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Mine Is the Night: A Novel

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Mine Is the Night: A Novel

PRAISE FOR

    Mine Is the Night

    Mine Is the Night was everything I hoped it would be—the crown of the series! I loved thehistorical setting, the details, the love stories, the characters who change and grow. The paceand story lines kept me turning pages; I couldn’t put it down.”

    Redeeming Love—FRANCINE RIVERS, author of

    “Few authors stir my emotions more deeply than Liz Curtis Higgs. One does not merely read hernovels; one forges a bond so deep with her characters that reader and story become one,embarking on a journey that both inspires and transforms. But be warned—Mine Is the Night will

    steal your night from the first page to the last, and never will hours be better spent. It wasan absolute pleasure to read.”

    —JULIE LESSMAN, author of A Hope Undaunted

    “Liz Curtis Higgs has once again combined her extraordinary skill as a storyteller with herelegant writing style to weave a grand Scottish tale, one that transports us back to the pastin an emotional and unforgettable journey. I was reluctant to see the story of the Kerr womenend—but what an ending it is!”

    —BJ HOFF, author of The Emerald Ballad series

    “Liz Curtis Higgs does it again! Mine Is the Night delivers a compelling story of intrigue,

    adventure, and love. With extreme attention to detail and historical accuracy, Liz creates alove story to last the ages.”

    —TRACIE PETERSON, author of Embers of Love

    “Liz Curtis Higgs brings the book of Ruth to life in Jacobite Scotland with Mine Is the Night

    , a page-turning, emotionally intense, gloriously researched, and soul-stirring read. I was ineighteenth-century Scotland with characters I did not want to leave. Simply brilliant.”

    —LINDA WINDSOR, author of Healer

    “Stunning from start to finish! Sharply witty, charming, romantic, captivating. Liz CurtisHiggs delivers a finale that satisfies in every way. Her best yet!”

    —TAMERA ALEXANDER, author of Beyond This Moment

    PRAISE FOR

    Here Burns My Candle

    “Higgs’s latest richly detailed, leisurely paced novel about two women whose faith bringsthem closer together is a compelling tale of love, loss, faith, and forgiveness that is certainto please both inspirational readers and fans of well-crafted historical fiction.”

    —BOOKLIST

    “The characters are remarkably flawed?…?Higgs is a stickler for period authenticity and hasdone her homework on history and dialect. Fans have been waiting?…?for this novel and will notbe disappointed.”

    —PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

    “Based on the story of Naomi and Ruth but vividly evoking its 18th-century Scottish setting,Here Burns My Candle is a memorable tale of divided loyalties and endurance in the face oftragedy, with flawed, convincing characters and abundant historical detail.”

    —HISTORICAL NOVELS REVIEW

    “Christy Award winner Higgs (Whence Came a Prince) has a faithful following?…?The author’s

    broad appeal makes this a winner for those who love period detail in their historicals.”

    —LIBRARY JOURNAL

    “Higgs’ latest novel is stunning in its prose and its historical accuracy. The authortransports the reader to another time and place while paralleling the book of Ruth. Readerswill anxiously await the second part of the story.”

    —ROMANTIC TIMES Inspirational TOP PICK

    OTHER BOOKS BY LIZ CURTIS HIGGS

    HISTORICAL FICTION

     Thorn in My Heart

     Fair Is the Rose

     Whence Came a PrinceGrace in Thine EyesHere Burns My Candle

    CONTEMPORARY FICTION

Mixed SignalsBookends

    NONFICTION

Bad Girls of the Bible

    Really Bad Girls of the Bible Unveiling Mary Magdalene

    Slightly Bad Girls of the Bible Rise and Shine

    Embrace GraceMy Heart’s in the Lowlands

    CHILDREN’S

The Parable of the Lily

    The Sunflower Parable

    The Pumpkin Patch Parable

    The Pine Tree ParableGo Away, Dark Night

MINE IS THE NIGHT

    PUBLISHED BY WATERBROOK PRESS

12265 Oracle Boulevard, Suite 200Colorado Springs, Colorado 80921

    All Scripture quotations are taken from the King James Version.

    The characters and events in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to actual persons orevents is coincidental.

    Copyright ? 2011 by Liz Curtis Higgs

    All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or byany means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by anyinformation storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

Published in the United States by WaterBrook Multnomah, an imprint of the Crown Publishing

    Group, a division of Random House Inc., New York.

    WATERBROOK and its deer colophon are registered trademarks of Random House Inc.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

    Higgs, Liz Curtis. ??Mine is the night / Liz Curtis Higgs. — 1st ed.

