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The Birdsall caravan arrived at the Juliand home; however, it looked abandoned with the shutters and doors closed.

 

Julliands home shuttered

 

Epinetus told George Parks the following.

 

“’Mistah Birdsall’ came the unmistakable voice of Samuel. They looked around and finally saw Samuel scrambling up from the river’s edge. ‘Mistah Birdsall’ Samuel called again with obvious joy. ‘We been worry’n bout ya; supposed to be here last week.’”

 

Samuel

 

“’Had some trouble Samuel’ replied grandfather as he waved his hand toward the wagon. ‘My son is broke up, I have some blind sheep and my horses are lame.”

 

“Samuel looked at Uncle Henry but dared not approach him. Samuel then studied the sheep with a puzzled look. Finally he went to the horses with self assurance and gently touched their legs while studying the open wounds made by the brakeless wagon.”

 

“Samuel spoke with more confidence than Grandfather had ever heard him speak before.’Mistah Juliand, he be on the Caribbean again. He tell me to have you stay in da house when you arrive. You take care of da boy. I take care of da horses. Da sheep – – I canna help – – maybe my missus know how.’”

 

Samuels Wife

           

“Grandfather replied that he would not feel comfortable staying in another man’s home. Samuel insisted; ‘Mistah Juliand be plenty mad with me if’n you don’t stay, please help, you stay Mistah Birdsall.’”

 

“Grandmother Abashaby had another one of those secret conversations with Grandfather Henry. Grandmother’s eyes flashed toward Uncle Henry, then to the sheep and finally on the horses. Grandfather apparently relented and spoke to Samuel. ‘All right Samuel, but just for one day.’”

 

“Samuel’s eyes brightened. ‘Mistah Birdsall, da house be unlocked. You take da family inside, I take da horses and wagon in da barn.’”

 

“Eventually realizing that he had overlooked a social requirement Grandfather said ‘Samuel, this is my wife Abashaby, my son Henry, and my younger son Horace.’ Then by age he started with the oldest daughter. ‘And these are my daughters Hester, Fanny, Abashaby, Rachel, Deborah, Eliza, and Polly.’”

 

“Samuel acknowledged each person with his bright eyes that complemented the big smile on his face. ‘Big family Mistah Birdsall, nice big family.’”

 

“Grandfather had promised to stay one single day in the Juliand home. That soon extended into four days thanks to the insistence of Samuel, the excellent meals that his missus provided, the availability of a warm bath for everyone, and the good care of Henry and the horses.”

© wtomosky

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