The Incident In Galloway’s Quarter
Nestled in a forest of cypress trees and live oaks sheltered by Spanish moss, sits the small town of Nikina, North Carolina. The place presently has 5435 people, and is growing. According to the elders the town has been steadily growing for the past 100 years. From the Big Swamp area runs a creek referred to by locals as Panthere’ Folle Creek. This somewhat narrow flow of water moves slowly behind the small settlement, meandering passed old West Indies styled buildings in a quiet tinkle of bourbon tinted liquid.
One of these old buildings happens to be a locally famous, or infamous watering hole known as The Patriot. This pub dates back to the 1700’s according to local tradition. It sits on an inward bend of the creek. Almost every person living in the area had an ancestor who was slain there in some gun or knife fight over the years. Several enterprising people have poked around in the creek bank behind the bar over time, discovering valuable elegant antique wine, beer, and liquor bottles; since through the ages patrons inside the pub simply sat up underneath the eve on the back porch, tossing their empty beer and wine bottles into woods toward the creek. Until around ten years ago in the past, few real people spent much time worrying about trash being found somewhere in the woods by people walking around looking for it. There were far too many more important things for a man to do back then, especially in an agricultural community.
The spring door on the front porch suddenly bursts open. Out stumbled two men well known by the locals. Both stepped off the front porch nearly tripping in their stagger, then one followed the other off to the side, as if searching for a place to engage in a bit of private conversation.
The one initiating the conversation was an elder known as Mason McPherson. He was a large boned, rather muscular man, with skin tanned dark as an Indian’s from a lifetime spent out in the sun. His teeth were chipped to a slight degree in the front, and his lips were chaffed to the point of peeling. He seized the other man by the front of his shirt with a powerful sun scarred right hand, speaking through his tightly clenched teeth as he did so.
The one listening was none other than a local conservation official known as Richard King. He was much younger than Mason, being of slighter build, with much less tan in his skin. Even though he wore plain clothes and a large straw hat upon his reddish brown head, every local clearly knew who he was. He had a worried expression on his face as Mason spoke, punching Richard in the chest with his left index finger to give emphasis in his words. Mason had no expression upon his face as he continued speaking, being concealed by golden rimmed, dark sunglasses and a large, very expensive river boatman’s straw hat. His complete demeanor and general aura was one of a commanding, indisputable authority.
“You boys understand one damn thing around here right now. Its a war going on in Galloway’s Quarter, and soon to be full scale at that, I’m afraid. Out-landers don’t comprehend the fact that The Freebooters simply ain’t goin’ to give in, Richard. They can bring the Fed into the Quarter, the Mounties, The Green Barrett, Elvis, and who ever the damn hell else they wanna bring, and they’ll still never back down.”
The phrase “The Freebooters” was simply a localized slang term for mega-wealthy landowners and local business people, who controlled every aspect of the whole Tide Water region, from politics to business, and taxes. No person could ever hope to accomplish any ambition without first going through them, then he was required to uphold a rigorous moral expectation to pass their inspection, and on Freebooter terms to define morality. Any who failed had better pack up and move at least three states over to escape their broad influence, if these people ever want to succeed at anything in life. That’s just the way it is, and the way it always has been, and the way it shall forever be, the locals are fond of saying. Live in it, love it; or pack ass and get the bloody hell out, its all just that simple.
“But the law is the law, and nobody anywhere stands above it,” gasped the young officer, Richard. Sweat rolled off his face as he spoke with a clear Seppo accent, betraying the fact he originated from somewhere far outside state boundaries, and consequently assumed to live according to an opposing belief system. Automatically he was an object of mistrust.
“I don’t cotton to repeating myself, Richard. Like I said earlier, this is a three hundred year old life style around here, and these locals ain’t going to forego on it just because of some poo-boy do-gooder law dreamed up in Raleigh, Columbia, or Washington; which might as well be fairyland out here in the Greene Swamp, as far as everybody is concerned. All that I have to tell you, or anybody, but especially any out-lander; is don’t push your luck in these parts for God’s sake, fellow,” spat old man, Mason, with a firm face. “The locals take it as a person throwing his weight around at their expense, and them having such a feeling ain’t good for any bodies health.”
“The law shall be enforced, even around here, Mason,” promptly retorted Richard as he struggled to stand his ground. “That die has already been cast. Our move is being made, even as I stand here speaking. What must be done, shall be so, even if we have to bring in Federal troops. Right now we have three elitist government men on the ground marching out there, who will shirk at nothing to see their job through . They are headed out to visit the chief Formy and the Duval clans, even as we are speaking, with a very curt message for them and everybody else out there, and all of Galloway’s Quarter.”
Mason took a deep breath, then released it slowly before speaking. He turned his head to spit a mouthful of tar black juice onto the ground, then snapped back around.
“I just don’t know what to tell ya, except I told ya so, Richard. I was asked to deliver that specific message to you, personally. I am not at liberty to say specifically who told me to tell ya, but he is a man who knows how to get things done around here; and more than that, he jolly damn well means what he says,” Mason roared out of a growing frustration.
The place in Galloway’s Quarters where the Formy and the Duvall clans claim their estates, lies is in an out of the way spot called Crusoe Island. The great Waccamaw River divides, then branches outward, only to merge again some thirty miles away down stream. The isolated land tract in between this loop divide in the river is known as Crusoe Island.
Nobody knows if this name, Crusoe, came about after Defoe’s tale of Robinson Crusoe was published or not; but it might be possible, as the conclusion is deduced from historical dates. According to legend, the people who now occupy Crusoe Island originated with the great Hispaniola planter class. The famous slave revolt took more than twenty years to develop. The ides for a crushing revolution were on the wind, even ten years prior. During that time intelligent planters with plenty of foresight, sold their massive wealth producing properties to break even, or even reap a small profit. Many planters who doubted tales of future harbinger were eager to cash in on these often bargain property deals. Those thousands who saw the light and exited out while they could, scattered, going many places all across America, and into Canada. Several hundred made their way down the Waccamaw River, and onto Crusoe Island, among other places.
According to the legendary account, the descendants of Portuguese sailors escaped from a ship wreck in the mouth of the Waccamaw already occupied the island for more than 100 years. The cash laden planter refugees offered to buy them out, but kindly allowed any single Portuguese women to remain, at no charge. Since these French planter colonists often did not bring any women with them, the wealthiest members of their community found an easy bargain talking these women into marriage, thus the colony grew quickly.
The Portuguese were already living off the land, building cabins, cutting wood, planting gardens, harvesting fish from the river, and game from the woodlands. These planter Frenchmen simply carried on with this tradition, where they still do to this day. These people spend their days fishing, planting, sowing clothes, weaving gill nets, or carving four feet diameter by twenty feet long cypress logs into canoes with hatchets and glowing coals. When they are not engaging in any of this activity, they are sitting neath the shade of some huge live oak tree, quaffing down beer by the keg and eating home cut steak over fresh pan cooked corn bread.
These people have many customs borrowed from the old French and the Hispaniola planter culture. One example would be the great October bonfire ceremonies, where hard drinkers and story tellers gather around, listening to a local bard sing stories of past and present heroic deeds. Some of these deeds may or may not always be in agreement with the established present day laws of the surrounding area. There is also a heroes portion of pit roasted pork for any person brave enough to claim or take it, and often there might be rough housing to accompany a variety of riotous late night activities.
The area referred to as Galloway’s Quarter was an old borough district that occupied the areas of three adjacent present day counties. These areas included vast parts of Columbus County, parts of nearby Robinson County, in company with the portions of Horry and Marion counties in South Carolina. All of these areas claimed by Galloway’s Quarter were and still are parts of the great Green Swamp, and the Big Swamp basin areas. In some areas the swamp covered tracts of land continue, but have different identifying local names; like Spinster’s Swift , Old Fiddler’s Foot, and my personal favorite, The Crazy Woman’s Back Side.
Crusoe Island is the chief section that dominates the other areas of Galloway’s Quarter. The headmaster was a wealthy tobacco plantation, and big-time mercantile business owner named Mijj Bo Greene. The Greene clan had been among the chief planter class, and among the wealthiest in the area, going all the way backward to the earliest days of first settlement. Mijj Bo Greene was not only the chief headmaster of the entire district, he also had powerful connections reaching all the way upward into the governor’s mansions in both North and South Carolina.
Nothing that went on inside the area did so without Mijj Bo Greene’s permission. One of his right hand assistants was none other than Mason McPherson, but there were other big fish who were part of the time-honored Crusoe Dynasty. A mega-wealthy planter, business man, speculator, and local state politician, was none other than Adonias Parker. Adonias Parker had three brothers. One was named Dooley Parker. The second one was named Rascal, and the third named Ebeneezer. These brothers were known by locals as the Parker Brothers Business Enterprise executives; or more simply put, the PBBEE crew.
Their entity at large was legally a broad based business title referred to as Parker Brother’s Inc. This long revered clan was into everything from owning heating and air companies, mobile home and RV construction firms, to residential and commercial construction companies, apartment rentals, tobacco farms, hog and turkey houses, herds of goats a thousand head in size, real-estate sales enterprises at large, and so forth. There was also some low key back door money lending going on.
