January 29 2007
Nathan and Tom worked well together and soon had the farm on the same parity as many profitable southern farms. Tom admired both Nathan and Isaac for taking him in. He knew they could easily have sent him back to slavery in Arkansas. He managed to save the majority of his small salary they paid him. Tom looked forward to each workday but missed the company of his employers at night. He loved his small cabin but at night it seemed large and empty.
As spring was approaching Isaac and Nathan decided that with Tom’s help Isaac would continue working at the mercantile. Isaac’s salary would pay Tom’s salary with a modest amount left over for savings. As typical, Isaac was awake before Nathan and prepared breakfast before departing to Park Hill to his job.
“What a cold miserable day,” Nathan observed as he washed up for breakfast. “I think Tom and I will do our chores and then give this place a thorough cleaning.”
“What a wonderful idea,” Isaac agreed. “We’ve neglected our housekeeping duties lately. I’ll leave the dishes for you guys to take care of then. Now give me a kiss and I’ll be on my way to work.”
“What a busy day,” Isaac commented to John Tillery, the mercantile manager.
“It’s a cold rainy day and most don’t care to work out in this miserable weather,” John explained.
Isaac looked up from his busy day and saw Nathan standing in front of him with a concerned look on his face. “What’s wrong,” Isaac asked?
“Have you seen Tom,” Nathan inquired? “He had already done the outside chores when I went to the barn, but I haven’t seen him all day. One of the horses is also gone.”
“Surely he couldn’t be far,” Isaac said. “He knows it’s dangerous for him to leave the farm without one of us.”
“If he’s left us I hope he has gone north to safety,” Nathan said. “The horse isn’t that important. He has earned his salary and plus the value of the horse.”
“Give me a few minutes and I’ll close the store and ride back home with you,” Isaac said. “Maybe we can find out something when we get home. Tomorrow is Sunday and I can join you in looking for him.”
Following breakfast Isaac went to the barn to saddle the horses while Nathan washed the dishes. Isaac saw a horse with two riders in the distance. As they came closer he realized it was Tom riding their horse. But, who was the other person? Isaac soon realized that the second rider was a young Negro girl who appeared to be about Tom’s age.
“This is my wife, Sally,” Tom said. “She’s a good cook and will cook for you and Master Nathan. You don’t need to pay. Please Master let her stay.”
“Of course she can stay,” Isaac promised. “You didn’t tell us that you had a wife, Tom.”
“We just jumped the broom,” Tom said, using the term many used for a Negro marriage. “
“Welcome to your new home, Sally,” Isaac said as Nathan joined them.
“Thank you Master,” Sally timidly replied as she looked at Nathan with suspicion.
“Yes, Sally welcome to your new home,” Nathan said. “You two must be hungry. Come in the house and we’ll find you two some breakfast.”
Sally proved to be as hard working as Tom. She was an excellent cook as Tom had promised. Isaac and Nathan had never seen Tom so happy. “It worries me that we don’t have papers on those two in case some white man may come and take them back to Arkansas,” Nathan said.
“I’ll talk to John and see if he has any suggestions,” Isaac said.
“Give me a few days and I’ll see what I can do,” John promised when Isaac explained his concern with Tom and Sally.
Isaac was surprised a few days later when John handed him a bill of sale for Tom and Sally, two Negro slaves.
“These are impressive,” Isaac said. “They don’t even appear new. But, I didn’t want to own them. I want them to have freedman papers.”
“I expected that,” John said with a smile. “All you have to do is sign these papers that give them their freedom.
The farm prospered with the hard work of Nathan and Tom. Sally had taken over all of the household duties and this gave them more time to work in the fields. Isaac continued with his work at the mercantile.
It had been somewhat busy day and Isaac was busy preparing an order for new merchandise when he heard, “I’m Adam Hampton, and I have some new merchandise I’d like to show you.”
“It can’t be,” Isaac said more to himself than anyone else. It was his father; the father that was away from when the soldiers had arrived to remove them from their home.
“Is that you,” Adam asked of his son? “How is your mother?”
“She and grandmother died on the trail her,” Isaac said.
“I’m sorry to hear that,” Adam said, more as a stranger than a husband would say about his wife. “I’ll be in the area on business for a while. Perhaps I could come and spend some time with you and your family.”
“You would be welcome,” Isaac said in an offer that was more like an offer to a stranger than to a father. “I’ll be gong home in an hour and you’ll be welcome to come home with me. I’m sure Sally will have plenty of food cooked. She normally prepares plenty.”
Isaac and his father rode the five miles from Park Hill to the farm with few words between them. Isaac was surprised that his father never asked about the death of his wife.
“This is Tom and his wife Sally, and this is Nathan,” Isaac said as he introduced the couple then Nathan to his father.
“I assumed Sally was your wife,” Adam said.
“No, I have no wife. Sally and Tom work for us,” Isaac explained.
“Us,” Adam questioned?
“Nathan and I own the farm,” Isaac said without further explanation. “Sally has supper ready. I’m sure you’ll enjoy her wonderful cooking.”
