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Planters' Punch

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Material Information

Title:
Planters' Punch
Physical Description:
Serial
Language:
English
Creator:
Herbert G. deLisser
Publisher:
Planters' Punch
Place of Publication:
Kingston: Jamaica
Creation Date:
1943

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Periodicals   ( lcsh )
Genre:
serial   ( sobekcm )
Spatial Coverage:
Jamaica

Record Information

Source Institution:
National Library of Jamaica ( SOBEK page | external link )
Holding Location:
National Library of Jamaica ( SOBEK page | external link )
Rights Management:
All rights reserved by the source institution.
Resource Identifier:
nlj - P57
System ID:
AA00004645:00017


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Full Text




















VOL. IV. NO. VI. 1943-1944 PRICE: ONE SHILLING


HARDWARE & LUMBER LTD.

Jamaica's Foremost Ironmongers & Lumber Merchants.

OPERATING THE BEST PLOUGH SERVICE OFFERED IN JAMAICA.

.. Corn
Plog: 7Planters
Ploughs anters


and

Shellers
bJ


SHOW ROOMS -- CORNER HANOVER STREET & HARBOUR STREET LUMBER YARD ADJACENT
STORE 4 KING STREET. CORNER KING & PORT ROYAL STREETS.


TELEGRAPHIC
ADDRESS:
HARDLUMBER


LIONEL deCORDOVA


Manager.


TELEPHONES:
STORE 2787
SHIPPING
DEPT. 2874
WHARF 2571


VOL. IV, NO. VI.


1943-1944


PRICE: ONE SHILLING


I


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a.


i.


. Come what may, a woman's a woman,
*and wants to be attractive. And as the
map of the world alters with the course of
the war, so too does- the fashion picture
change as woman makes the most of what
she has to look her best.
Today; events move fast, and styles
Change swiftly, but one thing remains the
same... as a symbol of security ... the repu-
tation of the HOUSE OF ISSA, for depend-
able qualiLy and honest value.
The fashions you see at Kingston s
'IThee- Smart Shops" were created to fit
your new needs, your new busier-than-
ever life, and your new more-difficul -tha n-
ever-to-balance budget.
War in, and war out, follow the fash-
ion and shop at


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I' lla.1 dy -s





p:.1

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PLANTERS'


PUNCH


Vol. IV No. VI.









U. F.'s


MIXED BY

HERBERT G. DE LISSER. C.M.G.


WAR


For the year 1943-1944


EFFORTS


Many Services Rendered Jamaica by
the United Fruit Company and its
Manager, Mr. Bradshaw

THE end of 1940 was approaching. In May of
that year the Germans had invaded Holland
and Belgium, the fate of France hung in the
balance and was soon to be decided, and this little
colony of Great Britain realized that its banana
trade had largely for the time been murdered by
Hitler. But there were some of us who saw that
something could still be done for Jamaica's ban-
ana output, and it is to the credit of Mr. Samuel
Zemurray and his Company that when he was
asked in the middle of May of 1940 if he would
help Jamaica to sell her bananas in the United
States, he immediately promised to do so should
the necessity arise. That necessity arose in the
autumn of 1940.
The present writer was the first person to
speak on this mat-
ter to Mr. Samuel .
Zemurray in New ..r. -
York in May, 1940. ,,- _.
In October of that' 5 ::
same year Mr. .
Thomas Bradshaw, .
the Manager of te
Jamaica Division of
the United Fruit
Company, was al-
ready in London at
the instance of the
Jamaica Govern-
m e n t discussing
what might be done
to help Jamaica's
bananas; he was in
London with the
express permission
of his Company and
with the German
bombs falling night
and day upon the
houses and thor-
oughfares of Eng-
land's capital! He
might have been
killed, but some-
how I do not believe
he ever thought of
that. The enemy
imagined that in a
iew \veel;s at most
Great Britain would
be beaten to her
knees and the Bri-
tish Empire become
a thing of the past,
but the men to
whom were entrusted the arrangements for keep-
ing the Empire alive went calmly on with their
business, feeling absolutely certain that England
would not be beaten, that the dissolution of the
Empire would not take place as a consequence
of this war, and that England and America to-
gether would eventually teach Germany and Italy
a lesson which they should never forget, whatever
might be the toil and sweat, blood and tears, in-
volved in the awful effort to be made for the safety
of the Empire and the safeguarding of the world's
most precious liberties.
IN this sketch something is written about the
six distinct efforts that the United Fruit Com-
pany has made during the last four years to aid
England and Jamaica in this war. These efforts,
of course, have been in direct association with this
country, and, as the war continues still, only a
part of the story can be told. But what is mention-
ed is of a surety enough to indicate that an Ameri-
can business organisation here has shown no lack
of devotion to a cause which was England's before
it also became America's.
A WORD or two have been said about Mr.
Bradshaw's journey to England in October
1940. That flight was undertaken on account of


Jamaica's bananas. What is not generally known
is that in 1941 the United Fruit Company's
vessels carried to the United States almost
three million stems of our Jamaica bananas,
the ships of Messrs. Elders and Fyffes, and
all other ships conveying bananas from Jam-
aica to England, having then been taken off
the ordinary trade service for war purposes by the
British Government. It is but fair to say that in
Central America were vast plantations of bananas
owned by the United Fruit Company, and that the
ships to take this fruit to the United States were
registered under the American flag. Therefore
there was no obligation whatever on the part of the
United Fruit Company to use these ships for Jam-
aica purposes, to utilise them for conveying Jam-
aica bananas to the United States; but it did this
because an appeal for aid had been made to it
by the authorities in England on behalf of Jamaica,
by the Jamaica Government on behalf of this is-
land, and also (as I may be permitted to add) by
certain Jamaicans on behalf of this island. When


'p.


MR. THOMAS BRADSHAW AND MRS. BRADSHAW

1942 began new arrangements had of course to be
made. For one thing, the Japanese had struck at
the United States, Central America had entered the
war with the United States,, and therefore Central
America had to be assisted economically by its
great northern neighbour. Some American trade
ships, amongst them certain vessels of the United
Fruit Company, were allocated to Central Amer-
ica exclusively; nevertheless the Jamaica banana
industry did not suffer as it might have done in
dcifterent circumstances. For the British Govern-
ment had from the first guaranteed to purchase at
a fixed price at least twelve million stems of
Jamaica bananas yearly, whether these could be
moved from Jamaica or not. This guarantee
remains today and will obtain until we can freely
send away our fruit to other countries once more.

HE WAR really began in May 1940: before that
Hitler had deliberately made it a "phony war."
But in the summer and autumn of 1940 the Bri-
tish people realized far more vividly than ever
the terrible problems which confronted them and
\"hich to the outsider must have appeared in-
soluble. Could the United Fruit Company, an
American organisation which was also British
through Messrs. Elders and Fyffes. and Jamaican


Rescuing the
Important War


Banana Housing
Services Recruiting


Labourers Growing More Food

because of its establishment in this country, afford
any further aid to the war effort in Jamaica besides
the taking of some of our bananas to the United
States? Quietly, unadvertised, unknown to most
intelligent people in Jamaica itself, men of the
British Naval Intelligence had begun to arrive in
Jamaica in increasing numbers, joining those that
were here before, all of them constituting together
a considerable corps of trained and energetic
workers. Where should they be lodged to do their
work efficiently and promptly? That was the ques-
tion that soon arose.
The United Fruit Company owned buildings
in Kingston which seemed almost ideally situated
and conditioned for the use of the British Naval
Intelligence Department. The United Fruit Com-
pany was therefore
approached : would
-' it rent its buildings
Sto the British Gov-
ernment? There was
no argument about
this; the request was
granted as soon as
made. It may of
course be said that
in wartime a re-
-" quest is a command;
but in this particu-
lar connection there
are two things which
.: Britishers must re-
member: the first
is that the United
Fruit Company was
an American or-
ganisation and Am-
erica had not yet
entered the war, the
second is that it is
not the practice of
1 a British Govern-
r ment to adopt co-
.ercion in dealing
with a friendly
foreign company or
Indeed even in deal-
ing with a British
Colonial company.
There was also the
rent to be paid for
these apartments -
whole floors of them
which the Bri-
t i s h Government
wanted. The rent
would be fixed by the United Fruit Company;
the Government's agents could endeavour to bring
about a reduction of the rental if they thought it
desirable to do so. But there could be no bicker-
ing when the United Fruit Company's terms were
made known. This writer has managed to get them,
after appealing in vain to persons in the United
Fruit Company for exact information. The truth
is that for each office a rental of 1/4 per day was
charged. This rental was obviously insignificant;
and while money does not count with England
when a great struggle has to be fought to a de-
cisive issue, acts of decency such as this now re-
corded cannot fail to win the deep appreciation of
all true British subjects.

HE Jamaica public knows also that nearly the
whole of the lower floor of the United Fruit
Company's offices in Harbour Street was rented
last year to the Competent Authority on Food and
Materials. On that floor only a tiny wired com-
partment was reserved for its use by the Fruit
Company: all the rest of the space was given over
to Mlr. F. E. V. Smith's assistants, while that
gentleman himself now occupies an inner office
approached through a battery or barrage of clerks
who sometimes seem to the visitor to. be on the







PLANTERS' PUNCH


qui ri'e to prevent any murderous assault upon
the Food and Materials Controllers whom they
could not possibly rescue in time. The claim is that
for the offices in Harbour Street the Food Controll-
er's Department is paying a very good rent indeed;
but the most iiat is paid for all the U.F.C's offices_
occupied is 50 per month, and much more than
that might easily have been asked. So in regard to
the facilitation of the Food and Materials Control
operations the United Fruit Company (like other
Jamaica oi gan;iations \whvcr shall be written about
in future issues ot Planters' Pinnch") has rendered
famalc.i excellent ser-
ice. For this Jamaica
is sincerely grateful.

B UT there was far
nlmorte impo.'tant \uril: I'l
in connection with Ja-
maica's loucd supply to
be done in the near
future by the United
Fruit Company. To rent
offices to the Govern-
ment at a reasonable -
figure is meritorious;
but, after all, offices at
a pinch can always be
obtained: the work of
Government and of the
public must be carried
on in any circumstances
whatever. What was of
far more moment last
year was the inducing
of the large proprietors
of Jamaica to pull their
proper weight in the
erlrt that had to be un-
dertaken to supply the
island with native food-
stuffs.
For sometime the
Government, the Food
Production Board and
the Jamaica Imperial
Association had been
setting forth the neces- INTERIOR VIEW OF ONE
sity of the larger land-
owner doing everything
possible to plant native foods so as to pievdnt ainy
gri\e food shortage in the future because of the
ine table stringencies which would be occasioned
by thiss \war. Most of the landowners baulked at this
command and advice. The fact is that they were not
accustomed to planting native Negetable but had
alv.day' left that branch of agriculture and horti-
culture to the peasants. They had other reasons for
their decidedly negati.c attitude. During the last
war many of them had planted corn and
other foods, but few indeed had reaped what
they hlad sown. They complained, half in bitter-
ness, half in amusement. that just when their pro-
ducts were reaching marketable condition they
disappeared in a single night! The neighboring
peasantry, in fact, objected to those it regarded a.
"the bigger men" encroaching upon its field of op-
erations; besides, tie native peasantry never at any
time had much objection to possessing itself of
the breadfruit or bananas, the corn, peas or yam;
cultivated by these bigger men. Perhaps of more
importance than the taking of the big mj.i's pro-
visions in war time,
however, was the ob-
jection to his cultivat- -
ing "ground provisions"
at all. The opini!-,n of
one or two individuals U
in I Inh connection would
not have mattered; but
objections felt and
voiced by hiundied s and
thousands of i':1ill en,1-
tivators at the same time
were no light matter,
and the large landed
proprich-t, was not dis-
posed to ignore that .
aspect of popular opin-
ion. 4A

CLEARLY, the ex-
lirtations of Gov-
ernment andi voluntai y
inFtitutions, ol the Ptess
and other similar aind
dissimilar agencies, '.'e-c
not by any means effer!-
ing very music. Yet
this was a very serious
war in which a pro-
gressiv\e hortage of to.lI
had to be taken in:o
calculation everywN.here
Big man as well as
small man must culti-
vate-a principle which
had been recognized in MEDICAL STAFF FOR EX
Jamsica a-, long since as


during the Napoleonic Wars, but which had halted
at recognition and not been resolutely carried into
practice. Now it was different: principle had to be
transmuted into practice; and now it was that it
occurred to the Food Production Board to appoint
the Jamaica Manager of the United Fruit Company
as Jamaica's Food Production Executive Officer.
This happened in June of 1942, and at once
IMr. Thomas Bradsha\v started on a tour of
the country with the intention of conferring with
as many large proprietors as possible at meetings
specially organized for that purpose, and also


Photo by Cleary
E OF THE ROOMS RENTED BY THE U. F. CO., TO THE
BOARD

began a series of personal visits to landowner after
landowner. Local Food Production Committees
were appointed about 50 ot them. A minimum
quantity of the bigger man's land was to be cul-
tivated in native foods: not less than 20,000 acres.
Naturally, Mr. Samuel Zemurray and the United
Fruit Company had heartily acquiesced in this new
task undertaken by their representative in Jamaica;
naturally also they have toll-.'.ed his progress with
concentration and concern, and have rejoiced in
his success.
Mr. Bradshaw. had been in the habit of dealing
wit h the larger landowners of Jamaica and of
parts of South America also. He knew his job to
his finger tips; he also possesses a most Iriend:y,
persuasive manner which, in this instance, \;.is
already fifty per cent of success. He mapped out
the island; he took district after district, parish
after parish, in his stride: in June of this .ear.
some twelve months after he had begun operations,
he could confidently though quietly asser: 'hat,
barring some serious accident, such as a devasta-


I'*-.i,) by Cleary
EXAMINATION OF LABOUR TO GO ABROAD, OF WHICH
DR. CAMERON IS SEEN ON HIS RIGHT


ting hurricane, Jamaica would have no native food
problem from about August or September. He had
succeeded! But no success has been more silently
achieved; it is safe to say that there has been no
acclamation whatever about it-"Planters' Punch"
alone, most probably, is now printing the story of
the United Fruit Company's achievement through
Tom Bradshaw in regard to Jamaica's food sup-
ply, and "Planters' Punch" had to dig deep and
persistently before it could obtain the information
it required.
One need hardly say that for this most valuable
piece of work there has
been no remuneration
whatever. It was vol-
untarily undertaken, it
has been voluntarily
performed. The right
people to undertake it,
indeed the only people
to undertake it, were on
the spot, and credit
must be given to the
Food Production Board
for having thought of
utilising the services of
these.

A ND now I must
touch upon an
:.mu .ing aspect of this
ilodl production ques-
tion. After the big
].inclooners" had begun
either to plgint them-
:-c es or to lease land
to willing and compe-
tent peasants for plant-
ing at merely a pepper-
corn rent after most
Sof them had thrown
themselves into this job
T and had developed an
interest in it and keen
C,.ildslll each man
SElliott, Kingston, Ja, became a sort of watch-
man of his fellow l:,rge-
FOOD AND MATERIALS proprietors. "What is
So-and-So doing ? '
would be the question
of some of the planters; "is he cull eating at this
crisis, does he realise that there is a crisis; and if
he is cultivating, is he doing as much as he should?"
Queries Illie these one has heard during 1943;
what is more. delinquents are mentioned by name
and pointed o(ut with stark severity. Mr. Large
Acres feels that his neighbour, who is also named
Mr. Large Acres, must play his propcr part at
this time and at this crisis; and one need hardly
say that this brings about either a spirit of emu-
lation, or, amongst the lazy or recalcitrant minor-
ity, a spirit of fear. It is not too much, surely, tq
contend that this feeling has been one of the re-
sults of Tom Bradshaw's quiet insistence on the
need of an early increase of food production on
our larger plantations in 1943. And as he could
not hae done this .. lrk without the consent of his
Chief and of his Company, the United Fruit Com-
pany must be given much credit for what has been
achieved.
But there w%:is yet something more and in-
deed there may still be Zomething more and more
before this world con-
ffict cnd-. (in Wednes-
dlay. l\arch 24th of this
year, there hlnded in
Jamaica lit. Samuel
Zemtirray himself, the
President ot the United
Fruit C:.mlpany. Some
Srlmliuri had grot. about.
4, that the United States
might t.k a certain
l.lnumber of agii.ultur:ill
wo'ePIis frr.ni Jamaica
ti., assist in harvesting
American crops during
Sthe Lummer and autumn
months. This rumour
transforined itself into
actuality with Mr. Ze-
nmurray's advent, for
his special mission to
Jamaica was to recruit
;igriuultural labourers
for the United States
GCoeernment. Of course
the Jamaica Govern-
ment knew of this al-
icady. The idea seem-
ed to have been very
quickly conceived and
thought out: it was in
fact suggested to Wash-
Ington by Mr. Zemur-
iayv, and it must at once
4 ltou,, Ai, elal .q have occurred to. the
DR. McLEAN 15 HEAD, Authorities at Washing-
ton that Samuel Zemur-


1943-44








PLANTER S' PU'NCH


ray was absolutely the best man to.go to Jamaica
to arrange for a large labour recruiting scheme
He had just lost his only son in the war.
That bright, able, intelligent young man, who had
been in training to follow in his father's footsteps.
and who had unostentatiously been working g for
sometime in Jamaica before America entered the
war, had enlisted, gone with the American Forces
to North Africa, and had been killed in that coun-
try. His father's heart must have been wrung and
torn by this terriblee loss: but at the summons of
his country, on the injunction of those in official
authority, Mr. Zemurray put aside his personal
grief and his work. suppressed the feeling '.'rhill no
man could entirely tracli.ate. flew to Jamaic.i nn
an important Government mission and here re-
mained for some ten days. at the end of whicli
lime he had completed. \with Mr. Tom Bradshaw..
the plans that. subject to alteration by Washing-
ton or by circumstances. 'were to be carried oL
in connection with the recruitment of Jamaica la-
bourers for the United States.

M R. BRADSHAW lnee\w. naturall. all about lthe
scheme. Fifteen thousand Jamaicans were to
be recruited and sent by ship to the. United States
at a very handsome rate of wages; but it was
noticeable that none of these fifteen thousand u'ere
to be recruited in Kingston. Now. in Kingtlon
and Lower St. Andrew, there are some twelve
thousand labourers registered as '-relief workiels."
To some it might have seemed that here was a
force which the United States could obtain at once
for its agricultural purposes. But, although they
did not say so, it must have been know n to the
United Fruit Company's people that your relief
worker, who lives and moves and has his being in
Jamaica's capital mainly, soon becomes fit only for
the performance of "reliet work." which means the
doing of as little work as possible! He has been
known to go on strike for higher wages and per-
quisites just at the time when everybody was say-
ing that he was being treated, in the circumstances,
with an extraordinary generosity. He has also
been known to stage a little riot; a dozen of him
have been known to be digging a trench two at a
time, the other ten giving a benevolent eye to the
placid exertions of the two. The one thing your
relief worker does not do and is not prepared to
do is to work like a rural Jamaica agriculturist
or labourer; consequently the United Fruit Com-
pany (or MVr. Zemurray and Mr Bradshaw)
ignored the relief worker and proceeded to recruit
labourers in different parts of the island.

AN illuitration on a previous page shows Mr. and
Mrs. Bradshaw sittine on a couch in theirhouse
in Lower St. Andrew. Some readers may wonder
what on earth Mrs. Bradshaw had to do with re-
cruiting and why her picture should be printed in
connection with the subject. But those persons
who read the newspapers know that Mrs. Bradshaw
often went to the country with her husband when
recruiting had to be arranged or done; she must
therefore be considered as concerned in th,? job
undertaken and carried through so smo.'thl!.: ano
placidly within a couple of months. There js
another illustration of a crowd in front of a re-
cruitirig station in the country, and the si e ot thi-
crowd indicates the willingness of the Jamaica
peasant to emigrate for work to the United States.
Still another picture shows the Medical Officers


of the United Fruit Company, the t\o American
Recruiting Agents who came down to Jamaica
to help in recruiting, and also the staff of persons.'
young men and young women of Jamaica, who as-
sisted in the work of medical examination that
had to be performed. In the midst of all these
stands white-haired Dr. I. W. McLean, a man who,
up to this year. had been in Jamaica for upwards
of twenty-fopr years as chief resident doctor of
the United Fruit Company.. who had many friends
in Jamaica, who had made not a single enemy, and
who left this country in 1943 with his wife as
one of the best-loved Americans that ever came to
Jamaica. There was something in the nature of
the man that made him lo,.ed: something that drew
forth the affection he deserved Let this be a
tribute to his personality and to the work he did
in this country. and let it also be a tribute to the
help he consistently received from his devoted and
admired wvite.
And one must surely, mention the splendid
work done in this recruiting business by the Ja-
maica Labour Office and the Government Depart-
ment of Health.
Fifteen thousand men were wanted. Not all of
these were taken. The number sent away up to the
time that these pages go to press has been nine
thousand: a hitch occurred it was connected with
shipping. Such a hitch in the proceedings must


When finished with this Planters' Punch.
please pass it on to relatives and friends,
and thus save paper.


surely have been perceived from the first as likely.
But next year a larger number of labourers than
that which went to the United States in 1913 may be
sent thither; and with this work the United Fruit
Company, through their local Manager, Mr. Thomas
Bradshtlv.. will again be closely and intimately
identified.

THERE have been mentioned above six instances
Sin which the United Fruit Company has greatly
helped Great Britain's war effort in Jamaica. and
Jamaica's warAffort as a part of the British Em-
pire. The record of the Company has therefore,
during the past four years of war, been a splendid
one, and Great Britain and Jamaica will never
forget it. But it is believed by many that even be-
fore the end of this war the United Fruit Com-
pany, including Messrs. Elders and Fyffes, will
have disappeared from the Jamaica scene; that its
last ship will have been seen in our waters, its
last shipment of fruit made from Jamaica. We do
not for one moment believe that. It is true that it
has sold the Hotel which it acquired towards the
end of the last world war; it is true that most of
its great land holdings in Jamaica have been sold to
many companies and individuals. But, after all,
its business in Jamaica is really the buying and
shipping of bananas; and, so long as there are
bananas to be purchased and sent away, we see no
reason to believe that the United Fruit Company
will cease to exist in Jamaica. But if it were its
intention to leave this island at the end of the war,
it surely must be the more appreciated and praised
for the work it has done in Jamaica in connection
with the war; with the work it has done and which
it is still continuing to do.-H. G. D.-August 31st,
1943.


Photo by th ltri r Ili 't. KAiirti,.. .Id.


A GROUP OF MEN SELECTED TO GO TO THE LIED STATES A*S FARM LABOURERS


P'h,.. bl REC STATION I L R oI. i,,fT E UTED STES .
RECRUITING STATION FOR LABOUR TO BE SENT TO THE UNITED STATES


1943-44







PLANTERS' PUNCH


THE


By
HERBERT G. DE LISSER, C.M.G.


t '.a CHAPTER ONE

THE LETTER
t(" FOREVER "
F The word hummed in the brain of the woman
whose fingers held the letter she had receie.ed but
half an hour before, a letter posted weeks ago in
England and written in a handwriting indicating a
disposition strong and firm, immovable, a character
resolute and also imperious.
The v.'uman who had received and read the
letter over and over again sat at the threshold of
a neat wooden house built upon a knoll and over-
looking cattle pastures each neatly separated from
the others by stone hedges; in these pastiules stroll-
ed or stood ruminating cattle chewing their cud.
Some were lying down; all appeared in excellent
condition; while the slave-workers who looked
after the beasts moved about nimble and alert.
She was gazing, not at the things that stirred
or stood before her eyes, but at vacancy: her eyes
were fixed and still, in them was a look that spoke
poignantly of agony of heart. Her lips moved
slightly; ears that were acute might have caught
the word they uttered again and again-"forever,
forever, forever." It was a word she had repeated
with mingled sorrow and relief over twenty years
ago when the man and the child she had borne to
him, and both of whom she loved dearer Ihan life,
had left Jamaica for England: sorrow, because she
had believed that never again would sihe -ee them;
relief, because, though her heart was torn, she pre-
ferred for her child's sake that they should be
eternally separated. But now the letter she held
in her hand told her that her former master was
dead; the man who had had no other children and
whose title of baron had now gone to a distant
relative, with the property in England which was
entailed, had passed away at last.
But her daughter, her little Psyche-for always
she thought of the girl as a child-had easily won
her way upward in the world. For some time this
woman had known that the girl had married a;
Frenchman, a Baron de Brion, who had died two
years ago but had left a son who bore his father's
title. Baron de Brion, a scion of the old noblesse of
France, had been a poor man, but his wife had been
very well-off. All the money that her father had
saved had been bestowed upon her year after year:
all the money earned by the Jamaica property of
Hope Vale in St. James had also been invested for
Lord Huntingdon's daughter, and now Hope Vale
itself was hers. And her mother's cattle property,
which had done so well-most of the revenue from
that had gone to little Psyche too, and the place
itself would be hers some day, :ho:iLigl of mother,
and of cattle-pen care was taken that she should
know nothing. But did she need to come
back to Jamaica to see these properties, thought
the older woman, when they were so pro-
perly looked after and some good attorney for them
would be found in the days to come, to return to
Jamaica now or in the future would mean surely
that Psyche would learn the truth about herself,
learn she was a coloured woman, might even
be told that the woman with aquiline features and
straight hair, though black complexion-the fea-
tures and the hair being an inheritance from an
Arab grandfather in Africa-was her mother.
All this it had been the older woman's deter-
mination that her daughter should never know.
That was why when, on a chilly morning so many
years ago, the girl and her father had driven off
from Hope Vale to emba kl in Kingston for Eng-
land, she had whispered to herself "forever," had
bidden them in her heart an eternal farewell. And
now the girl was coming back. The fates had play-
ed a scurvy trick on one who had dared to trust
them much.
On his return to England years ago, because of
his elder brother's death. Charles Hunting-
don had married as a matter of duty. to pro-
duce an heir to the title and the great property he
had inherited. But after several years he felt that
his sickly wife would never bear a child: and when
she died he did not marry again. He had no wish
to; he felt he had fully done his duty: besides, his
mother, too. who had wanted to see an heir of her
own blood, was also dead. Little Psyche. who was
very nearly seven years of age when she reached
England. had been boarded in excellent schools, and
soon began growing into a fine girl; during the last
three years of his wife's life she had spent her holi-
days with her father and his wife at the castle in
which they lived. Psyche passed as his niece. She
called him uncle; his wife she had learnt to call
aunt, though Lady Huntingdon knew well that
Psyche was her husband's daughter. But she grew


E TURN


to like the girl more and more, and never would
she allude to her birth on a Jamaica slave estate;
as to the scholars and teachers in the schools which
Psyche attended-and her father took care that
these institutions should be of the best-they re-
garded her complexion as a result of a West Indian
climate, especially as her hair was soft and long.
a heritage from her maternal Arab great-grand-
father as well as from her father, and thought prin-
cipally about her connection with the old nobility
of England. It was imagined that a brother of
Lord Hunlingdon had been with him. or before
him, in the West Indies, and that Psyche was his
orphan daughter. In time. in a vague sort of way,
Psyche came to believe this herself: there was no-
thing to awaken in her a memory of the past. Then
at seventeen she went to France with a chaperon
carefully selected by her father, and at eighteen
she married Gustave de Brion. who was nearly
twice her age. Her father fully approved. Gustave
boasted of as proud a descent as any Huntingdon.
And if, as a result of the comparatively recent
French Revolution, he was poor. Psyche at least
was wealthy, and so about material financial cares
they had nothing whatever to worry.
Psyche cared for her husband, but never pass-
ionately loved him. He was kind. considerate.
honourable; when they were in England they lived
with her father, who had now his daughter alone
to cherish, and then her boy when it was born.
Occasionally she and her husband went to Lon-
don, but she preferred rural England, sharing in
this the tastes both of her father and husband. Her
son. who de Brion thought was the image of his
ancestors. while Huntingdon secretly was satisfied
that the youngster was eiery inch a Huntingdon.
Was three years of age when his father died, in
France, and two years after Lord Huntingdon was
also dead. This was in 1831. It was then that the
Baroness de Brion came to a resolution which she
might never have seriously entertained but for this
double bereavement, this sundering of the ties that
bound her to the English life she so much loved.
She would visit her estate in Jamaica, go for
a short sojourn in the country where she was born.
She remembered hardly anything of it, knew only
of one old woman-she thought of her as old-who
when she was a little child had been her nurse,
and still wrote to her occasionally as "'Miss Psyche";
but she knew she would not even recognize this
woman should she meet her suddenly. It seemed
to her amusing that this woman's name should
also be Psyche that she had now to be ad-
dressed as Psyche Huntingdon. But slaves, even
those manumitted, usually took the names of their
masters, her father had told her. She thought this
a wise custom: it must help to bind masters and
people together, she reflected sometimes.
And now her letter was in her "nurse's" hand,
and the set, somewhat stern face looked as though
it were scanning a future that held unimaginable
bitterness for so many unsuspecting persons.
Not far from her an old man sat on a box
shelling a small heap of Indian corn placed be-
side him, the ripe grains of which fell into the
great calabash that lay between his feet. His head
was white, his movements slow, he seemed to be
eighty years of age or more; yet his eyes were
alert, as was evidenced by the keen glances that
he shot at his mistress from time to time. Notic-
ing the continued motionlessness of her form.
rightly connecting her stricken appearance with
the letter that had been brought from Montego Bay
but half an hour ago. he now rose and walked over
to her, displaying as he did so a figure which must
once have been gigantic but w'as now. shrunken
with ago. "What's the matter. Miss Psyche'"" he
murmured. "bad news?"-
"She's coming back, Mashimba," she answered;
then ceased as though she had said enough.
"Coming here. Miss Psyche?"
"Yes."
"When?"
He could not read, so she did not hand him
the letter; mechanically she replied: "She say here
she will start in the next ship, so she must already
be on the way. She may be here four weeks' time.
Only God can tell."
"I thoughted she went away forever when she
was a baby. lke her fader. I long night an' day
to see her sweet face again, Miss Psyche: but
yet ."
"I understand. Mashimba: but what we going
to do now? What we going to do?"
She was the only one on the property to call
him in these days by his old African name To
everyone else he was Homer. The woman. Miss


When finished with this Planters' Punch.
please pass it on to relatives and friends,
and thus save paper.


One girl who came


back to hei native land


and to disillusion-


ment and tragedy.


Psyche, had made him free when he was seventy-
two years of age. and after he had been some twenty
years in Jamaica. He was originally from the
same African village as Psyche Huntingdon, whose
name too had been something wild and savage. She
was then seventeen, he was fifty, and at fifty he
was regarded as old. Fortunately for him, he had
been bought as a slave by the manager of a neigh-
bouring plantation, Plimsole, and from Plimsole
had subsequently been purchased for Psyche, at
her request, by Mr. Charles Huntingdon who then
was owner of Hope Vale. He had been a present
from the master to the strange Afro-Arab girl who
had made herself Charles Huntingdon's mistress
and had subsequently been endowed by him with
powers of attorney. jointly with a white overseer,
when Mr. Huntingdon, now a nobleman because
of his elder brother's death, was about to leave
Jamaica forever.
Psyche herself had been manumitted before
these events, before her little girl was born; her
daughter was therefore born free, and the cattle
property she now owned had also been given to
her by Mr. Huntingdon. She had made Mashimba
its headman, for he knew much about cattle, and
it had prospered exceedingly. He had a son now,
too, a young fellow over twenty years of age. This
young man had already succeeded to his position
on the property, in reality if not in appearance;
under Psyche Huntingdon he was the real boss of
the place which produced some of the finest
cattle in St. James parish with a surprisingly small
number of slaves.
Mashimba stood looking down upon his
mistress thoughtfully; they had spoken without
mentioning any name but both knew to whom they
referred. So "she" was coming back to the land in
which she had been born, ruminated Mashimba;
and though she must have forgotten almost every-
thing in the years that had elapsed since she went
away, might she not remember, or more probably
be reminded of. something connected with her past
on her return? That, he knew, was what her motn-
er feared; that was what must be prevented. Such
prevention surely was not hard if they spoke to
the older slaves on this little cattle farm, Cowbend,
and also to the people on the neighboring pro-
perty of Hope Vale, at once. Mashimba voiced his
view.
-"Nobody mus' tell her anything, Miss Psyche.
You mus' warn them."
"Warn nigger people, Mashimba?" she replied
bitterly. "You think them will care?"
"Ef them don't we can tell them we will beat
hell out a dem," said the old man dispassionately,
and anyone whu knew him would have known that
he meant what he said and that, under some pre-
text or other, his son would inflict terrific punish-
ment on any slave who dared to disobey this most
sacred injunction.
"Very well," agreed Psyche Huntingdon, re-
signedly. seeing that the old man's plan was the
only one to be adopted. "I will speak to Mr. Bux-
ton about it. I will go over to Hope \'ale now."
They brought her a horse, and she rode over
to Hope Vale. Mr. Buxton, its co-manager and
attorney. was still alive, 'but was now past
-ixty-fi e years of age. His hair was white, his
face v Cinkled. yet lie seemed far more at peace
with himself and \v th the world than when Psyche
had first known him as overseer of Hope Vale. His
wife had been alive then and had ruled him and
everyone else that came within the orbit of her
power with a rod of iron. She had been a bully,
but in her heart a coward; suddenly she had come
to fear Psyche Huntingdon with a deadly fear. This
was after the mysterious, inexplicable death of
Josephine Brookfield. the white daughter of the
man who was then head carpenter on Plimsole, the
sugar estate about two miles distant from Hope
Vale. No one knew the cause of that death, but
Mrs. Buxton was only too well aware that Josephine
was planning to take Charles Huntingdon from "his
nigger gal." and had almost succeeded, when sud-
denly she had mysteriously been taken ill one day
and had died before the dawn of the next. Mrs. Bux-
ton could not guess the cause of Josephine's death,
but with unerring instinct had grasped that in
some way Psyche the slave girl was responsible
for it. And she thought that if Psyche thus could
kill one white woman two miles away, surely she
could kill another living on the same property as
herself! Thenceforth she had dreaded the "evil
black wretch" as she sometimes thought of Psyche,


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PLANTERS* PUNCH


though she never put the thought into words. And
never did she venture to interfere again with such
an awful being.
Psyche had poisoned Josephine Brookfield
through the instrumentality of Mashimba, but no
one save themselves knew that. The matter had
really been simple, and neither Psyche nor Ma-
shimba ever afterwards had a twinge of remorse
or regret on account of it. It was but a necessary
incident of their lives. It served their purpose
and was in time forgotten.
Then when Mr. Huntingdon had been recalled
to England on the death of his brother Psyche was
made co-attorney for Hope Vale with Mr. Buxton,
an arrangement hitherto unprecedented in Jamaica,
but not illegal. The Buxtons could do nothing
but agree.
Yet from the beginning the arrangement had
worked exceedingly well. Psyche took care only
to make suggestions to Mr. Buxton: the actual ord-
ers were given to the estate workers and others
by him. She openly interfered in no way with
managing the estate, but Mr. Buxton realized
that she understood many matters that might have
oeen a mystery to a woman of lesser intelligence,
and this caused him to be careful not to fol-
low in the footsteps of the average Jamaica estate
attorney, who specialised in knavery. Buxton had
an excellent job, and knew it. He stood more to
lose than to gain by dishonesty at Hope Vale.
It was about a year after Mr. Huntingdon's de-
parture from Hope Vale that Mrs. Buxton found
that she was about to become a mother. She was
rather old for that, she felt, and in her heart was
the fear that she might die. Who too was to help
her in her coming time of trouble: the ordinary
Jamaica midwife whose ministrations she dread-
ed; the doctor at Montego Bay who might come to
see her when it was too late? To her astonish-
ment Psyche Huntingdon offered her services, and
Mrs. Buxton was equally astonished when she
heard herself accepting them. Yet she was glad
she had done so, for she found Psyche attentive,
solicitous of her comfort, anxious for her welfare.
She doubted now whether she had not been alto-
gether wrong in thinking that the young woman
had had anything to do with Josephine Brookfield's
death!
When the baby was born, it proved a healthy
boy, but Mrs. Buxton's premonitions as to her own
fate were justified. The Montego Bay doctor told
Mr. Buxton bluntly that his wife was dying; told
Psyche also, though Psyche, who had helped many
a slave woman quietly through her time of tri-
bulation, had already guessed that. And Mrs.
Buxton knew it; indeed, it was not difficult for
her to read the terror-stricken look on her hus-
band's face. She called Psyche to her bedside
when they were left alone and, pointing to the
baby, begged her in a weak voice to "look after
him when I am gone." The young woman bowed
her head and promised. That promise she never
forgot.
Young Buxton was about twenty-one years of
age now, the age of Mashimba's son. He would
succeed his father as manager of Hope Vale; his
capabilities no one could doubt. Mashimba's boy,
who had been named Charles after Mr. Hunting-
don, would assist him: all his life he had been de-
voted to Marse Edward, who in fact, when he was
fifteen, had strongly argued with Psyche and Ma-
shimba that Charles should never have been allow-
ed to remain so many years a slave. Mashimba
could well afford to buy his freedom, but simply
had never thought of doing so; Psyche could make
him free without receiving a penny of compensa-
tion. Both, argued young Edward Buxton, had
shamefully neglected their duty. They hastened
to agree. So Mashimba's son, named Charles Hun-
tingdon, had been a free man for at least six years
of his life. And what Marse Edward Buxton said
to him was law.
Psyche rode up to the office of the manager,
and was lucky to find him in. He nodded her to
a chair, smiled:
"What is it now, Psyche?" he enquired.
She handed him the letter: "She coming back
to Jamaica, to Hope Vale, Marse Joe," she replied
laconically.
Like Mashimba, he knew at once whom she
meant. None of the three ever spoke of the Bar-
oness de Brion but as "she": it was a habit. Mr.
Buxton knew, also, that the baroness was now the
mistress of Hope Vale; her father's will made her
that, the laws of England, supporting the will, made
her that, and the new Jamaica laws, passed only
in the previous year, made her that also. There
could be no disputing her rights. And no one was
inclined to dispute them.
"She start already," continued Psyche. "She'll
be here three-four weeks' time."
Mr. Buxton nodded. "You going to tell her
anything?"
"No, Marse Joe, we musn't."
"You right, Psyche; you must talk to the peo-
ple on Cowbend, an' I will talk to those here. Not
many of the old ones alive now," he continued re-
flectively. "Some dead, some gone to other pro-
perties; but some remain and the younger ones must
have heard something. I will talk to everyone of


them, and they better mind what I say! I am not
making any fun!"
Neither the white man nor the black woman
was aware that they spoke somewhat differently
now from how they spoke when Mr. Charles Hun-
tingdon lived at Hope Vale; that they were slipping
more arid more into the Negro drawl and dialect
which slaves, free people and whites not of
the best educated classes, commonly used in Ja-
maica. Indeed, they still spoke in better fashion
than their neighbours and those by whom they
were surrounded; yet the falling off, the vocal de-
generacy, could not possibly be denied. Neither
minded it, was aware of it. It seemed to them
more normal, more natural, than any different
fashion of speech.
"You mus' do you' best, Marse Joe, an' I will
do mine," said psyche. "We can't do better. Where
is she to stay, Marse Joe?"
"In the Great House where I live now, of
course; it is hers, you know. I will begin to move
out from today, and get it fix up. She'll be lonely,
Psyche."
"No white lady goin' to come an' see her,"
agreed Psyche bitterly. "My God, why did she
make up her mind to come back!"
"They can all go to hell," cried Mr. Buxton
savagely. "Her husbandd was a nobleman, wasn't he,
an' her father was one. Why should she care what
a lot of bastards do?"
"She is the bastard, Marse Joe, not they: you
forget that?"
"But she don't know, so what does it matter?"
he demanded illogically. "Well, I'm a white man,
and they will all see how I respect her. How many
men in this country work first under a lord, and
then under his daughter, a baroness? Not one ex-
cept me! I am better than all o' them, and me
son is strong enough to kick any s- of a b -that
say a word about me I don't like." Don't worry,
Psyche: we'll fix everything, you and me, like we
always do."
"Thank you, Marse Joe: goodbye."
"Goodbye; an' remember me son will kick to
hell anyone who is forward enough to forget them-
self."

