Having decided that our best opportunity to take Mrs. Burns and the prize was during the American’s next engagement, we divided in order to keep our numbers small. Midshipman Raley and Mr. Campbell went to view the actions being taken, down on the River, while The Doctor and I broke away back into the town in order to dine at the Ordinary and to make a few purchases, one of which was a lovely new telescoping glass that the Doctor had his eye on for some time.
Having used our time in leisure all the while excited with the anticipation of our coming victory we rendezvoused with Messers Raley and Campbell within the first few volleys of the second engagement betwixt the King’s men and the Americans. Spread out, we made our way to the American camp hoping to ensnare our quarry in an ambuscade. But upon arrival in their camp we quickly ascertained that Mrs. Burns had not, as we assumed, planned to view the battle in support of her husband and his company, but instead she had retired to the town.
Making use of what time we had we marched at the double into town to search for Mrs. Burns where we found her inside one of the shop on the main road through town. Instantly, we interviewed and demanded to see inside the basket that she carried. We found the packet… no, on closer examination we only found a packet. It seems that the latest fashion plates from England and France had just arrived and Mrs. Cooper had taken it upon herself to send copies to some of her friends.
Completely crestfallen at the existence of this damned unlucky development, we found a place to sit in order to reexamine our notes…