AuthorsDen.com  Join (free) | Login 

     Popular! Books, Stories, Articles, Poetry
   Services MarketPlace (Free to post!)
Where Authors and Readers come together!

Signed Bookstore | Authors | eBooks | Books | Stories | Articles | Poetry | Blogs | News | Events | Reviews | Videos | Success | Gold Members | Testimonials

Featured Authors: Mark Vogel, iWilliam Bonilla, iRichard Hardie, idawn kunda, iGisele Vincent-Page, iSteve Kerr, iArthur Jackson, i
  Home > Historical Fiction > Stories
Popular: Books, Stories, Articles, Poetry     

Lloyd Lofthouse

· Become a Fan
  Notify me of new titles
  added by this author.

· 280 titles
· 785 Reviews
· Share with Friends!
· Save to My Library
·
Member Since: Apr, 2008

   Sitemap
   My Blog
   Contact Author
   Read Reviews

Books
· Crazy is Normal a classroom exposé

· My Splendid Concubine, 3rd edition

· Running with the Enemy


Short Stories
· Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, Scene 13

· Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, Scene 12

· Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, Scene 11

· Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, Scene 10

· Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, Scene 9

· Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, Scene 8

· Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, Scene 7

· Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, Scene 6

· Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, Scene 5

· Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, Scene 4


Articles
· The Improvement of U.S. Public Schools

· Learning Twitter for Authors

· Discover how Amazon changed book cover design

· Authors Finding Readers

· How I sold almost 2,000 books in twenty hours TWICE

· It is Time – Relief for Victims of Lone-Wolf Killers such as James Holmes

· Living on the thin side of Black Ice

· Getting Oriented

· Learning to Love and Hate while teaching ESL in the Middle Kingdom

· The Release of The Concubine Saga is another Cheap Marketing Ploy


Poetry
· Smartphone

· The birth of a child called Prose

· The Luxury of Heartache

· Learning from Death

· Putting Cupid's Arrows on Ice

· The Never-Ending Book Promotion Blues

· Walking the Path of Dead Explorers

· LIttle No More

· Revelation

· Symphony

         More poetry...
News
· M. Denise Costello reviews Crazy is Normal

· On Tour: Crazy is Normal, a classroom expose

· Comparing a virtual book tour to the traditional, and why go on a book tour

· “Crazy is Normal” on a Virtual Book Blog Tour

· “Crazy is Normal” on a Virtual Book Blog Tour

· “Crazy is Normal” on a Virtual Book Blog Tour

· Running with the Enemy

Lloyd Lofthouse, click here to update your web pages on AuthorsDen.



Our Hart, Episode 20
By Lloyd Lofthouse
Posted: Monday, November 02, 2009
Last edited: Tuesday, March 02, 2010
This short story is rated "G" by the Author.

Share this with your friends on FaceBook
Share    Print   Save   Become a Fan
Recent stories by Lloyd Lofthouse
· Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, Scene 13
· Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, Scene 12
· Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, Scene 11
· Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, Scene 10
· Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, Scene 9
· Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, Scene 8
· Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, Scene 7
           >> View all 97
Robert Hart arrived in China in 1854. By the time he left in 1908, he was the most powerful Westerner in China's history and the only foreigner the Emperor of China trusted. His love and dedication to China was born from the love for one woman—a love story Robert wanted to hide from the world. I spent a decade exploring China and Hart's life to discover this story.

______________________

             That night, he visited Ayaou again. His feelings and fears leaked out of him against his own wishes. He was more worried for her safety than ever.
            “What if you or Guan-jiah had been in that part of city when the fifty innocent victims had been randomly rounded up and shot?” he said. “There wasn’t even a trial. You could be dead.”
            “You miss the point, Robert,” she replied. “The imperial government knows that such an action makes a statement. When the people see the caged heads of those fifty Chinese hanging above the city’s gates, they will know they have to take the government’s orders seriously. The Taipings will not gain the support they have been getting. The people will think twice before they offer again. I thought you understood China better than that.”
 
