Tara Lee’s Poison Garden

 

By Sinclere Lee: Writing for "Black News"

Editor’s Notes:

Prologue

 

When “Black News” commissioned its writers to come with a story that depicted pre-civil war history in north Georgia, the writer/storyteller Sinclere Lee wrote a six part novel entitled ‘Tara Lee’s Poison Garden.’ Lee, is one of the more prolific writers of our time, and his mastery of prose and historical fiction leaves him in a class by himself. It’s a story about a five-year old slave girl named Tara Lee who experience the cruelty of slavery at a young aged when her mother dies in an accident on the way to New Orleans to be delivered to another plantation. Twelve years later, Tara returns to the Lee Plantation as Rebecca Lee; a Femme Fatale who in the face death sets right the cruelty of the Lee Plantation and the evil, Massa Lee.

 

By Sinclere Lee:

The work on the plantation was terrifyingly brutal.  The sexual exploitation was without mercy or an end. The ripping away of all dignity of the slave made it all possible and their acceptance of this way of life made it all right.  While life in 1840, America was Hell on Earth for the 6 to 7 million African slaves, but in north Georgia it was pure Hell, however, there were moments of family and solitary relief from their miserable lives that brought some relief.  Some relief came when Tara Lee and Momma went foraging for food in the forest to make a meal for her, Momma and the Massa.

Tara Lee spotted a patch of mushrooms in the underbrush near the stream that ran through the Lee Plantation.  Before she could gather the brown looking treats, she heard Momma yell at a loud voice, “Tara Lee don’t touch them mushrooms ‘cause they’ll kill you,” Momma said.  “They’re called ‘Death Caps’ mushrooms, and they’ll kill you dead as a Nigger hanging from a tree."

“Remember, Tara Lee some mushrooms are poison, and will kill you ‘fore you can get to the outhouse to shit.” Momma began to tell Tara the story about how her uncle went picking mushrooms and gathering a mess of ‘Death Caps’ and gave them to Massa Lee’s son.  Nobody knows if Momma’s uncle poisoned Massa Lee’s son on count of the beating or accident, but they hung uncle anyway.

The ‘Death Cap’ mushroom is found throughout the South and closely resembles edible straw mushrooms.  Its heat-stable and the poison withstand cooking temperature, but when eaten, the mushrooms quickly damage cells throughout the body.  Within 6 to 12 hours after eating the ‘Death Cap,’ violent abdominal pain, vomiting, and bloody diarrhea appear, causing rapid loss of fluid from the tissues and intense thirst.  Signs of severe failure of the liver, kidneys, and central nervous system soon follow, including a decrease in urinary output and a lowering of blood sugar.  This condition leads to coma and death within 4 to 6 days.  The most horrific of the ending of life know to man.

“Momma how do you know what mushrooms is the good one and the bad one?” Tara asked.

“Back long time ago when the Creek Nation had this land, there was a Creek chieftain ‘Blue Sky’ of the Red Sticks tribe.  Chief Blue Sky used to take run-away slave into his tribe, and he raised lots of slave children.  He would teach slaves the ways of the Indian, and over time, long after the white man took their land and moved the Creek Nation far west, the slaves kept the knowledge.”

Momma continued to tell Tara about the time when her grand-pappy was caught by a Creek war party, and brought back to their camp and raised for many years until white solders attacked the Red Sticks and grand pappy was brought back to the plantation.  He taught his family all the things the Red Sticks taught him. Tara listen, and wanted to hear more about the Creek Nation.

Tara looked nothing like her Momma who had a deep brown hue, but Tara could pass for white — her kind were called mulattos.  Mulatto is a term used to refer to persons born of one white parent and one Black parent or to persons born of both mulatto parents. Although she was considered a slave by most white southerners, being of the Massa’s blood made her royalty among slaves.

During the time period of slavery in America the white slave owners would have sex with their Black female slaves, and the result often were children being born light skin.  Many slave owners did not help their dark mixed blooded mulatto children; they labeled these children Black and let their Black mothers raise them.

Those white looking children were also considered slaves just like their mothers.  However, the one-drop blood rule that Southern whites followed said, that if you have one drop of black blood in you then you're Black, no matter how much white blood and genetics you have in you.

“Tara Lee pick up the baskets, we got to get back to the Big House… hurry child we got to go ‘fore it get too late,” Mamma said while gathering all the plains they had foraged for that day.  They had gathered, some wild Asparagus, Cattails, and some Dandelion for soup, Kelp and plenty, plenty Curled Dock because you can eat it cooked or raw.

Tara notice that Momma had put some of the Death Cap mushrooms in a separate basket from the ones safe to eat, and wrapped them up as to hide them from view.  After gathering all their belongings, they headed back to the Big House.  Less than five hundred yards separated the Big House from the wooded area where Tara and her mother were foraging for food.  Because there were so many toxic plains in the wooded area where they were foraging for food, some on the plantation called it the Poison Garden.

The main entrance to this Big House or antebellum mansion included a line of eight huge pillars, and a balcony that ran along the whole outside edge of the house to offer shade and a sitting area.  Evenly spaced large windows, and big center entrances at the front and rear of the house added to the box like style of the mansion.  The Big House also included grand gardens with geometrically cut bushes to compliment the symmetry of the house.

The interior of this mansion was just as extravagant as the outside.  Common features included enormous foyers, sweeping open stairways, ballrooms, grand dining rooms, and intricate design work.  The design work included intricate shapes and patterns made from plaster used to adorn walls and furniture.  It was also used to create wood and floor designs.

When Tara and Momma got to the front of the Big House, there was a buggy pulled by two horses parked that Momma didn’t recognized. They couldn't be slave traders she thought, but she was wrong. Momma and Tara made their way to the back of the mansion, and entered a small door that led to the basement — this the only entrance for slave.  In the basement were stairs the led to a hallway that let to the kitchen.

Ol’ Joe was in the kitchen when they opened the door… “Hey y’all, did y’all ‘nough vittles for supper?”

“Yeah, I think so, I hope so,” Momma answered Ol’ Joe.  “We got some wild Asparagus, that Massa like, some Cattails, and some Dandelion for soup, Kelp and plenty, plenty Curled Dock… we got a lot of mushrooms for soup.” Momma said as she began the separate the harvest they had gathered.

Ol’ Joe was cutting the heads off the five big Catfish, and taking plows and pulling off the skin.   Ol’ Joe cut the Catfish into smaller pieces to grill on the wooden stove. He turned when he saw that Momma was headed into the dining room to ask Massa Lee how many for supper.

“Where you think you going woman… you can’t bother Massa Lee when he’s talking business.” Ol’ Joe told Momma with the authority of the head plantation Nigger.   Ol’ Joe was like many slave overseers who help the master keep control of the other slaves.  The other slaves hated him more than they hated the master.   Ol’, Joe was particularly harmful in that he often killed unruly slaves, and rapped young slave girls as young as 10-years old.  Tara was safe because she was only five.

When Ol’ Joe left the kitchen, Momma walked towards where she heard the master’s voice, it was coming from the foyer— he was taking to the two men whose buggy was in front of the Big House.  She slowed her creep when she heard Massa Lee talk about the delivery of two breeding pairs to New Orleans.  Momma was surprise to hear the Massa talk of selling her and Tara off to a plantation owner in New Orleans.  She caught herself to still herself because she was besides herself with pain and anger.  As she continued to listen, Massa Lee began talking about the trip his two drivers were to take to Natchez Mississippi the leg of the trip to New Orleans.

“The trip usually takes about seven-hours to get to Natchez,  and my man, Ol’ Joe will go alone to keep them other Niggers in line.  It will be ten Niggers in all, what we call a breeding pair… two heifers and eight bucks 19 in all.” Massa Lee made his money as a plantation breeder. Some women breeders were able to avoid field work or other arduous labor as the result of bearing many children.   A ‘breeder’ always fared better than the majority of female slaves.  Slaves considered high value for motherhood a customary right, and some slave women acted proactively to secure favors from owners.

And there were some repercussions for barrenness, not breeding.  Young women who had not demonstrated fertility faced the possibility of separation from family as well as additional labor, as for Tara’s Momma, who had given out of breeding utility because of age, and she had little or no use for Massa.

While breeding humans was objectionable deed to most slave owners, the money was good and the driving force for Massa Lee was money.  He kept mentioning that he was getting two thousand for each of the eight bucks and four thousand each for each of the two heifers.

"I’m sending the li’ girl, he explained to the two slave buyers with the rest of the Niggers, so her Momma won’t make a big fuss when they’re separated." Massa said. “ But, remember, the lil’ girl is to be coming back with Ol’ Joe.” Massa Lee has his final message for the two slave buyers before they sat down for supper.

“When they get to Natchez, my two drivers will come back to the plantation, and Ol’ Joe’s gonna take the Delta Queen nonstop to New Orleans and meet y’all there. Remember the girl comes back with Ol’ Joe.”  Massa barked at the men with the interest and concern of a father.

When Momma got back to the kitchen, she could barely compose herself with her constant crying.  Yet, she continued to prepare the supper for Massa Lee and his two visitors.  Ol’ Joe came back to the kitchen with some cured pork for supper.  Momma started making the soup from mushrooms and potatoes.  Everything was ready to serve but the soup and it was supposed to be served first.  When Ol’ Joe left the kitchen to set the plates for serving, Momma went to the basket where she hid the Death Cap mushrooms, unwrapped them and put the poison in the mushroom soup.

Ol’ Joe came back to the kitchen and asked for the first course, which was the soup and baked bread.  He took the soup and bread to Massa Lee and the two slave buyers, but before they could eat the soup, Ol’ Joe came back to the dinning room with a plate filled with the Catfish.  After seeing the Catfish and fried potatoes, all three men at the table passed up the soup and went straight for the fish and potatoes. Next, came squash and cured pork with baked chicken.  The poison soup was place to the side of the table uneaten by the three men. After the men finished their supper, they went to the parlor for drinks while Ol’ Joe cleaned up the table.

“Joe, take the rest of the food to the two drivers… they gonna need some food for the long drive to Natchez.  Take the mushroom soup and everything we didn’t eat, and you can have some of the soup too… we didn’t touch it.” Massa Lee said as he joined his guest in the parlor to drink brandy.  The two drivers were eager to get the food and they ate every bit — the soup too.

Later on that night, Ol’ Joe entered Tara Lee’s room, Momma was sitting on the side of the bed crying wondering if the Death Cap mushroom was gonna do the Massa in for his dirty trick for selling her Tara Lee.