This quite reality of cash lending was also common place among the Crusoe Dynasty at large, who operated as a proxy in addition for lending operations from the governor mansions of North and South Carolina, to certain enterprising citizens who knew how to conduct a proper appeal. No business ever conceived by mankind can increase wealth like lending money for value appreciating collateral can. That fact of being is why government regulators in the Land Of The Free are so firmly adamant about keeping individual citizens from engaging in it.
The last thing desired is for some poor sap to raise himself up by his own boot straps, to the point that he can directly compete with the banks, not to mention work his way into state or federal congress; then change laws that only serve to repress individuals, who otherwise only exist with their necks beneath the boot heels of corporations, banks, and greed laden government officials desiring that the citizen population remain in lifetime servitude to the State and Federal tax system.
After all, people paying a never ending tax was how these congressional members maintained the high interest installment fees on unsupervised loans taken out by themselves to the Federal Reserve. They collected their portion of an undefined cost of living allowance by serving on the board of directors in some large corporation, Ivy League University, state based college or public entity that supposedly gets its funding from donations. Thus, payment for their new Lamborghini, their personal corporation or business entities, and their elegant mansions on the hill depended on citizens being compelled to half all earnings with them.
Adonias possessed a huge mansion sitting out in the middle of swamp-land a mile back from Beaufort's Inlet. The grandiose two story classic styled, thirty room luxurious home had six, two feet diameter Doric columns supporting a huge front porch. Every room had massive elegant crystal chandeliers plated with pure gold, and hanging in the center of the front porch above the foyer entrance. On the outside was a huge kitchen room maned by totally dedicated, career minded hired servants, who constantly prepare food and transported it inside the mansion estate. Some of these people, however, were rumored to be people indebted to Adonias for favors of various sorts, who were employed with him at payment plus interest.
In the yard were various animals such as goats, chickens, cows, and even hogs; but the hogs were kept on a tract of land way off in the distance, somewhere far out of sight and smell range, and strictly fed a daily diet of freshly harvest acorns. A huge garden filled with every variety of vegetable was planted behind the home, since Adonias, his clan and his associates, loved a large variety of fresh vegetables and meat on the hoof. All of this possession required constant maintenance, assuring ongoing employment opportunity to the locals.
The entire estate sat in the midst of a hundred acre land tract, surrounded by a twelve feet high masonry wall, topped by razor wire angling toward the outside, and a massive black iron bared gate at a front estate driveway lined with blossoming roses, azaleas, tulips, chrysanthemum, magnolia and live oak trees. Often paid guards were standing on either side of the gate, as they were in specially designed towers spaced every forty yards up and down the wall. No expense was spared because Adonias and his clan could well afford it.
In addition to this, the Crusoe Dynasty had hundreds of smaller fish working the rat lines for them. These smaller fish included everybody from school principals, area business men, local policemen, and state politicians; to rogues of every sort who were ever willing to engage in any request made to them from members of the ruling dynasty and their motley company of associates. Nothing was ever going to make it passed any of them, or their minions.
The reason why is because everybody wanted a piece of the golden pie and the luxurious lifestyle lived by the ever prominent Crusoe Dynasty, not to mention the fact that they and their minions held solid gate keys in at least two entire states, in virtually every area of aspiration. Being on positive terms with the entire legion, if you will, determined one’s successes or failures in life; not skills, qualifications, education, the lack thereof, nor work ethic. Even the crime labs in two states were financed, if not owned outright, by this untouchable dynasty. Fighting the system was a fool’s errand, since individual people didn’t have a leg to stand on, regardless of their status. Those that spoke out too loud also tended to have mysterious unfortunate experiences, and worse.
Things were changing in Galloway’s Quarter, so they were seeming to local people, and not for the better. Out-landers from the areas surrounding had commenced to question and criticize a few matters at hand. For example, it had long been known that there was only one way in and one way off the island, back to the mainland. The only alternative option was to wade across one of the few low points in the river, and then swag across the swamp, until one could make it out to the hill on the opposite side.
For this reason it had long been said that the isolated residents kept an army of ghosts posted all around the island at various strategic points. The people back in the larger town of Whiteville on the mainland were saying now that it was no army of ghosts, but an actual army of well camouflaged sappers, who would shoot with silent, poisonous darts or arrows, if an unfortunate did not fall into one of their hole traps down into the swamp. In any case the many alligators found throughout the river and in the surrounding swamps would quickly dispatch of any remaining evidence, and do so very thoroughly.
This situation was only one of the many concerns brought to light by the newly complaining locals in the surrounding areas. Out-landers from very far away were filling up these areas, and bringing with them their questioning, vexing ways, and bizarre alien ideas about politics, and the way life should be lived in general, according to them. The county authorities might as well be the local school principal, joked many of the long time residents in regard to the petty, whining complaints continually raining down upon them from above. God forbid if a person had no choice but to work around one of these belly aching, coo-coo, cock-a-doodle-doo, sons of bitches!
One of these idealistic do-gooders determined to force his opinions for change on all who might oppose it, claimed to be a sportsman. Since his retirement he now was a grossly overweight man, who wore a large silver band from the Mason’s lodge down in Loris on his left ring finger. He was retired ex-military; and because of this sole fact alone, thanks to the local veteran’s administration handing him a job above all other local contenders, had secured employment at the court house in Whiteville as an arrogant IRS agent employed by both the State and Federal government. He was assigned with harassing the provincial folk for every hard earned dime that he could savagely wrest from their grasp, since it was common knowledge that the residents of North and South Carolina survived only by working cash jobs on the side. Unfortunately for them, wages from public employment were far below what it cost to live in these two states, especially when the revenuers finished with extorting half of whatever they brought back home.
This man thought that he had hit a true jackpot when he purchased two large homes on the eastern edges of Whitevile, North Carolina, and Florence, South Carolina, with a ten acre tract of land for only $150,000.00; a mere fraction of what it would have cost him in Jersey State. Cash saved up in mere months easily secured his ownership rights to the properties. People in the area knew all too well that he had managed to make this purchase in hard cash stolen from the citizen base, since people were always being singled out and commanded to hand over horrendous money sums they never owed to begin with. The IRS wasn’t required to support their claims of citizens being indebted to them by hard facts, so this man had a perfect cover for crime galore, brazenly declared many among the masses in Galloway’s Quarter.
His name was Roger Borkowski. He had joined a local hunting club, many of whom were also out-landers of the same stripe, that had somehow leased a partial land tract over on Crusoe Island. He became a subject of hearth side community derision when he stormed through the brush like a Sherman tank, with hundreds of dollars worth of unnecessary equipment such as hand warmers, special overalls and fancy camping equipment, not to mention government ordained licenses and expensive club fees on top of that; all for the very simple purpose of harvesting meat and fruit from the surrounding woodlands. Needless to say, he never even got a single shot even after two years of hunting, although the land tract was readily known by most old timer heritage inhabitants to support a huge deer population.
One still clear day while he was sitting high up in a fancy store-bought tree stand, he caught a glimpse of resident islanders slinking around on the club’s rented land tract, and he was utterly appalled for lack of more descriptive words. Here these people were, wearing faded jeans and home-stitched denim dyed with black walnut hulls; and shooting deer three and four at a time over piles of pears, Indian corn or salt, like nothing was ever supposed to be said about it. To make matters worse, when Borkowski approached one of these people, asking about his lack of an orange hat, or his neglect for placing tags on the carcasses of deer he had recently slain, he and the crowd this man was accompanied by glanced over at him as if he was out of his mind for questioning anybody. Matter of fact not one of them even had any confounded idea what on earth he was talking about!
Roger quickly informed his fellow club members about this matter to behold. A number told him they were aware that the land was being hunted, but went on to say nothing was occurring that had not always been so. This was how the resident islanders made their living, and all was perfectly understood and accepted without further questioning.
Two other club members volunteered to take him on a tour of the island. He simply could not believe the sight of people hauling literal fish loads onto the river bank in home knitted gill nets, salting fish, living outside of the utility system and the standard range established by the county zoning commission, not to mention scrounging and gathering off the land in general. If these people could live like this, then why couldn’t he do the same?, Roger screamed in outrage with the voice of a spoiled brat punk boy, when he and the other three made it back to their truck.
“Because this is the only life these people know,” came the curt reply.
“Well something needs to be done about this matter,” Roger snapped back to the others with a noticeable flushed tint in his cheeks. “These people need to learn about the same laws the rest of us in this country have to live by,” he continued to whine and bellow.
“You are not from around here, fellow,” the three replied in a rather cautious low pitched voice. “You had better pipe things down, and watch your step in Galloway’s Quarter.”
“Well, we’ll see!,” the man snapped with an air of crass arrogance to the other three, “we’ll see who had better watch their step around here!”
On that note, quickly as he could make it back home he called the state conservation commission and the county zoning board, informing them of every infraction that he had bore witness to. He also screamed that if these people were allowed to live in such a fashion, then he could do so as well, and so could anyone else.
