Within a year the prince was a pauper in a foreign land.
Is nature stronger than nurture? And even if it is, can James find the happiness he so richly desires?
It required two days of marching to get to what I’d learned was a plantation, which was in the middle of nowhere. When we finally arrived at our destination, I considered how memorable my last 16 months had been since I was removed from a prince’s life. Yes, they were memorable. And even though I had a pouch full of coins hidden inside my drawers, I was now a slave on a plantation in Africa.
Mike Hartner was born in Miami in 1965. He’s traveled much of the continental United States. He has several years post secondary education, and experience teaching and tutoring young adults. Hartner has owned and run a computer firm for more than twenty-five years. He now lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, with his wife and child. They share the neighborhood and their son with his maternal grandparents.
Mike won first place blue ribbon for the 2013 Chaucer Award for Historical Fiction and first place blue ribbon for the 2013 Dante Rosetti Award in the YA category for I, Walter.
His latest book is the historical fiction/romance, I, James.
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Oct 8 1636
I have to say that this day was a complete surprise. Many years ago, nearly thirty now, a young man was brought to my attention. His name was Walter Crofter, and the man who brought him to me was Bart Stuart, the King’s cousin.
Walter was a new seaman, and I accepted him as a young banker. And then, several years later, I helped him set up banking for his company. And then, I watched his marriage to the Spanish princess Maria.
And then nothing.
For twenty-five years, nothing. Sure, the company is still doing business, and growing. But, I haven’t seen Walter. He’s sent people with letters of introduction, and they’ve done the Company’s work. But Walter has been busy in Spain, and I’ve not seen him in such a long time.
Until this morning.
This man walks into my bank, and he looks just like the Walter Crofter that I once knew. Except, he is so much younger. He looked like Walter the last time I saw him. And he introduces himself as James Crofter.
I had to talk to him, but the more I talked, the more I recognized that he was James, the son of Walter. And I knew right then, that he would be good for business, just like his father.
I listened to him. And I recognized that he needed a little help. I knew that I could bring closed family accounts to help his situation.
And then he shocked me again. We talked about banking. And I found that his ideas were truly remarkable, and they were ones that I’d been toying with for years. In my early years, I apprenticed with double entry accounting. And I’ve regularly wondered about the easier ways to transport money, even if it’s just for the parliament.
And now, for the first time in years, I’m excited about banking again.
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