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Hi Everybody I don't know what you all are doing to me .....but I'm getting brave enough to try to write this one...............based on the TV more than the books...
No sex.......just mush...........Antonia is 12 or 13 and has started to ask about her parents..........Richard left this letter with her Uncle and Aunt when he left her in their care.......for just such an occasion, just in case he never returned........I like to think they moved and he is still looking for her..........
My Dear Little Antonia,
When you read this you should be a young lady. All grown up from the tiny little girl I was forced by circumstance to leave behind. It was not of my choosing for it to happen as it did. For all the world I did not want to leave you behind. But, I was a soldier caught in a war with the possibility of my death a daily reality.
Your Mother was the light of my existence. Born of the Blood of Spanish Nobility, she was more than I ever dreamed possible for me. You see my little one, I was born in the gutters of England with no future at all. My mother left me on the steps of a foundling home and disappeared from my life forever. As a young man, I killed a man while defending a friend, and my only escape from the gallows was the army. In the army I discovered something I was actually good at doing and for once there was a purpose to my life. I served in Flanders, far away India and then Portugal and Spain. When I was a sergeant in India, I was lucky or unlucky enough to save my commander's life and win promotion from the ranks to Lieutenant.
I did not fit in with the other officers and the men in my command hated me. They did not think me a proper officer. That is when I met your mother. She taught me how to be a good officer and win the respect of my men. We fell in love but had precious little time together. I was fighting for my King and she for her country. What spirit and fire your mother had. Men followed her to hell and back because she knew how to be a leader and she had sworn an oath to drive the French from Spain or die trying.
Our times together were precious and often there were very long separations. Neither of us knowing whether we would ever see the other again. After one of these very long times apart she told me about you. You were already eight months old and I never knew you existed. But as she told me of her precious gift to me, she also told me that you were ill and in the city our Army was about to lay seige to. She went in to bring you out and could not return. I feared that I would never see you. The battle we had begun would take many lives and I feared I might be one of them without ever holding you. Fear and anger can easily become madness in battle and we fought hard to take Badajoz. But, in the end we won and I finally held you in my arms. I didn't think such joy possible in my life. More separations were to come as the war went on. I rose in the ranks and eventually became a major.
Your mother and I hoped the war would one day end so we might be a family. But that was not to be. A man from my past with a score to settle ended that dream when he took your mother from us. I will forever carry in my heart the guilt that I had not killed this man in the past. I bear the scars of his hatred for me on my back and in my heart. I carry them with me always. I hesitated to kill him myself, but he was so cruel that I felt it only right that his victims see him punished and in the end I lost one of the most precious things in my life because of my hesitation. He paid with his life for taking your mother from us.
I had no choice but to leave you in the loving care of your aunt and uncle. I gave them all the money I had in the world to help care for you. I know they have loved you as their own all these years and for that I sincerely thank them. They had cared for you as your mother fought and you knew no other home. I could not take that away from you only to take drag you across the country with me in the face of such uncertainty. I loved you more than life itself and should something have happened to me you might have ended up as I did, in a foundling home with no future at all. With your aunt and uncle you had warmth and love and family. Please do not hate me for what I was forced to do. It broke my heart to leave you. But knowing that you were cared for and safe made it the only choice.
Some call me hero and some call me villain. I have been both in my life. I just hope that you will someday call me Father and hold my memory close to your heart as I hold you and the memory of your mother in mine. I am leaving this letter for you in the care of your uncle with instructions to give it to you if I never return for you when you are older and ask about me.
Your loving Father,