CHAPTER TWO

HOMECOMING-
THE tall slim young woman, golden-coloured,
aristocratic in appearance, simple in demean-
our, yet with a touch of hauteur of which she her-
self was unconscious, stood on the topmost tread
of the flight of steps leading up to the front entrance
of the Hope Vale Great House.
She had arrived the evening before from Fal-
mouth, having stopped for some hours in that town
previously to taking the last lap of her journey
from Kingston to her property in St. James. All
the arrangements for her lodging in the towns
through which they had passed had long since
been made by Edward Buxton, who had been sent
by his father to Kingston to meet the mistress of
Hope Vale. Edward had taken Charles, Mashimba's
son, with him; and both these young men had made
it a point to speak of the baroness as though she
were first cousin to the King of England himself!
This had its intended effect on the obsequious pro-
prietors of the Jamaica Inns, or Taverns as they
were called.
She had arrived fairly late at Hope Vale the
evening before, and as there was then no moon
had seen nothing of the property. This morning
her employees and slaves were all assembled be-
fore the Great House to bid her welcome. She too
wanted to convey a word of cheer to them.
"Am I supposed to make a speech?" she laugh-
ingly enquired of Mr. Buxton, who stood on a
step lower than hers on the flight from which much
of the property could be overlooked.
"Not unless your ladyship wants," he answer-
ed. "Do you wish to make a speech?"
"Certainly not," she laughed, "if it is not the
custom-and I am glad it isn't. But you may tell
them for me, Mr. Buxton, how glad I am to be
here, and to see them. They all look well," she
added: "evidently you have treated them well. For
that I must thank you."
He shouted her greeting loudly; there was no
one there who did not hear it. A chorus of cries
welcomed it: "T'ank you, missis; God bless you,
ma'am; we bery glad to see you."
Buxton's sharp eyes were everywhere. His
ears were on the alert. Evidently the warning he
had given slaves and hired people alike had had
its effect. As he had added that he would half-
murder anyone who disregarded his warning, while
his son stood prepared to kick savagely any person
whatever who forgot himself in dealing with the
baroness, it may be assumed that fear as much as
respect played its part in this vociferous welcome
accorded to the Baroness de Brion.
"But my old nurse, Mr. Buxton; I do not see
her," said the baroness. "Surely she should have
been on these steps with us?"
"She refused to come up till she was asked by
yourself, Baroness. There she is."
He pointed to where Psyche stood in the front


of the crowd below, her face like a mask, her
arms quietly folded across her stomach.
The baroness did not recognize her; it was a
stranger she saw standing there. But she remem-
bered all that her father had told her about the
kindness, the loving care of this woman; she knew
too that Psyche held with Mr. Buxton equal pow-
ers of attorney on Hope Vale property. Before Mr.
Buxton could beckon Psyche to join them, the bar-
oness had run down the steps and clasped her old
nurse to her heart. "Thank God," broke from the
lips of "a very old man who stood near to Psyche
Huntingdon, but so low was the voice of Mashimba
that few could hear his words. "Nurse," cried the
baroness, "I have looked forward for years to this
day. I cannot adequately thank you for all you
did for me when I was but a baby."
Psyche curtsied low, successfully fighting back
her tears. But the Negro is emotional, and almost
everyone in that crowd knew of the real relation-
ship in which the two women stood. Some were
weeping silently; the lips of others moved as though
in prayer. Mr. Buxton's eyes rolled about fierce-
ly, compelling reticence and a comparative calm.
Yet his own eyes were glistening, though he-would
have cursed anyone who had dared to suggest that
he himself was not very far from tears.
The black woman, not yet fifty, gazed upon
the countenance of the lady who stood before her,
and saw only in her golden complexion any sign
of the blood which the Baroness de Brion
had inherited from her. The lady was unmistak-
ably Huntingdon, yet had not the softness, almost
the melancholy, of her father. She had thrown
back to an earlier generation of her father's people,
looked indubitably the scion of a family accustom-
ed to rule, to be obeyed, to be treated with defer-
ence, to command respect.
Of medium height, she was still slim in figure
though now approaching thirty years of age. In-
deed, because of the climate and of the easy circum-
stances in which she had been brought up, she
looked but twenty-five at most; in appearance she
was still girlish, her complexion much lighter than
it would have been had she passed all the earlier
period of her life completely under the Jamaica
sun. Dark, widely spaced eyes looked at you frank-
ly from beneath a broad brow expressive of can-
dour; there was pride in those eyes but they also
seemed capable of expressing intense affection. She
wore her hair looped over her ears and coiled in
a great knot at the nape of her neck; her nose was
not aquiline like her mother's, but straight with
sensitive nostrils, as her father's had been; it was
the Huntingdon nose. Yet it might have been
somewhat platerine had not her mother inherited
her Arab grandfather's aquiline features; these were
too pronounced in the older woman not to have
influenced somewhat the face-formation of her
daughter.
The lips were full, but not in the least sen-
sual; the upper lip a trifle too long. A glance at
it and the reader of physiognomy would have said
at once that this young woman possessed a strong
will and might even be unreasonably stubborn
upon occasion. Yet the face was a prepossessing,
even a very handsome one, and there were times
when its expression could soften wonderfully.
There were also times, however, when it could
harden like steel, and then it was that the resemb-
lance of the baroness to her African mother would
suddenly flash out conspicuously, though as yet
there had been no one to notice that; then it could
be seen, as in a revelation, that this young woman
might ruthlessly be cruel as death.
Small feet, long, beautiful hands: one observ-
ed these at once; but her mother had no eyes now
but for the face of her beloved. She could have
knelt to her and worshipped her. Never had she
imagined that her daughter would grow into the
great lady she saw standing before her, with a
look and carriage which bespoke one born to com-
mand and never to think disobedience possible.
"Come inside the house with me, nurse; sure-
ly we have many things to talk about," said Lady
de Brion, taking Psyche by the hand and leading
her.
"Yes, ma'am," meekly replied Psyche, all obe-
dience and controlled emotion now.
She and her daughter passed within the
doors of the front verandah of the Great House;
the assembly outside broke up. "Now let us have
a long talk, nurse," said the baroness, glancing
keenly at the face of the middle-aged woman who
sat stiffly in a chair opposite to her.
She saw at once that this woman, still under
fifty years of age, was handsome yet and carried
herself as one far, far removed from the status of
a slave. She noticed that Psyche's hair, now grow-
ing grey, was long and straight, her features aqui-
line. "A superior type," she thought; "not like any-
one else I have seen on this estate."
"You know, nurse," she began, "that I imagined
this place to be immense, and that you had hun-
dreds of slaves here. My old childish imagination,
of course."
"We had more slaves once, Miss Psyche; but
I think Mr. Buxton wrote to tell you' uncle after
the war was over that he was turning Hope Vale
partly into a cattle property, as cattle would pay


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PLANTERS' PUNCH


better than sugar. We don't make half the sugar
now like we did fifteen years ago and the prices
gone to nothing. But our rum -" Psyche spoke
proudly-"is the best in this parish, an' we get a
good price for it. And our cattle sell well."
"You and Mr. Buxton have done wonders for
my uncle and me," said the baroness; "I cannot
be sufficiently grateful.. The slaves here seem happy
enough, too-happy as slaves can ever be. I sup-
pose most of them will be willing to work for
wages when emancipation comes?"
"Emancipation? You don't believe that that
is coming, me lady'"'
"Oh, but it is; slavery can last but a little while
longer now, nurse."'
"But that will ruin us!" cried the elder woman.
"We buy the slaves an' the British Government
take them away for nothing and make them
free!"
'"My uncle always said that there should never
have been any slaves, and I think he is right. May-
be I will set my own people here free before re-
turning to England-we shall see. I believe-I
think my uncle told me-that his brother, my fath-
er, and my mother also, hated slavery. By the
way, both of them died in Jamaica and were buried
here. You know where, of course?"
Psyche Huntingdon's face grew" grey as she
heard this question; it was one that she had feared
for weeks. But she had prepared her answer and
she gave it unfalteringly. She thought it would
pass.
"I wasn't at their funeral, fMiss Psyche; they
died far away from Hope Vale, in a parish called
St. Andrew. I think they are buried in the bury-
ing ground of the St. Andrew Parish Church, but
am not quite sure. It is a long time now."
"Yes, I suppose so. Well, if I ever go to this
St. Andrew place I must look up the graves of my
parents-I don't remember them. You yourself
have a small cattle pen near here, haven't you?
Mr. Buxton told me so last night."
"Yes, miss. You must come an' see it some
day."
"I'll come this afternoon; I'll ride over with
Mr. Buxton. And if you want anything .. ?"
"Nothing, miss; I have everything I want."
"That's what everybody on this property says
to whom I have spoken," laughed the baroness. "You
know, nurse, I don't quite like it? I think that
such general contentment-if it is sincere-is un-
lucky. So much happiness, if it really exists, can-
not last and must be paid for.
"My uncle," she continued, "used to tell me that
once you repeated to him an old Jamaica proverb,
which I remember clearly still. It was that 'when
chicken is merry, hawk is going to catch him.' It
Is true. But what hawk can possibly be threaten-
ing Hope Vale and its people now?"
Psyche Huntingdon did not answer, but was
conscious of a sinking, sickening sensation at the
pit of her stomach. She knew that hawks, invis-
ible, were hovering over Hope Vale even now; she
did not believe that, take all the precautions they
might, they could prevent one of these creatures
from swooping to the attack, with disastrous con-
sequences to the mistress, and possibly to the peo-
ple, of Hope Vale. Well, what was to come must
come, and as she thought this there glowed in her
eyes a look which, years before her daughter was
born, Josephine Brookfield might have seen had
she been attentive, and so, possibly, might have
saved her life. She stood up suddenly. "You will
ride over to Cowbend this evening, miss?"
"Yes; when the sun is going down. In these
months it sets early, I believe."
"Yes, miss. From now on-this is the begin-
ning of October-it will be darker and darker every
afternoon till April. Darker and darker," she re-
peated, as though the words had for her some hidden
significance and meaning.
"Well, good-bye until later on, nurse. By the
way, I don't think you have yet met my maid: she
will go back with me to England in February,
Gladys!"
The maid came at the call, a practical, intelli-
gent-looking Englishwoman of about thirty-two.
She had been with the baroness for many years
now, and although she had not liked the notion of
travelling to Jamaica, which she freely spoke of as
"a nigger country," she had followed her mistress
thither when she had perceived that the latter was
determined to make the journey.
"Gladys, this is my old nurse; you have often
heard me speak of her in England""
Gladys bowed politely, so did Psyche Hunting-
don, who then turned quickly away. Secretly
Gladys thought of Psyche as "a terrible old wo-
man." She could not have explained why she had
that feeling.
And that afternoon the baroness rode over to
Cowbend with Mr. Buxton. She was charmed with
the neatness, the order, the efficiency she observed.
She met old Mashimba, who spoke vaguely-he
had been instructed so to speak-of her father and
mother who lay buried so far away in another part
of the island, and who quite naturally talked about
Hope Vale and Cowbend as though they were his
own properties. Then Psyche Huntingdon walked


with them towards a gate of Cowbend through
which they might easily ride to Hope Vale.
At that moment she observed a wild flutter
among some chickens near at hand that were just
going to roost; she turned her head upwards and
perceived a hawk darting swiftly down towards
them.
"Already," she muttered bitterly. She saw an
omen of dread significance in a simple, ordinary
fact.

CHAPTER THREE

REALISATIONS
M RS. Benedict was puzzled. Also worried. Her
husband pretended indifference, which 'he
did not really feel; his brother registered impu-
dence and insolence which came quite naturally to
him. This early morning they were awaiting a
business visitor. Mr. and Mrs. Benedict sincerely
wished that it were someone else.
"They say, Rupert, that she is prepared to
pay more for this property than anybody else. I
siupl:1se that is true?" commented Mrs. Benedict
anxiously.
"You have said that a dozen times already,"
replied her husband testily. "You know that I have
two offers already. Do you imagine I wouldsell her
Creighton for the same price I would take from
Sw.hite person?"
"Naturally not," exclaimed his brother, who
sat jacketless. with feet elevated on the round ma-
hogany table which was the chief piece of furni-
ture in the little sitting room. "We have come
to a fine pitch as it is with these mulatto people
being able to buy property! And now the law is
that they can vote and shall have all the rights
and privileges of white people. What next I won-
der!"
"And she doesn't seem to know who she really
is," suggested Mrs. Benedict. "I hear she carries
on as if she was a lady, and calls her mother
'nurse.' When she finds out--"
"I think I will tell her the truth today," growl-
ed Arthur Benedict savagely. "After she has ar-
ranged about Creighton, of course."
"You won't do it here, Arthur," asseverated
his married brother firmly, while Mrs. Benedict
looked startled. "It is none of our business, and
she'night back out of buying Creighton after you
had been rude to her. You just keep your mouth
shut."
"That's she coming now," exclaimed Mrs.
Benedict, heart-glad to change a topic that might
lead to a nasty row. All three of them ran to an
open window to watch the small cavalcade as it
moved towards the house.
Mr. Buxton came first, leading the way, and
then the baroness. After her rode Mr. Buxton's
son, alongside of the heir of Mashimba. Creigh-
ton was a cattle pen; it bordered Hope Vale on the
south. It was not a very large place or particu-
larly successful, It lacked the careful manage-
ment that had made Cowbend so prosperous
a property so far; yet it had not fallen into ban-
kruptcy, and Benedict was selling it only because
a relative of his had left him a fair estate in the
south-east of the island upon which he must live
if he hoped to make money out of it. In St.
Thomas-in-the-East he might become almost a
considerable planter; in St. James he was but a
middling white landowner who was patronised
by the other white planters of the district and
never for one moment regarded as their equal.
News that he wished to dispose of Creighton
had got about; offers had been made for the pro-
perty, but they were not very liberal. Then Bene-
dict had been informed that the proprietress of
Hope Vale wanted to add Creighton to Hope Vale
and that. she would ride over on a certain morn-
ing to make an offer for the place. Mr. Buxton
had suggested that Lady de Brion would pay more
for Creighton than anybody else; as a matter of
fact it was on his suggestion and that of Psyche
that Creighton was being acquired.
For Mr. Buxton had long since realized, and
had also brought Psyche Huntingdon to see, that
the days of huge prices for sugar were passed and
over and that the money Hope Vale had made
during the Napoleonic Wars would never be made
again. Cattle, on the other hand, could thrive
in this district, were sparsely bred on the whole,
and were always in demand for beef and also for
heavy transportation purposes. Buxton's advice,
and Psyche's, had determined the baroness to pur-
chase Creighton if the price were reasonable; it
would be amusing to do something in the way of
business during her sojourn in the island. Hence
her journey of this morning. It was just three
weeks after she had arrived at Hope Vale.
At the end of that time an observer who had
known her previously would have noticed an al-
most perpetual frown upon her brow. Little hints.
suggestions, furtive looks, expressions that seemed
to hold a double meaning, coming from some of
the older people on Hope Vale, had caused her
to think furiously, to suspect much, during the past
fortnight; but most of all the contributory influ-
ences to her dawning realisation that hers was a


peculiar position was the marked absence of any
caller whatever at Hope Vale. She knew, for she
had been'told, that after a new proprietor had
been established in his property for a week or less,
men and women would come flocking to pay their
regards; in her case not a single person had made
his appearance. She had gone riding outside Hope
Vale; she had occasionally met some of the local
gentry on horseback or in the vehicles then used
for country drives. They must have known who
she was, but they kept their eyes averted; they pre-
tended not to be aware of her proximity. This had
happened again and again. She could have no
doubt about it now.
Hence in the last week or so her mien had be-
come haughtier than it hitherto had been, and any-
one staring into her dark eyes would have ob-
served in them a smouldering fire indicating that
within this woman's breast a volcano of anger and
..rath was flaming and might erupt some day. She
also talked much less-now than had been her custom
in the first week of her visit to Hope Vale; her lips
were fimly pressed together as a rule in these days.
Psyche, noticed these symptoms, and was afraid.
-Trouble is coming," she whispered once to ilMr.
Buxton, and Buxton sorrowfully nodded his head
in agreement.
The visitors arrived at the Creighton home;
trhey dismounted; they entered the living room of
the house.
"The Baroness de Brion." announced Mr. Bux-
ton with a flourish, addressing Mr. and Mrs. Bene-
dict; he took no notice whatever of Mr. Arthur
Benedict; he knew too well that gentleman's repu-
tation for rudeness.
The baroness extended her hand with a smile
to Mrs. Benedict, who was secretly overawed by
the title she had just heard announced with every
indication of authenticity; to the two men she bow-
ed slightly. Three pairs of eyes scrutinized her
riding habit and noticed the perfect fit of it. The
ample skirt was buff in colour; the jacket was scar-
let, slightly open in front at the neck; a broad
waist-band, riding gauntlets, knee-boots of polish-
ed black leather, a supple whip carried in the right
hand completed the costume of the lady to w'hom
Arthur Benedict wished to be rude but dared not be
at the moment. Everyone realized that these rid-
ing accoutrements were expensive and guessed that
they represented the last word of English fashion
Arthur felt that it was nothing short of immoral
that a woman not ostensibly white should be so
adorned. Had she been the mistress of some im-
portant planter, that of course would have excused
much and would certainly not have been immoral
from any rational point of view. From which we
may conclude that immorality depends upon one's
point of view.
The baroness seated herself and glanced at lMrs
Benedict as if expecting her to do likewise; then
her eyes suddenly lighted upon a rough shelf to
her right which was crowded with books, and she
was up again, gaily and eagerly this time, walking
quickly over to the shelf to inspect the volumes
there set out, tomes which obviously were in use
and were not displayed merely for the purposes
of ornament or ostentation.
She saw Shakespeare and Milton and Dryden;
among the more modern poets she noticed Shelley
and Wordsworth; there was also many another au-
thor with whose works she was well acquainted.
She turned with a smile to Mrs. Benedict.
"These books are yours"'
Mrs. Benedict, a woman not older than thirty-
five, had once been pretty and even now retained
traces of her former looks. She had always been
a timid creature, feeling herself infinitely superior
to the coloured people of the country but also in-
finitely inferior to the white magnates of the land.
These, she knew, secretly despised poetry and belles
lettres of any sort; at any rate, those of them that
cared for such things kept their preference secret
as though it were something to be ashamed of. She
herself read nothing, but her husband loved books.
She now blurted out in reply:
"No, ma'am; they belong to me husband."
Arthur Benedict nearly had a fit. A white
woman to address a coloured one as "ma'am"! Was
any such thing ever heard of in Jamaica before?
Did this not portend the end of all established
order and law, the very consummation of the earth
and all that existed on it? "And what is worse."
thought Arthur "is that this mulatto woman seems
to take Alice's subservience for granted." Surely
something must be done about all this!
Lady de Brion turned to Mr. Benedict \\ith a
complimentary smile.
"I must congratulate you on your excellent
taste in literature," she said. "Tell me, \\hat is
really your favourite play by Shakespeare?"
"'Antony and Cleopatra,' my lady," he stam-
mered; "though I suppose I should say 'Hamlet'."
"And why should you?" she demanded warmly.
"Why disguise our real preferences? 'Antony and
Cleopatra' is also my favourite Shakespearean
play; it is terrible but beautiful haunting.
"But surely no man should allow himself to
be so led and dominated by a woman as Antony
was," she went on. "He sacrificed everything for
(Continued on Page 12)


1943-44







1943-44


Jamaica's


PLANTERS' PUNCH





Grand


Old


Man


C.M.G.


ON February 1st of 1860 there was born in a
Jamaica parsonage a male child, who was sub-
sequently christened Arthur Wildman. His father
was Jamaican. as his grandfather had been, and
of Scottish ancestry as the name clearly indicates.
He spent his early years in Jamaica. then was sent
to Marlborough College to be educated.
He returned to Jamaica after leaving college,
served his term as an artikled clerk with a Jamaica
firm of solcitor:, and \%as in due time admitted
to practise as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of
Jamaica. His legal training was of excellent ser-
vice in developing the ratiocinative qualities of his
intellect; acuteness of mind he had always possess-
ed, and courage of disposition and frankness in the
expression of his personal views. Such a youth,
grown to manhood, might easily have become dan-
gerous. Aware of his social background, which was
second to none in this Lsland. and of his superior
intellectual qualities. with a conservative political
foundation and apparently a conserva-
tive outlook on life. he might have de-
veloped into a very unpleasant. aggress-
ive, cantankerous personality. But the
fact is that Arthur Wildman Farquhar-
son, although in early life a Conservd-
tive, was never by any means a Tory re-
actionary, was ne, er at any period of
his career an opponent of the average
humbler man, whether labourer or mid-
dle class person. It seemed not in his
disposition to be either thing: indeed the
tendencies which he more and more ex-
hibited as he drew towards elderly life
were those of an extreme Liberalism
which, even twenty-five or thirty years
ago, would have been called Radicalism.
Also, he has never been much interested
in the past; it is the future which has
chiefly claimed his attention. And so at
a very early date in his career we find
him busily interesting himself in matters
affecting the economic and social future
of Jamaica-of all classes of the people
of Jamaica. This he has continued to do
down to the moment of the writing of
this sketch; and by this he has accomp-
lished more than he himself is aware
of.

THE present writer first came into
touch with Mr. A. W. Farquharson
(as he then was) just forty years ago.
There had been a great hurricane in Ja-
naica at the beginning of August. 1903.
the first this island had experienced tot
a very long time; and the Jamaica ban-
ana industry, with coconuts and other
crops, had suffered terribly. Arthur
Farquharson, then a man of forty three
years of age, at once summoned a meet-
ing of the Jamaica banana planters w\h'
met in a large room on the second store,-
of the old Myrtle Bank Hotel. The ban- SIR A.
ana men ut that day were different from
the banana men of today: they were
mostly members ot trhe old Jamai.la plantocr.iy \.t
had consented to plant bananas because cane v\as
seen to be a peri-ling product. A. \V. FarqihC.rso.i
himself had no personal interest in the banana in-
dustry, in so l:r as I !knev.: and I. a mete boy at the
time, but willingly permitted to attend the banana
meeting, hea'.d nothing there to induce me to be-
lieve that he lihid. It ha- oCcurred to him however
that the Govcinmcin t shuitld assist the banana cul-
tivators with loans-those of cotr'e who) could not
finance themsel'.c--a.nd lie had called this meet-
ing together in order to obtain the view of thc
banana planters and to secure their support if they
approved of his ideas and his plans.
What struck me at the time was this Thri
man, of whom I had heard much but had not met
before, was not acting merely on his own. not for-
warding suggestions to the Government by hinmseif
alone, but was seeking the opinion and the .-ppro -
al of other men. In a word. he was acting drm.i-
cratically even although he might, in ord.naiy cir-
cumstances, be sceptical of the democratic principle
-a scepticism that could never ha.'e been an. things
but a mere gesture, since he never seemQ to have
acted in public affairs except in a democratic fash-
ion. It has not mattered whether he is dealing with
members of what used to be called the plantocracy,
or with the small cultivators : his attitude has been
the same. And that is why it has steadily dawned
upon us that he is perhaps the sincerest and sound-
est democrat of us all. although still, in the finest
sense of the word, a Conservative a man who


AND HIS SPIRITUAL FOREFATHER


By

Herbert G. de Lisser,


PlV',to by Duncan Keith Cor
W. FARQUHARSON Aetat 83, JAMAICA'S GRAND OLD
WHO WAS KNIGHTED WHEN 70 YEARS OF AGE

dered how he managed to do it. That sort of Ta-
tience, tolerance, equability of temperament he so
often manifests, is not easily attained by many
persons.
The truth is that there have been always com-
bined in the -u:bject of this writing two somewhat
different personalities. E'. ery man has in him,
of course, several personalities; and as character
grows and develops it is intere-ting to note which
of these becomes paramount. I should say, judg-
ing from my close association of over twenty-five
years with him, that it is the patience, tolerance
and equiability of temperament which Sir Arthur
Farquharson could always exhibit that have now
definitely won the upper hand in his constituent
temperamental make-up: the consequence is that
as time has gone on he has won more and more
the deep-seated affection of those who might al-
ways have accorded to him respect without much
personal love. Today he is a man of eighty-three
years of age. very hard of hearing, describing him-
self at times as one who has had his day and should
now retire from all public duties, but finding that
younger men in full possession of all their physi-
cal faculties bluntly refuse to let him go, and state
with every appearance of sincerity that he is too
useful a man to be laid upon the shelf.

THIS sincerity is not merely apparent. It is real;
it is practical. The fact is that those who
have been connected with him have long since dis-
covered that age has not impaired his intellectual


would not lightly and willingly let die all that
has been proved in the past to be worthy and of
good report.

ARETIRED sugar planter once said to me that
he did not care to be associated with A. W.
Faircunarson because "he was too dominating" He
carefully explained, however, that he did not mean
"too domineering." My reply was that a dominat-
ing perso.:nality was by no means an offensive per-
.'-nality. though a domineering personality might
be, and that I myself had always found Mr. Far-
ouharson extremely open-minded, one not mere-
ly willing to listen to arguments differing from
those which he himself held, but often anxious to
do so. In fact, I found that he usually invited a
free expression of the other point of view, though
that would not prevent him from losing his tem-
per temporarily if he believed that the other man
or group of men was merely quibbling. As a rule,
however, during his long and varied career, he
has kept his temper admirably. I have often won-


perception or curtailed the broadness of his mind.
Put what you have to say in writing to Arthur
Farquharson and he will grasp the essential point
of it perhaps even more quickly than you yourself
have done. Indeed, stale what you have to say ver-
bally, and if you do not do this in a crowd and
amidst a babel of voices, he will hear what you
have said and understand immediately all its im-
portant and salient points. Naturally, some of
those with whom he has much to do will disagree
with his views now and then: that is inevitable
so long as men are men. But the astonishing fact
is how little disagreement Sir Arthur Farquharson
has met with in such an organisation as, say, the
Jamaica Imperial Association which he founded
some five and twenty years ago.
This is not at all because of his "dominating"
personality. It is because there has been good rea-
son behind the positions he has maintained, the
stands he has taken, and also because those to
whom he has spoken have paid far more attention
to his words than they might have done to those
of many another man.

O NE wonders if he has ever seen him-
self in the tradition of a number of
men who have stood head and shoulders
above the crowd, who have devoted
themselves all their life to work for the
benefit of Jamaica, who have accomplish-
ed much, whose memories will never
fade from the minds of those in this
country who can appreciate public duty
Jisinterestedly undertaken and accom-
plished even at -the risk of grave per-
sonal loss.
One wonders but, somehow, one does
not think of Arthur Farquharson as
.looking at himself and his career intro-
specti\vely. He has usually done the thing
that he thought that it was necessary for
him to do, the thing that loomed before
him and seemed to demand immediate
handling, and then has gone on to some-
thing else-as his predecessors, the lead-
ers of this country, have also done dur-
ing the last century or so. Let me now
be more particular as to these.

Wf HEN Arthur Farquharson was
still a child, a youngster of nine
years of age, there died in this country
the first of the three men he was destined
to succeed as indisputable leader of the
people of Jamaica. This man was Edward
Jordan, C.B., Custos of Kingston, Mayor
of Kingston, the first Colonial Secretary
of the island although he was not
called Colonial Secretary in his time -
and so forth. Edward Jordan was the
spiritual forefather of Arthur Farquhar-
son in this; that he worked for the pub-
lic weal without regard to his personal
fortunes, which at times he deliberately
in risked; that any honours that came to
MAN, him were not deliberately sought but in-
deed might be said to have originally
been rendered doubtful if not impossible
because of his stark courage, his stern inde-
pendence, his rigid adherence to what he con-
sidered to be his public duty. Jordan was the
first of our great Jamaicans; the two Jamaica lead-
ers who followed him were Englishmen. One was
Enos Nuttall. afterwards Archbishop of the West
Indies. The other was Sydney Olivier, who event-
ually became a member of the British House of
Lords. These, too, deserve the love and reverence
of Jamaica. But there is no space in which to write
of these today.
Arthur Farquharson was but nine years of age
when Jordan died; he could not have known him;
and by the time he grew to manhood the name of
Jordan would not have been frequently spoken
amongst young Arthur's contemporaries. Jordan's
fight for better conditions in Jamaica was mainly
a political struggle; Arthur Farquharson's fight has
been chiefly for economic improvement: yet both
men, both Jamaicans, have had the advantage of
the island as a whole consistently in view. At
first Jordan was believed to be bitterly, im-
placably opposed to the larger planting element
of this country-to the very men who were sub-
sequently to lay upon his grave the tribute of their
heartfelt respect. At first too; Arthur Farquharson
was imagined to be indifferent to the advancement
and welfare of the working and middle classes of
Jamaica. But just as the true quality of Jordan's
character was seen, as the years went by. to shine
out as does refined eold amidst the dross that may
(. (ii' inrued oni PageP I,






PLANTERS' PUNCH


A HUMOROUS SKETCH

By
A. E. T. HENRY

Author of "Sheets in The Wind"

IAM tired of telling people that the war will
end next year, or the year after, or in 1946,
or a hundred years hence, depending on certain
factors which are now unpredictable. But if I
seem vague and noncommittal, I make the confes-
"sion that I have been forced to protect my repu-
tation for accurate forecast and good judgment be-
cause of people's persistence in asking my opinion
almost every hour of the day about the war's dura-
tion. And as everybody nowadays is a parlour
strategist, or a pocket Napoleon, or a park Foche,
or a street corner Montgomery, or a drawing room
Eisenhower, or a verandah Stalin, or a sea beach
Jellicoe, or a bar room Churchill, I consider my-
self justified to indulge in a little confident specu-
lation myself.
I say confident, because everybody is confident
that the war will take the course he predicts. And
he is ready to fight for his convictions on the point.
So I give my opinion on the war with an air of
cocksureness that implies information straight
from the lips of the Fuehrer himself over a half-
bottle-in-two; or as though I held the innermost
confidences of Mr. Churchill after one of his Wash-
ington conferences.
In fact, I sometimes ask my listeners to treat
what I say on the grand strategy of the war as
confidential, lest those in authority should think
that Mr. Roosevelt and Mr. Churchill have been
blabbing to me. But I am sufficiently noncommit-
tal in my observations that if things do not go the
way I predict, my reputation will remain intact.
Thus when I was asked in 1941 whether Ger-
many would defeat Russia or not, I delivered my-
self confidently, -if noncommittally, on the poin.., .
"Gentlemen," I said, "you can take my word
for it-and you may quote me as saying-that the
struggle on the Eastern Front will be a bloody one.
I stand by that opinion even if I must stand alone.
As to whether Germany will defeat Russia or not,
will depend on whether Germany is sufficiently
strong or not to do it."
There were signs of impatience, suggesting that
I was not dealing with the point frontally; but I
soon had my listeners eating out of my hand, in a
manner of speaking.
"This, gentlemen," I continued, "is a war of
encirclements, and whoever completely encircles
the other chappie first will win-provided the en-
circled fellow is unable to break out of the encir-
clement. But here again, gentlemen, I must warn
you that encirclement depends on certain circum-
stances which may or may not be present in the
Russo-German war. And, in any case, this war
seems to me to be a series of mutual encircle-
ments.
"One last word," I concluded. "The obvious
objective of the Russians is Berlin; whilst the Ger-
mans will do their best to take Moscow. Who-
ever reaches the other fellow's capital city first
should win the war."
I observed that my audience was not terribly
impressed and I therefore inferred that it was men-
tally incapable of following my argument. How-
ever, I so overwhelmed it with scorn and disdain
and sonorous words that no one dared to dispute
my superior knowledge of military matters.


