The Kingdom

of

America

By E. B. Alston

ISBN 978-0-9747735-7-5

Paperback-360 pages-$16.99 plus shipping

 

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Imagine a time in the future when the United States of America is sundered and there are now two countries where the one we love so dear used to be. The original United States is much reduced. The remainder of the country and a large part of Canada and vassal countries overseas are components of a kingdom ruled by a succession of kings whose lineage goes back to roots in North Carolina. The new country is called America. It is a society divided into aristocrats, commoners and a labor class who are assigned their status on the basis of intelligence tests. The country is militant and maintains a huge standing army, always poised and ready to deliver retribution with an iron fist to anyone anywhere who threatens, injures or kills an American citizen. In 2084, in Baltimore, twenty-six year old King Henry meets a young woman who is destined for greatness. The story of their courtship and marriage brings romance and pageantry amid a background of international intrigue and war. This novel explores the personal lives of the Royal family as they bring pageantry and glamour to the American heartland and the aristocrats who are wholehearted participants in this mighty drama.

Reviewer's Comments

I like this book so much I would like to tell you some of my thoughts thatI could not work into my review. 

First, this is your best novel. The subject matter fascinated me.  All along the way I kept thinking - "Wow, we really could use these reforms.  This man is right on target.  Yes!  Let's get started right away."  Then Paul Harvey's comment of "Absolute power corrupts absolutely"  came to mind and I asked myself if we could stop anyone once they really got going?  I do not know the answer to the above question.

Next, how many comments are your personal opinions?  Can I guess?  Page 14 "The candidates spent time in torturous explanations which explained nothing."  You do not like government people any better than I do.  Re- education:  you also do not like the no-child-left-behind rule.  Re our prison system:  Why have death row if no one dies?  Re-zero tolerance policy on anything:  It does not work because it eliminates common sense and then we really have problems.

Third, some questions.  1.  Is this the same Rachel and Graham of "A Deal of a Lifetime?"  2.  Did you base Henry and Catlin on Henry VII and Princess Diana?  3.  I translated the inscription on the coat of arms as Hope In God. 

Fourth.  The inscription on the coat of arms really got to me.  Other than having Priests pray at meals and the Pope preside at weddings and coronations, God was completely absent from all actions.  Sunday's Gospel (Oct 23,2005) was the first commandment is to love God.  The next commandment is to love your neighbor.  I had your book three fourths read by then and I could not help but compare that Gospel with your book.  The Clark motto was a farce!  I love the irony.  That was great on your part. 

Fifth.  Catlin's behavior after the death of Henry surprised me (maybe I'm too naive).  I expected her to have a softer attitude.  Her first act as first in command "BAM"  Kill all the Russian army.  Absolute power - it was the perfect ending.

Finally, I plan re-read this book and write a second review.  I re-read books all the time and I knew by the time I got to chapter 4 that I would re-read this one.  It is really a terrific book and it deserves a more careful reading that I was able to give it..I told my husband he has to read it, I know he will enjoy it.

Judy Jacobs

Oct 30, 2005

Excerpts from The Kingdom of America

 <From page 26>

Algeria was annexed. In August, an American oil field engineer was kidnapped by a band of Algerian rebel tribesmen. They demanded a million-dollar ransom. Alexander refused to pay. The tribesmen threatened to torture their captive and kill him. The American ambassador relayed a message from Alexander to the Algerian dictator, Kamal Farouk, asking him to obtain the safe release of the American citizen. He pointed out that the engineer was in Algeria at Farouk’s request. Farouk was either unable or unwilling to rescue him. Alexander asked for permission to send in a rescue mission consisting of a company of Royal Marines but Farouk refused to grant permission for American troops to enter his country. A British diplomat managed to visit the captive, where he witnessed him being mistreated by the Arab tribesmen. This information was passed on to the American ambassador who demanded that Farouk rescue the American. Farouk lost his temper. He told the American ambassador that foreigners were kidnapped all the time in the Middle East. The victim’s government quietly paid the ransom and got their citizen back more or less the worse for wear, depending on how long it took for the funds to be delivered.

“It’s the only way these tribes survive,” Farouk advised the American ambassador. “They have no other way to obtain money for necessities.”

