The Property of Lee Harrison Peeters Chapter Eleven: Lovers

28 01 2010

The Property of Lee Harrison Peeters

Chapter Eleven: Lovers

Later in bed, the couple are naked under the bed sheets. Eunice lies on her side,  stroking the stranger’s chest.

The stranger: “What does your husband think of this?”

Eunice: “We have a business relationship. He protects me, and I… iron his shirts.”

The stranger laughs: “So he knows?”

Eunice: “Why are you here?”

Stranger: “Business.”

Eunice: “And what is your business?”

Stranger: “I find things that people lose.”
Eunice: “You are so… evasive.”

The stranger laughs.

Playfully Eunice slaps the stranger’s chest.

Eunice: “Why did you come here? To Canada? It is a long way from your home.”

The stranger: “I came for the clear skies and warm sunshine.”

Eunice: “It is winter.”

The stranger: “I was misled.”

Eunice sternly: “You are impossible.”

The stranger: “I came to find some property that was taken from my employer.”

Eunice: “Is this property so important?”

The stranger: “No. But my employer is a sentimental man.”

Eunice: “Are you sentimental too?”

The stranger rises from the bed and steps over to the window. He looks down into the street below.

Stranger: “How blind are you?”

Eunice: “I can see that you are headed into trouble.”

hard drive melt down

27 01 2010

lost many operating programs…. lost years of work… going into the hospital for a medical maintenance… bad week all around

The Property of Lee Harrison Peeters Chapter Ten: The Bath

24 01 2010

The Property of Lee Harrison Peeters

Chapter Ten: The Bath

An hour later the stranger is sitting in a large bath, big enough for two, in the middle of a room. His clothes are hanging on the wall. A moment later Eunice, (long dark raven hair, full lips, large hips and breasts) enters the room with some towels. The stranger sinks into the water before realizing that the woman cannot see him. She puts the towels down on a table near the bath.

Eunice: “Would you like your back washed, sir.”

The stranger: “Yes, mam.”

Eunice gets behind the stranger and begins to wash him. The soap slips out of her hands. She begins to search around in the water for the soap. Her hands find what she thinks is the soap. She is mistaken.

Eunice: “I’m sorry, sir.”

The stranger smiles: “No. I don’t think you are. And I don’t think you’re as blind as your husband led me to believe.”

Eunice giggles.

The stranger grabs Eunice and pulls her into the tub.

The Property of Lee Harrison Peeters Chapter Nine: Crossroads

22 01 2010

The Property of Lee Harrison Peeters

Chapter Nine: Crossroads

The stranger rides along an empty road. The trees on either side now barren reach out of the snow toward the sky. In places the snow melts and gurgles  under the snow. When the stranger reaches the top of the hill, he takes out a long. In the distance, he sees four riders. Moving along a road toward a crossroads. With the road he is on. There is no mistaking the giant on his horse with his feet almost dragging along the ground. And his three scruffy friends.

The stranger takes out his pipe and waits.

Later that day the stranger arrives in a small village. There is a blacksmith and a small hotel. The stranger beds his horses down at the barn. Then he enters the hotel with his dog. The owner is a small man with wire glasses and a large face, beaming with good will. His cheeks are so red they seem to shine. Perhaps the result of too much alcohol. The  hotel owner’s name is Thomas Montgomery.

Montgomery looking at dog: “That’s a fine looking animal.”

The stranger grins, reaching down to pet the top of the dog’s head.

The stranger: “I’m going to need a room.”

Montgomery nods: “Yes, sir.”

The stranger: “And a bath. A hot bath.”

Montgomery: “That will be extra, sir. My wife will run the bath. And scrub your back.”

The stranger smiles.

The owner looks offended.

Montgomery: “Eunice ain’t no whore. Been blind since childhood.”

Stranger: “I didn’t mean no offence.”

