Sunday, October 30, 2011

Harold's Halloween III

[Believe it or not, this is for real. Kind of a 19th century Spiderman who liked to grab bouncing boobies. There have been several lengthy and fully documented books written on this weird mess, and even allowing for exaggeration, it’s clear there was something very strange indeed moving in the shade in Victorian England. - HAC]

Spring-Heeled Jack (1837)

Spring Heeled Jack ....

Was he a creature, an alien, or a man wearing some strange costume and a hidden jumping apparatus?

During the 1830's, this “man” terrorized England. Described as tall, thin, powerful, wearing a black cloak, the man could jump 20 to 30 feet vertical. It was reported that he had large pointy ears and nose, with red glowing eyes, and capable of spitting an odd white and blue flame from his mouth.

The Early Sightings

The first sighting may have occurred in September of 1837 in London, England. A businessman was returning home from work late at night when a mysterious figure vaulted over the railings of a cemetery. The railings were at least 10 feet high but the creature effortlessly leaped over the wall and landed directly in the path of the man. He was described as having pointed ears, large glowing eyes, and a large pointed nose.

A little while later, Spring Heeled Jack was said to have attacked a group of people - 3 women and 1 man. All ran but Polly Adams, who was left behind. Spring Heeled Jack tore off the top of her blouse, grabbed her breasts, and began clawing at her stomach. The attack knocked Polly unconscious where she lay until being discovered by a policeman.

The Mary Stevens Incident

In October of 1837, Mary Stevens, a servant, was returning to her employers home on Lavender Hill. While passing through Cut Throat Lane in Clapham Common, Spring Heeled Jack sprang from an alley, tightly wrapped his arms around her, kissed her on the face and began running his hands down her blouse. When Mary screamed, Spring Heeled Jack ran from the scene. Local men were alerted by the screams and quickly arrived on the scene. They searched for the assailant to no avail.

The next day, Spring Heeled Jack struck again at a location very near Mary Stevens home. He sprang in front of a passing carriage causing the carriage to careen out of control and crash. Witnesses at the scene claimed that Spring Heeled Jack escaped by springing effortlessly over a 9 foot wall.

Very shortly after the carriage incident. Spring Heeled Jack accosted a women near Clapham Church. In this particular incident he left physical evidence. Investigators discovered 2 footprints 3 inches deep. The depth of the prints seemed to suggest some type of 'spring' mechanism in the shoes. Note: A spring apparatus was tested by the Germans during the war and resulted in a 85% failure rate (the men broke their ankles).

A few months later, January 1838, London's Lord Mayor, Sir John Cowan, declared Spring Heeled Jack a "public menace". A posse of men were formed to search for the individual responsible for the attacks. It was during this time that the great Duke of Wellington, who was now 70 years old, joined in the search. Some sources indicate that the Duke may have had several close encounters with Spring Heeled Jack. Unfortunately, Spring Heeled Jack was never found and in fact, intensified his attacks during the following months.

The Lucy Scales Incident

On February 20, 1838, Lucy Scales (18) and her sister Margaret Scales were returning home at around 8:30 PM, from their brother's house in the Limehouse area. Reports indicate that Spring Heeled Jack jumped out in front of Lucy Scales and spat blue fire in her face. Written evidence indicate that Lucy was “blinded.” Whether this blindness was temporary, permanent or simply a figure of speech is not known. After the attack, witnesses claim that Spring Heeled Jack jumped from the ground to the roof of a house and made his escape.

The Alsop Incident

Two days later, on February 22, 1838, Jane Alsop (18) was in her home on Bearhind Lane in the district of Bow, when she heard a wrapping on the door. Answering the door, a black cloaked man exclaimed "I'm a policeman. For Gods sake, bring me a light, for we have caught Spring-heeled Jack in the lane" (a black cloak was traditional uniform attire for policemen of this era). ane, who lived with her father and two sisters, went to fetch a light for the man. She returned with a candle and as she was handing the light to the man, it shone on his face and she saw that it was Spring Heeled Jack.

He immediately spat a blue and white 'gas' into her face. She attempted to run back into the house but he held on tightly to the back of her hair. One of her sisters managed to pull her out of his grasps and drug her back into the house. Spring Heeled Jack continued banging on the door some time before hastily leaving. Witnesses claim that Spring Heeled Jack left quickly, dropping his coat in a field by Jane's home. Another person was seen scooping up the coat and leaving the area leading police to believe that Spring Heeled Jack may have an accomplice. The Lambeth police took Jane's statement:

He wore a large helmet and a sort of tight-fitting costume that felt like oilskin. But the cape was just like the ones worn by the policemen. His hands were as cold as ice and like powerful claws. But the most frightening thing about him was his eyes. They shone like balls of fire.

The following day another incident occurred on Turner Street near Commercial Road. Once again Spring Heeled Jack knocked on the resident's door. When a servant boy answered the door, Spring Heeled Jack asked to speak to the master of the house, Mr. Ashworth. The boy turned to call Mr. Ashworth when he noticed, out of the corner of his eye, that the visitor was none other than Spring Heeled Jack. With glowing orange eyes and clawed hands, Spring Heeled Jack waved his fist at the boy and leapt over the houses on Commercial Road. The lad was able to supply an additional piece of evidence - under his cloak, the lad noticed that Spring Heeled Jack had an embroidered letter 'W' on his shirt. Similar to a coat of arms, the gold 'W' seemed to indicate someone of royalty.

It was the Ashworth attack and the servant boy's subsequent description of the attackers monogram that led police to suspect Henry, the Marquis of Waterford. The Marquis was an Irish nobleman known for his sometimes cruel and unusual sense of humor. Police surmised that the Marquis accomplished his leaping feats via springs hidden in his shoes. This theory was later abandoned when the Marquis died tragically in 1859 (he was thrown from his horse) while the attacks continued for some time afterwards.

After the Ashworth incident, attacks continued during the next year (1839). They stopped for a short while and then continued again in 1843. In 1845, the single fatal incident occurred on a bridge in New York, far across the ocean from the London attacks. In broad daylight, a Spring Heeled Jack-style assailant jumped towards a young prostitute, grabbed her by the shoulders, and spat fire into her face. The stunned girl was then thrown into a sewer below where she tragically drowned.

The Final Attacks

Things grew quiet for several years before flaring up again during 1877 back in London. In Caistor, Newfolk, there were several reports of Spring Heeled Jack traveling across the town by jumping from rooftop to rooftop.

