Chapter 20:

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 246
Comments: 10



Adrian looked from Ted to Simon then took a risk.

“Your name's Simon,” he checked.

Simon nodded, slightly shy with the three smugglers standing on his right and Adrian looking at him from the front.

“And you're the son of Harry Ridge,” Adrian continued daringly.

Simon nodded and the other three exclaimed.

“Harry never had a son,” Terry stated adamantly. “Not one who was fourteen…” he trailed off, his face paling.

Ted left the room.

“I should have trusted my gut instinct,” Tom said almost angrily.

“You…” Terry began again.

“I didn't want to say anything but there were all kinds of things,” Tom spoke over Terry. “The way he talks, the way he acts, the way he looks. Look at him Terry and tell me he isn't.”

“I don't know how I didn't see it,” Terry half whispered staring at Simon. “And I never thought he was dead.”

“And if that's not all,” Tom went on. “Who do you know who can walk down a tunnel once and memorise it?”

“Only my sister and…”

“Exactly,” Tom stated.

Ted came in again and looked straight at Simon. Simon seemed to want to disappear.

Ted suddenly turned his gaze back on Tom. “Tom,” he whispered. “Is it possible?”

Tom nodded. “More than possible.”

“I just don't see how we never saw it,” Ted said and his voice trembled.

“Tom did see it and didn't believe it,” Terry put in.

Ted left the room again.

There was an awkward silence. Then Tom spoke. “I was going to say it quite early on, but then doubt set in and…” he trailed off. “You know. I didn't want to bring up old memories.”

Another awkward silence fell, finally broken by Ted's re-entry.

“If you knew, or guessed,” Ted quietly said to tom, while leaning heavily back against the wall. “You better give the facts. Give me evidence.”

Tom thought for a moment then nodded. “He's fourteen for a start,” he stated. 'His family are into boats. They fight on the sea with another family. He was given to Nathan's care at the age of two. No one ever mentions his mother, except that once when he and Joe fought over it. Nathan says that he enjoys fighting on a plank over water and the like. He's persistent in fighting and doesn't give up easily. He gets away with things most people wouldn't even risk. He's a born sailor, unlike Nathan and Joe. And there's a load more.”

Ted left the room again and Terry glanced anxiously after him. Tom put one hand into his pocket and fingered the thing that had started his suspicion, but even that wasn't conclusive evidence without this now. If Harry Ridge was Nathan's brother-in-law, it had to be.

Ted came back in and addressed Adrian.

“How did you know?” he demanded almost angrily.

“I guessed,” Adrian murmured, now a little alarmed. He wasn't sure if he'd made the right decision. “It was the way he took me down and how he looks at me. It's quite strange.”

Simon looked from one face to another. He didn't understand how his father's name could trigger such a lot of strange speech. Had they known his father? Was that possible?

“Ted,” Tom swallowed. “If you still need evidence, try this. There are other explanations why he might have had it but…” he trailed off and handed Ted something from his pocket.

Ted looked at the ring in his hand and turned away. “Shimei,” he whispered and his voice trembled. He hurriedly left the room, but he saw the expression on Simon's face: Surprise and bewilderment.

“You shouldn't have hidden that Tom,” Terry reprimanded almost angrily. “You should have shown him.”

“He handed it to me when we first searched him,” Tom replied quietly. “I didn't know what to do when I realised what he'd handed me and it wasn't the place to say then.”

“He didn't notice when he handed it to you,” Terry asked in disbelief.

“I guess he was distracted,” Tom shrugged. A few moments later Ted came back in and looked at Simon quietly.

“Did Harry give you this?” he asked gently and held out the gold ring with its single blue stone set in the centre of two small engravings of sailing boats.

Simon nodded. “Two days before he fell on his own sword,” he stated without emotion but a clear question in his face.

“He fell on his own sword!” Tom repeated in astonishment.

“Yes,” Simon answered. “He didn't want to be killed by someone else.”

Ted suddenly smiled while the other two looked at each other in amazement.

“Why?” Simon suddenly asked looking from one to another. “Did you know him? And what's so significant about it?”

Ted looked at tom. Tom looked at Terry. Terry looked at Ted. Ted looked at Adrian. Adrian looked at the floor.

“Simon, Harry's not your father,” Tom said at last.

