After a long career in mineral processing that has taken him around world, B.G. Cousins began writing historical fiction novels.
In 2015, during a lull in contract work, he indulged his vivid imagination for stories and produced his first novel, The Locket, which was published in March of 2016. He prides himself on doing extensive research to make his stories as historically accurate as possible, weaving historical anomalies into rich stories of love, conflict and adventure. He has five completed novels, The Locket (2016), The Great Celt (2017), Dark Before Light (2018), The Tachi (2020), and the Quest (2022), all part of The Rainey Chronicles, and several short stories, essays on writing, and scientific papers.
B.G. Cousins currently resides in Edmonton, Alberta, with his wife Carmen, and his ever present bagpipes that he has been playing and travelling with for years. He has recently published music books of the bagpipe tunes he has written over the last 50 years.
"I find history fascinating. My passion for discovering how we got to where we are today is the study of the personalities that shaped the world. Men and women whose actions changed the course of history have the best stories. These people were anomalies in their time. They thought outside the box, going against the conventions that strove to hold them back by discovering better ways to accomplish their goals. They were inventive. They were observant. They were willing to take great risks."
"No one becomes a great leader by accident. It takes focus, determination, creativity, and when the world gives them their opportunity, they do not hesitate. I place my main characters with these historical figures to weave my stories of adventure, love and conflict while staying true to the historical record."
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The Sword is Lost.
While on a mission into Laos in 1969, Peter Rainey leaves the Rainey sword in the care of a wounded, young North Vietnamese soldier he helped before he is captured by intelligence officer Pho Tan Li. After his escape, he goes on a journey to recover the sword with the young soldier and a Special Forces sergeant.
Li has her own problems. Recalled to Hanoi to face charges of sedition, she is saved by a mission to find the owner of a sword that was presented to her uncle, Ho Chi Minh. The weapon is a link to a man Minh met during the Versailles Treaty meetings in Paris fifty years earlier.
Rainey’s search for the sword and Li’s search for him becomes a quest that will change both their lives forever.
The rainey Chronicles Book V
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The soldier reached over and pulled back the bolt on his AK-47. Rainey’s mind raced through options. He was barely in a position to bring his Thompson to bear before the man could get a shot off at him. On top of that, if by some miracle Rainey was able to shoot the man first, the sound would announce his location to other enemy soldiers in the area.
It was the expression on the soldier’s face that triggered Rainey’s response. The fear was palpable, and Rainey recognized him from the waterfall a day earlier. It was the same boy who had been afraid on that patrol.
Before the AK-47 could be aimed again, Rainey threw up his hands as high as he could make them while lying on his belly.
“Tôi đâu hàng,” he said quietly. He closed his eyes, not knowing what would happen next. When nothing happened, he looked up at the boy.
He hadn’t moved, and Rainey could now see why. His right bicep was bleeding badly, and he had a shrapnel wound in his left thigh. Rainey’s first thought was to wait for the boy to bleed out.
Damn it, he thought. He’s just a kid.
He spoke in Vietnamese. “You are badly injured. I can help you.”
The boy’s expression shifted. “You speak my language?”
“Yes,” Rainey answered. He had to break the ice a little bit more. “I saw you the other day by the waterfall. You did not appear to like being on patrol.”
Surprise flashed in his eyes. “You were there?”
Rainey nodded. “That is how we came into this valley.”
The boy grimaced and lowered his gun, then struggled to bring it back up.
“I can help you,” Rainey repeated. He slowly shuffled the Thompson out from under him and moved it as far from himself as he could reach. “I mean you no harm.”
For a brief moment, nothing happened. Then a flash of pain crossed the boy’s face and his gun dropped to the ground. He passed out. Rainey crawled over to him and pulled his pack off his back. Taking his knife, he ripped the shirt sleeve open, revealing the wound. He rinsed it with water from his canteen and applied some sulfa powder. Feeling around, he could find no fragments in the arm, indicating that the shrapnel had passed clean through. He finished by wrapping the wound with bandages.
