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Historical Fiction Adventure Mystery

                                      THE WARRIOR

Abberley.

A beautiful village near Worcester from where I emerged and developed as one of the experts in archaeology in U.K.

I remember vividly the early morning walks I had with my father ,the tall and strong man in the

village, working as a teacher of history in the local school for higher studies. He is an Englishman proud of his country and its heritage. He was my father and my teacher too, because I studied in the same school.

“ Boys! be proud of our nation. This is England. England had slaves all over the world. But England was slave to none. We conquered all the countries in the world. But till date, No country conquered England. Nearly five decades ago, the Sun never set in the English empire because we had under our rule so many countries all over the world in which the sun shined alternatively. Our trade flourished due to a huge market and you know that England became rich and flourishing.” He used to roar in his class of English History.

At the entrance of the village, on the roadside, every morning, we used to visit a statue of a warrior

with a sword and shield, mounted on a horse. The sculpture was so beautiful that any passer-by cannot resist his temptation to abandon every other work and watch the statue at least for five minutes.

“ see this statue Robert! He is William Rutherford! The pride of our village. He was a soldier

in the revolutionary army of Oliver Cromwell. You know how Cromwell fought against the monarchy and brought the present- day system of parliamentary democracy which is again a pride of England.

But that was not achieved easily. There were wars all over England. The Royal army marched even

to remote towns to fight the rebels. Similarly, the Rebels also attacked the Royal Army with so many tricks and strategies.

On 5th November 1652, at Abberley a regiment of the rebels were stationed with an intention to 

proceed to London to join other regiments to fight the Royal army. However, in the evening of that day, orders were received from the high command to immediately proceed to Tenbury Wells as secret information was received that a regiment of Royal army was about to reach to attack the 

prominent leaders of revolution residing in exile and waiting for the right time to join the revolutionary forces. William Rutherford was assigned to stay at Abberley and to inform his regiment in case of any change in the plans of the Royal Army. He was instructed to mount his horse immediately on sighting the Royal Army or getting information of their arrival and go to Tenbury Wells to inform the rebellion regiment.

It was half past one in the night. William Rutherford suddenly noticed that the Royal army was all 

around. He mounted on his horse but could not proceed as the Royal Army confronted him. Robert

My son! This is the moment of pride for the inhabitants of Abberley, our village. William Rutherford

the brave soldier of our soil, singlehandedly fought the entire regiment of the Royal Army. He bravely fought and killed all of them. It was one of the rarest fights in British history. He proceeded to Tenbury Wells next day morning on his horse.

But subsequently, he never reached Tenbury Wells and nobody heard about him thereafter.

Nearly after two decades, after assuming power, Oliver Cromwell visited our village and honoured our brave soldier William Rutherford by erecting this statue. 

I felt the warmth of the rushing blood in my veins after my father finished the narration of the bravery of the great warrior of our village.

Years rolled by. 

I am a young man and a qualified archaeologist in U.K.

I am engaged in studying the artifices and confirming the veracity of historical facts.

The Institute for Archaeologists who employed me have assigned me to verify the

authenticity of the Cromwellian war at Abberley.

I felt that I reacted to this with mixed feelings.

I was very happy that I had the opportunity to confirm that the brave soldier of my native village has contributed for the blooming of parliamentary democracy by his unique deed of valour.

On the other hand, I felt sad because I had to verify the authenticity of the bravery of

William Rutherford, who was an icon of rustic bravery for all inhabitants of our village and

my father in particular.

It took nearly 15 days to excavate the identified areas where the war took place as per available

historical evidence. We engaged nearly fifty labourers to dig nearly 15 trenches. Frederick and

Johnson  my assistants along with two students of research studies made preliminary studies and

prepared a day to day excavation log.

They collected  nearly 50 archaeological artifacts and placed them in my room for my scrutiny and to corroborate with historical facts.

Frederick and Johnson were in my room sipping a cup of hot tea. We were examining each piece of

artifact and discussed about the relevance of the same to our current research.

“ It is a matter of great satisfaction “ said Frederick “ because all the artifices here belong to the same timeframe we are studying. That means that we are at the right place and at the right depth for the historical event we are researching”.

