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Trade Off

by Andrew Atkinson
Originally published by on 14/10/2017

The smugglers struggle up the incline of the wooded chine, weighed down by barrels of brandy and chests of tea. Above them, before the chine merges into heath, stand the Revenue men, armed but not as numerous.

Earlier that month, smugglers – or ‘free traders’ – and the Revenue had clashed, farther along the coastline. Five died. A similar outcome is now in prospect.

A forward scout from the smugglers forewarns his companions, and leaders from the opposing camps meet to parley. Shortly afterwards they disperse, the smugglers keeping the rum and the Revenue men going home with the tea. Transaction complete.

Andrew Atkinson Merits

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