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"Gone And Left With The Ill Wind"

By Arturo J. Guzmán

DECEMBER 13, 2001
Copyright © 2001 THE SAN JUAN STAR. All Rights Reserved.

It was dawn as the carriage taking the distinguished visitor made its way through the potholes in the road. Early morning always brought the unmistakable aromas of the Southern-South: alcapurrias, mofongo, gandinga and other local delicacies. Not far, the plantation was already busy with the sounds of workers restoring the mansion. Inside, Miranda the trusted housemaid was scurrying and imparting orders to the other members of the household staff, trying to have everything ready for the visitor they were expecting.

This hurried routine was suddenly interrupted by the usual screams coming from the second floor bedroom. "That’s Miss Scarlett!", exclaimed Miranda as she rushed upstairs to calm her mistress from the earliest of her daily temper tantrums. "Can you imagine Charlie El Negro’s nerve, Miranda?, asked Scarlett referring to the oldest and meanest slave in the plantation. "You tell him I won’t take no for an answer, and he must tell the Planters Association they must not refuse me approval of Section 666 of the Slave Code".

"Yes, Miss Scarlett , I’ll take care of it, but now you must bathe in your marble Jacuzzi and get ready for your visitor"! Miranda continued, "You must put on your finest dress, mistress. Our priestess Velda told me that red is your lucky color and it will keep the evil blue spirit from harming you".

One hour later, the magnificence of Pava the old family plantation made a deep impression on the visitor as the carriage entered the grounds and approached the stately ante-Valium mansion. He was greeted at the door by Miranda and the uniformed staff, and immediately whisked away to the grand salon where Scarlett O’Bigpot was already awaiting.

"Welcome Mr. Bloombang, it’s so nice to see you, I hope you had a pleasant journey, let’s sit down and talk", rushed Scarlett in her South-Southerner accent. She continued, "I’m so embarrassed that you find Pava in such as state of disrepair. When the integrationists took over the plantation, at the expense of giving the slaves roads, water, and healthcare they let it rot, Mr. Bloombang, but lil’ ol’ me is now taking care to restore everything to its former splendor".

Scarlett continued, "The integrationists almost destroyed our way of life, they emancipated most of the slaves and even dared to teach them how to read and write, can you imagine? Why, when I went out to get them back, some of them even tried to touch me! I dare say, they almost ruined the plantation. You just can’t imagine all the corruption and they didn’t even want to share! Shameful, Mr. Bloombang!".

‘Miss O’ Bigpot, please call me Mike, my friends say I neither bloom, nor...well call me Mike", replied the visitor. She wasted no time, " Since we are on familiar terms and meeting on family business, you can call me Scarlett or Bigpottie which was my childhood nickname.

"Well Scarlett, my visit is very short and I’ll soon have to return, so forgive me for rushing into discussing our mutual business interests. I have come to tell you that your terms are acceptable and that from now on, we will share in the profits. You run the plantation and the slaves as you see fit, and I’ll make sure that the bank does not foreclose on your property and use all my influence to try and keep the Integrationist Army as far away from Pava as possible", stated Bloombang firmly.

"Your words are sweet music to this magnolia, Mr. Mikebang", replied a smiling but somewhat confused Scarlett. She continued, "While, you know I sent lil’ ol’ Hannibal to influence the bankers, because I was deadly-scared that they may foreclose and we would loose Pava forever. I only wished all Yankees were like you and support our way of life at Pava and segregation. On my part of the deal I’ll make sure that the families of the runaway slaves that moved to the North, force them to work for you or else I’ll keep them in chains even during daytime! And that’s a promise!

"Well, Scarlett", exclaimed Bloombang as he stood up to leave, "That would just leave the question of the aboveground railroad. We must admit that the integrationists started something we may not be able to stop. The important lesson to remember is that even if your slaves manage to escape, we make them believe that their relatives here at Pava do not want to be equally emancipated and that they all remain working for our own profit." "Amen, and agreed!", assured Scarlett.

Unbeknown to Bloombang and Scarlett, a few days later far away from Pava and in the Union capital, a report on the secret meeting reached Rhett Ross. As he read about the encounter that had taken place at Pava, Rhett smiled and said loudly as if anyone wanted to listen, "frankly my dear, it is YOU who doesn’t give a damn!".

Now, stay tuned. Soon we will bring you another captivating chapter in the best selling and continuing saga of "Gone and Left with Ill Wind".

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