Jacob Anderson
Plains Drifter turned Private Investigator

         His intelligence and skill were higher levels than would appear. They needed to be for the kind of work he did. Lands he traveled and various quests that he took on. He mostly kept to himself, watching, listening, talking when necessary. He could be very talkative if it suited his purposes. Scottish brogue held a gruff edge to it, huskier as if dust was a part of his everyday breathing. Usually was. The high plains of Scotland were more traveled by him than not.

         He reported to only one. Only one man held his allegiance even if not his total loyalty. Something of importance was held over his head so he would do the bidding requested. Did them well. Live by the sword, die by the sword. He planned to continue living. He was a drifter for the jobs taken on that took him far and wide. He met many, befriended no one really except for those brief interludes. Befriending Jay could have one planted six feet under if they got too close. Danger followed him for he made his bed with such. Little was known of Jay, little known to keep him alive.

         This was all changed when the real heir made his claim to the seat of Aberdeen. The mess that had been, was cleaned up and Jay, now going by Jacob in preference and new direction, relocated to the lands of Heathfield. Here he slowly made a respected name for himself and in time was appointed as a Private Investigator under Joseph McDonough. He works alongside Mercy LeCorte. They would be an asset in assisting those of the lands as needed on a discriminatory basis that dealt with scruples.

A Drifter's Tale

         The walk was long getting him to Rhydin. Forest ways kept him hidden. An old abandoned lean-to found was used to grab some sleep. Darkness fell heavy for him this night. Restless sleep. Dreams plagued in old memories. An infant child stolen. Bassinet and all. Few objects. Blanket. Odd toy meant for an older child. A rectangular wooden box with sliding panels that if done in a correct order would reveal a hidden chamber. Small ones. Bigger ones. A few. Years passed as the boy grew with already a long history of passing hands. Most often left on his own until someone took in the small boy. Murders. Raids. Imprisonment. Many factors played in the lad being forced to move on. Drifter. A title eventually attached.

         He was only known as Jay, for what was stitched on a corner of his blanket as an infant. He proved to be a survivor even at a young age. Scavenger. Thief. Willing to work and work hard but would steal to stay alive. Food and clothing were more often snagged by little hands. Rift raft. Street rat. Jay became skilled. Quick of mind and intelligence. Many adventures. Unstable life became the way of it. He finally ended up in England in his later teens. He had been hijacked onto a ship to become one of its crew. Waylaid. Kidnapped. He escaped on England's shores. They couldn't hold Jay too long. It was in London that Jay hooked up with an older woman who took to him. Not romantically. More like a son. A friend. Her name was Nellie. Few made friends with either of them. Common grounds.

         This relationship worked for both. One hand helping the other. Eventually Luke came into their lives. A whirlwind. Energetic and full of life. Inquisitive. Curious. They saved him from a skirmish in a tavern one night. He was stealing food to survive. He was about eight at the time. Jay eventually gave him that one possession he had a child. Labyrinth box. Luke was more fascinated with the box than Jay had been as a child. It kept Luke occupied. Odd sort of a family unit was established. A kind of stability for the three unlikely. Time continued on until that faithful day when Luke found a Spanish coin medallion down at the port. He declared it his good luck piece. It wasn't asked how he found it. A code amongst thieves. Jay fashioned a hole in the top and laced a leather strip though it so it could be worn. Harder for Luke to lose it that way.

         Luke was not prone to tantrums but they happened upon occasion. One night his frustrations were taken out on the box as busy little fingers worked the sliding panels fast. Over and over. Frantically. Frustrated he slammed the box against the wall in a good hard throw. Hitting in a wood cracking smash near where Jay sat enjoying a drink. It broke. Jay leaned down to retrieve it. Anger mounting. Dispelled in another moment when a ring fell out wrapped in a piece of paper. Hurried script was read. -Jay. Jacob Anderson. My son. The ensign ring proves your birthright. Aberdeen, Scotland.- Nothing more was written in testament time had not permitted. The paper and ring were tucked away, kept on his person for safe keeping. A few weeks passed when he decided he would go to Aberdeen and investigate.

         The day he would book fare on a ship heading there, Luke insisted he take his lucky piece for the trip so he returned safely. The child insistent. Jay relented. It mattered to Luke that the one that was like a father to him be returned. Faithful day. Life's heart wrenching twists. Jay returned from the port after his passage was booked. A few hours wait. He headed back to spend that time with Nellie and Luke if they were about. His few possessions to pack. He turned the corner to the alley that would take him to where they resided only to come upon the scene of a few men searching the bodies of two prone on the street. Throats slit. Quick death. Bloody mess. The rage mounting with each step closer. Fast steps. He knew who the two were on the ground. Nellie. Luke.

