A Grandfather's Legacy

By: Juliet James

Prologue

December 28th

Grays

Essex

1811

Angus Mackensie sat propped up in his bed knowing his time was near. He had just spent what would be his last Christmas with his family and so had asked for them to visit him here so he could have a final talk with each of them. Firstly, was his eldest son, Cameron Mackensie who was much like himself. He had always worked very hard, but unlike Angus had spent much of his time at sea. However, he had still managed to spend enough time with his devoted wife, Stephanie to father three children.

Gilroy, who was now seventeen took after Angus in looks and had inherited the Mackensie red hair, albeit darker than his own. Next, there was Rose who at eleven was already showing a stubborn streak and lastly was Bonnie, a year younger and named after her grandmother, but resembled Angus in looks. Funnily enough it was Rose who was the image of her grandmother and reminded him.

His younger son, Alistair was much different from Angus and Cameron, and had when he was a boy had gone through a rebellious stage which had resulted in an unsuitable marriage that had caused a rift in their relationship that had taken a long time to heal.

Alistair also had a son, Calder, who was a year younger than Gilroy, but like his own father was also showing signs of rebellion. Alistair also had a daughter, Alana.

Angus called each one of Cameron’s children over to him. Firstly, was Gilroy who was a very handsome boy and why shouldn’t he be, Angus had been handsome himself in his day. A very long time ago now, he thought ruefully.

Angus took the lad’s hand in his, “now, Gilroy, remember what we talked about the other night, you have one more year at school, finish that and spend three years at sea, if you do not want to make it your life after that, then your father will make sure you learn all you can about the shipping business from dry land. I’ve left something in my will for you, which you’ll get when you’re twenty-one and not before.”

“Thank you, sir, I shall do as you ask.” Gilroy was wise enough not to press the old man about his decision, knowing already that it did not matter whether he had three years at sea or ten, he would never love the sea as his father did.

The lad shook his grandfather’s hand and Angus could see tears threatened at his eyes but he kept them in check as he turned and left the room. Angus was not worried about Gilroy, he knew he had a sensible head on his shoulders. Now his other grandson, well that was a different matter.

Next to say goodbye was Rose, who was pretty but at ten showed no inkling of what she was going to be like when she reached womanhood. So, there was not much to say, “well lass, right now, you’ll not understand what I’m talking about, but I have written you a letter as I have with all my grandchildren, which you will receive on your twenty-first birthday along with some special gifts So when you reach your majority, which will be a long time coming you will understand better.”

Rose, who was extremely fond of her grandfather wiped the tears away from her eyes with the back of her hand. “Father says you are going away and we will not see you for a very, very long time. Is that true, Grandfather?”

“Yes, Rose, I am afraid I have no choice in the matter but even though you cannot see me, I shall still be able to see you.”

“You are going to heaven, aren’t you, Grandfather?”

I sincerely hope so. thought Angus, he certainly did not wish to be in the same place as Randolph Chastain his long-time nemesis.

He gazed fondly at his granddaughter as he spoke, “Yes, Rose I am afraid so but whenever you feel melancholy, look at the brightest star in the sky and it will be me. I shall be there watching over you.”

Lastly was Bonnie who at six had showed a love of horses so much, that Angus had specifically bought a stables and land not far from here, that would one day be hers. As you know lass, my stables Torwood Park and all my thoroughbreds will one day be yours, look after them well.”

“I will, Grandfather.”

Angus did not say they would be hers until she married. He had left her a letter explaining his actions and hoped by the time she reached twenty-one she would understand the reason for his actions.

Now it was Alistair who came over with his daughter. Angus did not think he had ever seen a more beautiful girl in his life as Alana Mackensie. She was going to be a heartbreaker and that was for sure. Her thick red hair was tied loosely with a pink ribbon, her emerald green eyes shone so brightly, like the jewels themselves. He could never know how she would turn out but he had a feeling the man who ended up with her would have a hard task trying to control her.

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