November 1745. After victory at the Battle of Gladsmuir Charles
Edward Stuart rules Scotland as Prince Regent. Across the border in
England, the regiments of King George are massing intent on
dislodging the Prince from his throne in Edinburgh. The newly
formed army of Scottish Jacobites take the initiative in the war.
They invade England. To disguise their lack of numbers and ensure
surprise, they march through the hills in three fast moving
columns. Lord Kilmarnock's regiment of Horse Grenadiers are ordered
to carry out the cavalry duties that the gentlemen regiments will
not undertake. They find themselves escorting the baggage and
artillery train through the hostile hills. If they cannot
rendezvous with the Jacobite army as planned, the Prince will have
no capacity to fight the coming campaign. Lord Kilmarnock has only
a hundred and fifty horsemen for the task. It is not enough. ...
'What ignoble wickedness is this?' Patrick pointed the muzzle of
his piece towards the sack of caltrops by the ford. 'It is the
wickedness of war.' 'It is the madness of folly ' Patrick thrust
the smoking cavalry carbine into its holster. He drew out his
rapier and held the blade low. "A soldier should fight with
honour." 'Fight with honour Is that why your gallant Prince
declines battle and flees into the mountains?' Vere's Ulster accent
was heavy with contempt. The two men faced each other, a pistol
shot apart. The grey gelding stamped his foot impatiently on the
road. Patrick placed his hand on the animal's neck to calm the
horse. 'Aye, we are retreating ... true enough. But before we
depart, I will see that the crows gorge themselves on your flesh.'
'Test your mettle if you have the courage.' the Irishman brandished
his musket in the air causing sunlight to glint off the long steel
bayonet. 'But before you face my fury, prepare yourself first to
face the wrath of God.' 'There is surely enough room in Hell for
the both of us '
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