“Momma it’s time to go… I know you know the wagon is waiting,” Ol’ Joe said.  The wagon was twenty feet long, and with one inch thick bars around the top and sides that made the wagon look like a giant cage.  She had packed her things with Tara’s and hoped at some point in their travel to escape to freedom.

“Tara, Tara wake up Momma need you to wake up ‘cause we got to go,” Tara woke up from her sleep with a big yawn. “Wake up honey, we got to go… they waiting for us.” When they got the wagon, there were eight men and one other woman crammed in this tight space with very little room to move.  Ol’ Joe went in front of the wagon to talk to the two drivers who were complaining about stomach pains.

“Y’all alright?”

"Yeah! But, it was something we ate.” one of the drivers said in pain and holding his stomach.

“Well, let's go, we got a long ride to go.” Ol’ Joe said and joined the other slaves in the wagon.  Each slave was chained from hand to feet, and Tara sat in Momma’s lap. The wagon jerked a few time and slowly tuned into a roll.

The wagon picked up speed and started swerving from one side of the road to the other while picking up speed.  “What the hell is going on with that driver?” Ol’ Joe said standing up to check on the passengers.  Then the wagon veered off the road and down an embankment.  There were screams of help, cries of pain… the wagon was a tangled mess of bodies wrapped in the inch thick bars that made it a death trap if an accident like this would occur.

First, there was dead silence, and Ol’ Joe made his way out and went to the top of the embankment, and started running back to the plantation in the dead of night.  He was dead tired when he reached the plantation to tell Massa Lee about the accident.

When Ol’ Joe and Massa Lee returned to the scene of the accident, everything was dead still when Massa Lee instructed Ol’ Joe go see if he could find Tara Lee.  Joe claimed back up the embankment with the child in his arms and handed her to Massa Lee.

“Massa Lee, you want me go see if I can see if some mo’ Niggers still alive?” “No! Fuck them Niggers, and go see if you can saves my horses!”

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Tara’s Poison Garden, Part Two: The Return

21-years later

Ever since she could remember, Rebecca Lee knew of no other relatives but her Aunt Sarah, and she knew of no other home but the sprawling estate she was raised on in Savannah Georgia.  She was no longer Tara but Rebecca who lived the life of a Southern Belle filled with the gentle niceties that were common for white women of her standing.  But, now she was on the Dixie Flyer, a train headed to Atlanta.

The Central Rail Road & Banking Company of Georgia owned the railroad line that carried the Dixie Flyer from Savannah to Atlanta.  The train connected in Macon with the Macon & Western Railroad, which carried the train none stop to Atlanta.  The father she never knew or met would meet her there, and he would take her back to the Lee Plantation in North Georgia.

Rebecca had heard her aunt mention her father many time doing when she would talk about the Lee family, but never anything about her mother — it was like she didn’t have a mother — everybody has a mother she would often think to herself.  Never-the-less in 1859, she was a Southern Belle.  The image of a Southern Belle is often characterized by fashion elements such as a hoop skirt, a corset, a wide-brimmed straw hat, and white gloves.  Signs of tanning were considered working-class and unfashionable during this era, but Rebecca had a natural tan that made her glow with vivacious beauty.

Southern Belles were expected to marry respectable young men, and become ladies of society dedicated to their family and community.  Southern hospitality, a cultivation of beauty, and a flirtatious yet chaste demeanor characterize the “Southern Belle” archetype.  This archetype was not something Rebecca cared about. In fact, she hated it!

Rebecca was the kind of girl that all men wanted and most other women wanted to be like.  She was considered an adult at the age 17-years, but not so young that she didn’t know the facts of life.  She had raven black hair with thick eyebrows; her tall and willowy appearance was more graceful than any Southern Belle around.  Her body was perfect and she walked with the confidence of someone many years older. 

She wasn't just flawless in her bone structure, her skin was like silk and she radiated an indescribable beauty.  Her tall frame and slender body was irresistible to men.  Her blue eyes were as bright as the havens on a clear day, and were calm and emotionless when stressed.  Her long, wavy black hair was so smooth and silky, almost as if it was tailored from a beautiful face.

She had an unusual contempt for her antebellum lifestyle, since every perk and beautiful part of white plantation life was created through horrible existence of black slavery.  If Southern Belles were treated royalty, it's because forced black labor enabled it.  If the Southern life was pretty and sophisticated, it's because slavery afforded it.  Everything pleasant about Belle-hood was a function of human suffering on a vast scale — it's conceptually impossible to separate the society bankrolled by the cruelty of slavery from slavery itself.

When the train pulled into the station at Macon, Rebecca hurried to catch the train going to Atlanta.  She thanked the boy who helped with her bags, since white were not allowed to tip blacks for anything.  She wonder what Atlanta was like… it wasn’t much.  In 1859, Atlanta was a relatively small city ranking 99th in the United States in size with a population of 9,554.  However, it was the 12th-largest city in what became the Confederate States of America.

While waiting to board the train, every man that passed her stopped to make their presence known.  “Can I help you with your things?” One couther asked.

“No! I’m fine!”

“All aboard the conductor yelled… All aboard the Macon Express to Atlanta and all points in between.  All aboard the Macon Express to Atlanta and all points in between.”

Rebecca found a window seat in the first car of the passenger train.  She turned from the window once she heard a voice coming from the aisle of the car.  “Is this seat taken?” The man asked Rebecca.  It was the same man who offered to help with her bags.

“No!”

“May I sit next to you?”

“Sure, help yourself?” Rebecca said.

As the stranger was sitting, he said, “My name is Adam O’Leary from the O’Leary Plantation in North Georgia.  We have over a 1000, areas where we plant cotton all year round,”

 “Where’re you from?”

“I’m Rebecca Lee from Savannah.”

“Nice to meet you Rebecca Lee from Savannah …” Adam said.

“Same here.” She said as the stranger sat next to her, and started a conversation.

Unbeknownst to her, Adam’s family was slaveholders and his family’s plantation was the most profitable in North Georgia — it was less than five miles from the Lee Plantation.  Each time when Rebecca saw Adam looking lustfully at her, she ignored his gazes as if she didn’t notice he was staring her up and down.

“Atlanta is a fine place, where in the city do you live?”

“I don’t live in Atlanta — I’m from Savannah.” Rebecca said. “I’m going through Atlanta to get to my father’s plantation… it’s the Lee Plantation in North Georgia.”

“I know of that place.” Adam was surprised to know that Rebecca would be close to where his father’s plantation was located. “I didn’t know that Mr. Lee had children… I thought his wife died long before I was born, and I think I’m older that you.”

Rebecca thought to herself:  “If my father’s wife died before I was born, so who was my mother?” This question would come to haunt her once she learned more about her family ties.

“When was the last time you visited your father’s plantation?”

“I’ve never been to the plantation and I’ve never met my father.”

“Well, how do you know he’s your father?”

“I don’t know…. all I know is what my Aunt Sarah told me about him, and she never mentioned my mother.” Rebecca was more confused than ever and uneasy telling this stranger her business.  She slept most of the way, and it wasn’t long before the train reached the station in Atlanta.  Adam helped her with her bags, and bided the farewell when his two brothers and their father showed up the pick him up.

Rebecca was startled when this colored man walked up behind her and called her Tara.

“Tara, is that you?’ The old man asked.

Rebecca was shocked and answered, “No! My name is Rebecca Lee.”

“Oh, that’s right Rebecca… I am Ol’ Joe and yo’ father, Massa Lee sent me to pick you up.”

“Rebecca… Yeah Rebecca,” Ol’ Joe said as he helped her onto the wagon.  In doing so, he placed his hands on Rebecca’s ass trying to feel her womanhood.  She turned and looked hard at Ol’ Joe and yelled in a loud voice.

“Don’t do that! Keep you damn hand off me!”  Rebecca was pure, meaning she’d never been touch by a man sexually, and her chastity was all in tact.  That didn’t stop Ol’ Joe from trying to flirt with her on the four-hour trip back to the plantation.

Rebecca slept in the back of the wagon for most of the trip to keep away from the gazed eyes of Ol’ Joe.  Hoping her father would punish him — she resolved to tell him how this old man had disrespecting her.

When they got to the plantation, the spring sun was rising over the Big House with roosters’ crowing over the chirpings of birds, this made the mornings in the South worth dying for.  The Southern landscape was something to behold this time of year, which made you thank God for being alive, unless your job was toiling the fields.

“What a beautiful house,” Rebecca said as she and Ol’ Joe unloaded her belongings from the wagon onto the front porch of the house. “My father must be very rich to own a house like this  — it seems like I’ve been here before — I guess in my dreams.”

Before Ol’ Joe could open the door — it opened and an old man was standing in front — he was gray haired from the top of his head to the Vandyke beard that was un-kept.  He was dressed in all white, holding a white hat in his hand.

Rebecca could only look, not knowing what to say or think, “Father!”

“Yes my child…  Yes my child,” the old man said. “I’m your father!”  Rebecca stepped towards the old man, and they embraced.  He started to kiss her on her cheeks, and then on her neck, next his lips found her lips and he pressed long and hard against her mouth, this old man was putting his tongue in her mouth and holding her very close.

“Stop! Stop! Don’t do that!”  She yelled jumping back and wiping her hand over her mouth with disgust.  What the old man did was so disgusting, to her she wanted to spit and wash her mouth out at the same time.

“Don’t ever do that again!  I mean it!  Don’t ever do that again!” Rebecca said, looking at Ol’ Joe. “Take me to my room!” 

The next morning, Ol’ Joe brought breakfast to her room, but she was already up walking and looking around the top floor of the Big House.  It was like she had been in this place before but she hadn’t; it’s like she had seen Ol’ Joe before but she hadn’t.  The old man who she thought was so creepy and her father gave her a weird feeling of not belonging.

“Miss Rebecca, here is yo’ breakfast.  You better eat ‘fore it get cold…. These eggs and ham I fixed myself… You better eat up!”

“Joe, you called me Tara at the train station the other day; what did you mean by that?” She sat on the side of the bed and started to eat some ham from the breakfast plate.

“I didn’t mean nothing by it — I just got you confused with a gal who’s on my mine at the time,” he said trying to cover-up his mistake by changing the subject.

“You knows, we having a dinner tonight for the O’Leary clan.  They got the biggest plantation for miles around…  ‘bout two thousand areas they say — All cotton!”

“O’Leary — I’ve heard that name before — it seems like I’ve heard and seen a lot of things I’ve seen and heard before.”

“I’d seen you talking to Adam O’Leary at the train station when I come to pick you up.”

