BOOK DETAILS

Galveston: 1900: Indignities, Book One: The Arrival

Galveston: 1900: Indignities, Book One: The Arrival

by N. E. Brown

ISBN: 9780989474887

Publisher Mindstir Media

Published in Romance/Historical, Mystery & Thrillers/Mystery, Literature & Fiction/Genre Fiction, Romance, Mystery & Thrillers, Literature & Fiction

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Book Description

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A young 15 year old girl is orphaned shortly after arriving in America in 1898 and is stalked by a drifter who wants her for himself. Romance, danger and fleeing a dangerous man wanted for several murders challenges her livelihood and future. All of this is happening while the city of Galveston is unaware of the devastation from a monstrous hurricane in 1900 that is brewing in the gulf, killing thousands and threatens to wipe the city off the map forever.

Sample Chapter

Catherine Grace Eastman was gazing out the window of St. Mary’s Orphan’s Home as she had done on numerous occasions. It was peaceful watching the sea of waves crash on the rocks as the evening tide began its nightly ritual of dancing over the sandy beaches and seashells, each time inching a little closer to the shoreline. The seagulls were still filling their bellies with the evening catch of the day and she could see the dim lights of a ship that looked to be miles away at sea. Was it coming or going, she thought to herself. Catherine began to fight back the tears that were filling her eyes. Why, after all this time did it still hurt so much? Catherine cried to herself. She was fifteen years old when she left her home in Sandgate, England on July 7, 1898, and traveled to America with her mother, Anne Eastman. Her younger sister, Whitney, had died six months earlier from the fever. Prior to that her father, Adam Eastman, and older brother, Henry, had died in a horrible accident. It was all behind her now and she needed to prepare herself for her future outside the orphanage. At least that is what Sister Maria DePaul kept reminding her. Catherine was going to be sixteen on her next birthday in January and there were choices she would have to make that would affect the rest of her life.

Catherine stopped daydreaming and looked around the small room filled with baskets of children’s clothing that had been donated by the church’s parishioners and other baskets with clothing in need of repair or to be remade into clothing for the smaller children. She liked sewing. Her mother had been a seamstress and it was one way Catherine could feel close to her mother. When she was growing up in Sandgate she would often watch her mother sew, and after her studies and lesson plans were completed, she helped her mother with cutting the fabric and pinning the seams together. The Singer sewing machine that Catherine was using now was the same one that accompanied her and her mother on their journey to America. Her father had bought the sewing machine for his wife from a down-on-his luck sailor who was a drinking buddy of Adam’s. The sailor’s mother had apparently passed away suddenly and the sailor was getting rid of anything he could sell in order to raise money for his own family. Sewing machines in the small village were hard to come by, and Adam didn’t mind using his weekly wages to buy it for Anne. The sewing machine would help Anne sew clothing more quickly so they could be sold to the local merchants.

Sandgate was a small fishing village in England and ships would stop there on the way to other destinations. Clothing was much in demand and on many occasions the ships’ captains would place orders with Anne to sew clothing for their wives or mistresses, whichever was the case. In any event, it provided Catherine’s family with extra money to live on. Some of the money went into a small tin canister that her mother kept in the kitchen cupboard.

“We are going to America someday,” said Anne.

“We will get a new start there. More opportunity for your father to find work and I can sell my clothing for more money there,” she told Catherine.

If only they had stayed in Sandgate, thought Catherine. Those were happier times and now she had to look to the future.

Sandgate spanned almost three kilometres of the Kent coastline between Folkston and Hyde and fringed the English Channel. The quaint little village the Eastman’s called home was clustered atop steep rocky slopes and overlooked the English Channel. It was on one of these steep slopes that Adam and Catherine’s older brother, Jacob, had fallen to their deaths on October 10, 1897. That morning, Adam and Jacob had left home early hoping to reset the fishing nets before sunrise. The heavy rains the night before had weakened the winding road over the cliffs at Lizard Point. The early morning was just waking up as the sun began to sneak over the horizon. Large puddles of water and early morning fog gave little indication that a small curve in the road had been washed away and danger was ahead. With no warning in sight, Jacob, Adam, and the family horse, Jess Belle, tumbled down the rocky slope along with the sulky they were riding on, falling onto the rocks below just above the Lizard Peninsula.

