blue moon (2)

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Red Clay: Part Eight ©

He ran to his car tossing the satchel on the passenger seat next to him then started the car.
His heart was racing faster then the car as he sped down the highway trying to get as far away from this place as he could.
He was trying to think what he should do next?
He had to tell the police, should he tell the police?
It was the right thing to do, maybe some of them were still alive and needed help, but the image of the dead biker came to view in his head and he knew that he was dead for sure, so was the bartender.

About thirty miles down the road he came up on a sign that said police ahead.
Should he stop and report it or just keep going all the way to California and not look back?
In the distance he could see a small building ahead, it must be the state police station.
As the miles rolled off the tires the building loomed closer, bigger and a decision had to be made now.
He was going to walk in there, a black man covered in blood and try and tell them that he just witness a multiple homicide and he was the only survivor.
He watched the building come up infront of him and then go by as he drove past it.

Diego was sitting in his office thinking of all the years as a child with his mother.
She had always protected him, even when the slaves revolted and he was a young boy, she took up a sword and helped in the battle to leave this place then get to the ships and safety.

When his father died during their escape she was stronger than all of them.
One day when he was graduating from school, she told him that his father had told her how proud he was of him and knew that he would become a honourable man.

With this in mind his mother raised him to be a man of his word and sent him to the best schools to be taught by the best teachers while she stayed home and managed the family’s money until he was old enough to take on the task himself.
He was also given the task to claim his family’s lands lost during the revolt, which he has done, honouring his father.
Now she was dead and felt her loss everyday when he sees something that reminds him of her.
He knew she would have approved of Ada.

There was a knock at the door and they walked in.
Dakarai stood before him and he could feel the boy’s pain as Diego felt his when he lost his mother.
Diego waved him closer.
Ada put her arm around Dakarai shoulders and walked with him to the front of the desk.
Diego looked at him and told Dakarai that his mother, Baina was a brave woman and not only he, but all of them owed her their lives.

When Diego ran out to meet the raiders on the beach, Ada’s yells had woken up the house staff including Baina and Dakarai.
When she looked out the window and saw how many raiders there were charging up the sandy beach and with only Diego to fight them she ran to the compound housing the other slaves.
She told them that their master was in trouble and needed their help.
A few got up and went to her but the others didn’t move.

Then Baina, angry and embarrassed stepped forward to remind them how it was and how it is now and how it could be if something were to happen to Diego.
She told them that they live without chains here binding them like dogs like so many of other slaves.
They were well taken care of with a home to lay down and sleep without fear at night.
They could run, this was their chance while their master was slaughtered on the beach defending them, but where would they go to have it better than they have it here?

One by one they began to realize her words as they slowly stood up, shame mingle with pride in their eyes began to well up as they followed her out to the tool shed.
At the tool shed they armed themselves with the machetes stored there to cut down the cane and ran out to fight for the life they now enjoyed.
100 slaves ran for the beach with Baina at the front leading them.
Dakarai was at her heals when she stopped at the edge of the beach as the others charged forward yelling and waving their fierce looking weapons.

As the battle raged Dakarai full of heart and eagerness rushed out blindly onto the beach where the battle was being fought to help and fight also.
Fearful he may get hurt, Baina picked up a sword and ran after Dakarai but only got a few steps before a bullet struck her breast.
As she lay the on the ground Ada came running to her, falling to her knees beside Baina and trying to stop the life pouring out her her heart.

Dakarai by her other side cried and begging for forgiveness.
She looked in his eyes and smiled, then she looked at Ada and Diego who stood behind her barking out orders to get help.
Then Makini, her husband was there telling her that Dakarai would be fine and now it was their time to be together once more.
She died there among the three people she loved in the world.

Diego told Dakarai that he would forever have a home here with them for as long as he wanted and that he will be educated by the best teachers he could find.
From this day he would be his son and treated as such by everyone.
Diego could see in the boy’s eyes his gratitude but could still feel his loss at the same time.
The was light there but had dimmed a bit with his mother’s loss.