“Oh yeah, I remember… that nice man at the station… he did say his name was Adam O’Leary, who lived on a plantation near us,” Rebecca said.

“Yas-some, he the baby boy… he ain’t like them other two; Aaron O’Leary, Andrew O’Leary.  They real mean, they real bad.”

The dinner talk around most white tables at this time was politics and what would happen to the Southern way of life if Abraham Lincoln got elected president.  For years there had been talk about secession, but most talk was subsided by compromises.  Since the institutional of slavery was embedded in the U.S. Constitution, it became a critical problem to be dealt with in America by 1859.

Would slavery be allowed to spread to new states and territories was the driving issue for most Southerners throughout the early years.  By enacting a number of compromises in the Congress, the fragile union was able to hold together. Barely!

The three major compromises that kept the United States together essentially postponed the Civil War and the break up of the union. The Missouri Compromise, enacted in 1820 balanced the numbers of slave and free states.  Far from a permanent solution to the problem, it seemed to keep the slavery crisis from entirely destroying the nation.

The Compromise of 1850, was a number of bills in Congress that sought to settle the issue, and did postpone the Civil War by a decade.  But the compromise, which contained five major provisions, was destined to be a Band-Aid.  Some aspects of it, such as the Fugitive Slave Act, served to increase tensions between North and South.  Finally, The Kansas-Nebraska Act was the last major compromise that sought to hold the Union together. And it proved to be the most controversial.

Without a doubt, the South was committed to an agrarian way of life.  It was their land for generations where profitable and efficient plantations worked by slave labor produced cotton for the world market.  It was also a land where a majority of its white population was made up of subsistence farmers who lived isolated lives on the edge of poverty and whose literacy rates were low compared to those of Southern aristocrats.  In other words, most whites in the South didn’t own slaves or plantations.

The O’Leary’s were waiting in the parlor when Ol’ Joe ushered them into the dinning room.  At the center of the room, the table was set with all kinds of food: baked duck, stuffed with sweet potatoes, two platters of thinly sliced ham with buttered biscuits.  The biscuits were sitting in the middle of the table, and there was a squashed casserole, stuffed garbage and cornbread with ice tea and lemonade to drink.

Jib O’Leary was the clan’s patriarch but his sons called him pop; Aaron was the oldest, Andrew the middle and Adam the baby.  When they were all seated, Ol’ Joe assisted Massa Lee into the dinning room to a seat at the table — he sat across from Jib.

After all the plates were filled with food, they started to feast, Aaron O’Leary said, “If that Lincoln is elected, Georgia will surely succeed from the Union.  That means going to war and sacrificing all we have worked for all these years.”

“Even if we ended slavery today, the way to get there without providing massive disruption to our way of life would be impossible. The Southern, way of live would be almost impossible to undo.” Andrew said and then the room got quite.  Then, all eyes looked around when Rebecca entered the room wearing a black silk dress that wrapped around her sculptured body.  After seeing her, one of the brothers fumbled with his food, another stood up to make his present’s known and Adam sat back with a gaze.

“Gentlemen, this is my daughter Rebecca from Savannah… she’s here to help me run the place.” Massa Lee said while holding his glass as if to make a toast. 

After sitting and starting to eat, Rebecca listened to the men talk, mostly the two O’Leary brothers, “even if we acknowledge the system is unjust and set them free, most Southerners think the slaves or freed blacks might perhaps justifiably, seek vengeance on their former masters.” Aaron O’O'Leary said while waving his hand in the air. “The O’Leary Plantation couldn’t survive without slaves!”

“Oh my brother, there’s so much to consider that we never thought about, “ Andrew said. “Aside from the lost money we would received from our lost property, you still have the question of what to do with the slaves?”

“If they're freed won't they just take up arms and overthrow Southern society?  Would the freed blacks compete with poor whites and drag down wages? “ Andrew continued.

In every sense, their security, their agrarian economics, their social interactions, their slaves and the associated racial class system were at the heart of Southern life and it was disastrous to imagine life without it.

“God meant for all men to be free and equal… how can you deny to others what you would willingly die and fight for, for yourself!  You all are hypocrites!”  Rebecca said then leaving the dinning room up-set to hear humans talked of as animals.  Adam followed her not knowing how she would receive him.

“I agree with you… it is an evil wicked system, but it’s the system we were born into,” Adam said to her, tuning her around to face him and pulling her close. “One day this scare will be all gone and we won’t need to fight a war to get rid of it.”  He kissed Rebecca long and hard — she kissed back — then she broke away and ran back to her room.

It was early that Monday morning before dawn and Rebecca was walking away from the plantation near the stream that ran through the property’s landscape.  This place seemed familiar to her like she’d been there before.  It seemed like she knew this place before, and the area near the stream is where she seemed drawn to the most, drawn to like a moth to the flame.  She’d only been on the plantation less than a week but found herself wondering the ‘Poison Garden’ four or five days in a row.

As she made her way to the stream, she could feel something following her as she moved to sit next to the flowing waters.  Next to her were some brown colored mushrooms, the kind she had eaten on her aunt’s plantation in Savannah, but before she could pick the plaint, she heard a voice behind her,

“Tara Lee don’t touch them mushrooms ‘cause they’ll kill you,” Momma said.  “They’re called ‘Death Caps’ mushrooms, and they’ll kill you dead as a Nigger hanging from a tree.

The voice standing behind her was the same warning her mother gave her over 12-years ago, but coming from a young Indian man who was well built in structure, wearing buckskin paints without a top that reviled his muscular body.  He had a tan not as dark as the blacks but you could tell he wasn’t white.

“Never eat mushrooms from this place unless you know what to look for because some of these plaints will kill you quicker than a lion on a wild hog.” The man who called himself Lil’ Beaver explain to Rebecca.  She’d never seen an Indian before, and never heard her aunt talk much about them.  She had learned some things about Indians in the fancy schools she attended throughout Savannah.

“What you doing out here so early in the morning?”  She asked the stranger.

“I go out early to gather food for the camp… that way none of the white men will know I’ve been here.  Been doing this for many years, and I know all the good and bad plants out here.” Lil’ Beaver said.

“ Come let me show you where the good mushrooms are.”  Rebecca followed him down a slop to a clearing where there was a garden of different foods like wild Asparagus, Cattails, Dandelion, Kelp, Curled Dock, Turnip Greens and Squash, plenty of Squash. “Taste this,” he gave her some fresh, Dandelion.

“It taste bitter.” He took her hand; their eyes were locked as they walked together in the woods. “Where do you live? Where you come from?” Rebecca was eager to know more about the stranger she just met.  Some how she felt an attachment to him like no one she had ever met.  She felt a sexual attraction like nothing she had known as a Southern belle.

“I’m from the Creek Nation… my people used to live on this land long before the white man moved the Creek from this land to the lands out west.  I am Lil’ Beaver grand son of Chief Blue Sky of the Red Sticks tribe,”

“When the white man took our land some Creeks stayed back hiding out to hold their land… my family stayed but when my father died, I became chief.” With this revelation Rebecca realized that the Native peoples had it just as hard as the slaves.

“Come let me show you a place to play!” He grabbed her hand and took underneath the shad of two big trees.  They sat on the grass looking up at the sky and then turn to look at each other.  He showed her the difference between the poison and safe to eat plants, noting that the roots of the poison plants were always green.

“Want to try this?” Lil’ Beaver held up in his hand showing her a small green looking mushroom.  “This is called magic mushroom… it will take you to another world.”

“What you mean?”

“You have to try it to see,” he said turning to face her as they lie under the trees.” He was offering her some magic {psychedelic} mushrooms that his tribe used in worship of the Gods.  “Try it, it won’t hurt you just make you a little dizzy.”

She took one and ate it — in a few minutes she was a blubbering mess of giggles and bellyache laughter, with seeing things in different colors or seeing patterns.  She seemed to have a sexual drive for Lil’ Beaver while her feelings and emotions intensify.

For a young woman who never had sex with a man, she was beside herself with her sexual behavior.  She put his hands between her legs, and she was locked in a deep kiss with Lil’ Beaver when she suddenly jumped up in panic and raced back to the Big House.

The next morning Rebecca realized that taking magic mushrooms could cause dizziness, nausea, and stomach problems.  But, she felt much better the morning after the tripping.  She remember a lot of things that happened yesterday even her sexual attraction for Lil’ Beaver.  She felt that the magic mushrooms had brought the woman out of her, so much so, she wanted that feeling again… she wanted her virginity gone and she wanted Lil’ Beaver to make it happen.

With passion filled in her body, mostly in the loins Rebecca dressed, rushed out the house back to the Poison Garden hoping to find Lil’ Beaver.  But unbeknownst to her, Ol’ Joe was up watching her and followed her through the woods.

He followed her to the stream that ran through the plantation, hiding in the underbrush. She sat down on the side of the stream looking out at the flowing water.  Her thoughts of her life resembled flowing water: no boundary, no emotion, no order and not nothing until yesterday, yesterday when she met Lil’ Beaver.

 Everything, even the simplest things of what to eat was already decided for her.  She needed and wanted a change.  Lil’ Beaver was the change — she turned — to her surprise she faced him, he was standing there; the only man who she felt she could truly love.  He bent down to embrace her.  They kissed and rolled over in the underbrush out of Ol’ Joe’s sight.

Ol’ Joe couldn’t see them so he climbed a tree for a better view.  Now he could see and what he saw sent lustful waves through him as he masturbated in the tree from the actions of the two lovers.  He was climaxing when he slipped and felled from the tree landing in brush on his back.  The noise frightened the young lovers, and they ran in different directions away from the sound.  Rebecca back to the Big House and Lil’ Beaver back into the woods.

Ol’ Joe followed Lil’ Beaver back to the renegade Creek camp.  The camp’s occupants were on the most wanted list since they had escaped resettlement years ago.  He rushed to the Big House to tell the master all he had seen and heard.

“Massa! Massa!”  Ol’ Joe knocked hard on the massa’s door.  Yelling for Massa Lee to wake up. “Massa Lee, Massa Lee wake up…  I got something to tell you!”

Massa Lee open the door and asked, “What you want boy?”

“Massa Lee, I found that gal in the woods with one of them Indian bucks from that renegade tribe that’s been hiding in the woods all these years.”  Ol’ Joe was telling his master something the plantation owners wanted to know for years: the whereabouts of the renegade tribes that resisted the Creek Nation resettlement.

“Where is she now?” Massa Lee asked Joe. “Where’s Tara?”

“I guess she's back in her room.”

“Why that damn redskin…  to put his filthy hands on my pure, innocent, beautiful daughter!”

