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An unedited excerpt:
When Andrew Benningham awoke on the morning of March 16th, he expected that of a prosperous day. His Uncle John had informed him of the family’s finances four days prior, and Andrew had taken it upon himself to find a job. Today Andrew was to head to town and seek work in the three prominent acting houses, hopefully becoming a member of a theater troupe.
Andrew’s life was far from simple, yet he was always seen as a simple boy, he was small of stature and slight in his build but he had a strong will and a sharp tongue. Andrew was a typical common boy of the age, with little on his mind except procuring money for his small family and to have a little fun doing so. Andrew’s family consisted of his Uncle John Benningham, his cousin Bernard Benningham, and his sister Jane. Jane and he were orphans, their father’s uncle treated them as if they were his own children, though, and neither him nor Jane knew the difference. Andrew’s mother had died bringing him into the world, and his father passed a few years later from a terrible fever that had sent him into convulsions every so often. Andrew hadn’t a very good memory of his father, he was only aware of his father’s knighthood. Sir Richard Benningham was as brave as any man could hope to be, or at least that’s what Andrew hoped he was.
After the death of their father, Andrew and Jane came to live in a small cottage on the Lamb Estate. The cottage was the old caretaker’s home, however the modest three room cottage made a lovely home for the butler of the Lamb family. Uncle John had held the title of butler for nearly 13 years and his position within the household was honored and revered. For months the whole household had been in a tizzy preparing for a family trip, nearly around the world. The Lambs would be gone for nearly a year. Their eldest daughter was engaged to be married and the trip would end with a wedding fit for the queen. Uncle John had been required for the voyage, therefore he was forced to leave his three charges at home.