BUT I feel it will be admitted that whatever may
be said of my military knowledge or the man-
ner in which I dispense it, I am a modest man com-
pared with thousands of other Jamaicans who,
from the park, the verandah, the drawing room, the
bar or the street corner decide the course of the
war in the most dogmatic manner day after day
and night after night.
SOnly the other day I was passing through the
Victoria Park when I felt compelled to stop and
listen to a man who stood in the centre of a crowd
which he declared he was enlightening on mili-
tary affairs. In his hand was a stick which he
used to illustrate the grand strategy of the Allies.
on the ground.
Upon seeing me approach he called to me.
"Come 'ere, sah," he said. "You look like a in-
telligent man: Ah want yu hear wat Ah saying to
dese people who is vide av andastanding." I told
him I was willing to listen; but that I would be
unable to offer any views of my own.
"'Nung, gentlemen." he declared, with an air
of authority rernnsicent of Hitler in his most suc-
cessful days, "Nung, gentlemen. Ah say Fr.rince


STRATEGIST


shouldn't fall. It was a dyam military wutlisness
and poppyshow and skylarking and graft why
France fall."
The crowd was impressed; abuse of any sort
will always impress a crowd. The man's morale
and confidence rose.
"I serve in France in de Great War," he said
ominously, "an' I know wat Ah talking about. Iam
tellin' yu; Ah nat asking you. Ah say France
shouldn't fall one dyam. Yu following me, gentle-
men?"
There were shouts of "Yes-go on."
"Nung," he continued, strategy is no pyaw-
pyaw business; yu' ave to know dat dirt; an' I
know it. Ah nat boasting: but Ah say Ah know
it. Good den. Well, it's like dis: I was Marshal
Foche orderly, an' a small man never get praise;
but Ah drop a few little hints to de Marshal on
quite a few occasion, 'am im go on as if im wasn
listening; but Ah keep me eye open, an' one by one
im put dem into.practice. An, wat eventually hap-
pen? Don't dem mash de Hiddenborrow Line?
Gentlemen. I am asking yu--don't dem mash de
Hiddenborrow Line? Yu know who suggestion dat
was?-Mine-yes, mine-me quashie, John Leopold
Smith, ha, haaa, haaaa-aaa-aaaaaaa."
The crowd was overcome. There were whisp-
erings unfavourable to the Allied High Command
and to the British Parliament at the way Smith
had been treated after his invaluable military ser-
vices in France. And the view was hotly taken
that Parliament should have voted Smith even a
10,000 note.
Morally fortified by the sympathy and appre-
ciation of his audience. Smith held his stick firmly
and beckoned the crowd to come nearer so he could
demonstrate the fall of France on the ground. be-
cause, he said confidently. "seeing was believ-
ing."
The crowd surged round him to see for them-
selves exactly how France fell.
S"Nung," said he, "Ah told yu before that stra-
tigy is a brute ting 'an no common-marble man
can comprehend it. Ah gwine show yu wat Ah
mean.'"
-Dis is wat happen in France. Suppose nung.
a German army is coming down de Constant Spring
Road to invade Kingston : yu dun't stay in King-
ston an' wait till dem come. No. yu should leave
a part of yu army in Kingston an tek part up de
Old Hope Road to Matilda Corner an' down Hope
Road. Den yu go into Kingsgate Road and sen' a
patrol to look and see wen de Germans pass Half-
way Tree. Den. nung. yu march down Hope Road
an' down Halfway Tree Road. an cut off de enemy's
retreat. Dyam it to hell. gentlemen. dat's stra-
tigy."
And so saying, he* flung down the stick and
struck a triumphant pose to the accompaniment of
a murmur of applause.
But every crowd will have its sceptic and there
was one in John Leopold Smith's audience. The
sceptic suggested the possibility of the German Army
taking Kingston and opening new lines of communi-
cation along the Spanish Town Road \ia the Hag-
ley Park Road to Halfway Tree. Thus, he declared.
not only would the German communications be safe,
but the Jamaican army marching down Halfwuy
Tree Road would find itself encircled.
Smith brushed his antagonist aside. He was
talking about France, he said, with manifest im-
patience. The Halfway Tree strategy was merely
by way of illustration. And he had been to France;
his heckler had never been beyond Port Royal. He
was talking facts-not theory. And he producedas
from nowhere a cigarette butt about half an inch
in length. lit it perilously, puffed at it conrdently.
and let off a cloud of smoke, remarking that whilst
opinions could not properly be divided on what lie
had stated, he was prepared to throw the subject
open for discussion in the hope that those present
m:ght be further enlightened.
One man asked a question about fifth columnist
in France during the invasion.
Smith declared on oath that he had read it in
the "Gleaner" that Gamelin and other French Gen-
erals had received five million pounds from Hitler
to srll out France, and that when King George VI
heard about the affair, His Majesty was so grieved
and shocked that he sent Churchill over to France
to ask Gamelin how he could have done a thing
like that. Gamelin, said Smith. merely shrugged
his shoulders and said it was his business.
All questions seeking to establish the issue of
the "Gleaner" in which this information appeared
were contemptuously sidestepped by Smith, who
left his audience baffled and confused.

PROBABLY one of the most interesting aspects
of war "information" is the way in which some
people either misunderstand or deliberately mis-
quote the radio.
The radio in the bar was going full blast one


night and men were imbibing a great deal of rum
and other distilled spirits. Discussion on strategy
was enthusiastic-even heated.
"This is London calling," said the radio, and
it proceeded to give the day's news. Now it hap-
pened that in recent air raids on Italy, Sardinia
and Sicily that day, forty-seven enemy planes had
been shot down.
"Gentlemen." said a man "high up" in his li-
quor, "did you hear that? Four hundred and
seventy planes downed in a single day! The Axis
can't stand it for long; and it only bears out what
I have always said-that air power will win this
war. Keith," he went on, appealing to his com-
panion, "you have always heard me say that air
power will win this war-isn't that so?"
Keith replied that the view was not singular;
in fact, was almost universally held. Furthermore,
Keith declared, his friend's figure was slightly in-
accurate as to the number of aircraft shot down
that day. The figure was forty-seven, not four
hundred and seventy.
But his inebriated friend challenged hotly
Keith's figure and told him that that was the trouble
in Jamaica: people would not listen attentively to
the radio. 'That's how false informashion spreads,"
said the drunk. "You people won't lishen."
I left them violently quarrelling, and the crowd
also dispersed with sneers and jeers.
Then there are some authorities of the veran-
dah and drawing room persuasion who invent new
weapons for the Allied cause at the rate of a thou-
sand per day. And they tell you with the most
incredible dogmatism that they are informed on
"unimpeachable authority" that the weapons are
in use. These weapons range from "amphibious"
submarines to underwater aircraft carriers capable
of carrying one hundred planes:
"Now, now," I said on a verandah recently,
"where did you get such nonsense from?"
"You can call it nonsense if you like," came
the confident reply; "but my brother works on the
waterfront and he talks with high-ranking naval
officers. I know what I am saying," But on in-
vestlgation you will always discover that these
"high ranking naval officers" are no higher than
stockers in the merchant marine who possess a
sense of humour and like to tell a whale of a story
on occasion.
"Hitler's strategy is clear-absolutely clear,"
said a parlour Rommel a year and a half ago. "He
must strike at Turkey."
"Well," said I, "he might and he mightn't;
but what makes you so sure of yourself?'
He went with a pencil to a "Daily Telegraph"
map of the war zones and assumed an air of mis-
information. (It's amazing how many people be-
come suddenly interested in maps and geography
during a war. only io forget where the Mediterranean
is after the armistice.) This chappie was cocksure
of himself. The burden of his argument was that
Hitler had nowhere else to strike and therefore,
presto, Turkey's the country. His views were not
without plausibility; but so many other views are
plausible that I wondered how he could be so sure.
He told me. He had recently spoken with a re-
tired captain who served in the Boer War and the
gallant old gentleman w-.as prepared to risk his
pension on a wager that Turkey would be next.
I replied, not w without malice, that whilst he
was entitled to the views of as many museum
pieces as were accessible, including, I conceded,
veterans of the Crimean. the Punic, the Napoleonic
and the Franco-Prussian wars, he owed it to his
intelligence such as he possessed to pasteurise
his gleanings before offering them for public con-
sumption.
Yet it would be unfair to say that all the opin-
ions one hears on the war are all ridiculous. On
occasion one hears an incisive observation on the
strategy of the war as it rages here or there.-
When France fell one rustic gave the best sa-
tirical picture of the Maginot-Seigfried Line com-
plex. According to him. Gamelin stood behind the
Maginot Line and Hitler behind the Seigfried Line.
Day after day for eight months Gamelin said to Hit-
ler: "See me yah, trouble me if you can?" And Hit-
ler said : "See me yah too, you trouble me first."' And
said the rustic, both men teased and teased each
other until Hitler lost his temper and said to Game-
lin "All right, you son of a b--. Ah coming. And
he left Gamelin for a while. When Gamelin next
saw Hitler. the Fuehrer \aes behind the Allied
Generalissimo saying, "See me yah; don't you did
call me?"
Gamelin fainted. The Maginot Line had been
outflanked!


When finished with this Planters' Punch,
-please pass it on to relatives and friends,
and thus save paper.


THE


PARK


1943-44







PLANTERS' PUNCH


JOTTI INGS


at


Siandom


OUR WORSHIP OF IDOLS
WE Jamaicans are naturally given to the wor-
ship of idols, being in this very much as
ordinary men are everywhere. But we are more
so; that is to say, we love our idols, worship them
more than most other people worship theirs; and
especially do we adore the idol that kicks us.
You may say that an idol, being made of wood
or stone, cannot kick anyone. But there are human
idols, and it is chiefly these that we worship
in these days. Time was when the Egyptians adored
a bull called Apis. We know too that the Hindus
have a great veneration for monkeys, though, real-
ly, I have never seen anything in a monkey to be-
come enthusiastic about. There is also the Holy
Elephant, Ganesha, which I think is worshipped
in India; he has seven trunks, and you can say
your prayers to any of these that you please. But
it is the cow that the Hindus seem to hold in high-
est esteem; they will not eat cow's meat, though
that does not prevent them from using a cow as
a draft animal and treating it most brutally in the
process.
The cow, indeed, seems to have been regarded
as particularly worshipful in all climes and lands;
it has usually appeared under the guise of a Gol-
den Calf, and it is difficult to meet anyone any-
where who has not a high regard and love for the
Golden Calf. Whether it is the golden or the calf-
like portion of it that is esteemed it is not for me
to say here. But just you proclaim that a Golden
Calf is round the corner, and the rush that crowds
will make in that direction will be terrific. Natu-
rally, of course, such Golden Calves must be rich.
If they are poor, the tendency is to look upon them
as mere trash. But how could a Golden Calf be
poor? How can gold become trash ever?
We Jamaicans, then, worship the Golden Calf
in human form, and also the Human Calf of Pow-
er and Position, to whom we secretly incline to
attribute vast amounts of wealth obtained chiefly
by dishonest methods. We may have to deal with
a merchant or a professional man who has done
very well for himself; or a high Government offi-
cial for whom the Colonial Office has done very
well indeed. We know that the salary of the offi-
cial is so much per year; but in our heart of hearts
we wish to believe that there must be perquisites
attaching to his office; at any rate we hope so, for
we desire to worship the perquisites as well as the
man. As to the professional or business person,
we think of him as fabulously wealthy. We ima-
gine him to be a millionaire, and we are always
prepared to crawl at the feet of a millionaire. We
bend our knees before him, as well as before the
high official, being aware of course that all those
in a humbler or poorer position than we ourselves
are bending or inclined to bend to us-which is
only right and proper. We believe in a well-
regulated hierarchy of benders and crawlers.
The curious thing with us, moreover, is that
while we adore our idols in front, or from the
anterior point of view, we are also very fond of
kneeling to them from behind, which is the pos-
terior point of view. Our idols get our worship
both ways. They also receive it from left and
right. And our imaginations endue them with su-
perlative mental qualities: they are the most bril-
liant persons who have ever lived; they are mast-
ers of the English language if they deliver a soli-
tary speech in ordinary English, and, if they hap-
pen to know no French whatever, that does not
prevent us from asserting that they are also mast-
ers of the French language, and of all the Chinese
dialects as well.
They are, of course, most inevitably, great
classical scholars. They may not know what the
classics mean, we may not know what the classics
mean, all Jamaica may think that the classics are
a new kind of coconut or ackee, or even an im-
mune banana. But our idols must be classical
scholars, for we have a sort of idea that the classics
are. something wonderful, especially if we can eat
them. Why, I knew a man who once declared
of his special Idol that he could speak most fluent-
ly in algebra. I asked him if the gentleman in
question was not also proficient in his pronuncia-
tion of Euclid. After a moment's hesitation, he
confessed to me that he was not certain on that
particular point, but had no doubt that the speak-
ing of Euclid came as easily to his idol as did the
speaking of algebra. I hope I looked properly
impressed. I had too much worldly wisdom even
to allow the ghost of a smile to wander over my
face.
The Churches may say what they like against
idol worship; philosophers may declaim against it;
H. G. D. may satirise it. But let me tell you that
all this is mere waste of time, especially in a small


qBy

Herbert G. deLisser, C.M.G.


country like Jamaica. Naturally, we much prefer
our idols to have been born outside this island;
it is not quite easy to worship a man whose father
you think should have gone to prison, or who him-
self should be there. It does not make for reli-
gious fervour when you know that your idol's
mother was a famous termagant who used to beat
her husband, or that his ancestry had better not
be too closely enquired into. Still, there must be
a certain percentage of homebred idols, and on
these we bestow expressions of reverence and
praise that would be considered extravagant
among the angels in Heaven.
At the same time we also retain our right to
abuse our idols whenever we please; and unless
these are extremely lucky or very rich they do
get abused before they die, or, indeed, very short-
ly after their worship begins. Maybe we become
weary of them. Perhaps we want something new,
and they are in the way. So we start belabouring
them with pen and tongue until they- disappear
from the public scene; then new idols are elevated
in their places and we find that we had never
known such wonderful creatures as those we have
just created. We have also another method, which
is simply to ignore and forget our old idols, allow-
ing them to sink into their graves unwept, unsung,
unhonoured, except, of course, for the newspaper
obituaries. And these are invariably inaccurate.


STEAMBREAD OF LIFE-MR. A. MORAIS
MY friend Mr. Audley Morals will not take an
action for libel against me if I metaphorical-
ly liken him to the Verley and Robinson steam-
bread of my youth. I do not mean by this that
Audley is dough-dough: I have in my mind a com-
pliment of the utmost distinction. Dough is dough;
dough-dough is something inferior to dough; it is
the sort of mixed flour and water that sticks to
your fingers and refuses to make good bread. But
a Verley and Robinson's steambread was always
baked deliciously-at any rate it tasted deliciously
to a hungry man, and most men in Jamaica were
and are habitually hungry: that is their profession.
With dough-dough you make fou-fou, a very soft
African flour-dumpling prominent in soups: not
particularly palatable perhaps, but of course bet-
ter than nothing in time of war. Therefore even
if one were to liken an individual in these days
to fou-fou, one would not be insulting but rather
complimentary; for surely a soft dumpling is bet-
ter than no dumpling at all, as Mr. F. E. V. Smith,
C.M.G., will proclaim in a special broadcast on
Fou-Fou to be given by him at some future date,
although he himself does not as yet know this.
Yet I repeat I will not say that Mr. Audley
Morais is at all anything like fou-fou; he is the
real, authentic, indisputable, appreciated and eag-
erly sought-after steambread. (Or its modern
equivalent.) And now let me explain a bit what
steambread stood for in the minds of persons who
knew it some fifty years ago. I cannot sing of
it, therefore I must write of it.
The great institution of Kingston, St. Andrew,
and indeed of all those parts of Jamaica to which
the bread-carts of Messrs. Verley and Robinson
could go, was the steambread manufactured by
that firm from a formula which was supposed to
be a mystery and which has never been made pub-
lic. Whether the formula were a mystery or not
-it was said to have been given to a Verley or a
Robinson in a wild strange land by a befriended
dying man-is not authentically known. I myself
should say that ina wild strange land baked bread
would not be known, or at any rate not the steam-
bread which for so many years dominated the city
in Jamaica which consumed more bread than per-
haps all the other parts of the island combined.
But the story of the steambread's origin is at any
rate a fascinating one, and it thrills you fo imagine
a young Verley or a Robinson alone, with a grief-
stricken countenance, with a dying Indian, or
Spanish-American, or someone of the sort, on the
bank of a vast rushing river, with darkness de-
scending and the forest giving out eerie sounds,
while the stars overhead were blotted out and the
doom of the world seemed approaching. I can
imagine that dying man solemnly handing the
steambread formula with shaking hand to the friend
who had rescued him (but not from death), and
uttering his blessing. It makes one thrill to ima-
gine this; it is also inspiring to know that a great
fortune (for Jamaica) was subsequently made out


of steambread, that hundreds of persons earned a
livelihood merely by selling steambread, and that
the belief of this country was that, though heaven
and earth might pass away, Verley and Robinson's
steambread could not pass awzay': the thing was
eternal, everlasting, and not to be displaced by
any other bread.
Yet today there is a generation that knows not
steambread; therefore to liken Mr. Audley Morals
to Verley and Robinson's steambread might at first
blush appear to suggest that the business that he
manages, the moving picture companies of King-
ston and St. Andrew, will pass away and become
unknown like the steambread of Messrs. Verley
and Robinson : will go "like Ajut, never to return."
But surely this is the fate of all things terres-
trial; surely no one sees the present moving pic-
ture companies lasting for ever. The great thing
is that while they exist they shall flourish ex-
ceedingly, be of considerable general benefit, be
universally appreciated, and shall have a long
life. Thus if forty years hence they gave place
to some other form of popular entertainment, there
would be no cause for tears: they would have
played their part in the life of this country, and
during this war especially would have done won-
ders to sustain the spirits of tens of thousands of
our people-than which I can think of no higher
service by a Jamaica business organisation in the
cause of this country and the war.
During the present world war-I say "pre-
sent" because I do not think it is going to end this
year, at any rate not before this number of
"Planters' Punch" is published-we have been see-
ing here some of the very best pictures shown in
the United States and England, and seeing them
very shortly after they are released in those coun--
tries. When, for instance, "Mrs. Miniver" is adver-
tised to be shown in Jamaica, and then I read
that it is still being shown and commented upon
in England, I am obliged to exclaim that this re-
presents real steambread efficiency and has nothing
whatever to do with fou-fou. I have noticed, too,
that Jamaicans are always talking now about the
new films they have seen and have been flocking
to the Kingston, St. Andrew and other Picture
Palaces in their thousands, even though the hours
may stagger and the buses and tramcars may ex-
hibit strong signs of intoxication. I am not sur-
prised; for I know that without good and popular
forms of entertainment men and women in this
country, in these days, would almost go mad, and
I contend that pictures'are now not merely a form
of delightful diversion but also a spiritual, an emo-
tional tonic, and that the authorities displayed real
wisdom in interfering with them as little as they
could.
These authorities may have known little or
nothing about the Kingston staple of old days, the
steambread that stood between this city and des-
pair, the floury animator of hearts, the uplifter
of souls, the filler of the abdomen-and if you have
ever been hungry you will understand how im-
portant it is that the abdomen should be filled.
But, with a sure intuition, they grasped the fact
that there must be something to support the mor-
ale, the spirit of the people; hence all during this
war, up to now, moving picture entertainments, the.
movies, the flickers, or whatever you choose to call
them, have played their part in sustaining Jamaica;
consequently I am inclined to call them the steam-
bread of our life today.
But I have said that, like all other things
earthly, they are not eternal; that they too will
pass away. Television may take their place some
fifty years hence. Television is the hearing of the
actual voices of the people on a stage miles away,.
the seeing of those people while they are acting;
in other words, the visual and oral reproduction
of a stage play or whatever it may be on your
own screen and in your own house. But a tele-
vision set will for many years to come cost a little
fortune, and in any case Audley will certainly have
something to do with the advent of popular tele-
vision here if he is still connected with the picture,
companies, as I expect he will be sO long as he is.
alive, and if popular television comes in his time:
which is not likely.
His whole life has been a moving one, a pic-
turised life, a life devoted to the silver screen.:
Therefore to imagine that he (and his directors)
will not be identified with any development of
public screen entertainment in the future is to
imagine nonsense. Yet when we have television
it will not be exactly the same thing as our exist-
ing moving picture shows. Hence I say that while
I can honestly liken Audley and the Pictures to
the once dominant Verley and Robinson's steam-
bread, the staple of this capital, the great and awe-
rispiring universal food of the people of fifty years


1943-44







PLANTERS' PUNCH


ago, this also means that we must expect
changes in the future, however vague and distant
that future may be. Verley and Robinson's steam-
bread was and is, but today is apparently not. If
that can happen, any other thinkable change can
take place in this island of ours. But that change
will be tomorrow, not today. During the lifetime
of the present generation our equivalent for
steambread will be eaten and eaten with increas-
ing relish-that is, the Movies will remain.



WHAT'S IN A NAME?

AS a good British subject I have prayed for a
Russian victory. At the same time I must
confess that some Russian names almost made me
pray for a Russian reverse. When, for instance,
I came across such a name as Bubnov (a gentleman
who used to be Commissar of Public Instruction
in Russia), can anyone be surprised that I hoped
he had been "liquidated"? Most probably he had
been: no man could long survive such a name.
Bubnov is the kind of appellation we give to an
ambiguous pet, not to an adult person. It does not
sound reasonable, it does not sound respectable,
in fact it is difficult to know how exactly it sounds.
For it is well understood that Russian names, spelt
one way, are pronounced in an entirely different
fashion from how they happen to be spelt.
Thus a Russian's name may be Brown-or, at
any rate, let us assume the impossible and call it
Brown. But it will certainly be pronounced
Bustinsky, and you would be obliged to sneeze
while saying it. Therefore if you ever ventured
to address a Russian as Brown he would think
you were referring to the cat, or to a cup of tea,
or to some archangel or the other, and would be
firmly persuaded that you were talking in Am-
erican. It is much the same with the Russian
name, Bogomolov, Mr. Bogomolov having been So-
viet Ambassador to China. The average person
will be inclined to pronounce this phonetically; but
I'll bet anything I possess that the true pronuncia-
tion is Shetimsky. What Shetimsky has to do with
Bogomolov may be a puzzle to most foreigners, but
to the Russian it is nothing surprising. The great
thing in Russia is to have a name which is pro-
nounced differently from how any rational being,
not a Russian, could imagine its pronunciation to
be. Unless that happens, you are a wretched aris-
tocrat and a capitalist, and therefore ought to be
sent to Jamaica to be handled by those people here
who hate aristocrats and capitalists to such an ex-
tent that they abuse them fervently in the news-
papers (anonymously) and grovel at their feet in
private, declaring that they had nothing whatever
to do with the abuse and would be glad of a little
financial assistance-say two-and-sixpence or less.
And now, talking about names, I am reminded
that the Germans once had an amiable practice
of baptising wholesale-not of course with any re-
ligious ritual-groups of people whom they did
not like, and giving to them names which were
generally impertinently insulting. Thus one group
would be compelled to take the surname of Stink-
ingtoe-I speak literally-while another would be
supposed to go through life as the Badbreaths. There
was nothing immediately to be done about this by
the people personally concerned, unless of course
they desired immediate martyrdom. But watch
the swift evolution. By the change of a letter
here and there Stinkingtoe (in German of course)
became Standrich or something similar, and
Standrich is quite a commendable appellation. As
to Badbreath, a little alteration made it Hardbreath,
and surely there is nothing objectionable in a man's
breathing hard: in fact you are likely to be rather
frightened of such a person: you feel that he may
be of stern and unrelenting character. Thus the
German design deliberately to insult others act-
ually exalted those others; and when Herr Hard-
breath put a von before his name and became von
Hardbreath, he ennobled himself and had to be
treated as a nobleman by those to whom ignorance
was bliss or not-you can take it as you will.
Savage peoples have names, but a savage will
not be induded to tell any one his name if he
suspects that person of no good intentions towards
him. He regards his name as a part of his per-
sonality; he believes that the man who knows his
name can use it to do him harm, and he has a
strange objection-shared by most of us-to letting
anyone do him harm. In early English times
the Welsh had no surnames; thus the son of a
Welshman whose entire name was William, was
simply known as William, this meaning the son
of William; but I guess that this must have become
rather inconvenient in the long run. Which re-
minds me that I once met a man in a terrible tem-
per, who told me that he was going to avenge the
dishonour put upon his name. His name was
Jones. I foolishly ventured to suggest to him that
no one could do dishonour to so universal a name
as Jones, since any Jones must be a Jones and
therefore--


I never got farther than this. The man nearly
broke my jawbone with his fist. He may not after-
wards have proceeded with wiping out the insult
which he believed to have been put upon the noble
name of Jones, but he certainly nearly wiped out
my jawbone because I had ventured to pQintout
to him a palpable truth. I don't believe that this per-
son had a drop of Welsh blood in his veins, though
Jones is Welsh. How he came by the name of
Jones I do not know; and, frankly, I do not care.
But he evidently felt that it was his duty in life
to stand up at all times for the honour of all
Joneses, especially when dealing with people phy-
sically weaker than himself and who had no inten-
tion whatever of casting dishonour on the name of
Jones.
I presume there are many Barbadians, or Ja-
maicans, or English, or Trinidadians, or Malayans,
who also feel that they must die if needs be for
the sake of the name of Brown, and who are there-
fore most unpleasant persons to meet. In their
presence one has to be careful as to what one may
say with reference to the Browns as a whole. Other-
wise one might be inviting murder without know-
ing it. Yet, after all, it ought to be remembered
that most ordinary English names were either ori-
ginally derived from the complexion of a person,
or his trade, or from the place in which he lived.
It isn't something that the Almighty made a spe-
cial present of to him at the beginning of things.
It isn't like the word Adam, the name of our first
male parent. (By the way, what does Adam real-
ly mean? I have never yet met anyone who
knew.)
I suppose that men always had names: after
all there must have been something by which you
could address someone in speaking to him. But
what we call the christian name came first; and
christian names must have been used centuries be-
fore surnames were thought of. Thus a Russian
gentleman a thousand years ago might be known
as Boris the Archthief. long before his grandson
became Boris Bugaboo the Absolute Scoundrel. It
was the same with all other European people; I
think, in fact, with everyone. In Jamaica, so far
as the majority of our population was concerned,
we had first of all African names, such as Quashie;
then we had classical names like Cicero; then we
had ordinary English names; and now our tend-
ency is to have very fancy names. Thus Quamin
became Homer or Cato, developed after yards into
William Spitzbergen Northumberland, and it now
tends to become more awe-inspiring and highfalut-
ing than even William Spitzbergen. To be plain
John Smith in these days is to be almost nothing;
but ten years hence it will actually be a distinction.
to be known as John Smith. For few John Smiths
indeed will there be in this world; nearly all the
John Smiths will be transformed into Johannes
Smithsonibus or something of the kind. As for
me, I too am thinking of adding to the dignity of
my name by changing it. But, as Shakespeare said.
a bush that's called by any other name will smell
like a bush, will be faithful to its business. It
will be true to all the known unpleasantness of
bushdom. It cannot help itself. After all, it was
born a bush.


THE TALK OF FOOD
SAM going to die of starvation. I have made up
my mind to this, and nothing will alter my re-
solution. The reason? The reason is simple:
wherever I go I can hear nothing but about food;
if I walk in the streets, if visitors come to see me
-much against their will-or if I go to see visitors,
the talk is still about food, and food, and yet less
food.
Less food, not more. It is the firm opinion of
everybody that we have less to eat in this month
of August (in which this sketch is being written)
than we had at the beginning of the year, or than
in August of last year. I myself do not think that
that conclusion is correct; during the twelve
months ending August of 1943 there has been some
easing of the local food situation, while, contem-
poraneously, there has been a decided increase of
:my appetite. But no one can say that my consump-
tion of edibles is responsible for any shortage; and
I fancy that when people now complain of lack of
food they are really having in mind the stiff prices
which are charged for almost everything by every-
one who has anything to sell-some of which has
been acquired by stealing.
I cannot forget, for example, what happened
last Christmas. Those persons possessing poultry,
calmly announced that it was their intention to
charge five shillings a dozen for eggs, and I know
one man who had a single cock and who was most
vociferous in proclaiming that the eggs which this
cock would lay would be sold at five shillings a
dozen, he being evidently ignorant of the fact that,
whate'.er might be the merits and the attributes of
the rooster, egg-laying was not to be counted
amongst them. What happened? I have been in-
formed that a large number of persons refused to
buy eggs at five shillings a dozen, even at Christ-


mas. They declined to pay even four shillings a
dozen. They preferred to go entirely without the
usual plum-pudding The result is that the possess-
ors of eggs-laid or not laid by roosters-were left
with their oviparous chattels, many of which be-
came spoilt with the process of time: and so the
price of eggs fell rapidly in the market. This was a
lesson Which should have been learnt by everyone.
But this country being Jamaica, the lesson, natur-
ally, was learnt by no one.
The maximum price of eggs is now two shil-
lings and sixpence per dozen, but these are large
and fresh, and some eggs can be obtained at a
cheaper price. Beef is dear, but the quality has
been steadily improving; indeed I obtain cow's
meat in these times as though every day were
Christmas: I am thinking now of the fatness and
tenderness of the pieces I procure. And, mark
you, I indulge in no Black Mlarket practices. I
have sat and listened to numbers of persons talking
of the necessity of presenting your beef vendor at
frequent intervals with cigars, with rum, with
whiskey, and also with small monetary presents,
these being given to him (be it clearly understood)
on account of his surpassing beauty and grace of
form. But I and mine refuse absolutely to descend
to any such practices. As I said at one social re-
union a month or so ago, "I would rather go with-
out meat entirely than bribe any vendor thereof.
Besides, I don't know how to set about it, and I
cannot meet anybody kind enough to give me a
hint or two." My suggestion as to a hint at Black
Marketing was received in blank silence: none of
the wretched Black Marketers in that company
would stretch out a helping hand to a semi-sup-
pliant brother. Which just shows how much self-
ishness there is in this world: which sets into
radiant relief the morality of people like myself
who will not descend to Black Marketing because
they do not know how.
I have heard the question of the price of tur-
keys for Christmas dinner discussed in the month
of June last. There was a time when none of us
thought about turkeys: we simply waited until
Christmas was near and then ordered our gobbler
with an air of profound indifference as to whether
he should gobble or not. I remember doing this
only four years ago. The turkey came three weeks
before Christmas and was properly housed and
fed. Three days before Christmas he died, and
the Lord only knows what was the cause of his
death. But even then I could rush swifitly about
the neighbourhood and purchase another turkey,
whereas in these days it is wisest to order your
Christmas turkey before it is born, and then spend
the rest of the time fretting yourself into a fever
as to v.whether it will die before Christmas. But
just as there is a divinity which shapes our ends,
rough-hew them how we will, so there is a law of
supply and demand which, in a country only in-
directly affected by war as is Jamaica, will pre-
vent the prices of turkeys from rising too high.
In the first place, we can do without turkeys. In
the next place, most of us have done without tur-
keys all our lives. In the third place we shall
only be too glad to use the high price of turkeys
as an excuse for having no turkey; and of all this
the poultry rearers will become aware. Therefore
turkeys will not be too expensive this Christmas.
I have also noticed that certain foods are now
becoming more available in the United States and
in Canada than they were a year ago. Thus
in July of this year President Roosevelt proclaimed
that from that time there would be no further
rationing of coffee in the United States, and that
shortly butter would also cease to be rationed.
There are, too, so many pigs in the States-I am
not speaking here of the human population-that
they do not know what to do with the pork. and
they also expect from January 1944 a vast
surplusage of meat cattle. All this will help the
situation in Jamaica; somehow, therefore, I do not
expect any particular stringency in the way of
food supply in 1944 unless we have a hurricane in
August and September or October of 1943. And
in any case I shall win the war in Europe sooner
than most persons expect.

So I am actually an optimist in regard to the
future of our food, although a pessimist regarding
my own personal eats. It is not that I think I shall
not have enough to eat, for I have always had
enough to eat during this war; it is because I can
no longer stand the talk I hear about me as to the
scarcity of this,'that and the other, and the terrible
prices thereof. I cannot stop this talking: I cannot
bring about an enlarged supply earlier than the
forces of nature may prescribe. But I can cer-
tainly starve myself to death, and this it is my in-
tention to do. Or .... is it my intention?


When finished with this Planters' Punch,
please pass it on to relatives and friends,
and thus save paper.


1943-44








PLANTERS' PUNCH


THE Climatic Deterioration of Character



Englliish Officiiall iin the tropics


I HAVE related this story elsewhere before, but from the mental disease which imperceptibly
it is well worth telling again, affects so many men who rise from humble posi-
tions to what in the colonies are considered im-
An English official somewhere in East or West portant responsible posts.
Africa was long ago charged with embezzlement
and tried for that offence. At his trial he urged Thus your official in these days may be re-
that the effect of climate and surroundings on his garded as strictly honest, as truthful (within lirm-
character and mind induced him to the crime; in its), as hard working though not as a whole as
a word his argument, as forcibly put by his law- officials in England are). Yet he is likely to suffer
yer, was that the environment had everything to unconsciously from what is known as swell-head-
do with his lapse from virtue. We are told that edness, also from a sort of superiority complex
the Court accepted the plea. The Court, of which prevents him from really rising intellectual-
course, could not find him not guilty, for he had ly above the normal level of the semi-educated
practically pleaded guilty; but it could admonish people around him-in which expression I include
and discharge him as one suffering from the ef- all members of the Colonial better classes.
fects of inimical surroundings and an immoral
climate, and this it did. IV
:1iaybe the Judge and jurymen-if there were Mr. Edward Thompson has observed in one
jurymen they were certainly not natives-felt of his books on India that however brilliant men
sympathetic towards the culprit and his lawyer's may be in their youth, they never on their return
arguments. Some day, too, the Judge may have from India to England exhibit any distinguished
felt, he himself might find that he also had em- intellectual abilities but seem to remain mediocre
bezzled funds that were not his, or had otherwise all the rest of their lives. He thinks that the con-
done those things which he ought not to have done, editions in India have this inhibiting effect upon
thereby inducing a diminution of health in his the intellectual development and progress of the
moral constitution. As for the jurymen, I will English in India, unless, of course, their connection
take a bet of ten to one that not a member of them with the country be for but a few years at the
could throw the first stone at the unfortunate offi- most. What Edward Thompson has said, other
cial brought before them. In other words, having people have also written; but there have been ex-
been a long while in East or West Africa, they had ceptions to the general rule laid down. It
acquired a sound education in scoundrelism must be remembered too that the majority of men
which had become a part of their tropical nature, who enter the Colonial or the Indian Civil Service,
and which it was now difficult for them to regard although supposed to be well educated in so far as
as anything improper in their tropical surround- youthful education goes, are not usually persons
ings. So that official went free of any punishment of particular brillancy. They are 'hot men who
save an admonition; and perhaps, knowing the would have risen to high distinction in Great Brit-
character of the people who had tried him-the ain, although, parochially, they might have had a
very best jurymen the colony or the district afford- certain lustre. Yet even in regard to the most
ed-this admonition did not weigh very heavily on brilliant of them the danger remains that prolong-
his mind. ed official sojourn in the tropics may have a de-
trimental effect upon their minds, and (although
II for the most part unconsciously) upon their char-
This was long ago. Things have since changed acters also. They too often tend to become, like
considerably for the worse in East and West Africa; the dominant civilian classes in the colonies, mas-
that is to say, there is really a much higher moral ters and rulers-empire-builders who never built
standard now existing there than before in regard and will never build an Empire. but may severely
to financial transactions. This change, I say, is for injure one unless they are etiy careful.
the worse, for it does not give some unfortunate
fraudulent person the chance he possessed in V
former days. Still, we have to accept the change
and must remember that conditions have also I remember the late Mr. Robert Cunningham
altered considerably in this island of Jamaica, in Guy, then a prominent journalist in this country,
the British West Indies in general, and, in fact, in telling me how his brother and sisters used to re-
all or most of the British tropical colonies, mark upon his assertive, authoritative habit of ad-
dressing the servants when he was in Scotland on
The truth is that during the last fifty years we vacation. "They will never stand that, you know,
have heard it laid down with increasing insistence Robert," was said to him more than once, and he
that a high example is now set by the members of was puzzled. "For," said he, "I never had the
His Majesty's Civil Service recruited in the United slightest idea that I was speaking dictatorially : I
Kingdom. an example so high that it renders dizzy thought I was being ordinarily courteous and po-
any official who climbs near the top of it. Before lite." I laughed. It came to -me that Mr. Guy
such a theory the average man quails; yet one can had. been too long in Jamaica to realize the sound
find some comfort in the reflection that theory does of his own voice, or to appreciate the effect of
not always square with practice. I remember one his own manner, as these might appear to-his peo-
Governor telling me of another Governor that he ple at home. As a matter of fact he was naturally
had not retired (as was officially alleged) but had a very courteous man, and I myself always thought
been kicked out of the Service. I also remember a that he spoke graciously and kindly to everyone.
Chief Justice saying to me with bitter scorn of an But people in Scotland did not think so, and then
Eastern Colonial administrator that he was "a it began to dawn upon him that residence in Ja-
damned rogue"-forgetting that, more or less. we maica had unknowingly affected him in a detri-
are all of us damned rogues. Not that this parti- mental fashion.
cular Chief Justice would ever have taken a penny
that did not rightly belong to him. or done anything I have heard some bitter complaints about
which seemed to him incompatible with the English officials in Jamaica, by which term I in-
honour of a man or the dignity of his position. But clude officials born in Scotland and Ireland as well
he was a suspicious, cantankerous person, and I as in England and Wales. Englishmen in business
am of the opinion that a markedly cantankerous here have spoken to me angrily of the fashion in
man is really worse than one who temporarily which they allege they were treated by local Eng-
forgets the difference between mine and thine, lish heads of Departments; Jamaicans have com-
and appropriates thine in the belief that it i- F.is. plained in.much the same way: and I have no
doubt it is the same in Trinidad, British Guiana
HI and Barbados. I cannot ignore these various re-
I am not now concerned, however, with the peated assertions, yet I must say that I have had
effect of the tropics on moral character. I sin- a very different experience from that of my several
cerely believe that during the last half century informants. The truth is that on the two occasions
there has been a marked, progressive betterment when I have been insolently treated the offending
in character amongst the rank and file of the men officials were Jamaicans.
sent out from England to help administer the
affairs of the British Colonial Empire. But VI
I must also confess that when I contemplate the Having all this in mind, I am glad that the
folly of some existing Colonial Governors I become Colonial Office is endeavouring -in these days to
indignant and hot. I wonder whether these do appoint to important Colonial positions men whom
not perceive that they are doing their best to alien- it has previously seconded to work in London for
ate the affections of tropical peoples from Great a certain number of months or years before send-
Britain, and I wonder whether it is not my sacred ing them out to the tropics again.
duty to commit murder upon them in the interest
of imperial solidarity. Still, even these are few; This will have an excellent effect on the minds
and I can well perceive that they suffer badly of officials who are to be the Colonial Secretaries.


