Hugh B. Cave
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
When Peter returns to his father's coffee plantation in Jamaica, he wants only to stay with his father. He has been lonesome since the year his mother and brother died; his grief-stricken father has been preoccupied and unable to see how much Peter wants to be at home. But an island boy, Zackie, is able to heal the rift between Peter and his father. Zackie, who has been living with his drunken father, illegally shoots a wild boar on the coffee plantation. Peter's father wants to stay out of Zackie's problems, but that proves impossible as the boys become friends. Soon Peter's father is drawn out of his misery by Zackie's troubles.
handle a job that big? We pay by the chain." A chain, Peter knew, was a measure of length. "Yes, suh." Zackie solemnly held up his machete. "Nobody is better than me with one of these." The headman smiled. "I can think of a couple of grown men who might be a bit better. But all right. Start at twenty-six, and I'll come up later to see how you're getting on." Peter stepped forward. "Dad, will it be all right if I go with him?" "You?" Mr. Devon said. "Why?" "I ought to learn how to use a
the veranda, Peter went to the door of his father's room and listened. There was no sound from inside. He opened the door a few inches, not letting it make any noise, and looked in. Mr. Devon lay there in his pajamas, asleep, and the bedding was half on the floor, as though he had tossed and turned a lot during the night. At least he was getting some good sleep now, Peter thought sadly, and drew the door shut again. In the kitchen he broke two eggs into a bowl and whipped them up with a fork,
his head and went back inside. Miss Lorrie had come up from the kitchen and was setting the table for the evening meal. "Would you mind eating a bit early tonight, Mr. Devon?" she asked. "Because of the rain, you mean?" "Yes, suh. If me wait till the usual hour, the track down to Mango Gap will be a river. Me mightn't able to get home." "You could stay here, you know," Mr. Devon said. "Thank you. But me should go if me can. A rain like this might could cause Zackie to come to me for
door unlocked, Peter," he said. "I don't believe Zackie would wake us up if he found it locked. What do you think?" "All right, Dad. Nobody would come prowling around on a night like this, I guess." "Then let's do it and go to bed," Mr. Devon said. "I'm about as tired as I can get." There was no sign of Zackie when Peter awoke in the morning. The rain had stopped. Miss Lorrie was singing a Jamaican folk song as she set the table for breakfast. "Every time me 'member Liza, water come-a me eye,"
covered the dead pig with, half a lifetime ago. Here it was knee high, and wading through it was pure torment. He had long since shoved Zackie's money into a pocket of his pants, and now he lifted Mongoose to one shoulder so the dog would not be entangled in the fern like a fly in a spider's web. And again, as they struggled through the fern, Peter saw Zackie favoring his injured arm. For a long time now, he had not been able to get to the clinic to have it treated. It was impossible to hurry