In August of 1877, Spring Heeled Jack appeared before a group of soldiers in Aldershot's North army camp. A Private John Regan was standing sentry at the camp when he heard the noise of someone dragging something metallic down the road. He went to investigate and finding nothing unusual turned to return to his post. When he did, Spring Heeled Jack leapt at him and spat blue flames from his mouth into the boy's face. Other sentries heard the commotion and hurriedly ran to his aid. Witnesses claim that Spring Heeled Jack jumped over the men, clearing them by 10 feet or more. The sentry fired at the intruder and claimed that bullets did not affect him (note that some reports indicate that these sentry men were not allowed live ammunition but rather 'blanks' only were used to warn off evil-doers). The sentry described the attacker as tall and thin wearing a helmet and oilskin suit.

One month later, in Lincolnshire, Spring Heeled Jack was seen hurdling over several houses. As in the Aldershot episode, residents fired at him with shotguns to no avail. These witnesses claimed that the shots did hit Spring Heeled Jack and sounded like they were hitting some sort of metallic object.

Another occurrence was reported in January of 1879 where Spring Heeled Jack once again startled a carriage and horse team. The driver was crossing a bridge in Birmingham and Liverpool Junction Court, when Spring Heeled Jack, clothed in black and flashing menacing orange eyes, jumped onto one of the horses backs.

In September 1904, South of Liverpool in England, Spring Heeled Jack appeared on the roof of a church. He was spotted hanging on the steeple of St. Francis Xaviers on Salisbury Street. Onlookers claimed he suddenly dropped from the steeple and fell to the ground. Thinking that he had committed suicide, they rushed to the point where he had landed (behind some houses) only to find a helmeted man, clothed in white, standing there waiting. He scuttled towards the crowd, raised his arms, and took to the air over William Henry Street.

The final recorded event occurred in 1920 at the Central Railway Station in London. A man in a white cloak was seen jumping back and forth from rooftop to the street below.

Theories Abound

Several theories have been proposed. Everything from a normal man with some sort of spring apparatus to the devil himself (it was reported that cloven footprints had been found at the site of one of the incidents) has been offered as explanations. Lack of hard evidence leaves a lingering cloud of mystery over this anomaly.


I have to admit, guys, this one has me beat.

This silliness went on for almost ninety years, apparently, and the whole thing seems like some pointless and infantile practical joke to begin with.

The question here is not only who and how, but why, for Christ’s sake? I mean, the British have a deserved reputation for eccentricity, but this is ridiculous even by Monty Python standards.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Harold's Halloween II


The Devil’s Footprints (1855)
The First Report

After a dense snowfall on February 7 and 8, 1855, the people of Devonshire, England awoke to find strange footprints throughout their small town. The London Times, on February 16, reported the entire incident in detail.

"Considerable sensation has been evoked in the towns of Topshm, Lympstone, Exmouth, Teignmouth and Dawlish, in the south of Devon, in consequence of the discovery of a vast number of foot-tracks of a most strange and mysterious description. The superstitious go so far as to believe that they are the marks of Satan himself; and that great excitement has been produced among all classes may be judged from the fact that the subject has been descanted on from the pulpit.

It appears that on Thursday night last there was a very heavy fall of snow in the neighborhood of Exeter and he south of Devon. On the following morning, the inhabitants of the above towns were surprised at discovering the tracks of some strange and mysterious animal, endowed with the power of ubiquity, as the foot-prints were to be seen in all kinds of inaccessible places - on the tops of houses and narrow walls, in gardens and courtyards enclosed by high walls and palings, as well as in open fields. There was hardly a garden in Lympstone where the footprints were not observed.

The track appeared more like that of a biped than a quadruped, and the steps were generally eight inches in advance of each other. The impressions of the feet closely resembled that of a donkey's shoe, and measured from an inch and a half to (in some instances) two and a half inches across. Here and there it appeared as if cloven, but in the generality of the steps the shoe was continuous, and, from the snow in the center remaining entire, merely showing the outer crest of the foot, it must have been convex.

The creature seems to have approached the doors of several houses and then to have retreated, but no one has been able to discover the standing or resting point of this mysterious visitor. On Sunday last the Rev. Mr. Musgrave alluded to the subject in his sermon, and suggested the possibility of the footprints being those of a kangaroo; but this could scarcely have been the case, as they were found on both sides of the estuary of the Exe.

At present it remains a mystery, and many superstitious people in the above towns are actually afraid to go outside their doors at night."

Other Reports of Walking Devils

There has been one other recorded sighting of similar tracks, reported by Captain Sir James Clark Ross. The commander of two ships was exploring the South Pole landed on Kerguelen Island around May 1840. The Captain told of finding no animals and simply tracks of a "pong or ass, found by the party detached for surveying purposes..." The men thought the creature may have escaped from a shipwrecked vessel. The men eventually gave up looking for the creature as it passed over a large area of rocks and the tracks were lost. As Rupert Gould asks, "One wonders, if they had 'got a sight of it,' what they would have seen."

Friday, October 28, 2011

Harold's Halloween I


The Mary Celeste (1872)
The Classic Unsolved Mystery of the Sea

It was 9am on the morning of Friday, December 13th 1872 when people on the waterfront saw a small two-masted sailing vessel entering the Bay of Gibraltar. The ship was the Mary Celeste of New York, a Canadian-built 100 foot brigantine of 282 tons registered in New York. The registered owners were James H Winchester (12/24) Sylvester Goodwin (2/24) and Benjamin Spooner Briggs (8/24).

Her master, Benjamin Spooner Briggs, was an old Yankee salt of the New Bedford strain, born and bred to the sea. He was known in Gibraltar to be a staunch abstainer and devout Bible reader, and his reputation among sailors and shippers alike was excellent. He was considered a fine captain and a skilled seaman, honest and trustworthy. At the inquiry the ship's main owner, James Henry Winchester, gave evidence that the captain was a courageous officer who would not desert his ship except to save his life. The second-in-command, the mate, was Albert Richardson, who was also considered by Winchester to be fit to command himself.

But of the good Captain Briggs, his wife Sarah, two year old daughter Sophia Matilda, and the crew of seven, nothing was to be seen or found ever again.

And so begins the greatest of all mysteries of the sea. However, were it not for Dr Arthur Conan Doyle, struggling to establish himself as a writer prior to creating Sherlock Holmes, perhaps the world would not have ever known or cared. The story, like many a tale, has grown with the telling, to incorporate speculation of further mysteries, including pirates, creatures from the deep, abduction by aliens, submarines, and time travel. Conan Doyle's short story about the "Marie Celeste" (he changed the name from Mary) turned a minor puzzle into one of the most famous legends of the sea. Nevertheless we should recognize it was fiction, for which his editor paid 30 pounds, which would have been a respectable sum in 1884.

