A/N: Just an idea that came to me as I was going for the hundredth time through a Sherlock Holmes story-the "Gloria Scott". Any suggestions are welcome!
Bear with me!
A loud wail broke me from my restless sleep. Sighing, I rubbed my eyes with filthy hands and pulled my hair back from where it was stuck to my forehead with cold sweat. This was the way my nightmares had been broken for the past few days. By the pathetic howls of my fellow prisoners as they were tortured mercilessly. It was by far much more disturbing than the constant jerking of the waves beneath us.
Leaning against the wall of my cell, I peeped through a crack in the worn wood. This crack had become my best friend in the two days I had been in this cell. It was my only link to the glorious world outside. It allowed my only source of light to travel into the cubicle, sharing with me a drop of its warmth. My cell was situated at the side of the ship that we were sailing in. So I could see the vast expanse of water through the crack.
Staring out into the sea which was turning dark blue as the sun began to fall into the horizon, I brought back memories of the past month. It had all gone too fast for me to remember everything.
But that one fateful day…it was seared into my memory permanently. Never would I forget it…
The bright sun was beating down cheerfully on the De Silva Farm. The pristine English countryside was green and fresh.
A tanned farm boy, looking about twenty two years of age, strolled down the country lane towards the farm. He was leading two mares.
"Oi! De Silva!"
The young man looked up at hearing his name.
"Morning, Jim. Any news from the village?" he replied to the boy who had called him, his Spanish accent distinct.
"Of course, and a very exciting one too. You won't believe it, Jesse. Lord Tralton is coming to stay here for the shooting season!" said Jim.
Jesse raised his eyebrows. "Here in the village?"
Jim rolled his eyes. "Of course not. He has his summer residence beside the parsonage."
Jesse sighed. "That means we'll have to save the best of the coveys for him. He'll want to shoot in our park; it provides the best shooting in the county."
Jim nodded enthusiastically, his red curls bouncing up and down.
"And I was hoping to practice my shooting properly this time. Goodbye to that idea" Jesse grumbled.
"Look here, Jesse. I have to go; my Mama will get into one of her usual fits if I'm not home soon. Remember to check the Lord's horse, alright? I'll be back to hear all about it!" said Jim, cycling off home at top speed.
Shaking his head and muttering under his breath, Jesse continued on to his house.
The trotting of hooves on the ground outside brought Jesse's attention away from the novel he was reading. Looking at the great grandfather clock in the corner of the sitting room, he saw the time was ten past four.
"Good afternoon, Lord Tralton!" said Mrs. de Silva, ushering the nobleman in. "It is an honor to have you here, sir!"
Jesse and his younger sister Josefina glanced at each other then looked away, rolling their eyes. Their mother had the habit of being a little too…welcoming.
After tea, Mrs. de Silva turned to her son. "Jesse, go with the Lord into the park. It is quite big; he will need somebody to show him around."
Jesse bowed his head slightly. "Yes, mother."
Ten minutes later, he and Lord Tralton were in the woods. Birds chirped and the leaves swayed with the breeze.
"Don't you have a gamekeeper, young man?" asked the Lord.
"We do, sir. Unfortunately he has taken leave at the moment."
Lord Tralton did not answer. He had spotted a potential kill and was quietly trying to position himself properly.
Jesse caught sight of a singular bird and began moving towards it and away from the nobleman. Quietly he crept towards it, his gun ready. When he was about close enough, however, he stepped on a dried leaf. The crunching sound alerted the bird of its danger and it took flight immediately.
Cursing under his breath, Jesse turned back to find the Lord. He was surprised the Lord hadn't called out for him, since he had not heard a gunshot either.
"Lord Tralton?" spoke Jesse loudly. He walked into the little clearing where he had left the Lord and gasped at the sight which met him.
Lord Tralton was backed up against a tree, white with fear. Standing about ten feet away from him was a stranger, his pistol cocked at the lord. The nobleman's gun was lying some distance away from him.
Jesse was surprised he hadn't heard the scuffle which must have taken place to separate the Lord from his gun.
"Don't even try to point that thing at me" spoke the stranger threateningly to Jesse, gesturing towards his gun. "One move from you and he-" he jerked his pistol, still pointing at Lord Tralton, "-dies."
Jesse was paralyzed with fear. Never had he been confronted with such a situation. He was a young man with strength and a sharp mind. But this kind of life and death circumstances, he had never dealt with.
Before he could process the situation properly, however, a loud gunshot was heard. Jesse's eyes widened.
"Lord Tralton!" he cried, running towards the wounded man. He got there and knelt next to him. His shirt and hands got soaked with the Lord's blood. Even though Jesse tried to help him, he knew it was a lost cause. The shot was from a close proximity and straight to the heart.
So absorbed was he by the Lord Tralton, that Jesse didn't notice the killer drop his pistol beside him and quickly slip away. It was at that moment that Jim entered the clearing.
"Jesse! I got a look at…" his voice faded away with his smile. His jaw slackened and his eyes widened.
"Jim! Help me bring the Lord home! Come on qui... Jim? Quickly!" cried Jesse desperately.
"Jesse…" Jim started in a scared whisper. "You…you…killed…?"
This time, Jesse's eyes widened. "NO! I…Jim you cannot possibly think that I…Jim!"
The red headed boy took one last frightened glance at Jesse and hurried away as fast as he could to get the police.
It was the third of June. The whole country mourned for the death of a respected nobleman. Nobody took notice of the innocent young man being convicted for a crime not his own.
And so he was hauled off with the other prisoners off into a world completely different to his own.
End of Flashback
If I had kept track of the days correctly, today was the thirtieth of June. After many weeks of court cases I was here aboard the Dreadnought, a convict ship, bound for Australia.
A/N: First chapter done! We'll be seeing our favourite mediator in the next chapter! (Though she isn't a mediator in this story.)
Also I want to say that I am against hunting. I put it in the story, however, because that's what they used to do during those times and I wanted to get my facts correct.