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November 2014
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Who loves Jane Austen?

Posted by LouiseHathaway Nov 23, 2014

How can anyone not love Jane Austen?  I found out that she was looked down upon by “serious students of English Literature” when I was in graduate school and announced to my class in Romantic Literature that I had chosen to write about Pride and Prejudice.  My fellow classmates dismissed the book, saying that it was just about some silly girls wanting to get married; one of the ladies said, "Oh, I read that in grammar school." I couldn’t help but be reminded of a letter that Jane Austen wrote to her sister, saying, “I must confess that I think [Elizabeth Bennet, the main character in the novel] as delightful a character as ever appeared in print, and how I shall be able to tolerate those who do not like her …I do not know.”  I hope this essay will make the skeptics take another look at her novel and reconsider.

This is a scholarly essay about marriage expectations in the Regency period as expressed in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.  It explores the different relationships between the sexes in the novel, and what the options were for women who were not yet married during this period.  Accompanied by my photographs taken when I made a Jane Austen pilgrimage to Winchester and Chawton, England, this is a must read for all the “Janites”out there.

 

Marriage in Pride and Prejudice

By Louise Hathaway

This eBook is available for $0.99 at Amazon.com

 

http://www.amazon.com/Marriage-Pride-Prejudice-Louise-Hathaway-ebook/dp/B00PYYS8U6

 

 

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149 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: england, jane_austen, regency_period, pride_and_prejudice, women_authors, literary_essay
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Rose is beautiful but thorny

Posted by Binvincent Nov 19, 2014

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MARY balanced the clay pot of water that was brimful on her cloth-padded head with accustomed ease. She was a slender but not skeletal, tall and very beautiful girl of about fourteen years old. Her dress was a broad cloth wrapped round the body and fastened under the left arm just above the breasts. The dripping water from her pot, like that of most girls, plastered her dress against her skin like polythene and revealed well formed feminine features; firm breasts that protruded in a most suggestive curve, slim waist, plump buttocks and flaring hips that hung over long and sleek beautifully calved legs that narrowed at the ankles. She was at the head of the queue. Over twenty other girls, about the same age, bearing similar water pots and in similar attire trotted behind her in a single file along the bush path back to the village. Giant and dwarf trees with some of them entangled by climbers surrounded the footway which snaked through the heart of the bush. A thick undergrowth of tough grasses that edged the footway, deciduous trees and shrubs covered the terrain.

 

   The queue went on smoothly without breaking. There were no more oncoming men on their way to the farm or bush to hunt. Whether the married or the unmarried, the men would never stop beguiling and pointing at any of the girls or reaching out to stroke her calling the girl his next wife. The girls? backside or breasts were, most of the times, their target and the desire to meet their target never scared them away from the probable spank or smack any of the girls would unleash.

 

   For the most part, the girl concerned would either move away as fast as she could or stand firm with repulsive and vile looks on her face to express her angry feelings with reprimand. It was, most of the times, moments of scampering and dashing this way or that way between girls and men. The men, who were ever excited in the presence of girls and with licentiousness in mind, never let opportunities of flirtation to pass them by. The girls, most of them, so young and no doubt, virgins, were like treasures worthy for exploitation. 

 

   In spite of their clay pots of water, without fear of it falling off to break, the girl approached would dash off, most times, spilling some of the water or deliberately splattering some towards the man concerned with scolds to stop him in his approach. An audacious girl would suddenly unleash a slap in the direction of the man with or without the intention of hitting him. Nonetheless, it seldom, as most men never bothered about any smack from the girls, bunged him from his intentions.

 

   Most times the girl concerned was never so lucky to get away from any of the men that were at all times able to catch up and with great delight; pat the buttocks or feel around their body with their steel-like fingers as the girl dashes off. Generally, it made the girls let out hilarious screams expressing hysterical excitement or vituperations with vehemence to express their discontentment.   

 

   Anyhow, it was commonly the men that went about their businesses with satisfaction and hope for more opportunities.

 

   For the most part, it created enmity between the men when a man is caught ogling a betrothed girl. More often than not, it ended up in a fight to the admiration of the girls who were ever amused and wished for a ****?s beating of a man they despised. The men, more often than not, never relented at any opportunity to show off to any of the girls in their interest their toughness.

 

   Several other naked and half-naked children between four and twelve years old, carrying containers of different sizes according to their strength, filed behind the big girls spilling much of their contents as they moved briskly to keep up the pace. Nearly all the children in the earlier times were, most times, naked or half-naked and were fully dressed only from after the day preparations for marriage begins.

 

   In one way or the other, with the influence of the foreigners in the land as it had come to be, the mode of dress of Mary and her mates, as they trooped home from the stream, was properly made. Nothing more than a small piece of locally woven material could have been the costume girdled round the waist to cover only the private part that challenged the privacy of the breasts that were ever exposed with that of the grown up, married, and the young or old women not exclusive.   

 

   During the rear period of cold weather, they spent their times indoors with their huts heated by the ceaseless burning of an exceptional log of wood ?one that glowed to the last coal in a hearth. Stepping out, they wrapped bigger fabricated materials over their body to keep them warm.

 

   They lived and lead their life in a way that never indicated a change or advancement as at the time the white man, as the foreigners that had entered their land were called. The white man had now and again fashioned out and modified their costumes. As they were a people set for changes and advancement that despite their climate that had determined their kind of costume -the climate of their homeland that is more or less different in every respect from the climate of their discoveries, they still abducted new designs that were more protective and not just as trifle but also fitted for the new climate they were experiencing.

 

   Most of the younger children now go to the streams regularly using plastic or steel containers. Lack of expertise in handling clay pots, which was still used by only grown up girls, had ended up in breakages most of the times. Most families could not bear up the cost of damages and had profoundly welcomed utensils the white man had appeared with. Now, more and more children, with playfulness unrestricted, without fear of damages could go to the streams to fetch water. Unlike the grown up girls that were looked upon as the ones responsible for the fetching of water, the boys were always engaged in tasks with their fathers. 

 

   The straight line of light rays and shades of the big trees began to give way as the footway busted onto another footway that was much wider. It was a one-lane dusty or sandy road that looked like a double path formed by the tires of trucks and rickety buses that transported passengers and wares weekly to and from the neighbouring villages as well as the distant city. In the rainy season, it was usually muddy except the sandy area of the terrain, which was as usual, always sandy only where the terrain was flat ?water gathered in puddles where there were gutters or potholes. 

 

   The girls and the children no longer moved in a queue as they got onto the one-lane road. There was enough space for everyone to manoeuvre past the other. They were now chatting more amusingly stopping now and then to make a jest or a statement.

 

   'I can see why the men just won't let Ada be,' the girl behind Ada said. ?See her buttocks,' she went on gently patting it, ?it vibrates with every step as if it's hanging on a tiny spring.' Chuckles and giggles swept through the group of girls who were now falling to the rear as the younger children competed to take the lead.

 

   'Yet it?s incomparable to Ene's. You all know how big her backside is,' Ada puffed. In one fleeting move, the girls looked round about them realising, for the first time, they had not seen Ene who, for the second day running, had not joined them in the usual chore. ?Anyway, it makes the men really crazy,? Ada added deliberately swaying her waist fastidiously. She gripped her dress by the waist pulling it tight round about her, which further emphasised her rounded backside. ?I could sense it without seeing Kamalu's eyes as it was glued to it like all his life depended on it. You could even feel the ecstasy and excitement in his wide opened obsessive eyes and avid mouth.' 

 

  'You can't blame him,' a voice for the first time, an all time listener would easily have noticed, chirped in. It was the most melodious. 'Any man who passes you without turning his head for a second take must have a stiff neck,' she added and all the girls laughed. It was Mary. Several birds and partridges flapped their wings in fright as they flew away from among the trees and undergrowth as the outburst of laughter among the crowd of girls tore the surrounding bushes.

 

   ?I can see you?re not bothered been his next wife. You?re full of anticipation too. It would be good for you despite the fact that you?ll be his twelfth wife. He's a wealthy man and nothing is ever lacking in his household,' another girl retorted.

 

   Kamalu was a wealthy man and well known for the strength of his machete and hoe. He had always worked very hard from sun up to sun down. He planted new farms and exploited the virgin forests every season with eagerness and zeal. He had five huge barns, eleven wives and forty-three children, and still desired more of them. He had also taken one of the highest tittles in the land which only a man of genus and achievements could acquire.

 

   There were other men who had married many wives like Kamalu who had married out of the urge to do so or when there was a girl that has attained puberty he felt should be his next wife to beget more children. Many of such men also considered it imperative with the tenet that they would never lack as the household would all be the members of the gang of workers with their crude farm work with rudimentary tools.

 

   There was always meat in Kamalu?s house from goats or chickens he slaughtered more or less every week, which was more than what several other families did in years. The meat was specially stored in his personal store, which he shared out to his household. Families as big as his, without similar goodwill, aggravated by poor harvests in some seasons, had quickly and easily connected with the white man and missionaries that began to appear in the land whose conducts and doctrines were great relief and safe haven.  

 

   'What would you be doing in such a big family circle?' Mary asked Ada and without waiting for an answer, she went on. 'As the last wife, you'll never wear the anklet of the tittles he's acquired. You?ll be the last in the order of the women folk in that home. Nothing changes it. Bringing forth children as much as he desires, will be your obligatory devotion.?

 

   'What else am I supposed to be doing as his wife?' Ada asked with flabbergasted look on her face wondering why any girl would not count herself lucky. 'It's a large and prosperous family anyway, and it'll be a pride to my parents to be associated with a man of high reputation,' she concluded.