Governors, etc., of British Imperial dominions. It
should prevent some of these from developing that
peculiar attitude of mind, huwbeit unconsciously,
which we may designate as Colonialensis.
I have seen with some amusement two or three
ex-Colonial Governors striding together along the
sidew\al of the old West India Committee's
office in Trinity Square, London, with a step that
an Emperor might have envied. They might not
know that they were walking as though they were
gods upon earth; but so did they walk, and per-
haps it was a consolation to them, being retired
men, that they should still think of themselves as
lords of the destinies of millions. On the other
hand, within the last fifteen years or so, I have
come upon Colonial Governors still in harness,
and these went about London or their colonies
with the utmost simplicity of demeanour they
were not suffering from Colonialensis. Perhaps
I should also add that minor officials, mainly na-
tives of the various Imperial Colonies, and not
Governors or Colonial Secretaries, often marched
instead of walking and, as one lady expressed
it, always carried gloves, no matter that no one
else in London was at the moment worrying about
gloves. When this was drawn to my attention I
made it a point of duty to look out for the gloved
Colonial in London, and whenever I saw a man
prominently displaying gloves I dashed precipita-
tely out of his way.

VII
But I have said that the Colonial Office now
wisely sends for the most promising of its Colonial
Administrators and attaches these to its staff for
sometime; keeps them in touch with civilisation as
it were. Thus Sir Henry Monk Moore, after hav-
ing been a Governor in Africa, became a member
of the Colonial Office staff before being sent out
again to administer the affairs of an important
colony. Thus Sir William Battershill has been
transferred from Cyprus to become Deputy Per-
manent Under-Secretary of' State in the Colonial
Office; while the new Governor of Jamaica, Sir J.
Huggins. was seconded from Trinidad to Washing-
ton to become Chairman of the British Colonies
Supply Mission and British Representative on the
Anglo--American Caribbean Commission. All
this is to the good.
For we do not want our Colonial Governors or
our Colonial Secretaries to sink and remain in-
tellectually at merely the Colonial level. That
level is rather low. I am a Colonial myself, so I
can speak quite freely about this; the most that
I "can be accused of is abusing or disparaging my
fellow-Colonials. Butt as I have always done this,
and am always prepared to do it, and am also quite
ready to be rude to any and every one, bureaucrat
or non-bureaucrat, I do not think I need worry
much about the possible accusation. As a matter
of fact I do not intend to be obnoxious; I merely
propose to speak the truth, although knowing quite
well that often there is nothing more unpleasant
than the truth.

VIII
I can quite realise that the next few
years or so are going to be difficult times in the
British Colonies, and so I want the Administrators
of them to keep and to be kept closely in touch
with the best British ideals and manners, and with
the best American ideals and manners also-for
the American gentleman is admirably the authen-
tic stuff. I am one of those who hold that, with
all its blunders and mistakes, with all its errors
and its crimes of older days (if you wish to speak
of crimes), the British Colonial system has been
Sa magnificent-piece of work and is destined to be
still greater than it was. Hence I want to see the
English official in the colonies a fine type of in-
dividual, one who compels both affection and res-
pect because of his character and because of the
inherent and unaffected qualities of his mind.
Above all and this is imperative he must
be a gentleman. I believe that during the
next five years I shall have much to do with pub-
lic affairs, for, in spite of the kind wishes of my
friends, I have not the slightest intention of dying
for at least the next decade or so. In that
time, if our Jamaica Governors and Colonial Sec-
retaries attain the stature of Lord Olivier, Sir Ed-
ward Stubbs and Mr. A. W. Grantham. and leave
behind them the impression and reputation that
those men have left in Jamaica, I do not think!
.that Jamaica will have any.just cause to complain.
Decidedly, I shall not complain.-H. G. D. August
31st, 1943.


1943-44






PLANTERS' PUNCH


THE RETURN
(Continued from Page 6)
her, lost all. He was a weakling, a boy, not a man,
when she chose to exert her power over him. What
a tragedy it all was!"
"But he did not really regret it," Benedict
pointed out eagerly. "At the last he thought one
kiss from her worth all that he had thrown away,
though he knew and said that he had been the
greatest prince of the world, the 'noblest, and had
fallen from great heights because of her. You re-
member?"
"Only too well. But he did not play his part
as a man should have done; where Cleopatra was
concerned he was a weakling.
"But we are not come together to talk about
poetry and plays, Mr. Benedict," she continued.
"You want to sell Creighton. I will buy it if your
price is reasonable, and you have already been told
that I will pay more for it than you have hitherto
been offered. Let us all sit down and talk the
matter over."
"Would four thousand pounds not be reason-
able, Baroness?" asked Benedict, prepared to be


beaten down a thousand pounds, in the normal Ja-
maica fashion.
"It isn't worth more than two thousand five
hundred pounds," rapped out Buxton aggressively,
"and nobody has yet offered you quite as much as
that for it."
"We can get four thousand," broke in Arthur
Benedict; "it is only a matter of w-aiting a while."
His tone was challenging, his manner insolent.
The baroness glanced at him as though he were
something just found under a huge stone in the
garden, then turned her eyes away. "I believe
the place is worth three thousand pounds," she
said; "at least, so I have been told on excellent
authority" which authority was Mr. Buxton
himself. "Suppose I give you three thousand two
hundred pounds, Mr. Benedict: wouldn't that satis-
fy you?.'
Benedict instinctively realized that the extra
two hundred pounds had been added because of
his love for literature which had won the, admira-
tion of this strange coloured woman, the like of
whom he had never met before. Also because
Lady de Brion disdained bartering. He knew in-
stinctively that he must now accept or refuse that
offer definitely: that the deal must now be closed
one way or the other or would be considered off.


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_________________________ I


"Very well, Lady de Brion," he answered
quietly.
"But" began Arthur Benedict, who chafed
under a silence that seemed to be imposed upon
him: he was permitted to get no farther.
"Please go outside and get the headmen to
heck up the cattle on Creighton, Arthur," ordered
his brother. "There are not too many of them,"
he added ruefully to the baroness.
Arthur was really a hanger-on upon his bro-
ther; therefore he knew when he must obey com-
mands or risk being humiliated before all and
sundry. He grunted disdainfully, but went out.
Lady de Brion rose.
"Well, this business is now over except for
the drawing up of papers and the making of trans-
fers or whatever the lawyers call it. Mr. Buxton,
I am sure you will help me by seeing to that."
She was charming, thought Mr. Benedict,
choosing to regard as a favour what she might
have commanded as a duty from her principal
employee. But she was in high good humour this
morning; for once, outside her own property, she
had been treated as she was accustomed to be
treated, with a deference that was spontaneous, na-
tural, and which seemed to have far more rela-
tion to her personality than to her money.
She put out her hand to Mrs. Benedict and
then to that lady's husband; both shook it respect-
fully. "I hope you will do well on your new
property in St. Thomas," she said, then sprang
lightly, a born horsewoman, from the mounting
block in front of the building on to her horse.
"Buxton," she said, "I am going to ride home alone
by the main-road; I know my way about these
parts pretty well by this. You go with your son
and with Charles." She waited for no answer,
but touched her mount lightly with her whip and
rode off. Behind her four men and one woman
bowed low.
She rode in the direction of Hope Vale, going
at an easy pace; it was now October and the risen
sun did not render riding unpleasant. She was
thinking of the people she had just left; of Rupert
Benedict's love for culture, of his wife's efforts
to appear to be somebody --efforts which were
forever failing of his brother's rudeness and
insolence. For she had clearly perceived Arthur's
attitude, but had also noticed how his elder bro-
ther had squashed it decisively. That sufficed.
Yet here again there was a something that puzzled
her, or rather, worried her, for the stage of puz-
zlement was passing now.
She had looked into a mirror many times since
she had been in Jamaica; she had marked the dif-
ference in complexion between herself and even
such a person as poor Mrs. Benedict. True she
was much lairei, lighter in hue than people of her
degree of mixed blood in Jamaica. Her almost
life-long residence in Europe, her sheltered life on
board ship, where she had been so rarely exposed
to the sun, her poise, the influence of her social
circle in England, all had had its effect upon her.
Yet every now and then in the past three weeks
there had come to her some hint of a difference be-
tween her and the white women of the parish, and
she had perceived that Mr. Buxton was always on
his guard and that her old "nurse," Psyche Hunting-
don, wore increasingly a worried, harassed look
that there was no mistaking.
"Psyche Huntingdon." The Huntingdon she
understood; many persons on the estate bore that
name today. But Psyche? She herself had been
christened Psyche too. Was that a mere coinci-
dence, or was there a deeper relationship between
the two names and the persons who bore them?
Once or twice she had caught on old Psyche's face
a look that reminded her of her own expression
at times. Was this old nurse of hers a former
nurse only and nothing more?
The sound of a horse's hooves going at a
smart trot came to her ears; she knew she would
shortly be overtaken. That did not matter; she
had been passed by many riders during the last
three weeks; they had not seemed interested in
her, and she had certainly not been interested in
,them. The sound became louder, clearer; presently
a horseman swept past her, glanced in her direc-
tion, then reined in his steed to a slower pace. He
was garbed in riding clothes and wore as a pro-
tection against the sun a wide-rimmed slouch hat.
This hat he lifted as he bowed, then fell into a
rapid walk beside her. "The Baroness de Brion,
I am sure," he said; "may I introduce myself? I
am one of your neighbours: Frederick O'Brian of
Plimsole."
"Irish?" she asked, smiling.
"On my father's side; my mother was English.
But I am all Irish in my sympathies; Ireland has
been badly treated by England these hundreds of
years. My father -"
"Mr. O'Brian," interrupted the baroness with
a laugh that robbed her words of any suspicion of
offence. "please remember that my father's name
was Huntingdon and that therefore all my sympa-
thies are really with the English, my own people.
So let us not talk politics. Plimsole is your pro-
perty? I have passed it now and then."
"You have to pass it when going to the Bay."
(Continued on Page 14)


1943-44





PLANTERS' PUNCH


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1943-44


(EstaMished







PLANTERS' PUNCH


THE RETURN
(Continued from Page 12)
"I hear it used to belong to some other people
- I forget their name at the moment."
"I have only owned it about fifteen years;
my father got it for a debt, I believe, and left it
to me."
"Then you have been here fifteen years?"
"More or less. I went home some five years
ago and remained for twelve months. I don't know
when I shall go again. I have settled down now
to become a regular Jamaica planter. Are you too
here for good?"
"No; I should leave in February next or
March at the latest," she answered. "I want to
make some arrangements about my slaves before
I go."
"They seem to be well looked after. Buxton
is a good man."
"They are well looked 'after; but they won't
remain slaves for very long now, you know.
Emancipation is coming more quickly than people
out here seem to believe."
"Hum. You are sure of that?"
"Very. And surely it is right that the bonds-
men should be set free. My uncle Charles -
Lord Huntingdon, you know was always of that
opinion. Happily, his slaves had little or nothing
to complain of."
"Your uncle?- 0 yes, of course."
She looked at him searchingly: "Why do you
say that?"
"I? Nothing whatever. Of course I did not
know your uncle."
S "But you must have heard of him, if not of my
father, his younger brother, who died out here?"
"Yes, I havq heard of him."
To himself he thought: "She has not yet learnt
the truth about her parentage. But does she not
suspect?" He decided to change the subject.
They were close to Hope Vale now; indeed
were at one of its gates. "Will you let me ride
with you to the Great House?" he asked, and she
replied, "With pleasure."
She had been studying him as they rode along.
A tall blue-eyed Irishman he looked; his reddish
hair indicating quickness of temper, his laughing
mouth a reckless, good-humoured disposition. He
was not exactly handsome, but there was some-
thing frank, something winning about his counten-
ance that made an instant appeal to her; she liked
him at once. He appeared to be about :hirtv-seven


years of age, and already about his temples the
auburn hair was slightly streaked with grey.
They were at the Great House now; he sprang
off his horse and held out his hand to help her
down. She touched it lightly and easily dismount-
ed: a woman well accustomed to horses, he im-
mediately thought. "Well, good-bye," he said, "and
may I come to see you?"
"Whenever you like."
"This afternoon?"
She laughed: "If you care to so soon," she
answered.
"This afternoon, then: we should have much


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to talk about. You are from the old country, and
you have suddenly made me feel like a stranger
in Jamaica."
"It is I who am the stranger," she replied with
just a suspicion of bitterness. "And yet I was
born in Jamaica."
He rode away; once out of the ambit of her
searching eyes his face fell to gravity. "Poor girl,"
he muttered. "I am afraid she will feel stranger
still before many weeks have passed."

CHAPTER FOUR
DREGS OF BITTERNESS
'_ E come three times already, Mr. Joe, and he
I only know her for a week."
"Well, Psyche, I suppose he likes her, and he's
a young man, and lonely."
"He has a girl, Mr. Joe, a brown girl, who me
daughter don't know anything about, so he is not
lonely. What he coming for?"
"I know all about his girl, Psyche, but she is
not his companion. Don't you see he want some-
body he can talk to as an equal, and be friendly
with? He is a gentleman, and the baroness is a
lady, and there is not very much people like them
in Jamaica. No wonder Mr. O'Brian come here
so .often."
"That's not all, Mr. Joe, an' you know it. If
he didn't like her for herself he wouldn't come.
She like him too: I see them together once last
week, so I know. What does he mean, Mr. Joe?"
"I can't tell, Psyche." answered Mr. Buxton
in troubled tones, "but if I guess me lady's char-
acter right, he will have to mean what she mean-
not a doubt about that. She's more determined
even than you was. as a girl, Psyche, and when you
was young you were a little hell."
The comely black woman with the straight
hair and aquiline nose smiled slightly. She knew
that Mr. Buxton intended to pay her a compliment;
also that he was sincere.. Yes. She had been
somewhat of a hell in her time to those who were
her enemies, to those towards whom she felt an-
tagonism. She could easily be the same now if
sufficiently aroused. But her daughter was, if Mr.
Buxton were to be believed, the fiercer, the more
ruthless character of the two. She believed that;
she felt proud of it. "And yet," she said aloud,
"her father was one of the sweetest, gentlest men
that ever come to this country."
"Yes, Psyche, but what about his father, or
grandfather? You didn't know them; perhaps your


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daughter take after.them. I've read or heard some-
where that the Huntingdons were terrible people
in England. Your daughter may be like them."
"Maybe; and if this man. Mr. O'Brian, try to
treat her badly, I hope she will get even with him.
,Mr. Joe. I will try to help her. She's all I have
in this world,"
Mr. Buxton answered nothing; he knew that
that would be useless. And that afternoon, when
Frederick O'Brian rode past his house towards the
Great House, he followed the rider with troubled
eyes.
Psyche came out gladly to meet her visitor;
she welcomed him with outstretched arms. "We
are going for a ride, Fred," she cried; "let us g.o
to Cowbend. I have sent to tell my old nurse that
she may expect us."
"Excellent. .And now I could welcome a rum
punch, though it ought, strictly speaking, to be
drunk in the forenoon."
"There seem to be no rules in Jamaica where
drinking is concerned," she laughed. "and, my dear
friend, you seem to have been drinking too much
already today."
"Nothing to speak of," he protested; she looked,
quizzical but gave the order for the punch. She
thought a little sadly: if only Frederick would
drink a little less; if only he would get rid of this
detestable Jamaica custom!
The rum punch was brought, consumed; it was
strong and it stirred the brain of the man who
drank it. He began to talk quickly, though he
took care not to raise his voice.
"Psyche," he said suddenly, "do you know I-
have fallen in love with you?"
"I guessed as much after your second visit last
week, Fred, she laughed. "You are not very good
at concealing your feelings, you know."
"My God, you are a woman in a thousand!
You see the fact and you admit it. Well, what
are you going to do about it, my dear?"
"I? It is not I who am to do anything about
it; surely it is you. Do you want to marry me,
Fred?"
For some moments he stared at her dumb-
founded. It was true, he knew, that white men
were marrying coloured women in Jamaica these
days; but they were hardly men of his position.
Then he remembered that the women also were
not of the baroness's position, that there were very
few in the country indeed who, from any rational,
reasonable social point of view, could be consider-
ed her equals. Yet it was not of marriage with
her that he had been thinking. He forced him-
self to believe that he was not of the marrying
type; that therefore he would not be insulting her
if he suggested to her a free love relationship which
was too common in this country to provoke any
comment. He did not realise that in 1831 the Ja-
maica ethos, feeling, was rapidly though silently
changing from what it had been, nor did he un-
derstand the baroness's character as well as old
Buxton or her mother did. Why, if they loved
one another, should they not live with one an-
other? he had asked himself.. Not openly, of
course; he felt that to that she would have strong
objections. But secretly, in so far as there could
be secrecy in such affairs. She, however, now
spoke distinctly about marriage. It was clear she




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did not realise she was but the bastard daughter
of a former Jamaica proprietor, even if that pro-
prietor had been an English nobleman, and that
her mother, who had -come as a slave girl from
Africa. was still living. But at once, sitting there,
his better nature won uppermost, and he remem-
bered that all her adult life up to now had been
spent in Europe, that she was the widow of a
Frenchman who, most probably, would have in his
heart of hearts regarded Frederick O'Brian as so
much dirt, and that she had a son who was actu-
ally the Baron de Brion. He tried to shift the
subject "We must talk about this matter some
other time, Psyche; I only wanted to bring it up
casually today."
This was no answer to her question, and she
knew it. Her eyes were fixed on him as though
they would pierce to the very core of his thoughts.
The frown on her forehead. which had almost dis-
appeared during the past few days, was distinctly
visible now, the smouldering fire again burned in
her eyes. But she would not press the subject:
she had not introduced it; it must be brought up
again by him. He would bring it up again-she
knew that, and wondered what he would say on
that occasion. He and the Buxtons were the only
white people in the parish that she knew, and
that alone was queer; but she realized now that


she was not a white woman, though she could not
intimately realize why that should in any way
affect her. These people-well, they could hardly
consider themselves her equals. Then why this
nonsense, of which, it'seemed, even Frederick was
not entirely innocent? She put. away these
thoughts with a contemptuous, hardly perceptible
gesture. and sprang to her feet. "I think my horse
is ready, Fred," she said. "Let us go riding now."
They took the way to Cowbend and up to the
cottage in which Psyche Huntingdon had lived for
so many years, while keeping in touch with all
that took place on Hope Vale and hearing every
rumour and tale concerning the estate. Psyche
greeted them with respect, asked if they would
come in and have something to drink-rum punch,
Madeira, coffee? Lady de Erion refused for both;
it was already growing dark, "she said, they would
not dismount. "Then let me walk with you- to the
gate that lead to the nearest road to Hope Vale,'
pleaded Psyche, and strode off as she spoke. The
others followed on horseback; near to the gate
that they approached they noticed a small group
of people surrounding something stretched out upon
the ground.
"A calf is sick there," said O'Brian; "what are
you doing about it, Psyche?"
(Continued on Page 17)


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1943-44







PLANTERS' PUNCH


THE RETURN
(Continued from Page 15)
"It's been sick for some hours now, sir," said
Psyche, "but it is in no pain. It will die tonight
or tomorrow morning."
"But surely you can save its life! Can't you
drench it or something?"
"Nothing will save it now, sir; it eat some-
thing that has poisoned it; it must die."
"If it vomited, my good woman ."
"When we found that it was sick it was to"-
late to give it anything to make it vomit; nothing
could touch the poison. But it does not suffer."
The baroness glanced at the glazing eyes of
the paralysed calf which did not even moan: in-
voluntarily a chill seemed to envelop her and she
shuddered. She glanced at the older woman's
face; it was set, rigid, inscrutable. But in her eyes
burned a sullen fire. To the baroness came the
conviction that this scene of the motionless, dying
calf had been purposely staged for Fred O'Brian and
herself!
Then she asked herself why she thought this,
and could find no credible answer. She smiled
slightly, bade the elder woman goodbye, and, with
her companion, rode away.

"Do you really believe in marriage, Psyche?"
"Yes."
She and Frederick were sitting on the veran-
dah of the Hope Vale Great House; it was almost.
a week after they had gone for the ride to Cow-
bend.
Dusk had fallen, though it was but six o'clock
in the afternoon; and the short days and long nights
of Jamaica had commenced. Fred had ridden over
half an hour before; he said he was not certain
that he would stay for dinner. "It depends upon
the answer I shall give him tonight." thought his
hostess; therefore she was not surprised at all at
his question.
"But what is marriage? A mere formula, some
-words muttered over you by a parson, or a signa-
ture before a Government officer. It is nothing,
really; whereas, if two people sincerely love one
another-"
."They will not object to marrying, Fred, if they
sincerely love one another. They will not mind
the formula, or the signature. that binds them to-
gether forever: they will welcome it."
"Well," said he shortly, "I am not a marrying
man."
"So you have said before, and you are not
singular in this country. Hardly any men here
seem to be marrying men; or, if they are married,
they also observe a sort of system of polygamy. I
am supposed to be a Jamaican myself, but I have
lived so long out of this country, am so much a
stranger here, that I confess everything seems new
and very strange to me....
"There is something else. too, which I might
as well mention now. I have a son. He is the
Baron de Brion. I am not prepared to give him
a lot of Jamaican bastard brothers and sisters,
Fred: in the first place, he would not acknowledge
them; in the next place he would come. v...hen old
enough, to hate his mother, and he would be right.
So, you see---"
"Psyche, Psyche, why do you assume that I
am asking you to do all the things, or anything,
that you consider impossible? What have I said
to lead you to believe that?"
"You are not good at lying or at deception.
Fred: you are naturally open and truthful. You
know exactly what you have meant, and I have
known it too. And I know the reason now. I
was ignorant of it even two weeks ago, but enliglt-
enment has come in the meantime, come in a floo-l
You feel you could not marry me and remain in
Jamaica, and you also feel that if you left Plimsole
you might lose it to some rascally Jamaica attor-
ney, or that it would go to pieces. Either of which
things would probably happen. You could leave
Jamaica. of course, and we could live in England;
but"it revolts you to think that you might be liv-
ing on my money. I respect you for that. Fred.
but it is not your only consideration. The money
would be that of a-what do you call it?-mul-
atress I think is the term. MAany men here wou:dr
take that money gladly. would even rob the mul-
atress, but that you would not do. Fred. But in
any case marriage with a mulatress revolts some-
thing within you, does it not? Fancy one of the
great O'Brians-for I am certain that the O'Brians
must be great, though I had never heard of them
before I met you-allying himself with a Huntinc-
don, and with the widow of the late Baron de
Brion, and with the mother of the present Baron
de Brion. O, what a fall that would be!"
"Psyche!"
"Let me finish, Fred; what I am saying now
has been accumulating in my heart for some'days:
it is better that I should get rid of it. I am much
obliged that, as much as you could, you have sought
to avoid insulting me in so many words. Yet you
have acted in a way which any woman would
(Continued on Page 18)


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JAMAICA'S GRAND OLD MAN
(Continued from Page 7)


surround it, so have the real aims of Arthur Far-
quharson been more and more clearly perceived,
as the years have gone by, so that even those who
might once have opposed him have been compell-
ed to admit that this indeed is a true-hearted and
a great-minded man.
There would have been no Jamaica Banana
Producers Association except for Arthur Farqu-
harson and-let it never be forgotten-this was in-
tended to be mainly a small man's effort towards
economic cooperation and independence.
And this was but one of the many efforts he
has made on behalf of the economic welfare of all
classes of our people.
I THINK of Edward Jordan resigning an import-
ant and lucrative position as one of the Ja-
maica Government's four Secretaries of State, a
position to which he had been nominated by the
Governor, in order to fight an election for the
House of Assembly. I see in this act exactly some-
tlijn. that Arthur Farquharson would have done.
The latter, indeed, was once a Government Officer,
was Crown Solicitor of this colony. But it was
written from the day of his birth that he would cut
himself free from all official trammels in order
that, no matter at what cost to himself, he should
always be able openly to speak his mind. Indeed,
did he not once, when in England. ask Joseph
Chamberlain (then Secretary of State for the Col-
onies) for an interview so that he could express
frankly his views on the then existing situation;
and, in order to emphasize his earnestness of pur-
pose. did he not send in at the same time his re-
sianation as Crown Solicitor of Jamaica? Joseph
Chamberlain acted as we would expect a big man
to act. He granted the interview, but refused to ac-
cept Arthur Farquha-ron'? resignation. The action
of both men was characteristic.
There is another story which I claim the right
to tell. In 1929 he received a letter asking him to
accept the honour of knighthood. Many people
have wondered who recommended him for this dis-
tinction, for decidedly he had never gone out of
his way to please or mollify any Jamaica Admin-
istrator, though he would never unnecessarily en-
deavour to create enmity for him. It was not Sir
Edwards Stubbs who had brought his name
to the attention of the Secretary of State, al-
though no Knighthood could be given in Jamaica


unless with the approval of the existing Governor.
Sir Edward had to be consulted, and found no dif-
ficulty in warmly approving of the Secretary of
State's intention. But the letter to Sir Arthur Far-
quharson came from Lord Passfield himself; and I
am certain that Lord Passfield's attention was
brought by someone in England, and not in Jamaica,
to the deserts of Arthur Wildman Farquharson.
Sir A. W.-as his friends affectionately call
him-may be surprised that I should know who
wrote to him: certainly he himself has never men-
tioned the matter to me. He may also be some-
what astonished to learn that I know he took a
little time to consider the offer of the Secretary of
State for the Colonies, and actually thought of de-
clining it. Happily, as indeed is characteristic of
the man, his good sense and practical intelligence
prevailed. Perhaps also in his mind there was the
feeling that an honour to him was a real honour
to the people of Jamaica.

SO in the last century or so we have had four dis-
tinguished leaders in Jamaica, two Jamaicans,
two Englishmen, and I can now see a fifth on the
horizon of Jamaica's life. But I speak here speci-
fically of Arthur Farquharson, and I am sure that all
educated people in Jamaica will agree with me when
I say that throughout his life he has shown the
indomitable strength of his character, the forward-
looking nature of his mind. And well has it been
written that "by their deeds ye shall know them."
Meantime Arthur Farquharson has grown mellow-
er and deeper and broader with the passing years,
while yet remaining essentially the firm, straight-
forward, honest gentleman he has always been;
the man who reminds one much of Brovwning's
hero:-
One who never turned his back but marched
breast forward,
Never doubted clouds would break,
Never dreamed, though right were worsted,
wrong would triumph,
Held we fall to rise, are baffled to fight better,
Sleep to wake.

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THE RETURN
(Continued from Page 17)
have understood, and to me that has been an in-
sult. We are not likely to meet again, Fred; our
paths lie in different directions. Yet I believe that
you love me, and I too love you, my dear, as you
already know."
"But Psyche," he pleaded, "our Jamaica gen-
try ."
"I don't know what you are going to say, Fred.
but I suspect that you are going to plead as an
excuse for your conduct the prejudices ofi your Ja-
maica gentry. Isn't it a pity that among this gen-
try there are so few ladies and gentlemen? Hard-
ly any, it seems. But you, after all, are not Ja-
maican, though you have been here many years,
and you are naturally a gentleman, Fred. There-
fore do not quote the Jamaica gentry. If you must
mention any of them, try to think of the one or
two you know who can honestly be regarded as
gentlefolk. Yes, Daphne, what is it?"
Daphne, a maid as black as the ace of spades,
had appeared at the door to enquire whether she
should lay places at the dining table for two. Her
mistress answered promptly: "For one only,
Daphne; Mr. O'Brian is not staying for dinner."
Then she rose and looked expectantly at Fred
O'Brian.
Daphne withdrew; Fred rose heavily to his
feet. "You are turning me out of your house,
Psyche," he muttered.
"That's perhaps best for both of us, Fred; at
any rate, it gives you a sense of grievance that
may be helpful to your self-respect. I know I
am guilty of atrocious bad manners; but what can
you expect from a mulatress?"
"Who ever called you that?" he stormed; "who
put that idea into your head?"
"There are others of more or less my complex-
ion on this estate; I have seen them. Then there
has been the attitude of your gentry. And I have
thought a little and put two and two together. Good-
bye, Fred."
He took her hand, clasped it warmly; in an-
other minute she heard the hooves of his horse
thundering away from the Great House. She
buried her head on her arms on the table in front
of her and v. ept as though her heart would break.
Then a rap sounded on the door that led into
the sitting room; she sat up sharply, wiped her
eyes, and called out, "Come in." It was her old
"nurse," Psyche Huntingdon.
The elderly woman glanced keenly at the ba-
roness, saw the tell-tale indications of tears in the
face she gazed at, knew that Mr. O'Brian had left but
a little while ago; she had, indeed, been at Hope
Vale for some little time and had seen him come.
She guessed far more of what had occurred than
the baroness could possibly have imagined.
"Sit down, nurse," said Lady de Brion.
Psyche Huntingdon sat on the edge of a maho-
gany-seated chair, solid and black and brilliant
with polish; she handed a small package to the
baroness.
"I brought these from Africa when I came here
as a Little girl. milady," she said, "and I gave them
to your mother before she died. She asked me
to give them to you sometime; I should have sent
them to England."
"What are they, Psyche?"
"Poison beans. If you grind two of them up
and give the powder to someone to drink, nothing
can save that person from death, and no one will
ever 'know what killed him, unless you talk about
it.".
The younger woman started, stared, then
opened the crinkled envelope curiously, and saw
within it a few withered beans, six in all.
She laughed somewhat sadly: "three deaths


I


~


1943-44







PLANTERS' PUNCH


are here, then?" and Psyche Huntingdon nodded
solemnly.
"And you have had these for over thirty
years, by your own account: has it never occurred
to you that their potency is gone-I mean that they
are useless now?" asked the baroness.
"You saw the calf the other evening, miss;
it died that night: it had been given two of these
beans by me: I wanted to know if they could still
act. They can."
"A deadly undiscoverable poison, eh?"
"Yes, ma'am."
"Did my mother ever use these beans?" de-
manded the baroness suddenly, looking at Psyche
Huntingdon with piercing eyes."
"Once I believe, ma'am, though she never talk-
ed much about it. A girl, a white girl, wanted to
steal your father from her. Your mother killed
that girl. She was right."
"Well, I don't want to kill anyone, nurse; be-
sides, I should say, if you are right about my
mother, that she was entirely wrong: she was a
murderess."
"I am not sure; ma'am, that she rea..y killed
anyone," the black woman hastened to say; "I
only speak what I have heard some other people
say. But England is England and Jamaica Ja-
maica, and what may be wrong in England m..y
be right in Jamaica."
"This is the second time this evening that I
have heard that doctrine suggested." smiled the
baroness bitterly, "and maybe both you and the
other person who advanced it are right. I cannot
accept it, though. Yet I will keep these beans,
nurse; they seem to be the only memento I have
of my mother. Where do you say she is buried""
"In St. Andrew."
"Some day before I leave Jamaica I hope to
see her grave. Meantime I have much work to
do. I will keep the beans carefully. God bless
you, nurse."
Psyche Huntingdon curtsied low. "God bless
you too, milady, an' keep you from all harm. Oh,
God bless you."
"Why are you crying. nurse?"
But the tall, sable woman with smouldering
eyes and aquiline features was already disappear-
ing through the door.
CHAPTER FIVE
PREPARATIONS
THE rumour was persisting, spreading; who had
started it no one knew, but thousands of the
slaves believed it; it gained credence with a rapid-
ity that no new religious doctrine could have
equalled even among a superstitious people.
The King of England had decreed that the
slaves of Jamaica should become freemen at the
end of the swiftly dying year, but the white mast-
ers were keeping the precious boon from the peo-
ple and preparing to continue to hold them in
bondage forever. That was the story now being
told, and in a week it had overrun the borders of
St. James and overflowed into the parishes of
Trelawny and St. Ann and elsewhere. On the
other hand the slaveowners, while loudly denying
that Emancipation had yet come-and in this they

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Spoke truth-also declaimed against it with terrible
bitterness, thus proving that they knew its advent
in the future to be sure and inevitable. In the pre-
sence of theLr household slaves, in their newspa-
pers. they raved against the belief that the slaves
would be freed and no penny of compensation given
to the owners who would thus, in most instances,
be irretrievably ruined. Always one heard of this
proposed lack of compensation, and the mere
thought of it fanned to fury the anger of the mas-
ters and mistresses throughout Jamaica. They
screamed that they were about to be ruined. Every-
where they said bitterly that it was to this that
English religion and philanthropy were bringing
them at-last.
It waste two weeks after the baroness had sent
away Frederick O'Brian. and since then nothing
had passed between them: not a note or a word.
But in that fortnight the baroness had been busy;
indeed she had set herself to work the very
day after she had dismissed Frederick, and with
an energy and resolution to which Jamaica was
little accustomed.
In the morning, early, after her memorable
last talk with Frederick O'Brian, she had sent for
her former "nurse."
"You have heard these stories about the King


FOR


making free all the slaves of Jamaica at the end
of this year, haven't you, Psyche?"
"Yes, miss,"-the Jamaica form of addressing
even married women came very naturally to
P-yche Huntingdon now "Yes, miss, for some
time, but a lot of people say they are not true."
"They are quite true," firmly asserted the
baroness, "but the owners do not want it to be be-
lieved. I am going to make arrangements with
my lawyers here to free every man, woman and
child who is a slave on Hope Vale at Christmas-
time. You should do the same with your people
on Cowbend, nurse."
"But, milady, when we do that, we'll be poor
compared to what we are now, an' then-"
"Nonsense! You have to feed and clothe the
slaves in some sort of fashion, have you not? And
you can no longer turn them off into the 'roads
and streets to starve as in former days: that at
least is against the law. Well, the slaves that are
freed today will be seeking employment tomorrow,
and the land you give them to cultivate for their
sustenance, and the food and clothing you allow
them, they will have to pay for. We at Hope Vale
will pay our people wages after Christmas, and
(Continued on Page 21)


this all must strive and work according to their de-


gree, "By the sweat of thy brow shalt thou live"

is as true today as when it was first voiced. In times

as desperate and urgent as these we must work

even harder and think ahead; making it more plain

to those who waver, that




THOUGHT
for the Morrow as well as the present means

economizing wisely, spending carefully, working

honestly, patriotically and unselfishly, wherever

our fate has placed us,-towards a common weal

and rising bravely above the effects of, a common

woe-not easy, but this attitude.tdwards life in gen-

eral and ours in particular will serve to carry us far

on the road to that VICTORY which we one and

all ferventl: pray may be ours, sooner rather than

later.


We sincerely hope XMAS 1943 and the Coming Year will bring
all our friends near and far as much happiness as possible in
a world temporarily darkened by the Clouds of War.




CECIL B. FACE LTD.
MERCHANTS & MANUFACTURERS' REPRESENTATIVES
FOR DRUGS HARDWARE TEXTILES PROVISIONS GROCERIES


168 Harbour St.


Kingston.


FOOD
IS THE PRIMAL NEED OF HUMANITY ...


~


1943-44





PLANTERS' PUNCH


SAVE YOUR FORD

foT uoUTi. and foz qamaica!

If your Ford Car or Truck is doing "essential work"
for the duration, bring it "back home" for any work
it needs. Your Ford dealer knows your Ford best.
Our men are trained specialists in your car's special
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with the proper tools to do the job both right and
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something more than just a "job" We want your
business as a new car buyer after the War, and we
know that good service is one of the best ways to win it.

