Hello. I am Gene Burns, and this is what I think. This is also what was told to me by my great great grandfather, Orion Burns, about a moment that defined his life. All lives are made up of defining moments, and the events that follow those moments. This story is about these people, and the moments that defined their history...
MORTIMER CADOGAN, ESQ. – a country squire. The eldest son of a wealthy family.
JULIA CADOGAN MELVILLE – his sister.
JAMES MELVILLE – her husband, best friend of NEVILLE CLANCY. While in the royal navy they went by “Neville and Me'ville”.
FLORA REID – a country maiden, first love of MORTIMER CADOGAN ESQ.
ELIZABETH TOLIVER CLANCY – a kind young woman, second love of MORTIMER CADOGAN, ESQ.
CHARLES TOLIVER – her brother.
NEVILLE CLANCY – her husband. A gentleman officer in the royal navy.
MORTIMER CLANCY – their daughter, called “Maggie”.
PHILLIP MELVILLE – son of JULIA CADOGAN and JAMES MELVILLE
EUSTACE REID – son of FLORA REID. A scholarly young man
ORION BURNS – shoplad at Burns Printing Co. Nephew of the owner.
You may have to look back at this list as new people are introduced into this story. I know that I would have, if I had this list as the story was being told to me. Imagine for a moment that we are not in America in the twenty-first century, but in England in the nineteenth. This is where, and when the story of two people both named Mortimer begins. But it is not where it ends. I, Gene Burns, am proof of how a certain Eustace Reid, in one defining moment, forever changed the lives of both Mortimers, and, through my great great grandfather, who met one of them, me. So we are back to twenty-first century America again. But forget that. Forget what is around you. Close your eyes to everything but the words on these pages, and let your mind take you back into the world of these people. They are real. They make mistakes. They do good things, and bad. They remember other real people. And maybe, just maybe, reading this book will be a defining moment in your life.