 

   Her father had called her one evening and told her. ?There are several good looking and promising young men who?ll seek your hand in marriage soon but I shall be happy that you marry a man of solid achievements.? Kamalu, the man that was in his mind, was a man who stood out among his people. A man with knacks and capabilities was the impression about him. The strong force with which a man ruled his household was the contrivance that always creased his face whenever he talked. If she had other thoughts, she could be wrong. She was raised in a society where such decisions would be made for her.

 

   The footway led to an open ground that also served as a market place and once every week people gathered to buy and sell. Rows of forked sticks had been erected and stood about seven feet above the ground and were connected by longer sticks on which raffia palms were laid on as roofs. The sticks and raffia palms were tied with ropes made from the bark of banana trees and served as stalls.

 

   A giant cotton tree stood in sparse undergrowth that surrounded the open ground. Under it was the cut out stem of a huge tree that now looked antiquated. A slit about six inches wide cut along the length of the stem and chiselled deep and wide formed a hollow in which lay two short sticks that also looked antiquated. They were sticks for beating the talking drum as the cut out stem of the huge tree was referred. The wooden drum was beaten occasionally and only those time-honoured in the folklores and myths understood its language.

 

   Beside the wooden drum was a platform made of wood cut into boards and placed on longer sticks, which connected the forked sticks that stood at about four feet above the ground. On matters of emergency, the wooden drum was beaten to summon the villagers to the arena. Usually it was the job of a man well known for his oratory that was chosen to speak for the village. It was never a woman's responsibility to climb a platform to address the people especially where there were groups of men.  It was the reason why women were not allowed to climb trees it seemed. Seeing a woman on a higher pedestal more than ever to address men was resented. If anyone had, in point of fact, ever asked for the reason, the question would have been faced up with strong rebuff, yet only very few people, if really there was any, ever bothered to know. Men are superior and it ended there.

 

   The open ground also served as a playground and every village had one that was as old as it. On a moonlit night, the villagers gathered in merriment and ecstasy and indulged in folklores. Several adjoining footways from the open ground proceeded to homes and other parts of the village. The throng of water fetching group trooped through the playground where they began to disperse. Mary approached her father's compound with vivacity, her breasts vibrating in unison with her buttocks. She went in by the gate that was the only entrance into the thick wall of red earth enclosure.

 

   As she pushed the dwarf gate open, she could see the door of her father's hut that stood directly opposite the gate, half open. He had already returned from tapping palm wine in a nearby bush. Four other huts lined up at the back of her father?s hut in which his other wives and their children dwelled. At one side of the wall enclosing the compound, was a huge barn, which was ever in her father?s control. Here, he stored the crops, which were mostly the staple food. Beside the barn was a shed for the goats. The chickens, which the women bred, find shelter in small attachments constructed beside its owner's hut.

 

   Mary went in through the gate, found her way round to the back of her father?s hut, and went straight to her mother's hut. She stopped beside a large earthen pot that was beside the entrance of every woman?s hut and took off the lid that covered it. It was made of craftily woven palm frond fibres.

 

   In Kamalu?s compound, there was a steel tank larger than the earthen pot placed by the side of the entrance of many village huts. The steel tank was placed conspicuously at the back of his house while his wives still had the earthen pot in their places. He was able to acquire it from the white man by which he had conveyed his position in matters of wealth, which none of his daughters, even if she is the first of all the children he has fathered, could be a beneficiary.

 

   Marriage and bringing forth children was everything they were looked up to. It was bizarre how and why men had exceptional likeness for their male children with the females, at all times, somewhere below. Whereas, it was only the women that have always expressed unquantifiable love for their children, whether male or female. Invariably, it could be because the woman, having been through what she goes through before and after a child is born, could be regarded the real owner of the child.

 

   Some people had come to reason or guess why in the white man?s divorce laws, the custody of the child or children are heaped on the woman with the man?s place on the fringe. With people like Kamalu, the largeness of his family with preferences over the male served as proof that the ancestry spirits were consistent and permanently rooted in the male pedigree with commendations of blessings. A man was considered as good as childless where all his children were girls. With male children, they believed, the ancestries were dependable, unswerving and unfailing.

 

   The steel tank served as an accumulator of water for his household. In preparations for special occasions, which was a regular thing in his home, his children, particularly the girls, and other villagers whom he engaged with stipends, helped in filling the tank? It was confounding how he appreciated the white man?s possessions yet with negative disposition to the new way of life and development the white man had brought.

 

   Mary tipped her pot of water over the earthen pot as she poured its content into it. She put the lid back and gently placed down her empty pot beside the large earthen pot and went into her mother's hut.  She might still go back to the stream for more water. Several trips were required to fill the large pot to the brim for the chores that was what all the children did, but when it was laundry time, it was done at the stream.

 

   Her mother was sitting at the fireplace and tending it. Martha came in next followed by two of Mary's half sisters who made straight to their mother's huts. The children had woken up before dawn and begun the almost one mile trek to the stream. It was an unquestionable responsibility that every child was under compulsion to prove his or her worth in the household and there could be no better opportunity. It was the carefree season that came between planting and harvesting. There was no dry and dusty cold wind that started from the Mediterranean through the Sahara to make anyone feel indisposed from getting out of bed early in the morning.  

 

   Mary's father, like every other man resident in the village, as it was customary, very strictly ruled his large household of four wives and thirteen children. Though, he sometimes got too busy to take note of some particular issues in the family; he routinely checked the huts and never tolerated the slightest mischief no matter how trifling it was that he was aware of. He never tolerated it from any of his wives who drew lines no matter how thin between her own children and his other children. There was only one mother to the family, who was his first wife whom everyone in the family called Mama.

 

   The women, like the men, were most of the times acknowledged by the name of their foremost child, which goes with keenness over the name of the male child to the men. The mothers of Mary and Titi were referred to as Mama Mary and Mama Titi mostly because they had remained mothers? of only female children much longer than expected. As Mary joined her mother in the hut, a voice called from one of the other huts. It was the first wife calling. Her children had not reached home yet.  

 

   'Mama Mary,' the rasping voice of the first wife skimmed from her hut and hovered about in the compound.

 

  ?Is that me?? Mary's mother responded. No one answered a call when the caller was not in sight. Evil spirits, they well thought-out, could mimic people?s voices at night and as the tradition that was advocated as protection against malevolent spirits, and it had become a practise even in broad daylight.

 

   'Is there any child there you can give coals of fire to bring to me?' Mary's mother took out one of the woods burning in the fire and crushed live coals on a piece of broken clay pot and handed it to Mary as she told her to pass by the barn and see if her father had brought out their share of yam that would be prepared for the evening meal. Mary came back with four big tubas of yam.

 

   Her mother was already peeling the coco-yams she was going to prepare porridge for breakfast. Mary sighted a troublesome nanny goat peering into the hut as she turned round to look outside after dropping the yams in a corner. The goat had seen Mary as she went by with the yams and had followed her only to stop at the door of the hut knowing very well that she would not be welcomed into the hut. All Mary did was to take a few steps toward the door and the goat with a dart, was gone to escape from any object like wood or stone it knows would whiz out of the hut straight to it. 

 

   Mary had always watched her mother peel the coco-yams. She watched as her mother worked not because she was still learning but because it had become a routine. She had to be handy to assist her mother always.

 

  'I anticipate you did help her set the fire,' Mary?s mother said and Mary affirmed she did without moving. ?Don?t sit like that,? her mother went on to caution her. She was sitting on a low stool with her legs wide apart with the dress she had changed resting on her knees such that anyone could easily have seen up between her legs. ?It?s indecent and portrays lewdness.? Her eyes were fixed on what her mother was doing as she quickly brought her knees together. Her mother had always had the time to be prudent and had also made her understand the art of cooking devotedly. Experience had shown that condiments followed a proper order, which was very necessary for the best taste and it was a matter she never wavered as she ensured Mary knew about it.

 

   After peeling the coco-yams, she cut them into little pieces then washed and poured them into the pot that was already on the fire. Mary went to a corner of the hut and carried a basket of vegetables back to where she sat opposite her mother and began to arrange them. Constricting as much of the leaves as her hand can hold she placed it on a chopping board picked from beside the basket of vegetables and sliced them into tiny bits. She picked a bowl and was about to gout to get water and wash them.

 

   'Oh, there's no need to wash them. They?re clean. I picked them far above the ground.' She kindled the fire deftly, lifted the pot lid and jerked her head sideways to evade the thick up surging steam that puffed from the pot. ?Let me have the vegetables. Where?s the dry fish?' Mary handed the vegetables over to her mother and went back to the same corner she had brought the vegetables for the fish. She broke them into tiny bits, which she poured into the already boiling pot.

 

   'I?ll add the vegetables in a little while.? Though Mary had grown up to know that not all ingredients go into the pot at the same time where they boil all through until the food is done, her mother, at the preparation of every meal emphasised on seasoning. Some food items needed prolonged heating to bring out their taste. Some food items needed lesser time on the fire. Such food items lose their taste or taste nauseatingly when untimely applied but Mary had mastered the art of timing. The ingredients followed in their proper order. There was a portion of smoked chicken, which she had added to the cooking earlier, and the vegetables went in last. It needed the least time of heating of all the condiments.

 

    'This porridge will really be tasty.' Mary said as she took over the cooking from her mother stirring the contents.

 

   'I have always prepared very tasty dishes.' Her mother said just watching, still on her sit.

 

   'But papa has never praised your cooking. And how do you get to know if he likes what you have cooked?

 

   ?It?s easy, my daughter. Any time your husband's bowl is returned to your hut empty or half empty, you know better.' Mary smiled, circumspectly gauging the thickness of the porridge.  

