Forging Forever

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Chapter 46

Annie was awakened a few hours later by a soft nudge. “Miss Johnson,” a woman’s voice said.

Annie slowly opened her eyes and looked at the stranger. “Yes,” she mumbled.

“Miss Johnson, the General bids you to come immediately,” the woman informed her. She was older than Annie, but not elderly. She looked to be in her forties. She had kind brown eyes and her brown hair was pulled back into a tight bun.

“Of course,” Annie replied. She was wide awake now. She rolled out of the cot and pulled on her cloak then followed the woman out of the tent. They made their way towards a large house. Once they walked in, Annie was shown into a small and cozy sitting room.

“Just wait here. He’ll be right down,” the woman said then left. Annie sat down in an armchair and waited for General Washington. She didn’t have to wait long.

“So you are the famous Agent 355,” the General said as soon as he closed the sitting room doors.

Annie stood from her seat and nodded. “I am sir.”

“It is a pleasure that we are finally meeting. I suspect that I have much to thank you for,” he said. “Please sit, we have much to talk about.”

Annie sat back down in the armchair. General Washington sat across from her. He looked much the same as he did in the portraits she had seen of him. It was nice to see the man behind the picture. She could see his intelligence reflected in his eyes. He was a commanding character, and she had no doubt he could be intimidating if need be, but right now he appeared relaxed. “Yes we do, General Washington,” she replied.

“Please, you may call me George when we are alone,” he smiled.

“Then you must call me Annie in private and Miss Johnson in public.”

He nodded. “So I understand you have been sent here to ‘assassinate’ me,” he said.

“Yes. The woman and her conspirators had no idea I was already working undercover for the American’s when they recruited me.”

“Well, I am glad that they approached you and not someone else. Now I can learn of the traitors in my ranks. I suppose you have a few names for me.”

“I do. I’m not sure if these are all the traitors. It was my intention to watch them tomorrow and see if they conspire with anyone else. Unfortunately I cannot stay long. I have other matters, personal matters, that I must attend to.”

“I understand,” he said. “Now, for the names.”

“Of course,” she said. “The name of the woman who organized this attempt is Madison Carter. She and her husband are fierce loyalists living in New York City. I am not entirely sure if her husband is involved in this plot, he and I never spoke privately and Madison never mentioned him during our meetings concerning this matter. As for the two traitors in your camp, their names are Oliver Hughes and Connor Donnelly. I know that Oliver is a Captain. I’m not sure of Mr. Donnelly’s rank or purpose here. Those are the only names I can give you George. I’m sorry that I don’t have more information for you.”

“Nonsense,” he waved his hand, “you have given me far more intelligence in the last few months than I have received in the years since this war started. I have several questions that I would like to ask you, if you don’t mind.”

“Not at all, ask away.”

“Tell me, how exactly did you uncover the plot between Major Andre and Benedict Arnold.”

“Of course.” For the next two hours she explained her relationship with Major Andre, the facts the she had uncovered, as well as the meeting she had overheard. She left out the more personal aspects of the story. General Washington did not need to be burdened with her personal problems. Besides, she would need his help when all of this was over.

“So you mean to tell me that you actually pursued a relationship with Major Andre?”

“Yes. I would do anything to help my country; to ensure our victory. I assure you the outcome of this war is incredibly important to me.”

“Well, you have done your country a great service Annie.”

“Thank you. It is my pleasure.”

“You’re welcome. Tell me, is there anything I can do to repay you? I cannot begin to thank you for how helpful you have been.”

“Actually, I do have one favor to ask.”

“Anything.”

“This will sound like a bizarre request, but I assure you it is necessary.”

“Very well.”

“I am to leave here tomorrow night by midnight. Once you have ferreted all of the traitors I would request that you perpetuate the rumor that myself and a man named Cameron Michael Evans have been captured by the British and died while in their custody. I wish I could tell you my motives for this strange request, but I cannot. Also, my name must never be mentioned when it comes to the identity of Agent 355. If you could do those two things for me I would be forever grateful.”

She watched as George considered her request. “It is a peculiar request, and I am curious as to what your motives are. But seeing as you have been so helpful to both me and our cause, I will grant you those two requests,” he agreed.

“Thank you sir. You have no idea how much this means to me.”

“It is my pleasure Annie. Now, I think it’s time you get back to your tent. You have much to accomplish before you leave tonight.”

“Thank you sir.”

George walked her to the door and shook her hand. “Just in case I do not get to see you before your departure, I would like to wish you a safe journey and a bright future. Your assistance has been greatly appreciated.”

“Thank you General Washington,” she used his official title just in case there was anyone within earshot. “It has been my pleasure to assist you. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have work to do.”

Annie walked out the door and back towards the tent. She dozed off for about two hours then awoke and left the tent before she could be summoned to the hospital tent. She had much surveillance to do and a limited amount of time to do it. As the sun rose she sought out Captain Hughes and began the task of discovering the other traitors in the camp.

Cameron packed the last of his and Annie’s things into his trunk then hauled it out into the hall. It was still early and most of the occupants of the boardinghouse were still asleep. Quietly, he carried the trunk down the stairs and into the kitchen where Mary was making breakfast for him. Despite the relatively short trip to the house in Nissequogue, he wanted to get an early start. He still had a couple things he needed to do before he left the city.

“Good morning Mary,” he said when he entered the kitchen.

“Good morning Cameron,” she replied quietly.

“You didn’t have to make me breakfast. I could’ve figured out something for myself.”

“Nonsense, I wanted to see you off. You’re one of the few boarder’s here that I consider a friend.”

“I thank you for the fine compliment.”

“Sit down and eat. Amos is getting your carriage ready.”

“I appreciate it.”

Mary nodded then handed Cameron a plate of eggs, bacon, and potatoes. “This is more than I ever could have asked for Mary. Thank you,” he said then tore into his food. He would miss Mary’s cooking. He had never actually tasted Annie’s cooking. However, he had the feeling that she was just as accomplished at it as she was everything else. If not, that was okay. He could always cook.

“Must you really go,” Mary asked as Cameron poured a second cup of coffee.

“Yes,” he nodded. It was the truth. Even if he and Annie had decided to stay in this time, there was no way they could come back here after Annie failed to kill General Washington. “There’s no way we can stay since we both know Annie is not going to kill General Washington,” he whispered. “People will become suspicious which could mean the downfall not just of her, but for the rest of us. Trust me Mary, this is not pleasant for any of us.”

“I know. It’s just that you two are the bright spot in my day.”

“I know. And you are a bright spot in ours,” he smiled. “With any luck we’ll see each other again when all this is over.”

She nodded and smiled, “Of course we’ll see each other again.”

Amos walked into the kitchen, “The carriage is ready. Is this your trunk?”

“Yes,” Cameron said then stood from the table. “I’ll help you with that.” The two men carried the trunk out to the carriage and put it inside. Before leaving he gave tight hugs to both Amos and Mary. Then he leaped up into the driver’s seat and pulled out of the drive. He made a quick stop at the office to retrieve the other large chest he had packed the night before as well as a shovel. Before he left the office he placed a letter on James’ desk. It was a brief explanation of what was about to take place. He would get the more detailed instructions in a few months’ time, once news of his and Annie’s ‘deaths’ reached town. The sun was making its ascent into the sky when Cameron left the city.

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