The Incredible Journey of Thomas Johnson


Copyright© 2017 – Nicholas Hall


Chapter Twenty-One


"Give a little love to a child and you will get a great deal back."

(John Ruskin)


One for the money, two for the show

Our days were busy and our nights were enjoyable during mid-May until early June when our spring planting was completed. Colin and Jefferson continued to share my bedroom with Benjie, Henri, and me. We soon found Colin enjoyed giving as much as receiving and could pump hell out of Jefferson's ass as well as having his pummeled in return. Henri and Benjie just had to see if Colin's cock up their love tunnel felt any different than mine and if there was any change in the amount of satisfaction they received from it. They both decided, one, it did feel different, but, two, there was no decrease in the satisfaction they received from riding his cock-horse. I, too, just couldn't resist the temptation and found myself sinking balls deep in his lovely, white, small ass and filling it with my own tempest of fluid!

Jubal and Rachael enjoyed having their own special room, even if it belonged to Benjie and Henri, and I vowed, the next available room that came along, they'd get it. I happened to walk in on them one rainy morning when work would be delayed and found them both naked, Rachael on her back, her thin hairless legs wrapped around Jubal's back, with him locked between them, fucking her vigorously and thoroughly! She saw me, smiled and gave a little wave just before she began climaxing, bringing a shudder and several ass-clenching thrusts forward by Jubal as he fountained his semen into her small receptacle. He noticed me then, also smiled, and slowly pulled out of her little girl cunt. I determined then, as I looked at his man-sized penis, young Jubal had grown indeed and would soon rival me for length and definitely best me in girth. It amazed me how that sweet young thing, so small, so tight, could accommodate such a magnificent piece of stiff flesh! I smiled in return and, looking at Rachael's spread legs, opening her girl part for view, saw his white, creamy cum literally dripping out of her. That young man certainly produced a voluminous amount of inseminating fluid!

Planting done, everything depended on the weather and how well we tended our crops, according to Hannibal. Crops in the ground didn't necessarily mean the cessation of work however. Those planted crops needed to be cultivated, the livestock fed and watered, the garden tended to, and a multitude of other chores. If we wanted to expand our cattle and hog production, penned yards needed to be constructed, pastures to maintain, and hay to cut, dry, and stack for winter use. Currently our cattle were pastured and the fencing was wooden or split rail; not the most effective, but barbed wire had not come into existence as of this time and place. It also meant someone would have to check on the cattle and the fence periodically to make certain no one made off with any and to keep them relatively close to the farmstead. The milk cows were in a fenced in pasture and brought in for milking twice a day.

This was also a good time to begin mining and storing our winter supply of coal, the quantity needed increased greatly with the increase in population. An increase in quantity also meant an increase in the number and size of the coal storage bins. Summer, since it was now that as far as I was concerned, was a time to begin enlarging our school house, complete construction on the several new homes we needed to house those families who took advantage of Chapman's offer of a small acreage and a house if they would stay and work. There were a few of those who showed up that fateful Saturday, but most moved on, either back to where they came from or to new locations. The summer help who usually came, stayed; single men in the bunkhouse (where we had to add more bunks) and families camped over by the spring beyond the orchard. The spring was a strong one, gushing cold sweet water with enough force to lift the head of water a couple of feet in the air before it cascaded back down on the rocks to the deep clear pool below, before swooshing off toward the Des Moines River. I thought, sometime in the future, we might be able to make good use of that spring, since, according to Hannibal, it never froze all winter; iced up, yes, but not frozen.

Lieutenant James Andrews' enlistment was up in June and he became a permanent resident and employee of Mr. Chapman's. Caleb moved into the room James occupied across the hall from Chapman's. Around the same time, Reverend Miller decided it was time for him and his wife to move on. He'd been successful in finding homes for all of his charges, except one boy and two girls, but was confident he could find good homes for them as well. The fact that Rachael was staying here and sleeping with Jubal never was mentioned, except as soon as the Reverend's charges vacated the two rooms across the hall, I made certain Jubal and Rachael had one of them for their own as well as Jefferson and Colin in the other. It didn't take long for her to start doing those little things to it that made it their special room and home within a home. It was as if it was the most natural thing in the world for a ten year old girl to be sleeping with an almost fifteen year boy. It really shouldn't have surprised me, since no one seemed it unusual for me to be bedding Benjie and Henri, or James Andrews and Caleb, Jefferson and Colin, and Absalom and Antoine were all fucking each other. I would suppose in any other community during this time, we all would have been strung up as catamites.