Over the next two months, Diego, true to his word had brought in a teacher and was charged with Dakarai education while he went about his business as before but now had also bought more slaves to guard his estate.
He offered them the same privileges any free man would have on his property that all the rest of the workers had in return for their loyalty.

Many of the other plantation owners thought him crazy to trust and arm his slaves and Diego didn’t blame them, since they beat their slaves they should fear reprisals from them as once before.
Diego didn’t believe in punishing the flesh, he offered life instead even though they were bought souls they were still free under the circumstances and that gave him the edge next to the others.
A free man has hope but a slave has only hate or despair.

Two months later a small cry filled the hacienda, Ada gave birth to a son whom she named Thilivhali, after his father.
As brave a name as anyone would want.
She will tell him of his bravery and the love they shared which spawned him.
He looked just like him also with his long face and big eyes.

Diego look down at the boy but was afraid to pick him up and break him he was so small but Ada insisted so he held Thilivhali for the first time.
Diego felt different holding him, like his father must have felt hold him when he was born.
By the end of Friday the 15th of August 1886 this little baby would be Thilivhali Maria Jose Dela Rosa.
Diego thought that such a fine boy should have a father then had a priest brought in to have him and Ada married.
Ada didn’t understand his religion but understood that Diego wanted to be a father to her son and she felt that Thilivhali would approve.

Jonas was watching as they were moving what little personal belongings they had left out of the main house then loading them into two wagons.
Jonas had bought the Smith Estate when the bank called in the note and they couldn’t pay it.
He went to see the Smiths and offered to buy their furnishings for less than half of what it was worth knowing they desperately needed the money.

Reluctanlty they accepted his offer, they had had no choice but to accept.
They had no money left what so ever, because of two years of bad weather and a fire that destroyed his field last year.
Mr Smith had borrowed money from the bank to rebuild two years ago but bad luck did him in in the end and now he needed money to go someplace to start over again, maybe out west to California.
Jonas put out his hand, Smith looked at it for a second not knowing if he should take it or slap it away but taking a closer look at the man, he knew slapping it away may be fatal so he shook Jonas’ hand and he wished them luck in his new vebture.

Jonas watched Smith, his wife, son and two teenage daughters climb into the wagon and drive off.
He stood there staring at them as they got farther in the distance but he wasn’t really looking at them but thinking.

Daniel stood there watching his boss stare off into the distance, waiting for his instructions.
He had been summoned to meet him at the bank in the morning and they both rode out here to the estate together.

Jonas turned and motioned to Daniel to follow him.
Jonas wanted to inspect the property he had just purchased.
It needed some repair but nothing that was seriously damaged as far as he could see on the outside.
Inside it was large and the walls looked meticulously clean like they had just been painted.
After inspection the inside and it’s contents they went back outside and walked to the fields where there were slaves out there working and a single man holding a whip watching them.

Jonas intruduced himself to the man as the new owner of the plantation.
The man said his name was Simon James and was hired by the bank to protect their investment, to make sure the fields were being worked and that none of the slaves ran away.
With the house Jonas got 14 slaves, two women and twelve men.
Simon James was a beast of a man that looked meaner than a grizzly bear and the way he barked out orders to the slaves in the field you could tell they feared him as much as he hated them.

As he stood there looking to the fields he could see that they were well fed slaves or under worked.
That would change soon.
Jonas offered Simon the job of foreman, he needed someone who understood cotton growing and how to handle the slaves.
Simon accepted the offer and they stood there for a few more minutes while Simon told Jonas what he needed sent up and that a couple more men might be good too.