“Massa Lee, she maybe beautiful, but she ain’t pure and she so' ain’t innocent no mo’!”

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Tara Lee’s Poison Garden Part 3: The Massacre At Chickamauga Creek

 

It was the strangest feeling she had ever had.  Still shacking from her first organism, Rebecca never thought much about sex before now, but after making love to Lil’ Beaver, sex was the only thing she could think about.  When he put his tongue into her mouth, she sucked on it like a baby on its mother tits.  It was nothing like when that old man who was her father had kissed her.

When Old’ Joe got back to the plantation, Massa Lee was upset to hear about Rebecca but trilled to find out the whereabouts of the renegade camp of Red Sticks Indian who refused the resettlement offered by Ol’ Hickory.  President Andrew Jackson had vowed to remove all of the Indians East of the Mississippi.

Ol’ Joe found it hard to tell Massa Lee all the things he saw, afraid of what he would do if he knew all the details of what he just saw.  What he saw was two lovers exploring their primal lust common at their age.

As she remembered her first sexual experience, Rebecca was becoming more and more possessed with passion of love.  She was becoming wet with the thought of it.  The same feeling she had when she let Li’ Beaver have his way with her, and as she sense the moments past, she found herself yearning for it again.  She remembered him rolling her over in the grass as they started kissing… he was placing his hand on her lower back while running the other hand through her long black hair; he was gently stroking the back of her neck to the base of her spine.  She was becoming wilder and untamed as her libido was increasing and the heat of her body soaring.

He wanted her untamed and she wanted to be tamed.  They were both necked in the grass.  Her nipples were already enlarged as he plucked them with his lips massaging them with his tongue — leaving her trembling and shacking in the grass.  He started gliding his hands towards her inner thighs stroking and rubbing them.  He went down on her moving his head towards the middle of her navel while his tongue licked over ever inch of her lower body.  He started pressing her firmly against the ground while holding her firmly in place and guiding his hands back and forth between her inner thighs, moving slowly downwards to her womanhood.  If Massah Lee had seen what Ol’ Joe saw, he probably would have killed himself instead wanting to kill Li’ Beaver.

The thought of an Indian having his Rebecca was hard for Massah Lee to take.   Ol’ Joe lead him back into his room and he sat on the side of his bed cursing, “That redskin will pay a damn big price if he laid one hand on my Rebecca…”

Placing her hands through his hair, Rebecca wanted more. She was pressing his head firmer and harder against her vagina.  His tongue was accommodating.  Her clit was getting harder and harder and her vagina becoming moister as she locked his head firmly between her thighs.  He didn’t resist.

She was letting out primal moans as she was thirsting for more, “Ahh!”  Primal moans like a wild animal came from her.“ Baby don't stop, please don’t stop!” “I want you inside me so badly" she was moaning.  She started shifting her body on the ground where she was lying on her back exposing all of her womanhood.  He began caressing her as he planted his hot throbbing manhood in her juicy womanhood.  He was teasing her more, while making the head of his penis gliding over her pussy.   She was twitching, begging him to put it in.  He did, inserting his pole into her tight vagina.

She began pushing back and forth forming herself into a steady rhythm.  He placed his thumbing penis on her pulsating vagina, rubbing its bulging clit as he continued to play with her protruding nipples.  He could feel her vagina convulsing as her breathing becoming shallow and her moans becoming louder.  "Ahh almost there baby, please me, let me squirt!" she said, louder and louder.  As she screamed, he increased his pace while pulling her closer to him.

His thrusts began to become deeper and deeper and faster and faster.  Then as if synchronizing, and looking each other in the eyes as he was convulsing and her abdominal muscles tightening as a great amounts of force rushing through their bodies in waves.  They came together.

She was exploding with pain and pleasure inside her, as she was gushing like a hot volcano while letting out a powerful moan.  It was so intense that she was swallowing large amounts of air as her tired body became limp from all the excitement.  She was looking at him with sleepy eyes as her face was turning into a slight smile.  She was satisfied; pulling him towards her.  Lying beside her as she went off to sleep.

Then, they heard aloud sound, and both were shocked jumping-up and running in different directions.

 Of course, it was Ol’ Joe who saw everything and heard everything in the tree while jacking off.  In fact, he was so excited from watching the two lovers he only told Massa Lee some of what he had seen.   Ol’ Joe told Massa Lee a lot, but he didn’t tell everything.

  “Joe where did you say that said the Indian went… how far from here?”

“It was plenty far master near that Chickamauga creek… they living in caves of a bluff on Chickamauga Creek.”

“Can you find it if we went looking for their camp?”

“Show can…”

“Joe, you get over the O’Leary plantation and tell them you found the hideout of the Indians… take he wagon and get back here a soon as you can.”

“C’mon boy and get to moving.” Massa Lee ordered!

Ol’ Joe almost crashed the wagon in his hast to get to the O’Leary plantation, and after an two hours and over 10 mile ride, reached the plantation as the sun was setting over the horizon.  The O’Leary’s were eating dinner when they heard a loud banging at the front door.  Aaron O’Leary looked at his father, wondering who was banging on their door at dinnertime.  It couldn’t be Adam since he was in Savannah Georgia selling the 100 bales of cotton that would support the plantation until the next growing season.

“Don’t just look a me son, go see who’s at the damn door,” Massa O’Leary order is son.

“It’s Ol’ Joe father from the Lee plantation, do I open and let him in?”

“Ol’ Joe! What that Nigger doing off the plantation this time of day”

“It’s me massah O’Leary… Ol’ Joe for the Lee Plantation… Massa Lee done send me over to tell you,” but before Ol’ Joe could say another word, Massa O’Leary open the door.

“What I was saying Massa, O’Leary is, Massa Lee sent me over here to tell you we found the hideout of them renegade Red Sticks Indians… it’s up north near Chickamauga Creek.” The old man rushed back into the house and alerted his two sons about what O’l Joe had said.

“Hurry Jib go get my hunting rifle — they found the hideout of them renegade Indians — hurry we going Indians hunting.  Aaron, you go to the bunkhouse and round a few men because we going straight to the Lee Plantation.”

Ol’ Joe was still standing in the door when the O’Leary clan left the house, with Ol’ Joe in tow.  They left their dinner on the table and were back at the Lee Plantation quicker than it took Ol’ Joe to bring them the message.

Old man Lee had gathered four men from the next county, two wagons and two napoleon cannon on the back part of each wagon.  Each man had a shotgun, knife and a revolver. Massa Lee continued to curse Lil’ Beaver until he changed from calling him Nigger instead of Indian.

Massa Lee came by his plantation as apart of removal act of Andrew Jackson, and he also remember that in the first major battle of the Creek War of about 700 Creek Indians destroyed Fort Mims, in present-day Baldwin County, killing 250 defenders and taking at least 100 captives.

Some 400 American settlers, U.S.-allied Creeks, and slaves had taken refuge inside a stockade hastily erected on the plantation of Samuel Mims, a wealthy resident of the Tensaw District of the Mississippi Territory.  The Creek attack on Fort Mims, and particularly the killing of civilian men, women, and children at the end of the battle, outraged the U.S. public, thus prompting military action against the Creek Nation, which controlled what is now much of modern Alabama.  The Fort Mims massacre left hatred for all Indians by white settlers like Massa Lee, so it did take much for him to take up arms against the Red Sticks.

Massa Lee had two wagons with two twelve-pound cannon on each one; these cannons fired twelve-pound projectiles from its barrels, as well as grapeshot, chainshot, shrapnel, and even shells and canister shot.  The wagons were driven by two of the four men and the other two manned the two cannons.

In artillery, grapeshot is a type of shot that is not one solid element, but a mass of small metal balls or slugs packed tightly into a canvas bag. It was used both in land and naval warfare. When assembled, the balls resembled a cluster of grapes, hence the name.

Although officially called the “light 12-pounder gun” by some, this most popular smoothbore was better known as the “Napoleon.”

“In revenge of the Fort Mims Massacre And then that’s when it becomes a massacre, when flanked and routed the village and started killing men, women and children where they stood.”

When they came to the Red Sticks camp, it was just before dawn.  As the posse traveled up the creek, they noticed that the encampment was a row of caves carved inside the mountain that ran halfway down the creek.  The Red Sticks were sleep when Massa Lee and the rest of the group, numbering 9, reached the middle of the encampment.  It was Massa Lee, Ol’ Joe, leading the way, but it was Massa O’Leary who ordered his sons and the four hands that came with Massa Lee to open fire on the encampment.  The Indians ran from their caves and were sitting ducks for the cannons.  After killing and mutilating an estimated 300 Red Sticks, about two-thirds of whom were women and children. They even took the scalps of the children for souvenirs.

Massa Lee called the wagons with the cannons to come forwards, and ordered them to fire as the Indians and the children running for safety.  The cannons eviscerated the encampment!  The massacre was palpable to other Indian massacres at the time.  Lil’ Beaver and another buck was on the waters of Chickamauga Creek, fishing for breakfast when they heard the sound of the two cannons.

They raced back to the encampment only to find the most of the Red Sticks were killed or dying at the scene.  After seeing what was happening to their people, Lil’ Beaver and the other buck raced to the wagon to stop the two men firing the two cannons.  Lil’ Beaver climbed on the wagon and stabbed one of the men in his back.  Then, he attacked to other one with the help of the other buck.  After stabbing him multiple times, they threw them from the wagon. 

Seeing what was happening on the wagon, Massa Lee pulled out his shotgun and shot the buck in the back.  Ol’ Joe jumped Lil’ Beaver from behind and held him while Massa Lee knocked him out and secured his hands and feet with ropes.

Most of the Indians were fleeing into the Chickamauga Creek, where some drowned and others were later shot to death.  One incident mentioned tells of a baby found alive the next day, perched high in a tree. Presumably placed there by a parent in a desperate bid to protect the child.  It didn’t work.  The child was shot from the tree and stabbed repeatedly to death on the ground. 

“I’m gone kill that Nigger as soon as we get back!” Massa Lee told Ol’ Joe.

Although the final counts vary, it’s estimated 250 Red Sticks were killed in the span of about four hours.  Grim as the massacre was, these depictions nonetheless gives clues about the lay of the land as it appeared more than 150 years ago, and how easy it was to massacre the Red Sticks.  The course of the Chickamauga Creek Massacre changed over time, explaining the change of the creek by then gives a sense of what happened.  By the time the massacre was over, more than 150 men, women, and children of the Red Sticks had been killed and 51 were wounded (4 men and 47 women and children, some of whom died later) some estimates placed the number of dead at 300.