The American ambassador was outraged but his ire was nothing compared to Alexander’s. The French ambassador tried to caution Farouk about infuriating the Americans but he was cut off.

America is a long way from Algeria and it’s just one man,” Farouk reminded him confidently.

The Algerian ambassador reported to his boss that the Americans were up in arms over the matter and the king had ordered cancellation of all military leaves, ordered mobilization of reserves, requisitioned the entire fleet of American owned cruise and cargo ships and had also requisitioned every American owned airliner.

When his foreign minister passed this information on to Farouk, his only comment was the American king was bluffing. The U.N., the French, British, German, Spanish, Italian and Russian governments all sent urgent messages to Farouk to resolve the situation before things got out of control. They also sent delegations to Alexander urging patience. Alexander heard them out but was tight-lipped about his plans. Farouk continued in his belief that Alexander was bluffing. 

On the third day of the crisis, the Russians reported to Farouk that the entire Royal American Navy was steaming at top speed towards the Mediterranean. Farouk held firmly to his belief that it was all a bluff.

 

<From page 28>

 

The commander of the units who fought the Royal Marine rescue team was terrified at the prospect of taking on more Americans and urged his leader to back off.

“Your Excellency, they fought like tigers and wouldn’t surrender. A thousand such men would destroy our whole army.”

Farouk dismissed his worrying, “You let one little incident make you a coward. America is far away. Nobody is going to war over one man.”

 

<From page 28>

 

Before dawn on the next day, the ninth day of the crisis, Farouk was awakened and told that American Commandos (The Tennessee 105th Royal Commando Regiment) were inside his palace compound. He was then informed that all Algerian seaports and airports were in American hands and tens of thousands of American troops were disembarking on Algerian soil. The last information he received before his capture was that the Royal American Army was on the outskirts of his capital.

 

<From page 29>

 An Algerian colonel managed to slip into Morocco where he was given political asylum by the Moroccan government. He foolishly allowed an Italian news reporter to interview him on camera. He was still shaken by the violence of the American attack and didn’t discuss anything of military value. But intelligence operatives from many countries took note and rushed to spirit him to a place where he could be interrogated and be safe from American vengeance. The Russian intelligence attaché arrived at his hotel room a few minutes after the interview was aired on television. He was too late.

The Moroccan dictator was furious that the Americans would blatantly assassinate someone to whom he had guaranteed safety. He demanded the American ambassador explain and apologize for their high handed actions. He was in a rage when the ambassador was ushered into his office.

“You had no right to come into my country and murder a citizen of my neighbor!he shouted before the American ambassador had a chance to sit down. “I guaranteed this man safety and your government didn’t even try to contact me to negotiate custody!” He was still shouting and pacing around the room, waving his arms.

The American ambassador remained calm, “It was a military necessity.”

“You goddamn Americans think everything is a military necessity. You had no right to attack my neighbor.”

“They failed to protect an American citizen who was in their country at their government’s request.”

“So,” he said with heavy sarcasm, “You invaded a peaceful country, murdered its ruler and his family and massacred his military forces.”

“They killed an American and the force that was sent to rescue him.”

“For one man’s life, you killed over two hundred thousand men?”

“Yes,” the ambassador replied calmly.

The ambassador’s calm demeanor angered the dictator even more. He pointed his finger at the ambassador’s nose, “What would you say if I ordered all American property in Morocco seized and every American in the country arrested?”

“I would remind you that a quarter of a million American troops are less than one hour from your border and another quarter of a million can be deployed before nightfall.”

He took his finger away from the ambassador’s face and stared at him. He turned and walked to his desk and sat down.

Then the American ambassador coolly informed him that the 105th Royal Commando Regiment could be inside his palace in twenty-five minutes.

 

<From page 50>

 

In 2077, Edward’s oldest child, Princess Elizabeth visited South Africa as a private citizen, accompanied only by her personal servants. During a photographic safari, she and her party were captured by a group of native separatists and held captive for over a month. The South African government assured His Majesty’s government of her prompt rescue but their attempt was ineffectual and resulted in a miserable, embarrassing failure.

