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~ 'The Rails, Some Hemp, and A Hanging' ~ (779 hits)


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~ ‘A livin man, a livin man… I wants to be a livin man.
In all da world, he moves around, he walks around, he turns around…
I sees each tree, I reads each vein, I hears each worm upon each leaf…
The buzzing flies, the splashing fish, they moves around this livin man…
A livin man, a livin man – I want to be a ‘Living Man.’ ~

‘The Rails, Some Hemp, and A Hanging’
"A Believers' View"
By
Gregory V. Boulware, Esq.
http://therailssomehempandahanging.blogspot.com/


The Sun hadn’t risen to light up the world this morning. This pain-in-the-ass of a war has proven fruitless. It has put us all in a terrible bind. The ‘Blue-Bellies’ outside were laughing and joking right under the window of my jail-cell window. And as I recall, I think I could see several ‘darky’s’ planting, plowing, picking, and singing in the distance. The damned ‘Yankees’ have taken all that belongs to us…

A couple, maybe three of four birds chirped and sang in the distance. There could not have been any more than that, I’m sure. The Yankee soldiers outside reveled in their mastery while enjoying the aromatic scents of ‘Hemp’ and ‘Moonshine.’ There was no other way to get liquor other than someone making it themselves. There was no store-bought liquor to be had for miles in any direction.

The company had its share of ‘shiner’s’ on both sides of the war-torn fences. Their horses bayed and pranced in the cold damp yet dark beginning of the day’s morn. My hanging tribunal was short and to the point. My foolish guilt could not be reversed, albeit, my hatred for these ‘Blue-Coats’ and their Black supporters surpasses my pain and sorrowful agony. I do long for the fragrance and joys of home… My dear sweet ‘Abbey,’ my darling wife and young’uns; my plantation and memories of France cut at my brain.

In France I was broke, poor, and penniless… Here in South Louisiana, I have become rich, powerful, and wholesome. I have more than a hundred acres of land manned by two-hundred and eighty-five of the best young and strong Black livestock in the territory. Four hundred head of cattle graze on my lands. The farmyard houses chickens, geese, ducks, pork, and several dozen head of living horse flesh along with a few dogs and cats. I am a very wealthy man indeed.

These invaders, these usurpers, these Black-defenders who have confiscated our properties…must all return to their northern domains and domiciles or die. We have made and taken great lengths and efforts to drive them out. They will not relinquish our belongings…they will lose theirs!
Cowards and subordinates have taken the places of my one time friends and neighbors. They have cravingly crept into running, hiding, and collaborating with the disciples of the leader of reform, abolition, and reverse slavery for white land owners and the young’uns. I sir, will not allow it, not at all. Someone ought to put a bullet in the head of that tall and long bearded charlatan in that ‘White-House’ Capital of theirs!

I will fight them to my last breath. I will spit on thee and kill thee upon sight of your blue coats. Bounties have been imposed on you white folks who hire, save, utilize, employ, and/or hide any Black run-away slaves or so-called Union Soldiers. I will kill them, and kill them until I can kill them no more. I will shoot their horses, cook their dogs and livestock…and hang anyone who interferes. Their buildings, houses, transportation, bridges, and trestles are game subjects for the targeting of my wrath and abhorrence for their tyranny! Resistance will not be futile.

Did I kiss my wife and daughters this morning? I, for the life of Me do not recall. I cannot remember!
The drifting tufts of the smoking hemp are most gratifying… I’d like a pipe-full. My pipe-full, did I leave it on the terrace table next to my comforting rocking-chair? I do believe that I have. I left it for my return to relaxation once the bridge is blown. That will stop the intrusion, the advancement of these ‘*****-lovers’ from coming down here, through here.

The morning…its’ beginning was indeed ominous. It was strangely and mysteriously overcast with heavy thick clouds of gray and dulling-whiteness overhead. One bird made a noise that I could hear. The keys of the jail-house door clang and rattled. No breakfast did I receive; no water for washing or drinking was permitted either.

The voiceless ‘Blue-Bellies’ had come for me. It was a time to reflect my misgivings. Do I have any? I wonder. The coldness of the morn and the trembling of my fear, have caused me apprehension to begin the procession to the bridge. I did resist. I did struggle against them, my enemies. But it was all for naught. And then I complied with their directions. We marched from the jail-house toward the desolation of the ‘Owl Creek Bridge.’

A Posted Warning:
‘ORDER…ANY CIVILIAN CAUGHT INTERFERING WITH THE RAILROAD BRIDGES, TUNNELS, OR TRAINS WILL BE SUMMARILY HANGED!’
~This 12 of April 1862~

The posted sign warned all who would keep men as slaves while opposing a right and just law. But this stalwart southerner, tried to blow up ‘The Owl Creek Bridge’ anyway.
“Yes, something occurred at ‘The Owl Creek Bridge’ one morning during the war. It was a chilly, misty, and cloudy one at that.