 

   Mary's relationship with her mother was one that exceeded that of mutual friendship. Apart from been a grown girl and set for womanhood unlike the younger siblings who were still considered to be toddlers, she was her mother's only female child, and, unlike what had been a deplorable state for most of the women, Mary had reached her sixth birthday before her brother was born. From their discussions of the things they do or share together, it was easy to think that they were sisters.

 

   'Ene has not been happy since her parents have been making preparations for her marriage,' Mary confided in her mother. 'She?s been wearing a very long face. She?s not been going to the stream to fetch water as she would and her mother has been very worried?.

 

   ?It?s really unbelievable how things have turned out to be nowadays,? Mary's mother said with clear and firm expressions on her face. ?In our days,? referring to her time when she was a little girl, ?we always looked forward to make our parents proud and do the best we can as young brides. But all of that has changed these days. What Ene is doing is unheard of and impossible in my tender years. A woman did all she was indebted to do else she?ll definitely be treated with condescension, which she really can never live with even if she had a heart of iron.?

 

   To Mary, the thought of ever becoming such an abhorrent woman was improbable yet she wondered what other choice, if there was any, she and her other mates had. There really was none. She sympathised so much with her friend who was not only going to be married to someone as old as her father, but compelled into a matter that was not her choice or desire.     

 

   When the food was ready, Mary dexterously lifted the pot from the fire with her bare hands as she had always seen her mother do, and gently but quickly placed it on the ground beside the hearth with her palms covered with thick soot. She used to wonder how her mother did it without being burnt. Though, at some times, she had noticed her mother, after the act, let out a little howl and dropped the pot as fast as she could then flipped her hands with a grimace at the same time. She came to understand that speed was what was required yet with carefulness and gentility so as not to spill the broth.

 

   The pot was left open to let out the steam. Just then, her father called from outside and asked if there was any meal ready. He would stop to eat if there was any. If there was none he would go off into the bush to check up his other palm trees from which he tapped palm wine. He went into the hurt when he was informed that there was something to eat.

 

   Mary's mother pulled out a low stool from under a bamboo bed within her reach and shoved it towards her husband who dragged it to a more prominent position and sat.

 

   Mary ladled her father's share in his bowl and took it to him. Genuflecting, she placed it in front of him and he smiled with satisfaction of his daughter?s competence.

 

   ?There's no doubt you'll grow up to be a well cherished woman. In fact the aroma of your cooking is just irresistible.? With his mouth full, her father went on with his adulation. Mary brought him drinking water in a calabash just as her mother was trying to caution him on the dangers of talking while eating.

 

   ?Ah, you want me to fill my stomach with water so that I can't have more of this irresistible dish? No matter how much I drink I must enjoy this dish.? He went on showering praises on the food as well as the cook.

 

   ?What about all of this excitement? At least this is not the first time I have prepared something like this. On the other hand, you think Mary made it taste better today? Well, you have never praised me they way you?ve done to her.?

 

  ?Do I have to praise you always??

 

   ?Then how do I know you're enjoying your meal??

 

   ?It?s easy, of course. You know it from the quantity I consume.?

 

   ?And you?ve assumed I don't deserve those         commendations you?ve been pouring on Mary? I wonder what it cost you to do that.? Her sagacious question and comment was just about all what most women like Mary?s mother could not go beyond to hurt their husband?s ego.

 

   ?And what commendations do I get for the meat and fish I?ve always provided??

 

   ?Then next time I'll just boil all the meat and fish and set before you.?

 

   ?That'll surely fetch you a good beating.? An intractable squint crossed his face hitherto, in spite of the frown; he was still enjoying his meal.

 

   ?I am sorry, my lord,? she pleaded as women were indebted to address their husbands.

 

   ?Ah!? Mary's father exclaimed. Both mother and daughter were startled as they turned to his direction. ?Is it not chicken I see here?? Silence engulfed them in puzzlement as he went on. ?Where?s the gizzard?? He queried holding a piece of coco-yam between his thumb and first finger. An irresistible smile homogenized with the pretentious seriousness on his face giving away the gravity of his enquiry.   

 

   ?Ha, Papa Mary,? Mary?s mother damned any consequence with an inside rage as she opted to address her husband by her first child?s name, ?how many gizzards does a chicken have?? She asked with deliberate derision looking away and at the same time casting a quick sidelong glance. He should have noticed the chicken had lasted for days past. It was clear that it was smoked chicken. ?Well it's the remains of the **** you killed last week.? She explained.

 

   ?I just wanted to be sure it's not another chicken.? He resumed his eating. ?Someone would have paid for this with a whole chicken,? he said without looking up.

 

   ?What's in a gizzard that men would always want to let **** loose?? Mary's mother asked to no one in particular but Mary?s father felt he was chastised knowing very well the question was for him.

 

   ?Shut up, ?he flared, ?who?re you to question what men do? Now, you had better mind what you say and stop asking me derisive questions. Is that what you teach your children??

 

   When an animal was slaughtered for consumption in homes, some of the parts were reserved specially for men. Only a daring woman who was ready for a brawl would decide otherwise what to do with a chicken?s gizzard, heart or kidney slaughtered in the home.   

 

   Mary's mother was quick to see a quarrel and possibly heavy bashings in the offing and kept quiet. Inwardly, he knew she was in her place dutifully carrying out her responsibilities. Actually, he was the derisive one but he was the head of the household.  

 

   Mary had ladled her share, covered the pot and placed it beside the hearth to keep it warm with reminiscence of her brother. She would have ladled his share as well and place it on a rafter high above the hearth, waiting for him to return from the bush where he usually went to check his father?s animal traps or palm trees for palm wine, which was more than a mile away and closer to the next settlement. Her father had quite forgotten about him since he had run away to join the white man.

 

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Rose Mary

Posted by Binvincent Nov 19, 2014

1

 

 

 

MARY balanced the clay pot of water that was brimful on her cloth-padded head with accustomed ease. She was a slender but not skeletal, tall and very beautiful girl of about fourteen years old. Her dress was a broad cloth wrapped round the body and fastened under the left arm just above the breasts. The dripping water from her pot, like that of most girls, plastered her dress against her skin like polythene and revealed well formed feminine features; firm breasts that protruded in a most suggestive curve, slim waist, plump buttocks and flaring hips that hung over long and sleek beautifully calved legs that narrowed at the ankles. She was at the head of the queue. Over twenty other girls, about the same age, bearing similar water pots and in similar attire trotted behind her in a single file along the bush path back to the village. Giant and dwarf trees with some of them entangled by climbers surrounded the footway which snaked through the heart of the bush. A thick undergrowth of tough grasses that edged the footway, deciduous trees and shrubs covered the terrain.

 

   The queue went on smoothly without breaking. There were no more oncoming men on their way to the farm or bush to hunt. Whether the married or the unmarried, the men would never stop beguiling and pointing at any of the girls or reaching out to stroke her calling the girl his next wife. The girls? backside or breasts were, most of the times, their target and the desire to meet their target never scared them away from the probable spank or smack any of the girls would unleash.

 

   For the most part, the girl concerned would either move away as fast as she could or stand firm with repulsive and vile looks on her face to express her angry feelings with reprimand. It was, most of the times, moments of scampering and dashing this way or that way between girls and men. The men, who were ever excited in the presence of girls and with licentiousness in mind, never let opportunities of flirtation to pass them by. The girls, most of them, so young and no doubt, virgins, were like treasures worthy for exploitation. 

 

   In spite of their clay pots of water, without fear of it falling off to break, the girl approached would dash off, most times, spilling some of the water or deliberately splattering some towards the man concerned with scolds to stop him in his approach. An audacious girl would suddenly unleash a slap in the direction of the man with or without the intention of hitting him. Nonetheless, it seldom, as most men never bothered about any smack from the girls, bunged him from his intentions.

 

   Most times the girl concerned was never so lucky to get away from any of the men that were at all times able to catch up and with great delight; pat the buttocks or feel around their body with their steel-like fingers as the girl dashes off. Generally, it made the girls let out hilarious screams expressing hysterical excitement or vituperations with vehemence to express their discontentment.   

 

   Anyhow, it was commonly the men that went about their businesses with satisfaction and hope for more opportunities.

 

   For the most part, it created enmity between the men when a man is caught ogling a betrothed girl. More often than not, it ended up in a fight to the admiration of the girls who were ever amused and wished for a ****?s beating of a man they despised. The men, more often than not, never relented at any opportunity to show off to any of the girls in their interest their toughness.

 

   Several other naked and half-naked children between four and twelve years old, carrying containers of different sizes according to their strength, filed behind the big girls spilling much of their contents as they moved briskly to keep up the pace. Nearly all the children in the earlier times were, most times, naked or half-naked and were fully dressed only from after the day preparations for marriage begins.

 

   In one way or the other, with the influence of the foreigners in the land as it had come to be, the mode of dress of Mary and her mates, as they trooped home from the stream, was properly made. Nothing more than a small piece of locally woven material could have been the costume girdled round the waist to cover only the private part that challenged the privacy of the breasts that were ever exposed with that of the grown up, married, and the young or old women not exclusive.   

 

   During the rear period of cold weather, they spent their times indoors with their huts heated by the ceaseless burning of an exceptional log of wood ?one that glowed to the last coal in a hearth. Stepping out, they wrapped bigger fabricated materials over their body to keep them warm.

 

   They lived and lead their life in a way that never indicated a change or advancement as at the time the white man, as the foreigners that had entered their land were called. The white man had now and again fashioned out and modified their costumes. As they were a people set for changes and advancement that despite their climate that had determined their kind of costume -the climate of their homeland that is more or less different in every respect from the climate of their discoveries, they still abducted new designs that were more protective and not just as trifle but also fitted for the new climate they were experiencing.

