Progress: 37,080 words, Five Chapters (All first or second draft)
I’m now moving forward and moving back, consistently working on flashbacks alongside the progression of the novel in its present timeline. Nathaniel is on the Betsey, a merchant brig headed across the Atlantic. In the past I have added a few scenes to better explain the hardships of Charlotte when trying to adjust to her new life on the farm. Due to terrible circumstances involving threat to her daughter from within the tribe, as well as ill fates for Nathaniel’s parents, the three have fled to the Adler farmhouse in Pennsylvania.
It is there where we begin the novel, and it is there where the novel ends. I am firm about this bookend approach and feel confident about how things wrap up for everyone. Now I just have to get them there.
I’ll share another bit from one of the recently added flashbacks. President Jefferson put a trade embargo in place the year before, with the intention of hurting England and France, who had previously put similar embargos on the US. Instead of hurting them, however, Jefferson’s embargo negatively impacted the US economy and hit farmers pretty hard.
As our main character is a farmer, he was forced to cut costs, but our villain Cabot had made an offer to him and the other farmers to smuggle their crops to sell at better prices abroad. Nathaniel decided not to take the deal. For other background to the conversation, Nathaniel had left the farm when he was younger to study religion with his uncle. When he returned he was deep into the Baptist faith.
“Cabot is a smuggler, and a thief, and I will not see men like him benefit while others suffer.”
“Damn you, Adler,” Morton shouted once more, before kicking dirt and heading to the bunkhouse.
“You’re a real fool, Adler,” Kimball said, stuffing the small coin sack into his pocket. “I suppose it’s easy to be pious when you grow up as you did. Wealthy father. Nice house. You didn’t want for nothing. I remember when you left here, I wondered what possessed you to leave. When you came back I saw it in your face. You thought you were better than all this.” Kimball looked over the fields, perhaps as a last memory of the farm. Cracking wood and metal banging sounded from close by as Morton tore apart the bunkhouse. “You think you’re going to cleanse the world, don’t you?”
“Whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.”
“Why do you think this is the right thing? All I see is you trying to punish a man, and making everyone around you suffer for it. Cabot was going to keep farms alive, keep families fed. You may just ruin us all. So which one if you is Godly?”
Nathaniel only stared at Kimball, more banging echoed where his father’s loyal workers would soon vacate.
“You think on that. I’m going to see if I can keep Morton from tearing the place apart.”
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