Excerpt from Chapter 5

Published November 10, 2017

The following morning, though not too early, Victor quietly
knocked three times on Ambrosius’s bedroom door, at one end of
his squadron’s long, narrow range of wooden barracks. He waited
patiently, yet unsurprisingly, heard no response. So he took a deep
breath then slowly let it out and knocked again; but still nothing. Deciding
it was safe to enter anyway, he steeled himself to sound as cheerful as
possible through his own grief, in order to be strong for the one whose
loss was even greater. Clearing his throat, he lifted the wooden latch,
slowly pushed the door open and went inside.

He found his brother sitting fully clothed on the edge of his bed,
though whether the seated man had woken early and got dressed, or had
been up all night and never slept at all, wasn’t obvious. However, Victor
imagined the latter to be the most likely. Ambrosius was idly turning that
silver pendant over and over in his fingers, while staring out of his tiny
window in the direction of Vectis. Despite the fact that there were several
neighbouring buildings, the fort wall and about fifteen miles of water
interrupting the view.