‘Dictatorship naturally arises out of democracy, and the most aggravated form of tyranny and slavery out of the most extreme liberty.’ Plato
Will Williams posted the last of his advertisements on the whitewashed noticeboard in front of the central church in Kings Town. Every time he posted one, he read the words but knew, too, that he had a job to do. He was just doing his job. Llewellyn was just doing his job. The men and women were just doing their jobs. Justice. This was justice. Betty, Scipio, Caesar, and Venus had names, just as he had a name. Will had chosen each of theirs. Kofi, Quaquo, Eshe, and Kahina had not.
Will walked to the gunroom to pick up The Register that Llewellyn kept so assiduously.
“Slavery is no more sinful, by the Christian code, than it is sinful to wear a whole coat, while another is in tatters, to eat a better meal than a neighbor, or otherwise to enjoy ease and plenty, while our fellow creatures are suffering and in want.” – James Fennimore Cooper: The American Democrat
Llewellyn Ap Davies felt the surge, the blood rushing as his heart worked harder. The few sweaty beads, trickling from forehead to chin, had turned into a flood. The ties loosened on his soaked cotton shirt, his hands clammy, and his eyes burning. Llewellyn needed to sit down. A plunge would do him the power of good. Into the sea? Too far away and he had not enough time. He was a busy man. The creek or the river might be thing. No. He knew what was in them. Something else, somewhere else. Yes, that would be the thing. He did not sit. He had not time. Llewellyn stopped and watched as William Williams hammered another poster on to another tree.
‘Who is that whom he is talking to? He could certainly do with a good talking to. He lounges so. No surprise given his poor stock. Is that Betty or is it Molly or Venus? Who knows, they all look the same. Have I not told him about setting an example to the boys and girls? And the way he talks to me. His superior, his better, and master. Where would he be, were it not for me I have often asked him? Who on this very earth, in this Godless heaven and hell does that William Williams think he is to talk to me like that? He is nothing but a peasant. A fucking bastard cunt poltroon, that is what he is and I think someone needs to show him his place. God blind me, I will show that pox-ridden shitkarl his place.’ Llewellyn often practised speeches he seldom made.
Llewellyn watched Will depart the woman with a short bow, and then walked over to her. He was out of breath as he reached her, but no less eager to plunge. The creek was just beyond the trees and on that day with the sun, the sweat, the thirst, the hunger; it would be just the thing for Llewellyn Ap Davies.
‘Girl,’ he said addressing the woman from behind her back. ‘I said, “Girl.’’’ Before she could answer, he had clamped his hand about her mouth. She bit his hand. ‘Bitch!’ He punched her in the temple – he would have no trouble from this sow – and grasped her throat, his thumb on her larynx. No noise now from her, no biting. Nothing.
“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.” William Wilberforce
Llewellyn heard footsteps, getting louder as they got closer. He heard breathing, panting, wailing. He could not stop. He had started. He could not stop. No one could stop him. A blow to the side of his head from behind stopped him. He felt himself falling, struggling to see, to identify his assailant. He was falling, he could not see. His trousers fell with him. He had to see. Another blow, to his right temple, as he fell. He could see no more. Llewellyn could not think about seeing, now.