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Dawn on a distant shore, p.1
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       Dawn on a Distant Shore, p.1

           Sara Donati
Dawn on a Distant Shore

  Lavish Praise for

  the Novels of Sara Donati:


  “The likable protagonists, a multitude of amusing secondary characters and exciting escapades make this a compelling read.”

  —Publishers Weekly

  “Donati’s skillfully told and captivating romantic historical saga brings a tumultuous era and dashing characters to life in what promises to be a very popular and rewarding series.”


  “Donati masterfully weaves the evocative history of the founding of America with the powerful challenges faced by those, like the Bonners, who settled this new world. The strengths they find in themselves provide a timely reminder that this melting pot nation is a rich fabric, woven by the lives of ordinary people who rise to extraordinary challenges.”

  —Book Page

  “Like Into the Wilderness, Dawn on a Distant Shore will keep readers up into the wee hours. We can only hope Donati has her own supply of midnight oil that she is using to write the third installment of this worthy and satisfying series.”

  —The Orlando Sentinel

  “Set in the wilderness of 1794 New-York … [Dawn on a Distant Shore] features an imaginative plot that interconnects characters without straining credibility or leaving loose ends. It’s a balanced blend of bravery, treachery, romance, suffering and hope.”

  —The Tampa Tribune Times

  “This novel is a sequel to the earlier epic, Into the Wilderness, but although there’s a strong sense of the characters’ past, it’s perfectly enjoyable on its own terms. If you haven’t read the earlier book, however, you’re likely to make immediate tracks in your own quest to aquire it.”

  —The Seattle Times

  “Sara Donati has created a worthy historical epic here, enriched by solid intrigues and a compelling cast of characters.”

  —The Bellingham Herald

  “Remarkably written. Outstanding.”


  “The story line is impressive as the plot fully entertains the audience. Sara Donati creates an Americana epic that will receive much acclaim from fans and critics.”

  —The Midwest Book Review


  “My favorite kind of book is the sort you live in, rather than read. Into the Wilderness is one of those rare stories that let you breathe the air of another time, and leave your footprints on the snow of a wild, strange place. I can think of no better adventure than to explore the wilderness in the company of such engaging and independent lovers as Elizabeth and her Nathaniel.”

  —Diana Gabaldon

  “The author builds a powerful adventure story, animating everyone—German villagers, slaves, and Scottish trappers alike—in a gorgeous, vividly described American landscape. The erotic passages aren’t bad either.”


  “Donati’s captivating saga is much like the books in Diana Gabaldon’s bestselling Outlander series, and it is definitely the romance of the year when it comes to transcending genre boundaries and appealing to readers who love lush historical epics or thrilling backwoods adventures.”


  “A lushly written novel … Donati, a skillful storyteller, easily weaves historical fact with romantic ambience to create a dense, complex design…. Exemplary historical fiction, boasting a heroine with a real and tangible presense.”

  —Kirkus Reviews

  “Remarkable … a vibrant tapestry … Sara Donati is a skilled storyteller who weaves historical facts into a grand adventure of love, mystery, and intrigue. She takes us to an unfamiliar place and allows us to breathe in the air of another time. This is exemplary historical fiction…From page one, the action is nonstop. The more you read, the better it gets.”

  —Tulsa World

  “An elegant, eloquent word journey … The author has [a] gift for capturing the history and the lives of the people of that time and place.”

  —The Tampa Tribune

  “Epic in scope, emotionally intense…an enrapturing, grand adventure.”


  “Memorable … draws the reader into the story from page one … a powerfully good read.”

  —Toronto Sun

  “A splendid read…Wonderful reading, suited for a cold winter’s night.”

  —Rocky Mountain News

  “Better buy some midnight oil, for this hugely satisfying novel is a page-turner.”

  —The Orlando Sentinel

  “A rich, involving, fully textured tale. Each time you open a book, you hope to discover a story that will make your spirit of adventure and romance sing. This book delivers on that promise.”

  —Amanda Quick

  “A beautiful tale of both romance and survival … Here is the beauty as well as the savagery of the wilderness and, at the core of it all, the compelling story of the love of a man and a woman, both for the untamed land and for one another.”

  —Allan W. Eckert

  Bantam Books

  by Sara Donati




  Table of Contents

  Other Books by This Author

  Title Page




  Part 1: North to Canada

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Part 2: The Lass in Green

  Chapter 15

  Chapter 16

  Chapter 17

  Chapter 18

  Chapter 19

  Chapter 20

  Chapter 21

  Chapter 22

  Part 3: Carryckcastle

  Chapter 23

  Chapter 24

  Chapter 25

  Chapter 26

  Chapter 27

  Chapter 28

  Chapter 29

  Chapter 30

  Chapter 31

  Chapter 32


  Author’s Note

  About the Author


  For my daughter, Elisabeth

  She discovered with great delight that one does not love one’s children just because they are one’s children but because of the friendship formed while raising them.