Turning back to the real story, which survives because shipping and court inquiries leave behind ample records to be researched, we find the following facts;

The Mary Celeste had sailed from New York on November 7th bound for Genoa with a cargo of 1701 barrels of American alcohol, shipped by Meissner Ackermann & Co., value approximately $35,000, the purpose of which was to fortify wine. The value of the freight on the alcohol was $3,400 and the ship herself $14,000. The vessel's cargo was insured in Europe, and the hull insurance was carried by American companies. The freight was insured by the Atlantic Mutual Insurance Company of New York, today the only survivor of the American insurers.

She was followed out of port on 15th November by the Dei Gratia, which followed a roughly parallel course across the Atlantic carrying a cargo 1735 barrels of petroleum.

On the afternoon of December 5th 1872 half way between the Azores and the Portuguese coast the Dei Gratia came up with a Brigantine which Captain Morehouse recognized as the Mary Celeste. He knew Captain Briggs personally and had dined with him before he sailed. He was puzzled to see the ship yawing, coming into the wind and then falling off. She was out of control, and he could not see anyone on board through his spyglass. There were no distress signals, and after watching for two hours and hailing her and getting no reply, Morehouse sent First Mate Oliver Deveau and three men off in a small boat to board her, which they did without difficulty.

Deveau and his men searched the vessel from top to bottom and found--nothing. No one.

Although there was some damage due to water and weather, the vessel appeared to be entirely seaworthy and there was no evident reason for its abandonment. The general impression was that the crew had left in a great hurry. They had left behind their oil skin boots and pipes.One of the later myths surrounding the discovery of the Mary Celeste was that there were steaming mugs of tea, half eaten breakfasts, and a phial of oil balanced on the sewing machine. This is untrue. Let us remember the vessel was observed out of control for two hours before she was boarded, and had been in heavy seas in the days previous.

Deveau found one pump out of order, and only used the other later on his way to Gibraltar. He found the fore hatch off and also the lazarette hatch off with a great deal of water between decks. The clock and compass were spoilt and destroyed respectively. The ship's longboat was missing. The chronometer, the sextant navigation book and the ship's register and papers were also missing. There was not a log line ready for use. The last entry on the ship's slate showed she had made the island of St Mary in the Azores on November 25th.

There was no indication of any trouble; so far as could later be determined from reading the log book, it had been a routine voyage. There were no signs of violence, no bloodstains or bullet holes. The court record states that Deveau found no beer or spirits in the ship, which fitted in with Captain Briggs' reputation as a strict abstainer who would not allow drink aboard his vessel. The cargo had not shifted and seemed to be intact. The court record states "The galley was in a bad state, the stove was knocked out of its place, and the cooking utensils were strewn around. The whole ship was a thoroughly wet mess. The captain's bed was not fit to sleep in and had to be dried." The only dry clothes found were dry because they were in a watertight seaman's chest. Everything else was wet. There is a mystery of the clock face being upside down, but not because of any 'time warp' the Mate had removed it to clean it and put it back wrongly.

Now we come to a crucial bit. Charles Lurd, crew member states; "We found no boats on board." He could not state how many there should have been, but he had seen the Mary Celeste in dock at New York and he felt sure there had been a boat at the main hatch from the fixing there.

In his conclusion the judge praises the crew of the Dei Gratia for their great courage in view of the risk to both vessels in dividing the crew, and their great skill shown in bringing both vessels safely to Gibraltar.

So where does that leave us? It seems obvious that the crew got into the boat and left the ship. But why?

One explanation is for some reason the captain and crew panicked and took to the ships boat. This could have been due to a mistake in sounding the pump and thinking she was sinking, or bearing in mind the nature of the cargo, there may have been an small explosion or rumbling in the barrels below.

There is one odd thing which has often escaped notice in accounts of the disaster: when the cargo was finally unloaded in Genoa, nine of the alcohol barrels were found to be empty.

We can safely assume there was a boat. Let's say Briggs ordered his men to abandon ship and snatched up his navigational instruments. In great haste they all left. It may be significant that the main halyard, a stout rope 3 inches in circumference, was found later broken and hanging over the side. [See: "The Story of the Mary Celeste" written by Charles Edey Fay in 1942 and the cross examination of Augustus Anderson in the Admiralty inquiry where he states "there were ropes hanging over the side"]

Let us assume that they were trailing behind the ship, waiting to see if she exploded. Then, suddenly, the wind took off and snapped the rope, maybe sinking the small boat at the same time. Even if it did not, it would have been difficult to keep afloat in a small boat in bad weather.

The records of the Servico Metrologico in the Azores says that the weather deteriorated that morning and a storm blew up involving gale force winds and torrential rain. The captain of the Dei Gratia says in his sworn record that the weather had been blowing very hard for seven or eight days previous and had only moderated in the morning of the 4th. So that left the poor people from the Mary Celeste crowded into a tiny boat at the mercy of the Atlantic, in heavy seas. Perhaps the same violent rains quietened down the cargo and the final story is that Captain Briggs got it wrong and paid the ultimate price along with his wife, child and crew.

Another theory was that there was a mutiny. However, this was a very short voyage, with a small crew, a fair and experienced captain and first officer. And why would mutineers abandon the ship? Usually the objective of a mutiny is to take over a ship and sail it away to the South Seas or turn pirate or something of the kind, not abandon it and flee in a small boat in mid-ocean. It seems unlikely that this was the cause.

The poor Mary Celeste did not enjoy a good fate either. She became regarded as a ship seamen and owners wished to avoid. She changed hands frequently. Twelve years later she sailed from Boston with a mixed cargo and was wrecked off the coast of Haiti apparently by her subsequent owners to cash in on her insurance.

She started life as the Amazon and arrived practically a wreck in New York in 1868. She was sold in a public auction for $10,000 and arrested in Boston. From Boston she sailed to New York and was re-fitted at a total cost of $11,500 before she sailed into her fate in the history books. At some point along the line she was re-named the Mary Celeste, and many superstitious sailors consider re-naming a ship once it has been christened to be bad luck.

To put the whole thing in perspective, when the court in Gibraltar had settled this matter (they were more concerned in ownership of the vessel and the cargo, rather than solving any mystery) their next case was the forgotten.