“Do you expect me to sit and dine with Niggers,” Adam said in anger.
“That decision is yours,” Isaac replied. “We consider Sally and Tom to be our employees and also our friends. Now if you care to join us you may. Otherwise you may sit over near the fireplace while we enjoy a wonderful meal.”
Adam wasn’t pleased with eating at the same table with Sally and Tom, but his hunger overcame his pride. The food was consumed with very little conversation. However, Nathan did give Isaac an approving smile as they ate.
Sally washed the dishes and then she and Tom excused themselves to retire to their cabin. “I’m tired and ready for bed. Where is the bedroom where I sleep,” Adam asked?
“We only have one bedroom at the present time,” Isaac explained. “I’ll make you a comfortable bed here near the fire.”
Although Adam wasn’t happy with the sleeping arrangements he said nothing. He didn’t suspect that Isaac and Nathan were lovers since at that time it was not uncommon for men to share the same bed.
Isaac took Nathan into his arm and kissed him. Then he said, “I love you Nathan and I want you to make love to me.”
“Your father is in the next room and will hear us,” Nathan said.
“You’re my spouse and I want us to make love, and I don’t care if he does hear us,” Isaac countered.
Nathan pulled Isaac into his arms and kissed him. He then spat on his hand for lube on his hard cock. He pushed Isaac’s legs up to allow him entry into his welcoming hole. He then heard Isaac moan with pleasure. He entered his lover and began making love with slow strokes and then increased as they neared climax. They both moaned with pleasure when they both came. Nathan remained inside Isaac until he became soft. He then withdrew and took Isaac into his arms. They fell asleep embraced in each other’s arms.
Isaac was awake before Nathan and he carefully freed himself from Nathan’s arms. He found his father sitting near the fireplace when he entered the room. “Good morning Father, I trust you slept well. Sally will be here shortly and prepare breakfast.”
“I will be going to Tahlequah and will stay at the hotel there. I will not spend another night in the same house with buggers,” Adam said
as he used the term that was used for homosexuals at the time.
“That decision is yours, Father,” Isaac replied. “But, I love Nathan and he loves me. That will not change.” That was the last time Isaac saw his father.
The Cherokee people were becoming prosperous in the new land. However there was still bitter feeling toward those who signed the treaty that gave up ownership of their historical lands. The white men were on the verge of civil war. Isaac had a premonition that many Cherokees would suffer from the white man’s conflict.
As news of the Civil War reached the Cherokee Nation Isaac and Nathan made plans for a hiding place for Tom and Sally in case the Southern Army arrived. They also made arrangements for the deposit of their savings in a northern bank.
“I don’t feel good about this war,” Isaac told Nathan. “Many innocent Cherokees will suffer. The whites on both sides will want to draw the Cherokees into their war.”
Isaac’s predictions came to pass and the war was a bitter one. There were many rumors of looting and burning. Isaac and Nathan found a small cave in the hills and hid as much food as they could. When they heard of troops in the area they instructed Tom and Sally to take the livestock to the hiding place and remain there until it was safe to return.
Tom and Sally became very proficient at quickly moving the livestock, even in the middle of the night. There had been no reports of troop in the area but Isaac had one of his premonitions and instructed them to go to the hiding place. He and Nathan remain in their cabin.
Isaac and Nathan went to bed and Nathan fell asleep quickly. However, sleep would not come to Isaac. It was well past midnight when exhaustion overcame Isaac and he fell asleep. Before dawn they were awaken by a loud bang as the rebel solders kicked in the door.
The solders found Nathan holding Isaac in his arms. One of the solders who appeared to be poor white trash said “Looks like we have a couple of buggers here.” Two solders pulled Isaac from the bed while two others held Nathan down. The solder who appeared to be in charge pulled down his pants and climbed on top of Nathan. He violated Nathan with force and cruelty.
“Don’t touch him you son of a bitch,” Isaac screamed loudly. Isaac’s protest only caused the solder to become more violent. Isaac could no longer watch and turned his head. However, the other solders made him watch.
Tom heard the noise coming from the cabin. He knew he was only one against at least a dozen solders. He decided that the rebels would rather have one “nigger” than two white men. He instructed Sally to stay hidden as he jumped on one of the horses and raced toward the cabin. “Look it’s a nigger on a horse,” one of the solders who was outside yelled. Tom’s plan worked. The solders knocked Isaac to the floor. But, before they could hit Nathan he pulled the gun from under the bed and shot his attacker in the head. The soldier fell to the floor dead. The soldiers returned fire at Nathan as he was continued his mad attack.
Isaac opened his eyes and saw Sally tending his wound. “Where’s Tom,” Isaac questioned?
“Tom is burying the dead soldiers before others come back,” Sally explained.
“Nathan, where is Nathan,” Isaac asked as he looked around for his lover? Sally turned here face and wouldn’t answer. “Sally, I asked where Nathan is.”
Sally turned to Isaac with tears in her eyes and said, “Mr. Isaac they killed him.”
“No,” Isaac screamed loudly and then passed out.