Authors: Lori Wick
Tags: #Ship Captains, #Romance, #Regency, #Christian, #Historical Fiction, #Women Merchant Mariners, #Fiction, #Christian Fiction, #Historical, #Large Print Books, #INSPIRATIONAL ROMANCE, #General, #Religious, #Maine, #Love Stories
Wings of the Morning,
Kensington Chronicles #2
During the nineteenth century, the palace at Kensington represented
the noble heritage of Britain's young queen and the simple
elegance of a never-to-be-forgotten era. The Victorian Age was the
pinnacle of England's dreams, a time of sweeping adventure and
gentle love. It is during this time, when hope was bright with
promise, that this series is set.
8 maine coastline
the two little boys ran up the sandy beach, fiercely
brandishing their sticks as swords. As the older boy at the rear
drew close, the smaller boy dashed up into the rocks to
escape. He turned and shouted to his brother from his lofty
"It's my turn to be Clancy for a while. You can be the
"No, I'm bigger, and that makes me a better Clancy."
"But you're always Clancy," the younger boy complained.
"That's because he always wins," his brother told him
The younger boy flopped down on the rock, his "sword"
lying forgotten at his side. His brother climbed up to join him,
their gazes stretching out over the Atlantic Ocean.
"Do you suppose Clancy really did all those things we
hear about, the races and stashing the ship's hold with gold
"Of course," the older boy spoke with assurance, although
he had no proof. "He was the best sailor in all the world."
"His ship," the younger lad had caught the fever now.
9"Please tell me about his ship."
The older boy's chest swelled "None faster in all the
Atlantic. Why, his ship was the fastest ship in all the world."
The younger boy let out a gusty sigh, as his gaze went to the
sea once again.
"Do you suppose he's still alive?"
"Alive? Don't be ridiculous," his brother scoffed "Why,
he'd probably be over a hundred years old if he were alive
The younger boy looked so crestfallen, the older boy took
pity on him.
"It doesn't matter. We know he was the greatest sailor to
ever live. It's enough to know that he was born and raised in
Maine and that there will never be another Clancy..."
"What's this, Papa?" the tiny moppet in the tub asked her
He tickled her tummy before answering. "Why, that's your
The small three-year-old giggled and stood, dripping wet,
to leave the tub. Her father, Clancy Simmons, was waiting
with a piece of toweling. He wrapped her snugly and took the
chair by the stove in his cabin, placing Smokey in his lap to
keep her warm.
"I have five toes, Papa," she told him proudly, as she
examined the foot that protruded from the edge of the towel.
"You forgot a foot," Clancy told her. "You have ten toes."
qr t"Po you have ten toes?" Smokey wanted to know. Her
***i;smokey gray eyes stared with rapt attention into his
ped, I do. It's how God made all of us."
Bitted away, and within minutes Smokey was in her
d back in her father's lap. The warmth of the
sntle rocking of the ship lulled her to sleep just
moments later. Clancy was standing over her bunk, watching
her still form, when his first mate, Darsey, joined him.
Darsey stood quietly watching the bent, graying head of
his captain and wondered at his thoughts.
"It's hard to believe she'll be four this summer," Clancy
"Aye, Captain," Darsey agreed. "My sister says they grow
up before your eyes, but that it happens so fast you still feel as
though it's been a magician's trick."
"Vicky would have loved her to distraction," Clancy went
on softly. His mate had no reply.
"Well, now," Clancy spoke bracingly after a short pause,
obviously needing to pull his mind away from painful times.
"Here I am getting all soppy and putting Smokey in a wedding
dress when she's barely out of wet drawers. I've got my God,
my ship, my men, and years to enjoy my daughter. I would ask
for nothing more..."
* * *
"I'm not asking you, Smokey; I'm telling you. Mr. Tucker is joining us this voyage, and you are going to study with him."
"I don't need this Mr. Tucker. I like studying with Darsey."
Her small arms were folded across her thin chest, and her
small chin was tilted aggressively.
"You're eight years old, Smokey--" Clancy's voice was
gentle, "long past the time you should know how to read and
cipher. You've got Darsey wrapped around your finger, and
whenever you don't feel the need to study, you talk your way
out of it. It will be different with Mr. TUcker."
Smokey made no reply, and Clancy sternly held her eyes
with his own. He expected her to yield at any time and
admit that she needed training, but if anything her chin
rose yet again, and Clancy knew that stern measures were
"You'll not set foot in the galley, climb on the rigging, or
spend more than two hours on deck each day until you can
read two pages to me from a book."
