New York City
October 2, 1780
Annie crept inside the deserted house. The occupants had left over an hour ago and were no doubt on their way to getting drunk. She had watched as they left the residence and walked down the street towards a local tavern. She had no doubt that they were going to lament the recent passing of their beloved and honorable Major Andre. She sneered in the darkness. Honorable my ass she thought to herself. Her only regret was that she hadn’t been there to tighten the noose around his neck. But, his death had been beneficial in many ways. For one, the world had one less rapist to worry about. Secondly, his hanging had provided Annie with the perfect excuse to be left alone, seeing as the world believed she was in grieving for her beloved John. Finally, his death provided her with a once in a lifetime opportunity to spy on his fellow soldiers. She knew tomorrow that security would be tightening around the city. People would become suspicious of their neighbors. But tonight everyone was grieving which, in the soldiers’ case, meant getting wasted.
Quietly, she left her hiding spot and walked around to the back door of the house. She picked the lock and slid through the partially open door. Once inside she closed the door and re-locked it. No sense alerting someone that she was here, not that she suspected any of them would be back anytime soon. She made her way up to the second floor where all the bedrooms were located. She took her time in each room, snapping pictures of documents on her phone. She would decipher them later. For the most part the documents were personal correspondence from friends and family. To the naked eye it appeared to be nothing. Still, Annie needed to be sure. There were a few maps which would prove to be beneficial to the leaders of the Continental Army. She would re-draw them then put them in the drop later. She was on her last room when she finally found something out of the ordinary. It was a short note written in a feminine hand. It read:
Meeting at 1 A.M., October 3 on the docks to discuss retaliation for death of Major Andre. Come alone.
Annie checked the clock in the room. It was half-past midnight. If she left now she could make it to the meeting. Quickly, she took snapshots of the remaining documents then hurried out of the house and made her way to the docks. She ventured down deserted alleyways instead of using the main roads. Granted most of the people she would pass would no doubt be too drunk to notice her strange attire, she did not want to take a chance. She reached the docks with two minutes to spare. Doing her best to hide in the shadows, she searched the docks for any sign of life. Eventually she heard hushed murmurs coming from behind a building. Annie crept over and listened.
“Should we be meeting like this?” The deep voice had no accent.
“My presence won’t be missed. Everyone is too drunk to notice anything tonight,” another man replied. He had a heavy Scottish accent.
“It’s not your presence I’m worried about,” the other man replied.
“Don’t worry, this won’t take long Oliver,” the man with the Scottish accent replied.
“Well, she’d better hurry. I don’t have a lot of time.” Oliver sounded nervous to Annie’s ears. “Where the hell is she?”
At that moment a set of light footsteps sounded on the wooded dock. “I’m sorry I’m late gentlemen. It was hard for me to get away,” the voice belonged to a woman. Annie went pale with shock, she knew that voice.
“Why did you call us here,” Oliver said.
“I believe I made the purpose of this meeting quite clear. We need to plan our retaliation to Major Andre’s death. This crime cannot go unpunished,” the woman replied.
“The town is already being scoured for spies, although it is a moot point. Robert Townsend has disappeared. He was our most likely suspect. But we’ll find him,” the man with the Scottish accent replied.
“Thank you Connor, but this crime requires something far more substantial than the rounding up of spies. What I have in mind will bring the war to an end and punish all those involved.”
“And what exactly do you have in mind?” It was Oliver who spoke.
“Why that’s simple. We’re going to kill General Washington,” the woman stated.
“Kill General Washington,” Oliver replied incredulously.
“Yes. It’s a marvelous idea don’t you think?” The woman gave a maniacal laughed. “Without their fearless leader the movement will crumble. Then we can punish the so called patriots and bring life back to normal.”
“It’s not that the idea doesn’t have merit, but getting to General Washington will not be easy. He is constantly surrounded by officers who would die to protect him,” Oliver said.
“Yes, I know that. I’m not a dolt,” the woman replied. “But I have heard he is an incredibly compassionate man to those that serve him. He would never suspect a woman in his employ to be capable of hurting him.”
“But certainly you cannot go. Your family are well known loyalists. He would suspect you,” Connor said.
“I know. I have another person in mind.”
“Is it someone we can trust?”
“Yes. Why after the death of Major Andre I would think she would be eager to aid us,” the woman replied.
“You honestly cannot be talking about...” Oliver’s question was interrupted by the woman.
“Yes, I’m talking about Annie Johnson. We are good friends, plus she was quite close to Major Andre. Why the news of his death has hit her so hard that she has declined callers for the day, choosing to stay secluded in her room. Also, as you have informed me, General Washington has remained blissfully unaware of Major Andre’s social life so he will have no idea who Annie is. It is the perfect solution.”
“And just how do you plan on persuading Miss Johnson to join our cause,” Oliver asked. He was nervous. This whole idea was riddled with holes.
“Annie has a very deep sense of justice. She will not want Major Andre’s death to go unpunished. As long as I present it to her in the right terms she’ll agree.”
“Fine. What do you need us to do,” Oliver asked.
“First of all I need you to maintain your cover. I also need you to keep me apprised of the General’s movements. I will speak to Annie. I’ll give her a couple of days to grieve then I’ll approach her with my plan. Once I’ve gained her cooperation I’ll message you then we can plan the perfect time to execute General Washington.”
“Very well. Is that all?” Oliver was anxious to leave.
“Yes. I’ll contact you soon. For now just maintain your cover.”
“I will. Goodnight.”
Annie listened as the trio went their separate ways. She remained hidden long after the group left the docks. Her body shook with anger and shock. The two men had been strangers to her. But the woman, well the woman was well known to her. She spoke to her almost daily and had considered her to be a dear friend. Apparently the woman felt the same way, because now, Madison Carter, intended to recruit her to kill General Washington.