With Lil’ Beaver strapped to the bed of the wagon, what was left of the posse headed back to the Lee Plantation.  All the way back, you could hear Massa Lee cursing Lil’ Beaver.

“I’m gone kill that Nigger as soon as we get back!  I’m gone kill that Nigger as soon as we get back!”

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The Massacre At Chickamauga Creek: The Revenge

 

It was mid-morning when Massa Lee and Ol’ Joe got back to the plantation, and Rebecca was at the window in her room when she heard the wagon pull up.  She couldn’t see Lil’ Beaver, but could hear the voice of Massa Lee saying,  “I am gone kill that Nigger!”

“Joe, get that Nigger off the wagon, and take him to the wood storage shed so we can take care of him.”  Ol’ Joe loosen the rope that held Lil’ Beaver down.  “ Get yo’ ass up, boy we got something bad we gone do to you!”   Ol’ Joe pulled Lil’ Beaver from the back of the wagon, and threw him to the ground.

Rebecca could see that they were back and could see Ol’ Joe man handling Lil’Beaver.  Ol’ Joe stood him and began to work him over with stick he found on the ground. 

Rebecca had to turn her head because she couldn’t stand to see her first love treated so badly.  Li’l Beaver was unconscious as Ol’ Joe dragged him by his arms to the back of the mansion.  In the wood storage shed, Ol’ Joe propped Lil’ Beaver up with a meat hook through his back and blood drench the ground of the wood storage shed from the wound that the meat hook made.  Unconscious, Lil’ Beaver’s chin rested on his chest.
Rebecca eased outta her room, down the stares and out of the mansion.  She went to the back of the mansion to the woodshed, and could hear Ol’ Joe cursing Lil’ Beaver.  “Massa gone kill you Nigger.  I saw you fucking Miss Rebecca, but before you’re wake up, you gone be missing something.   I’m gone take my time to make sure you don’t use that dick no mo,’”’ and he gave out a loud laugh.

While Rebecca was easing to the woodshed, Ol’ Joe had started a fire.  He was heating an iron poker, reading it be used use on Lil’ Beaver.  It was red hot now, and he left the poker next the entrance of the woodshed door.  He returned to Lil’ beaver, “wake-up Nigger you gone fill this,  “Wake yo’ ass up!  You gone feel this!!”  He slapped him once and then twice, and Lil’ Beaver was coming to when Joe turned to get the poker.  The poker was gone.  He looked for it, but Rebecca had it standing behind him — when he turned towards her, she ran the poke through hi neck.  The look in Ol’ Joe’s face was one shock and disbelief.  Where did she come from?  How did she get the poker?  This bitch done killed me was the last thoughts going through his head before he fell to the ground of the woodshed.

Rebecca rushed to Lil’ Beaver, and with all of her strength lifted him from the meat hook. They both fell to the ground of the woodshed.  She placed a piece of her dress she had ripped off to his wound to stop the bleeding. They kissed.  She helped him to his feet.
They left the woodshed headed to the mansion.  Ol’ Joe wasn’t dead but still alive. Somehow he got to his feet.  He took the poker from his neck and struggle out of the woodshed, trying to make his way to the mansion.  While Ol’ Joe was struggling back to get back the mansion, the two lovers had made their way to the stares leading to Massa Lee’s room.

“I want to kill him!”  Rebecca said to Lil’ Beaver. He killed all my people — I want to kill him — Lil’ Beaver replied.   “We’ll both kill him.” Rebecca said and they continued to his room.  Ol’ Joe had made it to the foot of the stares and was creeping behind them.  He grunted from his pain and they were shock to see he was still alive holding the poker in his hand.  Lil’ Beaver leaped on Joe.  They tumbled down the stares with Lil’ Beaver landing on top of Joe.  He took the poker from his hand and started beating him on the head, about ten times until his head was a blooded mess, and then he took the poker and rammed it through his left eye and then the other eye. Ol’ Joe was dead now.

Rebecca held her hand over her mouth, shocked at the horror of Joe’s death.  Next, they made their way to Massa’s’ room.  He was sound asleep.  Lil’ Beaver pulled the pillow from under his head and place over his head.  He woke-up and started kicking wildly when Rebecca helped Lil’ Beaver continue to suffocate him.  After a few minutes he was dead.  They took the guns from his room; the same guns he used in the massacre at Chickamauga Creek.  Lil’ Beaver found two ten-inch knives and took them too.
After making their way from the mansion, they found their was back to the garden.  The poison garden…  There, they made love before they made their way back to the mansion. When they got to mansion, Lil’Beaver made his way to the wagon.  “Let’s go far away, Rebecca said.”

“Not now, I got unfinished business to tend to," Lil’ Beaver said,  “I got to go get the O’Leary’s.” With vengeance in heart and hate in head, Lil’ Beaver was so mad he almost lose control of the wagon on his way to the O’Leary Plantation.  When he got there, it was early noon and he left the wagon away from the plantation.  Lil’ Beaver sneaked his way to the O’Leary mansion bypassing the bunkhouse.   He spotted the O’Leary Klan finishing breakfast, but he then turned around headed back to the bunkhouse to take care of the hired hands who went on The Massacre at Chickamauga Creek.  Looking inside the bunkhouse, he could see two men sleeping in their bunks, but there were three bunks.  One of the hired hands was missing.   Lil’ Beaver had to move quickly to get the deed done without alerting he O’Leary’s. 

On his knees, he eased into door of the bunkhouse, and crawled inside.  Then he eased under one of the bunks and got the 10-inch knife ready, and leaped up and pounced on the man lying on the bunk.   He stabbed once, then twice as the man tried to fight off the stabbing.   Soon he was lying still when the man lying on the other bunk heard the noise moved towards Lil’ Beaver.  Lil’ Beaver put the blade of knife in front of him as the man leaped on him landing on the blade.   As he pushed the man off, another man came into the room with a gun.  

Lil’ Beaver struggled with him to get control of the gun when it went off.   The bullet grazed him, and then Lil’ Beaver got control of gun and at the same time, he plunged the knife into the man’s chest.  The man fell to the floor of the bunkhouse.   Blood was on the floor, the walls and all over Lil Beaver.   He ran from the bunkhouse, and saw Massa O’Leary headed his way with his two sons.  They were armed after hearing the shot.  They didn’t see Lil’ Beaver hiding behind a tree, and as they passed, he stabbed Aaron O’Leary in the back.

As the other two O’Leary’s went to the bunkhouse, Lil' Beaver had gotten hole to Aaron O’Leary shotgun, unloaded both barrels in the back Andrew.  Massa O’Leary was helpless when Lil’ Beaver cut his throat and then took his scalp like Massa had done in the massacre to his people — At the Massacre of Chickamauga Creek

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Saving Lil’ Beaver

 

When Adam O’Leary returned from Savannah Georgia back to the O’Leary Plantation in North Georgia he was met by the county sheriff.  It was bad news; his two brothers and father had been murdered.  All the evidence pointed to the renegade members of the Red Sticks. They mutilated the bodies and scalp all the hair from their heads.

“It was them renegade Red Sticks for sure,” the sheriff believed, and, we’re looking for them now.

“How can you be sure?” Adam asked.

“Because the same thing happened at the Lee plantation!” the sheriff said.  “They slaughtered and scalped old man Lee and his Nigger, Joe. It was the work of them renegade savages, and we’ll make fine work of ‘em when we catch ‘em.” Said the sheriff.

“What about, the girl, Rebecca?”  Adam asked.

“It’s a funny thing, they didn’t nothing to her… she seemed to have slept through the whole thing.  They did go to several homes down from the Lee Plantation and killed three families — women and children. They scalped them all.  Them savages made a bloody mess, but when we find them, we’ll make a bloody mess of them.”

“Sheriff, where is Rebecca Lee, now?” Adam asked.

“She’s at the plantation.  It’s a funny thing because she didn’t seem that much upset,” the sheriff was explaining to Adam.

“Where are my father and brothers now?” Adam asked the sheriff.

“We took ‘em to the undertaker and he put all the bodies on ice ‘till the families claimed them.” The sheriff said. "The whole thing is bad as Hell about what them savages did to these good white folks.  Some mad, some sad.”

Adam went back to the mansion into his father’s room and broke down.  He was banging against the wall, and crying profusely.  The sheriff tried to console him, but his anger and grief was palpable.

“I’m going over to the Lee plantation may be Rebecca can explain what is going on around here.  She must know something.  She must know more than you said because I can’t believe she didn’t see or hear anything.” Adam took a wagon from the plantation road off heading to the Lee plantation.

By now, Lil’ Beaver was back at the Lee plantation covered in blood.  He was wounded; graze by a bullet in the fight with the O’Leary.'s Rebecca helped to the kitchen where she cleaned the wound and got him some of Ol’ Joe’s clothes to wear. They looked into each others’ eyes, and embraced each other while striping of their clothes hungry for each other. They kissed long and hard until they heard the sound of the wagon.  Rebecca recognized the driver.  It was Adam O’Leary, and he coming towards the mansion.

“Lil’ Beaver we got to get outta here… it’s Adam O’Leary and he’s back from Savannah.  Hurry, we need to go… hurry, hurry,” she said as they both ran from the mansion towards the poison garden.

Exhausted, they fell to the ground to continue what they started in the kitchen of the mansion.  Rebecca gave herself freely to him and he accepted and necked they made love for hours while Adam was at the mansion going from room to room looking for anything that could help him understand what happened to the two families.

“My love we most go!  I can’t leave Adam too long at the mansion because he may find something I don’t want him to know.”  Lil’ Beaver left and she went back to the mansion. She went to the back doors and went in to find Adam rambling in her room.

“Hey Adam, I see you back from Savannah. When did you get back, — trying to hide her guilt of the killings.”

I guess you know about the killings going on around here… Suddenly she started to cry — it was a fake cry since she hated her father. It was hard for her to think of him as her father. “They killed him and Ol’ Joe in the worse kind of way they cut the top of their heads off.  Why did they do that Adam?  Why would they do something so horrible like?”  She maintained her grief smirking from time to time out of the sight of Adam. She hated Massa Lee and Joe, but she hated Joe the most

“The sheriff said you slept through the whole thing.” Adam said. “That was a whole lot of sleeping.  You didn’t see nothing nor hear nothing?  They had to be crying in pain because the taking off the to top of their heads as you call it is very painful…. They call it scalping. The Indian started and white men carried it on."

“Why call it scalping?”

“Because the top of your head is called the scalp.”

“That’s awful. That’s an awful way to die.” Rebecca said, trying to fake a cry. “Where they got the bodies?”

