SW10: The Last Chocolate Crop, Part 2
seiler at eilertech.com
Wed Feb 24 09:39:43 PST 2010
Author's Note: In response to reader demand (well, a mild suggestion
anyway), I've expanded the story. The story now lives at
When we left off, Our Hero had gotten his load of coffee and chocolate
beans past chimpanzees, a crocodile, and a gunboat. But he's still
wounded in the jungle.
Adu hiked northwest. He had to cut a stick to support his wounded leg,
but he still made good time.
Several hours later, he came to the edge of the Ashanti plantations.
The first worker he saw looked greedily back at him and said in
French, "Cripple, let me help you with that bag."
Adu knew French, of course; as an Ashanti prince, he'd studied every
language his people were made to speak. He responded, "This bag is not
for you. Take me to your master planter."
"Perhaps if you make me, cripple."
Adu didn't trust his leg enough for a fight. So he said, "Very well.
But allow me this, so you can kick the cripple better." Adu sat down.
The greedy worker rushed in to kick Adu's face. Adu grabbed his
enemy's foot and flipped him over.
"Your tricks will not save you!", the worker said. He took out a
machete and rushed at Adu. Adu blocked his enemy's wrist with his
stick, then lashed out with his good leg at the worker's groin. The
worker fell over groaning.
The fracas attracted more workers. They all laughed. One of them said,
"We can do better than trip over a cripple," then took out his own
"You will stop!", Adu exclaimed. "I am your prince and require your
"Prince my ass!" The new enemy rushed in, with two others behind him.
Adu whipped his stick around at knee level to drop the first attacker.
Then he brought the stick up to block the next two attacks. Each
attacker then got Adu's stick thrust into his solar plexis. They all
fell down breathless.
"He can't get us all! Get him!" Adu braced for an onslaught, under
which his mission might yet fail.
"NO FIGHTING!" A man drove up in a cart. The master planter had
finally arrived. He saw Adu sitting serenely with four enemies fallen
around him, and said, "Prince!"
Adu had finally made contact with his tribe. This plantation's planter
promised to plant his share of the beans wisely. Plantation trucks
would now take him the rest of the way on his mission.
The next morning Adu settled into a pickup truck's passenger seat, and
let his mind wander while the driver played gospel radio from Liberia.
The preacher was saying this must be the Christian Apocalypse, the end
of the world. But Adu knew that wasn't true. When the end of the world
came, he'd finally draw the holy Anokye Sword of the Ashanti to fight
it. Until then, he'd fight in other ways.
The vital beans of coffee and cocoa had come where they were needed.
This year's chocolate crop would be followed by more.
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