The Schomburgk Line
An appetite for war begins to spread in the United States. Three decades after the Civil War, many Americans believe that the U.S. should flex her muscles in the world in order to be taken seriously. When a longstanding border dispute between British Guiana and Venezuela re-ignites after the discovery of gold in the region, the U.S. proposes that she mediate the conflict under the moral authority accorded by the Monroe Doctrine. In response, the British refuse to recognize either Venezuelan territorial claims or American arbitration justifications. In the face of this contempt, even the normally non-interventionist President Grover Cleveland gets "mad clean through." Meanwhile, a State Department lawyer has a different opinion. Dustin Boyle carries the physical and psychic wounds from the War Between the States with him every day. A veteran of the Confederate States Army, he is aware of how enthusiasm to teach an adversary a lesson can lead to devastation and carnage. Worse for Dustin, a new war with Great Britain could thwart his own political ambitions inspired by his late father. Seemingly, however, war fever is intensifying in every quarter of Washington, D.C. After 30 years of working his way to his present position, Dustin will not allow his dream to be dashed. Obstacles confront him on every side. The Venezuelan dictator is stoking British anger; an influential group of American politicians works non-stop to fuel public indignation; and, worst of all, Dustins own boss-the secretary of state-goes out of his way to fan the presidents ire over the Venezuelan Boundary Dispute. Suspected of service to the Confederacy well beyond the duties of a horse soldier, Dustin is shunned by his colleagues for fear of political embarrassment. Unknown to Dustin is an effort to blackmail the administration into military action. Desperation growing, Dustin commences on a course of secret diplomacy with the British while he simultaneously plans to circumvent his superiors to gain the presidents ear. In pursuing this two-pronged approach, he must exploit an old-if unreliable-friendship and hide his activities from his employers. He soon learns that his strategy is wrought with hazard to his dream, his job and perhaps even his life. All the while, the only threshold separating war and peace is an on-again, off-again demarcation known as the Schombrgk Line. As he executes his plan, Dustin encounters an unlikely ally who discerns another type of warfare at work. Modest of means yet heroic in spirit, she patiently serves him while leading him toward his ultimate purpose. In trying to forget the last war and ward off the next one, he discovers the wreckage of an ongoing war for his soul.
Author: John Clifford Gregory
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Release Date: 2014-01-31