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Rebel Treasure fourteenth post

Rebel Treasure fourteenth post

INT. HEMSLEY’S TAVERN KITCHEN – NIGHT
The kitchen bustles with activity. Romeo is seated at a crowded servants’ table. Lon talks with his childhood friend and family slave.

ROMEO
Bless me, but haven’t you grown. And such a gentleman.

LON
I’m not the only one. Look at you, you’re taller than me.

A SERVING GIRL delivers a steaming platter to Romeo. She smiles at him coyly and drops a curtsy before dashing away.

LON (CONT’D)
How are things to home?

ROMEO
Mostly the same. Though Sissy done had her twins.

LON
Twins?

ROMEO
Yes sir. A boy and a girl. And there’s gonna be a powerful cane crop this year.

Romeo takes a bite of food.

LON
I can’t wait to see home again. It’s been a long time since we sat around the sugar house together.

ROMEO
Oh, we’re not a-headed home.

LON
What?

Romeo puts his fork down, realizing that he’s said more than he should.

ROMEO
Now, I shouldn’t have said anything about that. It isn’t my place. Massa Clay–

Before Romeo finishes talking, Lon is on his feet and out of the kitchen.

HEMSLEY’S TAVERN
The CLATTER of silverware and the BUZZ of voices lend a cheery tone to the busy tavern. Mr. Clay occupies a cozy table in the corner by a roaring fire.

LON
What’s going on? Romeo tells me that we are not going home.

Clay eats a spoonful of the chowder while waving to Lon to take his seat. Without ceremony, Lon plops down and tries to wait for his answer, but loses patience.

LON (CONT’D)
Did my father send you to encourage me to resign?

Clay looks around for eavesdroppers.

CLAY
Please, Mr. Turner, a little discretion.

LON
Are you going to answer my question?

CLAY
First, let us eat. I am famished.

LON
And I, sir, am famished for the truth!

Clay drops his spoon into the bowl and pushes it away.

CLAY
All right then. No. Your father did not send me to influence you. But he did send me–

LON
For what?

CLAY
I see another uniform in your future, Mr. Turner.
(pauses as his words sink in)
I am authorized to offer you a commission, when the time is right, in the Navy of our new Southern nation.

LON
And why would I not be going home, then?

CLAY
Quite simply, we have a mission for you.

The interest and excitement on Lon’s face glows almost as bright as the fire behind him.

LON
Where?

CLAY
We think you should take a tour of the Caribbean. There are some sons of the South serving in the U. S. Army down in Panama, and we want you to contact them and make a similar offer.

Lon grows thoughtful, dropping his eyes to stare at his bowl of chowder.

LON
Would this new nation have an interest in acquiring a shipment of gold?

Clay’s eyebrows rise in surprise, and he leans forward.

LON (CONT’D)
I have heard that every spring a shipment crosses Panama on the way to New York from California. I could keep my eyes open.

CLAY
Do that! A nation runs on the yellow metal. I shall contact my fellow “knights” and we’ll see what they can do to help. I have a feeling that you are going to go far in your profession.

The blaze from the fireplace illuminates the pin on Clay’s lapel – a golden circle.

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About rwoz2

Poet, historian, writer for stage and screen. Responder to Jesus (Romans 5:8)

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