 

   Most of the younger children now go to the streams regularly using plastic or steel containers. Lack of expertise in handling clay pots, which was still used by only grown up girls, had ended up in breakages most of the times. Most families could not bear up the cost of damages and had profoundly welcomed utensils the white man had appeared with. Now, more and more children, with playfulness unrestricted, without fear of damages could go to the streams to fetch water. Unlike the grown up girls that were looked upon as the ones responsible for the fetching of water, the boys were always engaged in tasks with their fathers. 

 

   The straight line of light rays and shades of the big trees began to give way as the footway busted onto another footway that was much wider. It was a one-lane dusty or sandy road that looked like a double path formed by the tires of trucks and rickety buses that transported passengers and wares weekly to and from the neighbouring villages as well as the distant city. In the rainy season, it was usually muddy except the sandy area of the terrain, which was as usual, always sandy only where the terrain was flat ?water gathered in puddles where there were gutters or potholes. 

 

   The girls and the children no longer moved in a queue as they got onto the one-lane road. There was enough space for everyone to manoeuvre past the other. They were now chatting more amusingly stopping now and then to make a jest or a statement.

 

   'I can see why the men just won't let Ada be,' the girl behind Ada said. ?See her buttocks,' she went on gently patting it, ?it vibrates with every step as if it's hanging on a tiny spring.' Chuckles and giggles swept through the group of girls who were now falling to the rear as the younger children competed to take the lead.

 

   'Yet it?s incomparable to Ene's. You all know how big her backside is,' Ada puffed. In one fleeting move, the girls looked round about them realising, for the first time, they had not seen Ene who, for the second day running, had not joined them in the usual chore. ?Anyway, it makes the men really crazy,? Ada added deliberately swaying her waist fastidiously. She gripped her dress by the waist pulling it tight round about her, which further emphasised her rounded backside. ?I could sense it without seeing Kamalu's eyes as it was glued to it like all his life depended on it. You could even feel the ecstasy and excitement in his wide opened obsessive eyes and avid mouth.' 

 

  'You can't blame him,' a voice for the first time, an all time listener would easily have noticed, chirped in. It was the most melodious. 'Any man who passes you without turning his head for a second take must have a stiff neck,' she added and all the girls laughed. It was Mary. Several birds and partridges flapped their wings in fright as they flew away from among the trees and undergrowth as the outburst of laughter among the crowd of girls tore the surrounding bushes.

 

   ?I can see you?re not bothered been his next wife. You?re full of anticipation too. It would be good for you despite the fact that you?ll be his twelfth wife. He's a wealthy man and nothing is ever lacking in his household,' another girl retorted.

 

   Kamalu was a wealthy man and well known for the strength of his machete and hoe. He had always worked very hard from sun up to sun down. He planted new farms and exploited the virgin forests every season with eagerness and zeal. He had five huge barns, eleven wives and forty-three children, and still desired more of them. He had also taken one of the highest tittles in the land which only a man of genus and achievements could acquire.

 

   There were other men who had married many wives like Kamalu who had married out of the urge to do so or when there was a girl that has attained puberty he felt should be his next wife to beget more children. Many of such men also considered it imperative with the tenet that they would never lack as the household would all be the members of the gang of workers with their crude farm work with rudimentary tools.

 

   There was always meat in Kamalu?s house from goats or chickens he slaughtered more or less every week, which was more than what several other families did in years. The meat was specially stored in his personal store, which he shared out to his household. Families as big as his, without similar goodwill, aggravated by poor harvests in some seasons, had quickly and easily connected with the white man and missionaries that began to appear in the land whose conducts and doctrines were great relief and safe haven.  

 

   'What would you be doing in such a big family circle?' Mary asked Ada and without waiting for an answer, she went on. 'As the last wife, you'll never wear the anklet of the tittles he's acquired. You?ll be the last in the order of the women folk in that home. Nothing changes it. Bringing forth children as much as he desires, will be your obligatory devotion.?

 

   'What else am I supposed to be doing as his wife?' Ada asked with flabbergasted look on her face wondering why any girl would not count herself lucky. 'It's a large and prosperous family anyway, and it'll be a pride to my parents to be associated with a man of high reputation,' she concluded.

 

   Her father had called her one evening and told her. ?There are several good looking and promising young men who?ll seek your hand in marriage soon but I shall be happy that you marry a man of solid achievements.? Kamalu, the man that was in his mind, was a man who stood out among his people. A man with knacks and capabilities was the impression about him. The strong force with which a man ruled his household was the contrivance that always creased his face whenever he talked. If she had other thoughts, she could be wrong. She was raised in a society where such decisions would be made for her.

 

   The footway led to an open ground that also served as a market place and once every week people gathered to buy and sell. Rows of forked sticks had been erected and stood about seven feet above the ground and were connected by longer sticks on which raffia palms were laid on as roofs. The sticks and raffia palms were tied with ropes made from the bark of banana trees and served as stalls.

 

   A giant cotton tree stood in sparse undergrowth that surrounded the open ground. Under it was the cut out stem of a huge tree that now looked antiquated. A slit about six inches wide cut along the length of the stem and chiselled deep and wide formed a hollow in which lay two short sticks that also looked antiquated. They were sticks for beating the talking drum as the cut out stem of the huge tree was referred. The wooden drum was beaten occasionally and only those time-honoured in the folklores and myths understood its language.

 

   Beside the wooden drum was a platform made of wood cut into boards and placed on longer sticks, which connected the forked sticks that stood at about four feet above the ground. On matters of emergency, the wooden drum was beaten to summon the villagers to the arena. Usually it was the job of a man well known for his oratory that was chosen to speak for the village. It was never a woman's responsibility to climb a platform to address the people especially where there were groups of men.  It was the reason why women were not allowed to climb trees it seemed. Seeing a woman on a higher pedestal more than ever to address men was resented. If anyone had, in point of fact, ever asked for the reason, the question would have been faced up with strong rebuff, yet only very few people, if really there was any, ever bothered to know. Men are superior and it ended there.

 

   The open ground also served as a playground and every village had one that was as old as it. On a moonlit night, the villagers gathered in merriment and ecstasy and indulged in folklores. Several adjoining footways from the open ground proceeded to homes and other parts of the village. The throng of water fetching group trooped through the playground where they began to disperse. Mary approached her father's compound with vivacity, her breasts vibrating in unison with her buttocks. She went in by the gate that was the only entrance into the thick wall of red earth enclosure.

 

   As she pushed the dwarf gate open, she could see the door of her father's hut that stood directly opposite the gate, half open. He had already returned from tapping palm wine in a nearby bush. Four other huts lined up at the back of her father?s hut in which his other wives and their children dwelled. At one side of the wall enclosing the compound, was a huge barn, which was ever in her father?s control. Here, he stored the crops, which were mostly the staple food. Beside the barn was a shed for the goats. The chickens, which the women bred, find shelter in small attachments constructed beside its owner's hut.

 

   Mary went in through the gate, found her way round to the back of her father?s hut, and went straight to her mother's hut. She stopped beside a large earthen pot that was beside the entrance of every woman?s hut and took off the lid that covered it. It was made of craftily woven palm frond fibres.

 

   In Kamalu?s compound, there was a steel tank larger than the earthen pot placed by the side of the entrance of many village huts. The steel tank was placed conspicuously at the back of his house while his wives still had the earthen pot in their places. He was able to acquire it from the white man by which he had conveyed his position in matters of wealth, which none of his daughters, even if she is the first of all the children he has fathered, could be a beneficiary.

 

   Marriage and bringing forth children was everything they were looked up to. It was bizarre how and why men had exceptional likeness for their male children with the females, at all times, somewhere below. Whereas, it was only the women that have always expressed unquantifiable love for their children, whether male or female. Invariably, it could be because the woman, having been through what she goes through before and after a child is born, could be regarded the real owner of the child.

 

   Some people had come to reason or guess why in the white man?s divorce laws, the custody of the child or children are heaped on the woman with the man?s place on the fringe. With people like Kamalu, the largeness of his family with preferences over the male served as proof that the ancestry spirits were consistent and permanently rooted in the male pedigree with commendations of blessings. A man was considered as good as childless where all his children were girls. With male children, they believed, the ancestries were dependable, unswerving and unfailing.

 

   The steel tank served as an accumulator of water for his household. In preparations for special occasions, which was a regular thing in his home, his children, particularly the girls, and other villagers whom he engaged with stipends, helped in filling the tank? It was confounding how he appreciated the white man?s possessions yet with negative disposition to the new way of life and development the white man had brought.

 

   Mary tipped her pot of water over the earthen pot as she poured its content into it. She put the lid back and gently placed down her empty pot beside the large earthen pot and went into her mother's hut.  She might still go back to the stream for more water. Several trips were required to fill the large pot to the brim for the chores that was what all the children did, but when it was laundry time, it was done at the stream.

 

   Her mother was sitting at the fireplace and tending it. Martha came in next followed by two of Mary's half sisters who made straight to their mother's huts. The children had woken up before dawn and begun the almost one mile trek to the stream. It was an unquestionable responsibility that every child was under compulsion to prove his or her worth in the household and there could be no better opportunity. It was the carefree season that came between planting and harvesting. There was no dry and dusty cold wind that started from the Mediterranean through the Sahara to make anyone feel indisposed from getting out of bed early in the morning.  

 

   Mary's father, like every other man resident in the village, as it was customary, very strictly ruled his large household of four wives and thirteen children. Though, he sometimes got too busy to take note of some particular issues in the family; he routinely checked the huts and never tolerated the slightest mischief no matter how trifling it was that he was aware of. He never tolerated it from any of his wives who drew lines no matter how thin between her own children and his other children. There was only one mother to the family, who was his first wife whom everyone in the family called Mama.