All arrogance deserted Smokey, and her small shoulders
drooped. Darsey had joined them to speak to the captain, but
stayed silent when he heard Clancy's ultimatum.
"Do you mean that?" Smokey asked, her voice small.
"I'm afraid I do," Clancy's voice was kind "Your schooling
is important, and I love you too much to ignore it."
"All right," Smokey spoke after just a moment, her chin
tilted once again, this time with determination. "I'll study
with Mr. Ibcker. I'll learn to read and write and do my numbers.
You just see if I don't!"
Both men watched her walk away, one with admiration
and one consumed with worry.
"Doesn't it bother you, Captain," Darsey asked, "that with
Smokey you don't take her toys away, but instead forbid her to
climb in the rigging?"
Clancy laughed and clapped the younger man on the back.
"Darsey, you're a young man, much too young to be such a
worrier. She's never cared for dolls. And as you can see, my
words did the trick. She'll learn to read, and that's what I
Clancy, well satisfied with the passage of events, went on
his way. Darsey, wanting to trust his legendary captain, continued
with his work...
* * *
pounds SXtrConW --"* SJ8hed
Dreading this old journal, the onelpicked up in the
KudM ;? contems of h* daughter's hands wuiea the pages.
"Smokey," he began after a moment of silence, hoping
none of his men would need him just now, "people love to
create heroes and worship the legends of their own imaginations.
They also love to exaggerate," he added softly.
"What do you mean?" Smokey's sweet, ten-year-old face
studied her father intently.
"I mean that the escapades IVe pulled have been stretched
until they are of monumental proportions. Why, to do all of the
things they claim Clancy has done, I'd have to be 200 years
"But you have done some great things, haven't you?"
"Yes, I have," he admitted honestly. "I've always sailed fast
ships, and in my younger days I would never pass up a wager
or a dare. My father taught me well, and I've sailed into port
more than once with a holdful of valuables, sometimes worth
a small fortune. But there was no magic in it. I work hard, and
I'm a man who keeps my word Put simply, the merchants trust
me. I deliver, and quickly I might add When something special
comes their way, they send word to me.
"And don't forget that I was named after my father. He was
a sailor too, not as foolhardy as I've been at times, but a sailor
nevertheless. The name Clancy has been on the seas far
longer than my 60 years."
Smokey stared at her father as though seeing him for the
first time. The look did not please the older man.
"I'm still your father, Smokey." Clancy spoke with his heart
in his eyes. "I'm still the man who loves you to distraction. I've
never wanted to be a hero or a legend to you, just a good
father, bringing you up God's way."
Smokey moved from her chair then, her young arms going
around his neck. They embraced, and the young girl's anxious
thoughts melted away. It mattered not what they said about
him, truth or fiction. He was the most wonderful father a girl
could have. His words had eliminated all doubts and fears.
"I'm afraid, Papa," Smokey cried from her bunk as the
waves tossed their craft as though it were a toy, high and low
over the sea.
"There's nothing to fear, Smokey," the older man's face
was calm as he sat on the edge of her bunk and took her in his
arms. "You were only nine when you trusted Christ to save you
from your sins, and now you must trust Him again in this
storm. If our ship is going down, then it's His time."
A moment passed, and Smokey began to pray out loud as
she had done so many times before. When she finished talking
to the Lord, Clancy added his own prayers with quiet confidence.
When he had finished, he waited for the question. She
asked it every time there was a storm, and Gancy could never
"Will you tell me about Mama?"
"She loved you," Clancy told her without preamble. "And
she wanted you for years. We weren't married until I was
nearly 40, and she thought she'd always be a spinster schoolarm,
without a husband or children of her own."
"But you came along," Smokey prodded him.
"That's right, and it was love at first sight. She gave notice
to the school board, and we were married that summer. We
both assumed we would have children right away, but it wasn't
to be. We waited years, and had actually given up. Then God
gifted us with you."
"And you named me after Mama."
"That's right. She didn't want it, but I love the name
Victoria, so she gave in."
Then she died," Smokey added on a soft, somber note.
"Yes. It was God's time, and I know she's with Him,"
ocy's voice was equally quiet. "She wasn't a young woman,
fr body just seemed so worn out after the birth. She had
(erly aunt and a sister who offered to take you, but I
ft leave you. I knew your place was with me. If only
feer could see you now. Twelve years old." Clancy
e until that moment that she'd finally fallen
asleep. The storm still raged without, but Smokey was now in
Clancy rose, balancing himself with the ease of an experienced
sailor and repeated softly to himself once again, "If
only she could see you now..."