The Property of Lee Harrison Peeters Chapter Thirty: The Head Hunters

31 03 2010

The Property of Lee Harrison Peeters

Chapter  Thirty: The Head Hunters

The leader twists the end of his moustache with his fingers and grins. But, before the quartet of men can make a move, the stranger whips a knife out of his boot and throws it directly between the eyes of the giant. He then takes out his gun and shoots the leader in the shoulder. The leader falls off his horse. The young man who is still smiling finds that his horse has reared up and taken off with him on it. In the meantime, General, the dog has jumped up at the fat man and taken him off his horse but not before he has taken a shot at the stranger, grazing his arm. The fat man cries out on the ground as the dog clamps his mouth over his throat. Moments later the fat man lies lifeless on the ground a pool of blood  in the snow around his head like a halo. The stranger steps over to the leader who is writhing in pain and takes his weapons off him. Then he steps over to his horse and grabs a rope. He ties the screaming leader’s hands behind his back then wraps the rope around the leaders ankles and throws it over the branch of a tree. Using the horse’s strength he pulls the leader over to the tree and  hoists him  up into the air so that he is hanging upside down. He ties the end of the rope to another tree. The stranger attends to his wound, cleaning it and wrapping a bandage around it. Once that is complete, the stranger gets back up on his horse. He looks around.

Joshua has escaped.

The leader turning and twisting from the tree branch: “You can’t leave me like this.”

The stranger: “Spotted a number of bears in the area. Maybe you’ll get lucky and the rope will break. And the fall will break your neck. Or maybe some of these bears are friendly. If you see one, I’d talk politely.”

Leader: “Bastard!”

Taking the Leader’s horse the stranger looks around and, finding Josh’s horse’s tracks, moves off into the woods. The General follows. Behind them the leader screams out curses.

The Property of Lee Harrison Peeters Chapter Twenty Nine: Heads

26 03 2010

The Property of Lee Harrison Peeters

Chapter  Twenty Nine: Heads

The stranger is putting out the fire. Joshua is sitting  waiting, his hands tied together in front. The dog is whining. The stranger turns.

The stranger: “You smell something, General?”

Some time passes. The first light of day has passed and the sun is now rising above the horizon. The stranger has just helped Joshua to mount his horse when a quartet of men appear at his campsite on horseback. It is the headhunters. They are looking into the sun. The boy sits atop a white horse. The other three men sit on black horses. The giant’s legs almost touch the ground making it appear as if his horse is laboring to sustain his weight.

The leader, an old man, looks at the doused fire.

The Leader: “Ah, it’s a shame. We missed breakfast.”

The young boy begins to giggle. The leader looks at him with some distain. The General is snarling.

The old man turns to the stranger then glances at Joshua.

The leader: “Looks like you’ve located some of our property, sir. We’d appreciate it back.”

The giant smiles: “Nice small head.”

The giant lifts a bag off his horse and drops it on the ground. The bag opens and several heads roll out.

The Property of Lee Harrison Peeters Chapter Twenty Eight: Talk

23 03 2010

The Property of Lee Harrison Peeters

Chapter  Twenty Eight: Talk

Evening fire. General lies down near fire, one of his eyes on Joshua. Joshua sits by the fire. His wrists are bound. The stranger is smoking a pipe.

Joshua: “I’ll escape.”

Stranger: “You’ll try.”

Joshua: “It doesn’t bother you…”

Stranger: “Escaping?”

Joshua: “Enslaving a human being.”

Stranger: “You ain’t a human being.”

Joshua: “What am I?”

Stranger: “Property.”

Silence for some time.

Joshua: “There’s a darkness inside you, sir.”

Stranger: “There’s a darkness inside us all. You better get some sleep. We got some hard riding tomorrow.”

Joshua lies down. The stranger finishes his pipe and lies down on the opposite side of the fire.

Joshua: “I feel sorry for you.”

Stranger: “Why would you say that?”

Joshua: “You don’t know what you are.”

The Property of Lee Harrison Peeters Chapter Twenty Seven: Kidnapped

19 03 2010

The Property of Lee Harrison Peeters

Chapter  Twenty Seven: Kidnapped

Groups of men have scattered amongst the woods. Amongst them is Joshua. They walk along the road when one of them stops. The snow along the road has mostly gone. Inside the woods it is white. One of the men at the front of the group turns and gestures to the others to scatter. Hiding in the woods, the men watch a group of British troops led by several officers on horses marching along the road. When they have passed the men come back on the road and continue on. All except for Joshua. He is still in the woods. Behind him the stranger stands, a knife pointed at Joshua’s neck.

