The Monsieur and Madame turned to leave the outdoor celebration to retire for the night. Although, most slaves thought and then rumored that the De La Reuxs were sitting on their rooftops with rifles into the wee hours, in case someone decided to run.
“What’s wrong with you, Sara Jane? Are you crazy giving a prayer like that – on Slave’s Day? You should be ashamed of yourself!”
“Christophe, I assure you that you do not want to have a conversation about ‘shame’ this evening. If I had half a mind to, I would pack my things and go to Daddy Lawson and the authorities with what I know.”
“Do not ever threaten me, Sara Jane. With everything else I have to deal with, I’m not about to hear your madness tonight. I am your husband and so help me, if you ever threaten me again, I will beat you unrecognizable–”
“Ha! Don’t make me laugh, Christophe De La Reux. You give these savages a party for being slaves. You dote and fawn over them and yet you dare tell me you will beat me?”
“I’m warning you wife! Let this be the last time I ever hear of this or as God as my witness–”
“God as your witness? God as your witness? Have you any idea what God has witnessed? God has witnessed you keeping two niggers in your home with rooms befitting queens. God has witness that mongrel-sister of yours drinking tea out of the cups made for good Christian women. God has witnessed two niggers walk free out of here on the arms of your father. God has witnessed–”
A flash of pain burned her face that left her unconscious for several minutes. When she came to, she found herself on the floor with the taste of blood in her mouth. She could still hear the celebration outside. She heard bits of conversation.
“…that sure was some prayer the Missus gave tonight…”
Damn fools. I was asking God to bless them.
“…don’t eat up all the ham now…”
How could they eat pig? It’s ungodly.
“…sounded more like a curse, if you ask me…”
“Hush – they’ll whip you if they hear…”
“…Tammy, or Tam as she likes to be called, is thinking about running…”
Running? Running away? Running where?
“That boy sure can play that flute…”
Wish that nigger-pansy would stop so I can hear what they’re saying.
“…wonder where Miss Raina and Miss Viola are going to…”
Straight to Hell and with Christophe’s father with them.
“Pass me some of that good pie…”
“…done found Master Breed, lying dead as a rock last Sunday…poisoned…”
That man has been lying down with slave girls as young as twelve. It’s ungodly.
“…shame about Ben and Sally. Why is it that they’re not allowed to marry?”
Yes, why is that?
“…did y’all catch that owl yet, it’s been ages…”
“…say that his slaves, all of them his seeds, just went crazy and…”
Breed was poisoned by his slaves? Have Mercy.
“…she’s going to have a baby…”
Who’s having a baby?
“… hung five slave women and sold eight over at Breeds…”
“…who made these biscuits? …baked with pork fat… pass me another…”
Again with the pork. Savages.
“…them hung slave girls were kin to Dee…”
“…you hear about Master Christophe’s cousin moving in? They say she’s…”
What? Which cousin? Better not be his Cousin Claire, anyone but Claire…
“…think they say her name is Clara or Claire.”
And Sara Jane once again fell faint and drifted back into darkness.