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TRAITOR’S WAIT
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ISBN-10: 1-55404-419-7
ISBN-13: 
Genre: Fiction/Adventure/Suspense/Thriller
eBook Length: 367 Pages
Published: January 2007



From inside the flap

    
Time does not change the psyche of man. Those in power will do anything to retain their control. When you mix the supremacy of power  (Divine Right) of kings and religious battles between the Holy Catholic Church and those heretics outside the one true religion then the use of greed, lust and murder are the tools that are necessary for success.
 
In the battle between kings, rulers and those who commanded from the pulpit, one of man’s greatest weaknesses is avarice. The Duke in the small Duchy of Savoy is the key to keeping the Catholic forces from taking control of Europe. The duke knows his loyalty is in demand between the protestant heretics and the Catholic Church and its supreme supporter Louis XIV, the king of France, but he has a greater loyalty than to kings or pontiffs and that is to himself. The offer of a bribe of one million pounds in gold will cause the league of
Augsburg or the Grand Alliance to defeat the most powerful king in Europe Louis XIV.
 
The gold bribe from William III of England was being sent in a convoy of over 160 merchant ships and 40 man’o’war. The convoy was supplying the forces fighting against Louis XIV. The gold was on board the flagship of the British Navy, HMS Sussex. Yet secrets are never kept for long and powers are at work to stop the Sussex from arriving.
 
This is a story involves both love and greed; politics and deceit; and life and death. From the moment the Sussex sailed from England in 1693 to the present day the hunt for nine tons of gold treasure has affected the lives of anyone who gets entwined in its tale. It brings out the worst in men and perhaps the best of man.  Follow a love story that brings a modern couple to a cliff overlooking the Atlantic where 300 years before a young woman waited for her lover and watched the convoy approach. Traitor’s Wait, a cliff becomes a symbol where hopes are destroyed and hearts are broken.


TRAITOR’S WAIT (Excerpt)


Prologue

Rubin Zimmerman stood looking out to sea. He could feel the wind sweeping in from the North Atlantic. Anyone who spent time near the sea or on it couldn’t help but respect the power that often shattered the lives of any mortals daring to invade its realm. For centuries the sea had taken its toll on voyagers who risked their lives in ships or boats. Anyone who thought a ship, even with mighty engines and steel re-enforced decks and cutting bows, could match the might of the ocean either was a fool or a neophyte to its power.

It didn’t matter what type of ship you had or the horse power rating of the engines; man was the interloper, the trespasser, and any time he dared risk his life or that of those under him, it was at the benevolence of the ocean to decide if they would reach their destination safely. He had been out there, just beyond the horizon, fighting a losing battle. Once again, man in his stupidity or cheapness had taken a risk and lost. The oil tanker Prestige was not alone. Dozens of ships too had felt the power and crash of gigantic waves that crossed their bows and smothered them. Some perhaps by a miracle had survived; others were less fortunate.

The Mayday call was not unexpected. The information sent from satellites and weather ships told of a mighty storm having the wide expanse of the ocean to whip the seas and the currents into a cauldron of fury where only the foolhardy would dare to go. The captain on board the oil tanker Prestige soon discovered it was losing oil and his cargo of 77,000 tons of crude was spreading in black viscous gobs onto the surface of the ocean and below.

Single-skinned ships, especially oil tankers, had been found to be no longer safe. Having only a few centimetres of steel confining tons of oil within a ship on the sea was just asking for disaster. The United Nations had recommended that only double-hulled ships were acceptable. Everyone agreed in principle, but hundreds of single-hulled ships still carried oil across the world’s oceans.

The buzzing of the cell phone drew his attention from the disaster on the beach to the demands of the telephone.

"Hello, Rubin here. Yes, I’m not surprised. The wind is blowing at more than 60 knots. There isn’t a chance in hell that the skimmers can be launched, let alone retrieve any oil. No, the weather forecast isn’t promising either. Those bloody fools should have towed the ship farther out to sea; one hundred and sixty km is far too close and with this wind more oil will be ashore in about five hours. Give me a call if anything happens. Perhaps the Portuguese destroyer and the Spanish frigate can stop playing stupid games and get working together or else Spain and Portugal will be facing an environmental catastrophe."

How long would the storm last? Down on the beach, hundreds of volunteers worked, shoveling up the oil that had already come ashore. It was hard unrewarding work, and as quickly as one sector of the shoreline was cleaned, more oil would come ashore. Behind him the curious were gathering; they would be better down on the beach working to prevent the permanent staining of the land. He looked up and saw a horse galloping in his direction. The horse was as black as the oil gathering on the beach. Its rider was dressed in the same shade. Black was the colour of death and death was happening below where seabirds were dying in the viscous shroud of Arabian Oil.

This part of Spain with its sheer cliffs and narrow beaches seemed remote and inhospitable to anyone coming here. But this land has seen the invaders from many parts of the world. The Moors from Africa have left a permanent reminder of their language, and their fortresses and horses.

In one isolated peak called Traitor’s Wait, stories leading back into time tell of a Princess who sought the isolation and possibly the loneliness of a stone lookout to watch life pass by. From this place the sea spreads out below and onto the horizon. Events and ships famous in history could have been observed from here. Nelson’s battle at Trafalgar in his ship the Victory, the Spanish Armada, Columbus’s ships passed beyond the horizon from here on their journey to the New World, and out there in the centre of the storm the Bismarck had been destroyed by the might of the British navy. Now, just beyond, another event was happening. It couldn’t be categorized as something highlighting men’s development but rather another of his failures. The storm was in its most vindictive mood. The tanker Prestige was breaking up. The experts who had fought to save both the ship and its cargo could only watch as the vessel broke in two and slowly sank 1000 metres to the ocean floor. Perhaps the pressure on the hull might keep the oil contained, but nothing was certain and if the 77,000 tons escaped, nothing could save the coastline of Spain and Portugal from ruin.

The woman rider arrived out of breath and her horse was covered in sweat, for both had come from a distance to see the magnitude of the unfolding disaster.

"Tomelo con calma companero, she said in Spanish.

"It’s not a very pretty sight is it?" he said in English.

For a moment he didn’t think she heard him, then she turned her head and her eyes focused on him for the first time. "It’s terrible, those fishermen below won’t be fishing again this year. The criminals responsible should be thrown in jail."

Rubin nodded his head. "I think thousands would agree with you. But now the damage is done. That ship won’t last the night if this weather keeps up, and then the rest of the oil will come ashore."

Her eyes hardened, which made her attractive face change into an angry mask as she recognized the insignia on his coat. "You’re one of them. Are you satisfied now? How does it feel playing God?"