Knees of Gullah Island [NOOK Book]

Overview

GILLAM HALE was born to free parents, and his life was untouched by slavery until his preacher father took him on a trip to minister to the Virginia slaves. Gillam wants beautiful Queen Esther from the moment he sees her, but the only way to purchase her is by distilling illicit whiskey against his family's advice.

THOUGH GILLAM achieves his am, his talent for making fine whiskey earns the wrath of jealous white neighbors, who kidnap Gillam's family and scatter them to ...

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Knees of Gullah Island

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Overview

GILLAM HALE was born to free parents, and his life was untouched by slavery until his preacher father took him on a trip to minister to the Virginia slaves. Gillam wants beautiful Queen Esther from the moment he sees her, but the only way to purchase her is by distilling illicit whiskey against his family's advice.

THOUGH GILLAM achieves his am, his talent for making fine whiskey earns the wrath of jealous white neighbors, who kidnap Gillam's family and scatter them to plantations throughout the South. Gillam escapes from his new owners, yet he can never be truly free until he finds his lost loved ones, and faces the legacy of is own rash decisions.

The Kness of Gullah Island follows Gillam, Queen Esther and their son, Joseph, in the years surrounding the Civil War and Reconstruction, when the destiny of a nation hung in the balance. Filled with richly drawn characters and details that bring the past to vibrant life, this is a timeless story of love, loss, hope and rebirth set in Charleston and the surrounding South Carolina Lowcountry.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426813542
  • Publisher: Harlequin Enterprises
  • Publication date: 8/1/2009
  • Series: Kimani Sepia Series
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 1,290,210
  • File size: 247 KB

Meet the Author

Dwight Fryer is the Executive Director for the Shelby DEBATE Society (www.shelbydebate.org). Shelby DEBATE, a nonprofit in Memphis, shares public policy debate methods with over 300 high and middle school students in 28 Shelby County Schools. Fryer is a Christian minister, writer, speaker, storyteller, historian and genealogist, avid bird and nature watcher, reader, and anything outdoors, especially flying kites. He has over 25 years business experience in accounting, finance, marketing, and technology.

His historical novels, The Legend of Quito Road and The Knees of Gullah Island were critically acclaimed. He holds a BBA in Accountancy from The University of Memphis and a MS in technology management from Christian Brothers University.

Dwight and his wife Linda work with the National Meningitis Association (www.nmaus.org ) as an advocate for immunization against bacterial meningitis after the death of their sixteen-year-old daughter Adrienne from meningococcal disease in January 2001. Fryer survived colorectal cancer in 1998 and an accident caused by a drunk driver in 1992. Dwight shares with audiences how quickly anyone can become The Patient in Room 3053 and how medical professionals make a difference for each person they encounter every day.

Visit www.dwightfryer.com for more on Dwight and his work.

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Read an Excerpt

The Knees Of Gullah Island
By Dwight Fryer Kimani Press Copyright © 2008 Dwight Fryer
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780373831197

CATTLECAR DISCOVERY

Joseph lay on his side atop piles of prickly straw inside a cattle car. His eyelids were heavy, but the pungent smells transported him to consciousness. The train had stopped and was not moving. Something was burning nearby and the smoke permeated the openings near the top of the walls.

Joseph rested his head on his emaciated biceps that cradled his head. His gaze wandered to his traveling partner Pete sitting across the rail car. Pete's direct but blank stare pointed at Joseph. Joseph smiled. "What you looking at, old man?" Joseph asked. During their thirteen years on the road Pete had talked every waking moment. Now, Pete did not reply so Joseph said, "Reverend Peter Johnson, how's my favorite preacher doing today?"

Pete coughed. "Young preacher man, I'm aching today." He groaned and repeated his cough several times. Pete harked and jerked his head back to spit toward the end of the car. "What's burning? Where are we?"

"I don't know what's on fire. I just woke up and can't tell exactly where we are either," Joseph answered.

"That smell and how I feel takes me outta 1883 and to the marches across the South with Sherman's Union army."

Joseph asked, "Pete, how was that?"

Pete paused. He tried to get up, but could not rise. He rolled onto his right side, placed his bundle under hishead. His eyes never left Joseph's. He coughed and spit out what came up. "This cough's killing me." He looked away then returned his gaze to the young man. He said softly, "You ever seen a cotton fire?"

Joseph nodded. "As a boy on Edisto Island in South Carolina."

Pete said, "I saw plenty during that part of the war. If it was windy, that dry cotton burned like kerosene was on it." He wiped sweat from his brow. Pete sighed and rolled onto his back. "Joseph, when I encountered you and your mother on Edisto, you were a young boy. You told me you wanted to minister to folks. During our time together, I've taught you all I could about what it takes to do that, right?"

"Sure, Pete," Joseph said.

"When you going home to that girl of yours?" Pete asked.

Joseph shrugged.