On the ride back Jonas was silent until they got to Savanah where he told Daniel to meet him in his room after he had the horses stabled, he had a job for him to do.
Back at his room Jonas sat at the side table putting the last touches to a plan he began back at the plantation, some habits never go away.
Daniel arrived and they sat there for an hour with Jonas going over his plan with him and what needed to be done.
He told him to find four men he could trust but not to tell them who their employer was.
Daniel nodded his understanding of all he had to do and left the room.
Jonas sat back in his chair and thought out his next move and that was to rent a carriage and go out to the Bakers for a visit.

Diego was a different man since the day.
Thilivhali was born and Diego married his mother.
His time at the exchange grew shorter by the day and since he had made one of the slaves foreman of the work in the fields and another in charge of the mill, work was moving better.
This gave him more time to spend with Ada, Thilivhali and Dakarai whom he treated like a son to his word who was always close by when not with his teacher.

The teacher told Diego that Dakarai was eager to learn and learned quickly, more than any other student that he had ever taught in the past.
This pleased Diego, he owed his mother so much for the education she gave him and he knew she would be proud of her son had she been here to see him now.

Life was beginning to look good once more since the attack on the plantation and the four of them could spend their evenings in the back courtyard or Ada and Diego would go for a walk along the beach while Dakarai watched little Thilivhali.
You could see the love and devotion Dakarai showed for Thilivhali and in some small way it looked like even though Thilivhali was still an infant that he to was calmer when Dakarai was around.

A bright orange sun with a halo of gold was resting on the edge of the world smiling at Ada and Diego as they sat alone looking at the sun set in the distance.
This was the first time in three months since Thilivhali was born that they have been alone.
They had yet to share a bed together as husband and wife, Diego did want to rush her, he knew when she was ready to come to him she would let him know in her way.
As they sat in the swing watching the reflection bounce off the calm sea Ada looked over at Deigo and caught him staring at her.
She sat there staring back into his eyes reading his heart.

When he looked at her, she wanted him to see.
When he reached for her, she wanted him to touch her.
When he pulled her close, she went to him.
When he kissed her, she kissed him back.
When he picked her up, she held on to him.
When he brought her to his bed, she lay down for him.
When he took her, she wanted him too.

One day while Diego was visiting another plantation owner, Ada accompanied by Dakarai took Thilivhali for a walk into the woods not to far from the husienda.
It wasn’t like the jungle that she remembered as a child but it was lush and green with beauty of it’s own.

They walked deeper into the woods looking at the different flowers and colorful birds when suddenly they heard a noise close by.
Ada stopped Dakarai and they both stood there straining to heard any other sound.
Pressing Thilivhali to her chest with her left arm she told Dakarai to quietly turn around and start going home.
They both turned and standing before them were three big black men, one that looked old as time.
They looked behind them and there were more men standing there, surrounded and trapped with no place to run to.

Jonas drove out to the Baker estate where he was met by Mr Baker and his wife at the door.
They were both happy to see him once more and led them into their home.
He told them that he had been back for a couple of weeks and had even purchased the Smith estate for himself.
They were practically neighbors now.
The Bakers were happy to hear the news.
As they were sitting there talking Rebbecca came into the sitting room and smiled when she saw Jonas sitting there.
Jonas could still see that she wanted him in her eyes, probably as much as he wanted her but not as much as he wanted her father’s money.

Baker invited Jonas to stay for supper and Rebbecca second the offer but Jonas told them it was getting late nd it was 20 miles back to Savannah.
Bakers invited him again for dinner and told him he could spend the night in the guest room then he could leave in the morning.
Rebbecca told him he could stay and she would show him their property in the morning and he could leave in the afternoon.
Jonas accepted their kind offer making Rebbecca happy.
Mrs Baker ordered the servant to add one more person for dinner and asked him to bring some lemonade for everyone.

The church bell rang drawing people out of their houses and into the street where a growing crowd began to form around a wagon that had just pulled into the town square.
It’s driver walked around the side of the wagon telling the onlookers how he found the three bodies on the side of the road, then pulled back the canvas for them to see.


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