Hugh B. Cave
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
When Peter returns to his father's coffee plantation in Jamaica, he wants only to stay with his father. He has been lonesome since the year his mother and brother died; his grief-stricken father has been preoccupied and unable to see how much Peter wants to be at home. But an island boy, Zackie, is able to heal the rift between Peter and his father. Zackie, who has been living with his drunken father, illegally shoots a wild boar on the coffee plantation. Peter's father wants to stay out of Zackie's problems, but that proves impossible as the boys become friends. Soon Peter's father is drawn out of his misery by Zackie's troubles.
mattresses in it. "What do you feed him?" "Same thing all of we poor people feed our dogs. Cornmeal porridge and scraps of whatever we have around. Rich folk buy dog food in tins, but we nuh can afford that kind of stuff. Country shops don't carry it, anyway." Peter said carefully, "Your dad was at the house this morning, Zackie." "Me know." "You mean he told you?" "Not him. Some people going to them field did hear him yelling and knocking the fire alarm. Them say him drunk." Zackie looked
hunt dangerous wild pigs for a living?" Equally solemn, Peter said, "No, I would not want that to happen," and both boys grinned. Then Peter said goodbye and started back down to the house. He stopped in field six, thinking his father might still be there, but Mr. Devon had left. "He left soon after you did," Mr. Campbell said. "He had to go to Morant Bay for the paybill money." At the house Miss Lorrie asked Peter what he wanted for lunch and seemed surprised when he told her he had already
food me have there. It nuh easy, hiding from me daddy. Not when him mean business." "So where did you sleep?" "In the fertilizer shed in field four." "Well," Peter said, "you'll have a real bed tonight. By the way, where's Mongoose?" Zackie's mouth dropped open. "Oh-oh, me did forget about him! Me did tell him to wait by the steps." "We ought to get him in, don't you think? He can't stay there." Sliding off the bed, Zackie hurried onto the veranda and called his dog. He didn't whistle or
house. Peter was standing at the kitchen door by then. The dog sat down a few feet from him and looked up, with both ears drooping. Then slowly the ears rose again and Mongoose came forward. Rubbing himself against Peter's right leg, he voiced a single soft bark. TWELVE During the next four days Peter spent most of his time searching for his friend. With Mongoose trotting along at his side, he walked every track on the plantation, looked in every fertilizer shed, visited the two nearby
Zackie Leonard's crazy little dog sitting there, now staring at him as if in judgment. "Did your father send you here to say this to me?" Mr. Devon asked. Zackie hesitated, and then said in a voice much less steady than before, "No, suh. Him did stone me for taking the gun.” "Stone you? What do you mean?" "Him was drunk again and did drive me from the house with stones." The boy thrust out a foot and drew up his ragged pants leg. "One did catch me here. This other the pig did." Mr. Devon