blue moon (2)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Red Clay: Part Fourteen ©

Hali and Adalia had been seeing a lot of each other over that last couple of months after that first lunch they had together.
He learned that she was majoring in Social Care and wanted to work in the welfare system helping children.
She worked at the commissary so that she could afford to live off campus in her own apartment.
He also learned that she was born in France because her father was in the military and they moved around a lot depending where he was stationed.
Her parents lived in Germany now but her father was trying to get transferred to a post home so he could be settled here when he finally retired.

Hali told her he was from Louisiana about his parents, his grandmother who raised him and about how he wanted to become a doctor then go to Africa and help the people there.
Hali told her about his family’s history and how he wanted to go back there to see what it was like and try to imagine how people lived back then.
He also wanted to work with the Peace Corp or maybe even the United Nations as a doctor in Africa mostly to help the kids there but first he had to graduate and work for at least a year before he could think of that.

They both had a passion for helping people that needed it the most like children and spent hours talking about these subjects.
Slowly they started becoming closer and falling in love without either of then knowing it was happening.
He also told her about his trip through Nevada, about the carnage in the desert and all the blood, the nightmares.

Jonas woke with a start due to the hammering at the hotel door, Maggie was buried under the sheets next to him and seemed not to notice it or pretended she didn’t.
He got out of bed and walked to the door then asked who it was.
The manager was at the door telling him that the police were here wanting to talk to him and if would come out to see them.
Jonas told them he had to get dressed and would be right out.
He knew why they were there.

He put his shirt on first then pulled his pants up tucking the shirt inside them before tightening his belt.
Socks and boots went on next and then stood up to slip his jacket on.
He stood there looking at himself in the mirror as he combed his hair thinking about the night’s events and how he got to this stage in his life.

A month ago he was in Georgia on business and after three days he found himself falling off the edge of a cliff into oblivion with another man’s hand around his throat.
Not just any man but his brother, the bastard son of one of his father’s victims.
There were no shortage of victims when it came to his father, he now knew how cold he was, more like he finally remembered how cold hearted his father was.
He saw it with his own eyes as he choked the life out of his mother with his bare hands then tossing her on the ground only to burned her like they burn refuse when it’s are no longer useful.
His mother’s soul bled through his father’s hands as his was bleeding out through his brother’s when he remembered it all.

His years of boxing and training did not all go to waste, even though he detested to fight back and get dirty, he did learn his lessons and learned them well.
He managed to get a hand under the arm around his neck and pried if off then flipped his brother over his shoulder sending him crashing through a heavy chair.

When he stepped back he saw his brother laying on the floor motionless, his head twisted in a grotesque manner, his neck must have broken when he flipped him onto the chair.
Bending down he cautiously reached over and felt for a pulse but there was none.

Getting up he grabbed for his clothes and started getting dressed as all this new information was gathering in his head asking questions looking for answers, some being answered others not but why it had to be eluded him.

He was scared but as he gathered his clothes and thoughts he was also being enlightened.
Old questions were answered, nightmares finally understood, the truth was coming out now over twenty years later.
After he got dressed he started for the door then stopped, he couldn’t leave him like that on the floor so he undressed his dead brother and tossed the clothes on the chair where his were once before then walked out into the hallway where Belle was waiting for him.

Belle could see the shock in his face when he cam out into the hallway and lead him to her office for another drink.
She was proud of her son for exacting her revenge for her and now she was going to finish her plan by taking care of the beast now that she had replaced the pup with her son.

How fortunate she thought that they both looked so much alike, the first time she saw him she didn’t know it was her son and though her boy was playing a joke on her but she quickly realized who he really was and the plan started forming in her head.
Now she would finish the job and avenge the deaths of her parents and sister Mary once and for all and with any luck they would profit from it also.
Belle filled his glass to the top and passed it over to her son as he sat there silently looking into his thoughts.
Jonas looked down at the full glass then reached out for it and took a sip, then downed the rest in one swallow and put it back on the table for Belle filled it for him again.
Jonas looked at this woman and wondered why she hated him so much, he had done to this woman?
What had his father done to give this woman so much desire to see him dead, to make her son into a murderer.
Was it vengeance for deeds done or for services not rendered?
He picked up his drink once more and downed it this time without taking a sip first.
His brain swam with with confusion, anger, pain and fueled by the nectar of fermented grapes, that were first squashed like his life had been.
He reached over and took the bottle then filled his glass once more and downed it.