Simon looked questioningly at them.

“I am,” Ted said with a great effort. “Harry was the man who betrayed me. He killed your mother and took you away from us to bring up against us.”

“Yes,” Ted agreed with a sigh. “It never even came to mind, but now it's all clear. Thanks to Adrian.” He looked at the soldier who stood bound against the wall. “Thanks,” he whispered and looked back at Simon who stood stunned in front of him.

“I don't understand,” Simon stumbled. “It doesn't make sense.” He looked at Ted and for a moment their eyes met. In that moment Simon believed him. He wasn't like the family he'd grown up with thinking was his own. Now he knew why. Joe had been right in a way. He wasn't family of theirs. He was Ted and Dianna's son. “But how,” he whispered. “How can it be?”



Harry looked down at the dying woman. He was sorry that she had to die, but he couldn't take her with him. He had to get out quickly now.

The woman tried to get up. Blood spread out from the fatal wound in her side. “Shimei,” she moaned and tried to reach out to the crying infant.

“I'll sort him out,” Harry snarled and drew a long knife.

The woman moaned, too weak to protest. Her eyes closed and she didn't open them again.

Harry leant over the boy with his drawn knife, already blood stained. He was about to strike the neck of the crying infant when he had an idea. He shoved the knife back into its sheath at his belt and lifted the child in one arm. Then he ran. He ran down many tunnels fearing pursuit. None came. If he'd not stopped to enjoy his time with the masters wife he wouldn't have been worried now. The master was out, but he'd be back shortly and Harry didn't know how soon.

Harry ran into a cave and crawled out onto the ledge. Then he was scrabbling up and out onto the cliff top, leaving the gully behind him. A horse was waiting about thirty paces away with his friend next to it.

“All has gone to plan,” the other man said with a smile. “My sister has left the area and I'm about to board the boat now. I'll say my good buys now.”

“Farewell,” Harry said grimly. He knew that the man wouldn't survive and yet he still didn't warn him.

“I'll meet you on the shore by your house,” the man smiled. “Keep safe till then. I don't want you getting killed now. Not after coming so far.”

They walked briskly down to the harbour where the man left him and boarded a large ship, the Ridge Claimer. Harry had named it that for a reason. It was a diversion ship to allow him to escape.

The lanky form of Billy, now clad in shining chain mail, leaned over the rail of the ship as the sails were raised. He brandished his knife in one hand and waved with his other. The ropes were all loosed except his. Noting this he slashed recklessly at the rope, severing it at once. The taught rope flicked back with a vengeful crack. One end struck the quay side; the other took its revenge on Billy. The blow fell on his temple and without a sound he fell into the water unconscious. He disappeared beneath the dark surface and didn't rise again. Harry saw and didn't care. He'd seen to it that Billy was on the boat to get rid of him. So what if he died earlier. Billy spoke to easily when money was offered and Harry wasn't going to take that risk.

Harry mounted the horse and looked at the ship as it left the harbour. “Good bye, good friend,” he whispered sadly, for there was one man he'd miss. “I'm sorry, but I won't see you again.” Harry was paying him a lot of money for his help, but the man didn't realise that he was being paid to die in Harry's stead.  None of them did.

Harry set the now quiet child in front of him and took up the reigns. “I will call you Simon” he declared looking at the fair haired child. “I'm sure you'll get used to it. It's not too different from Shimei.”

He dug his heels in and drove the horse on across the land. He would ride to the fort line and there stay in hiding a week or so before catching a boat to his home land and family. Good bye serfdom. Hello freedom!



I remember these things fondly now. We have become wealthy and have repaid the smugglers, but we could never pay the debt we truly owe them. We owe them all we have. They have given us happiness again.

When we came to our new home, Jude met us and the men who brought us Joe and Nathan stayed the night and slept late into the next day. When I woke the next day, they had already left and Jude was sitting with Adam and Andrew, talking about the battle. I smiled as I heard them praising my courage, but they were forgetting how courageous they had been. I never actually used my sword in the battle, but they fought valiantly.

Later that evening Paul spoke to Jude. He asked for my hand in marriage and Jude gave his consent. We were married three days later in the woods with a waterfall behind us.

That was a happy day and it has been followed with many others. One of the especially joyful days since then was the birth of our first child. It was a daughter and we called her Mary after Paul's sister.