When the king was informed of the situation his reaction was what you might expect from a Clark. He ordered the Foreign Legion to rescue them. Their commander reported to the king the lawless state of the country and the deplorable condition of its citizens. Two months later, South Africa had a new king and Elizabeth and her companions were back safe at home. Needless to say, her kidnappers were slaughtered along with their next-of-kin.  The world had been afraid of Alexander and George, but this new king had turned out to be the most aggressive of all the Clarks. World governments began to communicate secretly among themselves about the need to resist HM government in future forays of this kind. But King Edward’s spies kept him informed of every move they made.

 

<From page 52>

 

It was election year in the United States. Fed up with continued humiliation at the hands of arrogant American kings, they elected a man to the presidency who promised to force a change in the continental balance of power. He was the candidate from the New Federalist Party and his name was Andrew Jackson. His platform was, “Reclaiming Our Manifest Destiny” and he won by a landslide.

 

<From page 53>

 

King Edward died suddenly in January of 2084 of an aneurism. Twenty-six year old Henry ascended to the throne. He was the youngest king of the Clark Dynasty. The United States government did not believe he was like his father. They considered him to be a dilettante, an alcoholic, weak willed, indecisive and contemptuous of the military, an opinion based primarily on observations made by their female spy. They decided their best chance of success was to make a surprise attack on Good Friday, March 24, 2084 before Henry had a chance to acclimate to his new position.

 

<From page 56>

  

President Jackson’s choice of commanding general for the attack was coincidentally ironic. His name was Grant, Major General Hugh B. Grant. He fell into the role with gusto, started smoking cigars, drinking from a whiskey bottle in public and a few days before the attack, started wearing an old style Calvary hat like the one worn by the other General Grant.

Unknown to them, the other irony was the commander of the opposing American forces was Major General T. J. Jackson, ACOV and the Duke of Atlanta, but similarities in his case were few. For starters, he was black. But like the other General Jackson, he was an effective and aggressive commander.

General Jackson hated the United States with a vehemence that eclipsed the president’s hatred of the American government.  President Jackson would have been concerned if he had known about it. General Jackson grew up in a Boston slum and managed to immigrate to America by joining the Foreign Legion when he was eighteen. There he distinguished himself by both his daring and his passion to succeed. He led the squad that rescued Princess Elizabeth from captivity in South Africa. He was awarded the Alexander Cross. Enlisted men who received the Alexander Cross were sent to the Virginia Military Institute. He graduated at the top of his class and now he was a Duke. He had been presented an opportunity to avenge his childhood.

General Jackson was also a serious man, much like the British Duke of Wellington. He was not the type of man who had a nickname. Nobody ever called him “Tommy” or “TJ”. While units he commanded had never retreated an inch, nobody ever called him “Stonewall” either. Even his commoner wife addressed him as “Your Grace” in public.

 

<From page 59>

 

After the first contingent of tanks crossed the bridge, infantry followed and began to fan out into Alexandria and adjacent communities. To their amazement, the city was deserted. Houses and businesses were closed and locked. Even convenience stores and all night interstate gas stations were closed and dark. Then to their surprise, Royal Army soldiers appeared out of the darkness and ordered them to surrender. A few random rifle shots were heard by the main contingent along I-95 but it was nothing to get alarmed about. Strict observation of orders for complete radio silence worked against them now.

Mobile artillery followed the tanks with about a mile of separation to allow the tanks room to maneuver if they met any opposition.

As soon as the first U.S. tank battalion was a few hundred yards beyond the bridge, eight American armored vehicles advanced unnoticed up the ramps and moved quickly into position, four in the northbound lanes and four in the southbound lanes. Two in each lane turned their guns on the retreating tanks and the other two turned to meet troops and oncoming artillery units.

The United States military still used guns and explosive shells. They had not been able to develop laser weapons because of their inability to solve the power problems associated with laser weapon technology. They still fired bullets and shells from gun barrels like the world’s armies had been doing for nine hundred years. American armor used electromagnetic beam weapons.

All eight Royal Army tanks fired at the same time. There was no loud bang as with cannons. There was just a violent “whoosh” and a stream of incandescent blue light flew at the closest tanks and gun transports. When the plasma struck its target, a super hot ball of energy enveloped it and exploded the fuel tank. That was followed a few seconds later by exploding ammunition inside the vehicle as it turned cherry red. U.S. troops caught close to the vehicles were severely burned while those farther away were in danger of being hit by exploding ammunition.