“If things were always done in such a way, then some form of change was long overdue,” he continued to cry over the phone. “This was 1981, for crying out loud here!”
With this clearly implicating information on hand, the three men reported by Richard King were on their way toward the island. They were all unshakable in their confidence. They had their two way radios bouncing on their left hips, and their order papers in hand. The local police had agreed to back them up, if indeed they needed any backing. All that the three had to do was make the prearranged emergency call.
The three were instructed to wade onto the island through a low portion of the river and the swamp. While there they were instructed to seek out signs of any illegal activities; from hunting and fishing on the sly, to people living without being hooked up to the utility municipality, and home construction done outside of code. When they found any of this horrible criminal activity, they were commanded to curtly inform the offenders of their violations, collect all proper identification, then issue prompt citations for maximum penalties to be collected. Any person offering resistance, or found to lack identification credentials would be immediately arrested, then transported to the jails back in Whiteville and Loris. The same rules would apply to any person hunting without proper licenses, and equipment. If needed be, the national guard could even be flown in; so never fear giving us an emergency call, they were politely informed.
The three officers headed down toward the bridge, then carefully parked their jeep in safe cover on the mainland side. From there they walked approximately a half mile eastward, until they arrived at a knee deep portion of the river, at a point in the slow moving river somewhere around seventy yards wide. Carefully and quietly they radioed their exact location identification back into headquarters, where a bead was taken on a new fangeled electronic map.
The agents in the office back in Whiteville carefully recorded every step as the bead on the map slowly moved from the river onto the island mainland. The bead appeared to go some twenty percent inland, then pause. The pause held for at least thirty minutes before any type of question was made in regard to the matter. The HQ commander quickly snatched a radio from the desk top.
“What’s going on? We see a pause here on our electronic map, holding for the past thirty minutes. Copy?”
Some fifteen seconds passed before a broken reply came in.
“This is CO10. We are questioning seven locals here in regard to some hunting violations. There is a fresh deer kill on the ground, but no tags. Not one of these people are admitting to the kill. They are all wearing jet black homemade overalls, with bandannas across their faces, and none of them claim to be in possession of proper identification, over..”
“This is HQ. We all copy that report. Be ever cautious with these people. None of us can stress that fact too lightly, over?”
There is a stir on the radio and a rather long pause.
“HQ requesting situational analysis here! Do you copy?”
Nothing but static for a moment.
“CO Core, do any of you copy?”
“HQ, this is CO12 reporting. We attempted to make arrest, but the seven scattered and vanished into the swampy backdrop. We are in the process of giving pursuit, copy..?”
“This is Command Center in reply,” spoke a different voice. “Give pursuit for an hour only. Take careful notes on what occurred, reactions, your possible unanticipated motivations, etc, then head on out. We need a complete observational analysis on the entire situation out there CO Core.”
“This is CO12 in reply. We all copy that directional order loud and clear.”
The three conservation officers moved on out into the swamp lands. Even though it was supposedly winter time, as they moved about in the slow moving bourbon tinted water they could hear the eerie slide and splash of what must have been three inch diameter water moccasins, a vigorous deadly snake in the king cobra family. When the officers gazed outward into the landscape all that they could behold was an endless forest of closely packed cypress trees, with a heavy screen of Spanish moss hanging from what must have been every limb, and every space in between packed with cat-claw briers and bramble in a thick screen of yuopon bushes.
As the officers moved along the air above the quagmire hung heavy with the feeling of hostile eyes gazing upon them from an unseen distance in the vegetative backdrop. In virtually no time an hour had passed. A powerful motivation for exiting this morass onto the hill loomed heavily inside the three, as visions of horrifying death traps concealed in the dark water, and pitiless snarling beasts encircling about unseen around them, danced in their heads.
The bead on the electronic map moved slowly along, then paused after what seemed like a mile or more away. From the map it was known to be a local point or small village community known as Duval’s Wake. Thirty minutes passed and no location analysis report. Time for a call back.
“This is HQ calling for a situational analysis, copy that?”
“HQ, this is CO11. We see a dozen or more property zoning violations. We are informing the residents all around here, who glare at us through hard narrowed eyes, as if failing to comprehend our words. I fear that they may not even be able to understand us when we speak, and we certainly can hardly understand them, copy HQ?”
“This is HQ, CO11. We all copy loud and clear. Take good notes on everything, and be extremely cautious around there above all else, copy that CO11?”
“This is CO11 again, and we copy. We are writing citations out left and right, worth every amount from $100.00 to $5000.00. We certainly are getting some hard angry stares now, I can tell all of you. What I can’t comprehend is how the courthouse is going to collect on anything here, since these people don’t even work public jobs for the most part. Those that do work at all only work part-time, for cash, copy HQ? They do seem to make decent money, strangely enough, in spite of their broken employment chain.”
There was static on the radio, then it suddenly cleared.
“This is HQ. We copy that. You and the CO Corp write out the tickets. Be sure to collect proper ID, with complete addresses that have been confirmed. The courthouse will concern itself regarding collections on all of this. Those tickets have a very finite life span, only a month, I think. After that time an interest increase is activated. The total on this doubles every week after that time. When the value amounts of these tickets exceed property values, a virtual army of officers will descend from the hill here onto that island, to enforce eviction notices. To be honest about it, it shouldn’t take long for that to happen, copy?,” asked a broken chuckling voice on the radio.
A long pause preceded only a static return. A stressed broken voice finally replied after some forty minutes or so.
“HQ, this is..” (static fuzz). “Situation out of control! Emergency call! Situation out of..! (static fuzz).
The red bead on the electronic screen moved backward in the direction of the swamp, then turned going northbound, before pausing a half mile into what seemed like swamp land a few hundred yards upward from the point where the three entered in.
“This is HQ. Give us a situational analysis! We demand a situational analysis immediately!”
There was no reply but static for thirty more minutes, then the static suddenly cleared.
“Stay away from de i-land territory BO,” spoke an unknown growling muffled voice. “Dis is whut happns to nosy out-landers.” Then a continuing line of static.
“HQ! HQ! We copy! Give us a report immediately.”
Nothing but static on the radio.
“I’m calling this in as an emergency rescue. Do you copy CO Corp? I am calling this scene in as an immediate emergency, over and out!”
The captain over at the headquarter grabs a phone, calling the sheriff's office at the Whiteville courthouse. He carefully explains the situation in detail, gives the logistical locations recorded on the electronic map in his office, then requests an investigation unit of twelve well armed troops. The sheriff on duty at the time immediately grants the request, and includes three detectives to accompany the troop of twelve.
Quickly the troop rides out to the bridge connecting Crusoe Island with the mainland side. They proceed eastward from the bridge in search of the jeep in which the three had driven in and made their first report from. When they arrived at the specific point indicated in which the jeep had been parked, the jeep was no longer there; but tire tracks and human foot prints in the mud from that point down the bank, toward the water, indicated that the vehicle had more than likely been taken out of gear and pushed over into the river. Notes were made regarding the observation and plastic casts were taken of the strange foot prints.
These foot prints were strange since they possessed no tread of any sort. Upon close examination, however, on some prints stitching was observed around the edges. Obviously these boots were home-made. Once the jeep had been confirmed as being underneath the river, then the conclusion could be made that islanders were responsible for the deed, since virtually nobody anywhere else were known to wear home crafted boots and shoes. The information was gathered and the reports promptly stashed, as the troop continued onward in its foregoing mission.
They slugged through what felt like a thousand miles of mud, water, and outright muck as they battled mosquitoes constantly, even though it was during the midst of winter. Then suddenly the land came to a rise. The swamp transformed into a thick dry hardwood forest, with a tree covered hill in the center, blanketed by a fine yellow grass. As the twelve proceeded upward onto that hill, an outspread live oak tree dominated the summit with a thick limb approximately twelve feet up, upon which hung the bodies of four men, upside down. Three wore the very noticeable uniforms of conservation officers. Their throats had been slit from ear to ear. One, dressed in faded jeans and a white tee-shirt with the words written across the front, Eat More Kitty Cat, It Keeps Us Dogs More Competitive , was a rather overweight corpse with a large silver Mason’s band on his left ring finger. This corpse had been completely decapitated.
To the far right of this petrifying spectacle, a four foot bamboo staff had been driven into the soil. Upon this bamboo was thrust the blood drenched severed head of this hanging corpse. A note hung underneath, with huge Gothic letters painted red on an aged cypress wood board , which said; Abandon hope, all ye out-landers who enter herein.
The twelve searched all round for any sign of evidence, while the detectives snapped pictures of the murder scene. One of the officers, who was from the Whiteville area, shook his head from side to side.
“This is it. This occurrence tops them all off thus far. There really is a war going on out here, boys. I don’t know how much any of you realize it?”
Another officer with a firm demeanor snapped around. He spoke with an accent revealing him to be from somewhere way out of state.
“There is certainly going to be a firm call for war now, if one there ever was before,” he spouted. “I would hate to be from anywhere around in these parts right about now, myself. Situations could get real sticky, and quick, as people get all emotional and start wanting us to pull the guilty out of our hats, or from out of a cypress stump somewhere.”