As for Jude; he married a young lady from the in the Aresh valley. They have a child on the way. My grandmother is much better, although she is old. Abel and his wife have finally succeeded in having a child whom they named Seth. Adam's son became engaged last month, making Adam a proud future father-in-law. Andrew has become a tradesman and is planning to part buy a ship. Young Johnny is now training to become a junior clerk after Paul taught him and me to read and write. We are all doing well.

There is a harbour very near to us and we trade by land and sea. Our main produce is wool. Paul and I have twenty sheep of our own already. It was of course difficult to start with. We struggled to get sheep and only by hard work have we come to where we are now. There are some in the village who want to build our own harbour. There is nothing stopping us and we may well do it. It would draw in even more trade and we welcome it.

Paul is calling. I have to go. He probably is wondering what's for supper, but does it matter? We always have more than enough now, as though to compensate for our lack before.



Tim could hardly believe it when he saw the Dianna putting in to harbour for the third time in a remarkably short period. He was preparing to sail a large cargo ship from his home to a trade port further up the shore. However when he saw the Dianna entering the harbour, he abandoned the packing of large wooden crates and bounded along the quay to meet the boat.

Ted jumped ashore before the boat had even reached it. “Tim,” he called and greeted his brother with a joy that Tim hadn't seen in Ted since the death of his wife.

“I'd like you to meet someone,” Ted said and glanced back at the boat.

Tom grinned at him and tied the rope while Simon leaned on the side looking up at a boat he recognised. It was called 'the Wave Breaker'. Joe and Nathan were sitting on the bench in bemused silence. The revelation had been as much a surprise to them as it had been to Ted and Simon who was in fact Shimei. It had made sense, but while to Joe it made his friendship much easier as his prejudiced thoughts were dashed by reality, for Nathan it was a difficult concept. He had grown fond of Simon and thought of him as his own son. Since Harry's death he'd taken him even more fully under his wing as he saw it to be his duty. He'd justified his want to take Simon as his son by saying that Simon was family. Now he discovered that he had nothing to do with their family at all. In fact he was the son of Edward Archer, the arch enemy of Harry Ridge. Also the realization that the Ridge line had finally ended and that he'd been conned into continuing the fight irritated Nathan. He'd liked his brother-in-law, although he'd seen him rather infrequently. Now he knew that Harry had wantonly deceived him in bringing up Simon. So many things had to change in his mind that he'd not been able to take on any more for almost a week. Now Ted had brought him and Joe to meet the man they had considered their enemy. The man Harry had claimed was the real enemy while all the time he'd been simply trying to find another way to take the tunnels.

Tom held out his hand to Nathan and helped him ashore. Terry helped Joe.

“I'd like you to meet Nathan Kin and his son Joe,” Ted introduced, smiling at his youngest brother. “Nathan, Joe, this is my brother Tim. He builds boats, badly.”

Tim smiled, embarrassed.

Nathan took a deep breath and stepped forward, awkwardly shook hands with the brown haired sailor and greeted him with a quiet “Hello.”

Joe awkwardly followed. They both knew who this man was and struggled with the concept of him being anything but a ruthless pirate.

Tim suddenly recognised them and glanced awkwardly at Ted.

“They've been working with me since they lost their last boat,” Ted explained.

“What about the little flash sword that always sails with them,” Tim asked with obvious amusement. “The young fighter who keeps us on our toes. I saw him sail away with them.”

“He kept you on your toes did he,” Ted laughed. “He kept me on mine too.” He turned and looked back to the Dianna. “Shimei,” he called quietly.

Simon didn't register his father's summons at once. He was thinking about the battle and analysing it yet again, but this time from Tim's point of view. Suddenly he realised that Ted had called him and he sprung up out of the boat. “Sorry,” he said quickly. “Miles away.”

Tim looked at him and then at Ted. “Surely not,” he gasped, seeing the similarity and putting it to the name.

“Yes he is,” Ted smiled. “Harry took him and claimed that he was the father. He gave him to Nathan to look after and so he was brought up as Simon Ridge instead of Shimei Archer.”

He looked at Nathan very differently then. Nathan had expected hate, but the look Tim gave him was one of admiration. Nathan had brought up a child who wasn't anything to do with the family and on discovering it had agreed to meet and make friends with the real family.