 

<From page 65>

 

By the end of the first day, the Royal Army, Marines and Empire troops occupied the whole of Washington, D.C. and the Maryland eastern shore up to Ocean City. Having had no warning of the impending conflict, civilians were stunned to see foreign troops. They thought the Americans had attacked without warning because of belligerent remarks made by President Jackson. They didn’t know the United States had attacked first.

Diplomatic residents of Washington were just as stunned as ordinary U.S. citizens. First there was the sound of small arms and artillery fire and the unfamiliar “whoosh” of the plasma weapons. Then a very polite and very professional American officer arrived at their entrance informing them of the fighting and they, the Americans, had placed troops around their compounds to protect them. The officer also advised that movement outside of their compounds was not recommended. The French ambassador commented to his superior about it. He noted how fearful it would be to realize one was being attacked by an American Army and yet how comforting it was to be told they were protecting you. He commented favorably on the professionalism and discipline of the troops.

“The Royal Army captain who came to our gate spoke perfect French and she was both polite and reassuring. Throughout the day the soldiers guarding the compound displayed the same attitude. I observed a relaxed camaraderie between both officers and the ranks. They possess an élan unseen since Austerlitz. And, while the captain at our compound is a woman, stern and businesslike as any man, she could hold her own in the most stylish salons in Paris.”  

 

<From page 94>

 

While they were waiting for their meal, a group of young people came in. Among them was a striking dark haired young woman wearing a sweater and long skirt. She caught Henry’s attention and while he was giving her the once over she looked at him. Their eyes met and she gave him a sly grin. She was engaged in conversation with members of her party while they waited to be seated but she looked Henry’s way several times. Every time she did, he was looking at her. An electric spark passed between them.

“Carl, do you see the tall, dark haired girl in line by the register?”

“There are several girls in the line. Which one?”

“The pretty one.”

“All of them are pretty, Your Majesty.”

“Don’t call me that here. Call me Henry,” he hissed. “The one in the gray sweater and long blue skirt.”

“Oh, that one. She is quite attractive, Sir.”

“Ask her to dine with us.”

Gillespie went over to where the girl was standing and introduced himself. They had a few words after which she followed him to their table while her companions watched.

“Caitlin, this is Henry. Henry, meet Caitlin.”

Henry stood and shook her hand. “I’m pleased to meet you, Caitlin. Would you join us for dinner?”

“I’m sorry but I can’t. I’m with a group.” She smiled, “But I would if I was free.”

Henry’s disappointment showed. “I wish you’d reconsider.”

“I can’t. Maybe another time?”

“I’m going back home on Monday.”            

“You’re an American, aren’t you?”

“Yes.” Then he smiled, “Aren’t you?”

She laughed, “I became one the first of this month. I am officially Lady Caitlin Rose York.” Then she laughed again. “Isn’t that something! What’s your official name?”

“Sir Henry Clark and this is Sir Carl Gillespie.”

“Well, Sir Henry, could we meet somewhere for lunch tomorrow?”

“You name the place.”

“How about eleven-thirty tomorrow at the Crackpot Restaurant on Loch Raven Boulevard in Towson?”

“I’ll be there.”

She looked back toward her friends. They were motioning for her to come.

“I must rejoin my party. Should I curtsy now, Sir Henry?” she giggled.

He laughed, “Not in informal circumstances, Lady Caitlin.”

As she turned to leave, she looked back over her shoulder. “See you tomorrow,” she said as she smiled sweetly and rejoined her group. When they were going to their table, she looked his way twice more and smiled when their eyes met.

After she was out of sight, Henry observed, “What a gorgeous creature.”

Carl had been watching his love struck monarch with humorous detachment. “She is quite attractive, Your Majesty.”

“She’s prettier than the CIA spy.”

Gillespie laughed, “That is saying a lot, Your Majesty.”

 

<From page 100>

 

Henry’s Chief of Staff, Lord Walter Jones, called Henry early the next morning

“Your Majesty, you must explain to this girl who you are.”