Now school was out, the little boys (as we tended to call Benjie and Henri, although I was beginning to notice those subtle physical changes that would soon bring on puberty) had their chores to tend too such as gathering eggs, feeding chickens, livestock, garden work, and other duties required of them. Jubal still helped, but more and more of his time was spent in the fields. In the fall, he'd be going off to college, something he and Rachael weren't looking forward to because of the separation, but I felt they'd be able to deal with it quite well. Jubal would have the opportunity to come home every now and then, especially the holidays. Trains were fast becoming the mode of transportation people preferred!

Rachael became a welcome and ardent student of Celeste Doucet, improving her reading and writing skills as well as learning the healing arts of herbs and other medicinal practices Celeste knew so well. Her education was not limited to just those things, she also was being schooled in all things domestic from cooking to sewing to food preservation. These were all important skills for her to have when she married Jubal; "Probably around age fourteen or so," Celeste said, "depending on when her menses starts." I wondered, the way Jubal was servicing her, if it ever would! Rachael was a bright girl and a fast learner; she and Jubal were perfect for each other.

Colin, while Jefferson worked the fields and stock during the day, spent time building what he called "tops," but I called "supers" in my time, for wooden bee hives. According to him, it's a relatively new way of bee keeping; allowing the beekeeper to remove honey from the hive without destroying it or killing the bees.

"It's a new construction of hives developed by a man in Pennsylvania my daddy knew. It really increases the production and still lets the bees live through the winter; except you have to make sure you leave enough honey for them."

Currently the farm used the old type hives, constructed of wood, but in a box frame preventing easy removal of honey without disturbing the hive. The design Colin learned from his father had movable inside frames spread apart allowing the bees passage between and around the combs on the frames. The removable frames were accessed by lifting the "top" off of the wooden hive and harvesting the combed honey – only enough so it wouldn't hurt the bees' chances of surviving the winter.

"I read in a newspaper," Colin continued, "about a machine a guy invented that could get the honey out of the comb by something called a `centrifuge.' If we had one of those we could really produce some fine honey for us and some to sell; don't you think, Mr. Jeansonne?"

Colin had Hiram build him a "smoker" he could use to calm the bees when working with the hives and one of the ladies, the wife of one of our workers, make him a very thin lace veil head covering so the bees wouldn't sting his face.

"They can hurt like a sum-a-bitch," he claimed "if they get pissed and start stinging any open spots on your skin!"

He wore the veil and a long-sleeved shirt when working around the bees, as well as tying the legs of his pants tight around his ankles so they wouldn't fly up inside and sting him some place very personal.

Ambrose, one of our new residents, was also one of our cabinet makers and carpenters and decided, after watching him work on the new hives, Colin had the talent and skills, when it came to woodworking, and offered to teach him more about cabinet making and furniture making. As a result, not only being our beekeeper, Colin soon became one of our furniture and cabinet makers. He was a fine addition to our enterprise. However, the increase in woodworking meant undertaking an addition to Hiram's metal shop. I wanted to keep those activities all under one roof, specifically because they could help each other and more importantly, the place would be heated in the winter from Hiram's forge.

James Andrews settled in and I acquainted him with the business operations of Chapman Farms. Mr. Chapman and I spent a couple of hours outlining our plans for expansion and the importance of having a railroad switch and siding access on or near the property. It, along with seeking opportunities for business for the Farm (along with teaching duties when school was in session), was a primary objective at the moment. James was excited about the prospects of working for us and his ability to contribute to the growth and expansion of the farm enterprise. I honestly believed he had no idea what he'd be doing once he left the army and joined us. He only knew he loved Caleb so dearly he would've done anything to remain with him. They were a nice, loving, compatible couple, albeit different color as were Jefferson and Colin, only with Colin's red hair and really fair skin, the contrast was more pronounced!

