The Lost Knight of Arabia
95 pages
English

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95 pages
English

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Description

To whoever finds this journal:I started out this rainy November morning in 1988 as an archeology intern uncovering sunken treasure from the Steamboat Arabia, but due to circumstances I don’t understand, at the end of the day I found myself on board the Arabia, back in 1856, the year she sank. Thus Brianna begins her journal, finding herself rescued by Jake Worth, a passenger on the Arabia; a man with secrets of his own and no desire to be responsible for another human being. But fate has thrown them together, and while Bri can’t explain how she got there, she is fascinated by the fact that she is living the history she has only read about. Bri pulls Jake into the problems of the people on board almost on a daily basis and he reluctantly helps if only to keep her out of trouble. She is attracted to him, but since she wasn’t on the original manifest, she fears getting involved will alter history in some way. Yet when Jake comes to her in passion she can’t resist her feelings. As the steamboat paddlewheel takes them closer and closer to the fateful day when the Arabia sank, will they have a choice in their destiny?

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Publié par
Date de parution 03 septembre 2015
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781771456890
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0032€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.

Extrait

Lost Knight of Arabia
By Barbara Baldwin
 
Digital ISBNs
EPUB 9781771456890
Kindle 9781771456906
WEB PDF 9781771456913
 
Print ISBN 9781771456883
 

Copyright 2015 by Barbara Baldwin
Cover art by Michelle Lee Copyright 2015
 
 
All rights reserved. Without limiting therights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publicationmay be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval systemor 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.
 
 
 
Dear Readers,
 
In Kansas City, there is a museum whosepeople are dedicated to the preserving of artifacts from theSteamboat Arabia, sunk in 1856 and excavated in 1988. I have gonethere frequently since it opened in 1991, fascinated by the historyand romance of it all. I watched the video of the excavation,wandered through the displays, asked questions. I would takefriends and family every chance I had so I could see what else theyhad cleaned and preserved and put on display.
I read the researched articles from the timeshe sank in 1856 to later attempts to excavate. There were severaldiscrepancies in those original newspaper accounts – everythingfrom the actual date of her sinking, to the day of the week, thetime of the evening, and especially about the two hundred tons ofcargo headed for the frontier.
And one day, as my hand slid along theoriginal river route mural on the long wall by the boilers; as Iread town names, some of which no longer exist, I wondered – whatif there was one more discrepancy...
Chapter 1
 
To whoever finds this journal:
 
I don’t even know where to begin describingthis living nightmare, and so I’ve decided to write it all down. Istarted out this November morning in 1988 as an intern uncoveringsunken treasure from the Steamboat Arabia, and at the end of theday I am aboard the Arabia, back in the year 1856. Magic isn’treal; time travel can’t actually happen, except in the movies. I ama scientist and there must be a logical explanation. Besides, if Idon’t try to explain it, I will certainly go nuts.
Fact: The Steamboat Arabia sank in 1856 andafter the river channel shifted over the next one hundred thirtyyears, the boat has been found in a cornfield in Kansas. Anexcavation is underway to salvage the cargo, and as an archeologyPhD candidate, I have the opportunity to work at the dig site. Thiswhole thing must have started with the torrential downpour…

