Antebellum – Chapter 1: The Sale

Following the death of his master, a muscled young slave is purchased by a much harsher master and forced to work on a Lousiana plantation in this series from new author Drum.

delivered-to-the-auction

Antebellum – Chapter 1: The Sale
by Drum
Art by Amalaric
Series: Antebellum

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Once the old Master, Mr. Hardy, was buried and his son got his hands on the property things moved quickly. We slaves were afraid and uncertain of our future. Master Hardy had been strict but fair and to be whipped or punished he demanded that the penalty was fully proven and justified. I had managed to escape a serious whipping in my life there except once for stealing food. I had always worked hard and even enjoyed his special ‘training programme’ for the bigger slaves. I benefited from the added exercises and the lifting of rocks and stones to build up my muscles and the food was better for what he called his ‘muscle slaves’. We did not know what to expect for the future. I had been born on Mr. Hardy’s plantation but I had heard bad things from slaves who Mr. Hardy had bought and set to work. They told of other masters crueler and less fair than ours.

A dealer came one day soon after the funeral and we were lined up. He chose only 10 of us, all males. ‘I only want big, strong niggers.’ He said, ‘I have a reputation for quality. Besides, it don’t do to have too many from the same establishment. They can get rebellious if they think they are numerous enough. I also only choose from one sex so we don’t risk inbreeding.’

Money changed hands and we were led out to the wagon. The dealer, who wore a wide-brimmed hat and an open necked white shirt, carried a bullwhip. ‘OK, you niggers, shuck your shirts.’ We stripped to the waist and he locked a collar and pair of connected manacles on each of us. The he snapped, ‘Get naked!’ We dropped our pants and shorts and he placed chained shackles on our ankles. Our clothes were placed in a wooden box and put under the front seat. ‘Now up in the wagon.’ He turned to Master Hardy’s son and said, ‘Easiest way of controlling them. Lock them in naked and then, if they do get free they ain’t going to get far naked and in chains.

The wagon rolled out of the yard and down to the main road. We could see through gaps in the woodwork and I saw we were heading towards New Orleans. It was the biggest city in the area and I had heard things about the place from slaves on the plantation. I knew, for example, that there were many slave dealers operating there. After what seemed like several hours, it must have been about eight or nine because it was getting dark and we had left in the middle of morning, we were in the centre of the noisy, busy city. I had never seen so many people in my life and such fine clothes, even some of the niggers wore fancy clothing. Eventually the wagon turned into a large yard and the gates swung shut behind us. We were ordered out and stood around waiting orders. The yard was surrounded by a high wall which had broken glass set in concrete along to top of it. In the middle of one wall hung a wooden notice board which read:

H. C. VIGGARS
Dealers in slaves, mules and general livestock
(established 1810)

Of course, I did not let on that I could read. I had been taught by Mr. Hardy’s daughter when she was a girl but we had kept quiet about it. Didn’t do to educate slaves. In some places it was forbidden. We were fed and watered and bedded, chained in stalls in a stable block for the night.

buck-in-his-stall-smallI woke to the sound of a club being run along the bars of the stable door and I looked around myself and remembered where I was. I turned under the rough old blanket on the clean straw of the stall I was in. I felt the iron collar and chain that was attached to the wall and stood up. In the yard the previous evening I heard a well-dressed man who was looking at us say ‘It shouldn’t be hard selling these, old Hardy always had a reputation for quality among his stock and these are fine specimens. Big, strong, hard-working stock, virile males and fertile wenches. He certainly knew how to breed niggers and keep them in good shape.’ had said looking at us as we stood stripped to the waist under the big sign. ‘He even made them do extra work, after they had finished in the fields, like lifting rocks and tree trunks, said it built up their muscles if you fed them the right food.’ He went on, stopping in from of me and looking my upper body over, ‘Certainly seems to have worked on this one, rarely seen muscle like this on a slave.’

The man he was talking to wore more day-to-day clothes and carried a whip. ‘He’s a fine looking animal, Mr. Viggars.’ My head was bowed as I had been told to stand and I saw the man’s hand come up and felt his fingers press my pecs, ‘Mm, good firm muscle.’
They fed us a breakfast of a fish gut stew with slave biscuits and we were ordered naked out in the yard. Large cakes of soap were handed out and we washed under the hose of one of the guards. The sun was already hot and we dried off naturally and quickly. We were ordered to rub each other down with some oil to give our skins a sheen. When we were finished I caught a glimpse of myself in a glass and liked the way I looked – the muscles looked even better than usual when they shone with oil. The man with the whip, who I learnt was Viggars’s head steward, saw me looking at myself and said, ‘Very good, slave what do you see in there?’ I bowed my head and said, uncertain of what he wanted to hear, ‘Not sure, sir.’ ‘I see a top dollar nigger,’ He said, ‘Now repeat after me, I see a top dollar nigger.’ ‘Yes sir, I see a top dollar nigger, sir.’ ‘Good boy, not dumb either.’ He walked away cracking his whip at some younger boys who were horsing around.

The slaves who had a craft, blacksmiths, carpenters, drivers, house-servants and such like were told to dress and then manacled, shackled and led to the wall where their collars were attached by a chain to rings set in the masonry. Those of us to be sold as field hands and labourers and, therefore, for our muscles and strength were handed strips of white cotton about four feet long and about eight inches wide and told to tie them as loincloths. They covered very little. ‘Tie them good and tight deep between your buttocks and a nice big bulging pouch – want the folk to see what fine big breeding brutes you are.’ We were fitted with more manacles and shackles the coldness of which was curiously stimulating. They were each joined by chains of about two feet in length. We were led to the wall and also chained by the collar to rings.