Chapman and I really wanted him to begin negotiations on the right-of-way as soon as possible since it appeared our former accountants had been involved in some nefarious manner. With rail service growing more and more important now and in the future, travel up and down the Des Moines River by packet boat would be impractical. Only I knew, as we discussed the rail services, the Transcontinental Railroad would be completed in 1869 and an entire new world of travel and trade would be developed. It was important I get the Farm prepared for it. The spur line from Keokuk to Farmington would provide us access to the rest of the rail systems and new markets for our agriculture and other products.

James reviewed the documents we'd retrieved from the accountants, made a few notes, and finally asked how we wanted to proceed.

"Go to Keokuk," I said, "contact these people who want the right-of-way and get this rail line through our property, with the appropriate paper work. We want the line between our farms and the river, with a siding switch, a small station and telegraph. We can build the station if they would like as well as the water tower for the engines if it is needed, but get the deal done as soon as possible!"

"Hell," Chapman snorted, "bribe whoever you have to in order to get the job done. Mr. Jeansonne will provide you with sufficient cash revenues to do that."

So it was we sent James off to Keokuk on one of our fine geldings, extra clothing for a week and sufficient cash to make some person very happy if they delivered the right-of-way, switch, station and telegraph. I wasn't concerned for his safety or the cash he carried; after all he was a former army officer and left well-armed with a S.W. Revolver similar to mine, snugged up in a shoulder holster under his left arm (I really favored shoulder holsters) and a Navy Colt on his right hip. I assured him no matter how long it took, complete the deal and leave a copy with Mr. Chapman's attorney before coming home and we waved him goodbye. Caleb wasn't all that happy about his absence, but it was something he'd have to get used to if James was going to do what we wished of him!

A week later, June 18th to be exact; I remember the day specifically because I also knew the next day, June 19th, the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution would be ratified, abolishing slavery in our nation, I mentioned earlier in the day to Mr. Chapman I hope the Amendment would pass soon.

"I think we're close to doing that," I remarked with a slow nod of my head and watched Chapman respond in like manner, only as if he was privileged to some secret no one else was aware of. Really, he was, but in the time I came from, this was history and not secret at all.

I happened to be standing on the porch conversing with Caleb when I saw James riding down the lane, a heavily laden pack mule in tow behind him loaded with large packs hanging on each side of the animal, toward the house and the closer he came it was evident he was not alone! Sitting in front of him on the saddle was a little boy, dressed in a straw hat, what looked like new bib overalls, a blue shirt, and boots; James' one arm was around him securing the lad to the saddle.

"Oh boy!" I said to no one in particular, wondering what was happening.

No sooner had I said that and as Caleb bounded off of the porch to greet his lover, another little face peeked around from behind James, holding on to James with both arms around his middle so he wouldn't become unseated. The one behind James was dressed the same as the first one and a mirror copy, a spitting image, a twin by God! Both boys were definitely mixed race, I thought a mix of white and Negro (African-American in my time, but these people hadn't gotten to that point yet) and were more the color of Benjie and Henri, but a little more tannish, perhaps almond, more light tan almost coffee with heavy cream. I've come to the conclusion, the longer I live with these beautiful people, my friends, my lovers, my life, whether they be white or black and all shades in between, it makes no difference as to their color. In fact, I find it more and more difficult to describe adequately what shade of black or white they are; to me, they are people and people I love! These two boys, apparently now new additions to our family, were cute as buttons and weren't very old I surmised.

"Well, shit and two is eight!" I muttered again, to no one in particular.

Caleb never missed a step as he headed toward James. There was no way in hell he couldn't have noticed those two delightful little creatures! When he stopped alongside James' horse, James said to both boys, "This is Poppa K; he and I live together and he's going to be your Poppa too, remember?"

