A Sip of Death: 1773

Olivia Perry, guest writer

I, Katherine Paige Anderson, had been dumping tea for hours on a ship in the Boston Harbor, and my back was starting to hurt. Deciding that the big crate in front of me would be my last box, I proceeded to try and pick it up. But, man, was that crate heavy! How much tea did they stuff into this one I thought.
I looked around and saw that Henry, my roguishly handsome best friend, had just finished dumping a crate into the ocean.
“Henry, come over here and help me pick up this crate.”
As we started to move the heavy crate over to the edge of the boat, Henry said, “No wonder the British are always fat and lumpy.”
I burst out laughing at this, making me lose my grip on the crate. I dropped it and the wood broke open, spilling its contents onto the deck. My face instantly grew serious as I saw before me not tea, but a body with skin as pale as a ghost. I turned to see Henry just as shocked as well.
“Who is it?” I heard him stutter out. I proceeded to crouch down my fingers reaching out as I placed my hand on the cold, lifeless body. As I pushed the victim up a tad, I got a quick glance at the victim’s face. As soon as I did, the color drained from my face. Instantly, I dropped the body shocked at what I had just seen.
“Kate, are you okay? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”
“Henry,” I stutter out a whisper. “The victim is my father.”

My feet hit the cold damp pavement stride after stride as I sprint down the dimly lit alley heading in no particular direction. Thoughts and questions continued to swirl around my brain as I sprint on. How could this be happening to me? Maybe I made a mistake; maybe I saw someone else. But I knew that couldn’t be true as I will never forget that face, a face that will be burned into my memory for the rest of time. As my brain continued to swirl, my spirt slowed to a jog, then a walk, and eventually the weight of my emotions became so heavy that I slumped onto the cold damp street and let the tears fall.
Henry, after finally catching up with me crouched down and put a comforting hand on my shoulder. Eventually I rose up from the ground as I turned to see Henry looking at me with sad eyes as he took me into his embrace. I wrapped my arms around him and let my head rest on his chest. After I could cry no more I pulled out of Henry’s embrace and looked up at him with red-rimmed eyes. “Henry, I have to find out what happened to my father. It’s the only way I will get closure.”
“I know; I feel it’s the only way too. I am helping you with this investigation not only because you need protection, but also because he was like a father to me.”
“Thanks, Henry. You’re the best.” I leaned up to give him a quick kiss on the cheek.

