The Drums of War
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We come across our hero, Captain Rawson, deep inside the war-ravaged borders of Europe, as he fights alongside the brave and resolute Earl of Marlborough in defeating the, self-proclaimed, ‘invincible’ French army. Yet victory is short lived, blunted by the dissenting voices of the Dutch, who secretly seek to wrestle the power and life from Rawson’s compatriot, Marlborough.
In these hostile and insecure times, Captain Rawson is called on to succeed in his biggest, most daring mission to date: the rescue of a celebrated tapestry-maker turned spy from inside the fortified Bastille – the pride of a despotic France. Now alone behind enemy-lines, the undaunted Rawson must apply all his guile and wit in his rescuing of the renowned prisoner and his beautiful daughter, Amalia – a delicate girl to whom Rawson’s friendship soon blossoms into something more.
However, unbeknownst to Rawson the French and Dutch have already combined to plot both the assassination of Marlborough and the reclaiming of his power. This time Europe is beginning to close in on him, and it will take all of his self-sacrifice, skill and sincerity to once again rescue the war and the army’s pride from out of the clutches of the betrayers.
the Allied success did not last long. Bad weather forced a delay of several days and the Dutch generals once again refused to approve a major engagement. With the enemy now drawn up behind the River Dyle, Slangenberg and the others could not even agree on the best point to attempt a crossing and they quarrelled for hours on end. Their hesitation caused even further delays. It was not until 30 July that the council of war authorised a move over the river south of Louvain with a diversion to the
overwhelming spectacle. French nobles and their wives brought a colour and vivacity that made Amsterdam seem dull and lifeless by comparison. When she saw Louis XIV in his finery, moving like a god around the exquisite gardens and acting as a cynosure, she understood why he was called the Sun King. The heady experience had remained a happy memory until now. Suddenly, a dark shadow had been cast over their whole stay in France. 'I thought it was wrong at the start,' grumbled Beatrix. 'We should
survived fierce battles against the finest army in Europe. He was fortunate to reach dry land alive. The ordeal left him with a fever and a pounding headache. There was worse to come. When he reached The Hague, he found the Dutch army unready to take the field and unwilling to fight far beyond its immediate borders. Always thinking ahead, Marlborough had arranged during the winter for his supply depots to be fully stocked so that his army never had to forage while on the march. To his dismay and
was only a faint hope. A horse and cart went past then an old man staggered by on a walking stick. What he saw next as he peered around the corner of the alleyway were the two women, walking in step and staying close together. Yards behind them, he could just pick out a brawny figure in the gloom. Flattening his back against the wall, he was ready to pounce. Amalia Janssen and Beatrix got nearer and nearer until he could hear their matching footsteps. When they went past him, they didn't even
Daniel. Who could possibly wish to poison it?' 'It was the lady to whom you were speaking.' 'What - Madame du Vivier? She was utterly charming.' 'Her charm was very practised, Your Grace,' said Daniel, 'and her name was not Hélène du Vivier. She's an actress from Paris and I believe she was here to assassinate you.' Johannes Mytens raised a glass of wine to offer a very different toast. 'Let's drink to the death of the Duke of Marlborough!' The others were quick to join in the