blue moon (2)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Red Clay: Part Five ©

After about two hours of drinking the bikers started getting louder and hurling insults at the black boy who was stuck there like the rest of them.
The young man just ignored them without so much as a glimpse in their direction as to not provoking them any more.

Just then one of the bikers got up and walked to where the old man was faced down at the table and took the tobacco pouch out of his shirt pocket and put it in his pocket then looked through his other pockets while the old man was in a drunken sleep.
No one said anything and then the biker went back to his table hollering at the bartender to bring then another round of beer and more bourbon.

He was starting to get a little nervous.
The last thing he wanted now was trouble and the more those two drank the more the possibility of trouble starting was getting closer to becoming a reality.
He wished the wind would die down so he could leave.

For years John Evan Smith had lived in poverty.
Growing up had been hard on his mother, his father left them when he was only five years old and his mother had to raise him on her own.
She did the best that she could to raise him right but he started a life of crime at an early age while hanging out with some of the unsavoury types of the neighbourhood.
He wished he could repay her for all those years of hard work she put in; she had to work two jobs to feed them.
She wouldn’t have approved of how he made his money but she died of cancer while he was serving five years for burglary.

The Abigail limped into Charleston, battered by the vicious storm but still floating.
The ship had been named after his mother whom Jonas told everyone was a sainted woman when in fact she was nothing more than a cheap whore who got pregnant by a sailor on shore leave.
For years his mother beat him like a dog and cursed him for the financial burden he put her through.
She cursed his father’s name every day to him and twice as much when she beat him.
These are the beatings that toughened him up and hardened his soul, at the hand of his mother.

He had met his father twice when he was in his teens while serving on a ship as a deckhand out on shore leave.
He heard his father’s name spoken in a tavern he was at and went over to talk to him.
After he told his father who he was and that he was his son, his father laughed at him and told him that he didn’t know or care about any bastards he had fathered with the whores he paid for.
Jonas was so insulted he got up and left without saying a word to his father ever again.
The second time Jonas met his father was when he left the tavern that night and ran into Jonas’ blade in the alley.

He figured since he carried his mother’s maiden name the least he could do is name his ship after her.
He had heard she had died of pneumonia ten years earlier; it was of no great loss to him.

They docked the ship and were met by officials wanting to know of their cargo and who was on board.
Jonas introduced himself as Jonas Beacham and the Captain as Evan Smith.
They told them they had no cargo and where just sailing to the Americas to get established into the cotton industry and probably buy a plantation to start growing their own crops to ship overseas with their own ship.
After inspecting the hold and being satisfied with what they saw they allowed the crew to disembark.

Jonas left four men on board to watch the ship while he went to hunt someone to fix the damage caused by the storm and a place to stay.
He had enough of being at sea and wanted a warm bed and a warm woman for a change.
He was happy the woman was washed overboard but regretted not having the pleasure of killing her with his bare hands first.
She was preparing to stab him with that knife she held in her hand and if not for the wave that swept the deck of her she may have succeeded.

He sent Smith to find the people required to fix the ship and told him to meet him at the tavern next to the Imperial Hotel when he was finished.
At the Imperial Hotel he rented himself the best room in the house and inquired where the best place to eat was.
After getting his bags to his room he changed into some city clothes and went back down to the lobby.
Stepping outside he looked around and saw what he wanted just across the street.

Walking down the sidewalk he nodded to a couple of women walking by before crossing the street to the bank.
Inside the bank he asked to meet the manager and they went to his office to discuss some business Jonas wanted to conduct.
He told the manager that he wanted to deposit $50,000 in gold in his bank and also wanted to know if there was a farm or plantation for sale anywhere that he could invest in or buy.

The banker told him that there was none in the immediate area that he knew of but would get in touch with him if he heard anything come up.
Thanking the banker he stepped back out onto the sidewalk and started across the street once more when a beautiful young woman caught his eye on the opposite side walking with an older woman that could have been her mother.

He stared at her as she walked down the sidewalk and was getting excited as his eyes started to take in all of her shape.
“That’s Miss Baker” came a voice behind him.
Jonas turned around to find the banker standing at the door of the bank.
He told Jonas that her father owned the largest cotton farm in Georgia, just outside of Savannah.
Jonas watched as she disappeared in one of the shops then thanked the banker and continued to the tavern where he was supposed to meet Smith.

Smith was already at the tavern waiting for him when he walked through the door.
He told Jonas that there would be a work crew at the ship the day after next and it should take a week or so to make her sea worthy again.
Smith asked him if he was going to pay the crew and himself now?
Looking at Smith he tossed a bag of coins on the table and told him that they would get the rest later when he had the money.
He didn’t want them skipping out on him yet so by holding their money they would be forced to stay close but realized they needed to let off some steam and find a couple of wenches to satisfy their needs.