The Property of Lee Harrison Peeters Chapter Eight: The Dirt Road

20 01 2010

The Property of Lee Harrison Peeters

Chapter Eight: The Dirt Road

The stranger is making his way along a dirt road. He spots some wagons ahead of him. The wagons have pulled off to the side of the road. They have set up camp. He stops for a moment. Many of the people are black. The stranger climbs down off his horse. He is met by two men, middle aged. One is a short black man. His fingernails have been bitten down to the bone. His name is Earl. The second gentleman is European. He is tall and heavy set with a heavy beard. His name is Nathan. A young black boy, Winston, runs up and pets the General. The dog responds by wagging his tail and licking the boy’s face.

Stranger: “The General doesn’t like most folks.”

Earl: “Animals can detect the humanity in people.”

Nathan: “How can we help you, stranger?”

Stranger looking around the camp sight: “Where are you folks headed?”

Nathan points down the road to the west, the direction from which the stranger has just ridden.

Winston: “This sure is a fine dog, sir.”

The stranger looks down at Winston.

Stranger: “His name is General.”

Winston: “That’s an odd name, sir.”

Nathan takes a deep breath. Menacingly.

Nathan: “What exactly is your business, mister?”

The stranger smiles at the boy.

Stranger: “It means he’s in charge.”

Earl steps in front of his larger friend

Earl: “Now, Nathan, there’s no need to be unfriendly.” Turns to the stranger. “Maybe you’d like to sit down and have supper with us, sir?”

The stranger gets back on his horse.

Stranger: “It’s kindly of you to ask, sir. But… I’m not much company.”

The stranger turning, pulls his other horse with him. The General looks at the boy then turns and follows the stranger.

Earl turns to Nathan.

Earl: “He had a Virginian accent.”

Nathan: “You could smell it on him.”

The Property of Lee Harrison Peeters – Chapter Seven: The town of Queenston

17 01 2010

The Property of Lee Harrison Peeters

Chapter Seven: The town of Queenston

The stranger steps into a general store. The merchant is a rotund fellow with large mutton chop sideburns. He is well dressed for a merchant obviously advertising the success of his business.  A woman and her daughter are in the shop. They are also well dressed, affluent. The daughter looks at the handsome stranger who has stepped into the store. Her mother slaps her daughter’s hand and attempts to keep her attention. The General is accompanying the stranger. The stranger waits off to one side near the stove that keeps the room warm. The mother is still talking to the merchant. They have moved off to one side.

The daughter looks at the stranger who nods in her direction. She looks down at the ground for a moment than raises her eyes to the stranger again.

Stranger: “What do you do for fun in these parts?”

Young woman: “We go to church.”

The  mother notices that her daughter has been left alone in the company of the stranger. She quickly moves back to her daughter and they depart. When the two women depart from the shop, the merchant turns to the stranger.

Stranger: “I have several questions for you, sir.”

Merchant: “Ahh, you are not from these parts.”

Stranger: “Is it so obvious?”

Merchant: “Your accent. Are you here on pleasure or commerce, sir?”

The stranger ignores the merchant’s question:

Stranger: “I need some provisions. I have a list. And I need a map. I need to get to someplace called York.”

Merchant: “Yes, sir.”

Stranger: “And where can I find lodging? And a warm meal?”

Out in the street the stranger leads his two horses to a barn where they will be lodged. The General walks beside him. The streets are muddy. The melting snow has made a mess of them. When the dog begins to bark, the stranger looks across the street. He notices a familiar face, a blond floppy hair.

The dog barks.

Stranger: “I see him, General. And yes, his good looking friends are around here someplace.”

The stranger looks around at the many people moving through the town. He notices that quite a few of them are black. He examines each face. The black faces look back at him suspiciously.

The Property of Lee Harrison Peeters: Chapter Six: Fort Niagara

15 01 2010

So much of what I write I recall from little performances we made as kids, playing ‘guns and indians’. This scene is one of those. This is basic to human nature, play acting, or participating in universal dramas. For many so called ‘primitive societies’ this play acting or taking on the role of an archetypal hero was what it meant to be human. All our other behaviour that we focus on in our every day lives was unimportant.