 

   The women, like the men, were most of the times acknowledged by the name of their foremost child, which goes with keenness over the name of the male child to the men. The mothers of Mary and Titi were referred to as Mama Mary and Mama Titi mostly because they had remained mothers? of only female children much longer than expected. As Mary joined her mother in the hut, a voice called from one of the other huts. It was the first wife calling. Her children had not reached home yet.  

 

   'Mama Mary,' the rasping voice of the first wife skimmed from her hut and hovered about in the compound.

 

  ?Is that me?? Mary's mother responded. No one answered a call when the caller was not in sight. Evil spirits, they well thought-out, could mimic people?s voices at night and as the tradition that was advocated as protection against malevolent spirits, and it had become a practise even in broad daylight.

 

   'Is there any child there you can give coals of fire to bring to me?' Mary's mother took out one of the woods burning in the fire and crushed live coals on a piece of broken clay pot and handed it to Mary as she told her to pass by the barn and see if her father had brought out their share of yam that would be prepared for the evening meal. Mary came back with four big tubas of yam.

 

   Her mother was already peeling the coco-yams she was going to prepare porridge for breakfast. Mary sighted a troublesome nanny goat peering into the hut as she turned round to look outside after dropping the yams in a corner. The goat had seen Mary as she went by with the yams and had followed her only to stop at the door of the hut knowing very well that she would not be welcomed into the hut. All Mary did was to take a few steps toward the door and the goat with a dart, was gone to escape from any object like wood or stone it knows would whiz out of the hut straight to it. 

 

   Mary had always watched her mother peel the coco-yams. She watched as her mother worked not because she was still learning but because it had become a routine. She had to be handy to assist her mother always.

 

  'I anticipate you did help her set the fire,' Mary?s mother said and Mary affirmed she did without moving. ?Don?t sit like that,? her mother went on to caution her. She was sitting on a low stool with her legs wide apart with the dress she had changed resting on her knees such that anyone could easily have seen up between her legs. ?It?s indecent and portrays lewdness.? Her eyes were fixed on what her mother was doing as she quickly brought her knees together. Her mother had always had the time to be prudent and had also made her understand the art of cooking devotedly. Experience had shown that condiments followed a proper order, which was very necessary for the best taste and it was a matter she never wavered as she ensured Mary knew about it.

 

   After peeling the coco-yams, she cut them into little pieces then washed and poured them into the pot that was already on the fire. Mary went to a corner of the hut and carried a basket of vegetables back to where she sat opposite her mother and began to arrange them. Constricting as much of the leaves as her hand can hold she placed it on a chopping board picked from beside the basket of vegetables and sliced them into tiny bits. She picked a bowl and was about to gout to get water and wash them.

 

   'Oh, there's no need to wash them. They?re clean. I picked them far above the ground.' She kindled the fire deftly, lifted the pot lid and jerked her head sideways to evade the thick up surging steam that puffed from the pot. ?Let me have the vegetables. Where?s the dry fish?' Mary handed the vegetables over to her mother and went back to the same corner she had brought the vegetables for the fish. She broke them into tiny bits, which she poured into the already boiling pot.

 

   'I?ll add the vegetables in a little while.? Though Mary had grown up to know that not all ingredients go into the pot at the same time where they boil all through until the food is done, her mother, at the preparation of every meal emphasised on seasoning. Some food items needed prolonged heating to bring out their taste. Some food items needed lesser time on the fire. Such food items lose their taste or taste nauseatingly when untimely applied but Mary had mastered the art of timing. The ingredients followed in their proper order. There was a portion of smoked chicken, which she had added to the cooking earlier, and the vegetables went in last. It needed the least time of heating of all the condiments.

 

    'This porridge will really be tasty.' Mary said as she took over the cooking from her mother stirring the contents.

 

   'I have always prepared very tasty dishes.' Her mother said just watching, still on her sit.

 

   'But papa has never praised your cooking. And how do you get to know if he likes what you have cooked?

 

   ?It?s easy, my daughter. Any time your husband's bowl is returned to your hut empty or half empty, you know better.' Mary smiled, circumspectly gauging the thickness of the porridge.  

 

   Mary's relationship with her mother was one that exceeded that of mutual friendship. Apart from been a grown girl and set for womanhood unlike the younger siblings who were still considered to be toddlers, she was her mother's only female child, and, unlike what had been a deplorable state for most of the women, Mary had reached her sixth birthday before her brother was born. From their discussions of the things they do or share together, it was easy to think that they were sisters.

 

   'Ene has not been happy since her parents have been making preparations for her marriage,' Mary confided in her mother. 'She?s been wearing a very long face. She?s not been going to the stream to fetch water as she would and her mother has been very worried?.

 

   ?It?s really unbelievable how things have turned out to be nowadays,? Mary's mother said with clear and firm expressions on her face. ?In our days,? referring to her time when she was a little girl, ?we always looked forward to make our parents proud and do the best we can as young brides. But all of that has changed these days. What Ene is doing is unheard of and impossible in my tender years. A woman did all she was indebted to do else she?ll definitely be treated with condescension, which she really can never live with even if she had a heart of iron.?

 

   To Mary, the thought of ever becoming such an abhorrent woman was improbable yet she wondered what other choice, if there was any, she and her other mates had. There really was none. She sympathised so much with her friend who was not only going to be married to someone as old as her father, but compelled into a matter that was not her choice or desire.     

 

   When the food was ready, Mary dexterously lifted the pot from the fire with her bare hands as she had always seen her mother do, and gently but quickly placed it on the ground beside the hearth with her palms covered with thick soot. She used to wonder how her mother did it without being burnt. Though, at some times, she had noticed her mother, after the act, let out a little howl and dropped the pot as fast as she could then flipped her hands with a grimace at the same time. She came to understand that speed was what was required yet with carefulness and gentility so as not to spill the broth.

 

   The pot was left open to let out the steam. Just then, her father called from outside and asked if there was any meal ready. He would stop to eat if there was any. If there was none he would go off into the bush to check up his other palm trees from which he tapped palm wine. He went into the hurt when he was informed that there was something to eat.

 

   Mary's mother pulled out a low stool from under a bamboo bed within her reach and shoved it towards her husband who dragged it to a more prominent position and sat.

 

   Mary ladled her father's share in his bowl and took it to him. Genuflecting, she placed it in front of him and he smiled with satisfaction of his daughter?s competence.

 

   ?There's no doubt you'll grow up to be a well cherished woman. In fact the aroma of your cooking is just irresistible.? With his mouth full, her father went on with his adulation. Mary brought him drinking water in a calabash just as her mother was trying to caution him on the dangers of talking while eating.

 

   ?Ah, you want me to fill my stomach with water so that I can't have more of this irresistible dish? No matter how much I drink I must enjoy this dish.? He went on showering praises on the food as well as the cook.

 

   ?What about all of this excitement? At least this is not the first time I have prepared something like this. On the other hand, you think Mary made it taste better today? Well, you have never praised me they way you?ve done to her.?

 

  ?Do I have to praise you always??

 

   ?Then how do I know you're enjoying your meal??

 

   ?It?s easy, of course. You know it from the quantity I consume.?

 

   ?And you?ve assumed I don't deserve those         commendations you?ve been pouring on Mary? I wonder what it cost you to do that.? Her sagacious question and comment was just about all what most women like Mary?s mother could not go beyond to hurt their husband?s ego.

 

   ?And what commendations do I get for the meat and fish I?ve always provided??

 

   ?Then next time I'll just boil all the meat and fish and set before you.?

 

   ?That'll surely fetch you a good beating.? An intractable squint crossed his face hitherto, in spite of the frown; he was still enjoying his meal.

 

   ?I am sorry, my lord,? she pleaded as women were indebted to address their husbands.

 

   ?Ah!? Mary's father exclaimed. Both mother and daughter were startled as they turned to his direction. ?Is it not chicken I see here?? Silence engulfed them in puzzlement as he went on. ?Where?s the gizzard?? He queried holding a piece of coco-yam between his thumb and first finger. An irresistible smile homogenized with the pretentious seriousness on his face giving away the gravity of his enquiry.   

 

   ?Ha, Papa Mary,? Mary?s mother damned any consequence with an inside rage as she opted to address her husband by her first child?s name, ?how many gizzards does a chicken have?? She asked with deliberate derision looking away and at the same time casting a quick sidelong glance. He should have noticed the chicken had lasted for days past. It was clear that it was smoked chicken. ?Well it's the remains of the **** you killed last week.? She explained.

 

   ?I just wanted to be sure it's not another chicken.? He resumed his eating. ?Someone would have paid for this with a whole chicken,? he said without looking up.

 

   ?What's in a gizzard that men would always want to let **** loose?? Mary's mother asked to no one in particular but Mary?s father felt he was chastised knowing very well the question was for him.

 

   ?Shut up, ?he flared, ?who?re you to question what men do? Now, you had better mind what you say and stop asking me derisive questions. Is that what you teach your children??

 

   When an animal was slaughtered for consumption in homes, some of the parts were reserved specially for men. Only a daring woman who was ready for a brawl would decide otherwise what to do with a chicken?s gizzard, heart or kidney slaughtered in the home.   

 

   Mary's mother was quick to see a quarrel and possibly heavy bashings in the offing and kept quiet. Inwardly, he knew she was in her place dutifully carrying out her responsibilities. Actually, he was the derisive one but he was the head of the household.  