I was a private when we hung em.” The officer continued on with his recollection. “He was defiant as hell, right up until the end, well, least ways when we put that ‘hemp-rope’ around his neck. We tied his legs and feet so’s they won’t kick and flail. He cried. We then stood his cowardly ass atop a nice new plank…and dropped him like a sack of ‘tatter’s’ in the drink. Lucky for him there was no ‘gators’ swimming about.”

The drum-roll sounded. A bugle blew the morning ‘reviles.’ An owl was heard hooting just as I heard the commander bark the order:
‘FIRST SQUAD, STAND-FAST! FORWARD HUPP!’

Then, the sound of marching boots…including those which covered my feet. The owl began to sound like a child’s whistle, a flute, or maybe a turtle-dove.
The first Sergeant; with my eyes I did see him un-winding and unraveling the knotted hemp. This was being done in preparation for the perfect noose-fitting around my neck. It simply did fit just perfectly.

Wet from perspiration, my jet-black, long wavy hair did drip the sweat all over me. Blowing through was the wind, but not through the dead looking, leafless trees all around. They just stood there staring at me, laughing at me without an ounce of pity or sorrow; the dead looking, and lifeless gray things. They appeared to be burnt wistful embers of black, gray, and white sinews.
The snow fell from the sky a few days ago. I trembled. I heard my pocket-watch tick…
“Take his watch!” A voice ordered. It was taken away as I stood backward upon a fresh new plank of wood.

Was I dreaming this horrible thing? Abbey, Abbey, my dear darling ‘Abigail.’ Am I not home with you and the babies, my darling? Do I feel the warmth of our bed and the tender bliss of our happiness?

‘A living man, I want to be a living man…’ My dearest, I am with thee, I see thee – I do; I feel thee.

~ ‘A livin man, a livin man… I wants to be a livin man.
In all da world, he moves around, he walks around, he turns around…
I sees each tree, I reads each vein, I hears each worm upon each leaf…
The buzzing flies, the splashing fish, they moves around this livin man…
A livin man, a livin man – I want to be a ‘Living Man.’~

“At ten-hut!” shouted the commanding officer. I cried some more… Plunging down, down, and further down into the cold, cold drink, I was suddenly shocked. The cold icy-water pulled me straight to the bottom. My shiny new black knee-high boots filled with creek liquid. I was forced to part with them once I was free of my bonds. The fish gazed and gawked from in front of me and from behind every crevice. I hurriedly swam to the top for air. At the surface, there was plenty to be had.
I heard the birds singing and chirping. I saw the flowers and blooming blossoms on the trees. A beautiful spider was mending her web as a wondrous green frog leaped from one leaf to another… A shot splashed close to my left ear. I saw the soldiers up on the train’s bridge. They were training their weapons upon me…they are going to shoot me, to kill me!

They were steadily shouting at me as I quickly swam away. I swam very fast as though my life depended on it. I outswam their bullets. Under the water, the fish and a tortoise joined me in the trek. I surfaced for air and swam a bit further. A ‘Cottonmouth’ saw me and wiggled in my direction. Diving beneath him allowed an avoidance. They kept shooting at me with handguns, rifles, and cannons. The hemp was still about my neck. Somehow, it had broken from the fall off the bridge.

“He must be hanged! Sergeant, give the order to open fire!”

“Yes sir!”

“If it’s necessary, fire the cannon as well!”

“PRESENT YOUR ARMS! STAND FAST MEN! STEADY MEN, STEADY…AIM, FIRE! HE MUSTN’T ESCAPE! THERE HE IS…HE’S STILL MOVING. HE WON’T GET FAR. HE’S LIKE A RAT IN A TRAP… IN A TRAP, A TRAP, A TRAP! FIRE AT WILL!”

They continued firing and reloading. The bullets and shells hit all around me in the water. The more I swam, the lesser the fire-power. The white-water rapids were now upon me. They threw me this way and that way, hither and fro…they carried me closer and closer towards home.

The forest changed from cold dead limbs to lively and beautiful green leaves with healthy foliage upon the ground. I ran heavily through the fields and into the woods. I ran and ran for what seemed like endless hours. The gunshots and cannon-fire drowned and disappeared in the distance behind me. Then suddenly a familiar pathway opened up in front of me. It pointed, beckoned to me to come hither. The trees, the tallest redwoods or dogwoods that I’ve ever seen stood on either side of the roadway. Wagon traffic must have traversed these woodlands. The pathway was worn well. I ran and ran some more…I ran toward home.

It was familiar, yet it was not. The twenty foot tall wrought-iron double gates stood closed at the end of the pathway. They opened wide upon my approach and closed tightly behind me after I’d passed through. I kept on running, running towards home.
My shoeless feet bled as I began to walk. I’d fallen from running. I was tired but rejuvenated with my new found freedom. I began to skip through the *****-willows. I then saw it. The multiple tall white columns that adorned the veranda was a welcomed sight indeed. My heart jumped and skipped with gladness. The porch, upon which my rocking-chair sat, the table whose top kept good my corn-cobb pipe filled to the brim with the best flavored hemp, accompanied by a bowl of my savory smoking tobacco. Next to it was my little brown jug.