James, by way of introduction and getting one boy off of the horse, handed him to Caleb saying, "Poppa K, this is Gervais" and slowly lowered the boy to Caleb's waiting arms and when Caleb set the boy on the ground, James continued, "And this, is Parnell, his twin brother; both boys will be seven August the first. They don't say very much, but their Momma said they speak both French and English. I discovered they speak more French than English and I speak more English than French, but we managed, didn't we boys?"

One of the boys said quietly, "Poppa Jim, parler Francois un pue!" (Poppa Jim speaks very little French)

The boys were certainly correct in their observation; everyone in our immediate family including the Doucets, Benjie, Caleb, Absalom, Isiah, Malik, Hiram Davis and his family and myself, all spoke French. Mine had improved considerably since my arrival and James' would as well the longer he stayed here and lived with Caleb. James had very rudimentary skills at the moment, but was improving daily. Colin, however, didn't know French from pig shit, but being around us and snuggled up with Jefferson at night, I was certain his language skills would improve as well! We were finding the use of the language quite beneficial in our communication, especially if we desired to keep our conversations from others who were unfamiliar with French. Some of our new residents, having come from the South and near the New Orleans area, spoke the language, but most did not.

"But I speak it very well," Caleb answered in French, bringing smiles and giggles from the twins. With that, Parnell I think, said softly to Caleb in French, "Poppa K, we have to pee!"

"Mai oui!" he replied, took both boys by their hands and led them to the outhouse behind the big house.

I took a deep breath, smiled, looked at James and said, "I hope you have a good explanation of how you and Caleb suddenly became the proud poppas of twin boys!"

"Oh, I do!" James replied happily, "but first let me get the agreements I negotiated and signed on your behalf and all of the other paperwork," and pulled a double leather saddle bag from his mount and handed it to me.

"Everything is in there, including what money I had remaining after the bribes, room, meals, and other incidentals. It's all written down inside so you will know what was spent and for what. I will owe you some money for a few extras I bought."

I was about to question him on the contents, but he raised his hand; "If you don't mind, Mr. Jeansonne, could we wait until I get the horses unloaded, brushed down, fed and watered to go over this?"

I nodded, but he continued, "Then I'd like to get the boys settled in our room. I'll have to try to locate a couple of extra beds or one big one for both of them and an extra dresser, if that's okay?"

I nodded again and James led the horse and the pack mule off toward the barns. He was brought up short by two little boys running toward him, shouting, "Poppa Jim; attendre s'il vous plait." (Poppa Jim; please will you wait?)

James waited patiently and when they both arrived close to him, he scooped up one in one arm and the other in his other arm, and let the reins to the horse drop, knowing Caleb would pick it up and lead the horse and pack mule to the barn. Caleb, grinning, as happy a man I ever did see, willingly picked up the reins, gave James a kiss, and then leaned down and gave each of the boys a smooch on the face as well, increasing their giggling and wiggling trying to hold on to one of their new poppas as the other kissed and tickled them!

"Getting the boys settled in their room" proved be a lengthier process than one might anticipate! The four of them, led by James, followed by two little boys with Caleb bringing up the rear, carried things from the barn, to the house, and up the stairs to James' and Caleb's room. The twins carried much smaller bundles than did their "Poppas" but they were enthusiastic and full of the dickens! On one trip up the stairs, passing by me, James said, "Clothes!" Caleb, in a subsequent trip, smiled at me, said "books" and shrugged before traveling up the stairs. The twins said little to me, but would grin from ear to ear on every trip. It wasn't hard to lose your heart to these two little guys.

It wasn't long until, Benjie and Henri, after they finished their chores, joined in the expedition, anxious not only to help, but to meet and greet the new arrivals to our family. James tried to introduce them as "cousins" but the twins looked at them, frowned, nodded, and replied, "Mais non, Poppa, notre freres!" (But no, Poppa, our brothers)

That sealed the deal right there as far as Benjie and Henri were concerned; they now had two new brothers to play with, fuss over, and protect! The chatter increased as the twins, seeing two older boys who really took an interest in them, soon were tagging along everywhere Benjie and Henri went as if they'd known each other their entire lives. Every now and again, I'd hear either Benjie or Henri patiently tell the twins, "speak English, we only use French for special talk," and wait while the twins found the right words to use, although not always entirely correct, to express themselves. It didn't bother Parnell or Gervais one bit to be corrected by their "big brothers!"