“Yah! You are right” nodded Johnson.

“But I find something strange!” I looked at them and nodded my head.

“What is strange about these artifacts?” Johnson asked.

“Well. In 17th century this area was residence for farmers, peasants and cattle. The artifacts support this. The war broke between the Royal army and a lone soldier. The artifacts support the presence of the 

Royal army. There are swords, knives, horseshoes, shields, even the armours of the soldiers excavated, stand as a proof of a big massacre. 

However, artifacts 20 to 32 belong to the ornaments and body wares of tribal people.”

“Tribal people ? who are the tribal people? Wherefrom they came? It is puzzling!” yelled Johnson.

We knew that this is not an easy task now. We need more time.

Next day morning my father joined me in the morning walk. I asked him whether

In his studies or in his interactions he had ever heard of tribal folks residing in Worcester or

Abberley.  He thought for a while and told that there was no mention in historical books about the same. However, he remembered that in one or two folklore ballads there is a mention about one Trombue, a tribal robber who robbed the travellers in the nights.

Trombue! I cursed him for confusing a well established and highly respected theory of a brave soldier defeating a regiment of the mighty Royal Army.

I finished my lunch. All my assistants called it a day and returned to their quarters.

I was wandering in one of the trenches. Suddenly, I found a wooden box tightly sealed.

I came up and sat under a tree. With some difficulty I opened the box.

I found a big sheet of parchment in which I found the following:

TRUTH! TRUTH! 

Revelation to the truth loving men of England!

Stephen, the carpenter of Abberley ,reveals the truth!

I was returning from Worcester on my horse to Abberley. I saw the Royal Army half a mile

away. I know that the rebellion army is not there and William alone is there. I wanted to

warn him and drove my horse towards the rebellion camp. However suddenly I saw

a big group of nearly 3000 tribal men galloping on the main street with arms and ammunition In their hands.

The robbers!

I just hid myself behind a big tree and watched the on-going events.

The robbers attacked Wiliam and took him forcefully with them. Meanwhile the Royal Army arrived and there was a brutal war. The robbers killed all the soldiers of the Royal Army, plundered their stocks and belongings and returned back to the dense forest wherefrom they came.

The horse of Wiliam Rutherford which was a trained one, immediately ran to Tenbury Wells.

The rebellion army returned to Abberly . They patched all available material evidence and

came to the conclusion that Wilhelm Rutherford confronted the royal army singlehandedly and killed all of them. As his horse reached Tenbury Wells alone they thought he disappeared on his way to Tenbury Wells..

Two days later I met chief of the rebellion army and explained him the facts.

He looked at me in disbelief

He told me “ Look ! Mr. Stephen! I don’t believe you. Even if it is a truth, now the news of Rutherford defeating the regiment of Royal army has spread as a wild fire throughout England and thousands of youths and peasants are joining the rebel Army. Cromwell is all set to defeat the King in a few days. Hence hereafter for all future generations, William Rutherford defeating Royal Army is and will be the truth. Your truth and you deserve a decent burial”.

He arrested me and ordered for my killing on the third day by hanging.

I am throwing this box with this letter from the window into the woods and hope somebody one day will find this and tell the world the truth”.

I finished reading the letter.

The myth that mystified as a historical fact is not the truth.

Wiliam Rutherford the warrior is not a warrior.

I thought of Abberley.

I thought of the proud villagers of Abberley!

I thought of the victory of the Cromwellian rebellion army because of the news of the

successful fight of Willliam Rutherford, the warrior.

I thought of the victory of British democracy.

The tribal folks that robbed common men ,need no historical recognition. They can remain robbers and tribal folks for ever.

I took a deep breath. I burnt the letter and the wooden box.

Somewhere at a distance the statue of William Rutherford the warrior was watching me

In silence.

 Author

N.GURUMOORTHY

DOB. 1st June 1949

AGE. 71 years

Nationality. Indian

Address. 33. Vaadhoolam

2nd Cross

First main road

Opp Saibaba Mandir

Vasanthapura road

Bangalore

PIN 560 064

Karnataka India

September 02, 2020 06:36

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