Possessing Prudence
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The scenic seaport town of Mystic Port is steeped in history. Prudence Trivit, the town’s historian, is on a mission to find out the truth about her Great Aunt Alexandra Beaudicort, who was accused and found guilty of murdering her husband, the Mayor of Mystic Port, back in 1897. Prudence, known as Prudy, is certain of her great aunt’s innocence. A handsome young journalist, Dylan Monroe, is sent to Mystic Port to interview Prudy in advance of the town’s 250th anniversary celebration. Dylan immediately notices Prudy’s uncanny resemblance to her great aunt in the huge portrait of Alexandra that hangs in the museum. Stunned by her beauty and so intrigued by the story of Alexandra, Dylan falls for Prudy, and together they investigate to find out the truth. But uncovering the truth comes with some mishaps and mayhem. As the spirit of Alexandra points them in the right direction,the opposing spirits try to dissuade them.



Publié par
Date de parution 27 août 2015
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781771456784
Langue English

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Possessing Prudence
By Betty Ann Harris
Digital ISBNs:
EPUB 9781771456784
Kindle 9781771456791
WEB PDF 9781771456807
Amazon Print 978-1-77362-232-3

Copyright 2015 Betty Ann Harris
Cover art by Michelle Lee
All rights reserved. Without limiting therights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publicationmay be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system,or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic,mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without theprior written permission of both the copyright owner and thepublisher of this book
* * *
For Diana, Holly and Lila
In Memory of Lilly
Mystic Port, a New England seaport town, wassettled in the late 1700’s by a group of French colonists who fledtheir beloved France during the horror of the French Revolution.America had already won their independence, and settlements werepopping up all over the coast of New England. These French settlersyearned for the religious freedom the colonists from America talkedabout.
A young French woman by the name of MoniqueLaurent, was given passage on the ship, Liberté,that was setting sail from Collioure in theSouth of France to America. It had taken her almost three monthsafter fleeing Paris to reach Collioure. Part of her journey hadbeen on foot, and part in a carriage owned by a wealthy courtesan,who suffered a massive coronary and died while trying to seduceMonique, a woman young enough to be his daughter. Claude Benoit’sdriver, Pierre DuPont, buried his boss by the side of the road andtook pity on poor Monique. He drove her the rest of the way toCollioure and gave her Benoit’s purse so she’d have enough money topay for her passage to America.
The voyage was dreadful. Poor Monique spentmost of her time below deck retching. Had this decision to sail toAmerica been a mistake? After all, she was a young woman travelingall alone.
Thankfully, a kind, young man on the shipnamed Jean-Claude Beaudicort, befriended Monique and quite possiblysaved her life. Monique, unable to take much food during the firstquarter of the trip, was weak and becoming despondent. Jean-Claudelooked after her and made sure she got enough water to drink. Hetook a clean handkerchief from his travel sac and put it in a smallbucket of water and wiped Monique’s brow. After two weeks ofJean-Claude caring for her, Monique was finally able to take somefood, and became strong enough to be escorted on short walks on thedeck with him in the mornings. The sea calmed and two long monthslater, the ship Liberté docked in BostonHarbor.
During the long voyage, Monique had fallen inlove with Jean-Claude, and he with her. They decided they would bemarried as soon as they were settled in America.
“See this place on the map, Monique? It’scalled Mystic and it’s about a day’s carriage ride from Boston.There are many French colonists there, including several of mycousins who fled France two years ago. They wrote to me and told meto make the trip. The settlers there are building a port, so thatfuture colonists can get there easily, and so that tradesmen canship their goods out. My cousin, Pierre, said the ground is fertileand farming is good.”
“It sounds like a great place to start ourlives together, Jean-Claude. I’m glad you will be reunited withyour family. Do you think we can afford to make the trip fromBoston to Mystic? I spent every piece of silver I’d saved to makethis voyage. I’m afraid I have nothing to offer.”
Jean-Claude lowered his voice and moved veryclose to Monique. “My mother, may she rest in peace, inherited theprofits from her late husband’s estate just before the revolutionin France started. She passed away last year and left everything tome, her only son. We are blessed, Monique. I want to have childrenwho will grow up in America and be free from tyranny and worship asthey please. I want the Beaudicort name to live on.”
“Indeed, we are blessed.”