 

   Mary had ladled her share, covered the pot and placed it beside the hearth to keep it warm with reminiscence of her brother. She would have ladled his share as well and place it on a rafter high above the hearth, waiting for him to return from the bush where he usually went to check his father?s animal traps or palm trees for palm wine, which was more than a mile away and closer to the next settlement. Her father had quite forgotten about him since he had run away to join the white man.

 

http:// Title URL more Info... https://www.createspace.com/4971002

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1

Feminism and Masculinism

Posted by Binvincent Nov 19, 2014

It has always been said it's a men's world isolating women and men who, it can be said, have forgotten they have a mother are one big force behind and women who accept it are one small force behind it. It's a divine order that man and woman were made to subdue dominate and multiply the world but some will say what men can do women can't do and vice versa lost out of the thought that what they can do as men or women is because they're men or women made to do what only men or only women can do. 50/50 it seems. Women do what it's made for men to do and vice versa. It's ever either way so 50/50 stands.

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0

Spoken Word Finally Spoken

Posted by truepoetry Nov 16, 2014

hello, this is R.I.C.E The Proof. The author of "Broken Pencil." I'm really excited about this project becuase this is my first showing of me coming out as a spoken word artist. Take a look.  For more insight about me and description of the bok click this link: https://www.createspace.com/5092971

I'm also on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Just search up: RICE_TheProof

Please leave feedback, show love, show hate, tell me what you love about me, tell me what you hate. Take care. hope to hear from many new fans.

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Earlier this year, I posted an excerpt of this book on the Createspace forum and got a lot of feedback: some good and some not so good.  I really appreciate how people in this forum take the time to help out other writers.   I've tried to keep in mind everyone's suggestions and hopefully this finished product is at last ready "for primetime."  This is the fourth cover I've used to try to sell this book.  It's not a big seller (it's only sold four copies and it's the final book in a succcessful series), but it's a very personal story that I wanted to tell; and it's largely based on real events.

 

 

 

 

http://www.amazon.com/Body-Ortega-Highway-Detective-Mystery-ebook/dp/B00J9XPMHU

 

What would you do if your first love grows up to be horribly bad? That’s the question Homicide Detective Clarissa Santy must ultimately wrestle with when she comes back to work after her honeymoon and is assigned a case about a serial killer who’s murdered two teenage girls, chopped off their arms, and dumped their bodies in a rural road in Orange County, California. Is the killer the same man who has been making upsetting phone calls to Clarissa? What kind of danger must she be willing to put herself in order to capture him? Based on real events, this psychological thriller about sexual obsession will keep you on the edge of your seats until the very end.

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I three skin you can see for

Posted by hikolhgh Nov 9, 2014

I three skin you can see for weeks and I'm understand that it is important to remember that we are talking about synthetic snake venom that is created in laboratory only the paralyzing proteins are duplicated there's nothing harmful or toxic they can put you or your skin snake complex is synthetic snake venom snake venom has a paralyzing action on the models reducing the appearance up lines and wrinkles no matter their size and preventing new wrinkles from forming know when I mentioned think benefit from you might be a little bit frightened by that but if you think it's safe and a cocktail different proteins and enzymes most first coaching not been home for peeping toxic we used but good morning in our product until now this muscle relaxing effect that can reduce yen was only possible week injections lead now scientists

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2

Chapter 1

 

 

      We boarded the steamer in Belfast.  It was too dangerous to leave from Liverpool. The Germans had surrounded   England with their U-Boats, the captain told us.  Madame  Quinn didn’t want me to walk too close to her   when we walked up the ramp.  As her chambermaid, I realized   that was part of my job: to remain invisible.   For some reason, she wanted to carry on as if she wasn’t   accompanied.  Besides, she told me, that’s why she hired me, whenever she smoked her perfumed cigarettes.

 

      We were travelling on La Bonita to Panama.  I had just been interviewed by her for the job as chambermaid three days before departure.  It was the first time I would leave Ireland since arriving from Canada in late 1939.  I was apprehensive, even though I it seemed I was escaping   the memories of my husband’s death.    I was still young, but not so naïve to believe this was where I had to stay.  My memories of Harry would go wherever I travelled. 

 

      Our destination was Hacienda La Pacifica,   on the west coast of Panama.  Madame Quinn   was making her first trip there.  She told me her husband left three weeks earlier because of an emergency at their coffee plantation.  She didn’t tell me much more as she didn’t seem one who accustomed to talking with the servants.  I accepted this arrogance as the pay was good and I had to escape.

 

      My intention was to keep this job,   learn Spanish, and make myself a future in a new foreign land, perhaps never to return to cold, inhospitable Ireland.  “Come here please, “called Madame Quinn as soon as we arrived at our suite,   “Prepare my day bed, please. “  I looked at the modest cabin. There were just two bunks, and a writing desk.   My belongings were shoved into the trunk I brought from Halifax when Harry enlisted in the RAF.   Madame Quinn had two enormous trunks that occupied half of the room.  “I will have to talk to my husband about these horrible arrangements, “she huffed as she exited the cabin.

 

      Five minutes passed before she returned with the steamer’s main steward. He said something to me in Spanish which I didn’t understand.  “Go ahead, just follow him, “were Madame’s orders.  Incredibly, the steward led me to an even smaller cabin with a lone bed, hanging waist high by chains from the wall.  The steward pointed down the passageway to what I later found to be the lavatory.  No sooner had I sat on the bed to check its sturdiness than Madame’s two large trunks were brought to my room   and placed in what little space remained.

 

      Upon returning to her cabin, I questioned Madame as to how she wanted her day bed prepared.   Her blank stare indicated I was to resolve the problem.  Until I found a busboy who spoke some English, I was lost. He understood I needed clean sheets and pillow cases though. I used my fingers to tell him our room number.

 

      When I returned to Madame’s cabin, she was seated at the desk, tapping her foot awaiting my return.  In the short time I had known her; I knew this meant she was impatient, so I made her bed for her to rest while the steamer left port.  “I would like you to bring me my blue dress for dinner, “she said while slipping off her heels and resting on the bed.  I nodded and walked backwards out of the cabin. “Don’t forget to extinguish the light, “she reminded me before I shut the steel door. 

 

      I was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia;   living there my whole life until I met my late husband Harry.  Soon after a whirlwind romance, he brought me to Ireland to meet his family. When the war began, he enlisted in the Royal Air Force and became one of the first casualties. Having nowhere to go, I stayed with his family in County Down, until their petty indifferences and squabbles caused me to flee   as far as I could from them.  Where this decision   would leave me I did not know.

 

      Madame arose from her short afternoon nap an hour after we had left port. I had already laid her dark blue dress out nicely on the chair.  I then left the room so she wouldn’t be disturbed while dressing.  When she finished, she quietly rapped on my door,   “Come, and let’s walk on the ship’s deck, Missy. “  I followed.

 

      La Bonita was far out to sea by the time we arrived on deck. The late fall   sea breezes caused us to quickly close our overcoats.  There were several other passengers on board, none so bold as to come outside yet.  Eventually, Madame Quinn   approached the dining hall which was still darkened.  She peeked into the door and said something in Spanish to the busboy setting the long table for dinner.  His reply was almost indecipherable.   “He says dinner is served promptly at six when the captain arrives,” she said as if educating me to the ship’s schedule.

 

      When we returned to our cabins, Madame stopped by my crowded room, pushing her luggage with the door to enter.  “I shall talk to Mr. Quinn about your accommodations too, “she stated authoritatively while she searched for something in the trunk.  After a brief while, she removed a dark green evening dress with padded shoulders.  “Here try this on; we’re about the same size.  You must make appearances if you are to eat with me in the Captain’s dining room. “She shoved the dress into my hands and left my cabin so I could change.

 

      Although we were quite overdressed for the modest dining room,   it was obvious Madame Quinn carried on as if we were dining on the Queen Mary.  She was especially taken when the ship’s captain sat at our table to dine with us. She all but ignored me, as she flirted with the stoic middle-aged Latin captain with a salt and pepper mustache which clung tight to his upper lip.  We dined on grouper and rice, with a vegetable medley. Coffee and a devil’s food cake were served too.

 

      While they talked, I looked at our fellow passengers.  Nothing   out of the ordinary.  Several male workers, probably seeking work in a new world, and an elderly Hispanic couple who whispered when they talked.  After dinner, I didn’t have to be reminded to return the dress to Madame.  She didn’t pay much attention to me when we returned to our cabins. She was blithe with the memory of her dinner conversation with the captain.

 

      Our eight day voyage was spent listlessly talking, which surprised me.  Madame was less interested in learning about me and instead opened her life to me like a book.  She was afraid she would become a lonely spinster when she met her husband, in a bomb shelter during the Battle of Britain.  Andres Quinn   was sent to the London School of Economics by his father, a rich Irish landowner   whose coffee plantation in Panama was one of the largest and most productive in Central America.  There’s been a whirlwind romance also, which ended with a civil marriage a week before Andres was called by his father to return to Panama.