“They at the undertakers on ice waiting for to plan the funerals.  What plans do you have for Master Lee and Ol’ Joe, Rebecca?” Adam asked waiting for an answer.  Adam seemed suspicious of her behavior; to him she seemed a lack of mourning for her father or was it her father.  No one really knew what his or their relations were, and Adam felt suspicious of her thinking she knew more about the murders than she was letting on.

“ I ain’t done nothing like that before.  I will need your help in planning the whole thing.  Will I have to plan for Ol’ Joe?"

“No, he goes in the Nigger burial ground, and we’ll leave him alone.  We got a memorial planned Sunday on my plantation in memory of all the whites that got killed, and I would be pleased if you could attend.”

“Will the families of the three men killed be there?” Rebecca asked Adam.

“How did you know it was three men killed?  I never told you the number.” Adam asked her confused at what she really knew.

“I don’t know, I just guest that,” She said.  “Sure, I’ll attend… what time?”
“I don’t know right now, but I’ll pick you up around noon.”

Adam looked at Rebecca puzzled at what she knew and didn’t know. He left the mansion, and got on his wagon, looking back suspicious of her behavior.

After hearing the wagon leave, Lil’ Beaver went back to the mansion and found Rebecca waiting in the parlor.  They embraced each and made love on the floor.  Their romance was palpable.  Their sex was intense.  Afterwards, they lie embracing for hours.

“Wake up, wake up.” Rebecca said shaking him from his sleep. “You better wake up because I am afraid Adam will come back. I don’t think he believed me — he looked at me strange before he left. Like he didn’t believe me.”

“What did y’all talk about?”

“He was telling me about what you had done to his family, and was asking about what I heard the day when my father and Ol’ Joe were killed,” she answered.  “Also he said they were having a memorial for his family and the other people you killed.”  It would be Sunday at the O’Leary plantation — a picnic and most of the county was invited.

“Are you going?”

“Hell no!  I wouldn’t be caught dead at the O’Leary plantation because they are so awful in the way they treat the slaves.  Most of the whites in the county are no different.  I hate these people for what they did to my family.  I had an older brother who I played with, and one day some people came to the plantation and took him away and we never saw him again.  My mother cried for weeks not knowing what happened to him or where they took him,” Rebecca said and started to cry.

“I didn't know you had a brother.”

“Yeah, it was so long ago that I can hardly remember.”

“Maybe we can get them once and for all… let’s go back to the garden and I’ll show how we can get the whole bunch and pay ‘em back or all the dirt these rotten whites have done to your and my people for all these years,” Lil’ Beaver said taking her hand as they left the mansion headed back to the Poison Garden.

Once in the garden, they couldn’t resist each other, and began to make passionate love for hours. They both fell asleep but Lil’ Beaver had awaken before Rebecca and was digging up mushrooms. “Rebecca!” He called. “Come let me show you something.  Look what I got.” He was holding a mess of mushrooms in a wrinkle cloth.

“They look delicious.  Let's eat some… I am hungry.” She said.

“You eat these mushrooms and you’ll be dead in a few days. They called Death Cap mushrooms and they will kill you.  When I was a little boy, we got some mixed up with the good ones and many, many Red Sticks died in a few days.” He took one out still wrapped in the cloth showing her the root. “You can tell they poison ‘cause the roots are green. The green in the roots is where the poison is.”

“I remember my mama tell me about these mushrooms but I never knew the name.” Rebecca said.

“If you go to the picnic on Sunday and put some Death Cap Mushrooms in the food and drinks, we can get ‘em all at once.”

“I couldn’t do that because there will be innocent children there.  I couldn’t kill innocent children!” She exclaimed. “I could never do that!”

“They would do it to us if they had the chance! They taste good and they’ll never know until they are dead”

 Death Caps have been reported to have a pleasant taste. This, coupled with the delay in the appearance of symptoms — during which time internal organs are being severely, sometimes irreparably, damaged — that makes it particularly dangerous. Initially, symptoms are gastrointestinal in nature and include bad abdominal pain, with watery diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting, which may lead to dehydration if left untreated, and, in severe cases, hypotension, cronic pain, and acid–base disturbances. These first symptoms show-up two to three days after the eaten.

In a more serious ailment signifying liver failure and caused by the accumulation of normally liver-removed substance in the blood. Kidney failure (either secondary to severe hepatitis are caused by direct toxic kidney damage that appears during this stages of death.  It was an awful way to die. Life-threatening complications include increased intracranial pressure, intracranial bleeding, pancreatic inflammation, acute kidney failure, and cardiac arrest.  Death generally occurs six days after the poisoning.

While Rebecca was resistant to Lil’ Beaver plan, she went along with it anyway.  They made it back to the mansion where they laid the Death Cap mushrooms out to dry; next they crushed them into a fine powder making sure they did touch the poison substance.

She put the poison in a draw string bag Lil’ Beaver made securing her from harm of the poison mushrooms.

“I still don’t want to do it — what if I get caught?”

“If you do as we planned, you won’t get caught.” He said. “We’ll leave in the morning, and I’ll take the wagon and drop you off far enough away from the O’Leary Plantation so they won’t notice me.  Don’t worry, you’ll do just fine.”

When they got to the O’Leary Plantation, the people from the county were making their way to the plantation.  There were old men and women; some were children and young adults.  Many were carrying baskets of food.  Most were walking but some came running.  They were all there ready to celebrate the lives of their dead plus enjoy a picnic of food and drink.  When Rebecca got there, the first person she saw was  Adam  O’O'Leary talking with the sheriff.   She tried to avoid him, but Adam saw her first.

“Rebecca. I’m glad you could make it.  I wasn’t expecting you with the entire grief surround the death of your father and Ol’ Joe, but I’m glad you came.   How did you get here?”  Adam asked.  He wanted to know if she came by herself. 

“I hitched a ride with two old boys coming this way.”  Who? Adam asked

“I don’t know their names but they said they knew your family.”

“I wonder who that is…” Adam said with a look of suspicion.  He was suspious of her from the moment he met at the Lee plantation after the murder.  Now he was more leery of her because he couldn’t imagine whom she was talking about.” How did they look he asked.

“They looked like any of these old boys hanging around here.”

“Well, let’s meet some of the people from the county.”  He took her by the hand and walked around introducing to the guest. “These are the Maginnis’.”  Their family helped my dad settled this place and fought off the Red Sticks way before I was born.”  Adam said and gave Mrs. Maginnis a big huge.

“Your dad was a good man.  Even good the Nigger slaves, something most people around here didn’t know.”  Mr. Magiinnis said as he shook Adam’s hand.

Adam introduced Rebecca to more of the guest when she told him that she needed to go the mansion to freshen up before meeting any more people.  Rebecca went inside the mansion and waited until Adam was outta sight.  Then she eased out of the mansion and made her way to where the food and drinks were — there was lemonade and ice tea to drink, roasted ham, fried chicken, roasted pork pulled off the bones, candied yams, potato salad, turnip greens, all kinds of cakes and banana pudding.   Rebecca went to each table with her draw string bag in hand, and began poring the crushed mushrooms in every dish of food and in the lemonade and ice tea too.  She went and made sure she emptied the bag, but before she could, Adam was standing behind her.

“What you got in the bag Rebecca?”

“Nothing, just some of this good food to take back home with me.”

“Let me see.  That ain’t big enough for food. Let me see.”  At that point Rebecca was sure she had been caught doing her dirty deed.  She began to shake and dropped the bag on the ground, but before she could pick it Adam picked it up, and before he could open it, the sheriff walked up behind Adam.

“Hey, Adam I got someone I want you to meet.” The sheriff said.  Adam gave the bad to Rebecca and walked away with the sheriff.  By then she was so nervous thinking she had been caught that she quickly hid the bag in her dress and rushed off the O’Leary plantation.
She saw Lil’ Beaver waiting where she left him and they raced by to the plantation hoping that Adam didn’t suspect anything.

Home Page

The Trail Of Rebecca Lee

 

Adam O’Leary stood in front of the sheriff’s desk discussing the unexplained deaths of so many people in the county.  At the meeting was the county constable whose wife had been stricken by what was killing so many people.  The commonality in most deaths was they most people had eaten food or drink at the O’Leary picnic.  Everybody got sick or died, but Rebecca Lee — and she was at the picnic, but was acting very suspicious to Adam.

“Has anybody talked to Rebecca about what’s happening to the people in the county?” Adam asked.  “She was at all the tables, but not eating the food or drinking anything.  That seemed suspicious”

Before he could finish his statement, the doctor came into the sheriff’s office grimacing about more deaths.   “The Dawson twins just died from what is killing most of the people in the county.   It looked like food poisoning, but food poisoning don’t have such a high mortality.”  The doctor said scratching his head with a puzzle look on this face.  “In all my years of practicing medicine, I never have seen such a high mortality rate.  People, both young and old are dropping like flies.”

“I think we need to go and talk to Rebecca Lee, sheriff because she acted so suspicious. She couldn’t explain how she got to our plantation for the picnic; she had a draw stack she kept opening and when I asked to see what was in it, she refused.  She was around all the tables with the food but I never saw her eat anything.  And most of all, she’s the only one at the picnic who hasn’t gotten sick or died.”

“Adam, you didn’t get sick or died.”  The sheriff said to Adam."

“I didn’t eat the food because I was so busy greeting the guest.  Plus, I was so upset about what had happened to my family, I couldn’t eat.” 

Adam convinced the sheriff to go the Lee Plantation to question Rebecca and on the way, he was sure that she had something to do with what was happened to the people in the county and the death of this family.  The sheriff was sure he was barking up the wrong tree.   The sheriff had only seen Rebecca a few times, but he was convinced she was a lady of the South and couldn’t in anyway have anything to do with what Adam was thinking or talking about.  She was Master Lee’s daughter and she had experienced the same tragedy Adam was going through since the renegade salvages had killed her father too.

“Adam, how could you think Miss Rebecca could have anything to do with all this stuff?  She must be going through the same thing as you, and don’t forget she’s a lady of the South, and none of our fine women could in no way be involved in such horrible deeds.” The sheriff said to Adam, shaking his head from left-to-right in disbelief.

“What if she’s not a lady of the South? What if she’s an imposter?  What if she’s a Nigger!” Adam said.

“What! Man you’re talking crazy. I have known the Lees all my life… my father used to be an overseer at the Lee Plantation, and he didn’t have a Nigger daughter.”

“What if her mammy was one of the slaves we know Me. Lee fathered?”