Chapter One
Prudence Trivit walked the all too familiarpath from her historic and majestic Victorian Queen Anne home tothe impressive Mystic Port Library where she worked. She imaginedherself as the beautiful heroine, Catherine, from the latesthistorical romance novel she was reading. Catherine, besides beinga stunning beauty, was intelligent, witty, and not at all shy.Prudence, known as Prudy by her family and the few close friendsshe had, was considered to be extremely intelligent. But that’s theonly similarity Prudy felt there was between Catherine andherself.
Prudy knew there were many people, especiallythose who didn’t really know her, who thought she was a just a geekand defined her as boring by nature. On more than one occasionshe’d witnessed a small group of townspeople, mostly some highschool girls, laughing and whispering about her when she walked by.They called her Prudy the prude. She would sometimes hear theirwhispers and snide remarks. Being on the sensitive side, of coursethis bothered Prudy. If only they would take the time to get toknow her and just give her half a chance, she was fairly certainthey’d like her. But as certain as Prudy was about them liking herif they just gave her a chance, she was also certain they’d nevergive her that chance.
In reality, Prudy was not a prude at all. Shewas a sensitive and passionate woman. But she longed to actuallylive a life that was full of exciting experiences. Maybe the typesof experiences the heroines often had in the books she read. Shedreamed of romance and adventure.
Prudy was the town librarian and historian,known for constantly having her head in a book. With readingglasses perched on her nose and her hair pulled tightly back, shelooked every part the proper librarian. Her dark gray, very plainlinen suit further accentuated her strait-laced appearance.
Her Aunt Magnolia, called Maggie by most,often suggested that Prudy let her hair down, wear her contactlenses, and dress a bit less conservatively. Maybe then she wouldappear more approachable. And once people got to know her theywould see the beauty within and the passionate heart shepossessed.
Deep in thought and not paying muchattention, Prudy stepped on a stone lying on the sidewalk. Her footrolled over and she almost fell. She desperately fought to keep herbalance. Two high school aged girls on the other side of the streetsnickered and then giggled out loud at her unfortunate mishap.Prudy ignored them and continued on her way. She didn’t have timeto deal with such petty and immature nonsense. Not today.
This particular morning she arrived early towork. Prudy wanted to prepare for her meeting with a reporter forthe Coastal Press, who would be eager to glean her knowledge of thetown of Mystic Port. This summer marked the town’s 250thanniversary, and a huge parade and celebrations would be takingplace over the Labor Day weekend.
Prudy fumbled through the numerous keys onher large, brass key ring until she found the right one to unlockthe massive front door to the old, Italianate mansion, which servedas the library and historical society headquarters, as well ashousing the museum for the quaint, old seaport town of Mystic Port.The historic mansion was huge and quite impressive, with a ballroomthat had original gasoliers and chandeliers, and an entire wall oforiginal French doors that let out to an expansive portico andgardens beyond.
As she fumbled to find the right key, Prudythought about her rather lonely life, wondering if she’d ever findsomeone who shared her interests, especially her passion forAmerican history. Or perhaps a well educated but attractive man whoenjoyed literature and reading as much as she did. She yearned tohave an in-depth conversation with someone about something otherthan the weather or sports, or the latest gossip from theentertainment industry.
Ironically, Prudy rather enjoyed sports or agood movie, but she wanted much more than that; maybe some romanceand excitement. Prudy decided right at that moment that she wasgoing to take her aunt’s advice, expand her horizons and improveher appearance and sense of style, or the lack thereof. And to getstarted, she’d check out the beauty and fashion magazines in thelibrary during her lunch hour.
As she organized things at her desk, Prudyglanced at her watch and realized she still had thirty minutesbefore she would open the library and before Mr. Monroe was due toarrive. The sudden ringing of the library phone startled her. Itwas quite unusual for someone to be calling the library, especiallybefore it opened. She hoped it was not an emergency or bad news.Anxiously she answered, “Good morning, Mystic Port Library, MissTrivit speaking.”
“Good morning, Miss Trivit. This is DylanMonroe from the Coastal Press.”
“Yes, Mr. Monroe, may I help you?”
“I was just stopping by the Brew Awhile topick up my morning cup of Joe, and wondered if you might like me topick up a cup for you as well. Do you drink coffee?”
Taken a bit off guard, Prudy answeredhesitantly in the affirmative. “Yes…please, a small black coffeewould be great, and thank you, Mr. Monroe.”
“Please, call me Dylan. And may I call youPrudence?”
“Uh...my friends call me Prudy.”
“Very well, Prudy. I’ll see you soon.”
Prudy slowly lowered the phone, placing itgently down on its receiver. She wondered about this Dylan Monroe,as she wa

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