The brilliant yellow sun stood high and hot in the sky. The humidity seem to make the surroundings shimmer with a maddening haze. It was more blue than any other day and few vultures circled around the air. They cried out to each with shrilling screeches. Chelsea looked up and licked her dry chapped lips, at least they were free. There were vultures of a different breed congregating before her as well; dressed in tailored black or grey suits, big hats and dust greyed boots. The sun licked her back and bare shoulders, the scratchy dirty dress she wore was two sizes too big for her and she struggled to keep it place. This was her third time on an auction block. She was sold at age ten, along with her entire family, to a very wealthy cotton plantation, again at age fourteen to work in the kitchens of an aristocrat. Well she was really traded, the cotton farm wanted a strapping boy instead and the other family wanted an extra girl in the kitchen. She ended up spending most of her days washing pots, pans and cleaning the kitchen. Lord Trelawny eventually went poor, with all his drinking, gambling and whoring. He was poor, destitute and the topic of public gossip; his poor wife went back to her father's estate miles and miles away with the children. All his worldly assets were being sold to recoup his large debt and that included Chelsea. So here she was again being gawked at. She felt like a kettle close to boiling point.
"Folks, next item up for bid,' The portly well dressed banker pointed at Chelsea; she kept her head down, "This pretty little nigger gal. She is strong, of breeding age, still has all her teeth too, and she can read a little. Where will we start the bidding men?"
The banker struggled a little as Chelsea fought back but he overpowered her and lifted her chin to face the audience. He pried her mouth open to show her teeth and pulled down the front of her dress to bare her breasts. Chelsea quickly pulled it back up and the kettle got closer to whistling. Her temper had gotten her in trouble before, she did all she could to restrain herself.
"I have a twenty dollar bid, good gentlemen, do I hear twenty-five? She is a fine cook and good for cleaning."
The auction went on, soon all the property including Chelsea were sold off. She was then taken away along with another girl and some china in a wagon heading away from the town square.
Angus Millwood was a proud self made man and came to prominence here in the growing town of Providence. He wished his father could see him right now. He would be surprised to see his son so established and Angus would have loved to rub his face in it before shooting him. Wilbur Millwood had been a hard, cruel and uncaring bastard who would beat and berate his children and his wife. Angus' poor mother Rebecca suffered at his hand before she died young and broken-spirited. Angus wished he had been brave enough to kill the wicked bastard but nature had taken it's course. His father had died a most painful death due to illness. Thank heavens, God did answer prayers and the wicked did receive their just rewards.
Now his tobacco, which sprawled over several acres, was some of the best in the country. There was an orange orchard too, to the left of the tobacco fields. They were just coming into maturity now. Angus kept a few horses and that he did sell at the markets every now and then. He puffed his chest feeling quite proud. The wagon of supplies, slaves and a crate of that good whiskey he loved so much was nearing his sprawling house on the plantation. It was good time to be Angus Millwood , he smiled and waved at his son, Albert Millwood.