done so deliberately.

She read his concluding remarks: "I shall join you as soon as the captains' meeting with Morgan is concluded. If Pitt gives you any more trouble, tell him I'll hang him myself."

As the men left, Emerald affectionately rubbed the nose of the mare and patted her graceful neck. "You're a worthy gift, but coming from Baret, you are a sweet prize indeed."

Then she saw Zeddie coming up the beach with a gunny-sack of fresh fish. The tall gaunt man, garbed in faded blue coat with tarnished gold lace, was whistling as he trudged up to the steps. She knew his two big boarding pistols were loaded. In his younger years he had been a crack shot, as he always liked to announce. He had fought in the Civil War in England, where he had lost an eye. He'd been sent to Barbados as a political prisoner in the days of Cromwell, and her father, who had known him in England, had found him on Governor Modyford's sugar plantation and arranged to buy his freedom. Zeddie ever remained a strong ally and served as bodyguard to Emerald.

He straightened his black eye patch, and his whistled tune turned to a low note of exclamation. He examined the mare, then looked across at the waiting buggy, whose fringe still jiggled in the tropical breeze.

"I'm thinking old Pitt will have his eyes poppin' when he sees you, m'gal. 'Twill be sweet to boot the cunning shark out of Karlton's bungalow." He dropped the gunnysack of fish and rubbed his hands together with exaggerated anticipation. Then he tapped his dyed purple-leather baldric, and his one keen eye turned as hard as a smooth ocean pebble. "Pitt's got himself a bit of luck that his lordship isn't coming with you now—his neck will be spared. Wouldn't take much to have his lordship hang the rat-toothed scoundrel."

"I'm in no mood to hang anyone today, Zeddie, not even that treacherous Mr. Pitt. This isn't a time for vengeance. Don't you remember how David treated his enemies when he became king of Israel? Why, he could have had old Shimei cut down with the sword for cursing him when he left Jerusalem during Absalom's rebellion. Instead, he let him go free when he returned as king."

"Aye, but it ain't no fun! Not where Pitt goes."

She laughed and handed him the reins. "After having landed Baret Buckington, I've grace enough and to spare for the meanest of wretches—" her smile faded and her eyes grew determined "—as long as he doesn't contest my good plans."

"Now you're talking, m'gal."

Hiking up her skirts about her ankles, Emerald rushed up the creaking wood steps to change. She stopped in front of the door and looked down the steps at him. "I'm anxious to dress and be on our way to Foxemoore. This is Minette's shining hour too. Next time Sir Erik Farrow sees my cousin, he'll wonder indeed."

Zeddie chuckled, as delighted by it all as though he were the inheritor of good fortune.

She looked over at her new buggy and sighed. It was just the beginning. This would be her first arrival at Foxemoore since the slave uprising and the tragic death of Great-uncle Mathias. She wondered what her beloved minister uncle would think if he knew she was going to marry a Buckington. Well, he had more wonderful things to occupy him now. He had looked upon the fair face of the Lord Jesus Himself, for the apostle Paul had written, "Absent from the body ... present with the Lord."

Inside the loft she chose a cool silk dress of palest lime color with lemon flower buds on the neck and cuffs and readied herself for the trip inland. There was a matching hat with a trailing yellow ribbon and a dainty white lace parasol. She noticed that all the colors flattered her dark hair and brown eyes and that there was a certain sweetness to the styles. She knew Baret well enough by now to understand the kind of woman he found attractive. No low-cut dresses such as they wore shamelessly in London.

A half hour later she looked at herself in the mirror. Her eyes glowed as warmly as the tropics, while her ivory skin bore little evidence of having experienced the burning sun. Her thick dark tresses were arranged at the back of her neck, and in place of the prized silver cross embedded with pearls that her mother had given her, and which she carried in a little sachet near her heart, the ruby now glimmered at her throat where Baret had placed it the night before under the mammoth yellow moon.

She surprised even herself by the change. A stranger would think her a great lady indeed. Oh, dear! She didn't want to make Lavender jealous, but she surely would, for it was in Lavender's heart to be envious and spoiled to the point that she resented happiness coming to anyone else. And to have captured Baret's heart away from her ...

Emerald frowned worriedly. Dealing day by day with Cousin Lavender might prove as difficult as dealing with Mr. Pitt. May the Lord give me discernment and wisdom to know how best to fill my new position without rubbing brine into Lavender's wounded pride. It took as much spirituality to be gracious to others when in blessing as it did to endure the filth and injustice of Brideswell.

I know how to be abased, but do I know how to abound?

With the shares her father owned in the sugar estate and the shares that Baret possessed—including the extra shares recently granted him by Earl Nigel—she and Baret would own more of Foxemoore than even her father's cousin Geneva Harwick Buckington. Geneva had been recently married to Baret's nefarious uncle, Lord Felix, who considered himself the rightful owner of all the Buckington inheritance. She wondered how the conflicts would eventually work out. Baret was in no mood to submit to Felix, whom he blamed for the imprisonment of his father on the Main.

She remembered Minette and grew sober. She had already packed a pretty new frock for her cousin, with all the essentials, intending to stop at her father's bungalow on the plantation before they entered the Great House together, so that Minette could bathe and change. They would enter side by side as blood cousins—unless her courage gave way in the end like a wet bag and she was left void of resolve. In which case, she might remain in the bungalow until Baret arrived and escorted her and Minette to the main house to meet with Lady Sophie Harwick. Perhaps it would be better if she waited, so they wouldn't think her flaunting.

Emerald shivered, thinking about entering through that ominous front door alone. Minette's presence would undoubtedly anger Lady Sophie. Lord, give me wisdom to behave wisely, she prayed. All this blessing and change in my life is a gift from You. Help me to use it as You would have me do. Not for self-seeking but for the good of us all.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Jamaican Sunset by Linda Chaikin. Copyright © 1997 Linda Chaikin. Excerpted by permission of Moody Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Contents

1. Bright Promises,
2. Return to Foxemoore,
3. Turning Tragedy into Triumph,
4. Received into the Great House,
5. Unexpected News,
6. The King's House,
7. The Singing School,
8. Jette's Important Secret,
9. The Grand Betrothal,
10. A Message from Sir Karlton,
11. In Search of Emerald,
12. Conflict on the Caribbean,
13. Aboard the Golden Future,
14. Pirates Rafael Levasseur and Lex Thorpe,
15. The Block Dragon,
16. Encounter on the Beach,
17. The Rendezvous,
18. A Vow to Cherish,
19. The Attack on Porto Bello,
20. At the Cove,
21. Treasure of Margarita,
22. A Time to Kill and a Time to Heal,
23. The Dawn,

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