Pete continued, "We ain't gone find your father. It's time you head to Charleston to that girl you always talking about and to Queen Esther. You hear?" He stared at Joseph.

"Yessuh," Joseph replied.

"I need you to go home. We've been a strange pair traveling around for thirteen years now. You colored and I'm white. Sometimes we slept in places like this. At other stops, we were in barns, under bridges, at almshouses or even in jails."

Joseph coughed a few times.

Pete said, "Must be something serious we got. I've never had a cough like this in the summertime. We better see 'bout it or it's gone kill us." He stopped talking and breathed deeply.

"You ought to stop speaking that," Joseph warned.

"Over and over during the War I went from being chaplain to a madman," Pete stated.

Joseph gave him a quizzical look.

Pete continued, "Every day of that ugly war I smelled and witnessed death. I hated what it'd done to our country, pitted the North and South. Most of all I regretted your family's kidnapping from Cumberland and my hand in it."

Joseph shifted in his place. He used both hands to push himself up from the filthy floor. "Pete, you never said you had a part in what happened. Why've you never tol' me that before? What'd you do?" Anger resonated with each of his loud words.

Pete did not answer. Finally, he said, "Joseph, you remember I used to visit your pastor, Reverend David Hilhouse Buehl, in Cumberland?"

Joseph said, "Yes sir."

"That wasn't the only reason I came." Pete stared at the ceiling. "Reverend Buehl and I were part of a network, the Underground Railroad. We helped runaway slaves get North."

"Pete, really? Why didn't you say so before?"

"Joseph, hear the rest. After I preached, I'd always head back over the National Road to Pittsburgh. We'd hide the slaves in a false bottom under my wagon." He laughed several times before a coughing spell hit him. It ended with a deep wheezing sound that resonated with every breath he took. Pete laughed again.

Joseph said, "What's so funny?"

"I bet helping Southern human chattel escape was never on the mind of slave-holding President Tom Jefferson when he ordered the building of that road."

"Papa always said that was why my grandfather moved to Cumberland from Philadelphia—the blacksmith business from all the travelers heading west," Joseph stated.

Pete said, "Your grandfather went there for another reason he couldn't know. It was for his son's wife, your mother, to some day be a conductor on the Underground Railroad."

"My mauma," Joseph said.

Pete nodded several times. He looked at Joseph and said, "The night they took your family—" He paused to wheeze and had trouble getting his breath. "Some slave catchers stopped me about five miles outside of town. It was around ten o'clock. There were two of 'em and they were from Tennessee. The tall one named Rafe Coleman did most of the talking. He kept asking me about a group of runaways—they were in my wagon all the time. I kept saying I hadn't seen any Negroes. They didn't believe me.

The other one was shorter and fat." He paused and stared at Joseph again. "The moon wasn't up that night and you could see every star. We were down in a valley just before you head into the mountains toward Pittsburgh. The stout guy didn't talk much, but the big fellow ran off at the mouth. His hair was so red that I could see its color in the dark. He jumped off his horse and pulled me from my wagon. He hit me with a whip." Pete stopped speaking and did not begin again.

Joseph held his breath and waited. Finally he said, "Pete, what happened?"

Pete wheezed again. When he resumed, his words came slow and were slurred. He said, "He hit me over and over. The tall one said, 'U'm gone beat you like I would the niggers you been stealing.' He hit me in the jaw with his fist so hard that I fell to the ground on my face. That blow knocked out several of my teeth." Pete touched his left cheek. "He kicked me in my side and started in with the whip again. It cut right through my shirt. I was bleeding from everywhere he hit me. My back, shoulders, arms, face, and even my hands were cut up. He just kept on and on hitting me." Pete paused for a few moments. "I thought he…he was going to kill me. The fat fellow laughed every time that whip connected."

Pete stopped talking and his breathing became more shallow and slower. He said, "Joseph, I told 'em that your mother used her quilts to signal when the runaways should come to Emanuel Church. I'm so sorry. I, I told him about Queen Esther, Reverend Buehl, and our network in Cumberland." Pete was crying. "He hit me again and I gave up the runaways under the boards in my wagon."

Joseph stared at Pete. Neither said a word.

Joseph finally broke the silence. "Is that why you been trying to help me?"

Pete nodded. He said, "I'm sorry. I, I, I been trying to fix it since we left Charleston in 1870." His last words came out in a barely audible whisper followed by two deep sighs.

"You shoulda tol' me dis befo'. Why didn't you?" Joseph asked, his tone full of pain.

Pete did not answer and just stared at Joseph.

Joseph said, "Pete, you all right?"

Pete's frozen stare spurred Joseph to move quicker than he had in a long time. He crawled toward his friend but stopped a short distance from Pete's motionless body. He reached out, touched him, then pulled back to stifle the hacking cough they had both suffered for months.

"Well, Pete, you said whatever we had would kill us— guess you were right."

