Eventually Ben retires and tours England looking for a place to settle. He has become a wealthy man and finds a place on the south coast close to where he was born. He takes on several local people to help him manage the property and Stewart Giles, his steward from aboard ship, joins him.
It is Stewart who coaxes him into writing his life story. His first lieutenant, Thomas Murphy, joins him too.
Eventually the older people become lonely and Ben sets out to adopt a boy from the orphanage where he was confined as a child. But the orphanage is now for girls only. He falls for a shy young girl and takes her home to keep the family happy. She brings a huge baggage of troubles and is every bit as much of a challenge as any ship at sea in a Levanter.
Ben finds troubles with his ship wright business and must endure travel and embarrassment over the false claims made by impostors. He is also caught in the cross hairs of an evil woman known as Lula Mae and must tread carefully to avoid disaster.
Even worse are the troubles of his friend, Tom. He has remarried after the death of his first wife and he has taken on a “she witch.” Ben travels to Ireland several times with Tom. One fine day they set out on the channel in their little sail boat. A storm comes up, the boat capsizes and they two men are separated. Ben ends up in a nunnery in Brittany and nearly starves before he can heal and escape. One adventure leads to the next and finally Tom dies. Ben takes him home to be buried on his farm.
One day as Ben sits in his back yard overlooking the Channel, a handsome young man arrives. He is deemed an impostor when he claims to be Ben’s son. But after a time, the young man knows of things that no impostor could possibly know. He has the ring that Ben had given to Annie and her letters as well. Ben accepts him as his son.
Young Ben quickly falls in love with Ben’s adopted daughter and the two marry. When Ben knows that he is dying, he asks to have a suitable burial at sea, a Viking’s funeral. Thus ends a saga covering some sixty years of English history. Enjoy!
Book 9 of 9 in The Rundel Series.