The Property of Lee Harrison Peeters

Chapter Six: Fort Niagara

The offices of General Harris

General Harris: “Mr. Peeters.”

Stranger: “Peeters is my employer’s name.”

General Harris glances over at Captain Kelly

Captain Kelly: “You’ve come a long way, sir.”

Stranger: “I like to travel.”

General Harris: “These are difficult times, sir.”

The stranger smiles.

Captain Kelly: “Insurrection, sir.”

Stranger: “Oh, I don’t think it will come to that.”

General Harris: “I was referring to insurrection in Upper Canada. The Queen has her concerns.”

Stranger: “I’m sure she does.”

General Harris: “We heard about you.”

Stranger: “I trust it was flattering.”

General Harris: “News of a stranger, especially a stranger with a Virginian accent travels fast in this part of the world.”

Stranger: “I see.”

General Harris stands up and walks over to a map. He points to the lands north of the American border.

General Harris: “This land is Crown land, sir.”

Rousseau grins.

General Harris, agitated: “There are troubles brewing amongst us here, sir. Sedition. Treason. We do not welcome outside ideas.”

Stranger: “I can assure you, General, my business is property. Lost property. I’m not interested in politics.”

Captain Kelly steps toward Rousseau

Captain Kelly: “We don’t like strangers, period.”

General Harris: “I apologize, sir.” He turns to Captain Kelly. “Now Captain Kelly. Our American cousin is our guest. We must treat him politely.”

The stranger smiles: “No need to apologize, General. I have a dog of my own. They need to bare their fangs every so often.”

Captain Kelly: “We’ll be keeping an eye on you, sir.”

After the stranger departs, the General and Captain confer.

General Harris: “What do you think he’s up to?”

Captain Kelly: “Nothing good, sir.”

General Harris: “Well, keep an eye on him. From a distance. If he starts to preach about revolution, you know what to do.”

Captain Kelly: “Yes sir.”

The Property of Lee Harrison Peeters – Chapter Five: A Ferry

13 01 2010

The period before the American Civil War is a fascinating era. The seeds for the blossoming of the American Empire and the death of the British Empire had been sown. The brutalization of the African and Native American were at its zenith. There was a clear line drawn between right and wrong. The main character I created for this work is an attempt to shape someone who might fall into the ethically grey area. Which is where most people fall during their lives.


The Property of Lee Harrison Peeters

Chapter Five: A Ferry

The ferry takes people across a narrow stretch of the river to the Canadian side.  A large rope joins the two sides. A man pulls the rope that moves the ferry across the river. The ferry master is a small man with stringy hair. A larger man who is black is the main source of power for the ferry although if the river is particularly strong passengers are required to help out.

Ferry Master: “I should wait.”

Stranger: “Wait for what?”

Ferry Master: “For more customers.”

The stranger smiles, looking around. His eyes turn on the ferry master.

Stranger:  “There are more customers.”

Ferry Master: “Where?”

Stranger: “On the other side. In Canada.”

The ferry master looks across the river. A carriage waits with two elderly wealthy looking men.

Ferry Master: “You don’t go telling me what I oughta do. Jim don’t like me getting angry.”

The stranger looked over at the muscular black man who smiled.

Ferry Master: “He ain’t as sweet as he looks.”

The stranger smiles. “I’m sure he ain’t.”

A small family of Indians came around the corner and boarded the ferry.

The ferry moves away from the shore and across the river. The stranger has decided to help the black man to pull the ferry across. The  ferry master stands to one side smoking a pipe. The Indian family stand off to one side, not saying a word.

Ferry Master: “Ain’t necessary. Jim can do the job by himself.”

Stranger: “I don’t mind a little work. Keeps a body warm.”

Ferry Master takes out a flask and has a drink.

Ferry Master: “Belly warmer.”

He offers it to the stranger who takes a swallow. The stranger nods toward Jim.

Ferry Master: “Jim don’t like liquor. Weakens him.”

Stranger: “Can’t Jim speak for himself?”

Ferry Master shrugs. Stranger offers Jim a drink. Jim shakes his head.