 

      Each evening, she would select another outfit for me to wear for dinner.  And although she relatively ignored me to converse with the captain who would already be seated,   I allowed her this failing.  The last evening as we neared the port of Colon, the captain did not join us.  Madame was at a near loss for words. She would actually have to talk to me, after an entire afternoon discussing the church wedding   her    and Andres would plan.  From her small hand purse, she removed the golden wedding band he had bought for the occasion from a jeweler in the famed Hatton Garden jewelry district of London.
       Unexpectedly, Madame handed me the wedding band.  Its luster was impressive.  She had a triumphant look on her face as I handed the ring back to her.  Before she could grasp it, an explosion shook the dining hall.  Seawater sprayed us through the shattered windows.  We all rose from our seats and I grabbed the golden ring before it became lost on the floor.  Madame’s    face now displayed terror as a steward entered the dining room, his white uniform covered with soot and grease. He motioned his hands indicating we needed to follow him.  “For God’s sake, woman, move, “  yelled  Madame.  She didn’t   even notice I held the ring.   I put it on my left ring finger, just as the steamer began to serious list.   It wasn’t until the lifeboat I entered lowered into the sea did I notice the only other occupants were the Hispanic couple and the steward.  We were moving quickly away from La Bonita as it sank under the waves in the dark.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 2

 

      We were rescued within two hours of La Bonita’s sinking. The elderly Hispanic couple showed no emotion. They just whispered to each other as if this were a common occurrence.  I climbed aboard the freighter that saved us with the rope ladder tossed over the starboard side. The flowery summer dress and sandals Madame had allowed me to wear to our interrupted dinner were soaked.  The dress clung to my body in all the inappropriate places; and this didn’t escape the attention of the stevedores who pulled me on deck.  I quickly pulled the close fitting materials from my bosom and upper thighs.

 

      This freighter’s   captain was an elderly, gaunt looking pencil of a man who didn’t speak much.  He just stroked   his stubble on his face as we huddled together draped in dark blue blankets while searchlights scanned the waves for further survivors.  Soon, we were travelling to lights on the horizon without finding anyone else.

 

      Once on shore, we were met by anxious Red Cross workers. We were each handed a cup of hot, black coffee.  Then the female worker spoke to us in Spanish,   but I was too tired to even feign understanding what she said.  Soon, she realized this, and instinctively focused her attention on the whispering couple.

 

      From the wharf, I heard church bells chime the hour.  It was nine o’clock.  I could see a vibrant nightlife of people in American Model T’s and Italian scooters.  I could also hear the gay laughter of the couples walking hand in hand.

 

      Despite the circumstances of my arrival, I was already hypnotized by the sights and sounds of a new world.  I sat on a wharf peg staring at the strands of Christmas lights stretched across the streets from building to building.  Suddenly, my new found peace was disturbed by the noise of dark limousine braking near the wharf.

 

      The limousine remained idling. The rear door opened, “Senora  Quinn venga aqui. “  yelled   someone from the limousine.  I paid it no mind until I realized the voice was   mis-pronouncing the name of Madame Quinn.  I looked to see if she was approaching the limousine.  No one was apparently visible, so I neared closer until I could see inside the back seat of the car.  “Venga, venga, senora, “said an elderly man with white hair and eyebrows.  I stooped to look at him closer and he touched my arm, slightly tugging at it. I didn’t resist and  instead seated myself in the vehicle, allowing the blanket to fall from my shoulders before he pulled the limousine door shut.

 

      As the driver sped away from the port,   I took one last look at the vivacious city nightlife I was leaving behind.  The Christmas lights lingered the longest, but soon, it was completely dark.  I cracked open my window and the hot, humid   night air offered a change from the chilly ocean breezes that were so tortuous at the trip’s   beginning. 

 

      At first, I considered reasoning with the driver, informing him he had mistook me for my mistress.  I then realized he probably understood about as much English as I did Spanish. Ultimately, I sat back and directed my attention to the harrowing end of our trip and how all my belongings, as well as those of Madame Quinn were now settling upon the sea floor.

 

      Tropical vegetation crept closer to the road shoulders as we continued.  Soon, we had left the paved roads and were travelling down a wet, soggy road that had just recently been rained upon. The steamy air accentuated the nighttime heat and even though it didn’t seem to bother the aged driver; at times I found it difficult to breathe steadily.  Finally, we reached a turn off with a large timber sign with the words “Hacienda La Pacifica “burned into the wood.  As we drove forward up the slippery road, ``I saw the first lights since leaving the port city, illuminating an enormous Spanish colonial house.  Another sign similar to the entrance sign was on the corner of the lot. It said, “El Sueno.

 

       The house had roughly textured stucco, painted lime green giving an aged-looking Old World surface. This added to the red clay roof tops gave the home an asymmetric   rustic look. This home featured a turret. Which   stood crookedly   with little arched windows and its own tile roof? There were decorative ledges below it and several balconies. All lower windows were covered by finely crafted wrought iron work.  Curved steps lead to a graceful archway and the front entrance which consisted of an enormous wooden door preceded by gates of fashioned iron with   two huge lanterns.  This was indeed a dream.                                                   

 

      I stepped from the limousine to a night filled with the cries of high pitched animals whose chirps surrounded us. The driver instinctively knew I was surprised by the sound. He pointed his fingers at a grove of palmettos standing before an overgrowth of the surrounding tropical forest and said, “Coqui “   He then led me to the large wooden door.

 

      While approaching the door, the wind picked up and there was a flash of lightning.  A torrent of rain preceded   the rumble of thunder.  I was once again soaking wet as my dress began to cling to my body.  The old man though was no lecher. He merely opened the door to the house and took off to a hallway further away, leaving me alone.

 

At first, it did not occur to me that the driver had left me in the dark. The storm’s lightening flashing through the thick paned windows didn’t allow for interrupted darkness.   It was a ferocious storm; the rain smashing against the windows competed with the thunder and wind for my attention.  One crack of lightening flashed simultaneously with a booming crash of thunder. I nervously leaped just as a distant door opened and a tall stooping man approached me carrying a tall burning   candle, with a thick hand wrapped around the candlestick.   His face was lit so the shadows of his deep brows and thick eyebrows gave him an  eerie appearance  “Welcome to “El Sueno,” my home.   Andres is out there somewhere.  These **** storms keep washing out the road.” He paused and looked at me. “You’ve had one helluva day,  woman, for God’s sake.”  He said with  a frown.  I was too shaken to tell the truth.  Servants entered with more candles to illuminate the house while the storm roared.  I was in a very large room filled with pre-Colombian   artwork.  Each piece cast   dizzying shadows on the colored walls which took on the looks of prehistoric beasts.  I wasn’t at all disturbed by this expressionist display in what probably seemed like a museum in the daylight.    Before I  could linger   in thought   though the grey haired   driver had a chair behind   me.  I rested.  Who was this?  When would someone recognize I wasn’t Madame Quinn?   What would happen next?

 

      “ Suppose you lost everything” he said taking a glance at the wedding ring.   How would it as they  might automatically consider I left her to die after swiping it during the chaos that followed the explosion. No alibi would save me. And in my distress, the one person who would see through this deception would return soon. How good-natured would they treat the truth when was offered? After all that had happened, I doubt I would sound sincere.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 3

 

      The storm passed but its presence remained as rolling thunder echoed outside.  The electricity remained off, so the chauffer lit more candles.  The tall stooping man   remained on his side of the room.  “ Andres  hasn’t told us much about you Mary Kate Danaher Quinn,” he said brusquely.

 

“ I’m  Andres father,  Leo John Quinn of County Galway;  relocated to Panama twenty-five years ago to escape execution after the Easter Uprising.  How much did Andres tell you about me?”

 

      “  Not too much.  I’m from County Down, moved to London to study….”  I was at a loss for words and I didn’t know how long this pretense would continue.  I couldn’t   leave it though.    At a sudden loss for words, I coughed.  I wondered  much the unknown Andres had told them of Madeame Quinn.

 

      “Eduardo, bring  Mary Kate Danaher   Quinn a glass of water,” he demanded. “ Or would you like a good two fingers of Brownmill?   I have a case shipped from Dublin to   here monthly. Something that’s not easy with those English bastards in charge.”

 

      I shook my head no as I don’t often drink alcohol.  I just hoped he would continue conversing  to allow me to maintain my cover for a bit longer.  I then changed my mind and agreed to a strong dash of Irish whiskey.  In a moment, Leo   James   Quinn served me more than a gulp of Brownmill’s , and I  remembered how I became accustomed to the funny way the Irish would call someone by their full name, even in casual conversation.

 

      As uncommon as it was for me to be drinking straight alcohol,  I coughed some more after the first gulp. The whiskey warmed my face in an instant. I knew it was changing to   crimson when the master of the house gave another long frown.  “ I don’t have much else to offer,” he said glancing at his watch. “Now where the **** is Andres Eduardo, the storm has passed? He invites a woman to our home and isn’t even here to greet her, .” he said while the echoing rolling thunder continued. “Go put another  lantern out front,” he then ordered.  Before Eduardo couldhang the lantern,  I heard a muffled salutation in Spanish followed by the sound of a wet rain slicker being shaken followed by  someone stomping wet galoshes.  Finally, this person entered the candle lit front salon. His shadow climbed the stucco wall and followed him as he approached us.

 

      “Andres,  you have a visitor. She’s had quite an evening, but I’ll let her tell you, “ he spoke in this thick Irish brogue.                                                                                                                                        

 

      I was certain   I would be telling a different story, one  which would surprise all  in just a moment.  It would be somewhat awkward and maybe shameful.   Surprisingly,  though,  the tall,  dark Latin with ebony  eyes  stepped towards me without hesitating,   warmly hugging  me, while kissing my neck, “ Mary Kate,  Eduardo told me the horrific circumstances of your arrival.  I thank God you are here safe with us, “   he said with a rich accent. He quickly pulled back to stare deeply into my eyes before he tenderly kissed my lips several times as his embrace tightened.

 

      At first, I thought it was the dull lighting.  What else could it be?  Was it insane to believe this was something other than a case of mistaken identity?   Did this man forget to wear his glasses?   His father clapped his hands  calling for more Brownmills.  In passing he said to us under his breath,   “My children; May you live as long as you want and never want as long as you live.”