“Well,” he breathed with astonishment. “Come on down to Zyaris house and tell me more. Dinner will be ready in about an hour and I'll see to it that rooms are sorted out for you all. Come, come.”

His warm expression welcomed and Nathan relaxed.

It was at supper when the girl first appeared. She was even more beautiful than Joe remembered and she sat between him and Shimei. Her name was Anna and she was Tim's daughter. Joe was very shy and so was she. It was therefore only the next day at lunchtime when they finally greeted one another.

A month later Ted, Tom Terry and Shimei had returned to the tunnels, but Nathan and Joe still remained with Tim who in battle was called Narvis. They didn't take their leave and they didn't need to. Joe and Anna were firm friends and Tim had agreed with Nathan to set up a combined trading fleet of ships and caravans. More than half of his boats as it stood had belonged to Nathan's family or Harry at some point, mostly because his own boats didn't last long.

Nathan was delighted. He could finally do what he'd always wanted. He didn't have to sail. He could simply trade by land while Tim traded by sea.



Adrian jumped down the last three steps that lead to the wall above the main gate. As he crossed the courtyard a young soldier ran across to the side gate and opened it for him.

“Thank you Bates,” he said and stepped through. The stables were empty now. The chestnut horse was no longer in the fort but roaming where ever it would, only called by two masters, Ted and Shimei. The young soldier suddenly took a few quick steps and came along side Adrian.

“Commander,” he called.

Adrian nodded.

“Sergeant Clamston and I would like to swap duties. We both have a duty at the same time you see. Mine is on the wall overlooking the cliffs and his is at the gate. Would you permit it?”

Adrian smiled. It was probably better if Alexander had the duty on the wall, particularly as it was now at high tide. “No problem at all,” he agreed. “But thank you for checking it with me Clarence. I appreciate that.”

“Thank you,” Clarence beamed. “You're the best.” He meant it too. For all Clarence's speech before, he hated fighting. Adrian had been elected Captain after Alexander refused to take it on. He'd brought peace to the area, even as far as the Aresh valley beyond the Aresh Line. They stated that the area was neutral to the fighting and news of this no-fighting zone had spread rapidly. Many people had already come in search of peace and found it. The Aresh area was a safe haven under Adrian Nite's command at the light house fort.

Adrian walked on and smiled as the young soldier hurried off to tell Alexander that the swap had been approved. He heard Clarence close the gate and laugh with a guard before heading into the main hall. He walked on and through the archway that ran the length of the training field, now in good condition. He headed across to the light house, opened the door and went in. He lit his lantern and made his way up to the light. Dark was coming in fast and a thick fog was rolling in. It was time to light the lamps and let any mariners know that there were rocks at hand. It was time to show the way forward to the safe harbour.

Fifteen or so sailors looked out from the harbour wall as the pilot boat guided the trade ship between the stone projections. Here was the food for the next week. A crowd of men and women surged forward to be first to get to the valuable produce of the earth while other sailors with a few soldiers kept them back. All would get, but they had to wait their turn. This was the only area where food actually reached the people.

High above them on the cliffs the bright light of the lighthouse shone out, illuminating the rippling water. The people looked up and smiled. This was their country. 


Submitted: July 17, 2012

© Copyright 2022 Cwester. All rights reserved.


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Add Your Comments:


Julie March

So that explains the connection between Ted and Simon-er, Shimei. I liked how you tied all the plots together for a happy ending. And on a slightly more technical note, it really tied things up nicely when you both started and ended the book from Adrian's point of view with a reference to the country. Very well done! You should get this published.

Thu, July 26th, 2012 8:13pm


As it happens I wrote the end at the same time as the beginning. In fact i wrote two diffrent endings in the same style, but this one worked better. I'm glad you liked it. I tried to put enough hints throughout the book so that it wasn't a compleet surprise. I hope it worked. Thanks very much for your encouraging comments all along. Much appreciated.

Fri, July 27th, 2012 9:07am


Wow, I really like this! It's really good! It caught my attention from the very beginning! :) Great work!

Wed, August 22nd, 2012 3:08pm


Wow. When I saw that there was a new comment I expected it to be on chapter 1 as most people don't seem to read beyond that. Thank you. I'm really pleased that youliked it. And thank you for commenting so that I know what people think.