Ferry Master: “Don’t have a tongue. Bounty hunters cut it out.”

Jim and the stranger continue to move the boat across the water.

Stranger looking at the river: “Water seems pretty low. Lot of rocks and small islands showing.”

Ferry Master: “You got a good eye. Water is low. I figure there must be a hole upriver in Lake Erie.”

Stranger: “And where is all the water going?”
Ferry Master: “Jim and I figure it must be going to China.”

The Property of Lee Harrison Peeters: Chapter Four Headhunters

9 01 2010

When I was starting to write this piece I had the image of Clint Eastwood playing the part of the stranger. He speaks seldom. And there is an ambiguous ethical quality about Eastwood’s early spaghetti westerns that appealed to me for this character.


The Property of Lee Harrison Peeters

Chapter Four: Headhunters

A freak storm. Snow falling. Flashes of lightning. Thunder. The howling of wolves.

Stranger moves through the storm, holding the reins of a second horse as the dog moves beside them. He has his hat pulled down and a bandana wrapped across his mouth, leaving a small lit for his eyes. The dog barks. Lightning strikes a tree and it flashes into flames. By the light of the burning tree, the stranger spots a wagon. He dismounts and ties his horses to the wagon. The dog barks again.

The stranger climbs into the wagon and immediately pulls back. Sweat runs down his forehead. And into his eyes. Inside the wagon he finds three bodies, a coloured family. The adults have been beheaded. The dead child’s body is intact. It is a girl and she is hugging a doll.

The stranger turns and vomits. The dog whimpers.

The stranger picks up some snow and cleans his face. He moves around the wagon until he finds a shovel.

The stranger: “God damn head hunters!”

The Property of Lee Harrison Peeters – Chapter Three: The General Store

4 01 2010

The Property of Lee Harrison Peeters

Chapter Three: The General Store

The stranger steps into the large log cabin. His dog is beside him. Except for a lamp over the front desk and a lamp hanging from the ceiling in the corner, the room is dark. In the corner under the lamp, four men are playing cards. One is an older man, balding, with none of his own teeth. A second man is much younger, almost a boy (he could be his son). He has a mop of blond hair and buck teeth. He seems to be perpetually smiling. A third man at the table is a giant. Part of his scalp has been removed and is heavily scarred. The fourth man, the best looking of the group, sports a thick handlebar moustache and sideburns. All four men are dressed in skins. They could be trappers or woodsmen. Behind the counter, the merchant stands trying to read a newspaper. The stranger puts a coin down on the counter.

Merchant: “What’ll it be?”

Stranger: “What ever you got.”

Merchant smiles. “That’s good. Cause it’s all we got.”

The merchant takes a bottle from beneath the counter and pours the stranger a drink. The stranger throws it back and puts another coin on the table. A second drink is poured.

Stranger: “I’ll need some things.”

The merchant smiles. The stranger hands him a list. The merchant begins to gather the things and put them on the counter.

The giant: “Get that animal out of here.”

The stranger does not reply but continues to enjoy his drink.

The giant puts down his cards and rises from the table. The dog growls. The giant steps over to the counter where the stranger continues to enjoy his drink.

The giant: “I said to get that…”

Before the giant can finish his statement, the stranger has stuck two of his fingers up the nose of the giant. The giant cries out. The stranger grabs one of the giant’s ears and pulls him down to his knees. His dog bares his teeth. Everything has happened so fast that the other men at the table have not had a chance to react.

Stranger: “I’m thinking if I stick my fingers up any higher I might hit your brain. Of course, I could be wrong.”

The giant squirms.

Stranger: “You hurt the General’s feelings, mister. I think you should apologize.”

The giant struggles to speak. The stranger still has a hold of one of his ears.

Stranger: “You’ll look a lot uglier with just one ear. Of course, I could be wrong.”

The giant in a strained muffled voice. “Sorry.”

Stranger: “My dog doesn’t understand English.”

The giant looks befuddled.

Stranger: “Bark!”