Also, see that your car comes in for service as soon
enough and regularly. Proper care and adjustments
at the right time instead of repairs made too late
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_


1943-44






PLANTERS' PUNCH


SINCE


1911


The Royal Bank of Canada has been
an integral part of Kingston's business
S community for over 31 years. Through
changing times this bank has been priv-
ileged to serve the merchants and busi-
ness men in all parts of this Island,
affording them a convenient avenue
through which to conduct their banking
business not only in Jamaica but in all
parts of the world.
Throughout the West Indies and Cen-
tral and South America, in New York and
London, in every Province of Canada.
are found branches of The Royal Bank of
Canada. Complete facilities of this wide-
spread banking system are immediately
available to you through our Jamaican
Branches.




THI ROYAL i3ANK

Of CANADA
INCORPORATED 1869.

KINGSTON BRANCH .... .... H. J. EVENNETT, Manager.
MONTEGO BAY .... .... W. A. JEMMOTT, Manager.


THE RETURN
(Continued from Peor 19)
they will work for us. If you like I will compen-
sate you for the slaves you set free on Cowbend."
"Very well, miss, I will set them free; but I
want no compensation. After all, everything I
have is yours."
"I have guessed that, nurse, for some time,"
answered the baroness with a mirthless smile.
"But now there is something more for you to do,
and I want you to preserve strict secrecy in re-
gard to it. Not a word about it to Mr. Buxton
even. Do you promise?"
"Yes, milady," said the older woman, eyeing
the baroness keenly and with a glint of fear in her
eyes.
"Very well. These slaves in this and other
parts of the island who expect to be free at the
end of this- year, they have leaders, have they
not?"
"Yes, miss."
"I want to get into touch with one or two
of the most influential of those leaders: tonight if
possible. You can tell them what you and I intend
to do with our slaves--they would know in a very
few days, anyhow, for I am seeing my Jamaica
lawyers today. Can you bring one of them to
see me here tonight?"
"It is possible, miss, but dangerous."
"Never mind the danger; whom have youin
mind?"
"There is a church-leader called Daddy Sharp;
I can send him a message by Mashimba's son to-
day: I hear he is at the Bay. If he get it, he will
come tonight."
"Ten o'clock will do. I am depending on you,
nurse."
"I will do whatever you want, miss; but
remember you have powerful enemies round here
an' they will be glad if you make a single mis-
take."
The baroness laughed. "Enemies? Why, I
hardly know anyone in this parish. But assuming
that my very existence is regarded as inimical,
do I appear to be afraid of that?"
"You are afraid of nothing," blurted out Psyche
Huntingdon, "and that is why I fear for you."
"Don't," smiled the baroness, but her smile was
acid. "I will see this man Sharp tonight, if he
comes. Meantime I am going to the Bay today to
see my lawyers."


"Can I come with you, milady?"
"Please. We shall begin a memorable thing
within a few hours, nurse."

The night was cool, for now it was early No-
vember. Sweet breezes wandered over the coun-
tryside; brilliant tropical stars shone down upon
a scene which seemed to be one of perfect quiet
and peace. Except for the occasional throbbing
of drums here and there, a spacious silence enve-
loped the neighbourhood for miles and miles
around; it was all serene and beautiful.
The Baroness de Brion stood just without the
front door of the Hope Vale Great House looking
about her and thinking. She knew that the throb-
bing of the drums but summoned some youths to
a dance which, at this time of the year, when the
slaves would be at work from early morning, was
illegal and -forbidden; but no one seemed to mind
in these days this violation of ancient law and
custom. The Negro village on Hope Vale, which
might be seen from the Great House in daylight,
was now concealed by darkness: not a light burned
in any hut there though it was but about ten
o'clock. "Perfect peace," .he murmured-"on the
surface. What-lies beneath? Here they are con-
tented enough, seem happy; but elsewhere? Calm,
undisturbed, to the naked eye; hell in the heart
and mind."
She heard a sound, as of persons quietly ap-
proaching. She opened the door behind her and


went into the dining room, where a few candela-
bra burned. The domestic servants had been told
from seven o'clock that evening that their services
would not be required tonight. Some had wan-
dered off to see their friends: they would not be
back before midnight. Others had gone to bed.
The house was empty save for the baroness her-
self,
In half a minute her old "nurse" and a tall,
black man entered the dining room. Him she eyed
scrutinisingly for a few moments, then seated her-
self. The other two stood and waited upon her
words.
"You are Samuel Sharp?" she asked.
"Yes, ma'am."
"You are a deacon or something in the Bap-
tist Church?"
"Yes, ma'am."
"And you have been telling the slaves about
here that the King has granted them freedom, and
that, on New Year's Day at latest, they will legally
be free?"
He hesitated a while, then bravely replied:
"I hear so; I believe so; why shouldn't I say
so?"
"But the Governor says the report isn't true,"
broke in Psyche Huntingdon. "So I hear."
"Then the Governor is wrong," interposed the
baroness quietly, coolly, deliberately. "He has to
speak as he does because of the attitude of the
slavowners in Jamaica. Actually, legally, the slaves
(Continued on Page 23)


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4943-44






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JAMES M. MARZOUCA
MONTEGO BAY

PROPRIETOR OF


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THE RETURN
(i nt,it nuf ', froi Page 111
of Jamaica are already free. On Christmas Day and
after no one can compel them to work."
"Thank God," breathed Samuel Sharp; "God
Almighty be praised!"
"Psyche herself found you in Montego Bay
today, didn't she?" the baroness went on.
"Yes, ma'am, she told me she was going to
send her headman's son, but that she come herself
as she was in the Bay."
"Good. We went to the Bay today in order
to draw up manumission papers for all the slaves
on Hope Vale. Cowbend. and the other properties
that may be attached to them. This manumission
will be effective from December 24th; meantime
we have to make arrangements for hiring the
slaves for wages after Christmas, and so on. Do
you want to make that known at once, Sharp?"
S"No, miss. no," Psyche Huntingdon implored
urgently. "It will become known in plenty of
time; but it will be better that Daddy Sharp
shouldn't, say a word about it; shouldn't let any-
body know that he know."
"Yes, ma'am; it is better I should say nothing
until other people begin to talk."
"I see. You both want to protect me. Against
nothing!"
"Daddy Sharp prom~ie me that he won't say
a word of -what you tell him tonight about the
King andi the Jamaica slaves, or anything else."
continued Psyche Huntingdon. "We know you just
come from England and must know the truth, but
we want to keep you' name out of it. Daddy Sharp
believe trouble is coming, an' you.must not be mix-
ed up in it, me dar-milady."
The baroness gazed steadily once more into the
face of the man who, standing there hale and
hearty, vigorous and determined, had not never-
theless three months of life left to him, but within
those coming months would end his days upon a
public gallows. The countenance was open, frank:
that of an honest man. But in the eyes there was
a gleam of fanaticism that could become a fiery
flame; this man w'as all m earnest and would die
bravely when the hour to yield up his life had
struck. To the very last, in spite of all persua-
sion, he would stoutly maintain that no mission-
ary in Jamaica had suggested to him that the
slaves would be free at the year's end or before,
would stand faithfully and truthfully by those in
whom he believed: and never, either, would he
inculpate the baroness even by a whisper. a sug-
gestion, in the troubles that were approaching and
of which the ominous portents might be discerned
on every hand. The baroness shrugged her should-
ers slightly. "Every now and then." she thought
to herself, "we do find one who has not bowed the
knee to Baal."
She rose briskly. "You and the others have
much work to do," she said: "you have to spread
the glad tidings. Do you want any money'"'
He took five pounds from her as he had to
move about; she would gladly have given him fifty.
Then he bowed respectfully and. with Psyche Hun-
tingdon, went away.
Left alone, the young woman placed her el-
bow on the table by which she sat and plunged into
meditation. 'That man knows who I am," she
thought, "something in his demeanour warned me
of that. I think I too know now; but I shall say
nothing, and he and many others will say nothing ;
he, indeed, looked proud that the daughter of
Psyche Huntingdon should have become a baroness
and the owner of Hope Vale. My 'nurse!' Poor
soul, she is torn between pride and fear. Not by
a w6rd would she hint that she is my mother, yet,
after all, I was bound to learn that fact in time
(Continued on Page 25)


\- .7


.. Because to-morrow always comes




g O-MORROW always follows today; next year treads on
Sthe heels of this year .. and business must remain
efficient, because part of the job of the present is always
to make ready for the future to prepare for a calmer to'
morrow that will replace a tense today.

URING this difficult period and these troubled years, we
have endeavoured, as we have in better days, to main-
tain faithfully a service-though handicapped by many
wartime limitations-which we believe has instilled in our
customers even greater confidence in us. To them we owe
our thanks.

T is our pledge and our privilege to place our service ..at
your service today and tomorrow, believing steadfastly
that soon we shall return to normal times, "when the
dark curse of Hitler is lifted from our age" ..


CECIL deCORDOVA & Co.,


KINGSTON.


CHAS. H. WATTS Co., Inc.
COMMISSION MERCHANTS AND
MANUFACTURERS AGENTS.


SOLE AGENTS FOR:-

JOSEPH TRAVERS & SONS LTD. LONDON
NORTHROP.& LYMAN CO., LTD. TORONTO, CANADA
A. & F. PEARS, LTD., LONDON
JOHN HAIG & CO., LTD., MARKINCH, SCOTLAND
LAMBERT PHARMACAL CO., NEW JERSEY
F. A. FERRIS & CO.,- NEW YORK
HORLICK'S MALTED MILK CORP., RACINE, WISCONSIN
FISHERMAN'S UNION TRADING CO., LTD., -
NEWFOUNDLAND
T. H. ESTABROOKS & CO., LTD., NEW BRUNSWICK
DURAGLIT METAL POLISH LONDON
CALIFORINA PACKING CORP. SAN FRANCISCO.



------------' ------.\


7


1943-44







PLANTERS' PUNCH


*


I


Before the ar, Canada Indies tnd s o
groWth, Iws incelteY and
na:Jtural I 9T0 tances p ole, not alone
in the then pevatn especel SiTeeColonie, th ace
ada has ass essential gooIn both respects he
as a s,, er their pro ts. nd continue tshio them
.5 cEbuyera donee c5 no shi
O u ... behalf. nd lrge quan-
ut ot on the Colonie .q doney nrean t
almost all the i. orted foods they Te
lmot l the moanufct articles besides"
titles of mn ,,, T AD
pOta I L 1


pOST AN a,,-In both si es
Pe th ar there Will be opp r o tsiordities

After the of thesr e remarkle eantifyin~ der
elo tnernt sce of the se is set for he r -en of wo-l
eor the f ernc sta e tocome.a osei Ca-
vermet~s E ntie Yea n '-ssmen reconise e
oduCtiOn ad. eit Inhia busine, wads the future
p dia an BritishwSI, thenlook towar

vitallY important fac


rn


Trade Commissioners in the B'ritish West
Indies.:


AST pRES~est n-
wartime deve, day ent of a e In
lopmen to eatly
he th ie is lifesse has been sult of
s trade, "" ies' ecoi goU, --- th en
die e ColOnt sad sohard orkat boeth et
facil ated by t s ,hey t_ u yenhe
e- during jtis mnutuaed for-
cour pror desirable that e ca ne
It is'Obv e.deou shou o o
co-O era of peace roll bY.
ward into the ye
stren th to ni _


F. W. FRASER, P.O. Box 225,
Kingston. Office Canadian
Bank of Commerce Chambers.
(Territory includes the Ba-
hamas and British Hondu-
ras). Cable address, Cana-


' dian.
TRINIDAD:- G. A. NEWMAN, ,P.O. Box
125, Port-of-Spain. Office -
Colonial Life Insurance Build-
ing. (Territory includes Bar-
bados, Windward and Leeward
Islands, British and Dutch
Guiana). Cable address, Cana-
dian.


attaches-togrtehich the th---.
The imsoor tance entt otsa e Wnt'
attach sho .ast of rad the entire
West Indies d erwho ,er tohe dlposa
ance forand re idalaysatporters and
whose ser busin Ten,
W ,iest In.diasc
alike.


,I.- ^IlbmllEi \1:# H BBB


DEPARTMENT OF TRADE AND COMMERCE

HON. J. A. MACKINNON M.P.. MINISTER OLIVER MASTER, DEPUTY MINISTER


1943-44


'`''


~. ,.
I r
\
\\lr
\
'~.'"~r..
"'
.r,
u
*


JAMAICA:


(ACTING)


-I







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THE RETURN
(Continued from Page SS)
somebody would have told me even had I not
guessed it. Buxton must be well acquainted with
all that is to be known concerning my Jamaica
childhood, yet Buxton too is loyal. And Buxton is
afraid of something.
"My uncle-so he was my :father! I ought to
have understood that long ago. How kind he was,
how good. He never wanted me to come back to
Jamaica; had he not died he would still have re-
fused to let me come, and, because I loved him,
I would have done what he wished. It would have
broken his heart to know that his daughter was
suffering as I am suffering now. Tonight I cannot
be sorry he is dead.
"Poor Fred! He loves me, and I love him too,
but how could he marry me here? Yet he could
have gone with me to England and have lived there.
my husband, for always. His pride about money
is ridiculous. After all, he is still young and could
find plenty to do in England or in Ireland. It is
not in him to be merely a parasite. And at the
worst he is not penniless.
"But he is weak. He doesn't know it. but he
is weak-I am the stronger of the two. He cannot
make up his mind as to what he should do: to-
night he is either miserable, as I am, or drunk.
He fears the local opinion of his kind and class,
though he knows that I despise both it and them.
And I? I shall go back to England and live there
with the memory of him; but I have a son to care
for, and that is much. In my old age I will en-
courage my boy to travel to this country and he
will be worshipped here because he looks white
and times will have changed, and because of his
title and his wealth and his position. I shall smile
at that when I am old.
"There will be a new Jamaica in twenty, thirty,
or forty years' time, and I shall have helped to
make it. By freeing my slaves next month, by
telling Samuel Sharp without any reservation that
the king has made the slaves in Jamaica free as
from this year, I have struck a blow at Jamaica
slavery from which it cannot recover. I have
lighted a fire which rivers of blood will not be
able to quench: there will be fire. there will be
blood, but the flames will be triumphant. My
mother thinks, fears, that I may be consumed in
the flames I am lighting. What does that matter?
But I believe she is wrong, for she and Sharp and


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and to-day, after more than 150 years, their ploughs and
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Ploughs range from 30 lbs. to more than 3 tons in weight.
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Buxton, and all the older slaves on this property,
would swear to lies if they thought that that would
help me. Silly folk! As if, now, I cared anything
about myself, or really had anything to fear.
"Slavery must end, and that swiftly: that is
England's determination and it is also mine. I
know its curse now as I could never have guessed
it before. During the rest of the time I shall
spend in this country I will go about freely, attend'
every function I am entitled to attend, meet in-
solence with arrogance, stare down these middle-
class people with eyes of contempt. I am fighting
now. And we Huntingdons have always known
how to fight."

CHAPTER SIX
AT THE BAZAAR
THE roads leading to Falmouth from the parish
of St. James were thronged by the vehicles
of the period which were on their way to the baz-
aar, or sale of work, in Falmouth, the chief town
of Trelawny. 'Women rode in these carriages, some
light, some heavy; the men went on horseback. The
roads were wretched, miserable. In the -olony
there was no regular department for keeping these
highways in order; subsidies were given to the
members of the House of Assembly to enable them
to maintain these public thoroughfares in some
sort of repair; but the moneys thus granted were
hardly ever accounted for satisfactorily, the work
at best was never well done; so the roads were
broken, unpaved, masses of dust when it was diy.
water-courses and mud when it rained. But to-
day there was to be a bazaar in the Falmouth Court
House from, about five o'clock in the afternoon;
therefore early in the morning, with the November
air still deliciously cool. the ladies and gentlemen
of St. James and Trelawny began to take their
way to Falmouth.
It was not the bazaar that was the attraction:
it was the fact that the Colony's Governor and his
wife. the Earl and Countess of Belmore, were just
now making a brief tour of Jamaica's north-west-
ern parishes and would be at the function in Fal-
mouth. Many of the island's gentry may have de-
tested the Earl. yet they loved to bask in the sun-
shine of his presence; it also was good to show
that a sale of work in benefit of the Established
Church (which was by no means in a deplorable
financial condition) would be handsomely patronis-
ad by the better classes who believed in working
for the Church so long as that institution did no-


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rows .*f ;-r.awi,.: crops, or as an o-dinary disc
harrow.


thing to interfere with their morals and mode of
life.
From St. James came the baroness with the
rest. The distance she had to travel being not
more than some twenty-five miles, a change of
horses half-way on the journey would amply suf-
fice for her convenient travel. 'It was early yet
when she arrived at Falmouth, a town she already
knew. Mr. Buxton had arranged that she should
rest during the warmer hours of the day at a semi-
private lodging house; he had played upon her
wealth, her title, successfully, though the lodging-
house keeper, "a brown female" as almost all the



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lodging-house keepers in "Jamaica then were,
wondered what her white clientele would say to
thi presence of, this Tcoloured lady if :hey all had
to :dina:in common.
SBut the baroness went straightt to her room to
lie down and rest, and it was her English maid
accompanying her who ordered such refreshment
to be sent up to their room as bo'h of them re-
quired; also, in addressing the "'brov.n fe-
male" who kept the semi-lodging house in whichh
lMi. Buxton had secured a room for the baroness,
Gladys spoke as she might to a slave that could
hot understand courtesy: issued commands instead


6f making eic!uests. But the method served. The
temale trembled and obeyed. realising that Gladys
was too formidable to be questioned respecting the
barone_5s. In Gladvs's eyes there gleamed a chal-
lenge which few would dare to take up.
In the intervening two weeks the Baroness de
Briin had seen nothing of Daddy Sharp. but.
-from Psyche, had heard much about his move-
ments. He and the other leaders of the slave;
had been extremely busy; while he, being a free-
man, could m:,'.e about as he pleased. Already a
rumour had got about that at Christmastime the
slaves, unless set free then by their masters, would


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ise. But the owners refused to take these warnings
seriously: not that they did not believe that they
were true but because it had always been their
habit, and that of their forefathers, to refrain
from taking preventive action of any kind until a
crisis was upon them. Activity meant exertion,
and exertion implied a certain degree of discom-
fort. Perhaps everything would come right in the
end, especially if one denounced loudly enough all
the parties and principles to which one was op-
posed. Meantime, in unison with denunciation.
one could always imbibe Madeira and rum punch.
Plenty of these. And one could talk sedition in
the hope of frightening the British Government
and Parliament thousands of miles away.
The Falmouth Court House was a stone struc-
ture built in the Georgian fashion; it was oblong in
shape, it was of excellent proportions. On its first
story were the parish's court rooms and other
public offices: on its second story was the formal
reception hall of the parish entered by two flights
of steps leading upwards from the ground. It was
in this hall that were to be found the largest and
firiest chandeliers in the colony, which, when the
innumerable candles of them were lit, flashed in
all the \aried colours ot the rainbow and made bril-
liant and sparkling the scene on which they shone.
This was the pride of Trelawny; the boast was that
there was nothing to equal it even in the capital
of the country, St. Jago de la Vega. Its main en-
trance faced the sea, and when the great doors
were thrown open the seabreezes cooled the hall's
interior, though the sun might be at its zenith out-
side.
Behind the Court House and to right and left
of it was built the town. A great stone tank in
the centre of a square provided the townsfolk
with water: behind the tank was the open-air
market of Falmouth where, on market days, the
slaves and others brought their provisions, their
cakes, their fruit, and. squatting on the ground
with their edibles spread in front of them, sold
their wares amidst an incessant chorus of chatter
and laughter, the vendors as happy as the day was
long. Sunday was the principal marketing day in
the colony: and. whatever the hardships and griet-
ances over which the slaves may have brooded on
the secular days of the week, these seemed tem-
porarily forgotten when men and women-women
mainly-met in the market to chaffer and joke
and scream with laughter: Sunday at least was
theirs, and the miles between Falmouth market
and their respective estates and cattle pens seem-
ed as nothing in comparison with the enjoyment


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1943-44 PLANTERS' P UNCH


of the moment. But of late, at these Sunday mar-
kets, a note of seriousness was sounded again and
again in these miscellaneous conversations. Again
and again the word 'emancipation" v.as heard, and
much of the talk was about the approaching free-
dom of the slaves.
The sides of the square behind the Falmouth
Court House and reception hall were formed by
shops and houses, each block divided by streets run-
ning outwards in different directions. If one wan-
dered abut the town one would see--which was
not noticeable in other urban centres of the island
-some houses with balconies built in front of the
windows of the upper stories; for most of the
larger houses in Falmouth were of two stories
mainly. The lower floor might be a shop. store, or
warehouse of some :ind: the higher formed the
residence of the family whose business was con-
ducted below, or. possibly, in these days, was rent-
ed outright as a home. The open square, the bal-
conied windows, strongly suggested Spanish influ-
ence, which was not strange with the island of
Cuba so near. Time was when men from Cuba
would be seen in Falmouth's streets and houses
transacting business, legal and surreptitious, and
when Spanish money was not only legal tender in
Jamaica but almost the only gold and silver coin
obtainable. This was still largely so in so far as
the currency went. And Falmouth itself wore a
slightly Spanish look.
The common people and members of the free
mixed-blood population of ordinary status were
assembled before five o'clock in the space around
the Court House to greet the Governor, and to
gaze upon the local grandees as these arrived for
the bazaar. By five the town's chief hall was
fairly thronged with members of the gentry,
though it was known that the Governor would not
be there before half past five at earliest, and might
not remain for longer than an hour. Every minute
after five o'clock witnessed the arrival of more
people, and some of these represented the humbler
orders of the neighbourhood's white population.
Thus the Benedicts were present. Mrs. Benedict
having dearly wanted to be at a bazaar which a
Governor would attend. Happily the sun was al-
ready setting and the seabreezes blew with a
strength that whipped the sea's surface to comma-
tion and filled the hall with saline coolness. This
reduced the discomfort engendered by a crowd.
There ran a whisper through the hall. The
word was passed quickly; the woman who owned
Hope Vale. the woman whose mother was black
and who was a bastard, had arrived. What ef-
frontery! What impertinence! Surely things had
come to a fine pass when, because full equality with
the white people had been granted by law to the
coloured people, this woman should have begun to
take advantage of that and to appear amongst the
gentlefolk today at a function which would be at-
tended by the Governor and his lady themselves.
And she had begun to make trouble for the
better classes already. They knew this. for sure-
ly the report that she was manumitting her slaves
at Christmas must be correct, otherwise how could
everyone be so certain of it? She was being held
up as an example to other Jamaica slaveholders
by some of the mischievous missionaries, rene-
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to have been allowed to enter the country; her
name was on the tongue of every malcontent
amongst the bondsmen, and these were growing
more numerous every day. Well, if there should
be trouble in Jamaica next month she would pay
her due part of the penalty. A baroness! A mere
French title. A Huntingdon' Well. if every ille-
gitimate brat was to begin to trace his descent
there would be plenty of royal blood e.en found
amongst the slaves of the West Indies. She had
no business to have slaves, and, if she did have
them, it was morally wrong for her to grant them
freedom. She should stand with her betters in
the fight they were making against Emancipation.
or for ample compensation at least should :he
slaves be ultimately set free. Her betters?-but'
this woman carried herself as though she had no
betters in Jamaica, as though she looked clo..n
upon her natural superiors, as though she were
someone and they were nothing. A situation in-
tolerable. Yet, they said frankly, they were her
betters, and so she should humbly follow their
lead. Meanwhile many of the male gentry of those
estates who had heard of her alluded to her Ihhalf-
admiringly. it must be admitted) as "a froward
bitch," but most of the women spoke of her as a
serpent, a curse, a being that should not be spoken
of--though constantly now they were speaking of
her! Indeed they became particular instead of gen-


eral in their allusions. They boldly said she had
been Frederick O'Erian's mistress from the first day
they had met. until he had found out all about her
intended wickedness, her plot to stir up trouble
amonest the sla-.es, and then had deserted her as
if she v..ere a thing unclean. O'Brian, they were
whispering now. had done the right thing. He had
taught her a merited les-on.
The stalls for the sale of work were ranged
aiong the two sides of the reception hall; behind
these stalls stood the ladies, mostly young, who
,:ld things at an exorbitant price in aid of a
Church which was not poor. At the rear end of
the room was a dais with space for half a dozen
chairs. Two chairs only were set upon it now for
the Governor and hi. wife. Two minutes after
the Baroness de Brion entered the Governor's
part;. wvas announced.
His personal suite was small for those times;
it consisted of but four officers whose breasts were
,.o.erecd with tight-fitling scarlet coats and silver
medals. But there were other high functionaries
also: these were half a dozen of the Jamaica Ma-
jor Generals. of whom it had been said that their
name was legion. Each Major-General wore the
sort of uniform he preferred, so at least there was
diversity of dress amongst those in attendance upon
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of a iunm Gnte
i HE story of Rum is a long and
romantic one. flavoured with the
.picy doings of the Conquistadores,
Pirates an. Buccaneers of the Spanish
Main and enriched with the courtly
usage of gallant gentlemen and fair
ladies in the spacious homes of Vir-
ginia and the islands of the West Indies.
From the ancient city of Port Royal,
whose fame an' infamies as the head-
quarters of the buccaneering and pirati-
cal exploits, is well known Blackbeard,
Morgan and other great figures of the
Main were wiped from the earth in 1692
Rum flowed freely as prize booty carry-
ing the name Jamaica to the far corners
of the earth. "Prime Jamaica Rum,"
then, indeed, as to-day, was considered
a Prize of no mean value, a king's ran-
som. and the name and fame of Old Ja-
maica Rum became the cognomen of the
best in the potent beverage.
Among those who foresaw a growing
demand for this fine spiritl and deter-
mined to give the world something that
would bestow credit upon the name
Jamaica with which it was indissolubly
associated, was John Wray. a far-seeing
merchant of the Island. Here in his
warehouse on King Street, Kingston in
1825. under dim candle light he experi-
mented with the blending of Rum pur-
chased from many leading estates in the
island. Finally he hit a blend that
pleased his own palate and that of the


JAMAICA'S


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1943-44


W f







PLANTERS' PUNCH


1111:


Irse 1 Jan aica.

customers to whom he now offered it
under his own warranty of quality.
Soon this superb blend became world-
famous and merchants in Boston, Wil-
liamsburg, Charleston and in the distant
ports of London, Liverpool and Amster-
dam sought it for the delectation of dis-
criminating customers. Indeed. so rapid-
ly did this business enterprise grow that
John Wray its founder decided to take
his nephew Colonel Ward into partner-
ship with him.
To accommodate a growing clienteie
and their expanding business the firm
moved into more commodious quarters
at 24 Port Royal Street. which have
been rebuilt and enlarged into the pre-
sent attractive premises they are to-day.
In keeping with the expansion of their
business and to ensure a rapid main-
tenance of the high standard of Quality
they had established, the Firm decided
to grow their own canes and distil their
own Rum. abandoning the old policy of
purchasing Rum from outside distill-
eries. Accordingly they purchased
many leading estates including "Apple-
ton" which produces the finest Rum in
the world. which even as far back as
1885 was awarded the diploma of Hon-
our at New Orleans for its exceptional-
ly fine quality, a reputation which holds
good to-day; this rum being the "match-
less" base of most of our famous Brands.

















OLD RUM!


4


1943-44







PLANTERS' PUNCH


THE RETURN
(Continued from Page 27)
His Excellency. even if these gentlemen were sad-
ly lacking in military deportment. They were all
members of the island's militia, but no one imagin-
ed that they had ever received a day's military
training anywhere; yet, because they loved titles
and uniforms, they and dozens like them had be-
come Generals, always to the secret amusement
of the professional soldier of whatever grade he
might be.
The Governor's party at once began a tour of
the room, Lady Belmore stopping every now and
then to make some purchase. Beside the Gover-
nor walked the CuLt~si of Trelawny, beside Lady
Belmore was the Custos of St. Ann who was ac-
companying the Gubernatorial group in its tour
through the north-western parishes but who had
no official status whatever in Trelawny or at 'his
function. This particular Custos, however, Mr.
Richard Barrett, had heard of the Baroness de
Brion, and, on 'seeing her now for the first time,
easily guessed who she was. He thought that his
colleague of Trelawny would make it a point to
present her to the Governor and his wife: after


all, she was in her way unique and was an estate
owner as well. But the Custos of Trelawny
marched by the baroness, and the Governor and
the others followed perforce; as soon as they reach-
ed the dais again, however, Mr. Barrett whisper-
ed something to Lady Belmore, who in turn spoke
a few words hastily to her. husband. Then Lord
Belmore did what was, for him, a characteristic
S1ing.
He beckoned to two of his officers: one pro-
ceeded to where the baroness was standing, the
other instantly sought, found, and placed a chair
to the left of the Governor's. The young English of-
ficer, all scarlet and gold, approached the baroness
-.'iti a low bovw; His Excellency and Lady Bel-
more, he said, would be glad of her company for
a while. As he said this he offered his right arm.
Plicir.n her fingers lightly upon it. the baroneno
was led up to the dais -hrough an a.Venue it '.,n-
dering people. She made her curtsy in the per-
feet court fashion of England. a fact th.it
Lady Belmore immediately recognized and appre-
ciated. His Excellency and his wife then shook
i-..ndi- with her. His Excellency pointed to the
vacant chair. "Won't you sit with us for a few
moments, Lady de Brion?" he asked. "I hear that
you have but lately visited our island; my wife


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intends. I knov t ] a-l: 3yo to become our guest at
King's House. should you ever visit the capital."
All this he said distinctly and so was overheard by
n' an y
The Custos of St. Ann smiled; he took some
credit to himself (and rightly) for having brought
thi; meeting about. Others il that room were
tlirioui: but they said to themselves that this was
exactly the sort of thing that you would expect
tlii Governor and hiis wife to do-they would ruin
the country before they left it. But there were
l present a few. a minority, who like Mr. Bar-
rett approved of the Governor's action. These
:- ere among the faiseeing people in Jamaica: they
-:nevr.: that a new situation was rapidly coming to
the birth, had indeed been born already, and that
tlio;.e ..! h believed that the habits and attitudes
of fifty years before might be maintained if suf-
icin':rt insolence and tenacity v.ere sho\wn were but
little removed from maniac.. As for the baron-
ess. she tool: this courtesy from the Governor and
hiis lady .with nn chance of facial expression what-
i~.ei. th'.iuhh in her heart she greatly exulted in
it. She remained talking \with Lady Belmore for
a fev minutes. then glanced at the Governor to see
v whether he chnse that c she should stay longer or go.
He said pleasantly-
"'Well, rwe shall surely be seeing you again,
shortly. Earoness." v.hich she correctly inter-
preted as an amiable and friendly dismissal. Again
she made her perfect curtsy and went back to
where Gladys, her maid, was standing.
Mr. and Mrs. Benedict were near at hand;
they sought the eyes of the baroness and bowed;
she smiled pleasantly as she replied. But there
were others whose anger could in no wise be ap-
peased So when she asked the price of some
hand-made dinner mats the lady before whose stall
she stood snapped out : "Those are sold."
"What of these," asked the baroness calmly,
pointing to some others.
"They are five pounds a set."
Almost immediately before an identical set
had been disposed of at the same stall and by the
same \endor for a guinea; the intention of this
sudden exorbitant rise of price was therefore ob-
vicus. Gladys opened her lips to protest vigorous-
ly. but was silenced by a gesture from Lady de
Brion '"This bazaar is in aid of the Church,
Gladys: therefore those who can pay ought to be
made to do so. Will you take these mats. please?"
She handed the amount charged to the stall-holder
with a charming Emile. Somehow the latter felt
little.
The Governor's party left: the people began to
o\errlow into the rooms below, where liquor could
be had. The steps leading up to the reception hall
were crowded. voices which had been subdued
nowv became loud. sometimes arrogant and dicta-
torial. The baroness began to think it was time
that she also should go; she had a journey of
.Iwenty-f.ve miles before her that night. She lifted
liei eyes. Staring at her ,vas Frederick O'Brian.
She shifted her gaze rapidly: even that brief
glance had warned her that Fred had been drink-
ing Her whole being was flooded with bitter-
ness: she wanted to avoid any public humiliation
now, and Fred might be the cause of that. She
knew him; courage of a sort he did not lack, and
:n the face of all that crowd he would have march-
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1943-44







PLANTERS' PUNCH


ed over to her, at the slightest sign
of invitation on .her part, and have
called her loudly by her Christian
name, thus proclaiming their friend-
ship in the teeth of any opposition.
And yet, she reflected bitterly, he had
shrunk from the thought of an act-
ual, legal marriage with her and had
thus revealed to her the depth and
the strength of the intense prejudice
which still dominated the.social life
and conduct of Jamaica.
"Come," she said abruptly to
Gladys, and, protected by the press
of people between her and Fred-
erick, made off quickly in a direction
opposite to that of his. He was still
staring at the spot Where he had
caught sight of her when she passed
behind him, reached the top of the
entrance stairs, and went down them
quickly. She and Gladys stepped
towards the place where their car-
riage stood; it had been arranged
that they should leave the bazaar
directly for the journey to Hope
Vale, hence they had had a decent
meal immediately before proceeding
to the bazaar. The vehicle's driver
was Charles, Mashimba's son. As
soon as the baroness and her attend-
ant were seated, he started off at
once in the direction of Hope Vale.
It was some minutes before it
dawned upon Frederick O'Brian that
the baroness had eluded him and .';.--
no longer at the bazaar. His face
flushed with anger; he felt he had
been deliberately insulted. But
Frederick, though he had been drink-
ing, was not drunk; he had not be-
come unreasonable far from it.
She had a right to avoid him if she
wished, he admitted to himself; after
all, was it not he who had offended
her? He had not meant to do so, but
what else could he have done save
what he did? What else; yet he had
not passed one happy hour since that
last night of his at Hope Vale; for-
ever in his brain had recurred the
word, applied by himself to himself,
"coward, coward, coward." Always
he seemed to hear it, and always it
maddened him; he was hearing it
much louder now than ever before.
He hung his head; then remembered
that men were downstairs drinking.
He would join them; he would drink
himself unconscious. Ignoring the
salutations of friends and acquaint-
ances in the reception hall, he pushed
his way downstairs.

