With the Boston Tea Party back on schedule and the Revolution apparently saved, Matthew thought he was free to return to his own century—until Nicky Blunt blundered through the Log and into Colonial Boston. While trying to help Nicky, Matthew was knocked out and pressed into the Royal Navy.
High on a mast above a heaving blue-black ocean perched a lone sailor of the Royal Navy, barefoot and bare-fingered despite the cold of an inordinately icy December. As his ship slowly beat north toward Nahant and Marblehead, before him stretched an impressive panoramic view of Boston and its harbor: the North Church and its spire, lofting above the houses and wharves; the docks, unnaturally quiet, a small forest of bare masts; the bright red coats of a drilling regiment along the quay; the bare hills, Bunker and Breed's, opposite the town across the Charles River; and then the islands and shoals and peninsulas and bays that created a maze of channels. These were lively with boats—small skiffs, rowboats, fishing smacks under sail, all engaged in hauling nets and lobster pots—each one of interest to the watchful eyes of the blockading Royal Navy.