Another officer suddenly raised his head to the ongoing conversation. He put his radio down from his mouth, back into the sling on his left hip.
“Well I just reported this scene to the department,” he spoke in his own alien accent. “They’re calling in the US Marshal service, who will more than likely get an elite Marine Corps attachment to accompany them in. Somebody said war? This stuff is serious, and it well may be an all out war, until justice is promptly served.”
In two hours time a Chinook Helicopter over passed the area, pausing down from where the twelve police troopers stood. Out parachuted ten persons. As they slowly drifted to the ground, thirty more followed. As the first ten were taking off their jump suits, the other thirty landed. As they undressed, the group of ten began walking toward the twelve troopers and the crime scene at hand.
One specific individual walked up to the troop of twelve, removing his jump helmet, face cover and goggles. He was a rather tall man being some six feet three in height. He walked with a confident, well conditioned stride.
“Who is the commander on duty among you twelve?”
One of the twelve officers approached him.
“I am officer 4397-3 at your service, sir. Most people in the organization call me MacArnold.”
The large US Martial relied.
“I am Supervisory Deputy US Martial, Rolland Wiseman, who has been assigned to this entire case. We are going to observe the incident of this crime scene, observe the incident of the jeep being shoved downhill into the river, arrive at our own conclusions, then proceed on into this island community in pursuit of the guilty.
“Well we’re glad to have you,” spoke Arnold to the man. “None of us quite know what we are dealing with here.”
“Mr. Arnold,” the tall man replied as he swept his right hand through his tangled dark hair.
“Just for the record, every one of my men are seasoned military veterans. We have been exposed to blood drenched scenes of every stripe, on a daily basis. Rest assured, Mr Arnold, none of our investigative platoon could ever become so startled that we couldn’t function. All of this tragedy is only another day at work, and we will get to the bottom of it, no matter what. Matter of fact, I am going to divide my troop up and allow one half to proceed on with the investigation, then the other half shall accompany me and the Marines there with us, as we march onward toward this community, Duval’s Wake.”
Five US Martial's and thirty Marines from the elitist units marched undaunted through the briers, bramble tangle, the mud and the muck for about a mile, until the woods finally dried and cleared up somewhat on higher ground. In thirty minutes the thirty five men noticed a clearing in the woods, and twenty apparently aged shacks up on the hill summit. On the front porches women with sun browned hard faces donned in faded home made gowns dutifully repaired gill nets, while long bearded men dressed in tattered blue jean overalls repaired horse drawn plows, sharpened machetes, or dressed out fish and hanging pigs. Slowly they raised their heads as they put down their tools to pause in their work, as the marching troop approached. Rolland approached a man sitting on his porch chewing tobacco, appearing to be an elder with authority.
“ I am Supervisory Deputy US Martial, Rolland Wiseman, sir. I have eviction orders to immediately evacuate every man, woman, and child from these premises. The charges are that these homes are not up to code, and neither have the taxes been paid on the homes, or the land. Tickets were issued earlier ordering every person in this community to get his or her property up to code, or else pay a fine. Since none of these fines have been paid, then interest was applied to the dollar amounts until the value of the fine exceeds that of the property.
“My final word to all of you is that none of you own your property anymore. Your land and any of your valuables now belong to the county of Cumberland, the state of North Carolina, and the authority of America. On that note, sir, I am ordering every person on this land tract to exit out of his or her home, or else we are coming in to take you on suspicion of murder until we can get evidence verification. Is that understood Mr.-?”
The man appeared to be somewhere in his sixties. His body was browned from a life out in the sun, his gray hair short above his ears, but his beard hung down to his naval. He wore faded blue jean overalls with a chest bib, and a plain tee shirt.
“Just wait a cotton tailed minute here, fellow. I don’t give a flying flapjack who you claim to be. You can’t just huff in here and order people around like that.”
“Sir, you are not comprehending what I am telling,” commanded Rolland. “I don’t have time for debate. I need you and all of your neighbors here to vacate these premises immediately. Either that eviction is commenced, or we are coming in to take you.”
The old man turned his head to left, spitting a mouthful of black juice upon the white sand by his side.
“If you want us and what is our’n, then you’ll have to take us.., and be damned!,” the man yelled. The others quickly raced back into their shacks, locking the doors upon these words being yelled by the elder. Obviously it was some sort of coded message for defense.
“Whats your name, sir?,” asked Rolland.
“Name ‘s Jivus Duval,” the elder retorted as he turned to spit another wad.
Rolland suddenly grabbed Jivus by the left arm, forcing him around while handcuffs were slapped upon both his wrists.
“Have it your way, Jivus. You’ll be the first to go down here in Duval’s Wake.”
After the cuffs were placed upon Jivus, he was handed to another officer who cuffed him onto a chain around fifty feet long. The opposite end of this chain was anchored to a small dogwood tree nearby.
“Move out men, its door to door. All weapons on guard, and remember your basic training. Don’t fire unless fired upon, then promptly return fire with all due efficiency. All members of this community are potential murder suspects and deemed hostile, especially in light of their present rejection of the evacuation order given.”
The thirty Marines quickly positioned themselves on the front porch of the 29 cabins. The other five US Martial's proceeded to ransack Jivus’s cabin, emptying the drawers, turning over the beds, emptying the refrigerators and closets. The contents of all were carelessly dumped onto the floor.
The thirty Marines hammered the front doors of the cabins with their fists, screaming at the top of their lungs;
“Open up, we are members of the United States Marine Corp. Open up now or else we are coming in. Do you comprehend? Open up immediately, or else we are coming in on you!”
There was no reply from inside the cabins. Rolland nodded his head in signal, and the officers proceeded to kick in the cabin doors. When the wooden doors exploded open, to every officer’s astonishment the cabins all appeared to be empty, not only of their human inhabitants, but also of their most cherished personal property.
Every officer had now entered into one of these cabins. An extremely tense search was conducted for the inhabitants, which failed to yield anything. The old man in chains laid down on the soft grass at his feet. A teen aged youth arose from the tall yellow grass some distance behind the cabins, noticing that the old man had laid down; then placed both hands upon a plunger, pushing it all the way down with what appeared to be every ounce of might that he had to give. The cabins suddenly exploded into flames and a thousand fragments. When the wind from it all settled back down, there was peace once more again on Duval’s Wake. Gradually the residents arose from the yellow grass a hundred yards behind the cabins and the round of the hill, to survey the damage done to their homes and the effectiveness of their attack.
Back in Whitevile the HQ office knew something was afoul when his radio messages came back as dull static. For three hours this type of response had been the case. But look at the military and law enforcement professionals who had vanished seemingly into thin air! The possibility of negativity defied all logic, as every person in the office shook their heads in disbelief. A new Supervisor Deputy Marshal driving all the way from Raleigh, burst through the double doors at the office in the courthouse.
“Would somebody around here tell me just what in the ten tales of hell is going on here?,” he roared without even introducing himself, since he had been called in only an hour and a half ago. “I was interrupted from having my midday ham sandwich and coffee.”
“Something has gone afoul,” snapped the HQ supervisor, Jack Penny, a sun and liquor dried up lifetime Whiteville resident somewhere in his late 50’s. Probably the most excitement in his life he ever had was drinking liquor and chasing worn out whores around town, all the way to North Myrtle Beach on a dismal Friday night. He was also guilty of periodically slipping off into the Lime Light bordello down in Bennetsville, when his old lady of 35 years turned her back on him for a day or so; but he had given all of it up more than ten years ago now. He really was a happy man just being clean, he loved to boast. All he did now was work, and go to church on Wednesday nights and Sundays.
“Give me more information, please here!,” fired the US Marshall. “Why are you so certain that something has run afoul? Based on what are you making that conclusion? Show me the evidence, Penny,” the US Martial berated.
“Well I just know it. I always receive prompt response from my men when they are in the field. There hasn’t been a response for more than three hours now. I have your men on call out there who are law enforcement experts, but I also have elite Marines who have accompanied them, and who are battle savvy on top of that. Something is just not right, I am telling you.”
“Didn’t you even bother to send in a confirmation detachment, Penny?,” thundered the US Martial.
The US Martial took a deep breath, shook his head, then exhaled as if in disgust.
“I utterly despise incompetence,” he snapped.
A noticeable flash of sudden anger passed through the body of Penny.
“I know that you are with the US Martial Service, and that you are a supervisor, but you never gave me your full title.
“Yeah? Why does it even matter at this point?,” the Martial returned with his own display of disgust and anger combined.
“Look,” leveled Penny with the martial, “if you, are any damn body else is going to storm in here just because myself or another person bothered to call and request assistance, then proceed to speak down to me and verbalize your opinion regarding my qualifications just because of it, then the very least that you could do is tell me who you are.”
“Yeah? I can do that, if doing it matters any. My name is Albert Vollstrecker. My rank and title is Chief Supervisor Deputy US Martial. I have been a veteran of law enforcement, first with the US Army beginning at 18, whereupon I retired. I was acting veteran of nine major US battle engagements. I have seen it all in my time, practically speaking here. I have never seen anything resembling this situation, however. I have been with the US Martial Service now for 10 years.”