 “Why? It’s only a date to go to a ballgame.”

 “Carl has told me how infatuated you are with her.”

 “So? I’m excited about a pretty girl. Does that create a situation where my cabinet meets to discuss a date their king has with a girl in Baltimore?”

 “Sire, everything you do is important to the realm.”

 “Not everything, Walter. It’s only one date. What can be wrong if Henry Clark has one date with a pretty girl in Baltimore?”

 “Suppose the relationship intensifies and she becomes candidate for queen?”

 “Suppose it does? I’ll tell her then.”

 “Don’t you think she might be offended by your deception?”

 “A little, maybe, but by then it ought not to matter if she likes me.”

 “Your Majesty, any deception weakens a relationship when it’s discovered.”

 “She would get over it.”

 “Sire, you ought not to chance it. How would you feel?”

 “I’d get over it.”

 “Nothing in my experience indicates that you have any tolerance for deceptive behavior.”

 Henry didn’t respond.

 “She comes from a good family. Her father was a state senator. He’s been very helpful to us and has been appointed to the council. In September, he’ll be named Duke of Cumberland.”

 “So, I chose well,” he said sarcastically.

 “Actually, you did. Remember, you’re twenty-six and your realm needs an heir.”

 Elizabeth is next in line.”

 Elizabeth does not possess the mettle. She doesn’t have children either.”

 “How about Rachel?”

 “Sire, Rachel is much too spirited for the demands of Head of State.”

 “And William is too bookish.”

 “Exactly, Your Majesty. We need new blood.”

 “But it’s just a date.”

 “I understand, Your Majesty.”

 “All the others couldn’t forget my job and like me personally. They loved the King. The real Henry was something they wanted to leave in a closet out of sight.”

 “Maybe this girl is different, Henry.”

 “It would make me feel better if she liked me before she knew who I was.”

 “Your Majesty, do not deceive this girl. If she is the one, you, her and your subjects will suffer.”

 

 

 Carl contacted Caitlin that night saying Henry would like to meet her family Friday evening after dinner. She was mystified by this unusual request and had trouble concentrating at work while speculating about it. Both of her parents were mystified too. But these Americans were different and were sticklers for process.

 Henry and Carl arrived at the York home at nineteen-thirty on-the-dot. Caitlin met them at the door and led them into the living room. After they were seated, she went to get her parents. She noticed Henry seemed quiet and subdued. It worried her a little which increased the mystery.

 Caitlin introduced her parents to Henry and Carl. After introductions, Henry got right to the point.

 “Sir Richard and Lady Francis, your daughter told me that before she could go out with me I had to tell you what I do for a living.”

Her father nodded.

“Then, I’ll tell all of you at the same time. But first I must apologize to Caitlin for concealing my true identity from her.” He paused and looked at Caitlin. “My chief of staff and cabinet have been unanimous in advising me that I must correct any misconceptions I might have caused as quickly as possible,” he paused again, looking at Caitlin to gauge her reaction. She was staring at him.

 He addressed her parents first, “Sir, Lady,” then he spoke directly to Caitlin, “and Caitlin, I am the King.”

 Caitlin’s jaw dropped, “You’re King Henry!” she stammered.

 “Yes, I am, Caitlin. I apologize for not telling you before.”

“Why didn’t you tell me who you were?”

“I wanted to get to know you while you thought I was an ordinary man.”

 The Yorks became very flustered. Their King and the ruler of the third largest country in the world right here in their living room!

 Carl tried to ease their stress, “Sir and Lady York, there are no protocol issues involved. In informal settings, Henry expects to be treated like anybody else. And His Majesty is sincerely attracted to your daughter.”

 Caitlin regained some semblance of composure, “When would you have told me?"

 “After I knew that you liked plain old Henry Clark.”   

 “I’d be mad.”

 Sir Richard found his voice, “She doesn’t mean it like she said it, Your Majesty. She means she might be upset.”

 “Daddy, I’d be mad then. I’m upset now.”

 “My daughter is very outspoken, Your Majesty. Please don’t take offense.”

 “Could the three of you please leave the room so Caitlin and I can discuss this privately?” Henry suggested, trying to keep it from sounding like an order.