*    *    *
 
            To make matters worse, a few days later, Parkes discovered that he had been going out every night. “Why have you been sneaking away from your quarters like a common thief?” Parkes asked.
            Robert stood before Parkes desk and avoided the commissioner’s eyes. He felt like a student called in front of the headmaster for a prank he’d committed. Feeling guilty, his face blushed and he stared at the floor. His breakfast curdled in his stomach. He wanted to throw up.
            “Come on, Hart, speak.”
            He didn’t want to tell Parkes he’d been sneaking away to be with his Chinese concubine. What would Parkes think? Robert continued to stare at the floor and resented the fact that he felt this way.
            “Hart, if you don’t tell me, I’ll have to order you to be confined to your quarters. I want you to know that when you were recommended to me there were rumors saying you were unreliable. I heard you were a liar and a coward and couldn’t be trusted.”
            Robert’s head jerked up. Hot anger flooded his face. “Who’s spreading such lies?” He immediately regretted the tone in his voice.
            “Does it matter, Hart?”
            “Yes, it does.” His voice was firm, not as angry.
            “Tell me where you’ve been going, and I’ll give you a name.” Parkes pounded the surface of his desk with a closed fist. “Damn it, Hart, you are a good man. I don’t want to believe what I’ve heard.”
            “It’s a woman,” he said, and the words tasted bitter. “I’ve been going out to spend my nights with a Chinese woman. Please don’t tell anyone.” His face burned with embarrassment.
            “What’s wrong with you, Hart? Men need women and women are easy to find here. If you want a woman, why are you sneaking around about it?”
            “I didn’t want anyone to know. It’s personal.”
            “I see. Well, if you have to go out every now and then to be lusty with a whore, you will have a corporal and five men accompany you. Of course, the corporal will report to me, so I will know where you are going and whom you are seeing. I don’t like my men sneaking around. It would be better if we just brought the whore here.”
            “Who was spreading lies about me?” Robert asked. He was determined to find out.
            Parkes blinked. “Yes, I did say I’d trade information. Don’t do anything rash. I’ve never met the man. They told me he works out of Hong Kong and Macao and has three small sloops. He is one of the opium merchants. A small one—nothing big.”
            “His name, sir.”
            “Let’s see.” Parkes stared at the ceiling. He looked uncomfortable. Robert felt as if he had taken control of the moment. It felt good. “Payne Hollister. Yes, that is the name.”
            Hearing Hollister’s name was like a heavy blow between the shoulder blades. Hollister was still in China. The man hadn’t returned to England after all. For a moment, Robert held his breath. “You said he was an opium merchant?” he asked.
            “That’s what I was told, and why I didn’t take what I heard seriously. Do you know this man?”
            Good Lord, if Hollister was spreading vile lies in an attempt to ruin Robert’s life, the man still harbored a grudge for what happened with Me-ta-tae. If that was true , maybe Hollister was behind the attacks on Ayaou and Robert in Ningpo. It was bad enough that he had Ward to worry about in Northern China. Now he had to worry about Hollister in the South.
            “I asked a question,” Parkes said.
            “I worked with Hollister in Ningpo before he quit the consular service. I thought he returned to England.”
            “If he is generating gossip like this, he must dislike you for some reason. If something happened between you two, I don’t want to know about it. That’s not my concern.” Parkes came around the desk. “Robert,” he said, “you have proven yourself to me. You are an honest, courageous, hardworking man. Someone I can depend on. Forget about this Hollister fellow. His type always comes to a bad end anyway.
            “And stop whoring around. If you want a woman, we can have one brought here to take care of your needs. If you don’t like that, then you are going to have to give up women until Canton is safe.” Parkes looked tired. He shook his head. “We all have our vices. I just thought better of you, Robert. Whores!” He said the word as if it were something evil.
            “Ayaou is not a whore,” he said. “She’s my concubine. When I bought her, she was a virgin. We have been together for three years. I can’t go see her with an escort. An escort will draw attention to where I am going and the rebels will mark her and my servant for death. I trust you will keep this conversation private.”
            Parkes did not look surprised. Instead, he nodded as if he already knew.
            “Have you had someone watching me?” Robert asked, shocked.
            “Of course. You were sneaking around like a common thief or a spy. Once I discovered what you were up to, I wanted to know if I could trust you. It didn’t take long for my man to discover you were seeing a woman. Until now, we didn’t know whom that Chinese man was that was staying with her. We thought it might be possible you were being blackmailed by someone to reveal information about our operations.”
            “You didn’t have to spy on me,” he said. “All you had to do was ask. I would’ve told you what I was doing even if it were against your orders.”
            “Robert,” Parkes said, “these are difficult times. Even I must do without my wife and family. I miss her, but she is safer in Hong Kong. If you care for this woman, why is she still here? Send her to Hong Kong or Macau with your servant.”
            “It looks like I have no choice,” he replied. He felt his shoulders sagging.
            “Precisely. You are too valuable to end up dead. Take this as a direct order. You are forbidden to leave the compound unless you are with an armed guard. We cannot trust anyone but our own people at this point. Send this woman and your servant away.”
            Robert started to open his mouth.
            Parkes shook his head and looked as if he were disappointed. “No one will hear from my lips what we talked about, Robert. I’m not the sort for gossip or rumors. You should know that by now.
___________________________
 
Links to Reviews for "Our Hart"
 
Honorable Mentions in General Fiction
 
Visit China here: iLook China

Web Site: Our Hart, Elegy for a Concubine  

Reader Reviews for "Our Hart, Episode 20"


Want to review or comment on this short story?
Click here to login!


Need a FREE Membership?
Click here to Join!


Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 11/2/2009
Great story, Lloyd; well written!

(((HUGS))) and much love, your friend in Tx., Karen Lynn. :D


Books by
Lloyd Lofthouse



Running with the Enemy

Buy Options
Kindle, Amazon, more..




Crazy is Normal a classroom exposé

Buy Options
Amazon, more..




My Splendid Concubine, 3rd edition

Buy Options
Kindle, Nook, Amazon, more..



Popular
Historical Fiction Stories
1. Haida Gwaii
2. The Search For Papa. (Part Five)
3. The Far Side of Lonesome
4. The Golden Words
5. Abused Child
6. Review: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
7. Dirty Jew!: A Story About World War II. (P
8. Paul Goes Postal
9. Christina: Cabin Fever
10. It's Obama's Fault
11. Shattered

Authors alphabetically: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Featured Authors | New to AuthorsDen? | Add AuthorsDen to your Site
Share AD with your friends | Need Help? | About us


Problem with this page?   Report it to AuthorsDen
© AuthorsDen, Inc. All rights reserved.