  —Gabriel García Márquez


  Just after I began writing this novel, we moved across the country. My sincere thanks to old friends who didn’t lose sight of me or my characters, and to new friends—in particular, Suzanne Paola, Bruce Beasley, and Robin Hemley—for spending so much of their time with me on the high seas of historical fiction. I am especially grateful to Suzanne, Bruce, and Jin Woo for their support and friendship in interesting times. I truly don’t know what we would do without them, and I hope we never have to find out.

  I owe a special debt of gratitude to He-Who-Must-Remain-Anonymous, the editor of the Baronage website (, whose expertise and generosity made many things possible. The blueprints of Carryckcastle came from him; he discovered the earl’s genealogy and unearthed his coat of arms. Without the help of Anonymous and his staff (most particularly, Brother Septimus and his nose for scandal), my Alasdair Scott, fourth Earl of Carryck, would be a mere shadow of himself.

  At most I am an armchair sailor, and so in the writing of this story I depended greatly on the help of those who love the sea: Ric Day, J
ames Doody, Steven L. Lopata, John Woram, and Ray Briscoe shared their expertise and experience, and I am thankful to them. I married into a sailing family, and I thank my husband, Bill, and my parents-in-law, Ken and Mary, for background information and, most of all, encouragement.

  Another anonymous friend was of great help in my attempts to render eighteenth-century Scots into an accessible form. Accuracy must be the first casualty in such an endeavor, for which I take full responsibility.

  I am indebted to Michelle LaFrance for close readings, supportive words, Gaelic translations, and perspective; George Bray III for extensive help on eighteenth-century military history, dress, and customs; Hakim Ibrahim Chishti for invaluable detail on Islamic medical practices, naming conventions, history, and theology; Dr. Jim Gilsdorf for background on specific illnesses and their surgical treatment; Dr. Ellen Mandell for medical history, convincing detail, and photocopies; and Mac Beckett, Jo Bourne, Rob Carr, Leigh Cooper, Lisa Dillon, Walter Hawn, Nurmi Husa, Susan Leigh, Rosina Lippi, Susan Martin, Sandra Parshall, Susan Lynn Peterson, Stephen Ratterman, Beth Shope, Elise Skidmore, Jack Turley, Arnold Wagner, Karen Watson, and Michael Lee West. Thanks to another obsessive (obsessed?) writer of historical fiction, Mr. Calwaugh, for dessert, garden tours, and rounding up half of Portland for readings.

  The Women of the Wilderness at AOL have been consistently supportive. Many times when I was having trouble putting one word after the next they kept me going. Maria, Pokey, Tracey, Lynn, Nancy, Jeanette, Melinda, Liz, Justine, Kit, Sue, Tara, Julie, Sharon, Theresa, Rose Mary, Barb, Christy, Chris, Lee, Mary Rose, Kim Elaine, Susan, Jenni, Michelle, Judy, Ann, Kathleen, and the Kathies—these generous and supportive women have been a great source of energy and inspiration for me, and I hope they find this novel worth the wait.

  About four chapters into this undertaking I asked Diana Gabaldon if the second volume in a series is the hardest, to which she immediately shot back, “No, the fifth one is.” My thanks to Diana for perspective, for worry-stones and phone calls, and for her friendship and support in an endeavor that never gets easier.

  My continued thanks to Jill Grinberg, my friend and agent and ever the voice of calm in the storm; and to Wendy McCurdy, Nita Taublib, and Irwyn Applebaum at Bantam for their continued enthusiasm and for invigorating phone calls.

  Tamar Groffman has gotten me and mine through many a rough spot with sound good words and dahlias, for which I will always be thankful. Now if she would only adopt me.

  I am ever thankful for my daughter, Elisabeth, who is learning to cope with a Mother Who Writes without losing her sense of humor, and to Bill, who refuses to be surprised by any of this. Without them, the whole business would be no fun at all.

  Chief Characters

  Where they are first encountered


  Judge Alfred Middleton, landowner

  Curiosity Freeman, a freed slave, his house-keeper

  Galileo Freeman, a freed slave, the manager of his farm and holdings, and Curiosity’s husband

  Axel Metzler, owner of the tavern


  Nathaniel Bonner (also known as Wolf-Running-Fast or Between-Two-Lives), a hunter and trapper

  Elizabeth Middleton Bonner (also known as Bone-in-Her-Back), a schoolteacher and Nathaniel’s wife

  Hannah (also known as Squirrel), Nathaniel’s daughter by his first wife

  Mathilde (Lily) and Daniel Bonner, Elizabeth and Nathaniel’s children

  Liam Kirby, an orphan living with the Bonners

  Falling-Day, of the Kahnyen’kehàka (Mohawk) Wolf clan, Nathaniel’s former mother-in-law

  Many-Doves, Falling-Day’s daughter and the wife of Runs-from-Bears

  Runs-from-Bears, of the Kahnyen’kehàka Turtle clan

  Blue-Jay, infant son of Many-Doves and Runs-from-Bears


  General Major Phillip Schuyler and his wife, Catherine; some of their children and grandchildren

  Augusta Merriweather, Lady Crofton, Elizabeth Bonner’s aunt, visiting from England along with her daughter,

  Amanda Spencer, Lady Durbeyfield, with her husband, William Spencer, Viscount Durbeyfield

