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Note - most stories are fictional and do not refer to anyone in particular living or dead. True stories will say they are true!
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The three of them were at sea
two days when then finally eased into the dock that Mr. Mandrel had constructed
to protect the boat when they had heavy storms.
John commented that it was worse than being in
the saddle for thirty hours with out of having a break.
Since they left in a hurry
they didn’t have much time to pack and left behind many of the things they had
bought. Mandrel’s daughter was named
Lorry and John had got to know her on the trip home.
Mandrel told John that he now
owned a large part of the Island that was tillable. He said the house was still his for it was not
part of the property he had wagered. He
said he would help John get acquainted with the workings of the estate. He also said John was welcome to stay in his
house for it was the best place to stay on the Island.
John said I hope we are close
to eating for I’m getting hungrier by the minute. After dinner he said I want you to know you
still own half of the estate for you were being cheated but I feel I earned the
Mandrel could hardly speak
for the land had been in the family for several generations. John asked if there any horses here on the
island and Mandrel said yes we have some of the finest from Europe. John said that’s good for I have been in need
of a good ride.
Lorry took John down to the
stables where he said, “Your father wasn’t kidding these are fine stock. Which one is yours Lorry?”
She said, “I just ride the
first one I can get a bridal on.”
After looking them over John said,
“This one is mine from now on. It will
take him a while to adjust to me but he will learn.”
She said, “Tomorrow we will
look the place over and see how the horse handles for you.”
When they returned Mandrel asked,
“Is everything alright?”
John said, “Yes it’s fine. Actually I would like a western saddle but
I’ll get used to the English saddle for I learned to ride bareback.
Mandrel said, “There is a
saddle maker in the next Island over. We
could have him make a custom saddle for you. He is an expert in making gear for horses and
ships it all over the world.”
John said, “We will have to
visit him after I get settled and understand the workings of the plantation.”
The plantation kids were
fascinated by the six guns John wore and how fast he could draw them out of his
holsters. They would hang around him
whenever they could and their parents would have to make them get back to their
On occasion he would let one
of the children ride with him through the plantation and that was their
greatest desire. They felt like they
were something special. Of course when
one of the girls got to ride, the boys were pretty unhappy about that for girls
were equal to the boys.
The news from the states
wasn’t good for the war had started.
The crop of coffee beans was
ready to be picked. One of the buyers
from Florida came down and wanted to buy the whole crop and Mandrel sat down
with him and after some back and forth they agreed on the price.
The buyer produced a contract
with the conditions and price on it which satisfied Mandrel but John said I
would like to read it before we sign it.
Everything seemed alright
except the method of payment.
John asked, “How do you intend
to pay for the merchandise?”
The buyer said, “What do you
mean how we are going to pay for it?”
John said. “What are you
going to use for money?”
The buyer said, “We will pay
in good confederate dollars.”
John said, “We don’t take
either confederate dollars or greenbacks the only thing we accept is gold.”
This led to a heated
discussion where John said, “It’s either gold or no deal.”
The buyer said, “You will
accept good confederate money like everyone else or you won’t sell to anyone.”
John informed the buyer that
he would escort him and his party to the dock and they could leave. The man tried to argue further but John said,
“There will be no more talk so get on you boat and leave.”
Mandrel didn’t know what to
say for he had done business with the man’s company for many years.
John said if he can’t pay in
gold that means they don’t have any money and once they get the coffee there is
no way we can get our money.
John said tomorrow we go to
New Orleans where I know some honest men that are buyers. The next day they went to New Orleans and met
with friends of John and after an afternoon of haggling over price they made a
The buyer said, “I don’t know
how much the war will affect us but in any case we need some coffee.” John had left instructions for the men to
start loading the ship and set sail for New Orleans as soon as they were
A couple days later the ship
arrived with a full load and the unloading began.
While they were unloading a
customs officer came with the buyer from Florida with the contract he tried to
use to buy the crop. It was all signed
and a receipt was produced showing payment had been made.
The man told a fanciful story and John and Mandrel
just listened. When he finished the
customs officer asked for Mandrel’s version of what happened.
When Mandrel finished the
officer said he couldn’t decide who was telling the truth and the Buyer from
Florida had the paper work.
John suddenly grabbed the
buyer’s hand and drove a knife through it fastening it to the table where they
were sitting. As he moved his arm around
with the man screaming, John asked if he would like to tell the truth about the
The man gushed out, “I lied
John said as he twisted the
man’s arm, “That’s not good enough we need the whole truth and who is behind this.”
The man said alright I’ll
tell you. John pulled the knife out and said, “Okay let’s have it.”
The man was holding his hand
and for a moment it looked like he might change his mind when John said, “I see
you have another hand shall I - - the man cut him off and gave out all the
details and who was involved.
The customs officer said, “I
know some of these crooks and if they ever come here again they will go to