The leg was bleeding less but looked worse. A piece of metal was sticking out. Rainey pulled it out slowly, watching to see if an artery had been hit. No blood squirted. He split the pant leg open and repeated the procedure with water, sulfa powder and bandages.
The boy remained unconscious through the whole procedure. Rainey moved back to the brush to collect his Thompson.
The kid is no threat, but his friends are.
He moved back to the tree and leaned his back against it. He checked his gun’s magazine. It was empty. Out of curiosity, he reached over and picked up his companion’s AK-47 and checked the banana clip. It was empty as well. He leaned his head back onto the tree and bit back a laugh. Then he placed the AK back beside his new friend.
It was getting dark before Li was able to get reports from the patrols. The bombings had scattered most of the teams out looking for the Americans. Of the forty men sent out, only fourteen returned. It was chaos in the jungle as well.
After the bombing, she learned that the general had died in his command hut. The ranking officer now was a captain who was still in a daze. She found it easy to convince him to let her to take control of the investigation.
In a hastily erected lean-to, Li was interrogating patrol members. “Do you have any idea how many Americans were on their team?” she asked a nervous private.
“I saw four,” the man sputtered. “One white man and three black ones. I know there were others, but I do not know how many.”
Li leaned over towards him, bringing her face just inches in front of his. “Did you see them among the five bodies brought in?” She wasn’t sure if she was speaking loudly or not. Her hearing had not totally returned.
The man recoiled back. “I saw two of those black men, but neither of the two white men.”
Li stood erect. “Thank you, private. You may go.”
The private almost jumped out of the chair and ran out of the lean-to. Li summed up the reports from the other patrols in her head. She came to one conclusion.
There was one black man and one white man still out there.
It was quite possible they were killed in the bombings and their bodies were either yet to be recovered or were in tiny pieces from a direct hit. Either way, she had to know for sure.
“Sergeant,” she said to the man who had been commanding one of the patrols. “We still have a little light left. Gather some men and carry out one more sweep through the area where the enemy had been engaged.”
The sergeant nodded.
“And I will be coming with you,” she added. She pulled out her Chinese Tokarev Type-54 pistol and checked that the magazine was full. “Come back and get me when you are ready to head out.”
She wasn’t interested in the missing black man, but the white man could possibly be an officer with knowledge of how the B-52 bombers were so accurate in destroying the supply depot. She stepped out of the lean-to and looked about to see the uninjured soldiers still scrambling to put out fires and assembling what supplies survived. No one was bothering with the dead and the wounded were barely getting any assistance. It was the nature of the war they were fighting. Families back in the north may never hear about their relative’s fate
Her country had only known armed conflict for longer than her entire life. The French, the Japanese, the French again, and now the Americans. She wished the Americans would just go home. She didn’t hate them. Her uncle had told her stories of how the Americans assisted in the fight against the Japanese more than twenty-five years earlier. It was thought that after that war, the Americans would help set up a true and autonomous democracy. Instead, the French, who had never really left, having supported the Japanese occupation, continued their rule. The fact that her Uncle Minh was a communist didn’t help either.
The sergeant returned to get her. She gave strict instructions that she wanted any enemy soldier captured alive. There was only about a half hour of daylight left. They may get an additional twenty minutes of searching with the fires that were still burning in the jungle. She had to work fast.
Rainey was having a hard time staying alert. His companion finally jolted awake. When he realized Rainey was sitting beside him, he reached for his rifle.
“Do not bother,” Rainey said. “It is empty, I took your extra clip, and I will not hurt you.”
The boy looked at his bandaged arm and leg and glanced back up at Rainey.
“You will live,” Rainey said to the question forming in the boy’s mind. “My name is Peter. What is yours?”
With a bit of hesitation, the boy replied, “Duy.”
“Hello, Duy,” Rainey said. “Quite the war, is it not?”
Duy stared at him but said nothing.