The stranger: “That was a good decision.”

Joshua: “You won’t get away with this.”

The stranger: “Looks to me like your friends have bigger fish to fry.”

The stranger ties Joshua’s hands behind his back and helps him onto his extra horse. The stranger mounts his own horse and grabbing the reigns, slips along the road and into the fog of night.

The Property of Lee Harrison Peeters Chapter Twenty Six: Massacre

16 03 2010

The Property of Lee Harrison Peeters

Chapter  Twenty Six: Massacre

In the narrow confines of a city street, a company of British troops is lined up on the road. The line in front is kneeling down, their rifles pointed toward the mob that is approaching them. There is a line of men standing behind those that are kneeling, their rifles pointed at the mob. Behind them is another line of soldiers, waiting. At the front of the mob, Mackenzie continues to harangues his followers, urging them on. As they approach the British troops, the troops open fire. The mob freezes as if they hadn’t expected the troops to fire on them. Another volley reigns on them. Men fall to the ground. A few members of the mob have the presence of mind to fire back. But most are set into panic as a third volley of fire hits them. Mackenzie implories his forces to stop and fight. They run.

The stranger sits on his horse watching from the crest of a hill that overlooks the town. His dog barks.

The stranger: “Fools.”

The Property of Lee Harrison Peeters Chapter Twenty Five: Captain Kelly

13 03 2010

The Property of Lee Harrison Peeters

Chapter  Twenty Five: Captain Kelly

In the clear black sky of night, two riders approach a third. They are silhouetted against a full moon that lays just over the horizon. The moon casts long shadows of the riders across the field of white snow. Of the two uniformed riders who are advancing, one is Captain Kelly. The man they are advancing toward is dressed in civilian clothes.

Captain Kelly: “What have you heard?”

Spy: “They are meeting tomorrow evening. Gathering at Montgomery’s Inn.”

Rider: “We could attack the inn.”

Captain Kelly: “Yes. But we shall wait. Wait until all the mice are in the trap.”

The Property of Lee Harrison Peeters Chapter Twenty Four: Little Elizabeth

8 03 2010

The Property of Lee Harrison Peeters

Chapter  Twenty Four: Little Elizabeth

The stranger steps out of the barbershop. The barber steps out beside him.

Barber: “There’s a new whore in town. They say she’s quite a beauty.”

The stranger: “You don’t say.”

Barber: “If my Amy ever caught me fooling around with some whore, she cut my balls off and sell them as door knockers.”

Noise from down the street. A one legged man, with a peg leg, leads a crowd of people down the street.

Barber: “What’s all the commotion out there?”

One-legged man: “Its horrible.”

Barber: “What?”

One-legged man: “Little Elizabeth.”

Barber: “She gone missing in the woods again?”

Tears ran down the face of the one-legged man.

The crowd of people have reached the barbershop. A preacher walks with his arm around a small black woman. She is holding a doll. No one is speaking unless they are weeping.

The barber grabs the one-legged man by the collar.

Barber: “Out with it, man.”

One legged man: “A bear got her. All they found was the doll.”

The Property of Lee Harrison Peeters Chapter Twenty Three: Joshua Peeters

5 03 2010

The Property of Lee Harrison Peeters

Chapter  Twenty Three: Joshua Peeters

In the kitchen of a house. Several people, including the blacksmith, the policeman, Joshua Peeters , his brother Luke, and wife, Agnes. There is a table with chairs. But many of the people are standing up. The room almost seems too small for people. The ceiling is very low, just over the head of some of the men. The crampness of the room makes everyone bend over as if they were giants. Agnes is making coffee. She has placed several cups on the table.

Joshua Peeters: “It’s him. I seen him on the plantation. Bringing back runaways.”

Blacksmith: “Are you sure?”

Policeman: “With all this talk of rebellion, this couldn’t happen at a worse time.”

Agnes: “Arrest the man!”

Policeman: “On what charge?”

The policeman turns to Joshua.

Policeman: “Is the fellow violent?”

Joshua: “When he brought back runaways, they weren’t always alive.”

Policeman: “Could he be a headhunter?”

Joshua shakes his head.

Joshua: “Even dead, the runaways came back in one piece.”

Agnes: “Headhunters?”

Policeman: “Bounty hunters who hunt down runaways and return their heads to their masters. Proof that they’d been caught.”

Agnes breaks down: “Oh, God!”