List of characters;
1. Clem Fishback
3. Captain Sweeny
4. John Sullivan "Sully" 1st. mate
5. Mongo "Negro cook"
6. Aurora "Ships name"
7. Chief Hannibal
8. Cabin boy
9. Dancing negro girl
10. Chief Nottowa
11. 4 Indian Guards
13. Koto--shot African thief
14. YoSemi--Indian tribe
16. Captain Blood
17. old sailor-old salty fighter
18. The Cora- ship
19. Captured Cook -Englishman
20. Captured First Mate
21. Pirate the Parrott Bird
22. Jay Rathbone--Customs Inspector
23. Pigford's Store lady
24. A.B. Cook- Banker
By: Kelly O'Kelly
SMILES, WASHINGTON, the sign said. Population 41; "no road in." " no road out."
The fog engulfed the citizens of Smiles that were standing on their distant front porch. They watched the Sailors walking toward them. Everyone was there but the butcher that was butchering the deer and the woman beside him, busy stretching the hides. From a distance you could count the frosty pants of their breath. Silence was abundant from the crew as they walked slowly toward Smile's front porch. Something was of a strange nature here. Clem walked in front of the others, his eyes strained to focus on their first faces when he stopped fast in his tracks.
"What the Hell," he said.
There they stood;
African's! All Africans.
Mongo and Captain Sweeny sprang to the front of the pack waving their hands and hollering out greetings. Mongo jumped to the top of the porch greeting the big man that was standing there. Mongo smiled and locked his hands around the big man's arms. "Chief Hannibal," how are you? Hannibal smiled and shook his wiry long locks and nodded his head, "Fine Mongo, we do fine." Mongo handed him the white handle knife that he had gotten earlier from Clem. Opening and closing the blade was new to him. Putting it into his pocket, he greeted Captain Sweeny. " Come into my village;" Hannibal beckoned to all the men; they followed behind where they soon realized that the place struck a real resemblance to what you might call a saloon. The inscription over the bar said SAILORS REST. A row of brown jugs lined a wooden shelf and above them hung the ship's figurehead of a painted, wooden, bare breasted, indian maiden. She was from the front of the ship that all of the wood for this place had been built from. "A......haaaaa...Aaahaa!" the Captain snorted; the hot whiskey tittled at the back of his throat. "Just what I needed." The squeeze box started to play and a young African girl began to dance with the cabin boy. Mongo looked at Clem. "You want to make some money Mon'? " Or you want to dance?" Clem drank down the shot and replaced the glass. "What do you have in mind Mongo?"
"Can you keep a secret Mon.'?" "Yea' I can," Clem replied. Mongo beckoned him to one side of the room. "You see the Captain Mon'," he like to stay and get drunk and you take his place with me." Clem looked at Mongo, "Take his place for what?" You bring up the pack train Mon." They had a seat in the corner of the room where they could not be herd over the hoopla. Mongo bent over closer to Clem. "You saw the horses at the barn Mon; we bought dem all here on the ship." Clem bent closer, "Yea, but how did the African's get out here?" "Well Mon'," de Captain came to the other side with no ship to be a Captain of. Times were very hard and people from all around were buying African Slaves and sell them. de Captain got commission of a slave ship then traded a keg of manilla's for a ship full of African's. Clem scratched at his head. "But how did they get here?" de Captain was suppose to go to England but was so drunk he only make it to Barbados where he got me; a freeman. "So he did" Clem said." "He did, and he give me Captain of the Ship rank because I sail much before." Clem listened intently. "I sail her down and round the feared cape and when de Captain get awake, I was already inside the blinding storm that blew us to this side of de world Mon'. We sail up this Coast seven years ago and a blow wrecked us here at this place, Smiles. "You see Mon', no slave." "You mean that you and the Captain and the African's all stole the ship? "Yea Mon', and when The Aurora came to look, we stole her too." Sully appeared at the table and sat down with his drink. He looked Clem straight in the eye;
"You listen to Mongo boy, and everything will be OK for you."
Following Mongo outside; Clem saw that the horses had been packed and ready for a trek. They mounted the front two and led the others. Quietly they rode a faint winding trail through the hilly woodlands. Clem leaned back in the saddle; "whiskey," he said. "Yea, dat's it Mon', we trade what we have." "With who?" "The YoSemi," down the end of this trail." "What do we trade for Mongo?" "Fur Pelts Mon', then we come back and trade the pelts for more whiskey, and that's the secret you must not speak of." Clem shook his head yes. "Can't the Africans trade for themselves?" "Must not hunt on Chief Nottowa's hunting grounds, and he not like Hannibal, so I trade." Hmm.....Whiskey for fur and fur for more whiskey. Clem pondered.
Clem grew more weary by the mile and upon reaching
a high peak on the trail, he beckoned to Mongo. "Hey Mongo!" Stopping
the pack train Mongo turned to look at Clem. "My ass is killing me
Mongo, it's rubbed sore." Mongo laughed; "sorry boy, gotta keep moving
to be back by nightfall." Clem looked at Mongo setting on his bedroll
and did the same. "Oh yea, that feels better." He breathed
in the fresh mountain air as the horses started the decent down into a
valley. Half way down the mountain trail he saw Mongo hold up his
hand. All fell silent. Mongo motioned him forward. "Yea
Mongo?" "You take my lead horse and wait here until I come for you."
Clem got off his horse and reached into his pocket. Taking out his
red twist of tobacco, he packed his corn cob bowl to the hilt and lit it.
Before the squirrels appeared again, Mongo had returned. "Come,"
he took his lead horse back and proceeded forward until they approached
the entrance to a large cave. Clem's eyes widened at the sight of
the Indian guards inside the entrance. He rode by not saying a word,
but looking at their horses and their gear stacked to one side. A
faint aroma of a smoke that was not familiar to his nostrils, floated flatly
in the air.
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