  Grievous Mudge, ship’s captain


  Dan’l Bonner (known also as Hawkeye), Nathaniel’s father

  Robbie MacLachlan, Scot, hunter and trapper

  Iona Fraser, a Scottish immigrant to Canada and

  Luke, her grandson

  Otter, son of Falling-Day

  Pépin, a pig farmer

  Denier, a butcher

  Ron Jones, a sergeant of the dragoons

  Angus Moncrieff, secretary and factor to the Earl of Carryck

  George Somerville, Lord Bainbridge, lieutenant governor of Lower Canada, also called Pink George

  Giselle Somerville, daughter of Lord Bainbridge

  Sir Guy Carleton, Lord Dorchester, governor of Lower Canada

  Maria Carleton, Lady Dorchester, the governor’s wife

  Mac Stoker, Irish by birth, captain and owner of the Jackdaw

  Horace Pickering, captain of the Isis, a merchantman


  Aboard the Jackdaw

  Anne Bonney Stoker (Granny), Mac Stoker’s grandmother

  Connor, his first mate

  Captain Christian Fane of the Leopard

  Aboard the Isis

  (The Lass in Green)

  Hakim Ibrahim Dehlavi ibn Abdul Rahman Balkhi, ship’s surgeon

  Charlie, the Hakim’s cabin boy and servant

  Mungo, another cabin boy and Charlie’s brother

  Margreit MacKay, wife of the first officer

  Adam MacKay and Jonathan Smythe, first and second officers


  Solway Firth and Dumfries

  Robert Burns, exciseman

  Dandie Mump, innkeeper at Mump’s Hall

  At Carryck and Carryckcastle

  Alasdair Scott, 9th Lord Scott of Carryckcastle, 4th Earl of Carryck

  Jean Hope, housekeeper; Jennet, her daughter

  MacQuiddy, house steward

  Monsieur Dupuis, a permanent houseguest

  Some of the earl’s men: Richard Odlyn; Dugald and Ewen Huntar; Thomas, Lucas, and Ronald Ballentyne; Jamie Dalgleish; Ebenezer Lun

  Monsieur Contrecoeur, a visiting French wine merchant

  Madame Marie Vigée and Mademoiselle Julie LeBrun, cousins and traveling companions to Contrecoeur

  Leezie Laidlaw, a widow

  Gelleys Smaill, a retired washerwoman

  Minister Willie Fisher

  At Moffat

  Flora, Countess of Loudoun, an orphan

  John Campbell, 4th Earl of Breadalbane, chief of the Glenorchy line, and Flora’s guardian

  Walter Campbell, illegitimate son of Breadalbane by an unknown lady, appointed by his father as the curator of the Loudoun holdings

  Isabel Campbell, née Scott, his wife

  The Family Tree for the Carryck Line


  by Beatrix Scott of Pykeston had an only child, Robert, 6th Lord Scott, who was created Earl of Carryck and Viscount Moffat by his grateful sovereign in 1660



  married Frances, illegitimate daughter of *Francis Scott, 2nd Earl of Buccleuch (a prominent Royalist)



  married Margaret, illegitimate daughter of *James Morton, 11th Earl of Morton; died 1755

  RODERICK SCOTT, 8TH LORD SCOTT OF CARRYCKCASTLE, 3rd Earl of Carryck; born 1690 (elder twin);

  married Appalina Forbes, heiress daughter of William Forbes of Agardston, a retired merchant of Danzig who restored Agardston Tower, extended its lands, and established a shipping fleet at the port of Aberdeen, and heiress sister to her two unmarried half brothe
rs, who created a huge fortune trading in the American colonies in sugar, tobacco, and slaves; died 1775



  9th Lord Scott of Carryckcastle, 4th Earl of Carryck, born 1721;

  married Marietta, daughter by an unknown French lady of *Arthur Elphinstone, 6th Lord Balmerinoch (executed 1746 as a Jacobite); Marietta is a cousin to Flora, Countess of Loudoun



  born 1764;

  eloped in 1790 to marry Walter Campbell, the illegitimate son of *John Campbell, 4th Earl of Breadalbane; Walter serves Flora, Countess of Loudoun, as her curator


  born 1690 (younger twin); disappeared 1718;

  married Margaret Montgomerie of Edinburgh in Albany, NY, 1722; died 1728



  born 1725 on the NY frontier;

  married Cora Munro, daughter of a Munro cadet of Foulis, an officer of His Majesty’s Forces in the North American Colonies, in 1756


  born 1757;

  first wife: Sings-from-Books, granddaughter of the clan mother of the Wolf Longhouse of the Kahnyen’ kehàka people;

  second wife: Elizabeth Middleton, originally of Oakmere, Devon, in 1793

  * indicates nonfictional character


  To the Earl of Carryck




  My Lord,

  Allow me to report success: at long last I have located the man I believe to be your cousin. He is known as Dan’l Bonner, called Hawkeye by his associates, Indian and White. Even if there were not plentiful documentary evidence that he is your uncle Jamie Scott’s son by Margaret Montgomerie, the sight of him alone would convince anyone that he is indeed a Scott of Carryck.

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