Freed Hearts and Bootlegged Love
117 pages
English

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117 pages
English

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Description

A class history assignment becomes Kirsten's personal time travel machine when her Grandmother Elsie's words make five generations of strong women live again. Kirsten shares Great-Great-Great Grandmother Nassia's courageous run from slavery in Virginia to freedom in Canada, Great-Great Grandmother Sadie's panic during the famous Regina tornado, Great Grandmother Viola's affairs of the heart while running rum in the Moosejaw tunnels, and marvels at Grandmother Elsie's strength as she struggles to survive one of the harshest winters in Saskatchewan's history. 

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Publié par
Date de parution 10 octobre 2016
Nombre de lectures 1
EAN13 9781772991659
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0032€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.

Extrait

Freed Hearts & Bootlegged Love
 
by Killarney Sheffield
 
ISBNs
Kindle 978-1-77299-575-6
EPUB 978-1-77299-473-5
WEB 978-1-77299-980-8
Amazon Print 978-1-77299-475-9
 

 
Copyright 2016 by Killarney Sheffield
Cover art by Michelle Lee 2016
 
All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, nopart of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introducedinto a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by anymeans (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise ) without the prior writtenpermission of the copyright owner and the above publisher of thisbook.
Chapter One
Regina, Saskatchewan, present day.

Twelve year old Kirsten perched on thefootstool made of egg cartons and macramé at her grandmother’s feetand sighed.
The moss green yarn spooling from the bag ofcolored balls ceased as Grandmother Elsie paused in her knitting,and smiled. “You look like the cat stole your cream, honey. What’sthe matter?”
“My teacher, Mrs. McKinnon gave us writinghomework for the weekend.” Kirsten pouted.
“Well, you just get it done now and you’llhave all weekend to do whatever you like.” Grandmother went back toher knitting, the needles clicking away in rhythm to her footpushing the rocking chair.
“That’s just the problem, Grammy. It willtake me all weekend to figure out what to write.” Kirsten sighedagain and cupped her chin in her hands.
Grandmother put down her knitting and leanedback in her rocking chair. “Maybe I can help, what do you have towrite about?”
“We have to write about a female relative whofaced adversity.”
“So, what’s the problem?”
Kirsten frowned. “Nobody in our family hasever done anything interesting, or faced any kind of adversity thatI remember.”
“Is that so?” Grandmother Elsie leanedforward in her rocking chair. “Well, it just so happens there aremany women in our family who have faced rough times and come outthe better for it in the end, some even fell in love despite allthe odds being against it.”
With a doubtful look Kirsten asked, “Likewho?”
Her grandmother got a strange faraway look inher eye. “Well, take your great, great, great Grandmother NaissaJacob for starters.”
Kirsten tried to recall the name but failed.“What did she do?”
“It’s not what she did, necessarily, but morewho she was.”
“I don’t understand, Grammy.”
Grandmother Helen smiled. “You see it allstarted in Pile O’ Bones, that’s what Regina was called before itbecame a city in 1905.” She paused a moment. “Actually, if truth betold, Naissa’s story really began in Virginia…”
 