Soon the customers were allowed in. They mostly carried pencils and catalogues and marked down notes on each of us. I would occasionally be ordered to flex my arms or turn round and display my shoulders and back. A couple of effeminately acting men came along the row and were interested in us loinclothed slaves. They were well-dressed in silk shirts and wore shining top hats and carried canes. They stopped in front of me and one said, ‘Why holy Jesus, look at this hunk!’ ‘My yes,’ the other said, ‘Look at the muscles and bulge in his cloth. He must be hung like a horse. Flex your arms, nigger.’

‘Yes sir.’ I said. I flexed for them and they both felt my biceps over and then stroked my chest hair. I was told to turn round. ‘Look at that arse! I’d love to own him but if you tried any funny business on him he’d probably kill you.’ The first one said as they walked away. Deep inside I was amused. Little did they know quite how mixed my tastes had been influenced by my training. Or what we boys got up to in desperation when we hadn’t been given a wench to knock up for a while. Soon a bell rang and the customers went inside for the morning sale of females and juvenile males up to about 12 year of age.

Some time later a tall, well set up gentleman came into the yard. He had dark hair and wore eye glasses. He was accompanied by the chief steward and a boy. They came straight up to me. ‘Is this the famous specimen you told me about, Forbes?’ He said with a hard edged voice. ‘Yes, Mr. Richards.’ ‘An impressive animal,’ Mr. Richards said, raising my face from my head bowed stance with the handle of his cane. ‘What’s your name and how old are you, nigger?’ ‘I am called Ajax, sir and I am about 25, sir.’ He fingered my rough chin and cheeks. ‘When were you last shaved, nigger?’ ‘Two days ago, sir.’ He seemed pleased and fingered my stubble some more. ‘By his lightish colouring, high cheek bones and narrower than usual lips and nose I would say he had some human blood in him.’ Mr. Richards remarked. ‘I believe his great-grand dam was knocked up by a white gentleman, sir,’ Forbes replied. ‘Good, well-diluted but enough to please the eye.’ ‘How does he move, I don’t want one of those niggers that slouch around?’

field-slaveForbes unlocked the chain from the wall and told the boy to remove the chain from the shackles, ‘Walk and run him round the yard, Jimmy.’ He said. ‘Come on nigger.’ The boy said jerking my lead. I walked following the boy. My back was straight and I had a spring in my step, my chest out and shoulders back. ‘OK, Jimmy, run him.’ We broke into a run and circled the yard a few times before I was brought back. ‘Nice, moves well and with some grace,’ Mr. Richards said. He stroked and pressed my pecs. ‘Good firm muscle on him and, unusually, a coating of hair on his chest.’ He said stroking it. ‘Flex your arms, nigger.’ ‘Yes sir.’ I said obeying his order.

He felt them and had me turn round and I felt his hands on my shoulders and upper back. ‘Good, no whip marks, sign of a hard-working and obedient nigger. well-shaped hams as well.’ He said as I felt his fingers press my buttocks. I clenched and relaxed them a few times without being ordered. ‘Good boy.’ He said administering a playful slap on one of them. ‘Now, as you know Forbes, I am not only looking for muscled field niggers but I have an interest in breeding. It’s very profitable ever since those damned British banned the trade from the seas making imports damn nearly impossible. Do you know anything about his record?’ ‘His last Master kept details on all his livestock, Mr. Richards, Ajax was a very good breeder and produced, on average, about 10 a year with various wenches since he was about 18.’ ‘Oh, so he is keen on females, then.’ Mr. Richards said. I think I detected a little disappointment in his voice. ‘Not that it matters because we can always resort to bacon rind or bailing twine round his root if there’s a problem. Mind if I take a look, make sure he’s whole? ‘Go ahead, sir, you would not want to buy a pig in a poke.’ Forbes said. I swallowed hard, my throat dry at this indignity but, of course, kept my arms at my side and stared straight ahead. My cock was somewhat engorged at all this talk of breeding. Mr. Richards untied my cloth and let it drop to the ground. I felt him heft my cock into his hand. ‘Nice and heavy, big boy.’ He cupped my balls and gently squeezed them. ‘Big, low hangers and meaty, full of juice. Yes Mr. Forbes, a fine young stallion you have here. Of course, I’ll test his potency later. Cover yourself, nigger.’ ‘Yes sir,’ I said, my eyes stinging wet with the humiliating experience. ‘OK, Mr. Forbes, we’ll find Mr. Viggars and negotiate a price. I have no time for the auction room today.’ I retied my cloth and was chained to the ring again while they went off.

Soon I was taken inside, told to dress in my shirt, shorts and pants and led out to where Mr. Richards stood. ‘I’ll take his restraints as well, he looks good in them.’ My new Master said. ‘Got yourself a fine piece of property there, sir,’ Mr. Viggars said, ‘Fine looking animal, still young but promising.’ I was led to a wagon at the back of the dealer’s premises. A slave stood holding the horses’ reins. He doffed his straw hat and bowed to my new Master. The Master climbed up onto the bench and said, ‘You niggers get up on the buckboard.’ ‘Yes Massa,’ the other slave said and I echoed him. The Master said, ‘Amos, chain his manacles to a staple in the floor of the wagon in case he gets ideas of running.’ ‘Yes Massa,’ he replied as he locked my manacle chain to a ring on the wagon’s floor.

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