Neither was the Mary Celeste the only vessel found abandoned. In April 1849 the Dutch Schooner Hermania was found dismasted but otherwise sound, with the captain, his wife, child and crew missing, and in February 1855 the Marathon was found in perfect order abandoned. In 1921 the schooner Carroll Deering was found floating off Hatteras Island, North Carolina, completely deserted.

No one will ever know of the fate of Captain Briggs, his family and his crew until, in the words of the burial service, "the sea shall give up its dead."

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Radio Free Northwest - October 27th, 2011

Radio Free Northwest #92, dated October 27, 2011, is now available for download from the Party website at

This is a special podcast on the twin topics of Halloween and buggery.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Typical Response

[Now you understand why the YouTube offensive. - HAC]

Hello I'm John [redacted],

I wrote a msg earlier today,I didn't mention I'm from [city redacted] Kansas. I moved here after I met my wife, she's from Warsaw Poland.

I've only been aware of NW Front about a week now after finding it on YouTube. I am only recently just finding out about Jewry and am being completely shunned by friends and even my own (John Hagee, Benny Hinn Christian type) brother. I'm very excited about your organization.

You can do all the background checking you want and I'll tell you anything you want to know.
I'm 41, drive a truck, wife's not well, broke,and don't want to be swallowed by The Beast.

I'm certainly inspired by the NW Front. I've watched my home town be trampled on by Mexicans and I know they hate Whites and I know that scowl when I see it, and it's just as bad here. I haven't done anything to those nonwhite son of bitches, and I'm sick of it!

Niggers are too stupid to know that Jews are the slave traders, and it was White people that set them free.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Two Years On

Comrade Jeff Hughes was murdered two years ago. This is the podcast I made at the time.

From Our Official Token Jew

[Pinched from the blog of James Howard Kunstler, our official Court Jew. He can still afford to take European field trips. - HAC]

I am in a nation of super-models. The girls who sell tickets in the art museum are super-models. The girls behind the hotel desk, ditto. The clerk in the 7-Eleven shop (yes, 7-Eleven is here in Gothenburg, Sweden) could command the fashion runway in the New York Meatpacking District. Everywhere you look: super-models! They are healthy, tall, and beautiful. It must drive the men crazy. However the men, too, could all be super-models in GQ. And I must say, everybody wears very nice clothes.

Now, I suppose you think this is superficial and fatuous. Maybe so. But it leads to some other observations. An inescapable one, of course, is that I have come from a nation populated by monstrous quasi-human creatures who might be described as land-whales, and who generally present themselves in clothing that a five-year-old European would be embarrassed to wear. But that might be superficial and fatuous, too.

No, there is more going on with this. I first noticed it at the boarding gate area at JFK airport in New York, waiting for the flight to Berlin. For some reason there were a lot of teenagers on the flight. They were Euro teenagers. They were distinct from American teens. The Euro-teens acted like civilized people with what can only be called a sense of decorum.

They were not costumed like clowns, criminals, sports stars, or zombies. Every day is not Halloween for them. Being a person seemed enough for them, as though the human condition were an honorable state-of-being. There were no obese Euro-teens. They were not stuffing their faces with pizza, French fries, and cinnabons. They were not obsessed with texting or other cell phone demonstrations of their social status. They waited patiently through the boarding delay and appeared to enjoy each other's company without impulsive demonstrations, tantrums, tears, fights, or fits.

When I got to Europe seven hours later I found myself in a world of purposeful adults who take care of themselves and the place they live in. It was the weekend. I was there for an architecture conference beginning Monday (hence the delay in this blog).

For two days I walked all over Gothenburg, Sweden's second-largest city, about the size of Buffalo, New York, in population, but far denser, more alive, and in much better condition. The streets of the little city were filled with these beautiful super-model people and their children. I saw something that is virtually unknown in the US: both parents enjoying the day in public places with their kids. As described above, there were no emotional histrionics from the kids, no tears and tantrums, even from the tiny ones. This detail was startling for one who lives in a nation where six-year-olds are called "motherfucker" by their moms.

...All of this financial trouble in Europe will also surely disrupt American banks, too, and may even drive several of them to their knees. On the trading floors of Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan, sleek young Ivy League men and women in expensive clothing who call each other "motherfucker" probably deserve all the ruin that will rain down on their craven souls, but the nation would plunge into something worse than the Great Depression of yore whatever the fate of individual bankers.

Occupy Wall Street may yet evolve into something that is not so much about singing "Give Peace a Chance." When will they open a branch in Washington D.C. and camp out on the steps of the Federal Reserve, where they can greet the comings-and-goings of Fed officials with the charge that the Fed is a claque of lying motherfuckers whose interventions and manipulations are killing what's left of the US economy?

I suppose I reveal my essential American loutishness when I suggest that the horse-whip and fungo bat might be the only means to re-educate members of congress. It would be fun joining a mob to chase such puffed-up grifters around the D.C. mall - better, too, for all concerned than speed-walking on a cold morning.

ne idea floating around the internet is very good: a constitutional amendment aimed at redefining downward the alleged "person-hood" of corporations, so as to drive vast amounts of money out of our politics. Notice that the President of the US shows no interest in this idea.

If the President were an honorable fellow, he would announce his intention to decline running for a second term. A free-for-all in the Democratic Party may be the only thing that can save it from extinction. Not since the Whigs under Millard Fillmore has a US political party been so feeble and purposeless. It can crawl off and die now. Something else will take its place, I'm sure.

I wish Occupy Wall Street would show up at the next Republican candidates' debate and hurl bushels of rotten tomatoes at the fakers and imbeciles arrayed on the stage. They need to be publicly humiliated beyond their own self-induced humiliations when they open their pie-holes to yap about "faith in God" and "liberty" and "family values" and all the other mendacious platitudes from their scanty trick-bag of so-called ideas. They make me ashamed to be an American - as if there wasn't already enough.

But I am still in Europe for another day and the spirit of the place has got under my skin. I sincerely hope they don't fall to fighting among themselves again like they did a generation or two back. I do get the feeling, however, that if by some caprice of fate they end up fighting with America again, the next time they will kick our bloated, tattooed asses, no matter how many times we call them motherfuckers.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Freedom's Sons - Section I, Chapter 5

V. That Toddlin’ Town

(Nine months after Longview)

Chicago, Chicago, that toddlin' town! Chicago, Chicago, I'll show you around!
-old Frank Sinatra song

Elias Horakova was having a really bad day.