Penny smiled as the man spoke his title and name.
“Well if you have all of this detailed experience and title, then why don’t you begin doing something to produce a valid solution to this situation, rather than berate me, the man in charge at the moment?”
Vollstrecker paused, glaring hard at Penny, then moved toward the phone on Penny’s desk. He punched in a number, then placed the phone to his right ear, continuing to glare at Penny with a firm expression on his face. A few minutes passed, then he began to speak.
“Yes Mam, this is Albert Vollstrecker, Chief US Martial Supervisor. Could I please speak with the central command officer for the US Marines? The situation is rather urgent, to say the least.”
He paused for five minutes, then began speaking.
“Yes sir, this is Albert Vollstrecker, Chief US Martial Supervisor, rank number 30773-A. You are aware of the thirty Marine Corps men assigned to this Crusoe Island situation, aren’t you?
Another pause for a minute.
“You haven’t heard from them, you mean?”
Another pause then a tart comment coming from Vollstrecker.
“The person assigned to take charge is a local named Jack Penny, and he hasn’t called you yet?
Vollstrecker glared at Penny again as he stood with the phone hard against his right ear.
“I tell you what. I am going to take over this case now, and it will be me and you working this case into its conclusion,” fired Vollstrecker as he continued to glare at Penny.
“Yes sir, we’ll take fifty more of your elitist, with clear instructions that this situation has reached a point of no return, and must be dealt with just as any other battle situation should,” spoke Vollstrecker into the phone.
A pause for a maybe five minutes, then Vollstrecker’s face lit up.
“Yes sir, then it is a return confirmation. Fifty elite specialist will be on site inside of two hours, meeting right here in this office.”
He paused again as his face shown brighter.
“Its a proud go ahead!”
He walked back over to the desk of Penny, then placed the phone back on its hanger. Vollstrecker never spoke a single word to Penny as his eyes seemed to growl at him.
Vollstrecker walked back over to the electronic screen with the map on it, typing location coordination indicators as fast as he could punch the key pad. When these men arrived in a few minutes, every minute detail would be placed in possession of their commanding officer. They would possess a complete geographical, terrain, and population layout of the entire island and the area surrounding it back on the mainland. Matter of fact, the entire area and history of Galloway’s Quarter would be held underneath a microscope. This situation was on now, for better or worst, with Vollstrecker assuring himself, and all confident that fate would be on his side. He would be the victorious hero in this backwoods tale of rebellion.
Vollstrecker and his minions were not the only people aware of seriousness in the mounting scenario. None other than Mijj Bo Greene himself had raised his eyebrows, and drawn a few deep breaths. Suddenly he felt motivated to intervene, and for good reason. Quickly he called up the Parker brothers, and old Man, Mason. Adonias had invited them all to his mansion estate over at Beaufort Inlet.
“We can fly from over at your place, Adonias, and visit Governor Sealgair at his mansion in Raleigh. I would say that we drive there, but we simply haven’t the time. Everything around here is that urgent,” spoke Bo Greene to Adonias Parker over the phone.
Within two hours time of the phone conversation, this motley crew had met over at the mansion estate of Adonias outside of Beaufort Inlet, and without hesitation. With few words between them, they loaded up onto a small, twin engine plane behind the mansion home there. Adonias done a maintenance check and the general pre-flight inspection, and soon they were lifting off.
In seemingly no time the dynastic crew had landed in a small airport less than a mile from the Governor’s personal mansion estate in Raleigh. A cab was already parked and waiting outside the small terminal building. When the plane pulled into the hanger area, the crew exited and entered into the cab, while paid attendants moved the plane into a lock down at its proper station. Three minutes later the cab pulled up to the heavy black iron gate before the entrance way at the mansion. The cab driver spoke a few unintelligible words, and in an instant the guard in front of this gate allowed them to enter, without questioning to any extent.
These same words were spoken by Greene to the guard at the top of the outside mansion stairway, with the exact reaction. The only reaction witnessed by the Parker Brothers or Mason were smiles and nonverbal welcoming indications of relaxation in company with complete solitude. A college aged, well built female mansion attendant, wearing a low cut, almost skin tight gemstone satin dress, escorted the crew into a back parlor room.
The figure of a six foot four, man with well groomed gray hair, donned in a Stuart Hughes Diamond Edition suit and tie, arose from an elegant sofa seat in red cushioned satin over foam and rhinoceros leather. He turned toward them, smiling. He approached Greene first with his right hand fully extended. Greene returned the handshake, then Sealgair stepped forward to extend his hand toward the others.
“I swear it has been so long since I have seen all of you together in the same company,” he gasped as he smiled. “Come on toward the seat here, and relax. I have a gnawing feeling that there is some sort of situation at hand,” he said as the crew took their seats upon the huge couch. “I speak with great interest in knowing the details.”
Before them stood a heavy coffee table of teak wood, carved with elegant depictions of scantily clad native women and pirate captains lounging around in a tropical oasis. Many of these men were rowing in boats on lakes with these native women, or women donned in long dresses and gaudy luxuriant sun bonnets. Others were laid out by the lakeside with scantily native women on blankets, where picnic baskets filled with a variety of tropical fruit stood between them. The male seemed to be pouring the female a chalice of wine, as the two lay on an outstretched blanket underneath a large saw tooth palm in the cool shade.
The room itself was trimmed in pure gold, with stunning, nearly three dimensional paintings of tropical scenes depicting the luxury and elegance of life on some Caribbean plantation estate during an age of glory, enlightenment, and wealth, hanging upon the walls above glass tables with silver legs on lions feet, trimmed in pure gold. In the corner to the far right stood a glass, silver, and crystal pedestal with an elegant marble bust of Marie Antoinette, trimmed in pure gold guarding the room and the palace interior. Before this marble bust seven under-clothed belly dancers donning veils of mist moved delicately with complete silence, in a perfect beckoning rhythm for the carnal entertainment of the governor and his guests. The Parker Brothers and Mason glanced all around, saying nothing at the moment while Greene continued speaking with the Governor.
“Yes, indeed we have a situation that is both urgent and serious at the same time. I’m sure you have heard of the matter over in Galloway’s Quarter, haven’t you, sir?”
The Governor smiled warmly as he gloated at the alluring dancing display before him. He swallowed hard as he suddenly shifted his eyes toward what resembled a pool in the rear quarters of the mansion. The pleasant rustle of a whirlpool from the same area seemed to carry throughout the entire palace interior. The girls raced with smooth silent organized precision toward the pool areas on cat-like feet. The smiling governor chuckled lowly as he shifted his attention back in the direction of his guests.
“I just got wind of a concern involving Galloway’s Quarter a few minutes before you entered. Otherwise I know no specific details.”
Greene sighed, then began to speak.
“The locals have been harassed by these aliens for a long time now. One of them didn’t like the lifestyle they lived, and called the Fed on them. The conservation officers then raced out there in a frenzy to write citations for hunting violations, zoning codes, and anything else they could find to include. These citations had huge fines, that doubled with large interest charges when the locals couldn’t pay. When the value of the citations exceeded their property values, the locals had to be evacuated from their long cherished land holdings, and hard won homes.”
“Oh, I see,” sighed the Governor. “So that is when the trouble began, I presume. Was there any violence involved?”
“Yes, and deaths. Matter of fact, I haven’t had a confirmation on every detail of the situation at the moment involving the Marine Core elites and the US Martial troop who were sent in earlier, but what I did hear wasn’t good at all,” spoke Greene to the Governor.
“A hammer man I use when I need him, named Yarborough, who also ventures into the general area periodically for the purpose of helping me move backlog, radioed back that a troop of thirty marines and ten US Martial Servicemen were slain by the locals today. I know Harlan Yarborough’s reputation, governor, a career criminal with a detailed prison history and violent past; but to speak the truth he has always been dead on honest with me, in every way. Probably its because when I need a job done, I speak directly, and I always pay out on time. Being careful to take such simple measures is how I built my business reputation. This reputation is how I always succeed in getting chores completed, governor.”
The Governor smiled again with his warm sleepy sheepish grin.
“ Yes, oh yes indeed, sir, to speak the truth about it, probably you wish that he was lying this time. I am sure you could dislike him much less for it right about now.”
Greene hung his head slightly, then picked it back up, almost becoming agitated as he commenced speaking.
“What are we going to do? You well know everything that’s at steak here. These marines going in this time will be ultra thorough in their search.”
The Governor gazed momentarily at the wall, glancing back in the direction of the pools, then took a deep breath.
“I’ll call Washington and see what we can arrange. I will work for you through lawyer, C.R. Loes. We will use judge Brunne Sealgair, a distant relative of mine, you know. No matter what happens, all of you and your associates will be eased back down onto your feet. All of you have done far too much for me to simply ignore your increasingly imposing situation, even if it means that I must sacrifice my own cousin, the judge; who indeed is trustworthy, but only to an extent of requests not threatening his peculiar idealistic sense of ethics. When we have a job to do, Greene, we both are aware that we simply don’t have time for impracticality. Direction for action must be definitively determined, swift, and above all else, successful. I can’t say any more than that at the moment. Let me get on ASAP with this call. Once business is efficiently and thoroughly concluded, then we all can get on with more warmly accommodating pleasures and pass times.”
