“Caroline! Are you serious?” Jim screamed, excitedly giving his bride a big hug. “We’re going to have a baby. You know what we should do?” Looking into Caroline's eyes,” We should go tell Daddy, right now. He’ll be so excited.
Caroline’s face turned a bright red. “Ok, ok, let’s go and tell your Dad, the young woman said, changing her demeanor from embarrassed to a strong woman, even though she felt scared of Jim's parents.
Jim grabbed Caroline’s hand and pulled her through the house until the couple stopped in front of a thick brown door. “Are you ready?” Jim knocked on the door, not waiting for Caroline’s response to his question.
“Come on in,” a deep voice announced.
“Hey, Da…” Jim’s face showed the look of bewilderment, as he looked at a tall, robust man; whose face was covered by a bushy black beard.
“Ah, Jim my boy come on in. There’s someone I want you to meet,” the older Smith smiled broadly at his son.
“O-o-okay, but I was hoping to share some really exciting news that Caroline and I have to give you,” nervously putting his hand through his hair.
“Is Caroline with you?” Smith said, not waiting for a response. “Let her in, since she’s a part of the family, she needs to know every aspect of the business,” Motioning Jim to open the door and let his bride in the room. “She’ll want to meet this man.”
Jim led Caroline into the large room. He pulled a chair from underneath a large table and waited for a moment while the young woman sat down across from the two older men. Jim sat next to her holding his hands on the table.
“Caroline, Jim, I’d like to introduce you to Steven Jones. You’d probably know him as Blackbeard.
The young couple’s mouths dropped from the shock of what Mr. Smith just told them. That can’t be, we watched Blackbeard die. Jim thought, staring at the imposter sitting in front of him.
“I heard that Blackbeard died at sea,” Caroline said before Jim could say anything.
The elder Smith’s face lost it cheery demeanor. You’re a brilliant young lady, Caroline.” He took a sip from the teacup sitting on the table. “That information may be true, except you and I know that Blackbeard died from a gunshot wound in the tunnels under the apothecary,” He took another sip from his cup. “Since you two will inherit the family business, you all will have to learn important information.” The older Smith pushed himself from the table and began to pace. “Blackbeard cannot die,”
“But Blackbeard is hi…” Jim started saying
“People rely on Blackbeard to get their products to market. If there’s no Blackbeard, then those people will lose hope, and they will also lose their farms.” Smith watched the couple’s facial expressions. “Since the people that have the bigger plantations are knowledgeable, we have to be more cunning.” Smith slowly sat down in his chair. “You may think you know about Blackbeard, but you don’t. In fact, after today you will never see Mr. Jones ever again.”
“We’ll never speak of him again,” Jim said, shyly looking at the new Blackbeardleave the room.
“So, you said you have some exciting news,”
Jim and Caroline looked at one another, emotionless. “Uh, oh yeah, Carolines going to have a baby.”
“That’s great to hear. I’ve missed the sounds of children running around the farm. Let’s celebrate tonight at dinner,” Smith stood up, and walked to the couple and gave them a warm embrace.
I guess the world is a safer place for all of u, but it won’t be the same for me. Jim thought, confused from the conversation as he and Caroline left the room.