"Lord John we are to meet with the Oracle Chukwu that presides over Bonny at the southern tip of this river they call Niger." First mate Daniel said as they floated down the beautiful calm of the river.
"Good. We shall meet with this Oracle and begin to unload our stock only after he has accepted our offer. Once we have the the slaves we shall make back to the Queen Anne and set sail for the Americas as soon as possible. I want no problems with this transaction. None at all" John said.
The dense foilage crept inwards towards the blue blazing sky. Daniel ran to the starboard side of the boat and called down to the mixed English/ Portugeuse crew below, announcing the arrival to Bonny, the largest slave port city on the river. The crew of 3 officers and 8 crewmen all stepped onto the rough crimson shore and docked the boat. The vessle they built had enough room for 100 slaves in the hull of the boat. When they reached the Queen Anne this load would be put with the other 750 slaves that Lord John had negotiated or killed for in the last 6 months. Mainly he had gotten his goods by means of trade for muskets, a mere 20 guns and gun powder could be traded for anywhere between 200 and 250 slaves.
The Oracle Chukwu had already known about the pale walkers that had come looking for slaves in return for weapons that were rumored to unleash the 'wrath of the heavens' and had prepared in corralling the local slaves from neighboring villages by offering them sanctuary from being eaten by the Gods. He would accept these new weapons and use them to seize the land of Utzi to the north which was stolen from his people when he was a child. He would level the field with these weapons from God.
The formalities were abundandt when the Pale walkers arrived. They made sure not to make any offensive gestures like walking behind or in front of the Oracle. Talks went along smoothly and after feating on goat cheese and potato greens, they went into the talk of the stock.
"We are willing to provide you with 5 of the finest British musketts and 10 barrells of gunpowder that will last for about 5 years. To use against any enemies that you may have. In return we wish to take with us 300 of your slaves; men and women only." Lord John said thru a translator.
"Hmm. I must see this weapon and it in use. Ntgow! bring in the the thief!" Chukwu pronounced
"The Gods have looked upon our lands with favor. We will see if they look upon this cabbage theif as highly, with your weapon."
They brought in the handsome cocoa skined boy of roughly 13 years of age. He couldn't be much younger than Lord John's first mate Daniel. They set him at the far end of the chamber and watched him shiver. Daniel cocked the musket and took aim.
"Now with this weapon we can deliver a fatal blow from anywhere inside 50 meters. Are you sure you wish to use a live subject?" John asked with a tinge of hesitancy.
"He is a thief! If your weapon is deemed by the heavens to take his life, that is the decision of the Gods and we shall not quarrel with that!" Chukwu knifed at the pale walker.
Daniel pulled the trigger. The young man's body slumped over as the smoke from the barrell of the muskett trailed into the air. Gleefully delighted, Chukwu clapped his hands at the prospect of avenging his people.
"I give you 75 men and 25 women to take with you in exchange for 30 of your weapons and 5 barrells of the potion of fire. No other offer is to be accepted. This offer is final" The Oracle announced as he stood to leave them to discuss the offer.
"Agreed." Lord John quickly said and thrusted the musket into the Oracle's hand. "We will load them as the sunrises in the morning and set sail by the following sunrise aboard the Anne."
Next Part Queen Anne
________________________________________ "With peace and love in my lungs, I hold my breath until the Poet returns."