Thu, August 23rd, 2012 4:52am

Irish wolf hound

I absolutely love your writing! Thank you for introducing me to this... I am sorry I haven't been commenting, it's hectic here at the moment... >< This novel is brilliant, I can not say that enough! It is certainly finished well! I am content!

Sat, January 12th, 2013 3:35am


Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Mon, January 14th, 2013 1:25pm

Lady Cataluna

I love it. You're good at writing. Both of your novel's you asked me to read are pretty good.

Wed, April 3rd, 2013 11:18pm


Thank you.

Wed, February 26th, 2014 3:00pm


Thank you for leaving a request on my page,
Its soooo worth it!!!
i really loved it! So i liked it!
Its really tensing,great work,i admired it! XD

Thu, April 4th, 2013 5:04am


Thank you.

Wed, February 26th, 2014 2:59pm


First of all I am so sorry the story came to an end. After I've read it through, however, I seriously can't but laugh at myself being so wrong about the plot. I've read all I had written on previous chapters only to blush in embarrassment. I only hope it made you smile with satisfaction. Yes, I admit, you did make hints, but I obviously just misread them. And it's good. I mean it really wouldn't work if it was all transparent and too obvious. The measure of mystery is the right one, and I congratulate you from the bottom of my heart for your careful planning and even better realisation! What is great as well is that there are no supernatural forces. You had no need to use any kind of "deus ex machina" or magic to sort out too tangled plot. And yet, as I've said before, this novel isn't all about the plot. The characters (I'll try to be neutral here) are so human being all so fallible (as you said) but still, there are two real villains (Harry Ridge and Captain Crool) and the ultimate good one is the watcher. Ted is right in the middle being terrifying, cruel and soft-hearted at the same time. The recognition scene between Ted and Simon aka Shimei made my eyes sweat, not to mention Dianna's death. And Simon, well Simon is a boy after my own heart. But the real, ultimate significance and worth of the novel lies in it's rich style and abundant vocabulary, magical descriptions of nature no matter if they mirror human feelings, underline particular situation or stand on their own like powerful sea storms and shipwrecks. You have it all, don't hide "your talent in the ground".
Corrections. 20.1 Quote: "If you, or guessed," Ted quietly said to tom... ("Tom" - capital letter); Quote: "He's fourteen for a start," he stated. 'His family... (just a quotation mark: "His family);
Quote: Ted looked at tom. Tom looked at Terry. ("Tom" before the full stop - capital letter)
A question. Quote: "I am," Ted said with great effort. "Harry was the man who betrayed me. He killed your mother and took you away from us to bring up against us."... "Yes," Ted agreed with a sigh. (It just seems as if something is missing here, for I don't see who Ted agrees with?)
Quote: Billy spoke to easily when money was offered... (shouldn't it be "too easily"?)
Quote: "I will call you Simon" he declared looking at the fair haired child. "I'm sure you'll get used to it. It's not too different from Shimei." - You are too educated for your own good: Shimei (transliterated from Hebrew) in Greek (Septuagint) is to be read Simi (with an accent on the last "i" and it sounds literally as it's written); Simon in Greek also sounds the same as it's written. The Hebrew root for both names is the same: Shim- (I've written this well aware of you knowing that, but other readers might not.)
20.3 Quote: As for Jude; he married a young lady from the ...(something's missing here)... in the Aresh valley.

Tue, May 27th, 2014 5:31pm


Thank you for reading and commenting. I've made the corrections on my computer. the first missing bit runs,

“I am,” Ted said with a great effort. “Harry was the man who betrayed me. He killed your mother and took you away from us to bring up against us.”
“Sneaky and very clever,” Tom put in grudgingly.
“Yes,” Ted agreed with a sigh. “...

and the second missing bit should actually run,
As for Jude; he married a young lady from the Aresh valley villagers. ...

I'm very glad that I got the right level of mystory in writing this. I often wondered when writing it, if it wasn't too difficult to work out, or too obvious.

Thank you for your rich praise of this novel all the way through. It has been very encouraging.

I don't like using the supernatural in my writing. I find that things are all too easily sorted if it is and the characters don't develop as much.

I am SO pleased that you understand all that about Simon and Shimei. I loved finding the names for this story. nearly every one has significance in its meaning or link to another name.

