The Slave Traders
It has been known for several years now that slave traders are operating in this area but despite the best attempts of the police captain and his men it has proven impossible to catch any of them.
Some people have blamed this on poor Captain Jacobs himself, suggesting he is corrupt, but this is unfair on the poor man as he is no more involved with the slave traders than the rest of us.
Wherever you go you will hear people talking of them. They are discussed everywhere in this town — from the bars to the library, the primary school to the prison cell — but still no one will come out and name names.
Nearly everyone, when the subject is brought up of an evening, will lay claim to some familiarity, yet when they are called upon as witnesses they crumble and talk incoherently leaving the jurors unimpressed. Some amongst us even pretend that the traders might have left the town or else claim that there have never been any slave traders here at all.
They point out, rightly enough, that no direct proof of their activities exists. Well, maybe there is no direct proof, but it is not so easy to ignore them; for the slave traders’ actions permeate everything.
When jurors hear these stammering testimonies they tend to forget their own ordeal at the hands of the slave traders and instead take great delight in teasing the haggard witnesses with questions that they themselves shrink in fear from.
There are many also who enjoy their slavery and will look down their noses at those poor souls who are ‘free’. It is one presumes, with this class of person that the slave traders first dealt when they appeared so long ago, long, long before the fighting first broke out.
They were in place, when those first horrific battles erupted, and they have been plying their trade ever since. While those people, our ancestors, died on bloodied spears, the slave traders thrived, growing on the carnage and, though their gutless trade put them in the thick of things, it brought them no harm, for once the dust settled those that fought and died most valiantly left only a shadowy trace. That is how we find ourselves in the current sorry state of affairs.
Alas there is no chance they will ever be charged for their grip is too strong. Every day new plans, of ever increasing complexity, are hatched to cease this trade but never do they come to fruition, always they are couched in terms written in bold by the traders themselves.
And through all this there is the feeling, strongly, that our lives would be easier in slavery, for then what could we possibly be held responsible for?