* * *
“Mrs. Ferguson, are you sure my father didn’t come here? I checked with his office and they said this was the address that was listed in his calendar.”
“Kate, I already told you, your father never made it here. And I don’t see why he would be coming here seeing as I am perfectly healthy.”
“Then why was he coming?” Henry asked.
“I think he was coming to see my husband, Gerald. I would ask him but he had an early meeting with one of his clients, so he’s not here right now.”
“Do you mind if I come back later and ask him?”
“Of course, dear. I am so sorry about your father. You have my deepest condolences.”
As we started to walk along the street, I couldn’t help but let the questions flood my brain. Why would my father lie? What was my father into? And if he was having troubles, why didn’t he just come to me?
* * *
I entered my house with Henry in tow to find my step-mother or step-monster as I like to call her, Victoria, waiting for me. She walked over to me, and slapped me across the face. The sting spread across my cheek as I yelled, “What was that for!”
“That’s for not telling me about your father’s death, I had to hear it from Gerald, who by the way is waiting to talk with you in the kitchen. Thank goodness your father’s dead; I can finally get rid of your snobbish, irritating self. It still shocks me how he could love someone as atrocious as you.”
“Victoria! Leave her alone!” Henry yelled, as he stepped in front of me, almost like a human shield.
“Henry, this is none of your business, so leave!” Victoria screamed.
“Actually, it is my business when you’re hurting someone I care about.”
Thank goodness I was behind Henry—I could feel the blush that creeped across my face. I tugged on Henry’s arm as I said “Henry, let’s go, she’s not worth it.”
“Dang right— she’s not worth it, with that attitude.”
I smiled as I continued to tug Henry with me into the kitchen to talk with Gerald.
“It’s good to see you Kate and Henry. When my wife told me that you wanted to talk about your father— God rest his soul—I knew there was not a moment to waste. So here I am.”
“Thank you for taking the time Gerald; I just wanted to ask why my father went to go and see you the night that he died?”
“Your father kept many secrets throughout his life, and I feel that because of what has transpired, you deserve to know.”
“Know what?” I asked, realizing that I was sitting on the edge of my seat. My hands nervously twisted in my lap and it was only the warm hand of Henry’s that enveloped my hand that calmed me down.
“Kate, your father wasn’t just a doctor, he was also a messenger for the ‘Sons of Liberty’, an organization “…largely defined in terms of protecting American liberties against British tyranny” (Simmons 34). After Britain established the tea act, that was the last straw for your father and he joined our organization. Your father was our messenger. As he already went to see people on a daily basis for his job, we thought it would be a perfect cover.
Two nights ago, though, I got a message from him saying that he had discovered the identity of a British spy in our midst. The night he was killed, he was coming over to my house to deliver the message.”
I sat there, stunned, as I tried to understand the man I thought I knew my entire life— the man who ended up being my whole world.
“I…I can’t believe it,” I stammered out.
“He truly was a great man, Kate…one who really loved you and his country. Now if you will excuse me, I have a client to meet with.”
I, too stunned to say anything, turned to Henry for help. Henry read my face and spoke for me, “Thank you, Gerald. You have no idea how much this means.”
* * *
“KILL HIM! KILL HIM!” The crowd chanted as they proceeded to tie up the loyalist and prepared to tar and feather him. Henry and I stood on the cobbled streets as we looked on at the angry mob in the center of town. I shivered as I saw the tar slowly seep out of the bucket and envelope the loyalist’s skin. I finally turned away as I heard the piercing scream as the man cried out in pain over the screaming mob. Religion is not something that I liked to talk about or get into but I silently said a quick prayer to the God above as I felt that maybe, someone out there greater than me could help this poor man.
“Henry, can we please leave… I don’t think I can watch this anymore.”
“Me either, let me take you home.”
Henry and I walked along the dimly lit streets back to my house. I didn’t realize I was shivering until I felt Henry place his cloak on my shoulders.
“But, Henry, aren’t you cold?”
“I will be fine, besides you need it more than me.”
I smiled as I leaned into Henry as he put his arm around my shoulders. We walked in comfortable silence as eventually we got to my house. I finally reached the top of the stairs as I turned to say goodbye.
“Thanks for all that you’ve done for me today. I don’t know what I would do without you.”
“Kate you know I would do anything for you, you mean that much to me.”
I leaned down to give him a kiss on the check when he leaned up and his lips met mine. I was shocked at first but eventually I relaxed and savored the kiss, loving the feel of his hands cupping my face like I was made of the finest glass and might break. I finally pulled back as I needed air. We stood there our breaths mingling as a smile slowly broke onto my face, as I rested my forehead on his. Henry gave me one last kiss on the cheek before he turned and headed back down the stairs toward home.
“Goodnight Henry.” He turned and looked up a me with a grin on his face as he said,
“Goodnight Kate. See you tomorrow.”
“See you tomorrow.” I stood there on the steps as I watched Henry walk down the street and eventually out of sight. I entered into my house with a huge grin on my face as I headed up the stairs to my room. These past two days may have been awful but after kissing Henry it made me feel like things would eventually get better. I closed the door to my room and took off Henry’s cloak as I started to get ready for bed. As I went to drape his cloak on the back of a chair near by, a folded piece of paper fell out of the pocket and fluttered to the floor. Reaching down to pick it up I opened the paper, as curiosity got the best of me. A sentence was scrawled across the top in Henry’s neat but slightly messing handwriting. As I started to read the paper the color drained from my face. All it said was….
Target 134, William Anderson, has been eliminated.

Works Cited

History.com Staff. “Boston Tea Party.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 2009, www.history.com/topics/american-revolution/boston-tea-party.n.d. Web. Jan. 22.

“Historical Events in 1773.” OnThisDay.com, www.onthisday.com/events/date/1773. n.d.Web. Jan. 24.

Simmons, Richard. The American Colonies: From Settlement to Independence. W.W. Norton & Co, 1976. Print.

“The Sons of Liberty: Who Were They and What Did They Do?” History of Massachusetts, 1 Jan. 2018, historyofmassachusetts.org/the-sons-of-liberty- who-were-they-and-what-did-they-do/. Web. Jan. 24.

PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, www.pbs.org/ktca/liberty/popup_stampact.html. Web. Jan. 22.


Findling, John. Events That Changed America in the Eighteenth Century. Greenwood Press, 1998. Print.

Miller, John. Origins of the American Revolution. Little Brown, 1943. Print.

Volo, James. The Boston Tea Party: The Founders of Revolution. Praeger, 2012. Print.