The mansion’s multi-paned windows gleamed in the bright and warm sunlight. The immaculate and tasteful clothing that I wore were now tattered, dirty, and full of filth. They were shredded to mere rags. I did not care. I was home.

There she is, there she comes… My dear sweet and most beautiful Abbey. I could hear my children laughing and playing…she ran to me – for me…Abigail, my loving wife.

She saw me running toward her. I could not get there soon enough, fast enough. My rags flittered in the racing wind. What was left of my once magnificently embroidered vest simply hung from my shoulders. My pantaloons were mere shreds about my hips and thighs…I did not care. I was finally and completely home!
She reached for me and hugged me. She kissed and caressed me. She held me tightly. I felt her breast upon mine. I felt her warm and full lips upon mine. Her heartbeat was strong as she held me fast and firm. I was home – fully and completely home.

“This is strange dear Abbey…it’s eerily and suddenly quiet. Where are the ‘darkies?’” She quietly smiled. Her pearly white teeth and ruby red lips simply smiled at me. Her beautifully long thick black hair flowed with a sudden gust of wind as she kissed me once more.
“To bed my dear…I wish to bed thee now. It seems like it’s been so long since we’ve made beautiful love. The warmth of you and our bed will feel oh so very delightful, indeed.
Where are the children – where are all the animals?”

She hugged and kissed me some more…and simply smiled as we turned toward the house and the bedroom.
I was happy, oh so very happy and relieved.
I began to cough…it grew worse and would not stop. Abbey smiled and reached for me with open arms and a deliciously delightful kiss that I did not, could not receive. The pain in my neck…on how painful it was.

“My ears heard a pop and a snap while my eyes beheld the bridge full of soldiers above and the cold murky water flowing below… The steady swinging portrayed the cold gray sky and the wispy willows of the dead and lifeless land …all about.
My mind’s ear heard singing. It was the voice of a Black singing an old familiar song of the south. Was this sound also a dream?”
~
‘A livin man, a livin man, I wants to be a livin man…
In all da world, he moves around, he walks around…
I sees each tree, I reads each vein, I hears each worm upon each leaf…
The buzzin flies, the splashin fish, they moves around this livin man…
a livin man, a livin man – I want to be a ‘Living man!’ ~
~

Peyton Farguhar was just plain stupid. He was not a soldier nor was he involved in the activities of the war. He was a civilian southern plantation owner with a family and the owner of slaves.
Peyton was a secessionist who wanted to be a soldier. He wanted to strike a blow for the sovereign states of the south.

Farguhar suckered himself into involvement by acting on an opportunity to fulfill his wish.
“I’ll blow up the damned bridge!” He was warned not to take action on his own by participants of the horrible conflict and that of his close friends. After his capture and sentencing, he dreamed of home and family like so many of the Black slaves once did, the people he despised, with his neck in a noose.

The bridge intended for destruction, stood over ‘Owl Creek,’ bearing the plank that bared the weight of the doomed believer of the confederacy. Peyton Farguhar wished that he’d remained at home.


Til Next Time...



'G'
https://independent.academia.edu/GregoryVBoulware



‘The Bridge’
~Pg., 13-14, ’HALLOW,’ a journey into now and then~
‘Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge’
Ambrose Bierce, ‘The Twilight Zone,’ Rod Serling
“A Living Man,” Henri Lanoe

'HALLOW II'
https://www.amazon.com/HALLOW-II-Portentous-Sagacious-Redolence-ebook/dp/B06WRVL9QF/ref=la_B00OI16PDI_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1503181611&sr=1-1

The Twin-Pack:
https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=dp_byline_sr_ebooks_1?ie=UTF8&text=Gregory+Boulware&search-alias=digital-text&field-author=Gregory+Boulware&sort=relevancerank

"Amazon"
http://www.amazon.com/Gregory-V.-Boulware/e/B00OI16PDI/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
https://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/profile

and

"Twitter"
https://twitter.com/AuthorBoulwareG
https://twitter.com/hashtag/BoulwareBooks?src=hash

~BoulwareEnterprises~
http://www.BoulwareEnterprises.com
https://about.me/gregory_boulware

*/





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Posted By: Gregory Boulware, Esq.
Saturday, August 19th 2017 at 6:31PM
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Saturday, August 19th 2017 at 6:58PM
Gregory Boulware, Esq.
That was a good read, in gave me some type of insight on someone of the South, the old plantation South a southerner fighting two maintains slavery, who escaped death and want to live again.

Great read Brother Doctor Gregory V. Boulware, Esq.


Saturday, August 19th 2017 at 8:58PM
Deacon Ron Gray
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