The Crumpet's Wife
by Jamie

Author's Note: Over at the A&E Cast Board, one of the latest things
is Gush into HH3. One of the threads says Let's Gush the Members of
the Cast Board onto HH3. Hey, why not have a bit part on the movies
that changed our lives? I put that I could be Archie's widow and
Sally B, replied that would be a great idea. So, it gave me this
idea. This could also bring Jamie Bamber in a flashback role as
Archie Kennedy. Oh the possibilities! I wrote this story in Styles
POV for he was there to tell the tale.


The Hotspur was about to set sail as a woman in black stood
weeping. An able seaman, which observed her from the deck,
asked, "What is the matter with that woman, over there?"

"Oh, her? She has lost her Crumpet." She replied plainly.

"She is crying over losing her breakfast? Oh all things!"
The seamen lamented.

"Not her crumpet, her Crumpet. Some of us have been given
nicknames, mine is Huggy Bear and Commander Hornblower is called The
Welsh Cake."

"Who is the Crumpet?"

"You mean, who was the Crumpet. He was her husband,
Lieutenant Archie Kennedy."

"The man who was accused of pushing Sawyer down into the
hold?" the seaman said harshly.

"Don't speak mean of Archie Kennedy. He was a wonderful man
and a loyal friend. I knew Archie Kennedy since he first came aboard
the Justinian some years ago. Times were different then." Styles
said as he drifted into his tale.

They were black days aboard the Justinian. We had a captain,
who was dying and left everything up to his lieutenants. Eccleston
and Chadd were nice men and ladies thought they were very handsome,
but they didn't know how to lead. I don't fault them, they were
never properly taught.

Several of the middies were being terrorized by one of their
own, a man named Jack Simpson. Under such ill leadership, Simpson's
tyranny was allowed to control. I didn't know any better at the
time, myself, but soon I learned that life could be so much
brighter. I found that out when we were transferred to the
Indefatigable.

The Indefatigable was under the command of Captain Sir Edward
Pellew. I never saw a better captain than him. He taught us how to
be sailors and taught us how to lead men.

This is where your lady in black comes into the story.
Lieutenant Kennedy and I were in town on ship's business. When those
two laid eyes on each other, it was love at first sight. He was
looking fine as he entered the shop wearing his middie uniform. She
had blond hair and blue eyes that not only matched Kennedy's in
color, but in admiration. Her dress was navy blue and it was covered
by a white apron. I remember it as if it were only yesterday.

"May I help you gentlemen?" She asked kindly.

I handed her our list of supplies as Archie remarked, "This
is a very nice store you have here. Does your family own it?"

"No, I just work here. Though I must say that the family
who own it are very nice to me."

Archie smiled brightly at her. I noticed the looks they gave
each other. Anyone could see that they felt something for each
other. Archie was eager to please her and helped her with a bulky
bag of tea leaves.

She smiled at him and said, "It's all right, Mr. . ."

"Kennedy. Archie Kennedy." He volunteered.

She smiled at him, "Thank you Mr. Kennedy. I can handle
this, it is part of my job."

"But a lady as lovely as you, shouldn't have to lift such
heavy objects."

She stopped and looked him right in the eye. "I am not
lovely, in fact, I am quite plain."

Archie gazed at her and replied, "I think you are a lovely
lady and you will do me quite an honor if you let me pay you a call.
That is when you aren't working."

She blushed, yet said nothing.

Archie stammered and asked. "You aren't otherwise engaged,
are you, Miss. . .?"

"My name is Margaret Lindley. I would like to have you call
on me, Mr. Kennedy." She said as she offered him her hand.

Never did I see Archie happier as he didn't when we walked
back to the ship. He never did make relationship known because he
felt that his family wouldn't approve. Mr. Kennedy was a son of
nobility and to marry a shop girl was beneath his station.

He asked me if he should have made his feelings known to the
world. I asked him if he really cared for her. Kennedy told me
that he felt like he was caught between two worlds. The one when he
was with her and the one that told him what he should and should not
do. He felt that he shouldn't be with her or care the way he did.

Then fate helped him make the decision he had to make. He
was cut out and set adrift during the capture of the Papillon. We
thought he was dead and then a little over two years later, we
discovered him in a Spanish prison. Just so happened that we were
sent to the same prison that Kennedy was being held. I thought we
would never get out of that place. When we got back to England, I
kissed the soil because I was so happy to be home.

Archie said that he had to go see Margaret at the shop. He
hoped against hope that she would be there or in the least remember
who he was. When she saw him she literally dropped everything and
ran to his side. All the doubts that he felt had left him when he
saw her again. They were married the next month.

Although they were never blessed with children, they were
blessed with the love they had felt for each other. Even if that
time was a short one. Things were looking up; Archie got promoted to
Lieutenant and got transferred to the Renown. In some ways the Renown
was just like the Justinian and in some ways worse.

Lieutenant Kennedy fought bravely against a slave up rising,
but was shot in the chest. He knew the wound was fatal and with his
last bit of strength he gave of himself to save a friend -- a friend,
who had saved his life. It was one of the noblest sacrifices I have
ever witnessed. I asked to see him before he died. Kennedy asked me
to watch over his wife, Margaret. I intend to do that. I would have
done anything to protect Kennedy or Hornblower for that matter.
With that, Styles left the seaman's side and went to see Archie's
wife.

"Oh Styles, what am I going to do now!" Margaret sobbed as
held Styles tightly.

"Some of his last thoughts were of you. He told me to watch
over you, Mrs. Kennedy." Styles told her gently.

She wiped her eyes with her handkerchief. "I would like
that. I can't stop thinking that he will return to me. He did that
before."

"I wish I could tell you that would happen, but it won't. You
did have him for a little while and I guess that is better than not
having him at all."

"You are right. I can cherish what we had together. I loved
him, Styles."

"And he loved you. Remember that."

"I will, I will." She bravely said as she started the rest of
her life.