FROM PROFESSOR RANDALL’S NOTEBOOK…
Field Research Location:
Columbia and Waterloo, Monroe County, Illinois.
Discover where Fort Piggot was located on the Kaskaskia Trail, while staying clear of attractive, single colleagues (ie. Brett!) so as not to commit career suicide, while also keeping the “rewinding time” program secret, so Uncle Sam doesn’t turn into Big Brother.
Merrideth Randall’s day job is teaching history at McKendree College. But after hours she turns to her first love, historical research. And she has a tool other historians can only dream of—a computer program that rewinds time!
Merrideth makes a virtual visit to the 1780s, hoping to be the first to locate Fort Piggot. Along the way, she gets a first-hand look at the lives of the courageous pioneers of the Illinois Country, who withstood Indian attacks, hardship, and loneliness to settle the rich land.
One of the settlers is James Garretson, who risks his life to take the Gospel to the very tribe that wreaked havoc on his family. Merrideth is amazed that he could forgive a crime so huge. Hero or fool, James Garretson is the ancestor of her colleague Brett, a physics professor at McKendree College.
With her findings, Merrideth is able to help Brett with his genealogy, but she can’t tell him everything she learned—like that he inherited his black hair and green eyes from James Garretson, or that his aunt’s poetry is eerily similar to the verse Garretson’s wife Isabelle used to compose at her spinning wheel.
Brett has rock-star status on campus, but amazingly enough, he seems to be pursuing Merrideth—in spite of her firm policy against dating co-workers. She would love to tell him about her amazing program, but discretion is not his strong suit. She has secrets about herself that she’d just as soon he didn’t find out either. One virtue Brett does have is patience, and he’s quite willing to wait for Merrideth to figure things out.