This could be a very one-sided conversation, Rainey thought. “You do not seem very happy to be in it.”
“Are you?” Duy asked.
There we go. “No, I am not. I do not like going to a country halfway around the world and killing people I do not know over ideology.”
“Then why are you here?”
Rainey shrugged. What he was telling Duy was the truth. He had started out wanting to help democracy in South Vietnam, but he had found little of it once he arrived. His father had warned him about the situation, suggesting another posting with the CIA. Rainey hadn’t listened, wanting some combat experience to go with his idealism.
At least he got the combat experience.
“I should be starting school this autumn,” Duy muttered.
Rainey liked where the conversation was going. He opened his last ration. When he was thrown in the air by a bomb, his backpack had taken a lot of damage and left him only the one ration. He took a bite and offered some to Duy. “What were you going to be taking?”
Duy took some jerky, looked at it with curiosity, and bit into it. “Civil engineering. I want to rebuild my country once your air force stops blowing it up.”
Rainey sighed. “Sorry about that. I do not have a say in my country’s political decisions.”
Duy tilted his head to one side. “If you did, what would you do?”
I like this kid. He’s a thinker. “I would support whatever freely elected government your country wants. Personally, I do not think communism is a good long-term bet. It does not take human nature into account very well. But if it gets your country off the ground on its own, I would support it.”
Rainey shrugged. “If we are supporting your attempt at communism, they would not be involved at all. The one thing my country does not understand is the Soviets are not interested in conquering the world. They figure communism will end up in every country eventually on its own.
They are scared of America conquering them, however.”
“You should be president,” Duy remarked.
Rainey chuckled. “I would never get elected talking like this.”
Duy smiled. Rainey really liked this kid, feeling sorry for the circumstances he found himself in. With his wounds, he should at least get out of combat duty for a while.
Their conversation continued. The two of them got to know each other. Rainey was careful not to divulge any strategic information. The sun was setting in the west when Rainey decided he would be taking his leave.
“When it gets dark,” he said, “I will leave you here. Is that fine with you?”
Duy lifted his arm slightly. “I cannot stop you.”
“True,” Rainey replied. “I just wanted you to know I cannot stay with you.”
Before Duy could respond, Rainey heard the sound of men trudging through the jungle. He held up a finger to Duy, picked up his Thompson and got up into a crouch. Lifting his head slowly, he looked out over the brush. There, heading right towards him, was a patrol.
“Shit,” he said under his breath. He had hoped the patrols were over with the coming of night. He assessed their path and concluded that there was no avoiding them. Firing at them would attract more soldiers.
He was going to be captured. He lowered himself back down beside Duy. He only had one concern now and only Duy could help him.
“I am not getting out of this,” he said. He took his sword off his shoulder and held it out to Duy. “Can I trust you to take care of this for me? It is very important to my family. When all this is over, I will find you and reward you for your service.”
Duy looked confused, but he nodded. Taking the sword, he placed it on the ground beside him. Rainey then laid down his Thompson and Colt pistol.
“Pick up your gun,” Rainey ordered.
“But it is empty,” Duy protested.
“They do not know that,” Rainey replied. “I am your prisoner.” He moved about five feet away from Duy, sat up and put his hands on his head.
He gave Duy a parting smile.
It took another two minutes for the patrol to reach them. One of the soldiers called out. With their guns aimed at Rainey, they parted to let a woman come through to the tree. Rainey glanced up at her, putting the blankest look on his face that he could muster.
She did not look happy. Her uniform was dirty with some rips in the cloth. Peter figured she had been near ground zero when the B-52’s let loose their bomb loads.
“You are my prisoner,” she said in English.
“Do you have a security place still standing?” Rainey asked. “I can wait here until you get a new one built.”
Okay, that was a little too flippant. The woman swung her arm and clipped Rainey on the side of his head with her pistol butt. He fell over onto his side.
Ah, Peter. You knew that was coming.
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Teri M Brown