 Carl motioned for the York’s to follow him into the foyer and they took him to their family room. Carl would try to put them at ease with the situation.

 After they were alone, Henry continued, “Caitlin, when we’re together I want you to be yourself and forget I am your King. I want us to be just Caitlin and Henry.”

 “How about when we go somewhere in public, like a baseball game?”

 “We’ll go like we planned.”

 “Will Carl be with us?”

 “He’ll be close but not so close we won’t have privacy.”

 “What about guards? I thought you would have guards everywhere.”

 “They’re inconspicuous. They blend in with the crowd.”

 “How many came with you?”

 “Twelve.”

 “What should I call you?”

 “Henry, when we’re in private or in an informal group. If we’re in a formal setting or a mixed group which includes commoners, you must address me as ‘Your Majesty’.”

 “So, if my friends had been with us at our table, they could have called you, ‘Henry’.”

 “Yes.” He paused, “Caitlin, I’m sorry I misled you but I was afraid if you knew who I was you wouldn’t want to go out with me, or worse, think you had to. I’m afraid of that now.”

 She looked at him. She knew he was sincere. And he was still handsome and very nice, in spite of being King.

 She smiled, “I’ll be okay, Henry. It will be quite an adjustment but I’ll try if you want me too.”

 

<From page 225>

  

Fawzi was standing across the street when Henry and Carl exited the building. He hadn’t heard that the king was in town and was surprised to see him. He cursed the missed opportunity because the king was out of the building, in the car and gone before Fawzi could react. He moved across the street to get a little closer to the entrance. He felt the grenade in his coat pocket and put his finger in the ring. There was a crowd outside the studio. He didn’t notice the two men in business suits who followed him across the street, one on his left and the other on his right, each staying about twenty feet away.

 

             

                    [Latin] “Lady York and her party are about to leave the building.”

              [Latin] “Where is he?”

              [Latin]”He’s moved across the street closer to the entrance.”

              [Latin] “How far from the door?”

              [Latin] “A hundred and seven feet.”

              [Latin] “Who’s closest to Lady York?”

              [Latin] “Parker.”

              [Latin] “He’s new. Why is he assigned to close protection?”

              [Latin] “Lady Hamilton ordered it.”

              [Latin] “Who in hell does she think she is? That’s the guard commander’s decision.”

              [Latin] “Lady Hamilton insisted and he agreed.”

              [Latin] “That woman has far too much influence.”

              [Latin] “They’re coming out of the building.”

              [Latin] “Are our people in position?”

              [Latin] “Yeah.”

  

Fawzi noticed the crowd becoming excited and moved a little closer to the entrance. He guessed the king’s bride-to-be would emerge from the center door and moved in front of it. That way, if she came out of one of the other doors, he could easily adjust. His heart started pounding when he saw a man open the door and hold it open. Then he saw her approaching.

Fawzi was getting light headed from the tension as he focused on her to the exclusion of everything else. As she exited the door, he decided to move quickly. At his first step, out of the corner of his eye, he saw a man start running towards him. He had to act now! He took the grenade from his pocket, pulled the pin and lobbed it in the direction of the woman as she stood smiling at the crowd. He heard the grenade hit the pavement just as the man tackled him. Then another man was on him and he was pinned to the ground.

 

<From page 227>

Caitlin had exited the building and turned to speak to Emma when she saw something falling toward her. Then she heard a metallic “clunk” when it hit the pavement about three feet away. Before she could react, the guard holding the door threw himself on the object and two other guards shoved her roughly back inside the building, positioning themselves in front and behind her with weapons drawn. Then she heard a “pop” like a firecracker had exploded and saw smoke emerge from under the guard on the ground. In seconds, nine guards had surrounded her with weapons drawn. The guard commander ran up and ordered them to move Lady York into the conference room off the lobby while he sorted things out.

National television cameras had recorded the whole scene. One of the guards urged Caitlin to sit down. She looked around for Emma. Emma and Kathy were standing behind her with ashen looks on their faces. The guard commander came in.

“Lady York, an Egyptian has made an attempt on your life.”

“Why?”

“We don’t know yet but we will know within the hour. He has been arrested and is being taken to detention.”

“What did he throw at me?’