The new troop had already met at the HQ office in Whitevile, then stormed back out toward Galloway’s Quarter, beginning with Crusoe Island. Local people were forcibly arrested at machine gun point, and loaded up onto huge trucks for transporting personnel. They would be relocated to the mass containment facility at Camp Lejeune.
There had been much exchange of gunfire, with people dying on both sides. Most of the locals vanished into the swamps, in spite of the persisting determination in their persecution. More troops had been called in for reinforcement, and to assist in eradicating all local resistance from the swamps. This war in Galloway’s Quarter was gaining momentum.
As the troops stormed through Crusoe Island, they made their way intending to push through every inch of Galloway’s Quarter, beginning with the Horry County realm. Here an expansive field of pot plants standing twenty feet tall, with sticky purple buds all over was stumbled upon. As the exasperated troops patrolled cautiously, they found cocked rat traps spring loaded with shot gun shells, sitting in waiting to make a kill. Fine fishing wire running across entrances going into these fields would engage the instantaneous murder. There were swinging spike traps, pit falls, and spear sets, all anxiously awaiting their victims.
As the patrol cautiously eased along, a plan developed in the mind of their commanding officer. Instead of destroying the field and the root cellar found in the center of the field, where millions of dollars in processed cocaine was stashed, they would simply stake it out to discover whose it was. Head Quarters had long heard of rumors from informing locals speaking of such realities, but nothing like this had ever been discovered in, or even near Galloway’s Quarter.
Certain locals had also informed them of other eerie occurrences. According to claims, Bo Greene owned dozens of tobacco warehouses throughout North and South Carolina, not to mention the ones in the counties where Galloway’s Quarter extended. For several years now these warehouses had been mysteriously going up in flames at night time. For years the Federal tobacco program had been playing out, everybody was aware of that, but there was still big money to be found in warehouse insurance collections. Over the years, when these informants were sought out for further questioning, they could never be found. No person in their locality seemed to know of their whereabouts.
A twin engine airplane landed in broad daylight near the huge dope plantation on a shockingly narrow runway. Fourteen men dressed in black denim and caps rushed out of the airplane toward the center of the field. A high collar had been pulled up over their noses and mouths to conceal their identity. These men raced toward the root cellar type storage room with military precision. In less than five minutes they were seen moving back toward the plane carrying huge burlap type bags filled with something.
The commanding officer didn’t have to ask any more questions, he knew what was inside the bags. He also got a solid ID on the twin engine plane as he continued to watch through a set of binoculars. He radioed the information back to HQ for an ID check, but it came up empty. Vollstrecker failed to give clear reasons as to why this was so, saying instead that he simply didn’t know. Before the day was over, the military troop would locate seven more pot plantations, and storage cellars filled with other types of contraband, primarily cocaine, not to mention the huge amounts of small arms and stashed ammunition.
When darkness finally enveloped the land, Galloway’s Quarter was being patrolled from the air by light, almost completely silent, police helicopters. Numerous structures were a flame throughout The Quarter, and even beyond, especially below the South Carolina line. A radio call was made to determine the source of these fires and to develop a situational analysis. Virtually all of these structures turned out to be tobacco warehouses, or buildings linked back to the industry. When the identity for ownership of these buildings was investigated, a majority turned out to be none other than ole Mijj Bo Greene himself. The others were owned by the Parker Brothers, or through what was appearing more under investigation to be an established proxy.
As far as the fields of pot were concerned, under the cover of darkness the light twin engine planes returned. In some cases a light helicopter took their place. To discover the root source of these fields, only one move could be made that would work. The transport vehicle itself must be captured. To the surprise of the pursuing platoon, there was absolutely no resistance. When asked to give identity, none captured had spoken a word as of yet.
A few planes heavy laden with bales of marijuana and large plastic bags filled with cocaine, had caught sight of the pursuing troops and taken to the air in an act of escape. Military choppers from the national guard center in Whitevile were called in to pursue. When the drug smugglers realized their capture was soon eminent, they began tossing their stash out as they passed over the three or four county area of Galloway’s Quarter, and even beyond into Marion County.
Later on the locals would find some of this heavy laden stash, cut it up and sell it for five times the going price, because of its high quality. The street name for this booty was Airplane, propeller weed, or propeller dust. When the law enforcement branch back at the courthouse in Whitevile caught wind of this, they immediately placed an unusually heavy penalty and fine on any charge of possession or distribution.
The troops moving through Galloway’s Quarter formed a straight line, staggering individual troops thirty yards apart as they crept along through the swamp. When the resistance attacked the center of the line, the two ends would loop around to enclose the insurgents. If one end or the other was attacked, then the free end would loop around to make an enclosure. In any case, when an enclosure was made, the resisting insurgents would be promptly eliminated. There was one exception to this fact, however.
Once the platoon had been marching steadily for some four days without provisions. On the fifth morning when the commanding officer demanded the slumbering troops to arise and resume the march, they refused, proclaiming that they couldn’t do so without provisions. The commanding officer smiled, declaring that he would give full provision at the first opportunity. The platoon then agreed to resume marching for the purpose of full filling their duty assignment to eradicate all resistance.
No sooner had they exited camp and gone a few hundred yards outward, they encountered new resistance. These insurgents were soon encircled. To the astonishment of every person present, these insurgents only consisted of three teen aged boys and seven girls of the same age. They were all long time residents of Crusoe Island, so they informed the platoon commander as they begged for mercy.
The platoon surgeon was brought in who promptly ordered them all stripped. He closely examined their teeth, their tongues, and their bodies in general, pronouncing them all healthy. With agreement of the men, the three boys were taken to another area out of ear shot, and simply liquidated, while the young girls were transported to more open woods on higher dry ground. Here they were all tied to trees.
Seven pits were dug into the ground some ten feet long and two feet deep. Hickory wood was thrown into these pits and burned into glowing coals and ashes. Pieces of rebar were laid across the pit as the wood continued to burn. While the fire was going the girls were hanged on a tree limb by their ankles, and their throats were cut. Their bodies would be opened and eviscerated so they could drain in this fashion while the fires burned.
When the coals were ready the heads, hands, and feet were removed, and their body cavities opened and lain on the rebar over the glowing coals. On these bodies would be poured the juices of scrounged fruit. One man even had some molasses from a used up MRE container, while another had a bit of mustard on hand and a jar of honey, another some salt and vinegar. These substances were mixed to form an excellent sauce, then dutifully spread over the seven bodies on the fire pit with a field made folded leaf brush.
After a day of laying around the fires and enjoying each other’s company, every man in the entire platoon feasted until he reached his complete contentment. No person spoke a word of complaint in regard to his rations for the day, nor did a single man appear to possess any feelings of rejection, or animosity toward being given such fare. This was an unspoken measure fully allowable by military rules, to be determined according to individual situations by the commander himself, for the purpose of alleviating stress in his fighting men while moving through enemy territory. Rules were severe and secrecy was adamant, being commanded from every person involved. Penalties were harsh and unforgiving for violating this code. In the light of this final atrocity, the terrible situation on Crusoe Island had finally been brought to an unstable closure. In the whole of Galloway’s Quarter, the matter was another story.
Harlan Yarborough was a shady character of question, being seen in company with Ananias Parker, and two of his sons. Several from the HQ office in the Whitevile courthouse could attest to this. It was a well known fact among the inner circle that Harlan was capable of fulfilling virtually any request, if enough money was involved. He could be trusted to defend ones claim with his life, as long as he who expected these gracious services did according to the prearranged agreement.
Yarborough was a 275 pound man of solid statue and well built, perfectly toned muscle. A thick yellow mustache completely covered his upper lip. He wore his long blond hair parted back in the center of his head, and braided up into a tight queue that hung down between his shoulders in the back. Often he wore brand new Levis blue jeans, perfectly starched along every crease. His favorite shirts were various styles of Polo, or maybe a high fashioned Texas brand of western styled shirt. On his head he always wore a perfectly white, Stetson Fedora, with at least a $200.00 price tag.
In his pocket he carried a shop made hawk bill pocket knife. He always kept this blade razor sharp. He could retrieve this folded blade from his pocket with his right hand, opening it like it was spring loaded. Every person who knew him claimed he would slice the insides out of a person’s torso in about as much time as it took to glance over at them. He has also been sent to the brig more than once for stabbing or cutting people who ran afoul with him. A number of local people in Galloway’s Quarter had the scars around their throats, or across their stomach to prove it.
Harlan was a prodigious drinker and cocaine user. He was said to consume an entire pint of 90 proof whiskey in a single gulp. When the money flow was good, the liquor flowed inward just as deeply. He tended to trade in both bootleg liquor, powder, and weed, when other business was slow. Any request made involving violence or moving contraband, he was usually up for. He was straight up in business and despised any person who wasn’t, forever vowing to see that they got their dues.