Belle got up then walked around the table and told him that he had enough then reached to take the bottle away from him but he pulled it out of her reach and once more filled his glass with another drink.
Belle was sensing his anger so she reached out and touched his soft cheek………

Jonas saw realization dawn in Belle’s eys as he stood up in front of her.
She tried to back away from him but he grabbed her by the throat with his right hand and squeezed her soft delicate neck.
She grabbed at his wrist and tried to pull him off but he was to strong for her.
His hand squeezed harder as visions of his father creeped into his head and once more watched his fathers hands on his mother’s throat as he throttled her then dropped her on the floor.

Jonas looked down at Belle’s body the stepped over her then walked out of the office and into the sitting room where he found Maggie waiting there for who ever came for her.
He looked at Maggie and told her to get her things packed, they were leaving for New York the first chance they get.
She got up and walked to him and threw her arms around his neck and kissed him, then took him by the hand, leading him to her room where they spent an hour bending the bed springs while his brother’s dead eyes looked on.

He picked up the revolver on the table and dropped it in his pocket before he turned to leave the room.
Jonas walked out of the room leaving Maggie in bed to continue her sleep, if she was asleep, she was going to need the rest for when he returned to her.

The hotel manager was standing outside the door flanked by two burly men in suits.
One asked him if he was the son of Jonas Beacham to which he told him that he was and they asked him to come with them.
Outside they got into a carriage and headed off to him father’s house.
They told him that it was on fire and didn’t know if anyone was in it yet because no one can get to close to it because it to hot.

Before they even got close to the house he could see the night sky lit up from behind the buildings that were obscuring his view.
As soon as they got around the corner though, they were greeted by a giant fireball licking at the sky above.
There was a crowd of people passing buckets filled with water back and forth trying to keep the other buildings around it from catching fire to and making it worse than it already was.
As Jonas was standing across the street watching the efforts being made to get it under control the butler came to him from the crowd that was standing around watching the house burn.
He was crying as he walked up to him and trying to tell Jonas that he called for his father in the cellar but his father didn’t respond back.
He told Jonas he couldn’t go down to the cellar because the fire was between him and the door.

The butler told him that he couldn’t understand how the fire had started down there, he didn’t know what was in the cellar because his father didn’t allow anyone down there but he saw everything that came in and out of the house and there was nothing more than some odd furniture that was ever brought in for downstairs.

Jonas was listening to him tell him his story but was beginning to realize that he didn’t want the authorities to know where the fire started because that would make them suspicious and look deeper into it instead of leaving it as a tragic accident.

Jonas asked him if he had spoken to the police yet and the butler said no.
Jonas then reached into his pocket and took out some money then passed it to the butler and told him to go to the hotel and get some rest, he would tell the police what he just told him.
Then in two days to come and see him at his hotel but before he left Jonas took out the pistol and passed it to him.
He told him to take it to protect him from anyone that might attack or attempt to rob him on the way to the hotel because it was late and there were bad people out at night that would take advantage of someone walking alone at night.
The butler took the pistol and stared at it for a second, he had never fired one before and wasn’t sure if he should take it.
He didn’t know if he could shoot someone if he had to but he put it in his pocket just to keep Mr Jonas happy, then walked away from the fire and into the darkness.

One of the policemen walked over to him and asked if he knew if his father was home and if there was anyone else living in the house.
Jonas told him that he had just arrived back to New York from Savannah Georgia just that evening and didn’t know but he assumed he would be and there was a servant that lived at the house as well.

The policemen asked curious why he hadn’t gone home on his arrival back to New York, but Jonas had an answer for that as well.
He told him that he had gotten married while down south and wanted to surprise his father with his new bride in the morning.
Satisfied with the answers he got the officer turned and walked to his partner who was watching the firemen trying to douse the fire.

Jonas was staring at the fire, it brought back many memories, some frightening but some……..some excited him.
The more he stared at the flames rising to the sky, the more aroused he became.
He was thinking how much he wished he was at the hotel room now when an idea came into his thoughts.
Jonas walked over to the two policemen and told them that he just saw what could have been his father’s servant running away down the street.
He said he called out to him but ran off after he saw it was him.
The policemen asked him in which direction he saw him run off in and they took off after the butler.

Jonas waited for about an hour before he hailed a carriage and went back to the hotel but all the way back he was rehearsing his idea and plan of action for the next couple of days.
By the time he got back to the hotel he had played out the future in his head a dozen times before he stepped out of the carriage and went up to his room.
Maggie was still asleep when he walked into the room and dropped all his clothes on the floor and stood at the foot of the bed staring at her.

Reaching down he pulled the sheet off the bed in one violent move and tossed it across the room, that woke her up.
She looked up with sleepy eyes and could see his excitement pointing in her direction.
Jonas grabbed her by the ankles and pulled her down to the end of the bed until half of her was hanging off of the edge.