Even with thick wool socks and insulatedboots, Brianna’s feet were frozen, hampering her movements as sheshuffled through the muddy water. Twenty pumps hummed above thembut the forty-five foot deep hole in the middle of a cornfield wasclose enough to the river that it continued to fill with water.
Everyday new treasures were being found. Assoon as items were unearthed at the Arabia dig site they weretransported to a refrigeration storage company. It was paramountthat everything was frozen immediately to keep the air fromdeteriorating the cloth or wood. The restoration process wouldn’teven begin until all the artifacts were unearthed. The team had tobe in and out of the cornfield in a matter of months and Briconsidered herself extremely lucky to be part of the excavationteam.
She had been working tirelessly towards theforedeck of the steamboat where they had found glassware, beads,and other house wares, buried in mud and silt. The Arabia had sunkin less than ten minutes, listing to the side with such force thatmany of the crates of cargo had cracked or broken. Over the years,the wood of some of the barrels had disintegrated and now eachpiece of glass had to be removed by hand and rewrapped, thencarefully placed into a modern crate before it could be lifted outof the dig site and trucked to the warehouse.
She wiped the top of a small wooden box withher mitten. It was only as large as her hand, and she wonderedabout its owner and contents as she lifted the lid. She sighed. Whyhad she thought this item would be different? Everything theyunearthed was full of silt that had sifted in over the years tosurround and clump the contents together. She would have to dumpeverything onto one of the screens so the mud could be washed awaywithout losing the contents.
She groaned as she stood upright, aching fromthe long hours of tedious, backbreaking work. She scooped the boxcarefully into her mittened hands. Just as she began sloshing herway toward the screening area, a sharp crack of lightning wasfollowed by thunder close enough to shake the ground.
With no additional warning, the heavensopened, dumping a deluge of cold water over her yellow slicker. Thebox she held tumbled from her hands to bounce against the metaledge of the screening table. The rotted wood shattered and began tofloat away on a rivulet of rainwater.
“No,” Bri groaned, ripping off her mittens soshe could pluck the emerging items from the mud that ran off alongwith the water. Rain soaked her despite her raingear as she scoopedup a cold handful of mud and beads, dumping them into a plasticbucket for that purpose.
“Bri, get out!” One of the crew’s voicecaught her attention over the thunder and echoing sounds of rainpelting the exposed wood and metal pipes.
“Briana . . . now!”
This was the second rainstorm in the threeweeks she had been in Kansas City working at the Arabia site. Itwas hard enough for the pumps to keep water at a manageable levelon a sunny day. She had learned during the first rainstorm thatthey had no choice but to evacuate the huge, man-made hole becausethe water table rose frightfully fast.
Thunder crashed again, the vibrationsthrowing her against the table, bruising her hip. Something hardhit her shoulder and threw her off balance. She looked around forthe others but couldn’t see through the rain. She knew where theropes and ladders were. She could get out, but she’d betterhurry.
She glanced at the screening table one lasttime, bemoaning the temporary loss of artifacts. After the storm,she would have to start over. A hint of gold caught her eye and shescooped up a tiny ring, slipping it on her pinkie. Shuffling herfeet carefully so she didn’t inadvertently fall through the rottenwood, she made her way toward the ladder. The rain felt likeneedles against her face and her vision blurred.
A wall of water suddenly washed her feet outfrom under her. The rain had come so rapidly it was filling thehole and Bri fought to get back on her feet. Panic chocked herthroat as she tried to call for help. Icy water swirled around her,knocking her about until she had no idea what direction shefaced.
“Grab the rope!” The command came out ofnowhere and Bri didn’t hesitate. She splashed around trying to feelfor a rope; anything that would anchor her but she couldn’t see forthe muddy water running down her face.
“To my right – your left.”
She pried her eyes open as she continuedgroping for a lifeline. Through the sheet of rain she could see aweak beam of light above her. Where were the huge spotlights thatshone on the dig site all day and night? Where was the noise fromthe pumps that had been audible even over the thunder? Had theyshut everything down in the wake of the storm?
All she could hear was the roar of the waterand an unfamiliar chug-chug sound. She lifted her hand to wipe therain and mud away from her eyes and immediately sank beneath thewater. She had to get rid of the boots and jacket weighting herdown. She held her breath, struggling and kicking and wiggling asblackness flirted at the edge of her brain.
Oh, God, I can’t drown in a corn field in themiddle of nowhere! She hadn’t lived her life yet; she hadn’t made aname for herself in the world of archeology. She hadn’t loved! Shesobbed silently as swirling water sucked her under.
 
* * *
 
“Haul me up!” Jake yelled, brackish waterchoking him as he locked his arms around the unconscious lump ofhumanity. Why the hell had he jumped over the side of the paddlewheeler into dark swirling water to save anyone? He was normally avery self-serving man, looking out only for his own interests. Heknew it and accepted it.
As the Captain’s men hauled on the rope tiedbeneath his arms, banging him and his burden against the wood sidesof the boat, he tried to shut out the demons in his head. It hadn’tbeen a heroic effort on his part; it had been the act of a coward.He had come to the end of his endurance and thought perhaps jumpinginto the raging river would put an end to the misery of his ownlife. Instead, he was being yanked back into that existence.
With a thud, he landed on the first deck ofthe steamboat, gasping for breath and shivering. Someone pried hisfingers apart and he realized he still clutched the unconsciousbody he had hauled out of the water. As soon as he rolled away, ablanket was tossed over his shoulders and he tugged it close aroundhimself. Hell, he couldn’t do anything right.
Two years ago, his incompetence had cost himhis family and when he tried to drown himself in liquor, he’d passout before drinking enough to end his troubles. Then he had turnedto gambling – hence his reason for being aboard the steamboat – butinstead of losing everything he owned, he had unbelievable luck atcards. Now, instead of finishing his life, he had inadvertentlysaved another, and if the audience around him was any indication,they thought hi

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