Bringing Home the Rain
soundtrack: evil ways ~ blues saraceno
warning: racial slur, violence, strong language
'You were saying?' Mr. Candie recommenced after lighting another cigarette and putting it in a fancy holder.
'I said,' Dr. Schultz continued, 'and I quote: I would pay top dollar for the right nigger. Now I'm not saying that Eskimo Joe is the wrong nigger for nigger fighting games per say, but is he right?'
'Dr. Schultz, let us not forget the most important thing in the nigger fighting game. That is a nigger than can win fights. That is you first, second, third, fourth and fifth priority.'
'Priority is a nigger than survives, then.' The mysterious woman at the other head of the table, opposite but far away from Mr. Candie, spoke for the first time this evening. Her voice was mellow and quite deep. She had been concealed by the large hat that had overshadowed most of her face. Only her excessive amount of necklaces and dark red lips had been exposed, and that was absolutely all. Only Dr. Schultz, who had brought her here with him, and who was her reason for sitting at this dinner table knew who she in fact was.
'If you would like to take that point of view, then, yes, miss...' Mr. Candie muttered. 'What was your name again?'
'Galathée,' she replied shortly, after which she spiced another piece of steak onto her fork before placing it into her mouth.
'Galathée, what a darling of a name,' Mr. Candie flattered, but she was not impressed.
'First things always first, a nigger that can survive is a nigger than can win,' she got back to business.
'First things first, quite right,' Mr. Candie philosophised, as Dr. Schultz snapped his fingers to one of the slave servants for some more wine. As she poured him some, he whispered something to her which made her giggle, it was clear that they were having a naughty, secret talk.
'Hmmm, I see you two like each other,' Mr. Candie exclaimed amusedly.
'Be careful now, Dr. Schultz. You might have caught yourself a little dose of nigger-love.' Mr. Candie grinned. 'Nigger-love is a powerful emotion, boy.' Dr. Schultz chuckled. 'It's like a pool of black tar, once it catches your ass you drown in it.' Candie's gaze towards the woman intensified when saying this.
'That's right,' Stephen, Mr. Candie's nigger butler grinned. He was standing right behind his master, leaning on the back of his chair, following every single detail of the conversation.
'Eskimo Joe is a quality nigger, but 12.000 Dr. Schultz, I would pass on that,' the woman interrupted. Everyone looked at her, intrigued, even though they still could not catch her glance underneath her hat.
'What would you pay?' Dr. Schultz asked.
'Now, if I were feeling generous, and if I had any reason to feel generous, I would pay no more than 9000 dollars for him.'
'Dr. Schultz,' Mr. Candie started to sound irritated, completely ignoring the words the woman had just spoken, but directing himself towards the white man. 'Let me clarify how this negotiation came about. It wasn't me who came to you to sell a nigger. It was you who approached me to buy one. For 9000 dollars I could sell Eskimo Joe any day, but I don't wanna sell him. It was your ridiculous offer of 12.000 dollars that made me even consider it...' Dr. Schultz was puzzled by his words, and quiet for a couple of seconds before speaking.
'You know what, why the hell not? 12.000 dollars for Eskimo Joe, I'll do it.' Mr. Candie slammed his fist on the table.
'Hurray, Dr. Schultz. A good decision that is.'
'However,' Dr. Schultz continued. 'That is a tremendous amount of money. On that account, I would be willing to make another proposition.'
'Do tell. Which other nigger catches your fancy?' Mr. Candie leaned back into his chair.
'I've noticed the two younger nigger children, an eight year-old and an eleven year-old, if I'm not mistaken. I'd be more than prepared to buy them of you too for another, let's say, 500 dollars.' Mr. Candie thought about that silently for a couple of seconds, but then grinned as he blew out more smoke from his cigarette. He stared into thin air as he spoke.
'So you needed another white man to carry out your business for you, Patsy?' She swallowed. Deep down, she had always known that he had seen straight through her cover, but it still startled her that he knew exactly who she was. But then again, how could he not? He knew her better than anybody else.
'You what?' Stephen seemed utterly shocked as he walked over to the other side of the table, and then tapped the woman's hat off her head and onto the ground. She finally exposed her face. A light skinned, but black woman sat in front of everyone, with blonde dyed braids coming down to her waist, and the richness of silver necklaces around her.
'My birth name is Galathée,' she stated firmly, ignoring Stephen entirely.