In the morning after breakfast Jonas went to the police station and asked to see the police officers from the night before and told them that someone had come to him last night and told him that his life may be in danger.
Someone who wanted to remain anonymous had informed him that there was a plot to kill him like his father was killed.
Jonas said that informant told Jonas that he was to be shot when leaving the hotel some day soon.

The police told Jonas that they could keep him in protective custody at the jail if he liked but Jonas said he would rather they watched his hotel instead.
He didn’t want to be separated from his new wife and she was in a new setting and stranger to the big city.
They told him that they could put his hotel on twenty four hour watch for a week and see if anything come up from this information.

After he left the police station Jonas went to the barber shop then after he was done there he stepped onto the sidewalk where he stopped a boy walking along and asked him to deliver a letter for him then gave the boy a nickle to deliver it.
When the boy had left Jonas made his way back to the room and Maggie.

In the morning Jonas stepped out of the hotel but as soon as he got to the sidewalk he saw his father’s butler walking up to him.
As the butler stepped up to Jonas he held the revolver he had been give the night before out to him but before the butler could say anything a policeman stepped out and shot him twice at close range killing him instantly.

While everyone ran in shock for cover Jonas knelt down next to the man and picked up a paper that had fallen on the ground from the butlers hand and slipped in in his pocket.
A policeman grabbed Jonas and rushed him into the hotel just in case there was another shooter.
In the hotel he was told to go to his room and close the door and to not open it unless a policeman came to get him which Jonas quickly complied to.
In the room Jonas took out the piece of paper from his pocket and read it.

Meet me at my hotel in the morning and bring what I gave you, I need it.
Jr.


Hali, Dakarai and Baba travelled all over Haiti and some of the small islands around the area helping people in need of medicine for the next few years.
While travelling around with his two friends Hali was learning a lot about herbs and other plants that could heal people.
There were some that produced the opposite effect but Baba said that they had their place in the healing process also.
There was one plant that rendered a person helpless and in a comatose state even looking dead.
The medicine men used to immobilize a patient so he wouldn’t move around until he was fully healed.

He also had to learn french because that was the language on this side of the Island, there was a lot about Haiti that was different from the Dominican Republic.
What they had in common was an unstable government and found themselves in civil war all the time.

It was here that he met his first American, a black man like him, Jebediah Washington.
Hali couldn’t say his name so he called him Jeb.
They sat down one day and he told him about America then about the war that gave him his freedom.
Hali learned that America was so big that you could walk for months before you got to the other end of the country.
It only took them two weeks to walk across Haiti.

When Hali asked him what he was doing here and not there, he told Hali that he was here with the United States Navy and scouting the Spanish forces.
Over the last few years tension had built up between the American and Spanish and was looking like a war may erupt at any moment.
America supported the independence factions.

Hali thought for a little while and remembered the year before when he returned to the hacienda after his abrupt departure and found it burned to the ground with everything in it, including his memories.

The state had taken over his fields and had men out there with whips having them cultivated by forcing the old workers, many his friends to work and whipping them if they were not satisfied.
Halli looked at Jeb and asked him if there was anything he could do to help him.

Both men sat there listening and talking to each other, Hali had a first hand view of the whole Island over his life and could tell Jeb what ever they needed to know about the lay of the land.
He also offered to scout for them if they needed a scout.
Hali believed if war came and the Americans won, then the Spanish would leave and slavery would totally die with their departure.
Right now there wasn’t supposed to be any slavery but the workers were treated like slaves and still being beaten.
Jeb told him that he would have to talk to his superiors before he could accept his offer but didn’t see them saying no to his offer.

For the next twelve months Jeb travelled with them through Haiti and every now and then into the Dominican Republic to get any information about the size of any military there.
The whole time Jeb was keeping notes on what he saw and would send them to their base in Haiti to be sent back to Naval Intelligence.

At night Jeb would tell stories about where he was from, a place called Louisiana.
He would describe the mountains and Forest the different animals that they had there.
All three of them would sit around and listen to tales of creatures that stood taller that a man with claws ten inches long that could slice a man in half.
He also told stories of what it was like being a slave and being taken away from him mother and sold.
His father had been killed for stealing food for them when he was still a baby.
Things were better now but there was still a lot of hate from everyone.
People hated them because they were black and other hated them because they lost someone trying to free them.
The civil war brought out a lot of hate in people and it will take years if not decades before most of it to be forgotten.