“That’s impossible because she looks too white.  Man come to your senses!  I know you’re upset with the death of your father and brothers, but you’re talking crazy!”  The sheriff turned to Adam with disbelief in his eyes.

As their wagon pulled-up to the Mansion of the Lee Plantation, Rebecca and Lil’ Beaver was in the upstairs bedroom making love.  They were shocked to hear the wagon and they both jumped up to see who it was.  “It’s Adam O’Leary and the sheriff! Rebecca said to Lil’ Beaver as they raced to put on their clothes.  You got to get outta here!  Hurry!”  She said as she quickly dressed and went down stairs.  Lil’ Beaver raced out the back of the mansion headed towards the poison garden.

The two men got off the wagon and went to the front door of the mansion.  Adam stood next to the sheriff as he knocked on the door.  Rebecca opened the door.

“Hay, Miss Rebecca I’d like to talk to you about the murder of your father and Ol’ Joe.  Can we come in?”

“Come right in." Rebecca said.  Looking at Adam with hate in her heart.  “Come right in!”

“Miss Rebecca I want to talk to you about the day your father and Ol’ Joe were killed.  Mr. Adam felt that you didn’t tell me all that you knew.  He thinks you were hiding something.  He believed you weren’t quite honest about their murders.  Can I ask you some more questions?”

“Yeah sheriff, what you want to know.”

“You said you were asleep the whole time the murders occurred and you didn’t hear a thing.”

“That’s right.”

“You didn’t see or anything doing the whole time the murders happened?  Mr. Adams said a big fight occurred between Ol’ Joe and the murderer and you had to hear that.”

“I had been up all day working in the garden, and I was so tired I fell fast asleep.” Rebecca said while the sheriff and Adam looked at her with deep suspicious. “I sleep sound after working so hard.”

“Can we look around, Miss Rebecca?”

“Yeah sheriff but you ain’t gone find nothing wrong.”  She said in her southern droll.

“What’s back there?”

“Sheriff, nothing but the kitchen.”

The sheriff went back to the kitchen and on the table was the draw sack Adam saw Rebecca with at the picnic.   Adam picked it up and looked in side.  “What’s this?”

“These crumbs inside are the same crumbs I found on the tables a the picnic after you left.  What were you doing around the food and not eating?”  Adam said as he empted the contents of the draw sack on the table.

“That’s nothing sheriff.”   She said.  “But some bread crumbs.”  The sheriff looked at Rebecca and then at Adam and said.  “I’m gone need to take you back to the office until we get to the bottom of this.”

The sheriff grabbed one arm and Adam grabbed the other and they led Rebecca out the mansion and onto the back of the wagon.  “I ain’t did nothing!”  She was crying as the wagon took off.  “I ain’t did nothing!”

When they got back to the sheriff’s office, the doctor was still there, but the constable had left after being told this wife had taken sick.  She was at the picnic but didn’t eat anything but got sick anyway.  It was suspected that the poison was so toxic that even touching or smelling small amounts of it could kill you or make you deathly sick.

“Where’re going to lock her up? “ Adam asked the sheriff.  “We need to keep her under guard until the Circuit Judge come through.   He should be here by the end of the month.”  The sheriff took Adam outside to a shack that was used as an outhouse but turned in a jail.  “It ain’t much but it will hold here until the Circuit Judge gets here.  It will have to be cleaned out because it smells so bad that she’ll died from the smell.  There’s shit everywhere.”   The sheriff and Adam tied Rebecca hands behind her back and she waited in the office until the sheriff got two men who had been locked up to clean the outhouse. Adam started to question Rebecca while the sheriff looked on.

“Rebecca, I know you had something to do with the deaths of my father and brothers!  I know you had some thing to do with the poising of half the people in the county.  That’s enough to get you hung, but if you confess and tell what you know you might could be saved.”

“I don’t know nothing about that!” She said with her head hung in her lap while crying constantly. “What was in that draw sack?  It was the same crumbs I found on the table, and I think it was the poison.  We gone send the doctor out to test it and if it’s what I think it is, you will be hanged before the Circuit Judge ever it here. So, you better tell what you know and who helped you!” 

“I don’t know nothing about that!” She said with her head hung in her lap while crying constantly. I don’t know nothing about that!

The doctor came back with bad news for Rebecca.  “I gave some of the crumbs you found on the tables and in the draw sack to the cat and it rolled over an died on the stop.  I used gloves to make sure not to touch that stuff because it’s so toxic that it’ll kill you if you looked at it hard.”  The doctor said pointing his finger at Rebecca while shaking his head from left-to-right in a way that he showed his discuss with her.  Sheriff if the people in the county found that she was behind these poisoning we could never save from the mobs.”

The men had finished cleaning the outhouse and Adam stood her to her feet and took her to the makeshift jail and started to question her again.  He was slapping her around so that the sheriff had to make him stop.   “Adam, I’m the sheriff and you can’t take matters into your hands.   We don’t know if she’s guilty or innocent.   That’s what a trial is for.  The sheriff left Adam alone with Rebecca and went back to his office.

Adam walked around her and noticed that her clothes were torn-up, reviling her gorgeous legs and protruding breast.  In the mess she was in she was stunning, and he lusted after her like he had never for a woman.   After taking the ropes loose from hands he gave her some water from his canteen and put his hands over her mouth.   “Shhh, don’t make a sound.  I just want to talk to you!”  He said putting his hands between her legs.  You know if you tell what you know things will go better for you.   She tried to move away from him, but he was all over her ravishing her body while taking off his clothes.

“Stop! Stop!  She cried out but no one could hear her, and now he was taking off all her clothes.   She was helpless to stop him.   He straddled himself between her legs, and she could feel as he entered her womanhood.   She tried to force him out, but it was too late.  He was cumming in her.  He was fucking her like a mad man… in and out… in and out.  He came and rolled over on his back, and she tried to fight him, but he was too strong and with one blow, he knocked her out.

When Adam got back to the sheriffs office he looked disheveled pulling up his pants while using his hands to put his hair in place.  “Adam, what you been up to?”   The sheriff asked him, and walked to the makeshift jail where he found Rebecca necked and unconscious.  He ran back to his office for a blanket.  “Adam, what did you do to that girl?”

“She ain’t no girl, she’s a Niggers!”   When the sheriff got back to Rebecca, she was shivering curled up in a corner.

Here, the sheriff gave her the blanket and tried to comfort her.  “What did he do to you?”

“He rapped me!  He rapped me sheriff!”  She said crying while wrapping herself in the blanket.  “Adam rapped me!  He rapped me!”  She continued to cry.

The sheriff immediately when back to his office to confront Adam, but Adam was talking to four town’s men who had entered the office while the sheriff was gone.  “Adam, what did you do to that girl?  She said you rapped her.

“I told you she ain’t girl, she’s a Nigger!”

“My wife said she’s a white woman.   You can’t treat a white woman like that!”   One of the men said, and they all stormed out the office.

It was less than an hour before the men came back with their wife’s.  “We want to see Rebecca Lee!   You can’t treat a white woman like that!  We want to see her… we want to see her, now!”  The woman demanded.

The sheriff led them to the makeshift jail while Adam slipped out of the office and headed out of town.   One of the women stayed with Rebecca while the others left to go get clothes and food.

“Sheriff, how dare you treat this poor child like this?   In the South, we have respect for white woman.  All Southern Bell’s deserves deference because of who we are!   If you can treat her like common Nigger, what will you do to me?”

It was about 6:30 PM when the other good white women came back to the sheriff’s office to see Rebecca; they had new dresses, food, underwear, and other things to make her feel like a woman.  “Sheriff, we are here to see Rebecca Lee, and we brought some things for her to clean-up and some food for her to eat1” One of the women said.  “You don’t treat Southern women like common Niggers!”

The sheriff was taken aback because these were the same women whose husbands’ votes he needed in the next election, and who would in all probability serve on any jury at the trail of Rebecca Lee.

“Sheriff, we’ll need some water to bath her, and some fresh water for her to drink!”

The women went into the makeshift jail with the food and clothing, and Rebecca could not believe her good fortune.  The women were God sent, and they gave her hope that she would get out of the mess she was in.

“Com’on child get up and eat something;. They had baked ham, turnip greens, fried chicken, pound cakes and ice tea.   They got a makeshift table from the sheriff’s office — the women laid out on the on the feast, and Rebecca when at the food like she hadn’t eaten in weeks.  She hadn’t  — not like this.  First she went into the chicken, next the ham and the greens.  Before long the makeshift table was empty of food, and she found herself in a tub of warn water taking a much need bath because she felt so unclean after what Adam had done to her.  After the bath, Rebecca was dressed looking like the Southern Bell she had pretend to be all along, and smelling like one too.

“You want have to stay in here any longer because we have made reservations at the County Inn.  We told the sheriff and he agreed, so collect your things and Josey’s husband will take you to the inn.”  Two of the women said in unison. “Is there any thing else we can do for you, child?”

“Yeah, can you sent a telegram to my Aunt Sarah in Savannah?”

“Just write out what you want to say and we’ll get it out right away.”  They gave her a pen and paper and she scribbled a few words. “Auntie Sarah, this is Rebecca.  Your brother is dead and the sheriff is blaming me for it.  Please send help as quick as you can.  Love you Rebecca.”  We’ll get this off to Savannah as soon as we can.”

The method of sending a telegram was simple back then.  By visiting the office of a telegraph company, you would compose a message as briefly as possible, because telegrams charged by the word.  The message was then sent by electric wire in Morse code to its destined office where it would be written, and stuck to a form and hand delivered, usually by a boy on a bicycle.

When Rebecca’s aunt got the message, immediately got in touch with her attorney Ambrose Levine and her nephew Nicholas Lee, Rebecca’s brother in Atlanta.

Ambrose Levine was a well-known Jewish lawyer in Savannah; known for never losing a case.  In one case, he defended two slaves for killing their overseer and got them freed claiming the master had hired convicted laborers that was prohibited.  Ambrose Levine met Rebecca at the County Inn to hear her side of the story, and to tell her her aunt Sarah in Savannah would spare no expense to clear name.

“ Mr. Levine, I think Adam O’Leary made the whole things because I did fall for his advances on me.   He couldn’t find nobody to fault for the murder of his family, so he fault me.   He wanted to have sex with; he even rapped me while I was in that jail.

“Who knows else about that?   Did you tell the sheriff?”

“Yeah, but he didn’t do nothing about it at.”

“May be we can use that as part of you defense… the Jilted Lover Defense.”

Ambrose Levine met with the Magistrate who will serve the county as judge.  In the sheriff’s office that morning, Adam O’Leary was at the meeting insisting that Rebecca was a Nigger, and behind the death of his family and poisoning of the people in the county.

