Swansea, Glamorganshire, late July 1848
Kate ran to the quayside, joining a growing crowd.
“Katelyn!” Earl Beaufort called.
“Someone is in distress, Father!” Kate said over her shoulder. She looked down at the grey choppy water. “What’s happened?” she asked no one in particular.
“A lad fell in!” a woman replied. “And the tide is goin’ out!”
Kate instantly felt her heartbeat thumping in her throat. She scanned the waves for any sign of a boy. Someone must save him! Why isn’t anyone moving? I’ll go in! She set down her handbag and started removing her bonnet.
“What are you doing?” Earl Beaufort demanded, having reached Kate’s side.
“A boy! He’s drowning! Someone must–
“There ‘e is!” a gruff voice exclaimed.
Kate spotted a boy…
Chatsworth House, Derbyshire, mid July 1848
“Would you like to join us in quoits or skittles, Lady Kate?”
Kate spun around to face Spencer, Lord Cavendish of Keighly, a boy her age. She felt embarrassed about being caught searching for secret cupboards among the intricate oak panelling of the breakfast room. Since arriving at Chatsworth House two days previously a steady rain had fallen, so Kate spent much of her time exploring and reading, when not otherwise occupied by the niceties of the visit. The rain had finally stopped during the night.
“We’re playing on the south lawn,” Spencer said
As Kate approached a window to consider the invitation, sunshine lancing into the room, motes hanging in the light, Spencer disappeared…
Somersetshire, 21 June 1848
Hoof beats thundered all around. Kate glanced through her mud spattered veil over a shoulder. Four… no, six riders in close pursuit. Their mounts look tired. A large man on a superb chestnut stallion rode to her side. I recognise him and his horse from last year. I think they won. He’ll soon be making a move. Ahead were five racers, throwing up clumps of dirt, the surface of the road compromised by overnight torrents of rain. Everything is going as planned. I’m in good position. There’s that lane on the right. Almost time to leave the road!
The previous day Kate had scouted the route several times and decided upon a bold tactic. By…