CHAPTER SEVEN

THE MEETING
T HE horses were in fine condition;
in spite of wretched roads they
arrived at Cowbend before midnight,
after being changed only once mid-
way of their journey.
The baroness was silent almost
the whole length of the way, silent,
morose and bitter.
Her frame of mind was danger-
ous, one might even say murderous,
for she had been by no means ignor-
ant of the sensation her appearance
at the bazaar had created; she had
guessed at some of the nasty, unkind,
and even infamous things said about
her, knew that the courtesy of ihe
Governor and his wife had been re-
sented-she believed by all. She
now suspected that that courtesy had
been specially emphasized because
Lord Belmore wished to teach,
through her, a lesson to people w.ho
might consider themselves her su-
perior. She resented this; she must
be accepted in her own right and
not for any extraneous reason what-
ever; she silently fumed; she was
disposed to be unjust even to the
Co\ernur and his lady. And at the
back of her mind always was Fred-
erick O'Brian and what she regard-
ed as his contemptible action. That,
more than anything else, was fuel to
the fire of her hatred and her
wrath.
Why could he not have followed
her when she left the Falmouth re-
ception room? He must have miss-
ed her almost immediately; if he
had wished he could easily have
trailed her; even had he found that


she had left the town he could have
overtaken her with ease; he was an
excellent rider and his horses were
among the best in St. James. But,
no doubt, he was glad that she had
disappeared, had been wishing that
she would, and now was enjoying
himself with others of his kind -
drinking, carousing, perhaps mention-
ing her name with disparagement.
Pouring contempt on her No,
Frederick would not do that, she
ii.:iinarntly contradicted herself. At
least he was a gentleman. But he
could have followed her had he been
so minded. Why had he refrained?
It is true that it was she who
had sent him away from her two
weeks ago, but what man with red
blood in his veins would have mind-
ed that had he truly cared for the
woman he professed to love? How
then could she shrink from the con-
clusion that he had not wished to
meet her that evening in the Fal-
mouth Court House? She was a
mulattress, only a woman fit to be-
come the mistress of a white man ---
if he were of O'Brian's class not
his legal companion and equal. She,
the widow of a de Brion! She, the
daughter of a Huntingdon for, yes,
by God, her father had been Lord
Huntingdon and head and shoulders
above all this rag-tag and bob-tail
of Jamaica, and he had loved her,
educated her, been proud of her, and
had left her wealthy. She was as
much a Huntingdon as though she
had been born in wedlock. And
the Huntingdons. as she had long
known through her reading of the
family records, suffered no insult to
pass unpunished, and brooked no
slight at the hands of anyone.
Unpunished. That was the dom-
inant word in her mind at this mo-
ment. An ineluctable determination
that the punishment should be wide-
spread and terrible at once emerged
from her thinking.
"Charles," she said quietly,
"drive to Cowbend; we shall easily
arrive there before midnight. I
wish to speak to Miss Psyche Hun-
tingdon. You will take Miss Wil-
mot on to the Hope Vale Great
House afterwards."
"I can wait for you at Cowbend,
missis," said Charles, who did not
at all approve of the baroness spend-
ing the rest of the night at Cow-
bend, or going on to Hope Vale with
perhaps an indifferent escort.
"You are not to wait but to do
precisely as I say," she answered
sharply; "and you Gladys, don't wait
up for me, I shall find my way to
Hope Vale quite safely.
"Yes, milady," said her maid.
"But, your Baroness," began
Charles argumentatively, when he
was acidly interrupted.
"Do you notice, Gladys," said
the baroness, "how these people in
Jamaica argue over everything? They
evidently do not understand that an
order is an order and must be
obeyed."
That silenced Charles, because,
perhaps he recognized that it was
perfectly true. He humped his
shoulders and drove on sulkily.
They came to Cowbend; and,
luckily, all the lights in the house
were not yet extinguished. As the
buggy drew up in front of the build-
ing's principal entrance, they heard
movements inside. The baroness
alighted quickly, then instructed
Charles to drive on. He had no op-
tion but to obey.
Before the baroness could rap
the front- door opened and Psyche
Huntingdon appeared. She was
dressed as if for going out; she seem-
ed surprised to see the baroness. The
first words of the latter caused her
eyes to open wide with astonish-
ment and something like dread.
"I want, nursee" said the ba-
roness, "to see some other leaders of
the slaves besides Samuel Sharp.
They must meet sometimes; I want
to be at one of their meetings as soon
as possible. Do you know where
they gather, and when? Can you
take me there?"
(Continued on Page 34)


CAU 0-~.c


1943-44






PLANTERS' PUNCH


umnumumununmiun n


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When ships ca


OR more than forty years, ships of the Great White
1 Fleet have played a vital part in the development
of trade and commerce between the United States,
and the Caribbean.
Thousands of men and women sailing on these
American flag liners have travelled within these
countries promoting good will through science,
government, business and the arts.
Below decks these same ships have carried ba-
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States .. carried back the farm and factory ma-
chinery, automobiles, radios, household appliances,
drugs, and other products.
SToday, this traffic is greatly changed. The United
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matter how great the sacrifices or how difficult the dis-
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Great W

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ships can be spared, after Victory and
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PLANTERS' PUNCH


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For more than forty years ships
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the men who served aboard them in times of peace still tread
their decks, giving to the grim war effort the same qualities
of experience and steadfastness to duty as in the past.


The travel public and the merchants of the Americas
alike look forward to the day when these gracious American
Flag'liners may once more ply a
peaceful Caribbean. Meanwhile, all
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strength and courage that delivers
,a the goods of war be the going ever
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THE RETURN
(Continued from Page 31)
"When, miss?" enquired Psyche in a voice
which seemed to her interlocutor to tremble.
"Any time. To-night if possible. Are they
meeting to-night?" she enquired shrewdly.
"They are, miss," answered Psyche in a low
voice. "Daddy Sharp sent to tell me so only to-
day. I am going there now."
"Why were you going?"


F. J. LITTLE
Manager.


"To hear what they intend
you."


KINGSTON,
JAMAICA.


to do, so as to tell


"I will hear for myself. How did you propose
to go?"
"I was going to ride, miss."
"Very well, nurse; you can get me a horse and
we'll go together. Is the place far?"
"About six miles, but half the way is uphill."
"I see. A secret meeting in the hills: well,
that precaution is sensible. Can you have a horse
saddled at once?"
"I will saddle it myself, miss, but it is better
I should go than you. Trouble is coming, an' you


Our policy is to benefit


the


will run a risk. Better let me-"
"Please saddle the horse at once; I don't want
to miss the men I should see, even if I hear, but
little of what they may have to say. They may
have begun their meeting already."
The tone in which this was said was decisive;
Psyche had no option but to obey. But she sighed.
She felt the clouds of trouble, of sorrow, of dis-
aster closing upon her, on all sides pressing down.
And she was powerless against them, for in the
baroness she had met at last with a woman whose
will was stronger than her own, perhaps because
her own will was partly paralysed by an intense
devotion to this daughter of hers who (she felt)
must always be made to see in her a former nurse
only and must never guess at the blood relation-
ship that bound them irrevocably together.
A horse was soon saddled for the baroness;
both women mounted and rode away. They went-
quietly for the first furlong or so, and then Psyche
put her steed to the gallop, the other horse imme-
diately accelerating its pace. After a while they
came to rising ground on which large trees grew
in great numbers. But the path here was wide
enough for them to move abreast for some time;
a mile further on they would be compelled to
proceed in single file.
"Nurse," the baroness said suddenly, her face
hidden by the darkness but her voice distinct and
vibrant, "you told me the other day that you be-
lieved my mother had once used some of those poi-
son beans you gave to me. She killed a woman
with some of them, didn't she?"
Psyche gasped. Swiftly she cursed herself for
having said so mad a thing when She had given
the beans to the baroness. But she had even then
pretended .uncertainty. She must still do so, now
and ever after.
"I told' you what I heard, miss; not what I
knew or believed. I think the story was a lie."
In the darkness the face of the baroness grew
grim. She knew she was now listening to lies and
that never would she learn the truth from anyone,
whatever she might believe. But of one thing she
was certain: this woman riding by her side, her
real mother, had been a murderess, had killed to
prevent her man from being taken from her. But
now she felt no horror at what Psyche Huntingdon
had done: she could understand at last and, what
was more, entirely sympathise. Psyche had but
followed the good old law, the ancient plan, as a
modern poet had expressed it. It was right in such
a God-forsaken country as this that they should
take, who had the power and they should keep who


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PLANTERS PUNCH


could: there was surely no other wa:.. Her mother.
evidently, had kept her father, even though someone
who would have taken him trom her suddenly died.
Thus too the slave-owning plantocracy of Jamaica
would do everything in their power 1o keep their
slaves; it would be seen whether she. also a slave-
owner, would not be able to wrest from them their
possessions even at the price of ruin and destruc-
tion. In that siu ggle vast torrents of blood might
flow.
The path narrowed: they must now ride in
single file. Psyche pushed her horse forward, the
baroness followed. Then. far and laint. the sound
of chanting came at intervals to their ears. It was
accompanied by the muffled throbbing of drums.
They were gradually nearing the spot where the
conspirators-for these persons who were meeting
that night were conspirators-had gathered: and
now Psyche Huntingdon began to move .'jirward
as quietly as might be. so that the sounds which
their horses might make should attract as little
attention as possible.
At walking pace they advanced to about a him-
dred yards of where a crowd was gathered, and
because of the lights in the space before them,
and of their elevation on horseback, they could see
almost distinctly while they themselves remained
in obscurity.
An oblong space among the trees had been
cleared some time before; about the four sides of
it stood or crouched a number of men and women
gazing at women who, clothed in white and
red, now whirled in a sort of frenzied dance and
uttered words that were interpreted as "prophecies"
by a few men who, draped all in scarlet, and with
pointed caps of the same colour on their heads, re-
peated aloud what the inspired speakers said. Foam
issued from the mouths of the dancers, occasion-
ally they screamed as if in madness, again and
again one or more of them would fall writhing to
the ground, her limbs twitching, her eyes staring.
Only a few of those present were clothed in
white and red; the audience, the men and women
who waited anxiously for the oracle to speak, were
garbed in the everyday dress of the slaves, in
which they had stolen forth to attend this meet-
ing. They were people from different neighbour-
ing estates; their clothing was rank with dlirt and
sweat; the odour that came from their unwashed
bodies was almost overpowering. A grotesque, ul-
most repulsive lot of human beings they seemed,
until one remembered that many of them were
prepared to fight for their freedom at the risk of
their lives: then indeed one gazed upon them with
somewhat different eyes.
The baroness stared at the scene before her
with a look of horror: whatever she might have
expected it certainly w'as not this. Psyche looked
on with indifference, even while she uttered a far-
carrying whistle that brought two of the scarlet-
clad interpreters striding in her direction. Evi-
dently they had expected her; this indeed was not
the first occasion on which she had been a wit-
ness of these gatherings, which reminded her much
of reunions she had attended as a girl in distant
Africa. Others of that crowd, which must have
numbered at least three hundred souls, heard the
whistle also, saw two of their leaders move swift-
ly in its direction. But evidently they had become


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accustomed to these summonses, for they continued
with their chanting and their dancing undisturb-
ed.
"It's Daddy Sharp and Colonel Johnston, miss,"
whispered Psyche to the baroness as the men ap-
proached.
Samuel Sharp went straight to the baroness;
c6uld his face have been seen, it would have been
observed to wear a lopk of shame.
"I'm sorry for all this, ma'am," he said at once,
indicating the open space radiant from the light
of laming torches, the dancing, writhing women,
the watchful men interpreting the words tnat fell
from foaming lips; "as a deacon of the Baptist
Church I should have nothing to do with it. But
what can I do? These people are savages."
The baroness smiled at this naive apology; she
understood the Christian deacon to be making ex-
cuses for practices Which were distinctly African
ind pagan. And a prelude to rebellion and murder.
The other man joined Sharp: "This is Colonel
Johnston, ma'am," said Daddy Sharp.
"And how did you get your military title, Col-
onel?" the baroness asked.
"The Lord gave it to me, your Baroness"--so
he already knows who I am, she thought-"The


Lord gaveth, the Lord taketh away: blessed be the
name of the Lord."
"Remember that, when the day of trial comes,
Colonel," said the baroness softly; "for that day
is coming soon."
"I know it, ma'am, an' we is all prepare. The
voice of God is crying out to us an' we mus' heed
it at last. I am prepared to die so that my people
may go free."
"And those other men that I see in that clear-
ing?"
"They are also prepared, everyone of them.
Captain Dove and Captain Wellington are prepared.
There is others, your baronessship, but I only speak
of those who are here tonight. They are slaves,
but God has put fire into their hearts. And they
know they will have to fight for freedom."
"Let them and those they lead nev6r forget
that: unless they fight they are lost. Shall I speak
to these people, Colonel Johnston."
"Yes, milady, yes," he answered eagerly, but
simultaneously there broke from Psyche Hunting-
don and Samuel Sharp the cry-
"No, milady, no!"
"And why not?"
(Continued on Page 37)


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1943-44





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THE RETURN
(Continued from Page 35)
It was Psyche who instantly thought out an
[r-iwver to this question-
'They are ignorant people, miss, not like Col-
onel Johnston here. And they will believe, from
what you say, that they must strike at once even
it you tell them not to. There will be confusion
and failure; and you know they are not ready
yet "
*'That is true enough, I suppose," commented
the baroness thoughtfully; "even my slaves on Hope
'Vale have not yet been freed, and these people
are anxious now to do something-anything. Listen
Colonel Johnston: tell all these people, and others,
and let them in their turn tell yet others, that
after the Christmas holidays not one of them should
return to work as slaves. If any effort is made
to coerce them, they must desert the estates and
penns and strike for their liberty. They must fight
-do you understand? fight! There is no alterna-
tive. They will only be striving to take what the
King of England has already granted to them. For
already they are free."
Her voice was low, and shaking with passion.
The men who heard her remembered that she was
the mistress of Hope Vale and the daughter of a
great English lord. They bowed low to her as to
their supreme leader.
*'You will need money for the work you have
to do," she went on decisively. "Here is some.
To-morrow I will send each of you twenty pounds
more, and sixty pounds extra for the other leaders
of your movement. My nurse will see that you
get it. Good-night."
She backed her horse, then turned its head
in the opposite direction when the trees and the
ground permitted. Psyche Huntingdon followed.
The older woman tried to find some consola-
tion in the fact that her daughter had only talked
to Sharp and Johnston and that none of the others
at that meeting could possibly swear it was she
that had been there that night. Yet Psyche knew
that Johnston would spread far and wide the news
that the baroness had been there, had urged re-
bellion, had given them money to pay what ex-
penses they might incur. The hawks were hovering
low: soon they would sweep to their quarry's de-
struction. But to this, although she must know it,
the Baroness de Brion seemed utterly indifferent.
"Ride with me to Hope Vale," was all she said
on the journey homeward.


There was no moon; but the stars were bril-
liant. They went in darkness, but Psyche knew
the ,way. She marvelled at the strength, both phy-
sical and mental, shown by the baroness; she had
driven to and from Falmouth during the last
twenty-four hours, and yet she had gone to a re-
bel gathering on her return from Falmouth and
still was acting and planning with icy determina-
tion. What did it mean? What was the cause of
these peculiar actions?
Only when they had reached the Hope Vale
Great House, and Psyche had positively declined
to sleep there for the rest of the night-indeed, it
was already morning-the baroness said:-
"I know you do not approve of what I am do-
ing, nurse, but I know what I do. The slave-own-
ers of this country are determined to fight to keep
the people in bondage, I am as resolved that the
people shall go free. If a sacrifice is necessary, I
am content to supply it in my own person: my
fathers in far-away England have done as much
again and again. My actions are deliberate. And,
remember, the people of England are absolutely
determined that slavery shall be abolished in this
country."
"Yes, miss, but if we wait a little, nobody will
suffer. Why not leave everything to the English
people?"
"That would not do. By acting for England,
as well as for the slaves, I act for myself also, do
you understand that?"
"Yes," breathed Psyche Huntingdon almost in-
audibly.


"And only I can act for myself," she continued
passionately, her long-suppressed feelings finding
vent in a hysterical outburst at last. "And I shall
not feel satisfied until I see the Great Houses and
the sugar houses of this and other parishes going
up in flames. All of them, do you hear? All of
them!"
"I hear; I understand," whispered Psyche Hun-
tingdon. She turned to ride away, with the dawn
paling the overarching skies. "God have mercy!"
she muttered to herself.
CHAPTER EIGHT
MR. MORTON'S VIEW
WHEN Frederick got to the lower story of the
Court House he found there a fairly large
number of persons. The court. rooms were on
either side of the building; the centre of the build-
ing therefore formed a long corridor wide enough
for people to move about in freely. Against the
walls on either hand tables had been placed and
these were heaped With bottles containing liquor,
bowls of sugar, and of limes-there was, of course,
no ice-and dozens of tumblers. The drink was
not much varied: Madeira and rum punch. But
one might easily get drunk upon these were one in-
clined to inebriation.
Frederick walked towards one of the tables,
angry with Jamaica, angry with himself, angry
with the baroness, uncertain what to do. He had
missed the baroness, it hadn't dawned upon him


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that. she had immediately left the town or was
hoping and longing that he would follow her. He
imagined that she was still mad with him for hav-
ing insulted her two weeks ago, although, he fierce-
ly assured himself, he had really intended no in-
sult. He supposed now that she would never for-
give him. Fred did not know very much about
the mental and emotional processes of women in
love.
There were eight or ten men round the table
up to which he walked; they were buying them-
selves and one another drinks-in the interest of
true religion, as they would have said. They
fell suddenly silent as he appeared amongst them,
a circumstance which convinced him at once that
he had been the subject of their conversation.
Which was true; but they had not been speaking
ill of him. On the contrary, those who had not
been silent had been vocal in his praise. These
believed that he had put "that woman" in her place
some time ago; and of that they strongly approv-
ed.
Therefore the talk again broke out almost im-
mediately after he had taken his stand in the little
crowd and had ordered a drink. Among the talk-
ers was Mr. Arthur Benedict, who, except at race
meetings and functions for the aid and succour
of the Church, like this one, would never be found
in the circle of his social superiors. This gentle-


Phone 2251.


man had not accompanied his brother and sister-
in-law upstairs. But he had just heard all about
the specially courteous treatment which the ba-
roness had received from the Earl and Countess
of Belmore, and he bitterly resented it on general
principles. It was he who now took up the thread
of the interrupted conversation.
"Let me congratulate you, sir," he said to
O'Brian. "You know how these upstart people are
to be treated, how we should conduct ourselves to-
wards these mulattos. You have treated that wo-
man, who calls herself a baroness or something of
the sort, in just the fashion we all ought to treat
her. I want to congratulate you, sir."
"And who may you be?" asked Frederick, in
an ominously quiet tone.
Arthur Benedict was surprised, startled. Even
drunkenness he felt should not cause him to be
even temporarily forgotten by a man who had met
him several times in Montego Bay and who must
very well know who he was. It seemed, indeed,
as though Mr. O'Brian wanted to insult him!
In the group amongst whom they were stand-
ing was an elderly man of sixty-five; he had
had almost nothing to drink and had been listen-
ing with a quizzical _mile to what the others had
been saying in disparagement of the people of mix-
ed blood. He' noticed Frederick's tone, noticed
especially the way in which Fred was looking at


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Arthur Benedict. That the latter had blundered
ne le'."e.. That O'Brian was disposed to make a
quarrel of this blunder was apparent to him if to
no one else at that moment.
Benedict did not know how to answer that
.cutting question "*And who may you be?" While
he struggled to\find words the older man, Mr. Mor-
t .n :by name. dipped quietly into the talk.
"We all of us, I suspect, have colouLed chil-
dren, or have had. Isn't it nonsense, then to speak
of these insultingly, even it behind their backs?
They have equal rights hti all of us now, and we
silently resented it when they hadln:--where our
own offspring were concerned of course. And
I can tell you, gentlemen, that the day -will come
when we'll regret all this wild talk, in this cuon-
try, about colour."
"Oh, everybody knows you have half-a-,.loen
mulatto iajt.irds." sneered Benedict.
"Quite so; two of them are waiting for me
outslde now," admitted the old man suavely : "'They
are nearly white, by the way, and I am inot sre
that they could not long ago have claimed the pri-
vileges granted to those of a certain ccmple-xon
here, and who were termed 'white by law.'
Such persons were made white by a lav.' passed
sometime ago; and a good few of us now are 'white
by law', Benedict. Do you understand what I
mean?"
Arthur Benedict turned pale with fear and
anger. He knew that Mr. Morton's allusion was
to himself and to his brother; he had heard it said
that their father had been 'white by law'. while
there was no doubt whatever that Morton himself
was purely white by blood. For Morton wa3s an
Englishman who had now been in the island for
over forty years, had brought up an illegitimate
family whom he would leave well .off, and w. ho
was noted for politeness of manner coupled
with a scathing form of speech. He was a gent-
leman by birth as well as by breeding; that w.as
recognized by all with whom he came into contact.
No one knew anything about his Eng]isli past,
about which he never spoke, but all knew that
his children were devoted to him and that his sons
would not have hesitated to kill at the ol mania's
behest (or even without it) had any man griev-
ously insulted their father.
"Look here, Morton," began Arthur Benedict,
too mad with rage now to think much about con-
sequences, when he was interrupted by Fred.
"I believe, Mr. Benedict," observed Frederick
elaborately, "I believe that you were speaking to
me just a moment or two ago. I asked who you
might be, and you have not answered. But I re-
member now: you are a hanger-on, are you not,
upon your unfortunate brother, Mr. Rupert
Benedict? I understand that the Baroness de Brion
bought your brother's property the other day and
that in another couple of weeks you will be go-
ing with him to the east end of this island. You
seem to follow him everywhere; but how he must
wish that he could shake you off! A parasite, you
know, is never a pleasant thing, whether it be a
louse or a human being. You seem to be a mix-
ture of both, and--"
"Steady now!" cried Mr. Morton. "Remember.
O'Brian, that if this man challenges you to a duel
(Continued on Page 40)
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PLANTER S' PUNCH


THE RETURN
(Continued from Page 38)
you cannot accept the challenge. You cannot fight
with one who is so obviously your inferior."
"You damned low-down Englishman;" gasp-
ed Arthur.
"I was expecting you to say something of the
sort," replied Mr. Morton coolly. "Now I am the
insulted one, not Mr. O'Brian, who, really, has in-
sulted you. You will therefore oblige me by leav-



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ing this room at once, Mr. Benedict-at once, do
you hear? Or shall I call in one of my sons to
expel you? In fact, I think I will do that myself."
And without a moment's pause Mr. Morton, who
in spite of his years was abnormally strong and
active, caught hold of Arthur and began with sur-
prising ease to propel him towards one of the Court
House's open doors.
In a minute or so the incident was ended; Mr.
Arthur Benedict had been flung outside with an
ease and dexterity which brought a smile even to
the lips of those who secretly sympathised with
his futile ferocity. But'he was'not exactly of their
class, and they did not imagine that he would en-
deavour to get even with either Morton or O'Brian.
So they dismissed him almost immediately from
their minds.
Mr. Morton having returned, observed that
Frederick was eyeing man after man in that com-
pany in the hope (it seemed) that someone would
say something unpleasant that would be an excuse
for a fight, perhaps even for bloodshed. Fred's
eyes, too, occasionally strayed to the men at the
other tables who had witnessed the brief af-
fair between Mr. Morton and Arthur Benedict but
had not interfered. Fred, he saw, was spoiling for
a row. "The damned fool," he muttered, but slip-
ped his arm under that of O'Brian, with the words:
"Give me a minute of your time, Fred."
Silently Frederick O'Brian allowed himself to
be led out of the Court House, into the open, to-
wards the seashore where crested waves were now
shining silver-white in the starlight. A breeze
from the sea cooled his brow; almost immediately
he felt that he was sober.
"Yes," said Morton, as though in answer to a
question, though Frederick had asked none: "Yes,
they were talking about you and the Baroness de
Brion, but I could easily see that they had got hold
of the wrong story. Care to tell me the truth of
it, Fred?"
"Why should I?" demanded Frederick harsh-
.y.
"No obligation in the world to do so, my dear
fellow; if you like, treat my curiosity but as an
old man's damned inquisitiveness."
"I notice, Mr. Morton, that you do not threaten
me with your sons' vengeance, or with your own,"
.answered. O'Brian with a short laugh.
"No. Bless my soul, why should I?"
"Because you are a gentleman and my very
good and true friend," cried Frederick, sudden-
ly feeling ashamed of himself, "while I am a half-
drunken bore. No-don't deny that: I know that


I have been speaking to you rudely. But I am
glad you ask me what has happened between the
baroness-Psyche-and myself. I wish I could have
told it to someone long ago."
Under a sky now sparkling with stars, with
the facade of the Court House so near to them,
Frederick told his tale. He was himself sur-
prised to find how little there was to tell as he
and Mr. Morton paced up and down the stretch of
sandy shore towards which they had unconsciously
strolled.
"You see,, Morton, how impossible it would be
for me to marry her and remain in this country?"
concluded O'Brian. "We should have no friends
of our own class, except, perhaps, a few men. I
know I should grow soured and discontented, and
maybe become a drunkard-if, indeed," he added
bitterly, "I am not one already."
"You are not a drunkard," said Mr. Morton
firmly, "but, also, Fred-if you will allow me to
say so-you are not showing the strength and de-
cision of character I should have expected from
you. What keeps you from,marrying this girl, sell-
ing your property here, and beginning life again
in England? She, too, isn't poor. I understand
she is rich."
"I will not live on her money."
"Who said that you should?"
"What could I turn to in England at my age?"
"Your age?" cried Morton, genuinely surprised;
then he laughed loudly. "Why, my boy, you are not
yet forty. You seem little more than a boy to me."
"But what could I do in England?" persisted
Frederick.
"I cannot say specifically; but even in these
days Plimsole could fetch you many thousands of
pounds if you sold at once. You haven't any mort-
gage on it, I suppose?"
"No, it is unencumbered."
"Well, given a man of your education and
general ability, and with some capital, and with a
wife that is rich, I should say that you would have
no difficulty in falling on your feet in England at
once. She'll be somebody over there, you know,
even if she does not appear to count for much over
here."
"What precisely do you mean by that, Mr.
Morton?"
"This: that she 4oes count for a great deal over
here,,in spite of our general pretence. And'we are
all beginning to realise it."
Fred looked puzzled; Mr. Morton smiled and
continued.
"She has arranged that all her slaves shall be


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I ~111.


1943-44








PLANTERS' PUNCH


freed at Christmas. Who is going to follow that
example? Yet slaves on other properties in this
country will not be content to see one lot of them
set free all at once while they continue in bond-
age, especially as they have got hold of the idea
that the king has made them free but that their
owners are withholding from them the boon of
freedom Your baroness, my dear Frederick. has
lighted a fire in this island that will not easily be
put out, and I believe that she has done so our-
posely. She has foreseen clearly the consequences
of her act. I don't, say she is not human: her fa-
ther decidedly was. But in her lone fight against
the Jamaica slave-holders she is actuated by bit-
ter hatred. I can understand that."
"Are you too against her?"
"Would I be talking to you in this way if I
were? No; I think emancipation certain, but I
,.ant to get some compensation for my slaves, and
I believe there will be compensation from the Brit-
ish Government. The Baroness de Brion can do
without it; I cannot. I have my family to think
of."
"Yes, you have a fairly large family," mur-
mured Frederick abstractedly. Then he changed
She subject abruptly. "Do you think they can
do anything to her if they imagine she has
encouraged this belief about the king having made
the Jamaican slaves free?"


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"They can try," answered the other dryly, "and
they will certainly try. Your baroness is going
shortly to need all the friends she can get, unless
I am mistaken."
"She can count on me," asseverated Frederick
warmly. "and I believe that she can count upon
you also."
"I shall try to be just, Fred, but remember
that in the last resort I have to stand by my own
people in this country, even if I dislike most of
them; and there is not one of my children who
would think I was acting wisely if I agreed to
emancipation without compensation."
"Which is to say that the only big-hearted
and courageous person in this country is Psyche,"
cried O'Brian. "But I always thought so."
"A lover's belief," smiled Mr. Morton; "yet I
have no doubt that you are right. But even while
you think the world of the baroness, Fred, you
will not marry her. I know it would be foolish of
you to do so and stay in Jamaica; in fact you
couldn't. I could; but you are different."
"You could ..?"
"Yes. You see, I an going to marry the moth-
er of my children-soon. What does it matter
what old Morton does? She has never suggested
that I marry her, nor have my sons. They don't
care sixpence. But my two daughters-they are
my youngest children, you know. I have imply
got to do what they want."
"Funny world," laughed Fred.
"Very funny. But you also find it very grim,
my boy. You are in love with this woman; yet,
because you fear the opinion of some people here,
you will not marry her. And because she is col-
oured you won't even go to England to marry her
there, but talk about not wishing to live upon
her money. Why don't you try to be honest with
yourself, Fred?"
"I am honest with myself, and you have no
right to misinterpret my reasons and attitude," re.-
joined the younger man sharply.
"When you come to think over what I have
said, you will see that I have not misinterpret-.,
your reasons, Fred. You will find that it is you,
yourself, who have sought to hide those reasons
from yourself. You have not, the same amount of
prejudice-colour prejudice-that some white folk
have in Jamaica, but there is much of it in you
still, and it is strong enough to keep you from do-
ing what your affections and your respect for the
character of the baroness would impel you to do.
It may keep you so always I shall say no more
upon this subject to you: after all, I have no right
to do so. But you gave me the opportunity of
spending, to-night, and I have taken advantage of
it.
"I shall be married before the end of this year,
Fred, but the wedding will be very quiet. and hard-
ly anybody will believe it has really taken place.
I shall not ask you to come."
"I shall be glad to come," asserted Frederick
warmly.
"And I shall be glad that you do not, and so
will not invite you," laughed Mr. Morton. "Will
you return to Plimsole now?"
"I suppose so."
"Then we shall ride part of the way together.
For some miles our direction is the same."

CHAPTER NINE
MR. MORTON INTERVENES
THERE was tension in the air. Everyone felt it,
though few would admit it. The slaves went
about their work sullenly for the most part, but
with an expression of expectation 'on their faces;
their masters were holding meetings here and
there in the north-western parishes, passing reso-
lutions, defying both the British and the Jamaica
Governments, and talking openly, before their house
servants, of their intention to pay no attention
whatever to anything the Imperial authorities
might command.
Naturally, what they said was transmitted to
the field workers, and more often than not extra-
ordinarily exaggerated. The Christmas holidays
were approaching, too, the time when, as was cus-
tomary, the slaves would be given three days' va-
cation in which to make revelry and enjoy them-
selves. At such a time, usually, their mistresses
would help to deck the Christmas "sets" out with
finery; these "sets" were rival bands of dancers re-
presenting the Reds and the Blues; each "set" went
about garbed mainly in red or in blue, dancing,
F;nging, scorning one another, and the white and
coloured slaveholders took the part of their re-
spective people and spareji nothing in order that
their Reds or Blues might be more flshingly at-
tired than the rest.
No one knew the origin of these "sets": some
believed that the Blues represented the sailors or


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Navy, the Reds the soldiers or Army, between
whom there had always been some rivalry in Ja-
maica. Others spoke of the custom as African,
but of this there was no proof whatever. So far
as one might judge, the idea of the "sets" may
have been introduced in earlier times by some edu-
cated slaveowner who knew of the rival chariot
races of Ancient Rome, where Reds and Blues strove
for popularity and mastery and whole cities were
fiercely divided into Red and Blue factions.
These "sets" had become a permanent part
of the Christmas festivities in Jamaica, but today
there was an apparent reluctance of the slaves to
become Red or Blue dancers, and an equal indis-
position of the owners to help them make the holi-
days a thing of uproarious merriment. Each party
was, in fact, eyeing the other with bitter, resent-
ful, suspicious eyes. The Baroness de Brion heard
this, smiled acidly, and said something about the
slow but sure grinding of the mills of God.
Word went round that as Christmas would this
year fall on a Sunday, Sunday would be counted
as one of the three to which the slaves now con-
sidered themselves entitled. But Sunday had for
some time been regarded as an ordinary holiday;
therefore it was murmured that the slaves ought to
(Continued on Page 43)





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Y~CT;k)-~f~T' '-' C-~Y' '' ~~' L
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V V yl'Cr ~~~~II~~ ~~ +r~r~ +r ~yl






PLANTERS' PUNCH


"A great man marvels
that the world calls him great"
(OLD PROVERB)


80 YEARS AGO this year, there came into being a man who has made
a notable contribution to the progress of our-civilization.

Throughout this long and useful life he has continuously expanded
his sphere of influence until its beneficent effects on mankind have
reached the four corners of the earth.

Through his inspired leadership his courage his unself-
ishness and his foresight, he has truly exemplified the modern
way of life.

We should not only congratulate him. we must congratulate the
country and all Democratic peoples. Above all we should congra-
tulate ourselves on the Good Providence that He has seen fit to bless
the world with this fine and noble character.

We revere him for his magnificent and fruitful life and hold him
in the highest esteem and affection.

We know that the People of Jamaica echo these sentiments. They
have grieved for him in his recent bereavement and have admired
him tremendously for his splendid courage in again resuming the
cares and responsibilities which he had relinquished years ago.

On the occasion of Mr. Henry Ford's 80th Birthday the Kingston
Industrial Garage joins the People of Jamaica in wishing that GOD
may grant him continued strength and courage to carry on his great
work.











KINGSTON INDUSTRIAL GARAGE


FORD DEALERS FOR OVER 34 YEARS


I


1943-44







PLANTERS' PUNCH


THE RETURN
(Continued from Page 41)
be given Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this
Christmastide, Sunday not being counted.
It was the baroness who first had suggested this
to Daddy Sharp. As soon as she heard of the in-
tention of the slaveowners or their overseers to
count Sunday as one of the three holidays, she had
sent for the deacon. He came obediently, at about
ten o'clock at night.
"You should spread the word, Deacon," said
the baroness, "that the slaves ought not to regard
Sunday as one of their three days' holiday; they
should not go back to work on the 28th, as they
will be ordered to do. You understand?"
"Yes, Your Baroness. They won't go to work
till Thursday 29th, and even then-"
"Just so. Their freedom ought to be pro-
claimed with the holidays. It should begin with
the 1st of January; indeed earlier. I should tell
the people that, if I were you."
"I will, ma'am."
"Excellent. When do you have another 'meet-
ing'?"
"Tomorrow night, ma'am."
"Tell your co-workers what I have said. If
many of the slaves submit to this new proposed
imposition, that will indicate that they are ready
to submit to anything else, and for ever."
The baroness sat still and silent for some time
after Deacon Sharp had left. She was half-re-
clining in a large easy chair made of mahogany
with leather back and seating. A large cushion
pillowed her head. She was thinking deeply; in
two weeks at the most her work would be com-
pleted, or, rather, its results would have begun to
be seen by all. Soon it would be known that her
own people would be free on Christmas Eve; they
themselves knew this already. The effect in this
parish would be tremendous. It was not to be
believed that the bondsmen would willingly re-
turn to work anywhere after that; and decidedly
they would not regard Sunday, the next Christ-
mas Day, as one of their special holidays. Not
after Samuel Sharp had transmitted to them her
words and advice.
There was nothing now to do but to wait and
think. But waiting meant tension, and thinking
was a horror.
It was about eleven o'clock; it was time she
went to bed.
She strolled to the front door; opened it and
went out upon the steps. The earth was silvered by
the moon, the green of cane and of the trees stood
out greyish in the moonlight, the mountains on
the horizon looked ghostly; she fancied she heard
the sound of distant drumming. She listened in-
tently. Yes; the drums were sounding; she sus-
pected that there must now be gatherings about
the countryside every night They were a pre-
lude to what was about to happen, a rehearsal of
that orgy of fire and blood that she had deli-
berately determined should take place in Jamaica.
Was that the sound of a horse's hooves?
Faintly it came to her, then more loudly; it was
certain that someone was riding through the pro-
perty. It might be Mr. Buxton's son, or he him-
self. Well, it did not concern her.
She stood there looking out upon the scene,
calm exteriorly, a volcano beneath the surface.
Since that afternoon in Falmouth she had not seen
Fred, had heard no word about him. He was lost
to her forever. Only revenge could be hers in the
days and weeks to come.
The sound of hooves grew louder. The horse
that she had heard was coming towards the Great
House.
She saw it; it was being ridden by a white
man, an elderly man whom she could not recall
even having seen before. He reined in when he
came in front of her. "A chance in a hundred, and
I took it," he cried out. "I feared, B:rones-, that
you might long since have been asleep, but I knew
there was a possibility that you might still be
awake. One should act on possibilities."
He swung himself off the horse as he spoke,


and ran up the few steps leading to the verandah
of the Great House. She noticed that as he did so
he swept off his hat. His manner was that of a
gentleman and an equal.
"Allow me to introduce myself, Baroness," he
said: "My name is Morton. Christopher Morton.
I have had the pleasure of seeing you before, but
I don't think you have remarked me anywhere.
After all," he laughed gaily, "I am not remark-
able."
"Perhaps you are," she said dryly, and held
out her hand. "A visit to a stranger and a lady
near midnight is not a customary thing even in
this country, I should imagine."
"Anything is customary in this country," he
asseverated. "We have no rules. I have lived
here forty years now, and-"
"From what part of England did' you come?"
she enquired, interrupting him.
He told her casually.
"And you say your name is Christopher Mor-
ton?" she mused. Surely you must be connected
with the Mortons that were neighbours of the Hun-
tingdons long before I was born. My father was
here; yet he never spoke of you to me in England.
Why?"
"Your father left Jamaica before I came to
this part of the island," he replied quietly, "so we
never met. And, really, it doesn't matter who I was
before I became a West Indian colonist, does it? I
came to this country expecting to drink myself to
death. I got a job, I worked hard, actually in
time made money-I was practically a pauper in
England, you know."
"Your father's fault."
"Perhaps. It doesn't matter now. Well, I got
in with a coloured woman of some means but very
poorly educated. She had ability though; I owe
her a great deal. She is still alive; we are mar-
ried. My wedding took place only the other day."
"Won't you come inside, Sir Christopher?"
"Mr. Morton, please remember. Now and al-
ways. You will remember, won't you?"
"If you prefer that."
She led the way into the verandah where they
would sit. Only one candle burned dimly in a
sconce. On that and on the moonlight they must
depend fur illumination.