'You shut your bitch-ass--'
'Stephen.' Before Stephen could put his hands to beat her, Mr. Candie stopped him with a firm reprimand. He ordered Stephen to come stand behind him again, while his eyes did not escape the woman's glance at all.
'Your name is Patsy, it is the name I gave you when I bought you and it is the name you will bear until you die. What in the holy hell gave you the courage to return to Candieland?'
'Dr. Schultz' offer still stands,' Patsy stated firmly. Mr. Candie burst out laughing.
'Did you really think I was ever gonna sell Mary and Sonny for 500 dollars?'
'You'd sell your own wife for a good amount or the right nigger,' she snapped back. Her eyes were fierce and squinted at him, but he seemed more relaxed than she was, as he leaned back into his chair again and chuckled.
'They're my children, Pats.'
'They're my children too.' The silence that followed was as sharp as a freshly forged blade, while neither Dr. Schultz, nor Mr. Candie's sister, nor Mr. Candie's lawyer, who had been silently enjoying the conversation at the dinner table the entire time, dared say anything. Then, Mr. Candie cleared his throat.
'You should not have ran away then. And I am surprised that your coward ass came back, I thought I'd seen the last of you. Don't think it surprised me when you named the price that's on your flesh to pay for Eskimo Joe. Do you really think Dr. Schultz would pay 9000 dollars to free you?' He laughed.
'He ain't paying shit for me, I fought for my own freedom.'
'You ran away, Patsy. As far as the law of this county is concerned you're still my property. And so are Mary and Sonny, regardless of their fair skin, even fairer than your beautiful light face.'
'They need to be with their mother,' Patsy argued.
'Quite right!' Mr. Candie shouted cheerfully as he got up from his chair and started walking around slowly. 'Which is why I am ever so pleased that you have decided to return to them, and me.' He smirked. Unexpectedly, Patsy suddenly got up too, remained at her place at the table, and pulled out a gun. She aimed it at Mr. Candie.
'I am not here for you, I'm here to take my children.' Mr. Candie seemed confused, but Patsy knew etter than anyone else that this was all just a game of pretend.
'Well, my dearest Patsy. Not only are they, as well as you, my property. I am their father and I hold custody over them. If you have any regard for their well-being, however, you'd be smart to leave them here. They're living a wealthy life.'
'A wealthy life with a slave owner is no life for negros.' Her gun was still aimed at him, but he grinned.
'It was for you. You lived a wealthy life with me for looong years, Pats.'
'I did what I had to do to survive.'
'But you liked it, huh?' He raised his voice. He was amused, as if he was about to tell his guests a great story. 'My dear guests, you will not believe what she was willing to do to live in this house instead of the slave pen.' He put his cigarette back into his mouth and squinted his eyes at her, still not concerned with the gun pointed at him. 'How eager she was to spread her legs for me. And, oh boy! What she could do with that little mouth of hers, you will not believe that either.' He laughed. 'Do believe me when I tell you that I am glad that you've returned to me, Pats.'
'Mr. Candie, as far as I am concerned, Galathée -or, Patsy- here is a free woman, and if necessary I would be willing to stand for her rights,' Dr. Schultz finally dared say, very carefully and friendly however.
'My quarrel is not with you, Dr. Schultz, and I would hate for it to be. But you will find yourself bankrupt in court trying to defend this woman. She is my property, and mine to do with as I please, my price for her was no lower than 9000 dollars, but since she's so keen on running away, I'm gonna raise it to 20.000. That is what you're gonna pay me if you want her to walk out of this plantation tonight. Without her children. Because she is, in factc she right nigger.' Patsy, now furious, cocked the piece of the gun, pulling the attention towards her again.
'Where are they?'
'Excellent question. Stephen, go fetch Mary and Sonny for me.' Stephen nodded, and then left the room. Mere seconds later, he came back in with two children. An eleven year-old girl, Mary, and an eight year-old boy, Sonny. Both of them were very light-skinned, but it was clear to see that they were not white.
'Momma!' Sonny yelled. He immediately wanted to run at her and clutch to her, but Mr. Candie got hold of his shoulder. He pulled both of his children back to hold them to his sides with his arms around their shoulders. Patsy put down her gun immediately.
'There they are, my wonderful babies. Look who it is, kids.'
'Momma, I thought you were dead,' Mary muttered. Patsy's glance full of sorrow switched from her daughter to Mr. Candie, piercing him with her eyes.