“A grenade. It turned out to be an old training grenade but he thought it was the real thing.”

“Was the guard who threw himself on it injured?”

“No, Milady. He was wearing body armor and it was like a big firecracker explosion.” 

“Suppose it had been a real grenade?”

“He might have been killed, Milady.”

“Bring him to me.”

“Right away, Milady.”

The guard commander left and a moment later returned with the guard. The front of the guard’s suit and shirt were smudged and burned in spots but otherwise he appeared to be all right. He came to attention in front of Caitlin.

“You sent for me, Milady.”

“Yes, I did. What is your name?

“Agent Parker, Milady.”

“What you did was very courageous.”

“I have sworn to defend your life with mine,” he replied.

“Then today, you have proven both your courage and your devotion to me.”

“Thank you, Milady.”

“I wish you to be my personal bodyguard from now on.”

“Thank you, Milady,” he stammered and dropped to his knees before Caitlin and bowed his head. She extended her hand. He took her hand and kissed it.

He was overcome with emotion, “You do me great honor, Milady,” he said with a trembling voice. Cameras recorded the whole scene while the crowd applauded and cheered.

 

<From page 228>

 

At the cabinet meeting the next morning, Walter played the recording of the television program and the assassination attempt. When it was over, he sat back, folded his arms and grinned.

“What did I tell you?” he gloated. “She is every inch a queen!”

 

<From page 230>

 

It was eight o’clock in Cairo and President Abdullah Ibrahim was sitting down to dinner with his family when an aide rushed in and whispered something in his ear. He frowned and excused himself and left with the aide. The American ambassador was waiting in his office with some very alarming news.

When the ambassador was escorted into the president’s office, he got right to the point. “An Egyptian citizen has attempted to assassinate Lady Caitlin York, the king’s fiancée.”

The president was speechless for a moment, “This is terrible!” he said, “How could this be?” he asked, while thinking of an intelligent question to ask.

“He was a religious fanatic, a member of the sect that caused the trouble at Mecca in February.”

“I hope that Lady York was not injured.”

“She was not injured.”

“Then I thank Allah that he has spared Lady York. I can assure you that my government did not participate or condone this in any way.”

“We know that.”

How could these Americans know everything he thought? “Then I will arrest and punish any Egyptian citizens who participated in this in the slightest fashion.”

“His Majesty has requested that you arrest them and turn them over to us.”

“But they are not Americans, they are Egyptian citizens. It is our responsibility to dispense justice to our citizens on our soil.”

“His Majesty insists you turn them over to us.”

“There are international laws which forbid this.”

“American law is above international law in this case.”

He tried to buy some time, “We’ll have to investigate the matter and identify the culprits.”

The ambassador handed him a list with seventy-nine names on it. “These are the individuals you are to deliver to us.”

He glanced down the list. There was a senior member of his diplomatic staff on it and the heads of two prominent families in El-Uqsor. “There are women and children’s names here.”

“American law requires that the parents and siblings of violent criminals be executed.”

The president was appalled, “I cannot do this!”

“The king demands that you deliver all the people on this list to the American Airlines gate at the Cairo Airport at nine o’clock on the twentieth.”

“That’s the day after tomorrow.”

“That is correct,” the ambassador confirmed coldly.

“I must confer with my advisors on this matter.”

“Time is short. The first and third Algerian armies will be at your western frontier by tomorrow afternoon. Three Saudi Arabian armies and one South African army will be posted on your eastern border by midday tomorrow. The Foreign Legion; the 82nd and 101st Royal Airborne Divisions are boarding planes now for immediate deployment. Advise me of your decision by nine tomorrow.”

The American ambassador stood up, bowed to the president, turned on his heel and took his leave.

The president sat quietly at his desk. It would take his army a month to mobilize. Then he realized no matter what position he took, the people whose names were on the list were doomed. Even if the Americans didn’t invade his country and take it over, they would hunt them down and assassinate all of them where they lived. Those damned fanatics! Why did this idiot have to be born an Egyptian? And those damned Americans! Why had Allah allowed them to become so all-powerful? Were they Allah’s punishment for those of insufficient piety? He had forgotten to ask what they planned to do with the man they had arrested.

 

 

 
         

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