In the distance, a voice shouted, a nearby rail car door rolled open along its track, and Joseph struggled to his feet. His eyes stayed on Pete while he backed away. Joseph knew death well.

"They coming, Pete. Pete—" he paused "—I—I—I gotta go." He bent down to grope for his bundle. Joseph's eyes never left Pete's body and he moved toward the end of the rail car, the place they'd called home for the past few days. He walked back, lifted the dead man's head, and removed Pete's bundle. Joseph gently placed Pete's head on the floor. Joseph struggled up the ladder steps to the roof trapdoor, his tear-filled eyes still on Pete. He pushed open the exit and raised his head through the opening to squint at the daylight before ducking below the roofline for one last look at his friend. "Pete, t'ank you for all oona done," Joseph whispered. "I'll keep looking for my papa."

He wiped both eyes with the back of his hand and pulled himself through the trapdoor, gained his bearings on the roof, and climbed down the ladder at the end of the rail car. Joseph jumped to the ground on the side of the train away from where he figured a car-by-car search for tramps was taking place. His feet hit the ground and, two bounds later, Joseph crossed a dusty road and entered a well-worn path through a briar patch.

He moved through the blackberries like a cottontail and disappeared into the thick brush as the door to his and Pete's rolling bedchamber banged open on the other side of the freight train. He paused to listen for the railroad workers' discovery of the body of the Reverend Mr. Peter Johnson, Joseph's friend since childhood and father-figure during their long years of travel.

"Come on out of there!" drawled an angry Southern voice.

Another man said, "He ain't coming nowheres." The man paused before adding, "Can't you see that fella dead?"

"Damn if he ain't," the first man replied a few seconds later.

Joseph whispered in prayer, "See you sometime, Pete." He continued his silent escape through the brush, his aching, empty stomach roiling. A steam whistle blew three short blasts and he looked up at the noonday sun cascading through a break in the canopy above.



Continues...


Excerpted from The Knees Of Gullah Island by Dwight Fryer Copyright © 2008 by Dwight Fryer. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 14 )
Rating Distribution

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(13)

4 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2008

    Loved it...hope there's a 3rd one soon!

    Really enjoyed reading more about this family, and what life was like then. This is information we should all know. Hope we get to learn more in a 3rd book soon. I am recommending Mr. Fryer's 1st and 2nd books to all of my reader friends. Thank you for such an entertaining and informative book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2008

    A history Lesson in a Saga

    A pick up and follow through. I found this to be a great tie in to 'The Legend of Quito Road.' The characters became family once lost as Gill Erby followed his son back to the beginning. A must read with a lesson learned that times moves on, children grow up and history is made. Great job and kudos to the author

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2013

    Day to venom

    "Look, i know you did something to pizz this chick off. So what did you do and if its worthy ill fight to the death. One of us has to lose."

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2013

    Wolf (hired assasin) to venom

    (I will make this a fair fight so obviously i wont kill you right away and you cant either). He stealthily takes out his hunting knife and creeps up on venom pointing the weapon at venoms jugular. He lunges but before he does he semi slips in a puddle of glimmers blood. The blood makes a sloshing sound which can be heard. Wolf still jumps at venom with his knife fully extended.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2013

    Espio

    Leave them alone venom. Shouldnt you be at camp?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2013

    Lily

    She helped Sveta and Raven, supporting Glimmer as best as she could. ~Lily

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2013

    Piper

    (Hey btw we moved camp. And fyi you p.ssed her off. And your nothing but a big pile of c.ap ) Peace out!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2013

    Chaia

    She padded in. "What happened? I heard a shr-" she froze. "Who are you?" She snarled at the cat.

    ~€haia

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2013

    Ravenpaw

    "Stop!" A voice snarled from the entrace. Ravenpaw stood, his fur bristling. "Let Glimmer go!" He yowled, hurling himself on the panther that was three times his size without hesitation. Ravenpaw bit down on Coal's shoulder, his rage unleashed. "You mess with any Freedom Chaser, you mess with me!"

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2013

    Twilight

    "Sveta is not a scum. And are you suggesting that we cant fight? Cuz if you are im ready..." he rawred

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2013

    ???

    A small moth flew above them.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2013

    Sveta

    ((Ignore him guys. He's says we're stupid, but obviously it's the other way around 'cause he doesn't know that you automaticly die if you loose your head unless you are a snake, but still, you die like five minutes later so yah.))
    "Yes, Lily, I would be grateful if you could help me," the Healer said quietly, while watching Raven step shakily forward to lend Glimmer his shoulder. "Don't worry, you'll be fine," the pale gray creature heard the speckled white tom whisper, before helping Lily and Sveta carry Glimmer to the Healers' Den.
    Sveta & Raven
    ((Healers Den is... I forget which result, something with "walking stones" on it. See you there!! :) ))

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2013

    Fighters' Den

    The fighters' den.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 31, 2011

    Great Story!!!!

    Love the stories that come out of the southern coast. Great read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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