    ????????p. cm. ??eISBN: 978-0-307-45888-9

    ??1. Scotland—Social life and customs—18th century—Fiction. I. Title.

    ??PS3558.I36235M56 2011??813′.54—dc22

    2010053728

    v3.1

    For two special Elizabeths in my life: Elizabeth Hoagland

    and Elizabeth Jeffries,

    my dear Louisville friends, with fond memories of ourElizabethan lunches.

    May the meaning of your name, “consecrated to God,”

    bless your soulsnow and forever.

    Contents

    Cover

    Other Books by This Author

    Title Page

    Copyright

    Dedication

    Map

    Epigraph

    Chapter One

    Chapter Two

    Chapter Three

    Chapter Four

    Chapter Five

    Chapter Six

    Chapter Seven

    Chapter Eight

    Chapter Nine

    Chapter Ten

    Chapter Eleven

    Chapter Twelve

    Chapter Thirteen

    Chapter Fourteen Chapter Fifteen Chapter Sixteen Chapter Seventeen Chapter Eighteen Chapter Nineteen Chapter Twenty Chapter Twenty-One Chapter Twenty-Two Chapter Twenty-Three Chapter Twenty-Four Chapter Twenty-Five Chapter Twenty-Six Chapter Twenty-Seven Chapter Twenty-Eight Chapter Twenty-Nine Chapter Thirty Chapter Thirty-One Chapter Thirty-Two Chapter Thirty-Three Chapter Thirty-Four Chapter Thirty-Five Chapter Thirty-Six Chapter Thirty-Seven Chapter Thirty-Eight Chapter Thirty-Nine Chapter Forty Chapter Forty-One Chapter Forty-Two Chapter Forty-Three Chapter Forty-Four Chapter Forty-Five Chapter Forty-Six Chapter Forty-Seven Chapter Forty-Eight Chapter Forty-Nine Chapter Fifty Chapter Fifty-One Chapter Fifty-Two Chapter Fifty-Three Chapter Fifty-Four Chapter Fifty-Five

    Chapter Fifty-Six Chapter Fifty-Seven Chapter Fifty-Eight Chapter Fifty-Nine Chapter Sixty Chapter Sixty-One Chapter Sixty-Two Chapter Sixty-Three Chapter Sixty-Four Chapter Sixty-Five Chapter Sixty-Six Chapter Sixty-Seven Chapter Sixty-Eight Chapter Sixty-Nine Chapter Seventy Chapter Seventy-One Chapter Seventy-Two Chapter Seventy-Three Chapter Seventy-Four Chapter Seventy-Five Chapter Seventy-Six Chapter Seventy-Seven Chapter Seventy-Eight Chapter Seventy-Nine Chapter Eighty Chapter Eighty-One Chapter Eighty-Two Author Notes Readers Guide Scottish Glossary

Mine is the night,

with all her stars.EDWARD YOUNG

    One

Foul whisperings are abroad.WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

    Selkirkshire

    26 April 1746

    he distant hoofbeats were growing louder.

    Elisabeth Kerr quickly pushed aside the curtain and leaned out the carriage window. A coolspring rain, borne on a blustery wind, stung her cheeks. She could not see the riders onhorseback, hidden by the steep hill behind her. But she could hear them galloping hard, closingthe gap.

    Her mother-in-law seemed unconcerned, her attention drawn to the puddle forming at their feet.A frown creased her brow. “Do you mean for us to arrive in Selkirk even more disheveled thanwe already are?” Three long days of being jostled about in a cramped and dirty coach had leftMarjory Kerr in a mood as foul as the weather.

    “?’Tis not the rain that concerns me.” Elisabeth resumed her seat, feeling a bit unsteady.“No ordinary traveling party would ride with such haste.”

    Marjory’s breath caught. “Surely you do not think—”

    “I do.”

    Had they not heard the rumors at every inn and coaching halt? King George’s men were scouringthe countryside for anyone who’d aided bonny Prince Charlie in his disastrous bid to reclaimthe British throne for the long-deposed Stuarts. Each whispered account was worse than thelast. Wounded rebel soldiers clubbed to death. Houses burned with entire families inside. Wivesand daughters ravished by British dragoons.

    Help us, Lord. Please. Elisabeth slipped her arm round her mother-in-law’s shoulders as sheheard the riders crest the hill and bear down on them.

    “We were almost home,” Marjory fretted.

    “The Lord will rescue us,” Elisabeth said firmly, and then they were overtaken. A male voicecut through the rain-soaked air, and the carriage jarred to a halt.