         Jay descended upon the cutthroats like a madman. One against three. He was almost taken down when a blade slashed well across a rib that kept it from sinking into vital organs. Blood gushed. Whistles in the distant sounded. Two thugs dead. One managed away in critical condition. Jay made it into their home as the constables came. He gradually stopped the bleeding as he watched the death wagon come soon in their wake. The bodies thrown into the back like road kill pickup of the day. Useless trash. Unknowns. Unwanted. "Better off." One constable remarked. The scene was forever imprinted in Jay's memory. Not a tear shed but they burned inside. The gash wasn't deep but would leave a scar in memorial of that day. That night he was on his way to Scotland, never to return to London. Luke's good luck piece in his pocket. It was what those cutthroats had been after.

         A tavern keeper took Jay in once in Scotland. He did odd jobs for room and board. Time to heal. The physical wound would take a couple of weeks. The emotional one years. Jay kept to himself befriending no one. This was not to say he wasn't social enough where required. He knew the ring had been of some importance. Some station. He would claim what was his. He would have something. Everything else had been lost. He could only move forward. Having a name he went to the library. He was turned away for his attire. Rift raft. Thief. Scoundrel. He had to wait a few more until he could buy new clothes. Nothing fancy but well made. Clean. Whole. He was allowed in as he neatly presented himself as best he could. A little charm added with a woman he met headed there. He went in with her. He knew that had weighed in the difference. He could not afford better clothing. He found the written record of the family Anderson. Now gone.

Anderson, James. Baron. Deceased. Wife, Marilyn. Deceased. Son, Jacob. Deceased. Report submitted by Keith Anderson. First cousin.

         That was all the record stated. Jay's link would be this cousin Keith. He was located and a note sent requesting an audience. A few weeks passed with no word. Jay wondered if he had been dismissed. He well knew of scams that this might look like. He took a chance. He sent the piece of paper with the messenger. A messenger came back requesting he follow him immediately. Keith was an older gentleman whom it turned out was the god father of little Jacob. That day they were all killed remained a deep cutting wound. He knew immediately who Jay was for he looked like his father. His eyes like his mother's. He insisted Jay move in with him. Jay would not refuse him. Once more the Drifter's life turned. Keith recounted the story as the two sat before the hearth.

         "Baron James Anderson filled in his father's shoes early in life. Sixteen. Married at eighteen. A son born to him at nineteen. Died at twenty. Fast and Furious. Clan wars. Anderson pride would not have James running. No. He stayed and faced his advisories, fighting valiantly. His seventeen year old wife at his side. Their manor home was burned to the ground by the time it was all over. Bodies never recovered. All dead. At least that was how it was perceived and written. It would seem that someone had you taken away. The writing suggests it was your mother. Something that must have been done quickly for that is your father's ring. One he wore always. You will need to see Duke Branan Cairns I, to reinstate your family name and lands, manors, that are yours. I will support your claim."

         With Keith's help, Jay gained that audience with the present Duke. A hard man. He didn't wish to turn over the lands and what homes remained. The main manor home destroyed and never rebuilt. Long minutes passed as the older Duke made sure to make Jay uncomfortable over the matter.

         Finally he recounted how the clash between the Anderson family and other clans brought strife and turmoil to his own reign. Something he had not been pleased with. They had ignored diplomats trying to ease their disputes. He had not however elucidate on the fact he knew it wasn't the Anderson family that was the problem but the other. The days he made Jay wait for this audience, the Duke had him investigated. He could use the man so he offered a deal instead. One that would benefit the Duke. Always the way of it. He would serve him until he felt this debt paid in full. He would however, graciously, allow him to live in the small caretaker's cottage that still stood on the lands.

         Jay had no option but to take what was offered. He was determined to have the right to his name more than any proprieties or monies that went with them. Little was left of any wealth for Cairns had used the funds. Jay didn't know this part either. He only knew there was some. So, Jay came into servitude under the Duke. Any lords under him were in servitude. He moved into that cottage but kept a rapport with Keith. He was family. They spent time together when he was around. Jay was sent to various lands, mostly to spy but other tasks were given him. They varied with the needs of the Duke. The years went by. The Duke died leaving his reign to his son of the same namesake. Not much changed. He found the younger man to be as hard as his father but prone to tantrums. Spoilt. Immature. Dangerous in power.

         Wasn't long the man was in power when three ladies fled. Three he wanted back. Jay was retained along with others to see to this new task. The mission led him to Heathfield. Few had made it that far except one other of Branan's men along with one of the Frenchman. The task done. Information gained. What Branan wanted, Jay was on his way to give. He arrived in Scotland, without incident, to meet up with Colin as planned.

No claims are made on the pictures of the actor used, it is just for reference only on how this fictional character would look. The story in its entirety can be found on the Heathfield Message Board under...  Fugitive

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