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

 

 

 

Chapter   4

 

      The power remained cut off long after the thunder passed.  The whiskey, added to the excitement of that day, left me so fatigued I could barely rise from the chair.  Andres lifted me and allowed me to steady myself.  His arms were long and muscular.  He supported me as he walked me down a short hallway to a marble staircase.  Eduardo stood behind us with the candle, allowing us illumination.  I could hear Leo ramble on as I climbed marbled stairs.

 

      Andres led me to a darkened room. He entered alone with the tall candle. Its light illuminated just a corner of a bed. The moment I sat, I fell backwards.  The last thing I felt was someone lifting my legs onto the bed, removing my shoes  when   I fell into a deep sleep.  

 

      The following morning, I was awoken by the noise of what appeared to be someone striking the floor with a heavy object.  When it concluded,   I noticed that I was alone; my supposed matrimonial partner did not share the bed with me. I decided that would have been almost as awkward as confessing to the truth about my identity,   especially   if he had pawed all over me in an attempt to have sex with a stranger.  Perhaps this was his goal: blackmail rather than exposure.

 

      The large bedroom door opened and one of the servants brought me breakfast. I was ravished by hunger,   remembering how my dinner had been interrupted by the ship’s sinking. Since then, all I had consumed was the weak   Red Cross coffee  and Brownmill’s whiskey.  This breakfast was quite modest:  one hard - boiled egg, toast, coffee and milk, as well as fresh slice pineapple.  While I ate, the maid brought me fresh clothes and undergarments.  To whom they once belonged, I dared not ask.

 

      After a short bath, I dressed and prepared myself for what was assuredly going to be a strange day. I realized it was fortunate though that the real   Mary Kate Danaher Quinn had so unabashedly told me her life’s story. It would help me fill in the pieces of this puzzle.  My only reservation was how I was to approach my pseudo-mate.  How was I expected to behave? Would he eventually acknowledge this charade was actually a sham and expose me to his family or at least tell me why he wants them to believe I am actually his wife?

 

      I stood on the room’s balcony overlooking a lush tropical garden.  The air was filled with the sounds of birds singing joyously. I turned when I heard the door to the bedroom open. Andres quickly approached me. Maybe now, in the bright sunlight he would realize I was not the woman I pretended to be. My right index finger and thumb began to twist Madame’s wedding ring on my left ring finger.

 

      “Darling,” he said as his hands grasped my waist.  He lightly touched his lips to mine and continued, “They have located your chambermaid.  She was just found in another of the ship’s lifeboats, delirious and dehydrated.  She’s interned at a local hospital.  We must check on her condition, “he quickly told me. Strangely, I nodded my head in agreement, unsure who this person could be.

 

      When we left my room, I heard the heavy thudding again.  As unfamiliar as this whole affair had become, I challenged myself to speak to this stranger as if he were my husband, “What in heaven’s name is that? “ I asked.

 

      His response was quick and pointed. “It’s my mother, Consuela.  She had a stroke four weeks ago and is now bed-ridden. I didn’t want to share the details with you when I left you alone in London; however, now it can be told. She is the reason I raced home without you. “The banging which came from another room down the hall stopped. “ She can only communicate her needs with my father’s walking stick, pounding it on the floor when she wants attention. “

 

      “When will I get to meet her? “  I asked, as any good daughter-in-law would.

 

      “In due time, Mary Kate, in due time. ” was his terse reply.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 5

 

      During our trip to the hospital, I was tempted to confess my complicity in the   make-believe   circumstances of this affair   to the husband of Madame.  Instead,   I looked at the lush green tropical rain forests still drenched from the previous evening’s storm. Unlike the pastoral scenery of Ireland, this world had a savage, uncontrollable texture to it.  Throughout the ride, Madame’s husband  held my right hand and pet it,   clearly   longing for something he wouldn’t define.

 

      After an hour of travel down muddy, unpaved roads, we moved rapidly to the hospital on a modern causeway.  El Hospital de San Lucas was   in a modern neighborhood of streets lined with palmetto trees.  No sooner did Eduardo, our chauffer , leave us at the front door of the modest and clean hospital, than he pulled away into traffic. 

 

      “Isn’t he waiting for us?   How long will we be here? “I inquired.

 

      “He went to wash the car. It is filthy after our ride through the muddy roads. Come, let us find her, “   was Andres’ quick response.  He then approached a receptionist and began speaking a very mellifluous Spanish.  Shortly, he grasped my and we walked to the hospital elevator.Instead of waiting for it to return though, Andres chose the creaky wooden stairs which brought us to the third floor.  Once there, we walked the entire length of a hallway,   populated by numerous doctors and nurses, all dressed in a white uniforms that offered a collective sheen. When we entered Room 325, there was a pale man   and a nurse at the bedside of a female patient.  He was dressed in a brown suit and black wing tipped shoes.  He looked at us and automatically spoke in American English as if he knew we would understand him.

 

      “Hello, my name is Stanford Brustowitz;  I’m with the American Embassy in Panama

 

City, “he said as he first offered his right hand to Andres.  His height was above average and he had a moderately heavy torso, as if he were a boxer. He wore his light brown hair short as he was balding.

 

      “I’m Andres Quinn, and this is my wife Mary Kate. She was shipwrecked last evening on that freighter, La Bonita.

 

      “Very tragic, the captain’s body washed ashore this morning, “the American shockingly informed us.  “I’m here to see if any of the survivors are American citizens.  The ship’s manifest has been lost. “

 

      “And we came to investigate if this woman is my wife’s travel companion.  She did not make it to the lifeboat with my wife, “said Andres as we all looked at the woman who appeared to be under heavy sedation.  Upon careful inspection, I decided it was Madame Quinn; however, she was hardly the semi-elegant mistress who carried on as if she were royalty during our eight day journey. Instead, he face was thin and shallow without her make-up.  There were deep bags under her eyes, and her hair was bundled into a hospital cap.  She was having difficulty breathing. I kept silent and stepped backwards towards the door afraid she would become conscious any moment, despite the medication. 

 

      Andres looked about and then called to me, “Mary Kate.  Is this her?  Only you would know. Is this the chambermaid you employed for the trip?”  Upon concluding his inquiry, both he and the American stared at me.

 

      Before I could answer, Madame opened her weighted eyes slowly.  I figured she awakened upon hearing her name.  She couldn’t talk though, but this didn’t prevent her from becoming very agitated.

 

      Abruptly,   she sat up in the   bed staring at Andres in a catatonic state.  She didn’t need to speak though as she became fixated, staring at him, and then me.  The nurse rushed from the room in search of a doctor and the American looked at her with great interest, as if he were a scientist studying mental disorders. The doctor rushed to her bedside just as she raised her had to point at us. The nurse attempted to calm her why a sedative was administered.  By now her hair had flung the cap aside and she fell into her face as she sank into the bed. closing her eyes. The nurse sighed in relief once the patient was comfortably sedated.  The doctor then began to speak to Andres in Spanish. 

 

      “She fell into the lifeboat and knocked her head, resulting in a concussion. All alone for over twelve hours.  Not only was she extremely dehydrated, but the elements took their toll upon her. I may take several weeks for her to recover.”

 

      Andres moved to a small closet attached to the room and opened it. A few moments later he walked out with the maroon dress Madame wore to dinner last evening.  “   Mary Kate, I bought you this dress at Harrods a few weeks after our civil ceremony.  How did she have it? “

 

      “The poor dear had so few clothes, I would allow her to wear my wardrobe when we dined with the captain, and” I answered in a quick, confused manner.  Stan, the American,  continued to stare at us without   comment.  I was so concerned about her well-being that I didn’t wonder why Andres ignored her.   What was my purpose during this turn of events?                                                                                                                  

 

      I was quite reticent on our return to La Pacifica. The lie I was living was ballooning and it was beyond my control to stop it. I no longer feared deportation, but imprisonment.  Perhaps it was I who should have been unconscious in the hospital bed, as it would have been a more enviable. 
       The hot and humid air of mid-day had a stale quality to it.  This was especially apparent after the evening’s torrential storms.  I had never used a handkerchief except for decorative functions until arriving in Panama.  Now it was a necessity as I was occasionally   wiping my brow.  As unladylike as it seemed, the stinging of perspiration dripping into my eyes was bothersome.  I looked at Andres and discovered he was cool and calm. This humid environment didn’t bother him. There was hardly a drip of sweat to be seen on his face.

 

      I hoped we would stop for lunch somewhere near the site of the previous evening’s gaiety; however, Andres directed Eduardo to take us home.

 

      Immediately, I recognized our return route was different. The road, although paved, was indifferent to repair, as he drove over many holes.  And the road’s shoulder had a number of horse drawn carts filled with everything from lumber to passengers. Finally, we drove past several shanty towns with numerous houses constructed with ridged sheets of tin.  Chickens and pigs running about were very common, as were barefoot children, many kicking footballs.

 

      Just as we passed the final makeshift residences, Eduardo followed the road to the left with an acceleration that caused Andres   to push me to  the right.  As he drove up a steep embankment, Andres wrapped his long arms around my shoulders.  At the summit, there was a wrought iron fence and gate. As we passed under the gate, I could see the words  La Pacifica spelled out above us.  Andres pulled close to my left ear and whispered that word into my ear before slightly nibbling my earlobe.  I instinctively pulled away and looked out the vehicle window to my right. A short distance away was the massive, unmoving Pacific Ocean on the horizon.

 

 

 

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NEW BOOKS

Posted by 536KEN Nov 5, 2014

TARGET LOVE WRITTEN BY KENNETH JONES

SOMEWHERE IN KENTUCKY WRITTEN BY KENNETH JONES

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pictures books for kids

Posted by Olivier84 Nov 2, 2014

dicover here a fantastic kids books with only real photographs.

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