“I had my suspicions about her the moment she came back to the Lee Plantation.  Something wasn’t right about her — she seemed like a Southern Bell but acted like a Nigger.”

“Could your suspicions of Rebecca Lee is because she ignored advances, and you even rapped her when she was under detention? Are you a Jilted Lover?”  Ambrose Levine asked Adam.  “Did you make this whole thing up out of an oldest motive?  Revenge!!

“You believe that Nigger over me an upstanding white man in this community?”

“She is just as white as you, and I will prove in a court of law!”  Ambrose Levine said.
 
There is a long held view that the southern courts as institutions rigidly enforced racial hierarchies and protected the property interests of white slaveholders.  That said, while it was certainly important to recognize the presence of Black litigants in an antebellum southern courtroom; it was imperative to protect the sanctity of whites particularly if it was a white woman.  Thus, Rebecca’s cast is not simply a story of the fact of a Black litigant; it was a white woman being accused of being a Nigger by a white man.  Rather, it was also the issue of whether you can prove a white woman was a Nigger.

In her petition, Rebecca asked that she be declared legally free and white and added a request that the court award her ten thousand dollars damages for the wrong that Adam had done her by holding her as a slave.  She based her case on the claim that her real name was Rebecca Lee not Nigger, and that she was born by a white father and mother in Savannah.  Born free and with white parentage was all she needed and her brother Nicholas Lee had a birth certificate sent to him by their aunt in Savannah proved it. 

White blood and free entitled Rebecca her freedom and that in view of white society was enough to set her free.  So, the next morning after the court had adjourned, the prosecutor had only one witness to call, Adam O’Leary.

 “What is your proof that Rebecca Lee is behind these killings in the county and your family?”  The prosecutor asked Adam.

“When we went back to the Lee Plantation and entered the kitchen, on the table was the draw sack I saw Rebecca with at the picnic.  I picked it up and looked in side.  Inside the draw sack were the same crumbs I found on the tables at the picnic after Rebecca left. The doctor said it was poison!”

“That’s hearsay evidence and not admissible in any court of law in the state Georgia.”  Ambrose Levine announced in court to the Magistrate.  “Your honor, I move that all the charges be dismissed against Miss. Rebecca Lee, and she be allowed to go back to her home and forget this travesty of justice ever happened!”

“I agree Mr. Ambrose Levine.” The Magistrate announced.  “This case is dismissed, and Mss Lee you’re free to go.”

It was a happy day when Rebecca, Ambrose and her brother Nicholas left the courthouse.  Ambrose cried in a loud voice, "Fortuna!" "Fortuna!" And looked at Rebecca with a smile — “That’s when the Gods conspire on your behalf.”  Both Nicholas and Ambrose hugged Rebecca as they headed for Nicholas’ carriage on their was to the Lee Plantation.

The carriage was a four-wheeled horse-drawn private passenger, and it one that was large and comfortable; fitting for a southern gentleman of Nicholas’ status. Before they could get in two housemen road by each on the other side with a captive in the middle.  Both horsemen had their rope around the captive neck that was in the middle.  Ambrose and Nicholas paid no attention, but Rebecca was looking hard and noticed that it was Lil’ Beaver.  He was walking and being dragged by between the two horsemen.  She put her hands over mouth to keep from screaming.

“I wonder who that is?” Ambrose said, turning to Nicholas.

“It looks like an Indian or maybe a Nigger, but who ever it is, he’s too beat up to tell.”

Let’s go back and see!!”  Rebecca said.

“We batter not and leave the poor devil to his fate.” Nicholas said.

“We must go back!  I want to see who it is!” But Nicholas drove ahead on their way to the plantation. When they got to the plantation and entered the mansion, Ambrose and Nicholas went into the parlor to rest and drink some brandy, Rebecca went to her room to cry.  “They got Lil’ Beaver she sobbed, they got Lil’ Beaver she sobbed. She was crying so loud she got the attention of Ambrose and Nicholas who rushed to her room.

“Why are you crying? Nicholas asked. “You should be happy to be back home”

“I think I know that boy.  He’s a member of the Red Sticks Indians a tribe of renegades who they been looking for for years.  He’s a good boy and I think they gone kill him.” Rebecca said trying to explain to the two men.

“He’s a good boy! He’ a good boy.”

“How do you know him?” Nicholas asked.

“I just know him!” she replied.

They both looked at her surprised and went back to the polar to finish drinking.  By the, Rebecca had resolved to free her lover because she knew of a weak point in that makeshift jail.  A weak point she had found when she was there trying to break out.  It was the planks that made up the walls, they were so weak that she was able to pull them down but put them back up before the sheriff noticed.  That’s how I’ll free Lil’ Beaver she thought to herself.

“That’s how I’ll get him out,” she said to herself. “That’ how I’ll get him out, and I’ll do it tonight!”

When the two men brought Lil’ Braver into the sheriff’s office, Adam was there.

“Look what we found sheriff hiding on the Lee Plantation.  He tried to run but we caught him hiding in that garden.  He hiding alright, but we caught him.”

“He must be one of the renegades Red Sticks that killed my family!” Adam said. “And. I’ll make him talk sheriff leave him to me!”  Adam took Lil’ Beaver back to the makeshift jail, tied him up and started to beat him with a stick until the stick broke, and then he went back to the sheriffs’ office a came back with bullwhip. He beat Lil’ Beaver until he was a bloody mess and had passed out.

“Did you get him to talk?” the sheriff asked Adam. “No, but I ain’t through with hem yet, and when I’m through. He’ll talk.” Adam said with his hand dripping with Lil’ Beaver’s blood, and he blood all over Adam’s clothes. “Hell talk or I’ll kill him right here!”

“Looks like you done already done that!” The sheriff said.

That night Rebecca left the mansion, and walked the five miles to town thinking how she must free here lover before something really bad happened.  It was about close to dawn when she got to the makeshift jail the housed Lil’ Beaver.  She quietly pulled the rotten wood from the makeshift jail to see inside, and there she spotted Lil’ Beaver in a crouch on the dirt floor.   She pulled more of the rotten wood away, and was able to crawl inside. The love of here life was close to dead, so the rest of the morning she spent mending his wounds to get him ready for their escape.   Finally he was concourse enough to walk, and they made their was out into the woods next to the jail where they rested until light, and started their way back to the plantation.

When the sheriff went to check on his prisoner, he was shocked to find him gone, and immediately sent one of his men to the O’Leary plantation to tell Adam there had been an escaped.  It wasn’t long before Adam got to town to form a posse to find the escaped prisoner, and after searching the area around the sheriffs’ office, they took to the main road to hunt him down.

“They were over here sheriff, we found some of his blooded cloths!”  A member of the posse shouted out.  “Yeah, he was over, and somebody is helping him to get away!”

They followed the trail of blood back to the main road that led to the Lee Plantation and took off.  The posse was in a wagon while the sheriff and Adam were on horseback in tow.   The wagon with the posse speeding up, and they spotted Rebecca and Lil’ Beaver running up the road heading towards the plantation, but before they could catch them the wagon hit a bolder in the road.  It rolled down a ravine killing half the posse and mangling the rest.  By now, the sheriff and Adam were close to catching them when Nicholas in his carriage passed the two on horseback, picked up Rebecca and Lil’ Beaver and made iton to the grounds of the Lee Plantation, but the sheriff and Adam was right behind them when the carriage lipped over throwing Rebecca and Lil’ Beaver out.  They ran into the poison garden for safety when the sheriff and Adam dismounted from their horses.  The sheriff went after Nicholas while Adam ran behind the two lovers.

Being young and the sheriff being old, Nicholas was able to down the sheriff with one blow to the head.   With the sheriff knocked out, Adam had caught Rebecca and Lil’ Beaver  — he had Lil’ Beaver on the ground beating him, and since he was already hurt, it was easy for Adam to get the best of Lil’ Beaver.   Adam was on his back beating him with a stick while Rebecca hid in the thickets watching.  Then, Adam pulled out a ten inch knife and stabbed Lil’ Beaver in the leg. 

Lil’ Beaver kicked Adam in the face. The kick knocked the knife from Adams hand, and he jumped on Lil’ Beaver’s back and started beating him over the head with tree part knocking him out.  Rebecca emerged from the woods picked up the knife and stabbed Adam in the neck.  He turned over and she stabbed him in the eye.  Then he rolled over on his stomach, and that’s when she started stabbing him in the back, so many time that he became still — dead still.   By now Nicholas had helped the sheriff to his feet and they walked to a clearing in the poison garden where they heard the commotion of the fight in the woods, and when they came up on them, the sheriff saw Rebecca plunging the knife into Adam's back, crying “I’m gone kill you! You rapped me! You rapped me!”

The sheriff bent to the ground and pulled Rebecca from Adam's body, took the knife and checked to see if Adam was alive. "He's dead."  The sheriff looked up at Nicholas and said. “She killed him!  That girl killed Adam O’Leary!”  Again, Nicholas helped the sheriff to his feet, but by then the two lovers had run to another part of the poison garden down by the running stream where they embrace each other and began kissing.

Oh my love, we can never be happy in this world but maybe we can in the next world Rebecca said to the dying Lil’ Beaver.  Then, she grabbed some Death Cap mushrooms growing next to her put them into her mouth, and gave her lover a final kiss.  When the sheriff and Nicholas found them, they were in each other’s embrace fuming at the mouth dead in love from the poison mushrooms.

Nicholas and the sheriff, picked them up and carried them back to the over turned carriage. They tuned the carriage right-side up, and loaded their bodies inside and headed back to town.

When the two lovers were brought back to town for burial Ambrose had heard about what had happened, and arranged a graveside funeral.   However, the white cemetery had a prohibition that prevented the burial of Niggers and Indians — only whites.  But, Ambrose and the sheriff had convinced the towns’ people to let them be buried together. They were buried in a special designed coffin that held both bodies next to each other. At the graveside funeral were the sheriff, the magistrate who over saw the trail, her brother Nicholas, Ambrose and the four ladies who came to Rebecca’s defense.  As the last shovel of dirty was thrown on the grave, Nicholas said, “Rest In Peace my sister I hardly knew and my brother I wish I knew.”

He threw a Death Cap mushroom over the grave, and the mourners left the cemetery regretting the faith of Rebecca and Lil’ Beaver two lovers who couldn’t love in this world but perhaps the next.

Next Installment

Nicholas Lee And Ambrose Levine Meet John Brown and Dangerfield Newby At Harpers Ferry

 


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