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.