Archie's Journal - Retribution
by Michele


Dr. Clive was quick to... to chastise me for wanting to write, saying
I should save my strength. But I was equally as quick to ask, "To
what end?" He had opened his mouth to speak, his features heavy, but
had obliged me. I am thinking now to myself, how odd... there was a
time I recall writing of how weak I felt, how I had not barely the
strength to take pencil to paper, of how futile it all seemed; that I
had feared I would never leave Spain, that I would never receive my
commission, that I would never have the chance to do anything of
consequence in the whole of my miserable, wasted, lonely desolation
of a life....

I... I must admit now that I feel infinitely more weak, as to the
task of writing, than ever I have in my life. And yet, I feel more
strength, in yet another way, than ever I have before as well. For a
little while I... I thought there might be a chance. But it was only
for a brief moment. It's funny... when the lead entered my body, I
scarcely even felt it -- I didn't even HEAR it.... Then, it just felt
warm...very warm, in the centre of my body... And then Horatio was
there... Ordering me about just as he always has. He looked so proud,
having been victorious in the very battle that has become the victor
over me; I did not want to take that moment from him. But I could not
hide the blood, or the pain; and as the world slipped away from me in
a warm blur, under the searing sun, I was just barely aware of his
embrace....

My brother... my dear brother.... he has saved my life, so many times
over...

I... oh Heaven.. it hurts...I never know how much it COULD... I -- I
know now what I must do. I know that Horatio will not like it, but I
MUST.... I know now that there -- that there is no chance for me:
Never in my life have I been so free...I have naught to lose.
Horatio's life is just beginning... there is so much in his future, a
good life, a glorious career...Yes, he will live enough of a life for
us both, and I know that he will carry within him enough of me, that
I shall be well taken care of...

He will not like it, but I know I must go to the Court and.... and
tell them....

*********

"Mister Kennedy is a friend, is he not? He will tell you, I am not
afraid to be cruel... One last time, who was responsible?"

"Tell - him - Horatio...."

"It WAS me, sir...."

"I am...disappointed...."

***********

HORATIO -- NOOOO!!

At my calling out, Dr. Clive was at my side, but once I found my wits
about me once more, I bade him leave me, assuring him it was only a
dream. Would that we were back there now...OH, I cannot believe I
could think such a thing! But... but it was all ahead of us then --
despite the pain, the fear, the dreadful boredom, we were together,
and we somehow survived it...

I will not survive THIS... It matters not what happened to Captain
Sawyer -- that shall be a secret of the grave. What matters are the
living -- Horatio... his career is so important to him, and with all
that he has done for me, I must do for him -- no, I must GIVE to him
the only thing I have left to give him: My friendship, my honour...
my life...

I do not know how I shall convince Clive to assist me in this, but I
know that I SHALL do so, for I can do nothing more, and I can do
nothing less... Horatio, my dear friend.... You have given my life to
me many times... Please accept my gift.. Allow me to give it back to
you....

...and Horatio....

....LIVE.....

....Live for us both.....

 

Dated this day, 24 January, 1802, and Signed, Archie Kennedy,
Lieutenant, HMS Renown.