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The Knights of the Golden Circle
It was neither late nor early, but for one man it was time he moved away from the den where people's souls were lost as the liquor numbed their brains and made men loosen their tongues.
As he stepped out of the tavern into the street, he couldn't tell where he was. It could have been any city in America or Europe. Although from the sounds around him as the crowds pushed on their merry way, he felt like he was in a European world and not here in a city just north of the border. He looked furtively around him. Here in Montreal, one of the oldest cities in North America, he should feel safe from those who were anxious to stop him. How he hated them. He had to do something. There were many like him who wanted to stop the damned Yanks from winning the bloody war that was killing off the cream of his countrymen. He had no love for the Northern States or President Abraham Lincoln, no matter how eloquent his speeches were. How could he watch as blue-jacketed armies cut down southern boys in threadworn gray uniforms, their feet bare and blood soaked? All the South wanted was to be left alone as they had been for nearly 100 years.
He knew there were spies up here in Lower Canada. So he watched his words as he watched his back. If his enemies knew what he and his compatriots were planning, his death would be ordered and his body would be found in a gutter, stripped of his identity and left for a pauper's grave.
He knew he was an actor on a stage where the very life of the Land of Dixie was crying out from the many wounds that had been inflicted upon her. He smiled ruefully to himself. Yes, he was an actor, familiar with being aperformer for those patrons who wanted to be entertained. He wasn't as good as his brother, but he and two of his brothers and his famous father had the ability to speak a pretty phrase and some thought it was marvellous.
Edwin might be the better actor; his career had taken him to Europe and already the critics were calling him the greatest Shakespearean actor of the 19th century. He had to give his brother his due. But perhaps if he accomplished his goal, his brother would have to acknowledge that he had stolen centre stage and had focused the spotlight on himself.