Chapter 16

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Edmund's Pov (General Edmund Watson) 

"I heard they have gone to France. Paris to be exact." A girl named Cecilia told me as she swung her legs. 

She had "dutifully" reported Phillip Carlyle and Phineas Taylor Barnum looking for an Annaliese Wheeler. Apparently they had found one, the Anne girl - the one with the hazel eyes and kind smile. And now they were in Paris. 

"Thank you." I dismissed, waving my hand at the door not before saying "The next time I see you soliciting on theatre street. I won't look the other way." 

She too had auditioned to be Annaliese Wheeler  but of course was turned down by the two con artist. Cecilia left the room quickly, her blonde hair flicking over her shoulder as she hurried out. I fell into the chair behind me once she left, massaging my temples. 

"Sir," William Blake said as he entered the room, passing Cecilia on her way out. William was the second in command here, if anything were to happen to me, the duties of general would be passed down to him. "Any luck with Carlyle and Barnum?"

I shook my head. "Apparently they are in France." 

"Are we sure it is not her?" He asked slowly. 

"Positive. They are just rumours Mr Blake, surely you should know that. They are imposters. " I say. There is no way that they have found Annaliese Wheeler. 

I was a boy who lived the truth behind the tale. 

And no one got away. 

I saw the children as the soldiers closed the gate

The youngest daughter and her pride. 

My father leaving on the night that they met their fate. His pistol by his side. 

"I heard the shots. I heard their screams but it is the silence afterwards I remember most." I tell William, standing up and walking out from behind the desk. 

I was told to never to ask. My mother said my father died of shame but I believe he did a proud and vital task.  

"Well then General, we shall send some of our men over to bring them back to New York." William announced, holding his hat tighter to the point where his knuckles had turned white. 

"No." 

My simple response was enough to shock William, causing him to stutter and ask me why. 

"I will go over, bring the girl back. So everyone can see what happens to imposters." I explain as I gather my things from my desk. 

"What about the men?" William asked. 

"Shot on sight." 

I left the office straight away, returning to my house and began to pack a small suitcase of things I would need. Walking to the drawer in the kitchen, I pulled it open for the first time. My fingers curled around my father's pistol, admiring it for a few short seconds before placing it into my holster. 

Could I have pulled the trigger if I had been told? 



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