Conner Boland is a penniless Irish rebel fleeing for his life to the United States, after being sentenced to an Australian penal colony. He is hired as a tutor to three young women who have never known a firm hand in their pampered, high-society lives. See what happens when a very determined Connor teaches them lessons they will never forget. Love, honor, and obedience are the guidelines throughout this epic story.
BDSM Category: Spanking only. No erotic scenes.
The November morning dawned gray and cold over Cork. The walls of stone held the cold and dampness from the night before. Connor Boland shivered under his one thin blanket on the cot. He had not slept but fitfully all night. Today, his twentieth birthday, was the day he would be shipped off, away from his family, his country and his life. A big price to pay for being a rebel, but a rebel he was and would remain so. He had fought and lost.
The trial was still fresh in his mind. The robed judges looking so dour, the presentation of the charges, and the final bang of the gavel: guilty of all charges! Sentenced to banishment to the penal colonies of Australia for fifteen years. It was a heavy sentence for a lad of twenty. For fighting for his freedom and the freedom of his country from the English despots, he considered it a very unfair sentence. He promised himself somehow ... some way ... he would be free. He would not be banished to a far land not of his choosing. But how could he escape? He was under guard night and day and was sure he would be shackled and chained for transport to the ship.
"Jesus, Mary, Joseph and St. Patrick, I ask ye to be finding me a way to freedom. I cannot be spending the next fifteen years wasting away in a hot foreign English colony." I will be free, dammit, I will be, he thought. Connor paced his cell, wishing he could say goodbye to his mother and younger brothers and sisters. His Da had died fighting for the cause and he had been the oldest and in charge of the family. The memory of his Mother sitting in the courtroom crying wrenched his soul. That and the memory of his grim-faced younger brother, Liam, holding on to her. Liam would now be responsible for the care of the family. Connor knew that was a hard task for a lad of seventeen, the care of a mother and four younger siblings. Dammit, I should be taking care of them. Damn these English, they are robbing us of our lives and country. Someday, somehow, I will revenge me Da and all the others they have killed. On my Father's grave, I will not be taking this lying down. I will fight with all me might till the end, wherever that may be.
As those thoughts were racing around his brain, the jailor came and tossed his breakfast into the cell. "Eat hardy lad, ye not be getting another meal good as this for quite a while. Ye're assigned to The Bees, the worst ship in the fleet. Ye'll be lucky to be alive when ye reach Australia." Sneering, he left Connor to his oatmeal and bread. The sound of the steel door slamming echoed through the cell.
Soon after Connor finished his breakfast, the jailor was back and tossed in some clean clothes.
"Here, ye be needing to change, 'tis one a the rules. All ye scum get clean clothes before ye leave our fine establishment. Like our farewell present to ye. It's the last thing ye ever will get from Ireland, me lad. Now be changing quick, 'cause ye're leaving soon." The sound of the cell door slamming once again reverberated around the cell, mixing with the evil chuckle of the retreating guard.
Connor changed to the new clothes, but his thoughts had not changed. He would be alert for the slightest chance to escape and be free. He would not go quietly.
An hour later, he was led with a group of other prisoners out of the prison walls and toward the dock. To Connor's amazement, they were not chained or shackled, merely bound by their hands with rope. Guards walked alongside of them to keep them in line. People lined the streets, alternating cheers and insults at the prisoners. Connor did not see one friendly face he knew. He had thought that perhaps Liam at least would come to see him off.
It's probably for the best that he did not come. I do not know that I could stand to see his face in sadness one more time. Connor was lost in his thoughts when the guards suddenly called, "Halt! Stay where ye be." The line stopped and Connor glanced ahead. There appeared to be some sort of a disturbance in the street up there. The two guards flanking Connor kept to their posts, but cocked their muskets and directed their attention forward, wanting to know the cause of the confusion, but knowing better than to run forward to see what was the matter.
Conner realized that this might be his only opportunity for escape, no matter what the cause of the commotion might be. His guards were still too close for him to risk making a run for it, yet, but his soldier's instincts had alerted him to the possibility.
Then he realized that he, himself, was the cause of the commotion when a wiry ragamuffin that he recognized as one of "The Lads" who had fought by his side earlier, broke from the throng of onlookers and thrust a long dagger between the ribs of the guard at his right elbow. The guard screamed in agony and fell to his knees, dropping his musket, which discharged into the crowd.
Almost simultaneously, the guard to his left swung his musket to bear on the lad who had now retrieved his blade and was attempting to cut Connor's bonds with it. Seeing that the muzzle of the weapon was directly in front of his face and that his rescuer, who had both hands engaged, was about to have his head blown off, Conner jerked away from him and threw himself on the guard, knocking the barrel of the musket downward. The weapon discharged into the pavement, spraying the crowd with shards of lead ball and cobblestone.
