Legacy Of The Lynx
Scotland and Ireland 1798.
Three people, two murders, one oath...
Golo Eck is searching for the lost library of The Lynx, the first scientific society in Europe founded in 1603.
His friend, Fergus, is sent over to Ireland on its trail, getting embroiled in the uprising of the United Irish against English rule. His only contact here is Greta, who works as a messenger for the United Irish; and then come the bloody battles of New Ross and Vinegar Hill. Fergus is missing, Greta on the run.
But all is not well. Someone else is on the trail of the Lynx, and when Golo’s ship founders on the way to Holland Golo disappears, leaving Ruan, his ward, to fend for himself, a foreigner in a foreign land.
What secrets does the Lynx Library hold?
Will Golo or Fergus be found?
Will Greta get out of Ireland with her life?
How will Ruan carry on the Legacy of the Lynx?
A gripping adventure story with a couple of brutal murders thrown in, and a real historical background, The Legacy of the Lynx will have you gripped from the start.
The Collybuckie lurched like a drunk between the walls of a dark and narrow alley, the waves monstrous to either side, the storm giving no appearance of abating. Down below, loose cargo rattled and rolled in the hold, broken from their moorings. Trickles of sea water began to seep in through the caulking. Planks shrieked and rivets popped from their holes.
Ruan was gripping for dear life at one of the tables bolted to the floor when a chair flew loose from its bolts and knocked him free as a tooth from a rotten jaw, sent him rolling about the floorboards trying to grab onto anything solid and fixed, hands flailing in the darkness, every lamp and candle long since smashed or blown out. A hand caught him as he thought he might be crushed against the furthest side, hauled him up, kept him fast. He couldn’t see his rescuer nor had any breath to thank him, for off the Collybuckie went to the other side, all that was left being to cling on in the hope that it would keep on righting itself after every horrid lurch and dip. Ruan couldn’t help but think of the Corryvrecken whirlpool just off Jura where men and boats had been sunk and lost, their boards and bodies flung up months – and miles – later.
Jesus, don’t let me die like this, he prayed, his clothes drenched with sweat and the sea that was coming in at them from every angle, sloshing around their feet, eager to swallow them whole. And where was Golo? Suddenly all Ruan wanted was Golo by his side to tell him everything would be alright, but he’d not seen Golo since the storm began to worsen so swift and sudden an hour or so earlier. He was sure he wasn’t in this room with everyone else for he would have sought Ruan out, and had probably – like the idiot he was – not been able to bear the thought of being smothered in other people’s sweat and fear and gone up on deck, despite all the warnings given to the contrary. And Caro? Where was Caro? Probably with Golo, and suddenly Ruan couldn’t bear it any more.
‘Golo!’ Ruan shouted again and again, but his exclamations were subsumed by the awful noises of the boat beginning to come apart at the seams and the sea that was crashing and crushing them, and the wind that was screaming all around them, conspiring like a pack of wolves to bring this fleck of humanity down, forcing it closer and closer in on itself until it had nowhere else to go.
Ruan was right. When the call came to go down below into the communal space where passengers and crew gathered to eat, drink, play cards and pass the time, Golo went with them, though not for long. He was soon forcing his way up to the freedom of the over-world on deck, bent almost double as he struggled, half crawled, his way up the steps and across the deck, hanging onto halyards. Loose ropes whipped like cats-tails from the booms that swung without warning across his path, unsecured sheets flapped and cracked above his head. He felt his guts turning inside out and a sulphurous burn in his throat from the bile that made him retch and spit even as he sucked for breath against the terrible push of the wind.
He could hear the shouts of the crew somewhere on the other side of the boat as they fashioned rafts however they could. They lashed old rollers and spars together along with any buoys they could lay hands on, adding some uprights, weaving in safety lines so that survivors could tie them about their waists or wrists to haul themselves in, should they make it as far as the water. Golo knew then the Collybuckie was done for and would soon be swamped, going down like one of those whale pods he’d once seen as a young man, sinking themselves in circles, sucking everything else in behind them.
Golo had already resigned himself to dying, knowing all those rescuers with their makeshift rafts are on the other side of the boat and he cannot reach them without being tipped into the sea. But he doesn’t want to go, God help him, not without seeing some small scratch of light again: a sliver of the moon, a hint of dawn upon the horizon. He’s never felt such urgency for anything in all his life; he’s always been so rational, such a placid and unexcitable man, but the strength of this need in him for a glimpse of light is overwhelming.
The tears stream down his face as he crawls along the deck to find only more darkness and a wind so strong it knocks him straightaway off his feet when he tries to rise. He wishes now he’d stayed down below with the others, found Ruan in the scrum, tell him he loved him, to carry on the task once he was gone.
The lad must be terrified, Golo thinks, glimpsing the white-tipped line of another massive wave about to crash down upon the Collybuckie, the dark lines of two masts already broken and snapped. And then, despite the skirling and screaming of wind and wave, he has the strangest conviction someone else is out here with him. He can feel it. He wraps himself around the nearest capstan, lets himself be pulled and pushed by the enormous waves, until extraordinarily, miraculously, he hears someone calling out his name. The words are harsh, as if screeched from the throat of one of those black-headed gulls he’s always hated, but he hears them all the same.
‘Golo! Golo Eck!’
Ruan, he thinks, it must be Ruan, come to find me. And he shouts back that here he is, when suddenly his seeker bumps hard into his back, inadvertently colliding in the darkness. Then there is the indescribable comfort of a hand clutching hard at his shoulder, someone crouching down beside him, shielding Golo’s body from the appalling storm with his own. ‘Golo! Thank God!’
Golo has no idea who is speaking – certainly not Ruan – the unknown voice rasping in his ear like sand scouring out a shell.
‘They’re lowering down the lifeboats!’ the voice tries to shout though it is weak and ineffectual against the roaring of the wind and the crashing of the waves and the screeching of the boat’s boards as they are torn asunder the one from the other. ‘And they’re throwing out the rafts! Everyone’s to go, all into the sea!’
Golo opens his eyes, unaware he has closed them, and whispers his thanks to God as he is dragged bodily along the deck, clothes ripping as they snag on the boards, not that he cares. And then he understands he is not being pulled in the direction of rafts but right down to the danger zone. He’s being taken to where the boat is almost dipping beneath the waves, and he starts to struggle, tries to free himself, but whoever is upon him has already wrapped his large body about Golo’s own like a heavy cloak and has sliced a line of guy rope from the collapsing sails, pulling Golo’s arms behind his back and binding them before Golo has time to react. He kicks out madly to get some purchase on the deck and push his assailant backwards, knock him flat, but the man is too strong and wily for such playground tactics and Golo is held fast, a prickling against Golo’s skin as a face is held against his own, a few words growled into Golo’s ear.
‘Rafts are out there, but nowhere for you to go, old man, but down.’