That sweltering July morning he arrived late at his job at the Chicago Tool and Die Company’s last functioning American plant in Calumet Heights, after a train commute that had stretched to three hours due to several mechanical breakdowns, and also due to a dead goat on the tracks from a Santeria ceremony the night before. Needless to say, the air conditioning on both the local rail and the El was broken. It hardly ever worked any more.

When Eli finally got to work, he learned from a memo in his mailbox that the venerable factory was finally closing its doors, and the last jobs were being shipped to the new plant in Guatemala. Eli took his lunch break in the Moose Lodge tavern down the street, quaffed one too many Old Style beers, and when he returned to work, he took a swing at his obnoxious Mexican foreman with a pipe wrench. For this he was informed that he would lose fifty percent of his severance package. The company Human Relations Committee also told him they were notifying the FBI of a possible hatecrime. Then after the endless trip home on the oven-like trains, Eli had arrived at his home in Cicero to find a dead nigger lying in his living room.

The dead man was still bleeding. He wore a filthy tank top, an empty holster on his hip, jeans and boots, and on his coal-black head was glued the remains of a bright multi-colored wool toboggan cap that was soaked in blood and brain matter. Horakova’s 16-year-old son Eddie, a chunky tow-headed youth whose arms and hands were already as big and muscular as his father’s, was sitting on the couch, still holding the old .45-caliber Colt automatic he had used to shoot the huge congoid. A nine-millimeter Glock automatic that Eli had never seen before was lying on the coffee table. “Jesus Christ! Eddie? What the fuck happened?” croaked Elias, his throat suddenly bone-dry.

“It’s that Jamaican badass Rico Tubbs,” Eddie said in a toneless voice. “He was gonna take Millie to the Center. For questioning, he said.”

“Mother of God!” cried Eli in horror. Everyone in Chicago knew what such questioning in a Neighborhood Watch clubhouse would have entailed for a 13-year-old white girl. “Where’s Millie? Is she all right?” he demanded.

“She’s in her room,” said Eddie. “I already laid it all out for her, Dad. She was in her room the whole day, on her computer, or listening to music with her headphones on, and she didn’t see or hear nothing. No matter what the cops do or say to her, she didn’t see or hear nothing. She understands. She won’t break, Dad. This is all on me. I won’t let them involve her.”

“It’s not the cops I’m worried about, it’s Rico’s nigger buddies down at the Neighborhood Watch,” said Eli, sitting down in an armchair and shakily lighting a cigarette. “Tell me what happened, Ed.”

“It was maybe half an hour ago. Rico came in the door…”

“Did he break in?” interrupted Eli.

“No, he used his house key, the one the city made us give to the Watch,” his son told him.

“Did he have any papers on him about Millie, about the family? Anything from the FBI or the Human Relations Commission?”

“Nah,” said Eddie. “He just walked in. Millie and me were sitting here watching TV. Rico walks over and grabs Millie by the arm. He says, ‘You be coming wit me, little mama. We got some questions for you down at de Sen-tair,’ you know that crappy Jamaican accent he had. He didn’t even look at me. He didn’t care I was there. I was just a white boy, what was I gonna do? But I knew what I was gonna do, Dad. I didn’t say nothing. I just got up and went into your bedroom and got the gun from your stash, jacked in a round like you showed me that time we went shooting down in the Forest Preserves, and I walked back in here. Millie was kicking and screaming, and Rico was laughing as he dragged her out the door. I shot him once in the chest and put him down. He was lying there gasping like a fish out of water, clawing at his holster for his gun. I leaned over and took the gun. That’s it on the table there. Then I put the muzzle right onto his teeth and I pulled the trigger again. Outfit style, like Stash says they used to do back in the day. I just did what I hadda do, Dad.”

“I know, son,” said his father, his heart breaking. “Where’s your mother? Does she know?”

“No. Mom’s still at work. Tommy’s still at day care. Mom is picking him up on her way home.”

“What about Stash?”

“He wheeled himself into the room when he heard the yelling and screaming and the shots. He’s out in the garage now. He said he was getting some stuff we’re gonna need.”

“What stuff?” asked Eddie’s father, still trying to take it all in.

“Dis stuff,” said Eli’s father Stanislas, a lean and wiry old man in his seventies, as he rolled his wheelchair into the living room. On his lap were several hacksaws and a roll of black garbage bags. “I’m glad you’re home, Eli, because it’s gonna take two of you to get dis buck’s clothes off and get him into de bathtub. Den you gotta cut him up. We put de pieces in dese garbage bags, we weigh de bags down wit bricks or scrap iron, and tonight you and Eddie take de van, and you toss de bags into de lake. Throw each one in at a different place.”

It was a testament to the realities of life in the United States, and Chicago in particular, that the idea of calling the police was so foolish it never even occurred to Eli to suggest it. His son had raised his hand against a man with a black skin; in Chelsea Clinton’s America, his life was now over. “They’re gonna come looking for him,” said Eli hopelessly, gesturing toward the black carcass on the floor. “There’s what? Three white homes left on Kildare Avenue, and we’re the only family with a girl? If the brothers didn’t know where he was going, they’ll figure it out soon enough.”

“Dat’s why we have to hurry and get dis cleaned up,” said Stash. “Once we get de cutting done, you guys have to dump de bags and de girls will have to scrub down every inch of dis room. If de real cops get involved, dey might use dose luminol lights for bloodstains, but we’ll tell ‘em you came home drunk and you knocked Lorna around a few nights ago.”

“I’ve never laid a hand on Lorna!” protested Eli angrily. “I’m not a wife-beater!” Not like you, he thought silently.

“Dey don’t know dat,” said Stash evenly.

“Did you ever cut up a body before, Grandad?” asked Eddie.

“I doubt it,” snarled Eli. “Eddie, I thought you’d figured out by now that all those Outfit stories were bullshit. Your grandfather spent forty years working like a dog in the same place I just got laid off from today. If he was mobbed up, we wouldn’t be living in a three-bedroom bungalow in Cicero with a half-million-dollar mortgage, he wouldn’t be sleeping on a roll-out sofa bed in the garage, and you wouldn’t be sharing a room with your brother.”

“Sorry to hear de plant’s closing down, saw dat comin’ a long time ago, but we got other problems to deal wit now,” said Stanislas. “Eli, you get his head and Eddie, you get his feet. Take him into de bathroom, strip him, and I’ll walk you through it while I watch from the doorway. Eddie, give me de gun.”

“Why?” asked Eddie.

“Because if anybody walks in dat front door while we’re doin’ dis besides your mother, I’m gonna kill him, and dat’s no bullshit.”