We all washed up for supper; "Auntie Celeste," as she was introduced by Caleb, welcomed the boys to the family and fussed over them, spoiling them with extra dessert. Clearly she was just as taken with these two cuties as the rest of us. From that moment on, everyone in our family was either "tante"(aunt) or "oncle" (uncle) or "cousin or cousine (depending on gender); all except James and Caleb who were "Poppa," Henri and Benjie who were now their "brothers," and me, whom they decided to stick with "M'sieu Jeansonne." The twins hadn't met Mr. Chapman yet so it would be interesting to see what they might call him.

After supper, it was bath time or, in our case since it was summer, shower time! I joined James, Caleb, the Twins, Benjie, and Henri for a hot shower as well. We all stripped, including the Twins who were undressed by Caleb and James, showed the little ones how the showers worked, letting the warm water cascade over their naked little bodies, bringing shrieks of delight from them both! James stood one in front of him (Gervais, I think) and Caleb Parnell (I think) in front of him and they gently washed and scrubbed every little nook, crevice, and cranny of each boy, including their little uncut sprigs. While they did, James and Caleb explained the importance of keeping themselves clean under the foreskin so they wouldn't get any "owies" there! The only comment made during this entire time was when one of the boys, turned, looked at Caleb very carefully, especially his cock hanging down long and thick, poked his brother and said, wide-eyed, "Tres gros" (very big) and his brother only nodded in agreement!

Mr. Chapman and I read through the contents and paperwork connected with the right-of-way agreements James had successfully negotiated on behalf of Chapman Farms. It appeared our confidence in James was well-founded. The financial benefits were substantial, the spur would be built where we wanted it; close to the river without cutting off any farms and the siding and accompanying station and telegraph were exactly as we desired.

James and Caleb finally came down stairs, joined us in Chapman's study, and seated themselves.

"Where are your boys?" I inquired, wondering if they were asleep or just left alone.

"Right now, Benjie and Henri are reading to them from some of the books I bought," James answered with a smile. "Hopefully, they'll fall asleep while being read to. They had a rather long day and most tiring and sad week."

Chapman folded his hands, placed them on his desk, and asked kindly, "Why don't you tell us about it, James?"

"May Caleb stay?" James replied, knowing he'd like to hear the whole story and not just snippets as they had the opportunity to discuss it.

Without hesitation, Chapman gave his approval and sat back, waiting for James to begin.

"All went well with the negotiations as you've probably noticed if you had a chance to review the documents. Once I'd figured out who'd make the final decision and who wanted the most money passed their way, we got it done! That's all in my expense account and in my written report. I made note of who received how much, just in case in the future we have need to put that information to good use."

It took almost the entire week for the deal to be concluded with agreements drawn up, lawyers consulted, and finalized, but sooner than James anticipated. In fact, he was hoping to be home a couple of days sooner, which he really wanted since he'd missed Caleb something fierce. However, all that changed three nights previously!

James had been out for a late evening dinner and rather than take a cab back to his hotel, he decided to walk since it was such a warm and lovely evening. He had no real fear for his safety, after all he was former military man, well-armed, and not one bit hesitant to kill in his own defense or the defense of others! This he'd done on more than one occasion during the recent war. Thinking he might be taking a short cut, he ducked into an alley and was stopped, about halfway to the next street, by the moaning of a person laying on the brick pavement. Stepping over quickly to the body, he discovered a white woman, clearly a "soiled doud" or lady of the evening, and clearly in severe distress from the looks of the sticky, warm blood collecting underneath her and coating her legs and clothing.

About to summon help, she pleaded with him, using a mixture of French and English; "No use; can you get me to my house just a couple of blocks away. I have two young sons there, please?"

