Are You Replete?

Christopher Jones, skipper of the Mayflower, is buried at St. Mary’s Rotherhithe. Mayflower was a London vessel.

Thanksgiving is approaching. Families will gather, and indescribably delicious aromas will fill many homes. Jenny, however, the protagonist in The Witness, is far from the comforting cocoon of her Texas family. She has helped London’s Metropolitan Police arrest a very dangerous man and is being protected by them as a result.

She described the American holiday to her protection officers: “The Pilgrims had fled religious persecution in England…They were starving, and the local Indians fed them, so we usually honor the event by being thankful we can overeat.”

Her protection officers would have welcomed any diversion from the daily routine, and PC Brian Davies, an excellent cook, would have prepared a special meal, if only to alleviate the boredom that was an integral part of the witness protection experience.

Jenny, however, doesn’t feel like celebrating. She is haunted by the knowledge of all she is missing in her Houston home: the sumptuous meal, of course, but also the athletic events her brothers are involved in, the evidence of the changing seasons, and even the ways in which her parents fed her intellectually. Jenny’s mother tried to teach her children one new vocabulary word each week, and her father left clippings of famous or useful quotations on the breakfast table for them to review.

When your Thanksgiving meal is over, will you be “replete”? That was the word of the week in Texas, but Jenny is filled only with fear and trepidation, because her testimony against the man who attacked her and murdered others still lies ahead.


Grabbing a cold one at the Captain Kidd on the Thames in Wapping
Grabbing a cold one at the Captain Kidd on the Thames in Wapping

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