Bedlam broke out then, because it appeared to the Irishmen present that the English guards had opened fire on the crowd and they attacked the nearest guard or English sympathizer with fists, cudgels, and knives. Less intrepid souls, many of them women and children, added to the general confusion by running in all directions, seeking a place of safety.
It took scant seconds for all that to happen, but Connor managed to get a death-grip on the musket barrel with both hands to keep the guard from using it as a club, even though his wrists were still bound. When his compatriot turned his attention on the guard and quickly dispatched him with the dagger, Connor was left still clutching the weapon, yelling, "Cut me loose, so I can fight!"
"Connor, are ye daft, man? Throw that damned thing down and make for the alley, or all this is for naught!" His friend pointed the bloody dagger toward a nearby alley for an instant, and then disappeared into the crowd to rejoin the battle.
Connor wasted no time and ran for the alley. He had barely reached it, when a hand pulled him into an open door. Stunned, Connor looked and recognized his brother Liam. Liam cut the bounds on his arms and hugged him. "Connor, its good to see ye free, but we must be hurrying. The Lads will not be able to hold the army off forever."
"Liam, how did ye manage this? Ye cannot be a part of this! I do not want ye to risk yourself here. Now go off and I will find me own way!" Connor was still stunned at seeing Liam.
Liam shook his head. "Connor, I am part of this fight as much as ye! No male can stand and watch them beat us back. We must fight, each and every one a us. It's the only way! We will someday all be free, but till then, fight we must."
Liam opened the door and peered down the alley. There was no one in sight and he could still hear the commotion in the street beyond. Quickly he motioned Connor and they ran down the alley. A wagon was waiting on the next street and Connor and Liam climbed in the back. They were quickly driven out of the city to a cottage in the countryside.
A family that had migrated to America had abandoned the cottage. The rebels had taken over the cottage and kept it looking lived in. Few people and none of the authorities realized that the owners had left. It would be unlikely that they would think of looking for Connor here.
Soon after they entered the cottage, they were joined by some of the other rebels that were part of Connor's band. Hugging and clapping Connor on the back, they were all in good spirits. Connor changed into the clothes they brought and burned the ones given at the prison. He would now be a bit less recognizable. After this was done, Connor called them all to the table.
"I want to thank all of ye from the bottom of me heart for rescuing me, but we cannot stay here together. They will soon be hunting for me and for those they know might of helped me. Ye best all be getting back to your homes and fixing your excuses as to where ye were.
"Liam, especially you, they will surely come to the house to see if I am there. They will be scaring Ma and the girls. Ye best take off quick and I don't want ye coming back and putting yourself in harm's way, ye hear?" Connor was looking sternly at his younger brother.
"Aye Connor, I be seeing your point, but I not will stay out of this, any more than ye could. I will stay away till the hunt dies down, but I will be back." Liam hugged his brother and left.
After he was gone, Connor turned to the other men. "I cannot stay here. Eventually I would be found and ye would be caught as well. They would probably be hanging the entire lot of us. I need papers to get on a ship to America. Ye know who to see to arrange that. I also be needing passage, I think the treasury should have enough for that."
"Aye, Connor, we will take care a things for ye. We may not be able to return for a few days, but ye should be safe for that long. If we hear any word a trouble, we will be getting someone here to help. But there is a trap door to a cellar hidden under the rug. If necessary, ye can hide there. We be leaving ye a gun and bullets too, jest in case ye be needing em." The men shook hands and departed, leaving Connor alone.
After they left, Connor sat and formulated some plans. He was educated, which a lot of the men were not. If he could get passage on a ship to America, he could get a job, possibly as a tutor or teacher. He could then save his money and try to bring his family over. It would do no good for him to stay. Eventually they would find him and this time would surely hang him.
Connor figured it would take about a week for the necessary papers and arrangements to be made. He used his time to putter in the long neglected garden. He had no idea how long it would be before he would be able to feel earth in his hands. He had not yet left his homeland, but already missed it. He was watchful for any soldiers riding his way. The cottage was up on a hill and he could easily see in plenty of time to hide. Since there were no cottages close by, no one would notice anything different going on here. At night, he sat and reminisced about his family and friends. Back to times that were gentler before his Da had been killed and the bloody English had tried to overtake them. Truth be told, the English had been a thorn in their sides for many a year, but lately were more ruthless and harsh than ever.
His Da had been so proud of his family, always talking about having the prettiest gal in Cork as his bride. His Mary was the light of his life and his eyes lit every time he looked at her. Connor only hoped that one day he, too, would find a girl he could love as much. So far, he had not had much time to think of courtship. Oh, he had known a few, but none meant much to him.