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As the Winds Blew Past

Author's note:

I wrote this piece keeping in mind the conditions of race relations in this country.

Author's note:

I wrote this piece keeping in mind the conditions of race relations in this country.

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Chapters:   « Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 12 Next »

Chapter 4

The Fourth of July was quickly approaching. We were usually allowed a day off on Sunday, and on occasional holidays. This was usually a time of festivities in the Flint household. It was an incredibly difficult day for many of us. White slave owners would celebrate their freedom from Britain. We would watch on, as they gloriously celebrated the day that America won the freedom that the country so valiantly fought for. What I found fascinating, was that not one family member of Flint, not one paddy roller, and not even one of many guests at the plantation spoke of the negligent irony that was the boasting of freedom and independence that partook on the Fourth of July. The day before the Fourth was a Sunday. We had two free days, one Sunday, and one on Monday. It was that Sunday, when we had learnt that Mrs. Flint’s pearl necklace had been missing. Mrs. Flint of course, immediately blamed us and accused whoever she could see, for stealing her precious necklace.
Sometime near noon, a paddy called us all to the center, and told us to listen to master Flint.  “Listen here. Shut up back there. Now, I want to know which one of y’all stole the damn necklace. Which one of y’all had been snooping your noses where it don’t belong? If you return it now, you’ll only be whipped fifteen times. If you make the ill-advised decision to wait, or sell it, you’ll be tried in a slave court. If I happen to find it in your possession, by god, I’ll shoot you on the very spot you stand. Work hard tomorrow.”
That night, I went to go visit Sarah. She was a good friend of ours. Sarah served as the house servant to the Flints. Sally, Louise, Phillip, George, and I would go to Sarah’s cabin to converse freely and enjoy each other’s company. We held occasions like this every other Sunday.
She would talk about nearly anything that came in to her mind. “Say, Louise, you think that Abe Lincoln is gonna get anything done. I heard he wasn’t even an option down in the South. I saw this newspaper about him on master’s desk. Isaac, can you make heads and tails out of it. You can read, right? Can you go get it? It’s in my drawer.”
I curtly nodded, and looked through the drawers searching for the paper in question. I pulled the one on the far right, top corner out, by mistake. I was rummaging through the contents, when something caught my eye. I leaned closer, to see what it was. In the dim candle light, I found several, brilliant white pearls, hidden under stacks of fabric. I looked behind my back, to see what looked like a heated argument. They were all preoccupied and absorbed in to the conversation. I knew what I had to do. This did not belong to her. I scooped the necklace in my hands and hastily stuffed it in to my pockets, before anyone noticed.
I called out, “It’s getting late, and I should go to sleep. Master said that he needed me to load the wagon early.” I did not hesitate, one second.
I walked out, comprehending what I had done, and if it was the right thing to do. The funny thing was that I didn’t think twice when I took it. We shouldn’t diminish ourselves to petty thieves, in our fight against tyranny.
The next day I put the necklace outside his doorstep. He tried to interrogate the slaves, to find who stole it, but he got nowhere. I can remember a lot of things extremely well, but there is one moment, that would be seared in to my mind for a very long time. It was the manner in which Sarah looked at me, when Flint held up the necklace for us all to see. It was a look of pure loathing, disgust, and betrayal. It was a look I had never seen before, and it was a look I had no wish to see anytime soon.
 

Chapters:   « Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 12 Next »


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