Hugh B. Cave
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When Peter returns to his father's coffee plantation in Jamaica, he wants only to stay with his father. He has been lonesome since the year his mother and brother died; his grief-stricken father has been preoccupied and unable to see how much Peter wants to be at home. But an island boy, Zackie, is able to heal the rift between Peter and his father. Zackie, who has been living with his drunken father, illegally shoots a wild boar on the coffee plantation. Peter's father wants to stay out of Zackie's problems, but that proves impossible as the boys become friends. Soon Peter's father is drawn out of his misery by Zackie's troubles.
to sit and wait. He followed Peter up the steps and set the basket on a veranda chair. Mr. Devon had stopped work to watch. "Well, hello," he said. "The two of you together again?" "Zackie helped me put up the numbers, Dad." "And Peter did help me in the garden," Zackie added. "I see." "Mr. Devon, me will glad if you take some of these vegetables." Zackie stepped aside to let Peter's father see what was in the basket. "Them is from me own garden, not me daddy's. Him don't have a garden. You
scallions, and those are beauties. Peter"—Mr. Devon looked up—"would you get some warm water and the first-aid kit, please?" Peter went for what was needed, then leaned against the veranda railing and watched while his father dressed Zackie's leg again. The Jamaican boy would not let Mr. Devon take only one bunch of scallions in payment, though. He emptied the whole basket in search of the two largest bunches and some handsome carrots, as well. "I did grow all these meself, Mr. Devon," he said
Peter thanked them, and a moment later Zackie and he were walking briskly up the main track with field six out of sight behind them and Zackie's little dog romping on ahead. For a little while the two boys walked along in silence, side by side because the track was wide there. Then Zackie said, "Why you want to work with me when you don't have to?" One reason, Peter thought, was that he hoped to find out where the Jamaican boy had slept the night before, and if he needed help. But there was a
the car's roof, Dad broke the silence. "How did you say Zackie would get home, son?" "On the Rainy Ridge truck, Dad. That's what he said, anyway." "Mmm." Mr. Devon shook his head. "I wonder if the trucker will make the trip in this weather." Peter knew what he meant. The truck used the mountain road, not this one, because the people who used it for transportation lived along that road. Peter had been over it in a hard rain with his father, and it was a kind of journey not easily forgotten.
anything unless there is a fire! Ever!" Merrick Leonard still clutched the stick. It quivered in his hand now, and his face twitched, and he stumbled toward the veranda steps as if he meant to climb them for a confrontation. But Peter's father, arms folded, simply stood there, staring at him. The man lost his nerve and lurched away, muttering. Peter went to where his father was standing. "Dad, I wish the men hadn't told him about Zackie's pig," he said. Mr. Devon nodded. "Peter, I've told you