She seated herself in the chair her father had
always preferred. He selected a mahogany chair
with polished wooden seat and sloping back. "You
are wondering what has brought me here tonight?"
he asked. -
"Yes."
"Frederick. Frederick O'Brian."
"Did he send you, Mr. Morton?"
"No. He doesn't know I am here, doesn't even
know that I have ever seen you."
"Then I cannot understand why you have
come."
"I have come to ask you to send for him."
The baroness sat bolt upright in her chair.
"Why should I send for him?" she demanded
sharply. "If he wishes to see me surely he knows
where to find me. I do not understand you Mr.
Morton."
"And yet the matter is simple," said Mor-
ton quietly. "You see, I had a conversation with
Frederick the evening of the Falmouth Bazaar.
I had prevented a quarrel between him and a
man called Arthur Benedict, a person of no con-
sequence whatever. But the quarrel was about
you; Benedict wished to say impertinent things
about you and Fred was going to beat him within
an inch of his life when I interfered. Then-"
"How precisely did you interfere?"
"Oh, I said something to Benedict that he did
not like and he answered me impertinently. So I
put him out of the building at once. It was all
over in a couple of minutes."
"Surely you might have allowed Frederick to
punish this man, Arthur Benedict, Mr. Morton.
Did you think he would have cared about the con-
sequences?" she'asked abruptly.
"How like a woman! You mean, Baroness,
that you would have preferred Fred to fight what
you are inclined to think were your battles and
that I deprived him of the opportunity of playing
the hero by intervening. But I did not want your
name to be mixed up in any sordid row; besides,
Fred might very easily have killed the scallawag,
and you would not have liked that. Try to see
this matter clearly, dear lady. The planters of
many parishes are already saying that you are
largely responsible for the slaves' attitude, that
you are deliberately stirring up trouble amongst
them, that if there is any outbreak it can easily
be traced to you. Do you want a sordid fight over
you or your name in addition to the burden you
already have to carry?"
"Do you believe what the planters say of me?"
she demanded, ignoring his question.
"Why, yes, I do," he replied. "It is quite
true, isn't it? How far you have yet gone I do not
know, of course, but I guess it is pretty far. I
don't think Fred guesses half of what you have
done: I know, for instance, that you have seen
the slave leader they call Daddy Sharp, but Fred
does not know that. Sharp is a fanatic who will
strike shortly; that is certain. You will be ac-
cused of complicity; but even the boldest of your
accusers may hesitate as to what he says of yoi
when it is known that you are either the wife of
Frederick O'Brian or engaged to be married to
him, and that you both are going back to England."
"That will not be known, Mr. Morton." She
(Continued on Page 46)


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be supplied daily in the food you eat.

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I I


1943-44




PLANTERS' PUNCH


THREE PHASES OF

PROGRESS





Looking Backward Jamaica Public Service Co.,
Ltd., regards in retrospect 20 years of unremitting
service in constantly extending its distribution ser-
vice into every branch of life in Jamaica from the
citizen's home to the great factories.

Looking Around We share ungrudgingly and
with equanimity common set-backs and handicaps
imposed on all by war-conditions.

Looking Forward We await with certainty the
the resumption of our normal service to the public,
affording real assistance towards better living in
every home and materially contributing to the
social and economic development of Jamaica.




JAMAICA PUBLIC SERVICE CO., LTD.


~


1943-44





PLANTERS' PUNCH


INDUSTRIAL DAWN..


Back of any industrial expansion there must be reliable Electric Service.
This will be our job --- to expand in keeping with your demands and
our Twenty-One years of service equip us for this task.


JAMAICA PUBLIC SERVICE CO., LTD.


I I I I Is


1943-44








PLANTERS' PUNCH


THE RETURN
(Continued from Page 43)
rose suddenly and spoke to her visitor standing.
"Fiedeijcck might have becuime engaged to me; in-
stead of that he offered me his 'protection', want-
ed me to become his leeman. Me, a Huntingdon'
Surely he was mad when he spoke! But the truth
is that he had become infected with your pre-
judices here and could not bring himself to offer
me honourable marriage.
"I know now the truth as I re'.'er had guessed
at it before. I was born here. I have Negro bioodi
in my veins. That has condemned me in the eyes
of your aristocracy-such as it is. But- I should
not say 'your aristocracy,' Sir Christopher, tf: you
can correctly estimate them quite as well as I, and
you do not belong to their order, at all. I must
apologise."
"Not at all," he said quietly. I have just told
you that I am married to a Jamaica coloured wo-
man."
"For the sake of your children, is it not? Well,
they or their children will become the dominant
people in this country in time and may look doo n
upon those who are visibly dark, for that seems to


.e trhe '.':sy:. o this place. As to v.-hat they. may
be saying about me, it is quite true that I have
helped the people of this neighbourhood to under-
stand that they are human being -.: ith rights, and
that England thinks that of them. And I do know
Samuel Sharp and have told him what he should
tell the slaves. Sharp was here but half an hour
before you came. Mr. Morton. And, understand
me well, I shall rejoice if my words assist to set
on fire every sugar estate and cattle property in
St. James and Hanover and Trelawny-in the en-
tire island in fact. That is what I am hoping.
And what I say to you now is by no means private
or betw'..een ourselves alone. You may broadcast
it to the four corners of the earth!"
Sr-i ceased, paritinc. Her voice had vibrated
as she hid continued to speak: he could not see
,her t-attres. but he Zuessed that they were work-
ing as ttauigh affected hbi a spasm. he knew that
at last she had spoken out o:f the depths of her
soul. Her tortured spirit had found some v.ent
at last. He felt that. if the worse came to the
worst, she herself would lead great bodies of re-
bellious slaves.
"Won't you sit down?" he said, and when she
resumed her seat-
"So you do not give a thought to Frederick?"
-he questioned. thus bringing her down from exalt-


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Ask MASTERTON, Prop.


ed emotional heights to what, after all, was really
nearer to hei han the freedom of every slave in
Jamaica.
"Does he give a thought to me?" she demanded
bitterly.
"Yes. He is alwa:';s iiniiiing of you. I was
at his house this evening, immediately before I
came to see you. He w.as drinking. He is always
drinking now. He will become a drunkard or a
murderer if he does not stop. You can stop him
by sending for him."
S"He is not so weak as you suggest," she cried,
impelled to defend Frederick as- a man of strong
character against what might be said of him even
by someone \-ho loved him well
"I do not say that he is weak at all, Baroness,"
answered Mr. Morton diplomatically: "but it is
true that he is drinking far too much. He be-
lieves he has offended you beyond the possibility
of forgiveness: hence his despair. Have you never
thought of that""
"But ho\w could I send for him?" she cried,
and her tone was different now from that in which
she had railed but a few minutes before; it was
gentle, plaintive, as of one who wished to be con-
\inced. "And what should I say to him if he
came? Have you thought of that?"
-'Yes. You need not say anything definite to
him about marriage: leave that to him. But you
can tell him you have forgiven him his blunders
of the past and see no reason why you two should
not be friends. Within a day or two, perhaps
within a few mimntes, you .'ill have him asking
you to marry him. He wants to do that, you see,
but has a foolish idea in his head that you can
never or will never forgive him. So instead of
coming to see you he drinks."
Silence fell between the baroness and Mr.
Morton for a minute or two, then the baroness
spoke.
"If Fred wants me he will come to me, Mr.
Morton; I am a woman and my instinct tells me
that. I should only be making myself cheap by
sending for him."
"There speaks vanity and pride," said Morton
bitterly. "Both of you are proud You may ruin
one another."
"It is for Fred to make the first advance," said
the baroness stubbornly. "Why haven't you spoken
to him?"
"You are a rich woman," he replied evasive-
ly; "you must remember that Fred naturally
shrinks from it being thought thal he was marrying
you for your money."
"Those who wished to think so would think
so anyhow, Mr. Morton. And we are both in Ja-
maica now, and I would not have Fred or anyone
else imagine that I, whom you would call a col-
oured woman, was running after him because he
was a white man."
"Very well, Baroness; but you can surely have
no objection to my saying to Fred that you have
already fully forgiven him for any foolish thing
he may have said to you sometime ago?"
"No-o-," she said slowly; then, more quickly
and firmly,, "No!"
"Then I shall say goodbye now; it must be
nearly one o'clock. Not at all a proper hour for a
man to be leaving a lady's house!"


"We have read of Napoleon's numerous
Victories, and we are aware of his great
.defeat. similarly, we have witnessed Ger-
many's surprising success, but we know
she will soon be beaten.

"We should be thankful that conditions
are not worse, and hopeful that the coming
Year will bring this war to a speedy end,
and that the Peace that shall be won will
be lasting.

"We extend to the Public, our sincere
wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Pros-
perous New Year."


& (ro.


Wholesale Dry Goods Melirhlit
130-130 Harbour Street,
KINGSTON,
JAMAICA, B.W.I.
ESTABLISHED 1912


WE ARE SUB-AGENTS FOR
THE CALEDONIAN INSURANCE COMPANY


_ _


-- -
L


1943-44


N. na,, ood








PLANTERS' PUNCH


"Oh, it is quite proper here if the woman is
coloured, isn't it?"
"Why so bitter, my child?" laughed Mr. Mor-
ton,'as though he were speaking to one of his own
daughters. "You-you who are so different-"
"Not so different from any other woman in
Jamaica; don't imagine that. I speak for many
women tonight."
"Well, go to bed now, and try to sleep. And
remember never to call me Sir Christopher gain;
I have never used a title that in any case dies with
me. I never imagined the secret would be to easily
guessed. My own children will never I:now of it "
"Is that due to pride or vanity on your part?"
she questioned with a ghost of a smile.
"To common sense merely," he laughed. "I
am afraid that my children, if they knew about
the title, would begin to give themselves unneces-
sary and ridiculous airs. They are only human,
you know."
"And so am I," replied the baroness, '"please
never forget that."

CHAPTER TEN

FRED'S DECISION
tpSYCHE!"
I She whirled round swiftly, delighted, and
from her lips broke the cry of her heart. "Fred!"
She had been standing in the huge, sombre
dining room of the Great House. her elbows rest-
ing on the shining surface of the silver-laden
mahogany sideboard. Her hands formed a cup in
which her face rested; with her back to the main
door of the dining room she had been plunged in
thought. She had leit deserted. utterly alone; the
shouts of the people '.n the estate as they made
ready for their merrymaking of Christmas Eve
conveyed no meaning to her ears, seemed hardly to
reach them indeed. She ;.Vas alone; now she must
tread the path she had marked out for herself
without a kindly voice to whisper words of com-
fort or support. She had sown the wind; she must
reap the whirlwind, whatever it might be.
Her own slaves were .free; others in that parr
ish and in neigihboiuring parishes would be de-
manding their freedom tercely in a day or two.
And if refusal came, as come it would, the smould-
ering'embers of hate and wrath would burst into
flame and at least half the island would be like a
volcano suddenly erupting. She would be charged
with having created all the hell that was to come;
she felt crushed beneath this burden, yet not for a
moment would she now throw it from her. She
must bear it to the end. But it was bitter, bitter
that she alone must do this, unhelped, untriernded.
with only black looks and bitter hate about her.
Then ~sIdlcnly came the cry from the. ,.ell-lIno.'.n
beloved v.oice-"Psyche!", It was Fred at last,
Swiftly, impulsively she moved towards him:
"Darling, I did not expect .you." she stammered
between laughter and tears.
"I should h.ave come bef.ie~." he cried loudly,
seizing her outstretched hands. "Morton told me
so again and again within the last two weeks. But
I was proud, or stupid-I think it was itupildity
that kept me away, Psyche.
"I lied to myself. I said I was poor and you
were rich, though in my heart I knew I was not
so poor. I have made money in the past and have
not spent all of it; besides I am strong and I can
work. But I chose to deceive myself; I would not
honestly ice the truth. It was Morton who made
me do it, told me that it I wanted you I must come
to you--that youi would never send for me. And
here am I at last!"
"Come to the verandah," she said, still bub-
bling over with joy- "'We will sit there and talk as
in old times. Old times? It is only a fev'.' weeks
ago since you were here, Fred: but things seem to
have moved quickly since then, andt '.hat happened
a month ago appears as though it happened long,
long since."
On the dim % e!li-.lanh. -tlhited as it was by a
single candle, he looked dovn into her tace and saw
eyes which struggled to keep I)acl; the tear- of
delight that strove to overflow Without another
word he took her in his arms and khi ed her
tenderly, she making not the slightest struggle but
rather acting as though she ihaid reached her goal
at last.
"Psyche," he said, and his voice v.was that of n
man who had made up his mind and would brook
no contradiction, "Psyche, I told my lawyer today
that Plimsole is to be sold. But pet h.-ph be-
fore it is, you and I will leave this parish for King-
ston,. will be married in Kingston, and then will
sail from Jamaica for ever-it was fated to be so.
darling, from the beginning, and I am glad that I
have seen the truth."
"When do you think we can go, Fred?" she
asked.


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85 HARBOUR STREET


He was seated now in one of the big leather
armchairs of the Great House, and she was on his
knees, no longer the dominant, self-willed, resolute
mistress of Hope Vale, not at all like the proud
widow of Baron de Brion or a descendant of a
Huntingdon, but rather like an eager girl willing
to be led, to let others do the choosing for her, to
obey the man whom she loved above e'.erything
else on earth. He ani..wered at once.
"Tonight i Saturday. Sunday, Monday and
Tuesday we shall be able to do nothing. Not before
\\'c:inecday shall we he able to send someone to
Kingston to make .arrangements for our wedding
by special lience. ior our lodgings, and also for
our passage; to Eniandrl So next week we shall
still be here. dear. but in the first week of the New
Year we ihri ld ha'.e,left St. James for ever. It
is a pity we have'remained so long."
She 2rev sober as a thought seemed suddenly
to strike her. It was something that had not
crossed her mind before.
"You know, of course, Fred," she muttered,
"that on Wednesday at latest will be decided
v. whether the slaves on the various properties here
shall go back to: their work or not. Through some
of their leaders, I have advised them not to. And
under any circumstances they would refuse to re-
gard tomorrow as one of the special holidays to


- KINGSTON.


which they are entitled; they look upon Sunday as
already theirs by right."
She paused for a moment, then resumed: "Their
owners have decided differently. It seems, indeed,
that the slaveholders are determined to force
the issue, have decided that the slaves shall con-
sider themselves more powerless than they really
are or than the Government intends that they
shall be. So on Wednesday there may begin a
reign of terror in St. James, in Trelawny, in Han-
over and elsewhere, and I am going to be held re-
poi'Sible for it. I shall be here to face my re-
:!:,n1]sililtty. I am glad that even if I would I
could not fecape it during the coming week."
"I .h1i:l t:a:e it with you," answered Frederick
O'Brian with a laugh that sounded like a roar.
"What you have done is right for me, and ILwill
maintain that right everywhere in Jamaica. Give
those who are your enemies not a thought. darling.
They fight you and me together, and by God I
think that we ;wo shall be hard to beat!"
"But you still have slaves, Fred."
"I shan't after tomorrow. All the bondspeople
of Plimsole will be told within lwenty-four hours
that they are free; Plimsole will be sold with only
free men living on it. Then we shall conscientious-
ly stand together, Psyche."
"You are so good," she murmured, "so very


iIII Ii



I -St. James St., Montego Bay.

I I
CABLE ADDRESS: CODES:
i DELIS, MONTEGO BAY BENTLEY'S & PRIVATE
i i
COMMISSION AGENTS & WHARF OWNERS.


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our ciatronage Our Pride:

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___~


1943-44







PLANTERS' PUNCH.


Wise cooks
always stir in a
little Bovril when
making savoury
dishes. It gives an
appetising zest to
food and helps
you to get more
nourishment
from it.







BOVRIL I


The power of Beef



NOTE:- For the Duration only


To Supply


FIGHTING FORCES


we


must do without our usual supplies.



Agent LESLIE R. MORDECAI 158/160 Harbour St.


good. You are gi\ ing up so much because of me."
He felt her head pressed closely against his chest.
She was weeping.
"There is no goodness in acting as I am acting,
darling." he retorted gently. "I have thought over
all that you have done, and I am satisfied that you
are right. I have thought over all that I have
done, and I have felt ashamed of it. Now at length,
I repeat, we stand together. You can hardly guess
how happy that makes me."
"I think," she answered, "that this is the hap-
piest hour of my life; I do not believe that at any
other time we shall quite reach the peak on which
we stand at this moment, Fred: the past all for-
gotten, the present great with achievement, the
future shining with hope."
Through the gloom of the night came the dis-
tant sounds of merriment the newly freed people
were making in the Negro village of Hope Vale.
Through the darkness shot faint gleams of fires
that were burning outside the many huts on the
plantation. Friendly fires these were, cooking for
the feast of tomorrow as well as for the jollification
of tonight, when no adult would sleep. Perhaps this
too was the happiest moment in the lives of people
who but that morning had been slaves.
"Let us go out to the village," said the bar-
oness suddenly. "Let us witness for ourselves the
rejoicings of these people. Tomorrow yours at
SPlmsole will also give themselves over to joy, but
after that, Fred, there may be terrible happenings
in St. James."
"How shall we go?" he asked, ignoring her
direful prophesy. She was dwelling too much upon
the sadness and the sorrow that might come, he
thought.
"We can ride." She stretched out her hand,
seized a heavy velvet cord and pulled it sharply.
Somewhere to the rear of the house a bell clanged;
presently a servant came hurrying in. If he was
surprised to see the baroness sitting on the knees
of Mr. Frederick O'Brian he displayed no astonish-
ment in his attitude or in his tone of voice as he
said, "yes, missis?"
"My horse:-saddle him quickly and bring him
round to the front. Mr. O'Brian and I are riding
to the village.",
The servant bowed and hurried away; very
shortly afterwards he led a saddled horse to the
foot of the front steps. Then the baroness, who in
the meantime had hurried to her room; put on- a
bonnet, and thrown a scarf round her shoulders.
ran down the steps with Fred O'Brian, where both
mounted the waiting horses.


They' rode towards the village; nearing it. their
advent was greeted by the clamorous barking of
dogs, without at least one of which no Negro fam-
ily considered itself properly equipped. Here the
fires, seen but as small specks of flame from the
Great House, lighted up the village from end to
end through its entire depth, and on each one of
them some pot was boiling or pan frying, while
from the communal oven of the village came the
odour of roasting pig. Most of the children were
still awake and were leaping about joyously, al-
though many of them knew nothing about free-
dom. Men and women too were laughing and
shouting; their cries would have seemed foolish to
Those who did not know the inner cause and reason
of their uncontrollable merriment, their giggles,
their constant movement; their intense excitement.
They heard the vociferous barking of the dogs,
saw the baroness and Mr. O'Brian emerge from
the shadows into the light; instantly they began
to gather in a crowd before them, t6 bow to them
and to curtsey, and to call out blessings upon the
baroness's head. She laughed and waved her whip
in salutation, while Fred thrust his hand into his
trousers pocket, pulled out a handful of loose
change and flung it laughingly amongst the crowd.
At this there was a wild scramble for the show-
ering coin, a determined struggle on the part of,
everyone to become the possessor of even a single
coin. Nevertheless amidst all this scrambling and
shouting perfect good humour prevailed. There
was too much contentment in the hearts of fhe
people gathered in Hope Vale's village tonight for
anger to manifest itself for a moment.
The smoke from the flaming wood fires curl-
ed upwards, losing itself in the air above; in the
distance the great hills could be sensed if not dis-
tinctly seen. Coconut trees thrust their slender'
stems towards the sky, below the village the cane
fields rustled in the cool night air. .In other parts
of Hope Vale lights also shone as the white men
employed on the property under Mr. Buxton busied
themselves with preparations for the Christmas
holidays, and perhaps wondered what would come
when these were over.
"Buxton, of course, knows of what you have
done, Psyche: does he approve?" asked Frederick.
"Yes; when he saw-that I was determined. But
I doubt that even now my old nurse, Psyche Hun-'
tingdon. approves. She is a slaveowner by nature,
Fred; besides, she thinks that I am drawing a storm
upon my head."
"'Upon our heads be it," he answered in high
spirits, as they both retraced their way to the


Great House. "My headmen will make my pro-
clamation of freedom on Plimsole shortly after day-
break, though I think that some of the slaves there
already guess at what is coming. I have ordered
my overseer to give the people an ox to be roasted
in celebration of their new status."
"And Buxton has also given my people an
ox," laughed the baroness. "It will be roasted to-
morrow. Our thoughts and wishes seem to have
been running on parallel lines, Fred."
"On identical lines," he answered, and when
they came to the Great House they left their horses
standing by the front steps and strolled up and
down slowly, making plans for the future as they
thought, but in reality indulging in a lover's dream
in which there was more exclamation than coher-
ent talk. What stood out conspicuously in their
minds and hearts was the knowledge, the sweet
blessed feeling, that the doubt-, the fears,
the hesitations of the past were scattered at last;
that in a few weeks' time they would leave this
country for good as man and wife, after having
perhaps forced upon its people the swift solution
of a problem that had somehow to be solved-the
problem of freedom, of the emancipation of human
beings like themselves.
As he kissed her for the last time that night,
before springing into his saddle, he said sudden-
ly-"Won't you ride over to Plimsole early in the
morning. Psyche, and see my people given their
freedom?"
"Why, yes," she cried quickly; "what time shall
I come?"
"Say seven o'clock, and then I will tell my
overseer and other employees that we are to be mar-
ried shortly; after that, and after \we have drunk
a Christmas Punch at Plimsole, we might ride back
to this place and have our 'second breakfast' to-
gether. Will not that be ideal?"
"Good, Fred, it shall be as you say," she laugh-
ed; then with shining eyes she watched him ride
away until he was lost in the night's cool darkness.

CHAPTER XI
CHRISTMAS DAY
THE day had passed in a glory of sunshine, in
loud revelry, in merriment that seemed at
times triumphant, then defiant. Night had now
come again, a soft dark night illumined with innum-
erable stars. But still the beating of drums, the
rhythmic clapping of hands, the dancing, the sing-
ing continued much as it had done throughout the


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PLANTERS' PUNCH


iday. Yet here and there, especially among the
4nore thoughtful bondspeople of the parish, some
-anxious faces showed. These awaited the after-
math of Christmas with saddened hearts.
Psyche Huntingdon stood that night outside
her wooden house at Cowbend talking to the an-
-cient Mashimba, and her brow was furrowed with
care.
Mashimba had come to see her that evening,
to wish her luck and prosperity. He had been
greeted by a woman oppressed with a vague sor-
row, the result of an endless foreboding.
"You hear the news, Mashimba?" she enquired,
and strangely enough she slipped back into the
language of her childhood, the African dialect
which she hardly spoke in these days even to the
old man who had come with her from distant
Africa so many years ago.
He understood her, although the words were
pronounced by a tongue that had almost for-
gotten them. He answered in English.
"No, Miss Psyche, what it is?"
"Mr. O'Brian say he is going to marry my
dau- the baroness, and the news is going round
and round the parish. Then the slaves on Hope
Vale are free from today, and Mr. O'Brian has
made his people on Plimsole free. An' I hear that
the slaves on the other properties round here will
not go back to work when the holidays are over
on Tuesday night. So there is going to be fight-
,lng."
"Don't the baroness know this, Miss Psyche,
an' Mr. O'Brian, too?"
"I think so," murmured the woman wearily;
"she must know it. An' Mr. O'Brian must know
It too, even more than she. But they' won't take
heed, Mashimba; I saw them ride into Hope Vale
today; they looked like two mad people. They are
at the Great House now, and I don't think they
-are giving one thought to what is going to happen
In this parish this week."
She fell to silence, and after a while the old
inan crept away to think over what had been said
to him. He was old now and tired; it seemed to
'him tonight that it mattered nothing any longer
-what anybody did : after all, they all would soon be
dead. Psyche remained standing at the threshold
of her front door hour after hour when he had gone,
staring in the direction of the Great House, al-
though she could not see it. Again and again she
-asked herself, "What will happen?" but the secrets
-of the future she could not read.
Yet she was wrong in thinking that the
baroness and Frederick O'Brian at the Great
House were treating the future with scorn. They
'knew only too well how grimly serious it was ....

In the dining room of the Hope Vale Great
House the baroness and Frederick O'Brian sat at
dinner, and the room blazed with a profusion of
light which caused to flash and sparkle the crystal
and silver spread out on the great mahogany
dining table and the huge sideboard. Four ser-
vants assisted the two. For them it was a great
day. As she had promised, the baroness had early
ridden over to Plimsole and, standing beside her
lover on the platform on which terminated the
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trance of Plimsole's Great House, had heard the
headman of O'Brian's estate announce the manu-
mission of every slave on Plimsole. Then FredericK
had turned to the few white men in his employ-
ment.
"Gentlemen," he said to them quietly, "I
shall be leaving Plimsole shortly; it is for sale; it
will doubtless be purchased by someone who will
retain you in his employment. Meantime I have
arranged with my lawyers that you shall continue
employed on the property until it passes out of my
hands. I am going to England with the Baroness
de Brion; we shall be married in Kingston before
we go. Gentlemen, I wish you a very Merry
Christmas."
During his little speech the baroness stood
erect, the upper part of her slim figure displayed
to advantage by the fashionable English riding
habit she had worn that morning. Her golden-
coloured skin, her eyes set wide apart, dark, and
sparkling now with pride and with delight, her
firm chin and long upper lip, gave a note of dis-
tinction to her countenance. The white men as-
sembled saw her suddenly from a point of view
quite different from that with which they had
casually glanced at her when she had ridden or
driven by Plimsole on different occasions. They



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lifted their hats and bowed to her, the oldest of
them venturing to murmur the congratulations of
all-he was a tough and shrewd Scotsman. All of
them thought she looked extremely handsome, and
with an inner astonishment they began to realise
that her demeanour was by no means timid and
diffident, but gracious, as though she wished co be
kind to them all! She made a movement towards
the group that stood clustered on the broad plat-
form to the left of herself and Frederick.
Her hand went out in a friendly gesture: "Thank
you, gentlemen," she smiled, and by that smi'l she
won their sincere allegiance.
After that she and Frederick O'Brian drank
an "egg punch" made by one of the ancient do-
mestics of Plimsole, an old woman famed for her
skill in making drinks. Then they had ridden over
to Hope Vale for "second breakfast": it was-after
this meal that Frederick had proposed a drive
somewhere.
"And perhaps, my lady, you will invite me to
Christmas dinner," he added. "You never seem to
have thought of that."
"No, darling, I have not; I have only thought
of my happiness since last night."
"Well," said he, "I am a human being with
(Continued on Page 51)


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THE RETURN
(Cointl;rH cf front PO.a .rif,
an extraordinary appetite, and if you are able to
do without much food. I am not.'
"Stay until dinner then." she suggested. "When
we come back from our drive to the Bay you can
rest in one of the rooms, and then we will celebrate
Christmas as perhaps it has never been celebrated
before in the Hope Vale Great House."
Then a thought seemed to strike her. "Could
we not call on the Mortons?' she suggested.
"We could," said Frederick: "midday calls are
not infrequent in Jamaica, especially if one stays
to lunch."
"Have you ever been there, Fred?"
"No, I have met Morton elsewhere, principally
in Montego Bay. I suspect, Psyche, that his daugh-
ters are now a bit of a problem to him. You see,
yielding to the sohcitations of his wife, he had
them educated in England; and we all know here
that mamma has a touch of colour, and that
sons and daughters alike are illegitimate. All that
effectually bars them from such society as we have
in this parish. I have heard that the girls were
wild about this and that one of their first moves
to repair the situation was to insist upon papa and
mamma getting married. But I don't know that
that will have any effect."
Fred laughed. "Papa and mamma lived quite
happily unmarried, and mamma's practical abili-
ties. besides money she inherited from her father,
made Morton's fortune. How they are going to get
on together now that they are man and wife I real-
ly cannot guess; but I suppose that after living
nearly forty years together marriage will make no
difference to them."
"We will go to see them now," said the ba-
roness decisively "The Morton girls were right.
Fred; it was high time that their father ceased
to li"e with their mother and became her L\afui
husband. He ought to have done it at the begin-
ning.'
"Well," said Fred smiling, "the lady didn't ask
for it, and I doubt if forty years ago Morton would
have got on as well as he has done had it been
known that his wife was a coloured woman, though
as his mistress she was all right. So, after all,
everything seems to have turned out for the best."
Wolmer's Castle, as Mr. Morton's property in
St. James was called, was not very far from Hope
Vale. Rapid driving in a comparatively light trap
drawn by a pair of fresh strong horses brought the
couple there in about an hour. The baroness was
accustomed to the appearance of Jamaica planta-
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neatness of the fields of canes, the various build-
ings of the estate-the cooper, the carpenter, the
black-mith shops-the great trees that shaded
these, the interspersed groves of fruit trees. the
babbling river that turned the sugar mill. And
she loved the bright blue skies that evcry'vwhere
hiding over thi tropical v.orld. and the gay laugh-
ter of the slaves. though she knew that only too
often that disguised or concealed the cruel crack
of the driver's ..-hip.
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needed until it reached the wood and stone build-
ing which had been incongruously called "a castle"
by one of its former proprietors, a large one-storied
residence, the single story being built some seven
feet above the ground's surface and approached by
the inevitable flight of marble-topped steps.
A servant ran down the steps to meet them;
another, appeared from somewhere in the rear of
the building to hold their horses. "Is Mrs. Mor-
ton in"" the baroness enquired.
The slave stared at her for a second, noticed
her complexion, then looked at Mr. Frederick
O'Brian. He obviously was a white man; who was
this woman" the domestic asked in his mind. If
she was the gentleman's housee keeper" she would
not be at all welcome to the Misses lMorton-they
would not receive or associate with an-y entle-
man's mistress. And they were youni ladies to
be teared. Hoi.ve\ver. the h'-.use .-Ise could do
nothing about it. To the :sslonrnhment of Fred-
erici:. though not to that 01 the baroness. the
man ansvwred "Lady and Sir Christopher Morton
rire in."
"Then please tell them that Mr. Frederick
O'Brian and the Baroness de Brion have called
to see them," answered the baroness with that touch


of hauteur which she could so well show when
dealing with servants who were inclined to be in-
solent.
The man was impressed by her tone; bowed
and asked if they would enter the house while he
informed Lady Morton of their arrival.
Both nodded, and in a minute they were seated
in a cool, darkened drawing room furnished with
the heavy, highly polished Jamaica mahogany
furniture of the period, the three long sofas having
1i:ard horsehair cushions on their seats.
Inside the house Frederick whispered to
Psyche:
"What on earth is the meaning of this? I know
that Morton married Miss Julie, as she used to be
called, only the other day. But I do not see that
that makes her Lady Morton any more than it
makes him Sir Christopher Morton!"
"Yet he is Sir Christopher, Fred," answered
the bar:ness quietly. "You see, he comes from my
part .i my county in England. and we knew his
family formerly. I believed I was the only person
aware that he was the last legitimate scion of his
race living; but it is clear that his newly married
wife has found it out. Poor Sir Christopher! I
am wondering now if it will be as pleasant to


/~------~~
~-----------i~,la~--~


194.-44








PLANTERS' PUNCH


live with Lady ilforton as with Miss Julie, as I think
you called her."
At that moment a brisk step was heard, and
Morton, striding energetically as was his. wont, made
his appearance.
"I don't think you will see my wife today,"
he said, as he shook hands heartily, "but my daugh-
ters will be here presently. And I guess, baroness,
you have discovered that what we imagined to be
a secret between you and me only is now known
to all my family!"
He laughed heartily.
"As a matter of fact," he continued, "I found
out only at the beginning of last week that not
only did my wife know that I was Sir Christopher
Morton but that she had known it for some time.
She seemed to have been going over my papers
years ago-which she had a right to do-and so
made the discovery. She promptly informed my
daughters and sons of the useless title after
we were married, and though my sons take the
fact indifferently, my daughters regard it very
seriously indeed. They say they are going to marry
Englishmen or Scotsmen: on that they are deter-
mined."
"And they will, too, Morton; they can do so in
Jamaica if they like." O'Brian pointed out,


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"But not to men of the class in which they
have been brought up, Frederick." the father re-
minded him. "They will have some money, and,
although I say it myself, they are smart, well edu-
cated, handsome girls. And only twenty and-
eighteen. No; I have arranged to send them back
to England: if they care to come out to Jamaica in
the future, that is their business. But they will
marry in England, as a matter of fact I think that
Gloria, my elder girl, has a beau in London now.
They have.been here but a little while, and they say
the3 are sick and tired of Jamaica. There is no
proper place for them here, I fear, tihouh there
may be one before I die. Their mother wants them
to go away, too, and I myself think it is better so,
even though I know that the Jamaica of ten years
hence will be very different from the Jamaica of
today."
Even -While he spoke a pcrempt:ory voice w\\,
heard dr:a.!ing out orders to the house domestics.
And such a drawl! It was typical of most ot the
ladies and better situated women of Jamaica. but
it sounded like a foreign tongue to the baroness
and even to Frederick O'Brian. "That must be
mamma," thought the baroness with slightly up-
lifted brows; but just then one of the side doors
opened and in came the Mi'ls-e Morton, in whose
demeanour a consciousness of grace and beauty
was subtly mingled with defiance because of the
disabilities under which they had discovered dur-
ing the last six months that they suffered in Ja-
maica.
.But Frederick O'Brian sprang to his feet, all
gallantry and deference, for he saw at once that
the girls were ladies and he wished to assure
them of his personal esteem. He saw too that even
in Jamaica they could easily be taken for white
women of a very superior class by those who did
not know of them. His sincerity was unmistak-
able.
They sat and talked for a little, the baroness
refusing an invitation to lunch by saying that they
had already arranged to have lunch-a late lunch
-at Hope Vale-and that she dared not disappoint
her servants.
Was it true, asked the elder of the girls, that
she had manumitted all her slaves?
S"Yes, it is true," said the baroness, "yesterday:"
at which answer they both looked doubtful.
"We cannot afford to do that", said Gloria after
a short pause. "Papa believes, that there will be
compensation when emancipation comes, and we
must wait for the compensation. The slaves on our
property are really better off than many English
villagers and farm hands that I know. So why
should they make trouble before they are legally
set free? Besides. the Government can always
deal with trouble," Gloria added with assurance.
"I don't think those estates which treat +heir
Negroes properly have anything to fear," said the
baroness calmly as she rose to go; "but
those that have neglected the clear warnings and
indications of the time-well, they must take their
chances, and I am sure your father will agree
with this."
"I do," said Mr. \lort,..n-who still refused to
answer to "Sir Christopher" although his wife now
insisted that 'he should be addressed as Lady Mor-
ton on every possible occasion, while his daughters
thoroughly approved of this.
"Speaking of trouble, Frederick, don't you
think we might ride over this parish and speak to
the people before the holidays are over? We might
do some good: in any base we cannot possibly do
any harm."
"I agree," said Frederick heartily, and thus
on the spur of the moment an arrangement was
made which was to have momentous consequences.

And now, at dinner at Hope Vale, on Christmas
evening, he was again talking over his plans with
the baroness.
"Morton \will call here for me alter dinner."
said he, "and we are going to ride to lMonteg, Bay.
If we find anything untoward or threatening we
are going to speak to the people. ilMorton is known
to be a kind slaveowner, Psyche, and it must have
already become known for miles and miles that I
have manumitted my slaves on Plimsole."
"You are right, darling," said she, "but take
care of yourself; keep out of trouble as much as
you can."
"You to say this!" he laughed.
"Yes," she replied; "for I know quite well that
your chief motive for this mission is to save me
from any annoyance or danger. But you muLst re-
member yourself also, darling. After all, what I
have done I have done with my eyes wide open.
It Was right, and I do not regret it."
She ceased, and then there broke from her a
pareoui cry: "Fred, wasn't I right' Tell me, do
you think i have done v.rong""


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He looked at her misty eyes. "You are-
the most courageous woman I have ever known,
dear," he said, knowing that now she was thinking
only of his safety. "Worry about nothings
In this matter we stand firmly together, sink or
swim. Ah, there is Morton now, I hear him riding
this way."
Christopher Morton came into the house-
but for one drink of Christmas cheer, and then the-
two men rode away. A heaviness as of doom seem-
ed suddenly to descend upon the baroness. For
the first time since her advent in Jamaica she sank
upon a chair, pressed her face against her hands,
and sobbed as though her heart would break.