Against his better judgement, he gathered her up in his arms, light as she was she presented no burden, and within a block or so, stopped in front of the building she indicated was hers. It was nothing less than a bordello, a whore house, and she was one of the providers of entertainment for men of all sorts. A kick on the door summoned help and the madam, a rather portly, but commanding woman, gasped as she saw the burden in James' arms and quickly allowed him entrance. She escorted him and his burden to room near the back of the house, well away from the "entertainment section," opened the door, and led them to her bed. James lay her on the bed and was about to leave but the young woman held his hand and begged him to stay.

In weak voice, she explained to him and the madam, she'd become pregnant (which the madam knew) and went to a man who off-times helped young women abort their mistakes of passion or, in her case, trade. In her case he botched the job and Annette, as she was known, was hemorrhaging quite severely as a result. As she spoke slower and slower, James became aware of two little boys standing off to one side, near a small bed which they shared. Not very old, definitely of mixed race, definitely twins, probably Negro and white, and similar in color to Henri only a little darker, the two boys stared in fear and sadness at their dying mother.

She quickly called them to her side and told them she was going to die; just like that and they were going to live with him. Up to that point, James explained, she hadn't even asked me or told me their names. Both boys just nodded, wide-eyed and open-mouthed, at her pronouncement. She finally asked James his name, so he told her and where he lived.

"M'sieu," she pleaded, "you can see how beautiful my sons are; yet there are those who do not see beauty in the mixing of colors as I do. If they were to be left alone or turned over to the police, it is hard to say what might happen to them. Please take my boys! Their birth papers and clothes are in the dresser. Their names are Gervais and Parnell."

It was a plea for help James could do little to avoid. He saw the life the children in warn-torn parts of our country lived, compared it to the life Benjie, Henri, and the other children lived at Chapman Farms, and knew he had little choice but to take the boys and raise them as he and Caleb would want them raised, in a loving, secure, and warm home!

Annette placed an arm around each of her sons, drew them close to her side, told them she loved them, and slipped away. It was all over in less than an hour. He let the boys cry and grieve over their mother for a time, gathered them into his arms, hugged them, and finally told them to gather up their belongings. Everything they owned fit into a pillow case; the papers he put into his coat pocket for safe keeping. James gave the madam a couple of gold coins to pay for a decent funeral, threatening if she didn't do so, he'd come back and burn the place down after he shot the shit out of the place! He left, two boys in tow, convinced all would be well taken care of!

Such a dilemma he now faced; what to do with the two orphans until he was able to transport them back to the Farm? He took them to his hotel, paid the extra it would take to house them, plus a bribe to the desk clerk who thought James just might be taking the two young boys to his room for a royal all night fucking, ordered hot water for a bath, and food for three. This really convinced the desk clerk James was going to be dipping his wick into two warm, young, black orifices and raised his eyebrows, signaling a little more money should pass his hands. James obliged and led the boys to this room.

Bathed, they were extremely dirty, James told us, well fed, and bundled up in a couple of James undershirts, the boys snuggled together, and fell sound asleep. It wasn't long until James joined them. When he woke in the morning the boys were resting on his chest, sound asleep. When they woke, they just smiled and hugged him. After breakfast, he spent the rest of the day shopping for clothes for them, books to read, haircuts, and filling the order list we'd made out for him. The three of them spent another night in the hotel and this morning, headed home.

"So, Mr. Chapman," James concluded, "if you want me to find another home for the boys, it'll have to be with Caleb and me living someplace else. We've decided Gervais and Parnell are going to be raised as our own. Hopefully, we can find a place close enough so we can continue to work for you, but if we can't, then so be it! I'll pay you what I spent on the boys and we can be gone in the morning!"

"You'll do no such thing!" Chapman replied adamantly, "Those little boys, as well as you and Caleb, are part of our family and you'll stay right here!"

End of discussion!

To be continued.


Thank you for reading "The Incredible Journey of Thomas Johnson" – Chapter Twenty-One.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or locales is entirely coincidental.

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