Yarborough lived to brawl, often getting into scrapes for no apparent reason other than a person’s sour look, or no reason at all. He could be loyal, however, very loyal, and he highly admired bravery, coming to a person’s rescue who stood strong in a fight with multiple people, if he felt that the person was to be respected.
There was more about Yarborough that only a few others knew. He was actually a trained fight master. He lived for the death match, which has been outlawed in every country on earth, save only a few. Japan, under certain conditions, and Brazil, are two of only a few. Supper wealthy foreigners from Germany and France in particular, loved to watch the bloody display, and were willing to pay no less than $10000.00 per ticket, and to place bets. Every year around Christmas time, for about four months, Harlan would vanish from Galloway’s Quarter, always returning unannounced, and loaded down with cash.
A man who traded cocaine with him claimed that he traveled to Brazil every year, engaged in a challenge, returning home with more than 6 figures for accepting the contest. The single adult daughters of these ultra wealthy patrons were also known to literally throw themselves at a consistent winner, often supporting him for an entire year, with their father’s permission. It was said that only the greatest fighters from the Clan Of The Wasp were allowed to compete. Having a child from such a consistently valiant contestant was considered a badge of honor. This specific instance was the only known variant from the father’s usual rigid demeanor in questions of choice and morality, since all marriages and relationships were prearranged by parents.
The way Yarbourough brought the money back tax free and unquestioned from offshore was simple. He loaded the wealth up onto an unlimited debit card. The type he used was untraceable, and acquired when offshore for greater secrecy insurance. When he made it back home he simply called up Mijj Bo Greene, Ananias Parker, or Mason McPherson, who always made certain that Harlan could walk over to the local Wachcovia Bank teller machine and withdraw his cash, no questions asked. When he couldn’t, should all else fail, he could simply motor on out to Masons or Ananias Parker’s estate, and one of these individuals would pay it all out to him directly. Either person possessed the means to simply take back their money from the card; there again, no questions asked.
When the Crusoe Island Dynasty needed a certain type of handy man, Harlan was in, without questions. He was one of the first men the HQ detectives approached to question. Several threats were made from past allegations being pursued and punitive actions taken. When enough cash was placed before him, Harlan commenced speaking, but with great hesitation and only so much, no matter how much money they handed him.
“Tell us what ya know!,” raged the biker detective as he tossed three more thousand in cash down in front of him.
“Look, I’ve already said what I need to say. Hooker Ainsley asked me to be his torch man. He offered to hand me twenty grand in cold cash for doing it. He paid me half upfront. When the warehouse went up in flames last November night, I collected on my other half.”
The heavily tattooed detective glared down.
“There’s only one problem with that story, Harlan, and you know it. Ainsley’s warehouse wasn’t the one that burned on November 12th, 1980. That is the one, right?”
“It was last November night! I can’t recall which one after a year now, but I do clearly recall that it was last November night.”
The detective drew a deep breath on his rum soaked cigar. A cloud of black smoke went up above their heads.
“Come on, Harlan here, don’t munk around with me about this. There was only one damn warehouse that went up last November, at least in Galloway’s Quarter. That warehouse was Bo Greene’s on November 12th. Did you burn one outside of the old Quarter here? We need to know more in regard to this? So fess up and tell us all about it!,” the detective fired with a sinister laugh.
Harlan maintained an expressionless face, saying nothing in reply.
The detective took another puff, then glanced over toward Harlan
“Come on man, start talking. You’ve already admitted to burning down a tobacco warehouse on November 12, 1980. You claimed it was for Hooker Ainsley. Once we connect the dots on this you’re looking at 15 to 20 long, and hard ones, for arson. You know what prison life is like in these parts, don’t you?,” the detective sneered. “You’ve heard of Caledonia Work Farms down in Georgetown, South Carolina, haven’t you? That’s the place where a hired arsonist like you, and especially with a record like yours, winds up. What have you got to lose right now? We are all waiting for you to begin talking.”
Harlan still maintained a hard expressionless face, giving no reply. He was well acquainted with Caledonia. He had never been there, but he had spoken with plenty who had. Simply put, Caledonia Work Farms was a hell on earth. Inmates were forced to live in tents, to labor in the fields and underneath a torrid blazing sun 6 days a week, twelve hours a day. They lived in pup tents, grew their own food, and hand pumped their own water, while they existed underneath a 24hr shotgun guard.
Worse than these overall conditions, they were subjected to abuse from the guards themselves, not to mention other inmates. This abuse included random lashings, beatings, being placed into solitary confinement with only bread and water for weeks on end, then being forced to room with multiple known sodomites. Fortunately for him in this department, he could fight well. Most other inmates were not so lucky. Still, he had rather remain on the outside of Caledonia Work Farms.
“Lets be level on this, Harlan. We already know the deal here. You did torch the warehouse on November 12th, 1980. Hooker Ainsley was only Bo Greene’s proxy. Greene had better things to do the night Ainsley met with you. He only handed Ainsley ex amount of cash, and Ainsley negotiated the deal, confirming this with a quick call to Greene. After he handed you your amount, he already had his own, and the deal was done.”
Harlan still said nothing, only glaring, then glancing away.
“Look at me, boy, when I speak to you,” growled the biker detective. Harlan glared directly into his eyes. “The tobacco warehouse that you burned was Mijj Bo Greene’s. Bo Greene and Governor Sealgair have an owner partnership in many of those warehouses. This stuff is serious kimchee here. When we get finished picking around in Galloway’s Quarter, we’ll have a beeline running all the way up to D.C., directly into the presidential palace itself! You’ll wind up making history around here,” the biker detective and the other four in his company suddenly burst out laughing.
Harlan had no expression on his face, remaining silent. The detective took another deep breath.
“Lets be up front about all this? What’s it gonna take? Name your price.”
“I don’t need money!,” Harlan fired.
“What a you want then, if not money? Just let us know here, so we can be on with it.”
“Give me immunity,” Harlan snapped.
“Is that really what you want? You want immunity here? Is that it?”
Harlan made no reply.
The detective glanced around the room at the other expressionless faces, then turned to face Harlan.
“You want immunity, do you? Well then, you have it! Now start talking.”
Harlan slowly leaned inward toward the detective.
“You have all the answers, and I have already told you the rest! Now lets be strait on this matter right now. I have places I need to be, and people I need to see, if you will.”
Harlan abruptly arose from his seat, huffing out of the interrogation room. The five detectives merely sat glancing around at one another without speaking a single additional word.
With that word from Harlan three detectives motored on over to the burn site outside of Chadborn, NC. There were also burn sites near Loris, SC, and just outside of Fairmont, NC. When the three reached the site in Chadborn, all that remained were ashes, cinders, concrete blocks, and a tangle of smoldering tin and metal. Investigators were already onto the scene, sifting through the ash in search of any evidence that might connect with the suspects, or make another lead.
Several of the elder warehouse workers surveyed the scene, walking about casually. One was a frequent laborer from the local black community, named James Jessup. Most locals knew him as Dr. Jake, the creator of a local juke-joint dance known as Dr. Jake’s Shake. This dance stood somewhere between a mo-town midnight special, and The Shag. Local black and white folk relished the moves and the accompanying music. Dr. Jake was rather bent by the years a bit, being somewhat reserved, but would freely carry on a conversation when he felt moved to. Generally speaking, he was well liked. Much more than that, as it concerned the detectives, Dr. Jake tended to know lots about events occurring in the area.
One of the three detectives was a thin man dressed in new jeans and a fresh Izod shirt. His name was Bartleby Shaw. He was a quick witted man and bore the skill of being able to interact with all local people on their level in way that courted their trust. He was also well known by the locals throughout the general area, so cementing a relationship might be more readily accomplished when he approached people, more so than the other two.
“Dr. Jake, tell me something now,” smiled Bartleby.
“I’ll show tell ya anything ya want to know,” laughed the elder.
“How’s that shake comin’ along these days?,” both men laughed loudly for a bit.
“It has come along really good for many long years now. I think the years are catching up with me. It’ll still come around, but its much slow, and not quite as hard these days.”
Both men gazed at the pile of smoldering ruins laying before them.
“What a you think about this mess here?”
Dr. Jake shook his head.
“Hmm, you said the right word, mess it is.”
“But this isn’t the only such mess,” clipped Bartleby. “We have the same mess in Loris, Fairmont, and maybe five other areas.”
“What I think about it is that all this mess is just icing on the cake!,” Dr. Jake laughed. “That’s what I think about all this.”
Bartleby suddenly firmed up in a cautiously serious way.
“What a ya mean there, Dr. Jake? What are you referring to here?”
“You might need to check out Bo Greene’s and Ananias hog parlors. Somethings a stir there, from what I am hearing.”
“You have any idea what it could be?,” Bartleby asked with reserved caution.
“People round here have been scared to death, to speak the truth, for a long time now,” whispered Dr. Jake in a low tone of voice. “ Basically the rule was hear no evil, see no evil.”
“I see, Jake,” replied Bartleby.
