Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Oct 11, 2022

Kaula Hao 5 2022

The following day at 4 pm, shackled hand, foot, and hooded, Abner was taken to a horse-drawn wagon that seemed to purposely take every bump and hole along the way.

It was jarring and disconcerting after being kept in that jail cell for who knows how long? Periodically there were stops where the hood was slightly lifted, and Abner was giving a drink or a bowl of poi to eat. The princess instructed the guards who sat with him not to harass or harm Abner. Nor were they to have any sport at his expense. Her orders were duly obeyed, and upon arriving at her sprawling estate in Kahuku, Abner was let down from the wagon, walked to the back of the mansion, and taken to the servant's quarters, where he was allowed to bathe and clean himself. A razor and shaving cream were also left out so he might shave off the overgrowth of hair on his face. A fresh pair of clothes and boots were left out for him, and when he had changed into them, he was brought to the kitchen, where he was fed a healthy meal. Manu entered the kitchen and sat opposite Abner with two armed guards. One was posted at the back of the door, and the other posted himself at the entrance to the long hallway leading to the living room. 

"What am I doing here?" Abner asked.

"We're giving you some money and a paid passage back to where ever it is you came from, or wherever it is you would like to go, aside from these islands," Manu replied. 

"And if I refuse?" Abner asked sarcastically.

"You speak as if you have a choice in the matter," Manu smiled. "Most men of your stock often think they do, but they do not."

"I apologize," Abner began. "I keep forgetting myself. I mean that I've come to like this place, and I'd like to settle here. Maybe even start a family."

"Goodbye, Abner Millet," Manu stood. "My guards will take you to the pier at Māmala, where your ship will be waiting. Over the past few months, I have contemplated what I should do with you or to you for striking my son. Finally, I have realized that the best solution should be your extirpation from these islands."

"You can't get rid of all of us," Abner retorted.

"It's only you; we are ridding ourselves of," Manu held his gaze. "Be appreciative that you are leaving alive."


The ride back was the same as in the morning, bound hand and foot, hood over his head, enduring a long bumpy ride. The hour was perfect at their arrival, the sun still having two hours before it set. With all he owned gathered from his house now packed in trunks, Abner was relieved of his shackles and his hood and stood before the ship that would give him passage to anywhere. He smelled the pungent aroma of the ocean long before the meandering wagon pulled up. With money bursting out of his wallet, and the rest in his baggage, Abner made his way up the gangplank, making peace with the fact that he may have to settle in San Francisco. He was sure he could find strong arm work somewhere. Maybe the docks or Chinatown, perhaps with the police? His hopes were dashed when he saw three men approaching him. They were those abolitionists whose families he'd killed in one fashion or another. The point is that Abner had brutalized their bodies after they were dead. Now, their surviving abolitionist families had come for revenge. With the three men were the princess's guards but dressed in plain clothes. Before Abner knew it, the anchor was cast off, and the ship was underway. Except for himself and the five men, the rest of the crew departed the ship. The men exchanged no words; Abner made no attempt to run or jump overboard. Instead, he stayed and fought tooth and nail before he let them end his life. A short time later, that ship with no name and crew drifted into Māmala with a lone disemboweled body hanging from its main topmast. It was the body of one of the abolitionists. There was no trace of Abner or the other men. The incident remained a mystery, yet, in Tahiti, a boorish white man arrived on its shores asking for help and protection from a determined Hawaiian princess who meant to take his life.

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