Overall rating: PG-13 to very mild R
Genre: slash, het, humour, romance, drama, a wee bit of angst
Fandoms: Pirates of the Caribbean (Royal Navy of the Caribbean), Garrow's Law
Pairings/characters: Norrington/Gillette, Garrow/Sarah, Jones/Jasker, Mr. Southouse, Mr. Silvester, Sir Arthur Hill, Mary, Mr. Farmer and many more. Cameo by Jack Aubrey.
Warnings: None. Just keep in mind that the story is set in the 18th century.
Please click here for summary, disclaimers and additional information.
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Southouse had questioned his client once more about the incident with the fire and the apron. Nothing new had come to light, and he was just about to leave when a thought crossed his mind. He beckoned the guard who had let him into Rebecca Wentworth's cell.
"The woman I arrived with - can you tell me which prisoner she visited?"
The guard shrugged.
"Can't remember, sir. Too many people here, difficult to tell."
Southouse sighed and reached into the pocket of his waistcoat, producing a coin. The guard grinned and eagerly accepted it.
"Thank you, sir! I remember now, 't was Mrs. Caskey. She comes twice a week, bringing food and things."
"Aha. And to whom does she deliver those items?"
"David Jasker," was the reply, and Southouse noticed the contempt in the guard's voice. "He'll be released next week, but mark my words, sir, he'll be back in no time. Once tempted by the devil, always tempted by the devil. And then he'll be hanging, along with the other sod - oh, I beg your pardon,sir. I forgot that one was your client, wasn't he? Have a nice day, sir."
The man left, and Southouse tried to remember the details of the case. Of course, David Jasker and Captain Jones. The assault that hadn't been one. An unpleasant business, but a success for Will and him, for their client had been acquitted. However, saving sodomites from the gallows did not make for a good reputation. He'd warned Will, but had he listened? No. He never did. A mule was easier to convince than William Garrow.
How odd to think that a formidable woman like Mrs. Caskey - Caskey? She must have been widowed and remarried then - could have a son like David Jasker. Seeing how she supplied him with food and wine in prison, she obviously hadn't disowned him. Nobody would have blamed her if she'd done so; but her actions showed that she was a strong-willed woman who would not let the public dictate her actions. His feelings about the damnability of sodomy aside, Southouse couldn't help but admire the woman.
Yet, while braving the foul weather and heading for his cold, unwelcoming home, there was a little voice in Southouse's head nagging him: something about Mrs. Caskey's story didn't sound right.
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"I'll be late! Where are my stockings? Sarah! Oh, there they are. No, only one of them. Samuel, leave my shoes alone. Sarah! I need your help! Saaarah!"
"I'll be with you in a moment, dear!"
Sarah Garrow, formerly Lady Sarah Hill, handed baby David to her maid Mary and joined her husband to help him tackle his daily mission of getting dressed and out of the house on time. As brilliant and focussed as William Garrow was in court, as scatterbrained he was in his private life. She didn't mind; compared to Arthur's childishness, Will's childlike attitude to life was a vast improvement.
On her way upstairs to their bedchamber, Sarah thought back to her old life. The days of a large mansion and a wardrobe full of silken dresses were long gone. Back then, she'd owned seventeen hats; now she had two, plus a couple of bonnets. And aprons, made for practicality rather than prettiness. In the eyes of her peers - her former peers, she corrected herself - her marriage to William Garrow had been a huge descent. Which just went to show that her former peers had no clue whatsoever.
At first, she'd worried whether she could get used to the life of an attorney's wife. But just as naturally as Sarah had been a graceful hostess to Sir Arthur's guests and had organised the most outstanding masque balls at his mansion, she now made sure that the household accounts were in order, the larder was well stocked, the bills were paid and none of them in danger of ending up in debtor's prison. This was quite a feat; being a heroic defendant of the poor and downtrodden was honourable, no doubt, but it didn't pay very well.
"Now look at this - only one stocking, and Samuel refuses to return my shoes to me!"
Garrow sat on the bed, visibly exasperated.
"I'm here, mother!"
Sarah crouched down with a rustle of petticoats. Her son had hidden under the bed, unwilling to release his swag.
"Samuel, please return the shoes. Your father will be late for work."
The boy shook his head.
"I'm Admiral Rodney," he explained, holding up a shoe. "That's my ship, and I'm attacking the Spanish fleet. Boom! Boom!" He emphasised the imaginary cannon shots by banging the shoe on the floor.
"Sam, for the last time: it wasn't Admiral Rodney who won the battle, but Captain Young," Garrow corrected him. "One should never adorn oneself with borrowed plumes. Oh, here's the other stocking."
"But Captain Young isn't famous!"
Sarah had to hide a smile.
"I'm afraid your lessons in fairness and justice have not quite taken hold yet, my dear."
Garrow stood up.
"Obviously! Samuel, enough of this nonsense. You've won the battle; release your ships, the hulls need to be resheathed."
Samuel pouted, but crawled out from under the bed and finally handed the shoes to his father. Not really his father, as had been explained to him several times, but he had decided very early on that he was better off with a father who occasionally left his briefcase in the coal scuttle than one who looked as if he'd eaten lemons for breakfast.
"Done. Now I need to hurry, there are two officers of the navy waiting for me. Those gentlemen are used to punctuality."
Samuel's eyes lit up.
"Navy officers? Golly! Famous ones?"
Garrow scratched his head.
"Famous? I don't know. Well, Captain Norrington has a reputation for being involved in... obscure battles, to say the least, and his family is very wealthy. Midshipman Aubrey has rather unpolished manners and has been in trouble with his superiors several times."
"That sounds like great fun! Can I come with you? Oh please, father! I'll be very quiet and hide under the table!"
"No, Samuel," Garrow said firmly. "The last time we tried this, you pinched Mrs. Wilson's foot and she fainted. Ever since, she insists that our office is infested with mice. So you'll stay right here and look after your mother and your little brother. Won't you?"
Samuel sighed, but then he nodded.
"I will. But can you ask them about the battles, please?
Garrow lifted the boy up and kissed him on the cheek.
"I'll see what I can do. Maybe I could bring one of them home for supper, what do you think, Sarah?"
His wife, thinking back on Sir Arthur's involvement with the Admiralty, didn't look too enthusiastic.
"I think the gentlemen of the navy are rather stodgy, Will. But oh well, better an officer than no meat for supper."
Samuel's eyes grew big like saucers. At times, his parents were rather confusing.
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Chapter 1 Chapter 3
|Yuletide Tales: "THIN ICE" - Chapter 2
by Molly Joyful