I loved writing this novel and I am delighted that you enjoyed reading it. THANK YOU!

Tue, May 27th, 2014 3:49pm


You certainly did enjoy writing the novel, it's more than obvious, since it has so many "layers". May I ask you about other names? The Biblical are all known to me, but the Old English ones (like Edward), or if there are Celtic, these I'm not familiar with, but would like SO much to know.

Tue, May 27th, 2014 11:11pm


Here is a list of all the names, their meanings and why I chose them. I’ve put them all in so that those less aquainted with the names can also see.

Abel: pointless, empty, breath. (His part looks it to start with, as he isn’t so “able”, but there’s more to him than meets the eye. I enjoyed the word play on his name.)
Adam: son of the red earth. Ruddy. (a typical farmer.)
Andrew: manly. (A bit of a joke as the watcher knocks him down.)
Johnny/Jonathan: Jehovah given, gift of god. (no particular reason.)
Jude: celebrated. (he is the one celibrated in the village.)
Paul: little. (relatively a little player in the bigger events.)
Mary: bitter. (the war years were Bitter. A remembrance.)

Simeon: hearing. (He hears and brings warning. He should be listened to.)
Adrian: (couldn’t find any meaning, but perhaps something to do with the sea. They are closely linked in the story.)
Adrian and simian Nite. (a play on “Knight” and “night”. They are not everything they seem.)
Alexander: man and defender. (Exactly what he tries to be.)
Clarence: bright. (stands out among the soldiers.)
Harry/Henry: estate owner. (rich and arrogant.) (“Ridge” links to the place and title.)
Nathan: given. (no particular reason I chose this name.)
Joe/Joseph: let him add or adding. (Nathan always wanted more children and so took in his “nephew”.)
Nathan and Joe Kin. “Family is important to them.”
Shimei Simon (I used these for the common route and similarities in pronunciation, but I struggled to find their meaning. If you could enlighten me it would be appreciated.)
Ted/Edward: wealthy guardian. (guarding the tunnels. Money linked to smuggling.)
Tom/Thomas: twin. (Ted’s younger twin.)
Tim/Timothy: dear to god. (I chose this one for the alliteration with Ted and Tom.)
Annat: grace. (although her part is small, she brings grace in her own way.)
Ted, Tom and Tim Archer. (link to the place and title.)
Dianna: (I couldn’t find a meaning, but I liked the name and she was like a goddess to Ted.)
Terry/Terrence: (I couldn’t find a meaning. I used the name for alliteration.) (“Gray” is a play on grey, obscure, not the one in the forefront.)
Billy/William: resolute protector. (This one doesn’t work and I’m not sure why I chose to use this name.)

Wed, May 28th, 2014 12:14am


Shimei or Shimhi or Shimi or Shimea = "renowned" (Strong's Hebrew Dictionary); If I may add "famous", that is "many have heard of him" (root is the same like in Simeon "has heard.");
As for Dianna - You've had it right!! - Probably derived from an old Indo-European root meaning "heavenly, divine", related to dyeus (ZEUS)

Wed, May 28th, 2014 9:27am


Thank you very much. I'm glad for that information.

Wed, May 28th, 2014 3:41am


Terry/Terrence - of Latin origin, participle of the verb terreo (inf. terrere) - to frighten, affright, put in fear or dread, to alarm, terrify; hence: terrens - "the terrifying one", "terrible" (Lat. terribilis).
There's an interesting bit about the name Alexander. The oldest form of it, which has been found on a Tablet from Pylos (Mycenaean writing, dates to about 1450 BC), is in female form "Alexandra", as an epithet of the goddess Hera, roughly: "one who comes to save (defend) warriors (men)".

Wed, May 28th, 2014 10:02am


Wow. Thank you. That is very intrersting.
It seems that Terry was not the perfect name for him after all, but I would find it difficult to change now, as that is how I think of him now.
The one name I would like to change, if I could find the right name for him, is Billy, But I've never as yet come across a suitable name for him.

Wed, May 28th, 2014 3:48am


Hey there!

Good day for writing! If you wanted to see whether you can get paid by distributing the current work or getting financial support by writing new work, you might want to contact A brief introduction, some sample chapters or links will be appreciated when reaching out.

Mon, October 5th, 2020 5:02am

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