    Mr. Dewar, their round-bellied coachman, dropped from his perch and landed by the window with agrunt. He rocked back on his heels until he found his balance, then yanked open the carriagedoor without ceremony. “Beg yer pardon, leddies. The captain here would have a wird with ye.”

    Marjory’s temper flared. “He cannot expect us to stand in the rain.”

    “On the contrary, madam.” A British dragoon dismounted and rolled into view like a loadedcannon. His shoulders were broad, his legs short, his neck invisible. “I insist upon it. Atonce, if you please.”

    With a silent prayer for strength, Elisabeth gathered her hoops and maneuvered through thenarrow carriage doorway. She was grateful for Mr. Dewar’s hand as she stepped down, trying notto drag her skirts through the mud. Despite the evening gloom, her eyes traced the outline of ahillside town not far south. Almost home.

    The captain, whom Elisabeth guessed to be about five-and-forty years, watched in stony silenceas Marjory disembarked. His scarlet coat was drenched, his cuffed, black boots were coveredwith filth, and the soggy brim of his cocked hat bore a noticeable wave.

    He was also shorter than Elisabeth had first imagined. When she lifted her head, making themost of her long neck, she was fully two inches taller than he. Some days she bemoaned herheight but not this day.

    By the time Marjory joined her on the roadside, a half-dozen uniformed men had crowded round.Broadswords hung at their sides, yet their scowls were far more menacing.

    ” Mr. Dewar said gruffly. “Ye’ve nae need to frighten my passengers. State yer“Come noo,

    business, and be done with it. We’ve little daylight left and less than a mile to travel.”

    “Selkirk is your destination?” The captain seemed disappointed. “Not many Highland rebels tobe found there.”

    “?’Tis a royal burgh,” Marjory told him, her irritation showing. “Our townsfolk have beenloyal to the Crown for centuries.”

    Elisabeth shot her a guarded look. Have a care, dear Marjory.

    The captain ignored her mother-in-law’s comments, all the while studying their plain blackgowns, a curious light in his eyes. “In mourning, are we? For husbands, I’ll wager.” He tooka brazen step toward Elisabeth, standing entirely too close. “Tell me, lass. Did your men givetheir lives in service to King George? At Falkirk perhaps? Or Culloden?”

    She could not risk a lie. Yet she could not speak the truth.

    Please, Lord, give me the right words.

    Elisabeth took a long, slow breath, then spoke from her heart. “Our brave men died at Falkirkhonoring the King who has no equal.”

    He cocked one eyebrow. “Did they now?”

    “Aye.” She met the captain’s gaze without flinching, well aware of which sovereign she hadin mind. I am God, and there is none like me. She’d not lied. Nor had the dragoon grasped the

    truth behind her words: by divine right the crown belonged to Prince Charlie.

    “No one compares to His Majesty, King George,” he said expansively. “Though I am sorry foryour loss. No doubt your men died heroes.”

    Elisabeth merely nodded, praying he’d not ask their names. A list of soldiers killed atFalkirk had circulated round Edinburgh for weeks. The captain might recall that Lord Donald andAndrew Kerr were not named among the royalist casualties. Instead, her handsome husband and hisyounger brother were counted among the fallen rebels on that stormy January evening.

    My sweet Donald. However grievous his sins, however much he’d wounded her, she’d loved himonce and mourned him still.

    Her courage bolstered by the thought of Donald in his dark blue uniform, Elisabeth squared hershoulders and ignored the rain sluicing down her neck. “My mother-in-law and I are eager toresume our journey. If we are done here—”

    “We are not.” Still lingering too near, the captain inclined his head, measuring her. “Ashame your husband left such a bonny widow. Though if you fancy another soldier in your bed,one of my men will gladly oblige—”

    “Sir!” Marjory protested. “How dare you address a lady in so coarse a manner.”

    His dragoons quickly closed ranks. “A lady?” one of them grumbled. “She sounds more like aHighlander to my ear.”

    The captain’s expression darkened. “Aye, so she does.” Without warning he grasped the belledcuff of Elisabeth’s sleeve and turned back the fabric. “Where is it, lass? Where is your silkJacobite rose?”

    “You’ve no need to look.” Elisabeth tried to wrest free of him. “I haven’t one.”

    Ignoring her objections, he roughly examined the other cuff, nearly tearing apart the seam.“The white rose of Scotland was Prince Charlie’s favorite, was it not? I’ve plucked them offmany a Highland rebel.”

    “I imagine you have.” Elisabeth freed her sleeve from his grasp. “Are you quite satisfied?”

    “Far from it, lass.” The captain eyed the neckline of her gown, his mouth twisting into anugly sneer. “It seems your flower is well hidden. Nevertheless, I mean to have it.”

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