Sotero settled down and we waited in anticipation as he prepared to start his narrative based on three maxims:
Sotero was about to tell his story in Spanish.
I put a new tape into the tape recorder. Sotero began.
The following is my Trinidad English version of Sotero’s story:
Bueno, now this is a man who had a wife. And the wife come and make a boy chile. Where they live it was hard to find work, so the man take up and gone to look for work. He went far, far, far, and he reach now in a place where he start to work for a white man.
He stay for years and years. Whenever he make money, he had to give it to the white man to keep for him so he would come back again to do more work.
So things go on like that until he make 300 dollars. A lotta money! He tell the white man that he want to go home. The man say:
“You want me to give you a advice?”
He say: “Yes.”
The man say: “But you have to pay 100 dollars.”
He say: “All right. I will pay.”
The man say: “Look. Never business with what don’t concern you.”
That is one advice he get. So now he had 200 dollars. He gone. The man gone. It get late. It dark. It had a piece of high woods that was dangerous. People used to fall down and thing there. He decide not to travel in the night time. So, he see a big house and he call the housekeeper, the aya, right? He ask if he could get a shelter there even self in the gallery so he could pass the night until the next day. The aya gone in and ask the white man. The white man say: “Yes, tell him to come in.” He gone in. The white man treat him nice. He give him food and thing to drink and a bed to sleep in. But the white man had he wife tie up with a chain under the table. So if you go and you ask him: “Why you have that lady there?” he was going to kill you. That eh concern you. You understand?