“Well, many who saw things, things out in the woods, things here with these warehouses, things that have been going on for the past nine years, and even earlier; tended to up and disappear if they spoke out. Local people have long known it and stayed mum. These out-landers are different.”
“I’m listening,” replied Bartleby, “but I still don’t quite pick up on what you are saying.”
“Well what I am saying is this, to put in simple words; rats get killed by traps, and wooden base ball bats.”
“That certainly explains lots about informants suddenly not being available for questioning, and locals in the area not knowing anything about their whereabouts,” replied Bartleby.
“I think you ‘uns just might need to motor on out to the hog farms over on Old Red Hill Road, and those just outside of Loris,” Dr. Jake spoke as he turned to face the detective. “There were three right here who tried to sound the alarm, and are now nowhere to be found. Their families are wondering, their wives, sisters, mothers and daughters are crying.”
“Thanks for the tip,” Dr. Jake there, “I guess that we have our day cut out for us,” Bartleby spoke as he headed over toward the other two men standing off closer to the burn site. He picked up pace as he neared the other two.
“Lets go, and now!,” he fired. “We’ll speak as we head out onto the road.”
The three race over toward a brand new 1981 Lincoln, then sped off the property and onto the highway.
“We might be only a short few miles from resolving this entire horrendous situation,” spoke Bartleby to his comrades. Within fifteen minutes the car was speeding down a narrow paved road. A green sign ahead confirmed the location as Red Hill Road. Three curves were rounded, then a dirt road branched off to the left. Quickly Bartleby turned the wheel and the car began to bump along over the roots, holes, and gravel stone. Ahead was a series of twelve hog farms. Some thirty men were walking all over the dirt on one these farms, while others were sifting through the soil in search of something.
Bartleby and the other two detectives walked over toward the man writing notes and watching carefully as teams of two and three men sifted through the muck and soil.
“Hello sir, I am Bartleby Shaw, one of the detectives from the central county office at the courthouse in Whitevile. I have word that something was up.”
“Yeah, well you heard right about this mess, something was definitely up here.”
“I haven’t heard any more though. That’s why I rode over here.”
“There was a pile of what was presumed to be extremely fragmented human bone discovered by a worker here in the pig manure. He became suspicious late one night when he spotted two unidentified men throwing what he took to be a human corpse to the pigs. He was standing more than a hundred yards out, so he wasn’t clear about it, but was enough to be concerned, ” the man spoke as he carefully recorded more bone fragments being pulled from the mud.
“What made him so convinced that these bone fragments were human?,” asked Bartleby?
“Claims he found a few human teeth. Some of our investigators here on scene have made some possible discoveries of the same. All of this matter is being sent in to Raleigh for further confirmation.”
“No firm confirmation on the fact yet?,” Bartleby snapped. He quickly scribbled something on a note pad he kept in the vest pocket on his suit, then snatched the paper up, handing it to the man.
“None,” the man replied, “nothing affirmative yet.”
“There’s is my office number. Call me when something comes up that’s a definite hit.”
Slowly the links were merging. The two governors and the Crusoe Island dynasty had some nasty dirt on their hands. The problem with connecting the suggestions was that the line of evidence didn’t run out far enough to connect and form the link. For any sort of claim to ever hold up in court it would have to. Not only that, before any sort of slam could be initiated other than what had already occurred, one would have to root out all of the connections supporting what was appearing more as some sort of backwoods big time criminal association.
Detective Bartalby leaned back into his leather bound office chair as he gave thought to the overall situation. He packed a brier wood pipe full with new Raleigh tobacco, lit it up, and eased backward in deep contemplation. Five hours had passed since he met with the investigator down at the burn site. The phone suddenly blared from the desk to the left of the room. It was Randal Bowmen from the fire investigation team.
“Bartleby, we have a new lead in this case.”
“Well I’m all ears, lets hear it.”
“We’ve discovered that three torch men were involved. One of them was Harlan, the ruffian, you know the one I am speaking of. The other two were Ricky Leech, Pat Bass, two who are almost in the same league as Harlan.”
“I’m not familiar with the other two,” replied Bartleby.
“We spoke with Harlan,” Bowman continued. “Harlan seemed to be the most intelligent of the three.”
“Harlan confirmed that he had been a hired hand in this, but Leech broke down and revealed the name of their employer. You’re not going to believe it. It was senator Don Layton, a right hand associate to the cat daddy, Mijj Bo Greene, himself; the man who is said to swing the really big meat around in these parts.”
“You’re kidding me!,” fired Bartleby in surprise.
“No, no, this stuff is real. Others are in the process of questioning Don right now.”
“What about our big league suspects, the Parker brothers, Mijj Bo Greene, and Mason McPherson? Made any solid connections yet?”
“We’re following through. We haven’t made any solid connections, but I am telling you, even if we do I am not sure we can make a snag in all of this.”
“This mess on Crusoe has finally ended. The people have been allowed to enter back onto the island. At long last we finally have our suspects on the four murders opening up this massive can of worms that followed. We are making some progress in finding those who were responsible for murdering those forty officers who tried to make the property evictions. Maybe we are finally heading somewhere,” Bartleby replied. He puffed on his pipe in between word exchanges.
“This entire situation will drag on for some time still yet, possibly years. Then there is that lawyer and politician in with all of the big boys, C.R. Loes. This man has powerful connections way up into Washington D.C. Once we all get to poking around in that ka ka, we still may yet find out that it’s hasn’t any bottom to it. Like I said, even though we have goods that are getting better in quality, it will be a long fight,” Bowman assured.
Fifteen years passed. A few key elders were suspected according to scant circumstantial evidence, and pulled time on Caledonia Work Farms; but got off on reduced sentences, thanks to the help of Mijj Bo Greene via Mason McPherson. Not one served over five years time, even though they were implicated in the murders of Federal officials. After those citizens who were evacuated from Galloway’s Quarter returned, an unsteady rhythm of life continued on for some time, often putting government officials and citizens on edge. That tenseness has continued on down through time .
Senator Don Layton eventually would up being sentenced 20 years in Federal prison for arson. His right hand man, Harlan Yarborough, was in the can with him. Harlan’s mafioso connections allowed the senator to live a king’s lifestyle while there behind bars, according to local rumors. Some in the area of Gallaway’s Quarter suspect that both of them agreed to do some mysterious, dark job for the mob in exchange for their cushy lifestyle and respect garnished from the inmates, but no specifics have yet to come into light. Thanks to the connections of McPherson, Ananias Parker, and Bo Greene, with the help of C.R. Loes, Harlan and Layton were out free and clear after serving only two years.
As for the Parker brothers, McPherson, and Governor’s Sealgair, and Elire, from South Carolina; after three years of battling in federal court, all charges were finally dropped due to lack of evidence, thanks to the help of lawyer C.R. Loes, said to be the best in three states. Their eldest sons, however, were nailed on drug smuggling charges, found to be with connections reaching all the way down to great Gulf Coast cartel in Columbia, South America.
Rascal Parker owned an R.V. manufacturing company, and was found stashing the pipes in the kitchen and bathroom full with cocaine, and the space between the upper and lower floors full with the same powder. Several rooms in these R.V.’s were said to contain bales of hash and marijuana. The bales had been linked back to the huge fields of the weed discovered in Galloway’s Quarter. His eldest son took the fall for it.
In three short years the young man was back out onto the streets. His time in prison was said to be basically a stint in a high classed hotel room, where the man could come and go as he pleased. There again, a result from having connections; yet suspicions of fulfilling some yet to be discovered, tarnished orders fly out on the streets.
None of these sons who took the fall had to serve a single moment down in labor fields. The guards were said to have catered to them, rather than dared to harass. They were never in the company of other inmates; so no negative situations occurred due to interaction, as does with the average person who is forced to submit to the power structure among inmates out on the prison floor. Basically every sentence served was a slap on the wrist, and a ride on the gravy train. So it goes when people have solid connections with the right tycoons. Knowledge that a person is in possession of, is only secondary at best in the secular order of reality.
Back on Crusoe Island all of those accused were eventually released by the Fed on lack of evidence. The locals swear to this very day that all of these people who really were guilty simply allowed themselves to be swallowed up by the cypress swamp. When the dirt in all of this business finally settled down, they eventually eased back out, only to be absorbed back into the established communities, living out their mortal lives in complete contentment.
According to resident stories, the last out-lander made his exit off the island back in 1988, running with every fiber of his being up to Boston, vowing to his dying breath he would never again bother with traveling back to the South-land, anywhere. To this day the moment of that final exit is celebrated exuberantly in the streets of Duval and Formy with great elaboration and excitement. The celebration is called the Le Jour De La Seconde Libération, held on the thirteenth day of every April since ‘88. To this very moment the name, Crusoe Island, sends shivers up the spine of every out-lander back on the mainland, from Whitevile all the way up to Maine.
On clear nights during the harvest moon, if one stands on the high side back a ways from the bridge going into the island, he can still hear an arousing midnight song of the Blue Tick, and perceive distant bravado cheers of a highly individualist culture set to endure the ages forward into infinity, on its own terms, as its many long buried skeletons continue to molder down in the swamp mud.