Texas. 1863. A long line of staggering, shambling figures are walking across the desert, the sun beating down on them. They are the walking wounded, Confederate soldiers brutally injured in the war. Missing eyes, arms, legs, and ears are commonplace. One of the soldiers finally collapses in exhaustion. His comrade, walking on a crutch, JAMES PATRIOT looks down at the dead man.
Suddenly there is a great clattering. All the soldiers look up to see a covered wagon driving up along the side of the line. The soldiers try to get a glimpse of the passengers, but the wagon is completely sealed.
Who do you think that is?
I don’t know, but I’ll bet he’s rich.
The wagon clatters along and passes by the entire line of wounded. There are two passengers, one is the Confederate soldier COLONEL BUTLER. Butler is a typical Southerner, dedicated, loyal, a bit racist, with a leisurely drawl. The other passenger is extremely peculiar, especially in his surroundings. The second passenger is a BOKOR, a Haitian with doctor. He is a black man, dressed in outrageous ornaments, bones and a variety of colorful adornments. He is carrying a magic wand with feathers and a bird skull on it. The Bokor looks out the back of the covered wagon at the dying Confederates. The Bokor grins.
Il n’y a pas d’important.
Butler grunts, uninterested and unimpressed. The wagon clatters on down the path. They pass the line of Confederates and come to the mansion of a fat railroad baron. Waiting outside, his hands clasped in front of him, well dressed like an Easterner, is MR. BOSTON. Boston is wearing spectacles and his hair is greased back. He is little more than a glorified lackey, but he takes himself extremely seriously. As the wagon approaches, Boston walks up to the back, trying to peer in, but only Butler jumps out.
Butler absent-mindedly tips his hat.
Where are the guns? I don’t see any guns.
Mr. Port will deliver the weapons to your troops as soon as you hold up your end of the bargain. Is he…here?
Yeah, he’s with me. Hey, you. Come on. Allez, allez.
The Bokor emerges from the shadows and makes Boston jump. Boston quickly recovers his composure.
Well, if this man is everything you’ve promised, you’ll have your weapons by the end of the day, colonel.
The end of the day! I need them now. Don’t you understand my men are out there dying, fighting for their freedom this very instant! Every second they don’t have those guns means another life!
Mr. Port is interested in only one life, that of his wife. If this…witch doctor…really can heal her, then you’ll have your arsenal. If not, you’ve wasted your time.
Boston turns to leave. Butler growls, and draws his pistol to point it at the back of Boston’s head.
You’d shoot an unarmed man?
No, but I’ve got no problem putting down a mangy dog. My men are dying!
And you want weapons so they can kill more men. Perhaps you should concern yourself with getting medicine to save the wounded.
Butler cocks his pistol.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t get you your supplies even if I wanted to. Only Mr. Port knows where they are. Now I can take you to him, or you can shoot me.
Butler reluctantly holsters his pistol.
"Manuscripts don't burn"
- Mikhail Bulgakov
Hi, I'm horror and science fiction author Steve Kozeniewski (pronounced: "causin' ooze key.") Welcome to my blog! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon. You can e-mail me here, join my mailing list here, or request an e-autograph here. Free on this site you can listen to me recite one of my own short works, "The Thing Under the Bed."
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