The Puritans – Cavanaugh

The Puritans

Jack reads selected passages from his favorite books

Unscripted. Unrehearsed. Unedited. 


The Puritans,
Jack Cavanaugh, 1993. 




Drew winced as the massive wooden door groaned and popped on its iron hinges, sounding like an old man’s bones after a long night’s sleep. He glanced behind him. Nothing. The guard with a large jaw was nowhere in sight. Holding his breath, he tugged again, as if by holding his breath he could silence the door’s complaint. With just enough room to stick his head through, Drew leaned into the doorway. A long hallway spread before him. At the far end a floor-to-ceiling cathedral window stretched proudly where the passageway split at right angles leading to other parts of the castle.

Nothing stirred. Drew pulled his head out. The vast courtyard that lay between him and the castle walls was clear of activity. Good. Everyone was still at the reception. He was sure he’d slipped away without anyone noticing.

Clutching his bundle under one arm, Drew yanked open the door with the other, leaped across the threshold, and pulled the door closed behind him, quickly and quietly.

For a long moment he stood with his back against the rough timber of the door, cradling his cloth bundle against his chest. The scene before him was magnificent. Exactly what he was looking for. Drew Morgan found himself standing in a different world.

The scene was one of glorious chivalry, unlike the shallow realm that was currently prancing about in St. George’s Hall. They were a fellowship of the self-important — crusaders of flattery, wealth, and status. The world represented in this hallway was of a more noble England — the age of Camelot when men believedin courage, virtue, and honor; and women were beautiful and chaste.

The soft, late afternoon sun streamed through the imposing window, bathing the hall in a sacred light. Drew felt as if he were walking on holy ground.

Artifacts of the Arthurian era were exhibited the length of the hall, interrupted only by a pair of double doors on each side. Mounted shields heralded the past glory of noble families: a moorcock with wings extended represented the family Hallifax; a lion brandishing a battle-ax atop a castle turret announced the family Gilbert; and the Swayne family’s Griffin raised its sword triumphant in victory. These were crests a man could be proud of, not like the Morgan family crest — a collared reindeer. What evil knight would be intimidated by a collared reindeer? To make matters worse, the reindeer had a sneer on his lips. Who ever heard of a sneering reindeer?



Nat and Allegra Morgan stood in the courtyard of Windsor Castle. The sun was shining warmly, reflecting heat off the stone walls. Everywhere Nat looked there were cables and cameras and light reflectors and actresses and actors and cameramen and directors and a hundred other people who worked behind the scenes on a movie set.

There was something exciting about standing here, on location in London. Allegra was right. This was where it all began for the Morgans over three hundred years previous. Who would’ve thought that anyone would want to make a major motion picture of the Morgan family?

The director shouted for the actors to take their places. When everything was ready, the call was given:

“Quiet on the set!”


Allegra leaned toward her husband. “Tell me what you see,” she whispered.

“The actor is running across the green,” he said. “He’s reached the huge wooden door. He’s looking both ways, pulling on it. It opens. He slips inside.”

Allegra smiled contentedly. She said, “The story begins at Windsor Castle, the day drew Morgan met Bishop Laud. For it was on that day his life began its downward direction.”


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