Within two years of Hali meeting Jeb War was declared and America was officially at war once more, this time with the Spanish.
Jeb came to Hali one morning and told him that he was going now to join his regiment for the invasion of Cuba, to help the Cubans push out the Spanish and aid the revolutionaries so they could achieve their independence.
Hali told him that he would miss his new friend and to be careful.
They shook hands and parted ways.

Hali spent the rest of the morning and part of the afternoon squeezing roots to extract oils from in them and then filled a small polished wooded flask with what he had extracted.
It was supposed to help bring down fever caused by malaria.

When he had finished that he sat there thinking about Jeb and the adventure he was embarking on and for a noble cause, to help people be free from another's grip.
Hali looked at Dakarai then Baba, they both knew what he was thinking about before he even told them.

They had been together to long not to be able to read each other’s thoughts.
Dakarai and Baba stood up and picked up their belongings and told Hali they would all go together but Hali said he would do this alone and go to help with the wounded and sick.
Dakarai told him that he had promised his mother that he would take care of him but Hali wouldn’t hear none of it.
He told him that he was needed in Haiti for now and when this was over he would come back and they would be together again.

Hali showed up at the hotel where the Americans had set up a makeshift office and was asking for Jeb when Jeb walked in.
Jeb was surprised to see him there and asked Hali what was wrong and why he was there?
Hali told Jeb that he wanted to come along to Cuba and help and he told him that he had this feeling that he was supposed to go with him to Cuba for some reason.

Jeb tried to talk him out of it, telling him that where he was going was no place for a civilian.
Hali countered with that he knew a lot of medicine pertaining for this region and spoke Spanish and French which might come in handy if they needed a translator.
Jeb told him he would have to talk with his commander to get permission.

Hali had been on some boats but never on a ship of this size before.
He thought the first one they took from Haiti was big but when then transfered to this battle ship he was in total awe of the work that must have been put into creating one of this size.
The other Americans on the ship were different from Jeb to.
Most were white men and some blacks but there were other that looked like natives from someplace other than where he comes from, Indians Jeb called them.
They also spoke a different language called, english.

One of their leaders who was on the same ship was an odd man with small glasses but he was respected by all and when he walked towards them they moved over as he approached, even Hali moved over when he came close to him but one day he stopped infront of him and looked him over.

Jeb came to his side and explained to the lieutenant colonel that Hali didn’t speak English and was a volunteer medic from Haiti.
The colonel put out his hand and shook Hali’s and thanked him for joining their noble cause and hoped he wouldn’t need his services.
Jeb translated it for Hali and in turn Hali hoped he wouldn’t need his services either.

On June 22 1898 they landed on Cuba, two days later they played a pivotal role at the Battle of Las Guasimas.
This resulted in the lieutenant colonel being promoted to full colonel and on July 1 1898 with the colonel in the lead, they charge up a hill and into the history books.
The battle for Santiago was fought in a series of battles over various Spanish fortification around the city and this was the hill the held the key to the city.

Hali charged up the hill with the rest of the troops and help those that were wounded along the way, there were many dead as there were sick from malaria every night he would treat many that were suffering from it.

Bombs exploded all around him as he charged up the hill and all of a sudden he saw the colonel’s horse go down and Hali rushed to his side.
The Colonel looked up at him and told him his foot was stuck under the horse so Hali helped by digging under the horse with his hands to get the colonel loose from his trap.
Bombs were exploding all around them but Hali pressed on until the colonel what free once more.

It was a vicious battle with people dieing all around them but these brave men all around them kept charging on up the hill until San Juan Heights was taken and the city of Santiago had no choice but to surrender.

When Hali had done all he could with the wounded he walked over the battlefield and over into the captured areas where enemy bodies lay scattered around.
Most were dead but there were some that were still alive as he could hear their moans in the failing light.

One such wounded man caught his attention, actually a shiny object that glinted in the sunlight did, so Hali walked over to investigate.
Hali bent down to the man’s side and picked up the gold watch that was still attached to the man’s pocked by a chain and he looked at it.
It looked familiar.
It was Diego’s watch.

To Be Continued………

Walker

6 comments:

PBS said...

Wow, I like your stories. They kind of leave me breathless--a good way to start the morning!

Blazngfyre said...

Always leave me wanting more! lol

I truly love the way you're weaving historical events into the story!

patti_cake said...

They leave me wanting more also! I love a good story with lots of twists and turns! Good job Walker!

Gypsy said...

You love keeping us in suspenders....I mean suspense don't you Walker? I'm in awe of how you keep track of everyone...truly:)

Anonymous Boxer said...

I know what I'm doing this weekend! Reading. :-) Thanks for the 14th, Walker and have a great weekend.

nachtwache said...

I knew it! Looking forward to the next chapter!