TITLE: The Dane
When a trusting young farmhand gets cheated and accused of rape in 1890 America, he flees and lands work in the Chicago stockyards. Rather than return penniless to his love in Denmark, he heads west with a stranger to the goldfields of Colorado — where the body count rises with the altitude.
This was worse. Worse than the near-capsizing of the Copenhagen. That had been over in a moment and in broad daylight. Andreas gripped the sides of the bolted down washstand in his dark cabin as the ship pitched and rolled in the November Atlantic. Captain Moller had failed to outrun the massive storm and now struggled to keep the Geiser aright in this three-day gale.
A gold pocket watch swayed in his vest, but Andreas could only guess at the time. The lights failed hours ago, and there was no hint of dawn outside his portal.
Andreas retched into the basin, cursing that he’d embarked on the voyage with only a handful of ginger cookies. He wished he were on solid ground. He wished he never had to face another crossing in his life. He wished he’d never left Kirsten in Denmark in the first place.
His stomach lurched again. His sickness was more than mal de mare or terror. He felt despair. He’d broken his word. He was late, a year overdue. He hadn’t heard from her since January. Had she waited?
The ship rolled fiercely, tossing Andreas against the outside wall. Struggling in the dark, he could not find anything to grab hold of. He could hear the screams of his fellow passengers over the creaking of the ship and the rushing water. Even if he could swim, he knew he’d never survive if the ship went down. As it rocked back, Andreas fell through the blackness.