How far would you go to retrieve a lost wedding ring? Carla Kelly’s The Wedding Ring Quest shows just how a search can turn into a fantastic adventure.
Penniless Mary Rennie knows she’s lucky to have a home with relatives in Edinburgh, but she does crave more excitement in her life. So when her cousin’s ring is lost in one of several fruitcakes heading around the country as gifts, Mary seizes the chance for adventure.
When widowed captain Ross Rennie and his son meet Mary in a coaching inn, they take her under their wing. After years of battling Napoleon, Ross’s soul is war weary, but Mary’s warmth and humor touch him deep inside. Soon, he’s in the most heart-stopping situation of his life—considering a wedding-ring quest of his own!
This was no ordinary return to Plymouth; Captain Ross Rennie felt it in his bones. A frigate captain much wiser than he dead now, like so many friends had described it best during one of those chats on the far side of the world when another frigate pulled alongside to visit and hand off mail.
In the course of their conversation over beef too long in brine and green water, they described recent fights with the French or Spanish, depending on where national allegiance had swung in an endless war. The long-defunct captain had looked Ross square in the eye and said, ‘Sometimes a victory is only a hair’s breadth better than a defeat.’
A young captain at the time, Ross had nodded, wondering later what the devil the man meant. As his thirty-six-gun frigate Abukir sailed into Plymouth on a rainy day, Ross felt that hollow, sinking feeling of defeat, when he should have been over the moon with joy. The emotion had been growing since his ship had been ordered to join the convoy escorting Napoleon and his entourage to Elba after his banishment there in 1814 by the Allies. A time or two during the short voyage from France, he had stood on his own quarterdeck and observed Bonaparte on HMS Undaunted, Captain Tom Ussher’s frigate.
Ross almost hated himself for finding the man so fascinating, but the exiled emperor seemed to demand attention. Ross noticed other telescopes trained on Napoleon.