Harpers Ferry, Virginia, 1859
Naissa stood on the auction platform at theend of the line of thirteen other Negro and Negro cross slaves. Asmuch as she wanted to cry, she dared not. Mammie, the matronlycolored woman who raised her, had warned her that weak slaves foundthemselves at the bottom of the bidding and therefore ended up inthe worst situations. Screaming on the inside, Naissa staredstraight ahead, her unfocused eyes blocking out the leering faces.The stench of rot gut and cigar smoke permeated her nostrils. Shedidn’t have to look to know it was the fat man in the white suitagain. He had walked past her half a dozen times already. Flabby,tobacco stained fingers groped her chest, slid down her flatstomach and invaded the forbidden area with rough force.Swallowing, she made herself be still.
“You’re a right pretty colored girl. Openyour mouth.”
In silence Naissa obeyed, opening her mouthwide so he could inspect her teeth.
“Yeah, you sure are pretty. Youbreeding?”
“No, suh.”
“Why not? You’re old enough, you barren?”
Naissa gritted her teeth. “No, suh.”
The slave trader sauntered up. “This here isa prime mulatto. Bred off Lord Riker’s best colored, Jacob.”
The man in the white suit grunted. “A fineslave that Jacob, hear he’s bested every colored boy east of theMississippi. Who was the mate?”
“An immigrant scullery maid, the prettiestlittle Irish potato you ever seen.”
Naissa bit her lip when the man in the suitreached up and pulled one of her spring-like black curls.
“At least she got none of that awful Irishred hair.” The fat man snickered. “How much?”
“Twelve hundred.”
“Twelve hundred!” The man in the white suitscoffed and then spit in the dirt. “A good sturdy field slave isonly going for eight hundred. This little one won’t do half thework of one of them. She’s too small and scrawny.”
“Maybe so, but she’s a mulatto. I paid goodmoney fer her. She’s an educated slave too, can read, write and dosums. Them cross-breeds is all the spit these days, and a real showpiece this one is. Just think how pleased all your guests will bewhen you offer them a little treat like this ‘un to entertainthem.”
“How do I know she ain’t been well used?”
The slave trader poked her. “You tell ‘em youain’t been used, girl.”
Though Naissa wanted to spit in his face, sherefrained. “I’ve not been used, suh.”
“You expect me to take a slave’s word for it?I won’t pay twelve until she’s checked by a physician.”
Naissa began to tremble. In an effort to keepcontrol, she squeezed her eyes shut. Mammie warned her it wouldhappen.
A low voice punctuated her thoughts. “I willgive you twelve for her, unchecked.”
Startled she opened her eyes. A tall man in afine brocade suit stepped forward. His lips were set in a grimline, but his eyes held a soft kindness. She held her breath,hoping.
“And who might you be?” The slave traderlooked the stranger up and down.
“Just a man with a lot of coin, in search ofa pretty serving wench.” The man tipped his head. “Sir JohnHightower, at your service. Now, have we a deal?”
The slave trader glanced at the man in thewhite suit. “Unless you care to offer more?”
The man in white shook his head and walkedaway.
“Let me see yer coin.” The slave trader heldout his hand.
“I do not have any on me. If you will behappy with a promissory note to take to my man of business, I willtake the girl and be on my way.” The tall man held out a card.
The slave trader’s eyes narrowed. “How do Iknow you have the coin?”
“Would I have a man of business if I had nofunds?” The tall man lifted his brow in challenge.
“I suppose not.” The slave trader rubbed hisjaw. “And you’ll gimme full price?”
“Yes.” Mr. Hightower wrote the sum on thecard, signed it with a flourish and then held it out. “You have myword as a gentleman.”
The slave trader hesitated a moment more,then snatched the card and stuck it in his pocket. “All right.” Herifled through his ring of keys, selected one and unlocked hershackles. “You can’t return her ifn’ she’s not pure, now.”
“I understand.” Mr. Hightower graspedNaissa’s elbow. “Come along.”
As he towed her through the crowded marketNaissa couldn’t help but be thankful. Even though she did not knowwhat lay in store for her, this man at least spared her thehumiliation of being checked for purity.
“What is your name?”
She stumbled alongside him, the rocks hurtingher bare feet. “Naissa, massah.”
“I am not your master.” The man peered overhis shoulder and then ducked into an alleyway between twobuildings. “You want to be free, Naissa?”
“Yes, mas-suh.” She was hard pressed to keepup with his long quick stride as she hurried barefoot along behind,wincing at the hard pebbles poking up amongst the dirt.
“Good, cause I aim to see you free, but youmust hurry and do exactly as I tell you, understand?”
Nassia huffed and puffed with the effort ofkeeping up with the man, who was practically jogging now downalleyway after alleyway. “Yes, suh, Mr. Hightower.”
He flashed her a tight smile. “My name’sJohn, John Whitaker. Reverend, to be precise. Hurry now, we havegot to get you hidden before that slave trader finds out there isno Mr. Hightower.”
Heart pounding both from fear and exertion,Naissa broke into a trot beside the stranger. Why he cared and whyhe wanted to see her free, she couldn’t fathom. She was no one,just a colored skin. Nobody cared about her, except maybeMammie.
They came to the rear of a large red brickchurch. The Reverend drew her to a small door, looked both ways,and then opened it. He shoved her inside ahead of him, stepped inbehind her and quickly shut the door.
“This way.” He led them along a narrowcorridor sheathed in cobwebs and shadow.
They rounded a corner and a small locked doorblocked their way. The Reverend pulled a key from his pocket,inserted it into the lock, turned the key and pushed the door. Itopened with a squeal of rusty hinges. Without a word he drew herinside, locked the door and made his way up a narrow flight ofstairs.
Naissa’s legs tremble

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