Eli’s wife Lorna, a faded blond woman with a work-worn face, arrived home half an hour later with five-year-old Tommy. She saw what her husband and son were doing in the bathroom, and went into hysterics. Eli managed to get her calmed down after another half hour. Then he sent the little boy into Millie’s room, telling a white-faced Millie to play a computer game with him and keep him in there, while Lorna got busy with the Ajax, a scrub brush, and a mop. Then Eli and his son went on with their gruesome task while old Stanislas offered helpful supervisory suggestions that made Eli wonder if his long-held, skeptical estimation of his father’s alleged criminal past might need re-thinking. By nine o’clock that night, the bathtub was piled with doubled black garbage bags, firmly closed with plastic ties, and Lorna had managed to whip up a big pot of macaroni and cheese, which she served as supper along with a plate of buttered slices of cheap white bread. This was how the family always ate anyway, since the Food Stamps program had gone bankrupt years before. Every dime she and her husband earned had to go for the house mortgage and her father-in-law’s twice-weekly kidney dialysis treatments; food was a necessity of life that had to be provided as cheaply as possible.

There were no recriminations at the dinner table. This was America, these were poor white people who knew the score, and the only concern now was to save Eddie’s life. “I know what I gotta do,” said Eddie soberly. “Mom, Dad, give me some money, as much as you got on you, and I’ll leave town. After we get rid of the bags, Dad, take me up the Tollway as far as Interstate 90, and drop me off at some truck stop. I’ll hitch from there. I can make it to Wyoming in three or four days if I’m lucky, and then I’ll sneak across the border into the Northwest Republic.”

“But when will you come back?” asked his sister Milada, a thin girl with long blond hair who was on the verge of tears.

“I can’t ever come back, Millie,” said the boy. “I’m sorry it played out like this, I’m sorry I jammed the family up like this, but what’s done is done.”

“There has to be some other way!” moaned Lorna.

“There isn’t,” said Eli harshly. “He’ll be tried as an adult in one of those goddamned new Hate Courts, and he’ll get life in prison, although in his case that won’t be long since we all know what happens to teenaged white boys in Joliet.”

“What would happen?” asked Millie.

“I won’t last a week,” explained Eddie brutally. “The first time the niggers try to fuck me in the shower I’ll fight back, and they’ll stab me to death with their shivs.”

No one questioned what Eddie said. Life for white people in blue-collar Chicago was grim, and even Millie was old enough to know what he was talking about. Little Tommy simply stared. He knew something bad was happening, but he didn’t cry; already he understood by some mental and emotional osmosis from the others that in this world, his family was surrounded by enemies, and he must not show weakness. “We all have to go,” said Eli. “They’ll be coming after all of us now, because of that Parental Responsibility Act, and they’ll give Millie and Tommy to It Takes a Village to be sold. Hell, might as well make a break for it, just on general principles. I ain’t got no job any more, and at my age I ain’t getting another job. I been thinking about it for a while.”

“Maybe it will be all right,” ventured Lorna. “The angels watched over Millie and Eddie this afternoon, maybe they’ll keep on watching over us.” White people in America dealt with the unbearable strain and tension of life surrounded by a slowly rising sea of mud in many ways. In Lorna’s case, it was through her Catholic faith, and a resolute belief in the existence of angels on earth who would somehow make everything work out in the end. She had a shelf full of books and a rack of video discs, all on the subject of angels. No one else in the family believed in them, and no one was so cruel as to argue with her on the subject. “But we can’t all go,” Lorna went on “What about Stash? He’s supposed to go for dialysis tomorrow. And besides, it’s against the law to move to any of the Northwestern states now. We’ll be arrested at the state line.”

“That’s why it has to be just me, Mom,” said Eddie. “I broke the law when I shot that ape, but you guys haven’t yet, unless you shelter me. That’s why I gotta leave on my own, so I don’t get you guys into more trouble.”

“I don’t give a damn about the law of this goddamned country no more,” said Eli. “Two tours in Iraq, and what did this country ever give me in return? I got a piece of shrapnel in my leg that still hurts like hell, but the goddamned VA doctors won’t take it out because it costs too much. There’s no more Medicare or any kind of help for my father. Neither of you kids are learning a damned thing in school, and if your mother and I didn’t stand over you and make you learn on the computer every night, neither of you would even know how to read and write! Now I got no job, because those Jews on the board of directors sent it to some shithole in Guatemala where they’ll train some Indian to push the buttons on the robot that actually does what I used to do. Nothing but niggers and Mexicans everywhere like a plague of goddamned locusts! Now they do this to my family? That nigger was probably getting paid more by the city for swaggering around the neighborhood with his gun and molesting any white woman he met than I was getting paid at the CT&D. He comes into my home and expects to rape my daughter just for shits and giggles, my son defends her, and now he’s gonna get thrown away like a piece of garbage? To hell with the law and to hell with America! I say we all go Northwest!”

“But what about Stash’s dialysis?” asked Lorna.

“De answer is simple,” said Stanislas. “You guys go Northwest. You go tonight. You can’t take me, and you know it. I’m stuck in dis chair, I can’t even take a shit by myself, and I gotta get hooked up to dat goddamned machine in de hospital every three or four days. You’re gonna have to run de border, where de TV says dey got army and Marines and special police units setting up barbed wire and minefields because so many white people want out of this latrine. You can’t be lugging me along while you’re cutting through barbed wire and dodging machine gun nests, and you can’t push me across a minefield in dis chair.”

“And what about our friend in the bathtub?” asked Eli.

“Before you go, stuff de garbage bags in de crawl space under de house,” said Stash. “When de Neighborhood Watch shows up looking for deir head nigger in charge, I’ll just clam up and tell ‘em I don’t know nuthin’. When Tubbsy starts getting ripe and people notice de smell, sure, dey’ll find him, but I still don’t know nuthin’. I mean, like I killed him and stuffed him under de house? In dis chair? Yeah, dey’ll figure out what happened, but you’ll be long gone.”

“Then they’ll just kill you,” said Eli. “They’ll beat you to death or drag you out into the street and run over you with their patrol SUVs like they did poor old Frank Metesky back in October when he hung blue, white and green streamers on his porch.”

“I’ll talk ‘em out of it,” said Stanislas. “I can act like a real dumb and pitiful old bohunk when I want to.”

“And suppose you managed to do that, what will happen to you then, Stash?” asked Lorna. “Who will take care of you?”

“I still got some friends down at de precinct,” said the old man. In Chicagoese, he was referring to the Democratic Party precinct house, not the police precinct. “Dere’s still a few old bohunks down there who can get me a check of some kind, and if not, I’ll go into a nursing home.”