Smith picked up the money without saying a word, he knew the routine, he then asked Jonas what his plans were.
Jonas said he was thinking about just that right now.
Smith kept on talking to Jonas but Jonas didn’t hear a word he said, he was lost in thought and the young woman from the sidewalk.
A plan was slowly forming in his head.

The next day Jonas went to the barbershop for a shave and a haircut then he went back to the hotel where he had the manager set up a hot bath for him.
After he had bathed he went to the best tailor in Charleston and bought himself the best suits and shirts that they sold.
That done he went back to the hotel and had a lad run to the ship to give a message to Smith to meet him here.

When Smith arrived he told him part of his plan, there was no need to tell it all to him.
He had Smith send a couple of the lads to find out as much about Baker as they could and to report back to Smith and then for him to come here and tell him what they had learned.
After about a week Smith came back with the information that he needed.
Where Baker was, how much money he had and where he was now.
Luck was on his side because Baker was in Charleston with his wife and daughter, their only child.
It seems Baker went every evening to an upscale saloon on the other side of Charleston every night for drinks.
Jonas sat there and explained the next part of the plan to Smith.

Two days later Baker walked out of the saloon just before midnight and was making his way to the hotel he was staying at when two men jumped out of an alleyway and dragged him into it then threw him to the ground.
With a sword pressed up to his throat they demanded he give them his money or he would die.
Just as he was searching for his purse a shot went off and the one with the sword crumbled to the ground and the other ran off.
Someone ran in the alley and picked Baker off the ground and walked him out in the open.
Hearing the shot people began coming out of their houses and businesses to see what the commotion was all about.

Baker grabbed his saviour and thanked him over and over and told everyone in the crowd how this man had saved him from two highwaymen.
Baker asked him to step back into the saloon so that he could buy him a drink but our hero refused saying he had a prior engagement that he was already late for.
Then Baker insisted that he join him and his family the next day for dinner to which our Jonas agreed too.

Jonas walked to his hotel and went to his room.
He wasn’t there more than ten minutes when there was a knock on the door.
Smith walked in and sat in the chair opposite Jonas.
Jonas asked him who the other man with him was and Smith told him it was someone he found to help him collect a debt for a piece of silver.
Both men sat there drinking out of a bottle Jonas had sent to his room laughing about how scared Baker was when the sword was pushed to his throat.
Jonas next told him that he had been invited to dinner with Baker the next day and they drank to that.

Don Diego trotted his horse across a long stretch of beach through the dieing surf.
This was his favourite pastime every morning and never missed a day of splashing though the water while smelling the sea air but today, it will be a little different.
About half a mile up he came across wreckage along the beach and then he saw the naked body of a black woman clinging to a large section of timber that could have been a mast at one time.

Dismounting he walked over and turned her over and saw that she was still alive by some miracle.
Going back to the horse he returned with his cape and covered her body then carried her back to the horse where he put her up and mounted behind her for the ride back to the hacienda.

Don Diego lived on a sugar plantation he had inherited from his father after he had been killed during the slaves revolt and forced back to Spanish held territory until he returned to claim what was his by birth.
They had had turbulent years because of the slaves.
Don Diego lived on the Dominican side of Hispaniola but the Haitian end of the island was run and ruled by ex slaves whom they constantly fought with.

He brought her to the main house and took her to his bedroom.
After putting her in his bed he ordered a servant to get him some towels and send someone to fetch for the doctor.
As he was covering her with the sheet he noticed how beautiful she was.
The servants came in and he told them to wash her and to call him when the doctor arrived.

A new world opened up before her when her eyes finally opened three days later.
Fear was her first instinct and she pushed up to the top of the bed and started in bewilderment of her surroundings.
Slowly she slipped out of the bed to the floor and crawled to a corner of the room where Don Diego found her passed out when he came to see how she was doing.

A week later when she once more opened her eyes the fear wasn’t as strong as it had been the first time but it was still present.
She lay on the soft bed looking around the room at all the things she didn’t understand.
Looking under the sheet she saw she was wearing a white garment of soft cloth.
Slowly she put her legs over the side of the bed and tried to get up but found herself falling back onto the bed.
Just then she heard a noise coming from the wall in front of her and then it parted and a white man stepped in.
Fear gripped her and she jumped to the back of the bed in a defensive position.

Don Diego walked into the room to find his guest awake but when she saw him she ran to the top of the bed and immediately went into a crouched position like a cat ready to pounce.
Putting down the tray of food that he had brought in he slowly raised his hands to show they were empty and stepped forward but the girl’s eyes widened like a wild beast that had been cornered so he stepped back a little.
He tried to talk to her but she didn’t seem to understand him.
He decided to leave her be and left the room locking the door behind him, mostly for her safety not his.

The next day he returned but this time he brought two of the female servants with him to give her a bit of security seeing people of her color and women.
The servants tried to speak to her but she didn’t understand their dialect they figured because she didn’t respond to what they were saying.
Just the same Diego used this as an opportunity to get a little closer but just a little not to scare her.

