I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion or the content of my review. Affiliate links within the post provide a small commission to support blog expenses and giveaways. This is in accordance with US FCC regulations.The Prince of Prigs by Anthony Anglorus
Published by Smashwords Edition Source: Publisher
July 6th 2015 | Pages: 346
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The union of England and Scotland under one crown is not even a half century old, and the Parliamentarians already threaten the very fabric of the nation. These are the adventures of highwayman Captain James Hind who, in Robin Hood fashion, steals from the Roundheads to help fund the royalist cause. When Cromwell comes to power, James, the Prince of Prigs, must be careful whom among his treacherous “friends” he trusts.
The Real Man Who Inspired this Story
My central character is Captain James Hind. Born Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire 1616, died (hung drawn and quartered) 1652, Worcester. In between, he was a butcher’s lad, then a highwayman, next he was a Captain in the Royalist army (apparently heroically so, but no details are recorded), then a highwayman to the point at which this story ends.
Subsequently, he visited Charles II in the Hague, who sent him to fight in Ireland against Cromwell. Wounded, he was sent to the Scilly Isles and then to Stirling, Scotland where he joined Charles II’s ill-fated invasion and reputedly helped his King escape the battle, following which Charles famously hid in a tree. James made his way back to London but was betrayed (read ‘sold’) by a ‘friend’. They tried him for highway robbery, but somehow he was acquitted. They held onto him, then tried him for murder – but a new law pardoned him. Still they refused to release him and finally they tried him for High Treason for having been with Charles II. Finally, they got their conviction and he was executed. – Anthony Anglorus’s web site.
An Excerpt from Prince of Prigs
“Oh, for God’s sake, not again!”
The wagon lurched as the horses strained to pull it from the mud, but sank back almost to the axles as they relaxed. The rain had increased to a torrent, blowing in waves from the northwest, and the fields on either side were barely visible. Ahead, a stand of trees adorned the brow of the hill promising shelter, but first they must release the wagon from the mud. The soldiers put their weapons down and straggled forwards, muttering amongst themselves. Retrieving the planks from the cart, they heaved to push them under the wheels.
Fifty yards away at the edge of the trees, a man watched from the undergrowth. His long, graceful moustache drooped in the rain and his hair was caught up in the brambles above him. He wriggled back through the bushes before scrambling to his feet and retrieving his bedraggled hat from a nearby branch. He looked up at his companion. He was some twelve inches taller than him with a thick, bushy beard.
“Thomas, we’ll never have a better chance!”
“That captain worries me; he’s still on his horse and armed,” growled Thomas.
A tall, elderly woman with striking blue eyes and straw-coloured hair appeared from the wood. Clad in men’s breeches and a hooded cloak, she strode across towards the two men. “Is something wrong?”
The short man twirled his moustache and then nodded in the direction of the wagon. “They’re stuck again. All the weapons save the captain’s are in the mud, five yards behind the wagon.”
“Then let us take advantage! Be ready to move,” announced the woman before turning on her heel and disappearing back into the undergrowth.
The man shrugged, took his horse’s reins from his taller companion and leaped aboard. Thomas waved towards a group of men huddled under an ancient spreading oak tree in the middle of the copse and followed suit. The men all moved their mounts out from the shelter to stand beside Thomas, who had moved close to the road.
After two minutes, the woman emerged onto the road from the trees further up, seated on her horse stark naked save for her cloak and gun.
“Dear God Almighty, what is the woman doing!” grunted Thomas. Ahead, the soldiers saw her and stopped their work. Two men ran to scramble through the hedge whilst three more ran back to their guns.
“You men! Get back to work!” directed the officer, still blissfully unaware of the woman on the hill above him. Water dribbled down the side of his face from his hat, which by now was completely soaked through.
The naked woman calmly directed her horse into the centre of the road and forwards until she was directly behind the mounted captain. “If you don’t mind, gentlemen, I’d like to relieve you of some of your burden.”
The captain whipped around in his saddle, and then was almost unhorsed as he took in the elderly naked woman pointing a gun at his chest from a range of six feet. Most of his remaining men were grinning, but the three who had reached their guns had brought them to shoulder and were aiming at the intruder.
“I think not, madam, you have but one shot and there are seventeen of us.” Slowly, he began to remove his own pistol.
“This is indeed the case, sir. Indeed, three of your men have their muskets pointing vaguely in the right direction. But my friends have more shots, and our guns have not been lying in the mud!”
The branches rustled with hidden movement. The officer’s smile first twitched and then vanished. He released his pistol as the diminutive highwayman, then Thomas and the rest of the gang moved their horses forward from behind the trees, guns pointed at the soldiers.
“In the interests of your personal survival, may I suggest, sir that you throw your pistol onto the road and dismount at this point?” instructed the highwayman.
The officer looked from the highwayman to the naked woman, and then carefully climbed down from his horse, keeping his hands in clear sight.