I am who I am: Kathryn MacLean Tarrington

A Cold-Blooded Killer … Grieves Deeply

Kneeling beside Major Ferguson’s body Kathryn scanned his still form covered in clean sheeting, his face peaceful and unscathed in death. Easing his cold hand from under the covering, she held it gently, wishing she could instill warmth and life back into him. “You were a worthy opponent and I shall miss you, my friend,” she said quietly, and leaning forward, placed a kiss on his brow.

“Paying last respects to the enemy, Mrs. Tarrington?” Colonel Banastre Tarleton startled her reverie with his caustic appraisal. Looking up angrily, she spat, “Have you ever shown one moment of compassion in your life?”

“Compassion is an emotion denoting weakness,” he said, eyeing her haughtily. Ignoring him, she slowly stood.

“Kathryn,” speaking with a soft familiarity that caused her to bristle at his audacity, he stopped her angry retort with an abrupt gesture. “If it is of any comfort, Patrick told me not long ago, that he has trusted your loyalty for some time now. He merely liked sparring with you. I gather he felt you had an intelligent mind.” His smile, for once was genuine, catching her by surprise.

“Thank you, Banastre,” she said, watching as his smile actually reached his eyes.

“And how fares your husband?” he asked almost gently.

“Jason will be fine; he will be.”

Hearing unmistakable exhaustion and desperation in her tone, he felt a twinge of compassion, a distasteful emotion he refused to dwell upon. “You despise my ethics,” he said, his tone returning to its glib façade of previous moments.  “Because my actions reflect upon your husband,” he continued, goading her slightly.

Not wanting an angry confrontation, Kathryn pushed past him attempting to leave.

“Where Colonel Tarrington is concerned, you are like a lioness protecting a cub,” Banastre said, his tone liquid honey, insulting.

“What do you want from me, Tarleton?” She spun on him, eyes narrowed.

“Did you see what they did to him Kathryn? Take a look, a good look.” Gripping her shoulder, he forced her to Ferguson’s side and furiously flung back the sheet covering the Major’s bullet-riddled body. Her hand flew to her mouth, muffling a sob. Had Banastre’s strong arm not supported her, she would have staggered as her knees suddenly buckled. A single tear rolled down her cheek as she looked up at him, her eyes forlorn.

“He was my only true friend,” Tarleton uttered brokenly. “What would you have done differently?” At her silence, he rushed on angrily. “Yes, I slew as many rebels as I could—in a frenzy like a wild man. I gave no quarter, damned right!”

He abruptly turned away, but not before she saw his face crumble. He stood there, shoulders slumped, as a shiver rippled across his upper back

“He was my friend.” His voice broke and was barely audible. “He forgave my—idiosyncrasies.” For a moment, he sagged visibly then squaring his shoulders, he turned back to her. “Now do you understand?” His voice softened to a desperate plea.

“Yes,” her answer was thin, pained.

He hesitated at the gentleness of her tone, fighting for his own composure.

She had never seen this side of Banastre and was taken aback. His reputation of boyish good looks belying unwarranted cruelty, flagrant callous sex and unmitigated arrogance was well documented, and yet, he grieved deeply too.

“I am so sorry, Banastre.” Her hushed voice held undeniable sincerity.

For a moment, he stood silently regarding her. “What would you have done differently?” he asked quietly.

“I would have given quarter, trusting the enemy would do the same if circumstances had been different. That had Jason been forced to surrender, he would live to eventually be returned to me … safe and sound.”

“Kathryn!” He blurted, exasperated. Inclining his head he stood speechless, battling for self-control. Without warning, he suddenly spun on his heel and rapidly moved away, his boots striking a staccato beat on the highly polished floor as he disappeared down the hallway.

Breathing deeply, willing inner calm to return, Kathryn  mouthed ‘goodbyes’, and with a final touch to Ferguson’s pale cheek, left to seek much needed strength and consolation in her husband’s presence.

Excerpt from ‘Beyond All Reason’: Book I of ‘The Beyond Trilogy’. A new series featuring Kathryn MacLean Tarrington

The Beyond All Reason SCREENPLAY, based on the first novel of The ‘Beyond’ Trilogy is available for production and only the beginning of this captivating saga.


J. Winfield Curriea fresh new voice in historical romance. Adding a revolutionary twist to the Revolutionary War Era.