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Jeremiah Wilkins shook his head as he looked down from the third-floor porch and watched his fifteen year old son cornering one of the negro girls and, taking her by the hand, dragging her off to the hay barn. He knew exactly what his son planned to do, and although the negro slave girl appeared to not be going willingly, the smile on her face let him know that she was a willing partner and that she knew what was expected of her, and that she would comply and enjoy his son's attentions.
"Damned horny bastard!" he whispered through his teeth as he bit the end of the big stogy cigar hanging from his mouth. Taking the cigar in his nicotine-stained hand, he fondly remembered the night his son was born, and celebrating most of the night until he fell asleep from the moonshine liquor and sexual exhaustion. Smiling, he could almost feel the young, strong bodies of the two teenaged negro slave girls that he spent the night pounding into the straw tick mattress in the spare horse trainer's bedroom in the stable. "I'll have to make sure his Momma don't catch wind of his activities or she'll try to find a way to get rid of his plaything."
Leisurely walking to the other end of the porch, he sat down on a large, comfortable wicker chair, remembering the nights and days that he had enjoyed the mulatto girl's mother and aunt. They continued to be his playthings while his wife recovered from childbirth, that is, until their young bellies began to swell with his babies. That was when he had to curtail his enjoyment of their company because the women of the house, namely, his wife and his mother, conspired and were pressuring his father to sell the girls off to another plantation. And his father had been sorely tempted since a couple of young, pregnant slave girls would bring a top dollar, however, he finally put a stop to their pestering by saying that if they didn't stop their bitching and complaining, he would make them house servants.
The nights that their babies were born, Jeremiah was surreptitiously sent a message and he slipped off to visit with the mothers and see the babies. After holding the two beautiful, light-skinned babies, their features convinced him that he was, indeed, the babies' father. With tears of pride, he assured both of the young, unattached mothers that they would always have a home on the plantation. And both nights when he returned to the Manor House after visiting with his newborn daughters and their mothers, his wife Catherine was waiting for him with vengeance and hatred in her eyes. Wasting no time to express her displeasure, she slapped him as she quietly and hatefully reminded him that since he was unashamed of having his pleasure with the negro slave girls, that her bedroom door would be locked until she was convinced of his repentance and the discontinuance of his illicit relationships.
So, as Jeremiah sat in the shade of the huge pecan trees, the heat and humidity of the southern summer afternoon made bearable only by the shade and the slight breeze that crossed the porch, he smiled, knowing that any time he wanted the pleasures of a woman, he could enjoy the two negro women, for they had been his loving and willing bed partners ever since his proper society wife had turned him away and locked the bedroom door. And much to his wife's displeasure, they had remained his lovers for many years. He didn't have any more children with the negro women, probably because of their own mothers' knowledge of timing and herbs to naturally preclude pregnancies, and by their own choices, the two young slave women remained faithful to their master, and not finding other mates until he released them from his personal care.
As for the two daughters that they bore from his seed, Jeremiah watched them grow into beautiful young women and made sure that they received the best of treatment and were secretly educated in The Three "R's" by the head house servant. Although they were mixed breed and not accepted by white society or the other slaves, they were still his daughters and he wanted to help them any way that he could, bending the laws when he could and demanding submission when he couldn't.
Now his son was unknowingly enjoying the feminine pleasures of his father's illegitimate daughter, and she appeared more than willing to be his teenaged son's lover. Although he didn't approve of incest, it was common practice for the young, white men to find their illicit sexual pleasures with young, black slave girls.
"Maybe I need to speak with Jacob about Abigail," he said aloud to himself. "He needs to be a little more circumspect lest his mother and grandmother suspect him of spending too much time with the girl. In fact, maybe I need to speak with him about Anna, too. I'll speak with their mothers."
But it was too late for talk because the beginnings of a plantation war was already brewing when, later that evening as darkness veiled the day, Catherine was looking from her bedroom window and saw Jacob, Abigail, and Anna lovingly embracing, their kisses more than the temptations of a boy's and girl's experimentation, looking more like the passions of three lovers.
