In war-torn New York in 1776, cannon and broadsides echo over Brooklyn as refugees clog the roads to Queens. Fear is rampant as British soldiers round up rebel sympathizers. But in spite of the danger, a young Quaker, Robert Townsend, enters the struggle for American independence. His father, wealthy merchant and ship owner, Samuel Townsend, has already been thrown into prison. Outraged by the careless administration of General William Howe, the callous treatment of the population, and horrified by inhuman conditions in British prisons, Robert becomes a spy. He poses as a loyal Tory merchant and journalist while he and his comrades subvert, smuggle and burn. The invasion penetrates Robert's childhood home in Oyster Bay where British Captain John Graves Simcoe is quartered. Lonely and embarrassed by the excesses of his own army, Simcoe befriends Robert's sister, Sally, and they fall in love.Meanwhile, secrecy and fear wear on the honest young Quaker. He finds comfo! rt and love in the arms of a fellow spy, a woman more daring and committed than himself. But she is married and his religious family condemns the union. Corruption, loss, capture and death stalk the young couple in this gripping novel of the Revolutionary War.
Used availability for Rita Cleary's Spies and Tories
May 1999 : USA Hardback
March 2001 : USA Paperback