Thursday, December 26, 2013

"EL DORADO WEST" [PG] - Chapter Thirty-Two

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The following is Chapter Thirty-Two of my story about a pair of free black siblings making the journey to California in 1849: 

Chapter Thirty-Two - Unnatural Love

September 1, 1849

Two days have passed since our wagon party experienced the tragic deaths of Mr. Anderson and Miss Watkins. Mr. Cross remains seriously wounded, but alive. A dark gloom continues to permeate the group. The rumblings against Mr. James' leadership have resumed. And my earlier regrets for joining Benjamin on this trip to California has increased tenfold. Dear God! When will this all end?

September 2, 1849

A miracle has happened! Mr. Cross has begun to recover from his wounds, thanks to Mr. James and Mrs. Robbins' ministrations. However, he remains in no condition to drive his wagon and Mr. James continues to do so for him. As the wagon party's scout, Elias does not have the opportunity to relieve Mr. James. With Elias busy scouting ahead and Mr. James concerning himself with Mr. Cross' situation, neither man seemed concerned with the growing hostility toward the latter. 

September 4, 1849

I cannot deal with Benjamin any longer. I cannot believe . . . I find it hard to accept that he has harbored such . . . such feelings about me for so long. During the noon halt, I found the time to briefly converse with Elias about the growing hostility toward Mr. James. Benjamin spotted us and practically dragged me back to our wagon. By force! An argument between us ensued, in which he called Elias every derogatory name that crossed his mind. I made it clear to Benjamin that as an adult woman, I have every right to talk with whomever I choose. I also reminded him that he was my brother, not my father. Benjamin countered that as my only male relative in this godforsaken wilderness, he has control over my life and that I am to obey his every word. His comments angered me greatly and a retort hovered on my lips, when his next words took me by surprise. Without missing a beat, his anger transformed into . . . passion. He begged me to obey his every word, claiming that he knew me better than anyone in existence, including our own family. Then he went into some speech about us being soul mates and how we need one another. It was not long before Benjamin claimed how much he needed me . . . and that Miss Guilbert was nothing more than a substitution for my company. When he made that last statement about Miss Guilbert and I, I realized with great horror how he truly felt about me. Miss Guilbert was a substitute . . . for me? What exactly was Benjamin trying to say? That he preferred my company in his bed over his current lover? Dear God! I hope not!

I cannot maintain this relationship between us any longer. If we stay together, who knows how Benjamin will next express his feelings. By force? I need to speak with the Robbins.

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