They were supposed to be home early afternoon and by evening Anne began to fear the worst. She left a lantern on in the front window and she held her Bible in her hand as she began to pray. Anne tried to hide her anxiety from Catherine and Whitney, and told them that the men had probably found shelter at a friend’s home near the fishing pier. Anne sent her daughters to bed that evening after a quiet dinner and she finally fell asleep in her rocking chair. The next morning Amos Slaughter, the lighthouse keeper, woke Anne by pounding his fist on the door. He was very sorry to disturb her at this early hour, but as he was making his morning rounds, he noticed a pile of rubble at the bottom of the cliff. He originally thought that it was something that had been a part of a boat that had washed up on the rocks, but after a closer inspection he discovered the wooden planks of the sulky and tack that was still attached to the horse. Jacob’s body was discovered several feet away, sprawling over the rocks and seaweed. Adam’s body was found lifeless on a small boulder ten feet above his son.

Catherine never quite understood why her mother wanted to leave Sandgate. Perhaps there were too many memories there. It was always her father who had dreamed of going to America. She had overheard her parents discussing some of the events regarding the Boer War and that they should leave England before her father was forced to join the English Navy. Catherine and her younger sister, Whitney, were happy in Sandgate. They loved the townspeople, and although they had no close relatives that she knew of, this little village was her home. But home or not, the cottage was just too much for the Eastman girls to keep up. Without the extra income Adam and Jacob had brought in from their fishing business, Anne was falling behind in their mortgage to the bank. To make matters worse, Whitney began to run a fever and needed constant care. Catherine tried to help her mother keep up with the sewing, but customers became disgruntled and began to take their business elsewhere.

“We need to sell the cottage,” said Anne.

“But mother, where will we go?” asked Catherine.

After a thoughtful moment Anne replied, “America…we will go to America.”

Selling the cottage was the least of Anne’s worries. Whitney’s health began to fail. After several days, she was not getting any better and Anne worried that the trip to America would be too hard for her. The doctor told Anne that Whitney most likely would not be able to survive the trip and that she would not be able to get a clean health card, which was required of all passengers making the trip abroad. That evening Whitney died in her sleep as Anne was reading Whitney’s favorite story to her. She was only nine years old. Catherine and her mother wept in each others arms. That night Catherine slept in her mother’s bed and wondered what life was going to be like in America. She loved her sister and couldn’t imagine their life without her.

“We cannot question God’s will. We must find strength in everything and move forward,” Anne said to Catherine.

Whitney was buried alongside her father, brother, and her mother’s parents in the family plot at Lowery Cemetery outside of Sandgate. The ride home in their neighbor’s buggy seemed endless. When they reached the cottage, their neighbors, John and Celia Emory, asked if they could come in to discuss the possibility of buying the Eastman’s cottage. Anne was surprised at their request as they had never mentioned their interest in the cottage before now.

Continues...

Excerpted from "Galveston: 1900: Indignities, Book One: The Arrival" by N. E. Brown. Copyright © 2013 by N. E. Brown. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Author Profile

N. E. Brown

N. E. Brown

After a successful career in real estate, N. E. Brown retired and began pursuing her passion for writing. Being a native Texan, Ms. Brown’s love of Texas history inspires her to create true-to-life fictional characters from the past. She has written and published six novels. This is the fifth book in her Galveston, 1900, Indignities Series. In 2014 she published Carson Chance, P.I., Over the Edge, a romantic suspense which takes place in Dallas, Texas, during the 1960s. Having been a legal secretary during that time in Dallas, her eye for detail brings about a memorable life experience between two young people who are destined to find love a real challenge. It is not only available in paperback and e-books, but is now an audio book. Mrs. Brown lives in East Texas with her husband and continues to write.

View full Profile of N. E. Brown

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