“You’re not going into a nursing home,” said Eli. “Especially not the ones for indigent old white people in this city, where you’ll be starved and beaten by the Filipino and Nigerian orderlies, and then one night one of them will cut your throat for your IV. I’m not leaving you in a place like that while we run away, Stash.” He sighed. “Eddie’s right. He has to try and make it on his own. We’ll dump the bags in the lake, and then I’ll drop him off up where I-90 begins. When the Neighborhood Watch comes looking, Eddie just ran away, and none of us knows anything. If they honestly don’t know what Tubbs was up to for his entertainment this afternoon, maybe we can get them to believe us. Eddie, go get dressed for the road. I got about forty dollars on me, I think.”

“I’ve got twenty or thirty,” said Lorna, sniffling.

“I have about a hundred dollars in my piggy bank,” said Millie, her eyes tearing.

“Aw, Millie, for Christ’s sake, you been saving that since you were eight,” said Eddie with a sad laugh. “I don’t need your money.”

“You saved me from that nigger,” said Millie, weeping openly now. “I know what he was going to do to me. I ain’t a stupid kid any more. Now you have to go away forever because of me. I can at least give you my pig.”

“Take me out to de garage and let’s give ‘em some time,” said old Stash to his son. Eli and Eddie had built a ramp, and Stanislas could get back to his roll-up-bed sofa in the garage well enough on his own, but Eli wheeled him out anyway. When they got out to Stash’s hootch he’d made for himself, he said, “Eli, dis is bullshit. You can’t break up de family like dis. All of yez gotta make a run for it, get to de Northwest. Leave me. Don’t worry, I’ll be okay. Pack your shit, and take it on de arches. Tonight.”

“Leaving you behind would break up the family,” said Eli, “You’re right. You can’t run a border full of armed guards and land mines in a wheelchair, and that doesn’t even take into account your bum kidneys and your dialysis. Eddie’s young, he’s smart, and I’ve taught him how to work with his hands, carpentry, electrical, plumbing, not to mention how to keep that piece of crap van running. Hell, he’s handier around the house than I am. He can take care of himself and make a living in Seattle or someplace like that. You can’t. We can’t take you, and I’m not leaving you, so this is the only way. Maybe if all of us white people had stood up to the government like those Jerry Rebs in the Northwest did, things would be different, but we played it safe and stayed on our bellies, and things ain’t different. So that’s the sitch, and we’ll deal with it.”

“Even if you can somehow talk your way out of it when dose niggers come nosing around, you got no job any more, and from what you said at dinner de goddamned FBI may be coming after you for hatecrime as well,” said Stash.

“This is our home. Grandpa and grandma came to this country as DPs and spent twelve years working their fingers to the bone, grandpa swinging a pick and shovel and grandma waiting tables and sewing in a Jew sweatshop to buy this house. You grew up here and so did I, and now so have Eddie and Millie. Eddie has to leave now, but you don’t, and the rest of us don’t,” said Eli, desperately trying to convince himself.

“Bird turd!” snarled Stash. “Why do you think my parents came here after World War Two? Dey was one step ahead of de fucking Communists back in Czechoslovakia, is why. Dey was done dere, and now we’re done here, Eli. Dese things happen every few generations. All of yez need to accept what’s happened and clear out. Leave me. I’ll be okay.”

“You’re my father. I’m not running away and leaving you behind to face the music,” said Eli stubbornly.

“You know damned well I was a lousy father, just like I was a lousy wiseguy,” said Stanislas.

“Well, if you’d been a better wiseguy, maybe we’d be living in a nice suburb now and we wouldn’t be in this shit,” said Eli bitterly. “Okay, let’s say for a moment that I believe you. If you really were with Giancana back in the day, why didn’t you stick with it?”

“Your mother,” said Stanislas with a sigh. “Just after you was born, I got caught up in one of dose big Crime Commission sweeps dey used to pull every few years, all de politicians and cops downtown standing in front of de TV cameras and telling everybody how dey was gonna shut down de Outfit and clean up Chicago. Yeah, like dat’s ever gonna happen. Half of ‘em were on Accardo or Momo Giancana’s pad even while dey were talkin’ dat crap. I was a little fish, and my charges were all petty bullshit beefs, running a couple of handbooks, receiving, nothin’ I couldn’t beat, and eventually I did.

“But for de only time in her life, your mother put her foot down. She said you wasn’t gonna grow up never seeing your old man except on visiting day. She didn’t care what I did when I was home, so long as I was home every night, otherwise she was gone and so were you. I knew she meant it, so I went to my precinct captain and I got a union card and a job at CT&D. So instead of seeing me only on visiting day, you got to see me home every night, usually drunk and whaling on your mother or you or your brothers, taking it out on you because I was working a drill press instead of running numbers and hustling and driving a new Caddy every year.” Stash looked up at him. “Eli, I was a rotten son of a bitch. I’m damned if I know why you let me live here after de way I acted all dose years. You don’t owe me nuthin’, rather de reverse. You take your family, and you get in dat van and you head Northwest, before Rico Tubbs’ homeys come knocking on de door, which could happen any minute now if you don’t move your ass.”

“I told you, you’re my father,” said Eli. “It’s not about what kind of man you were, it’s about what kind of man I am. I’m not leaving you behind.”

He walked heavily back into the house. Lorna and Millie were sitting on the sofa crying and hugging Eddie. In all the stress and turmoil of the day, Eli had forgotten that Stash still had the .45. He was just nerving himself up to tell Eddie and the women that it was time, that Eddie needed to say his goodbyes and they needed to get the van loaded with the macabre black bags and get moving, when they all heard the gunshot. Lorna screamed. “Stay here!” Eli ordered them, and he ran into the garage.

“Stan the Man” Horakova had performed one last hit, or possibly his first, on himself. Eli would never know. His father’s bloodied head was thrown back in the wheelchair, and the wall and ceiling of the garage was covered in dripping blood and gray matter. The gun lay on the concrete floor beneath the chair. There was still a lot of stuff left in the room from the days when it had been an actual garage, one of them being a can of vermilion spray paint. Old Stash had taken the can and spray-painted one word on the back of the garage door: “GO.”

* * *

The Horakova family pulled out of the driveway of the house on Kildare Avenue in the first thin light of dawn. They were driving a battered white van that was the last remaining relic from Eli’s attempt, some years before, to start his own part-time electrical contracting business using the umpteenth re-finance on the house mortgage. Then Stash’s kidneys had gone south and most of the capital went into keeping the old man alive.