CHAPTER XII
THE TERRIBLE LAUGH

"LiE came to my house early this morning," said
n Mr. Buxton to the baroness; "he asked me to-
tell you that he and Mr. Morton would be going
about the parish today, but that he hoped to see you
this evening. I think, milady, that Mr. O'Brian and
Mr. Morton are somewhat alarmed."
"It may be so, Buxton," answered the baroness


1943-44







PLANTERS' PUNCH


abstractedly; "but we cannot know until Wednes-
day, can we?"
"!'Yes, milady, we can know now. I know, for
instance, that our people will be at work on Wed-
nesday; they are full of gratitude and joy. But I
am sure that not one slave will be seen on most of
the other estates in this parish."
"What is to be will be,' she replied wearily,
"but I was hoping of late that we might pass
through this crisis without bloodshed. You don't
think that is now possible, Buxton?"
"No," rephed the old man. "I knov.' the peo-
ple, both the whites and the blacks. Nothing will
now induce the white men to desist from insisting
that Sunday foims a part of the annual Christ-
mas holidays for the slaves, and even if they
yielded on this point, nothing would induce mo't
of the slaves to refrain from rebelling for their
freedom at the end of the holiday. When do you
leave St. James, milady?"
"Sometime next \eek, I believe, Buxton-if
ever," she added as an afterthought, and then re-
peated under her breath. "if ever."
"Leave as soon as you can," implored Buxton
earnestly. "I don't see why you should not start
for Kingston today with a sufficient armed escort ot
your own people. What is to keep you here?
You have been very kind to every man and woman
on this estate. You have given the people freedom:
my son and I thank you that you have legally
made us the attorneys for Hope Vale until your
son comes of age. What is to keep you here. where
there may be so much trouble, where there is going
to be so much trouble?"
"I cannot leave Mr. O'Brian, Buxton,"
answered the baroness sadly. "Are you not think-
ing of him too?"
"No. milady, no, for he is a man, and a
white man, and can well look after himself."
"But you lknow that I am going to marry him,
Buxton""
"Yes. and therefore he should be willing to
start with you for Kingston this evening when he
comes to see you; if he cares for you, milady, as I
believe he does. he will not hesitate about that."
Buxton spoke with a stubborn look on his face.
"Do you think Mr. O'Brian is of the kind that
runs away from danger?" questioned the baroness
gently.
Buxton made no reply; he felt that argument
was futile. It was early morning; he had come
over to the Great House from his residence to give
to the baroness the message left with him by Fred-
erick O'Brian himself. This was Monday; he
doubted whether any blow would be struck by
slave or slaveowner before the next day had com-
pletely passed: but he believed that on Wednesday
hell would flame forth in the parish. And looking
now in the face of the baroness he perceived that,
in spite of her words suggesting a hope to the con-
trary, she realized it also.
Clothed in cool white, she accompanied Bux-
ton to the front door of the Great House, stood on
the stone platform on which the flight orf teps ter-
minated, and watched him stride towards his
house. "A good, man," she thought, "and a true
man; I wonder what he was in his youth?- I won-.
der what sort of woman was his wife. I wonder


DANIEL


CABLE ADDRESS:
"DANLEE" KINGSTON.


if there are many like him in this country. Per-
haps persons like myself may be thinking today
that all these men of the dominant class-for, after
all, he does belong to the dominant class in Jam-
aica-are evil from their hearts outward, are
simply beasts in human disguise; and yet we may
be mistaken. It is true that only God can judge.
what man or woman really is."
She was startled to find that she had been
thinking so reverentially, with such an implicit
faith, of Almighty God. She was largely the in-
heritor of eighteenth century scepticism: she had
hardly thought or spoken of God in all her days.
But now it was all different; something deep with-
in her stirred and turned her feelings- and
thoughts from the purely mundane aspect of affairs.
"Perhaps," she reflected. "I may be dead before
this week ends. I wonder, if that happened, what
would become of Fred in the years to come? I
hope that God will help him."
Someone-wasn't it old Psyche Huntingdon?-
had said sometime ago that Frederick was living
with some woman or other; but the baroness had
never hinted at that to him. The woman, if she
really existed, certainly did not live at Plimsole,
and there never had been a suggestion of children.
Perhaps the connection, if it had existed, had ended
once Frederick had come to know her. This was
the implicit opinion of the baroness. It happened
to be true.
In the evening Fred himself rode up to the
Great House; it had been dark for sometime, al-
though the hour was yet early. The December
dusk had rapidly deepened into darkness; in most
other country houses of the wealthy, dinner had
already been despatched; but this meal had been
purposely delayed at Hope Vale by the baroness in
the hope that Frederick would arrive in time to
share it.
He did; and she was waiting for him on the
front porch as he rode up. "Buxton told me you
were coming, Fred," she cried, "and I have waited
dinner for you. When you have washed up we
will dine and then you can tell me all about your
adventures during the day."
In the dining room with all the candles in the
chandelier lighted, and all the candles in the
sconces against the walls, and with the huge maho-
gany dining table covered with \iands in the Jam-
aica fashion-a profusion of them, a waste of them.
but something that could not possibly be avoided
unless one sought the reputation of being par.i-
monious-Frederick O'Brian told his tale. There
was not much, after all, to say. He and Chris-
topher Morton had ridden over a lair expanse of
the parish that day and would continue their self-
imposed mission on the morrow. Almost every-
where, amongst the crowds of slaves on the roads
as well as in Montego Bay, they had noticed the
defiant attitude of the people. "And," added
Frederick, "there was something about them that
I had never observed before."
"Yes?" interposed the baroness an:iou-sly.
"Yes. Again and again I heard the women in the
crowds burst into peals of shrill blood-curdling
laughter. I shuddered. Morton too was disturb-
ed at that. He told me that it was the prelude to,
the signal of blood violence. Only when in a cer-


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PLANTERS' PUNCH


tain frame of mind do they shriek and laugh like
that. They are already drunk with blood-lust,
Psyche. Nothing will stop them now."
"About the slaveowners, Fred; you saw some
of them too?"
"Yes, we called at. Crumley for lunch; you
know Crumley is one of the Great Houses just out-
side Montego Bay. The family were there; there
were half a dozen other persons who had been in-
vited to spend the day. They greeted Morton and
myself coldly, so coldly that we should have left at
once had we not had a definite purpose in mind.
We wanted to talk to the owner of Crumley about
the folly of insisting that Sunday should count as
one of the usual Christmas holidays of the slaves.
But feeling ran too high in that house, the expres-
sions we heard-were too bitter: we thought it best
to say little or nothing. Maybe they knew why
Morton and myself were there: they must have
learnt about our attitude. In any case the decision
expressed was emphatic. The slaves would have
to consider yesterday as one of the three days to
which they were entitled, they said, and every man
and woman not reporting for work on Wednesday
morning would be flogged. What can you do with
people like those, Psyche? Or with almost any of
the people here? Although I have long been in


this island, I suddenly feel myself a stranger and
an alien. I feel that I have nothing in common
,.ith the people of Jamaica."
"And yet you are going to continue to ride
about the parish tomorrow and try to persuade
these men and women against their will?"
"There is nothing else to do except quit and
run," he answered. "And I do not tlink you would
like me to quit and run, even were I so inclined.
my dear."
"No," she replied proudly. "You are an
O'Brian, and Morton comes of an Enghsh family
whom no one has ever yet accused of cowardice;
and I-well, after all, Fred, on my father's side I
am a Huntingdon you know."
"And could be no more a Huntmgdon than on
your father's or your mother's side, Psyche," he
riposted swiftly. "unless your mother were also a
Huntingdon."
"But, Fred-" she waved to the domestics ling-
ering behind their chairs and listening intently;
these left the room with obvious reluctance.
"Fred," she resumed (and she dropped her
voice to a half whisper), "there is something I must
tell you before it is too late. I am a Huntingdon.
yes, there can be no doubt as to my paternity. But
do you understand that my mother was captured


and brought to this island from Africa, is still alive,
and is living not far from us here? Her name is
Psyche Huntingdon. Fred, and you have met her.
Buxton must know the facts and Morton knows
them too. I am illegitimate, Fred : you must know
that before you marry me."
"Who told you all this?" he demanded quickly.
"No one. But ihe truth was there for me to
read. I know it now."
"And I have known it for sometime, Psyche,"
he laughed; "don't you think that much of other
people's business is known to everyone in Jamaica
after a little while? Oh, my dear, you have been
the subject of conversation in half the parishes of
the island within the last few weeks: but in Eng-
land you and I will be taken at our true human
valuation, and I know that your value there will be
looked upon as greater than mine."
He rose at once, to prevent any rejoinder on her
part. Tears of gratitude had sprung to her eyes,
had overflowed: he bent towards her and wiped
them away with his handkerchief; then on her lips
he kissed her passionately. "And now I must ride
to Plimsole," he said, "for I promised to meet
Christopher Morton there."
He paused as he reached the front door.
"I don't think you will see me tomorrow," he
said, "and perhaps not on Wednesday either. After
that-"
She clung to him speechless. And thus they
parted.
In the afternoon of the following day, Tuesday,
the baroness was aroused from her usual siesta by
a clamour in front of the Great House. One of the
servants rushed in to tell her that the "sets" were
dancing in front of -the house, and craved her re-
cognition. The people of Hope Vale belonged to
the Blue faction of 'the "sets," the slaves from
some neighboring plantation were evidently
Reds, and these were dancing in rivalry in the
grounds of Hope Vale. She went outside; she ob-
served a capering, prancing crowd, some of the
members of-which were clothed in blue, some in
red, some of the men wearing the horns of a bull
on their heads, and with masked faces: all uttering
discordant cries, all moving and dancing as though,
possessed of tireless energy to the sound of their
improvised drums and fifes. She watched them
awhile, smiling, then threw a handful of small
silver coins amongst them. She knew that this
was expected of her, and would mark the end of
the entertainment.
It seemed to her that the minds of these people
were fixed wholly on their dancing, and perhaps on
the feasting that was to follow, when an ominous
sound fell on her ear. Two bands had been
formed, Reds and Blues keeping rigidly to them-
selves now when prepared to leave the planta-
tion; but \while the Blues, the people of Hope Vale,
were still laughing, there was a --udden silence
amongst the Reds; and as these moved away two or
three women lifted their voices in a piercing.
mirthless laugh that might have been heard great
distances away. Never had such a sound assail-
ed the hearing of the baroness in her life; in-
stantly she remembered what Frederick O'Brian
had said about the terrible laughter amongst some




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of the crowds that Christopher Morton and him-
self had ridden past on the pre. ious day. She
blenched, but she refused to give way to any
access of fear. She w.'as a woman of action. She
acted no\w to the best of her abilty and knowledge.
She despatched a bearer to Co\:bend to ask
that Mashimba's son, young Charles Huntingdon,
should be sent to her immediately. Within an
hour he arrived, having ridden hell-for-leather
from Cowbend. Briefly she gave him her orders.
Montego Bay, she knew, would be the focus of
news during the next few days; Charles was there-
fore commanded to go that day to Montego Bay
to put up at some place there, and to ride im-
mediately to Hope Vale if he should hear any-
thing affecting Mr. O'Brian or Mr. Morton. Charles
understood his instructions completely: that after-
noon he w.as stationed in Montego Bay. which wore
an odd expression of expectancy and tension. He
knew that tonight the slaves on the different es-
tates in the island must return to the estates, by
midnight at latest, or declare by their action that
they were openly in rebellion. As a free man,
what the slaves did affected him not at all; as boss
of the few' on Cowbend--for Psyche Huntingdon.
the "ex-nurze." had on some pretext or other not
yet set free her slaves-he v.as secretly inclined to
side with the slave owners and not with those who
clamoured for immediate emancipation. But he
knew that the baroness had declared for freedom
at once, and so he kept his views and his feelings
to himself. He was to be her ears in Montego Bay.
To that duty he would be faithful to the end.
CHAPTER XIII
FREDERICK
IT had come.
It was Wednesday morning: the baroness her-
self had ridden round part of Hope Vale with Mr.
Buxton and his son, and had seen that her people
at any rate were at work. But there was uneasi-
ness amongst them, and unrest; very few of them
indeed could set their minds to any tasks that had
to be undertaken. At any moment they might cease
from any pretence of labour.
Enquiries had elicited the fact that only on
this property, on Plimsole, and on one or two others
in the parish (though these had not manumitted
their slaves) were the people at work; throughout
the parish-and throughout many other parishes
in Jamaica also-there were wholesale desertions of
toilers. The rebellion had begun


The baroness watched a number of men load-
ng hogsheads of sugar made that month into a
*.-ain drawn by six oxen, the usual means of trans-
portation of the Jamaica sugar estates. She no-
ticed howv little the minds of the people were on
the job they were handling: how excited was their
expression, how anxious their looks. Buxton no-
ticed it also; so did his son. They knew that the
.'.orkers had turned out that day only because of
gratitude. Much would evidently not be accomp-
lished during the rest of the week. To expect that
would be to expect too much of Jamaica human
nature.


The baroness beckoned Buxton away with a
wave of her whip and then rode slowly in the di-
rection of the Great House.
"You will not get much work out of the peo-
ple today," she said to him, and at once he agreed.
"But it is better that they should feel that they
are expected to work," he said, "than that they
should be alliu.ed to wander as they please about
the roads of St. James. For then they might get
into bad company, and presently we'd be hearing
that they were in trouble.
"You will soon be hearing," she said a little


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1943--14







PLANTERS' PUNCH


HELP


CHINA


AID-TO-CHINA COMMITTEE


APPEALS TO JAMAICANS


FOR FUNDS.


The Jamaica Aid-to-China Committee
has set itself to raise 10,000 to send
to the assistance of our great but hard-
pressed ally-China. The appeal for
funds is directed to all parts of the is-
land, town and country: and to all sec-
tions of the community. high and low.
Donations from a penny (Id.) to a
thousand pounds (1,000) will be rea-
dily accepted and gratefully acknow-
Sledged. Your contribution no matter
'how small will help. Every shilling you
give now is worth 20/- given tomorrow
or next week, or next month, or next
year.
It may be difficult for Jamaicans to
understand why it is so frightfully im-
portant to help China. That is quite
understandable. and there is nothing to
be ashamed of in not being able to feel
for the Chinese the way we should. Af-
ter all we are not in the front lines, Ja-
maica is not London, or Warsaw, or
Stalingrad, or Chungking. We have
never felt a blitz. We have never felt
total war. We have only experienced
the indirect effects of the war. But let
us tell you what China has felt:
KILLED-
4,000.000 Soldiers
zIOMELESS-
50,000.000 Civilians
ORPHANS-
2,000.000 Children


T HE For East is closer than you
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can no longer buy, it is gasolene
now rigidly rationed, it is rice which
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not the measure of victory or de-
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As ally to ally, as friend to
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what they represent we must give
China's determined millions proof of
our fidelity. Every measure of help
we give China today is worth twenty
measures tomorrow.

20/- TODAY is worth 20 TO-
MORROW.
CHINA NEEDS US AND WE
NEED CHINA.

Give Generously Give Now To
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AID-TO-CHINA FUND.


bitterly, "that there would be no rebellion in Ja-
mnaica but for me."
"Now that is what I do not think, milady," he
.answered; "not now. I have been giving my mind
to this matter, and have also been talking it over
with one or two other folk. Even before you came
to Jamaica the belief was gaining ground that
emancipation was coming at the end of this year.
that the King of England had made the slaves of
Jamaica free. And when you talked to some of
the leaders of this rebellion, they had already made
up their minds as to what they were going to do.
I do not say you haven't encouraged them, in a
manner of speaking, but you could not possibly
have stopped them. Make yourself easy on that
coree"
"What follows from that, Buxton?"
"Well, this at least. Even those planters who
"would wish to say you were the cause of all the


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MONTEGO BAY


worry we are going to have cannot possibly bring
such a charge against you. I have no doubt they
have already sent to Kingston to tell the Govern-
ment what is happening here, and in a very short
time you will see lfartial Law proclaimed in this
part of the island. But no military or civil tribunal,
milady, is going to interfere with you."
"I am not thinking of my own safety, Bux-
ton."
"I don't think you are; but I am, and I am sure
Mr. O'Brian is. And we both will be very glad to
know you are safe."
"Well," she smiled faintly, as they reached the
Great House, "I'think that to encourage people in
what has turned out to be a rebellion is a criminal
offence, though I do not regret it for a moment.
But I am not so safe after all, you see."
"Perhaps. But with me and Mr. O'Brian to
swear that you really had nothing to do with this
business, and with Mr. Morton and other persons
to swear it, too, it would take more than a few out-
siders to implicate you."
Buxton -Ioke positively. And she knew what
he meant. He and others were prepared, if needs
be, to .'enurie themselves. on her'behalf!
The long day dragged on. Blue and beautiful,
the skies soft and luminous, the December heat not
unbearable at the warmest hours of the day, there
was yet a feeling of tension everywhere. The even-
ing came, and darknes-; the baroness sat in an arm-
chair within the Great House, hoping to hear Fred-
erick's voice at any moment, yet remembering his
message that she was not likely to see him on Wed-
nesday as well as Tuedjay. Then she heard a rap
at the front door, and went and opened it herself.
Mr. Bustron \as standing there, and the first words
he uttered indicated the strong emotion under which
he was labouring.
"Look, baroness," he cried, and his right arm
stabbed the air in several directions. But she had
already seen. Far away in some instances, nearer
at hand in others, fires were blazing on the sur-
:-oundinc heights. Even as she stared some of them
gathered volume and leapt higher and more fierce-
ly. She uttered not a word.,
"You know what they are?" murmured Bux-
ton.
"I can guess," she said.
"They are Great Houses or sugar works blaz-
ing," he went on; "I think they are sugar houses
mainly, though I am certain that some residences
are going to be destroyed by the slaves tonight."
'And the families in those residences, Bux-
ton?"
"Most of them must have already fled for re-
fuge to the to.vrC, he ant'eeed-' "'they must have
known what was coming." -
"I have no place to flee to," she said.
"And no need to fly," said Buxton. "You


I;now, milady, I didn't agree with the manumis-
sion of your slaves at first; but now I think you
were right. Freedom has to come; we have all
known this for sometime. Those who have taken
time by the forelock, or who have treated their
slaves kindly, as we have always done on Hope
Vale, will have workers enough in the future. Those
fires show what may be expected of the foolish or
indifferent."
"So at long last you agree that I was right,
my friend," said the baroness. "From my heart I
thank you for your words."
She held out her hand to him; he pressed it
and left for his own house. He was heart-glad that
no part of Hope Vale had been given to the flames.
In the darkness of the night the young wo-,
man, feeling strangely sad and lonely, looked, about.
her. Fire after fire blazed on the encircling hori-,
;,,n; lurid, ominous, they seemed a fiery threat



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screamed forth by the slaves; it was as t-ough a
great knell were sounding over the whole parish, the
whole island, as though the fires so fiercely burn-
ing in the distance were a sign and indication ot
the purging that had already begun.
She slept fitfully that night; was up early the
next morning: this was Thursday, and she expect-
ed to hear something from Frederick O'Brian. He
must have done all that he could on Tuesday and
Wednesday to warn the Negroes against madness
and violence, to plead with the slave owners for
leniency, intelligent action and justice. He had
failed; it was fated that he and Morton must fail.
But now they could return to their respective
homes, knowing that at least they had done their
best, that at least they had left nothing untried.
It was about nine o'clock in the forenoon that
she heard a horse being furiously ridden towards
the Great House. The sound stopped- for a
while at Mr. Buxton's residence, was then
resumed, and in a few minutes Mashimba's son,
Charles, was rapping loudly at one of the back
doors of the Great House, calling for admission. A
frightened servant brought him to the baroness.
She looked at his face and read there grief and
consternation. Her heart sank.
"What is it, Charles?" she gasped.
"Mr. O'Brian and Mr. Morton, ma'am," he
stammered, then stopped.
"Well?"
"I hear they was riding into Montego Bay
early this morning when them met a lot of the re-
bels. The rebels didn't l;norJ. w.vho they were, and
shot them dead, milady. Some gentlemen an' their
slaves going to Montego Bay found the bodies an'
took them to the Bay. They are in the Court House
now, and they making coffin for them. They
send already to Mr. Morton's property and to Plim-
sole to tell them what happened, and I come to
tell you."
She had been standing with one hand resting
'on a table; now she leaned heavily on the table.
feeling that if she moved she would stagger and
fall. An intense silence prevailed for many mo-
ments, then she whispered, "Are you certain Mr.
O'Brian has been killed, Charles?"
"Yes, missis," answered the boy sobbing; "they
allow me to go into the Montego Bay Court House
and I saw the body."
Another spell of silence. It seemed to her in-
deed as though the very wind had fallen suddenly,
that the trees were standing still to hear the tid-
ings Charles had brought. It seemed to her that


:.methiig within her breast had turned to lead.
And an icy chilliness pervaded her frame. Fred
deadly This was the end of his effort to help others;
his effort to help her. Death. Somehow she had
never imagined that this would be the conclusion
in so far as he was concerned; she had expected to
have to fight for her own freedom, but had
in her inmost heart believed in her victory should
Fred stand at her side. But now, in an instant as it
were, a black curtain had rolled down between her
present and all the future that she had recently
hoped for. She bowed her head; but at once she
raised it again, remembering that this news was


a call to action by her, that tears must come
after. At the moment there was work to be done.
"Charles," she said, striving to make Her voice
firm, "go to Mr. Buxton's house and tell him I
want a wain with four strong mules to go at once
to Montego Bay to bring Mr. O'Brian to Hope Vale.
You have told him already what has happened,
haven't you?"
Charles nodded assent.
"Also tell young Mr. Buxton that I want him
to go to Montego Bay with you and me at once,
and tell Mr. Buxton himself that he must come to
me as soon as the wain is ready." She turned and


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Mdse. Dept. 'Phone 3770 Repair Dept. 'Phone 4100.


I


1943-44







PLANTERS' PUNCH


gave rapid orders to one of her -male servants;
she herself was going to Alontego Bay immediately.
Then she passed into her room to don her riding
habit. When she was ready the men she had sent
for were at the Great House. Both the Buxtons'
faces expressed sorrow: but a wise instinct pre-
vented them trom uttering a word. They had seen
in her face that condolence would now be of no
service and most unwelcome.
To the older Buxton she gave instructions as
to where Frederick's grave should be dug. "He
will be buried here," she said with finality, "not
at Plimsole: I will take the responsibility. We
will bury him by the river. I think he would have
preferred that."
Charles had changed his mount for a fresh
horse; with him and Mr. Buxton's son she set off
on her ride to Montego Bay, the four mules and
"he wain"thundering in her rear towards the
town.
Montego Bay was full of militia men, who
apparently preferred" the safety of the town to the
perils of the hills where the rebels were believed
to be lurking. Strange and varied uniforms mark-
ed out the officers of this force: but at any rate
families who came seeking"refuge in Montego Bay
knew that so long as the militia were there the
rebels would not dare to attack the place. There
had been some attempt at placing sentries on the
roads leading to Montego Bay; but the baroness,
accompanied by a white and a black retainer, had
no difficulty whatever in gaining entrance; follow-
ing Charles she rode to the Court House, mounted
the steps, and passed into the main hall of the
building, Four coffins were laid out there, in each
9f them a body. These bodies had been decently
cleansed; on their faces was a look of peace. At
the left of the row was hone whom she recognized
at once. She fell on her knees beside the bier, and
kissed with passion the pale cold forehead of her
dead lover.
In the room were many planters, men who
were waiting for the arrival of the roops from
Kingston, some of them commanders of the local
militia. Some of them knew who she was, others
enquired; some muttered that she was responsible
for the troubles that had broken forth, others'shook
their heads deprecatingly at this suggestion: lile
Mr. Buxton, they felt that the rebellion would haye
come-in any case. The baroness rose from her
knees, and speaking to young Buxton, asked him
to employ a few men to take the coffin containing
Frederick to the wain outside; but first, she said,
the lid must be screwed on. One of the people
in the room asked her if she had any authority to
move the body. She replied brusquely that she
had. The man hesitated-"I was engaged to be
married to Mr. O'Brian next week in Kingston,"
she said. "He has no one else but me. Isn't that
enough?"
After that no one interfered with her; after
all, Frederick O'Brian was dead and evidently was
to receive a decent burial. Young Buxton and
Charles had got half a dozen men in the street out-
side the Court House; these at a word from the
white man screwed the lid on the coffin, hoist-
ed it on to their shoulders, and began to move
slowly out of the room and down the stairs. Dry-
eyed, the baroness watched them go, then without
glancing to right or left followed them, and rode be-
hind the wain to Hope Vale. The funeral was to
follow immediately on the body's arrival at the
estate. There could not be a moment's unnecessary
delay in this tropical climate.
Few mourners stood around the grave that
afternoon; the Buxtons, Psyche Huntingdon, old
Mashimba and his son, and the baroness only, with
the elder Buxton reading the funeral service. The
baroness stood aloof from all the others, and those
who watched her immobile face never guessed how
terrible was her fight against the inclination to
scream aloud her grief to the winds of heaven, to
rail at fate. tp heap curses at the bitter fortune
that was hers. She fought her battle silently, and
triumphed over her insurgent emotions, but the
struggle was awful, exhausting. Physically and
spiritually her strength had almost gone out
of her. One sentence only she uttered that
indicated how deeply this wound had entered her
l~eait, words that startled those that heard them.
"'My grave will lie next to Mr. O'Brian's," she said.
.'Don't forget that I wished for this."

S CHAPTER XIV
AS IT WAS IN THE BEGINNING
THE maids went soft-footed about the house,
deep sympathy depicted in every line of their
countenances. At times one of them would pause
before the closed mahogany door of the baroness'
bedroom, believing that she heard within the
sound of awful, piteous sobbing. But she dared
not rap and make enquiries; and when she sought
out some of her companions they too were helpless;
all they could do was to allow their emotional na-
ture to have full vent so that they might weep un-
restrainedly with the stricken lady who lay in the


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darkness, sobbing as though her heart would
break.
Later on came Mr. Buxton and Psyche Hun-
tinedon to the house. Psyche Huntingdon had been
taken by l1Mr. Buxton to his residence, where she
had sat upon a chair on the back verandah, with her
head between her hands, motionless, thinking only
of the terrible disaster that had come upon her
daughter, the daughter whom she had not dared to
acknowledge except to those who knew. When it
was dark, Mr. Buxton suggested to her that they
should walk over to the Great House: "It maybe
that the baroness needs some help," he said; "any-
how, the least we can do is to offer it."
It was Buxton who rapped at the bedroom
door when they got to the Great House; a voice
strained, the voice of a woman who had been
weeping, answered, "Who is that?"
"Psyche Huntingdon and me, milady," Buxton
answered. "Do you want anything? Can we do
any thing9'
"No. but both of you may come here tomorrow
morning, say at about eight. I shall want to see
you then."
This appointment caused a strange uplifting of
the spirits of both Buxton and Psyche: it assured
:hrm that the baroness was contemplating nothing
desperate immediately or she would hardly have


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made the appointment. They had never known
her to break her word.
A maid whispered something to the old nurse.
"What about dinner, milady?" she asked. "It is
late now, and you haven't eaten anything since
morning."
"One of the maids may bring me some coffee
and a few biscuits later," said the baroness.
"Goodnight."
They left then, and half an'hour after'they had
gone the baroness came out of her room, her face
set and drawn but with no tears in her eyes, and
five minutes after one of the women attached to the
house brought in a large coffee pot With coffee, a
sugar bowl, a jug of hot cow's milk, fresh butter
made on the estate, and bread and biscuits, all
tastefully arranged to tempt the baroness' appetite.
Thece things were placed on the table in the dining
room; she sat at the head of. the table and ate and
drank mechanically, drinking more coffee than was
her wont at night but eating very little. "You have
a small coffee mill in this house, haven't you?" she
asked the maid when this improvised supper was
finished.
"Yes, missis."
"Bring it with some parched coffee and a spirit
stove, and leave them on the sideboard. You may
bring some milk and sugar also."


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1943-44








PLANTERS' PUNCH


59


I-. t


The maid did as she was bid, and awaited the
next order.
"You may all retire now," said the baroness,
"I want to do some writing. Lock the doors and
open the house at seven o'clock tomorrow morn-
ing."
"That is late, milady," ventured the maid.
"It will be early enough tomorrow. Daphne,"
retorted the baroness kindly-
"The lights, missis?" questioned the maid.
"I will see that they are put out," said the
baroness; "you need worry yourself about nothing."
Left alone with the outer doors of the Great
House all closed and locked, She went to a small es-
critoire that she had had moved into the dining-
room, sat down and commenced to write. It was a
long letter that she wrote to her son, addressed to
the care of his guardian in England. The letter
was not to be handed to the boy until he was six-
teen years of age, she stipulated, and in it she told
him that he would never see her again, "for", she
wrote, "I have fallen a victim to one of the dis-
eases of this country, and am not likely to recover,
though this you may not learn for years." She ad-
vised him never to come to Jamaica-what is the
sense? she asked. ''What could you do here?
Emancipation, freedom, is coming apace. Long be-
fore you are sixteen, dearest, perhaps, indeed, next
year, there will not be a slave in this country.
Hope Vale is in good hands. You may want to sell
it when you are of age (as you know. everything
I possess has been left to you, this property in-
cluded, and I do not believe that you will ever
want for money). But don't sell the property if
young Buxton is still in charge of it and can make
it even pay its way without any profit accruing to
you; he is a good lad and will prove worthy of your
trust.
"I think his father will be dead by then: but
one can never tell. I have made arrangement's :hat
the old man shall not want if he should retire at
any time; but I wish you always to bear him in
mind, and his son also."
There was much more in this letter. Put in an
envelope and sealed, it was addressed in firm re-
solute handwriting and left on the escritoire. The
baroness ;ten glanced at the huge clock that re-
lentlessly ticked away the hour.1 on the mahogany
sideboard. It registered only ten. She moved to
an armchair, placed her right cheek against her
hand. the elbow resting on the arm of the chair.
and began to think.
So this was the end of it all. As it was in the


beginning so was it now: in a way the wheel of
her life, begun to revolve so long ago, had come
full circle at last. She knew the truth. Josephine
Brookfield had died at her mother's hand because,
otherwise, she would have taken away Charles
Huntingdon, noble in character in his way, a great
gentleman, but perhaps the weakest of the male
Huntingdons who had ever been born. But for
that murder-for murder it was-she herself, the-
baroness, would never have been born.
She knew that no one remembered Josephine
Brookfield now; even Buxton, who might years ago
have shuddered at the killing of the youthful white
woman, and have been on her side, never gave
her a thought in these days; and if he did he would
probably assert that what Psyche Huntingdon had
done was right. For now he believed in Psyche.
In thirty years his mind had probably undergone
a complete change and revolution. She felt that
Buxton had changed.
He approved of everything her mother had-
done. He believed that his sable silent co-
adjutor, who never had forgotten all these years
that he was a white man and entitled to respect,
was always right.
But was she right? The years had passed;
Psyche Huntingdon had stood but a few hours ago
by the grave of the one man the baroness had ever
loved, with the sole exception of Charles Baron
Huntingdon, her father. Psyche had seen, almost.
the end of the circling of the wheel she had set
in motion so long ago. The finality was yet to
come. And that would be bitterest of all for the
unfortunate woman. She would pay to the full.
She, at least, would not believe that she had been
always right.
But did it matter? wondered the baroness. Did
anything matter' Thirty, forty years hence, indeed
ten or five years hence, who would think of her, or
of her lover. or of any personality connected with
this lttle tragedy of her life? How many indeed
would think of it tomorrow? No more surely than
a mere handful of persons.
Some words came to her memory; she remem-
bered having read them years before; in the Bible,
she thought. They said that in the hereafter there
should be no more sorrow, no more weeping, no
more pain. She believed that was true: and all
she wanted now was oblivion: she wished to be
nothing, nothing. During the last few weeks she
had surely suffered more than enough of pain of
heart. more than enough of sorrow, and now she


knew, as never before in her life had she known,
what weeping meant.
She turned her eyes to the sideboard; two hours
had passed; it was now midnight. She rose deci-
sively, poured the parched coffee into the little!
mill, and out of her pocket drew an envelope con-
taining the few withered beans which Psyche Hun-
tingdon had given to her and which had come
years before from far-off Africa. Two would be
enough, she knew; two had paralysed and then
killed a strong calf only the other day: the beans
had not lost theii terrible potency, perhaps would
never lose it. She ground the coffee and the poi-




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PLANTERS' PUNCH


son beans together, carefully poured the powdered
stuff into a metal coffee pot with water, and placed
the pot on the spirit stove to boil. When it was
ready she drained off the liquid, put into it milk
and sugar and slowly drank it: it was badly made,
muddy. There was another cup of coffee left; that
also she drank: .then the few remaining poison
beans she took, and, one by one, she hurled each
of them out of a separate window of the dining
room with all the strength of her arm. They were
tiny shrivelled things, they never would be found
she was convinced. As to the envelope that had
contained them for so many years, that was torn
to little pieces, and held in the palm of her hand
outside an open window to be wafted away by the
cold, strongly-blowing December wind.
The coffee prevented her from sleeping; but
she did not wish to sleep. She still had thinking
to do, her past to review, her happy past in Eng-
land, for even when her husband had died she
had felt no terrible sorrow such as affected her
now when she thought of Fred O'Brian lying in
his grave so near to the Hope Vale river, separated
from her for ever so long, she thought, as she was
alive. A happy youth, and then this! Was it for
this she had been born? And poor, unhappy Fred?
It was midnight now; she too should be dead


PETER


sometime after midday tomorrow. In the afternoon
they would bury her, or on the following morning
at latest. And she would lie by Fred, and in time
to come the very site of their graves would be for-
gotten.
She would not live without him; she knew he
was the only man she had ever loved, would ever
love. Poor Fred; weak perhaps, but noble at heart
and a gentleman, and dying in a noble cause with
r-n.tther man who also stood superior to the men
about him. A gentleman to the last moment of his
life.
So she thought. forgetting to extinguish the
candles until most of them burnt down to their
metal sockets, then guttered loudly and went out.
And so the hours passed until through the open
windows to the east she saw the sky lighten, the
stars dimmed, and opaline and rosy streaks appear.
The glow of morning was spreading over the earth.
Another day had dawned. Then she noticed that
her legs we growing heavy.., The poison was
taking effect But there was no pain.
At seven o'clock the servants began to open
the doors of he Great House; one of the maids
coming in witt brush and wax to polish the floor
of the dining room was startled to find the baroness
in an armchair staring before her. The maid hur-


DESNOES'


ried to her side, thinking that perhaps she had
fallen asleep and had just been awakened.
Quite clearly the baroness spoke to her: "I am
very ill, Phyllis; I think I am dying. Miss. Psyche
and Marse Buxton are coming here at eight o'clock;
if you like you can go and tell them to come
now."
The maid uttered a shriek which brought
others hurrying into the room; then she rushed
off to Mr. Buxton's place to tell him what the ba-
roness had, said. Very soon Buxton and Psyche
Huntingdon appeared at the Great House, panting
with exertion; they had run most of the way. Psyche
fell on her knees beside the baroness "Oh, God,"
she cried, "what is the matter, me darling? The
girl said you were dying."
Buxton, after one glance at the baroness, had
hurried outside and had ordered one of the'men-
servants to rush over -to his house and tell his son
to ride hell-for-leather to the Bay and bring a doc-
tor-two doctors if he could get them-"and tell
him he must go at once," the father added. Buxton
then returned to the dining room to hear the ba-
roness speaking to Psyche Huntingdon.
"Yes," said the baroness, a little while after
the old woman had spoken, "yes, I am dying, of
the same means that Josephine Brookfield died of,
mother-for I know that you are my mother, have
known it for sometime now. This is no time for
any further pretence; let us face the truth. I am
dying. but there is no pain. And I have no re-
grets. Maybe it was fated that I should die like
this; perhaps it is just as well. Your doctor will
come," said she, raising her eyes slowly to Buxton;
"but will perhaps say that I died of heart failure
or something of the sort, brought on by the slaying
of Frederick O'Brian. I do not think he will be
very wrong, if we look at the ultimate cause of
my death. Had Fred lived, I should have wanted
to live also; I do not want to live now that he is
'dead."
She ceased to speak, and the others watched
her. Psyche .Huntingdon knew that there was- no-
thing that could be done to save her now; Buxton
felt helpless; the men and women of Hope. Vale,
amongst whom the news had in some mysterious
way spread rapidly, gathered weeping about the
building, while some of them whispered that the
spirit of Frederick O'Brian had come to take her
with him so that in death they should not be di-
vided. It was towards midday that she fell into
a coma. In another few hours she was dead.
Early on the following morning those who had
stood around the grave of Frederick O'Brian con-
signed the body of the Baroness de Brion to the
earth; though on this occasion a clergyman from
Montego Bay read the funeral service, and not Mr.
Buxton, as on the day before. Meanwhile, in Eng-
land, a lusty little boy laughed and played, enjoy-
ing the winter's cold and the flakes of snow that
fell at intervals, revelling in all that was beautiful
about him, and giving not a thought to the mother
who, at that moment, was lying forever still in a
far-away Jamaica grave.
THE END

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Full Text


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