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.

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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.”