She stood on the deck, shivering in the wind, and stared at the bleak, unpromising outline of wood and brick buildings clustered along the wharves, blurred by fog.
Sea spray misted her cloak and stung her eyes.
Cold. It was all she felt, inside and out, as if the raw damp had seeped through her wool petticoats and into her heart.
She could slip away on the docks. She could buy her own passage back to England. Father would not miss her; he had hardly noticed her over the past weeks. But her brothers would. Once, she had yearned for a purpose in life. Well, it seemed the only one given her--for now--was to keep her family intact and alive. She could not protect them forever, but she could try.
They needed her, and the knowledge lodged inside her like the massive anchor that kept them from drifting across the wide sea. She hated the ship, and yet, they were the same, she and it: destined to sail at the direction and command of others, never their own captain.
For now. One day, she would change that.
Ten weeks earlier: January 29th, 1721, London, England
On the day she turned four, Wendy Moira Angela Edavene overheard her Father complain that she had better grow up quickly, as girls were a good deal of expense for very little profit.
Time changed for her, then. Life had already been a cobbled road, full of stones that would trip and bruise a little girl, but there had always been birds singing and a sun peeking out from behind the clouds.