"DAMN YOU, Jeremiah!" she uttered under her breath. "Now your own son is fornicating with your own bastard daughters! DAMN THEIR SOUTHERN PLANTATION CUSTOMS! I'm leaving before the Judgment of Almighty God burns this place to the ground!"
And thus, the decision was made, and within a week, Catherine had convinced Jeremiah's recently-widowed mother to accompany her to Baltimore, assuring her that they would not only take-in their daughter, but receive her mother-in-law as well, especially when they shared with her family the details of the heathen customs of Southern Plantation life. Catherine was the daughter of a wealthy shipping family, and the family's businesses held contracts with numerous cotton growing plantations in the region to ship and deliver their products to the Northern markets and factories. The marriage had been arranged to seal the contracts and assure the family patriarch that the very profitable arrangements would continue into the future. Now, with the clash of cultures, his wife and widowed mother were leaving to find a new life in the North.
Jeremiah and his son, Jacob, stood on the front steps of the Manor House as the carriage, followed by a wagon loaded with cases and trunks, drove toward the main gate and turned onto the highway toward Summerville and the nearest train station.
The timing could not be better for Jeremiah, and could not be worse for Catherine's family as the contracts would soon come up for renewal, and Jeremiah was looking at selling and shipping his cotton, pork, and other cash crops to the more profitable European markets.
"Damned Yankee Abolitionists!" he muttered. "They'll regret the day they packed their bags and left. My decision is made."
"Papa," Jacob asked seriously, "they aren't coming back, are they?"
"No, son, they are not," he replied. "And, it is my fault."
"No, it's not," Jacob replied calmly. "Mother and Grandmother cornered me and demanded that I stop spending time with Abigail and Anna, and I told them that I would not. They really got mad at me when I told them that they were my girlfriends and I would not stop spending time with them. My face hurt for a couple of days from where they hit me."
"So that black eye, the bruises, and the busted lip weren't from fighting?"
"No, sir, they were from Mother and Grandmother."
Jeremiah bit down on his cigar stub, biting off a chunk of sodden tobacco and spitting it onto the ground.
"Well, son, I guess that solves our women problems," he said jokingly, thinking that the big bed that had been his wife's bed would feel much more comfortable than the one where he had been sleeping.
"Well, yes, sir, in a way," Jacob replied. "Are you going to share your bed with Gertie and Alma?"
He looked at his son questioningly, but what he saw was a grown man, tall, broad-shouldered, and looking as strong as a blacksmith. "Why do you ask?"
"Mother and Grandmother told me, and they said that Abigail and Anna are really my half-sisters. I asked Alma and Gertie and they wouldn't tell me at first, but confessed when I told that that I already knew."
"So what are you going to do now that you know about them?"
"That depends on what you do," he responded. "You're still welcome in Alma's and Gertie's beds, so I would think that they are welcome in your bed."
"I have missed them the last few months," Jeremiah said with a smile as he struck a match and lit his cigar, puffing and blowing a huge cloud of smoke into the air.
"Good, because I want Abigail and Anna to share my bed," Jacob proposed, apprehensively.
"I figured as much," he replied. "I'm assuming that you know that's how babies are made."
"Too late, Grandpa," Jacob replied with a devious smile.
Jeremiah looked at his son's pleased expression, and then looked across the expansive front lawn, the dust from his wife's and mother's carriage still visible on the horizon, blowing another cloud of strong-scented tobacco smoke into the cloud forming around his head.
"Well, I guess it's too late to put the mares back in the barn, huh?"
"No, sir," he replied, "the stud's already mounted and succeeded."
"Guess there's no reason to keep them out of the house then, is there?"
"Not as I see it."
They were quiet for a few minutes as Jeremiah thought about all of the circumstances of his life and what his son was going to face.
.... There is more of this story ...