Ada didn’t know what to make of this white man, the last one she met abused her and killed all those she loved.
Over the last few weeks all he showed her was kindness and took care of her and it didn’t seem like the other people like her were being abused either.
A noise came from the wall that opens and he came in once more with one of the women he had with him the second time he had come to see her and they brought her some food and clean clothes.
When the woman gave her the clothes Ada stared at them at first then slowly reached out and accepted them thanking her with a nod of her head.
Both her and the man looked at each other, she nodded and smiled at Ada before she left the room leaving her and the white man alone.

The man brought the food over and placed it on the bed near her.
He stood there looking at her touching his chest and saying something.
“Diego” he said.
She stared at him.
Pointing at his chest with his finger, “Diego” he repeated.
“Dago” she whispered.
“No, Diego”.
“Diego” she replied.
She touched her chest and said “Ada”.
He smiled at her and turned to leave her to her meal but she called out to him and he stopped.
She picked up a mango and held it to him.
Smiling he sat down and sat there eating a mango with her.

Diego watched her eat with her hands but in an elegant way not like an animal but meticulously neat.
This was the first time she had shown any form of accepting him and her surroundings.
He could just imagine how scared all of this must be to her.
He didn’t know how she got here but from her wounds he could tell she wasn’t well off.
The doctor told him there was evidence that she had been raped repeatedly and whipped severely numerous times.
He said she was also pregnant the baby was fine considering what she had been through.
Diego watched her finish her meal and then fall asleep before he got up and left with the tray.

Jonas arrived at the restaurant five minutes early and stood outside before he walked in to make sure he was put together neatly.
There was no doubting he was a handsome man, one most women would fall over for but his heart was ugly as the sins it held within it.
He walked in and the waiter brought him to Mr Baker table where the family rose to greet him.

Mr Baker introduced him to his wife and daughter Rebbecca.
Jonas bent and kissed Mrs Baker’s hand and did the same to Miss Rebbecca’s.
He was seated next to Rebbecca and the got into introducing themselves.
Rebbecca thanked him for saving her father’s life.
They wouldn’t know what they would have done without him.
Jonas assured her it was nothing, nothing at all.
It was probably just a couple of drunken sailors who needed more money for drink.
Mr Baker recounted the previous nights event and made Jonas look bigger than life with his gallant rescue.
Jonas being as humble as he could brushed off the praise and told Baker he would have done the same if the tables had been reversed.

Over the evening they learned much about each other, Jonas telling them he was in the shipping business and was also looking for a farm to buy and grow cotton to send to England.
Mr Baker thought for a bit and told Jonas that if he liked he could be their guest at their plantation near savannah and he could look there to see if he could finds something to his liking.
Rebecca enthusiastically endorsed her father suggestion.
Jonas pretended to think about it for a bit and told Mr Baker he would give him an answer the next day after he found out when his ship would be ready to sail again.
After their meal had ended. Jonas walking his host to door and they said their good nights.
Rebbecca’s eyes caught his as he kissed her hand once more and he watched her walk down the sidewalk towards the hotel and thought how nice it would be to have her in his bed that night.

In the morning he went down to see how the work on his ship was progressing and they told him it would take a week at least to finish the repairs.
He told them to get it done as quickly as possible and headed back to the restaurant to have breakfast.

As luck would have it the Bakers were there also having breakfast, when they saw him they waved him over and he went to sit with them.
He told them that it would take at least another week to get his ship in shape but would sail up to Savannah when it was ready and take them up on their generous offer.
Rebbecca happiness showed on her face when she heard that Jonas would be coming up to visit them.
The next day the Bakers hired a couch and were off to Savannah and home, leaving Jonas to get the rest of his affairs in order and his ship repaired.
He also needed to start planning his next move.

The ship was ready within six days, a day earlier than had been estimated and Jonas decided that he would rather get a load of sugar before he sailed to Savannah thus making some money and not just wasting a voyage, so he sailed for Hispaniola.

Diego was sitting in his study when Ada walked into the hallway from upstairs.
He ran out meet her and to tell her she shouldn’t be out of bed.
Over the last few months they had developed a small dialog.
She was learning Spanish rather quickly and they got to know each other a little better.
He still didn’t know about the predicament that brought her to these shores but he didn’t care, he was growing fond of her by the day and he was pretty sure she felt the same way about him.

They walked down the beach during sunset one evening, not far from where Diego found her five months earlier watching the sunset come off the ocean when he leaned down to kiss her but she pushed back, then put her hands on her swollen belly and looked at him with sad eyes.
Taking her by the chin he raised her head and told her he would raise the child like his own then he kissed her and she let him.
On the walk back to the house, she saw something in the distant horizon Diego saw it to.
It looked like the mast of a ship.

Walker

2 comments:

Just telling it like it is said...

awe swollen belly and a man taking responsibility ...
anyway..nipple flash

Boxer said...

Hey! When did you resume The Red Clay???? Fabulous!

now off to read.......