'Is that what you told them, Calvin? That I was dead?' Mr. Candie chuckled as he let go of his children, they knew that they were supposed to stay put anyways.
'You might as well have been. If my pattyroller caught you then, yes, I would have killed you. But tonight, dearest, I have decided to bless you with my mercy. Give me the gun, point Dr. Schultz to the door, and I will spare you. Fifty lashes at most, and then it'll all be over, and I will have you back in the house and back in my bed.'
'Do not make me pull this gun on you in front of my children.' Mr. Candie's face stiffened before he walked up to her. He grabbed her hand in which she still held the gun, and made her put it against his forehead. His sister Lara gasped and grabbed her face in shock.
'Do it then. Shoot.' The glance that was exchanged by the two of them was deadly, before Patsy pulled the trigger. The gun was empty. Immediately afterwards, Mr. Candie took the opportunity to violently shove her plate and cutlery, and anything else that was in the way off the table, after which he slammed her head against the surface. Apart from Patsy's pain, Lara and the children screamed as well, while Dr. Schultz just cringed in shock. He was in possession of a gun, but Mr. Candie screamed before he could get hold of it.
'HEY! Now lay your palms flat on that table top!' He cut his hand to some shatters of broken glass as he slammed his hand down on the table. With his right hand still pushing Patsy's face down on the table, he got hold of a candelabra, turned it around, and raised it into the air, the bottom side of it exposed as a bat or a hammer. 'If you lift your hands off that goddamn table I will bash in both your goddamn skulls! Now there have been a lot of lies said around this dinner table, but that you can believe!' It took him mere seconds to calm himself down to speak to his sister gracefully.
'Lara, darling, you are excused.' She didn't know how quickly she was to get up and leave the room. She was gone within half a second. Mary and Sonny remained.
'Dr. Schultz, have you--' Mr. Candie was interrupted by Patsy's moans out of pain, gasping for air. 'Shut up!' he hissed loudly. Then he recommenced: 'Dr. Schultz have you any regard for your own life?'
'I do,' Dr. Schultz muttered under his breath.
'Then I offer you a choice. Either you pay me 9000 dollars for my mercy to spare you and let you walk out of here unscathed tonight, or I'm gonna take this candelabra right here--' He slammed it against the table, which made the end of it break off, leaving a sharp but heavy tool behind-- 'And I'm gonna beat my Patsy's ass to death with it!' Patsy screamed in fear.
'What's it gonna be, Doc?! Huh?!'
'May I remove my hands off the table to reach for my wallet?' Dr. Schultz was panicking.
'Yes, you may.' Dr. Schultz got his wallet from the pocket inside his blazer, and then threw it onto the table. Stephen counted the money that he took out.
'That's 9000.' And he put the rest back and threw it to Dr. Schultz again. Mr. Candie nodded in satisfaction, before slamming the candelabra down on the table a last time, inches removed from Patsy's face.
'SOLD! This white man's freedom for trying to take from me what is mine. Now, Mr. Murray,' he spoke to his lawyer and friend, 'if you would be so kind to point Dr. Schultz here to the door, and to direct my children to my sister to put them to bed. Patsy ain't seeing them tonight.'
'Very well.' Mr. Murray did as bid immediately. Dr. Schultz left with another sorrowful glance towards Patsy, whose face was covered in tears of fear. He had not been able to help her buy her children's freedom. Now that Calvin and Patsy were the only ones left in the room, he found the opportunity to get back to business. He cracked his neck, jerked down his sleeves, and then got hold of his cigarette holder again.
'Patsy, Patsy, Patsy...' he muttered as he started plucking glass from the hand that he had cut. 'I will admit that I had never sought something this daring out of the shameful woman that you are. But then again, you've never been less than fierce, perhaps that is why I placed my nigger-love on you.' They finally looked at each other. 'Don't you think that this isn't going to come dear to you. I ain't finished with you for long. Tomorrow, you will be up at daybreak and you will report yourself to Mr. Chapin to get yourself whipped, is that clear?' She remained silent.
'For tonight, I expect you to recuperate and commence to fulfil the duties expected of you, that, if you wish for me to grant you a place in my house, not only my bedroom. And let me make it very clear, that ain't nobody is ever gonna help you to freedom again. Am I understood?' She had already wiped away her tears, but her face was still stained by the blood that had come from his hand.