The business had spluttered along for two years and then been shut down by the federal government for failure to meet OSHA standards, although that was just an excuse. It had long been the policy of the U.S. government to destroy any white entrepreneurial endeavor wherever it raised its head, either through regulation or taxation. The American ruling élite disliked and distrusted self-employed white people. They wanted everybody in the country working for a paycheck that could be cut off, if it ever became necessary to get a handle on someone. The two parties differed only on tactical details, not in their commitment to full economic control of the white population. Republicans wanted that paycheck to come from a large multinational corporation, whereas Democrats preferred that it come from the government. Democracy in America had long since been reduced to a matter of who controlled the patronage. It was Chicago writ large.

Eli carefully packed the van with the things he thought they would need, mostly clothes and the tools he and Eddie would need to earn a living in the new land. The first stop was an automated teller machine at the far end of Kildare Avenue, where Eli drew out $220 of the $227.15 in his and Lorna’s joint account in $20 bills, the family’s entire worldly wealth. With what they had on them, as well as the contents of Millie’s pig, they had almost four hundred dollars, which would not be enough even for gas. But Eli had a large jerry can of gasoline he kept for emergencies, and this qualified. He also packed a siphon hose. “If we run dry we’ll just steal some gas,” he told them. “Preferably from some Jew’s Cadillac.”

They headed northward on Interstate 90. Traffic wasn’t too bad, and they were past Rockford and well into Wisconsin by noon. Eli did the driving. The others took turns beside him in the passenger seat so they could get some air; little Tommy sat on Lorna’s lap, while the others sat in the back as best they could on the heaps of clothing and boxes of stuff they had packed. They watched the green forested landscape along the interstate go by in silence. They were all exhausted, no one had gotten any sleep, and the events of the past 24 catastrophic hours were finally starting to sink in.

Eli’s father, the children’s grandfather, was dead. Their home, the only home Eli himself and the children had ever known, had been torn from them in the blink of an eye because of a nigger’s casual lust for a little white girl. They had known others who had defied the politically correct system, and those others had paid the price. Now it was the Horakovas’ turn. Their names had been drawn out of the Mad Hatter’s topper in the insane lottery of life under political correctness, and now they were to be hurled onto the burning altar of Moloch, god of equality and diversity, like so many others during the past century. No mercy, no appeal, just down the tubes. It was a quintessential American experience.

Once they got past Madison, Eli pulled off at a rest stop. The stop itself was long closed, due to some long-forgotten round of state or federal budgets cuts, but people still used it anyway to rest and to dump their garbage in a large landfill pit someone had dug out of the ground. There were several other vehicles pulled over in the parking area, all of them white motorists, fortunately. Eli was in no mood to deal with nigger or Mexican bullshit at the moment. The way he felt right now, if any of them approached him to beg or Mau Mau or steal, Eli probably would put a bullet in the shitskin’s head from the .45 he kept in the small of his back. The gun had killed twice in the past 24 hours and Eli no longer cared if it killed again, just so long as it killed someone with dark skin. He had finally been pushed beyond the point of caring.

The toilets and sinks were no longer functioning in the restrooms, which were supposed to be locked, but someone had broken down the doors, and people had been using the facilities anyway. In the summer heat, the stench inside was so powerful that the family all went off into the woods to relieve themselves. Then they had a breakfast of sorts, consisting of whatever immediately comestible items Lorna had found in their kitchen cupboard back in Cicero. This included several candy bars, a can of dried apricots, half a can of dried plums, several cans of Vienna sausages, and some cold pop-tarts washed down with cans of soda. “Okay, it’s time we all got some rest,” decreed Eli. “The women and Tommy make themselves a bed in the back as best they can, Eddie and me will sleep in the front. It’s probably best we do most of our traveling at night anyway.”

They pulled into the most removed parking area in the rest stop and settled down for a few hours of restive, disturbed sleep. They were all awake by six p.m., and five-year-old Tommy was finally starting to get cranky. Millie kept him quiet by sharing a hand-held video game. Eli, Eddie, and Lorna looked at the road map of the United States he had brought, spread out on the side of the van.

“We need to make our decision on where to try and break through the border,” said Eli. “We’re coming up to the fork in the interstates.”

“Wyoming is the closest,” said Lorna.

“Hey, maybe Dad and I can become cowboys,” suggested Eddie with a faint smile on his lips.

“Agreed,” said Elias with a nod. “Wyoming is the closest, but for that very reason it will probably be more closely watched by the military and the security agencies, since I-90 is the quickest route there from the Midwest. If we take I-90 and head west, we’ll go through South Dakota’s Black Hills country and hit the Wyoming state line, or what used to be the state line, in about 20 hours, depending on traffic, which would be great if we were tourists on vacation and we were taking the scenic route. But we’re not, we’re refugees running for our lives. Wyoming is technically one of the states handed over to the Northwest Republic by the Longview Treaty, yeah, but from what I can remember from the TV and internet news, it’s still pretty wild and woolly out there, with some fighting still going on between the new white government and American forces, and also some of the local people who want to stick with the United States. We don’t need to go driving right into a war zone where we might get shot at from all sides. Also, I drove down 90 once, and I remember those badlands out there are really barren. I mean it’s like you’re on the fucking moon. We might run out of gas a hundred miles from the nearest help.”

“So where, then?” asked Eddie.

Eli pointed to the map. “If we head north from here and we get onto I-94 west, we’ll go through North Dakota and eastern Montana until we get to West Montana, or whatever the Northwest Republic calls it now it’s their part of the state. There are some cities we’ll have to go around, Fargo, Bismarck, Billings and Bozeman, and that might get a bit hairy with cops watching, but it also means we can get gas there and maybe a little food. The trouble is that at some point, most likely around Bozeman, the troops and cops will start getting really thick, and we’ll need to get off the interstate and try taking the back roads around any roadblocks. That’s where it will start getting funky. But the best aspect of using the northern route is that unlike Wyoming, in Montana there’s a clear border, Interstate 15. I don’t know if the highway itself is still being used by traffic at all, but once we’re on the western side of it, we’re in the Republic and home free. It’s a finish line in this race for our lives, something we can shoot for.”

“Let’s go north and try for Montana, then,” said Lorna. “I know the angels will help us, but we should also help ourselves as much as we can.”

Before sunset, they pulled off at one exit and found a roadside market, one of the many unofficial bazaars that had sprung up across the United States in the past few years that paid protection to assorted cops and local authorities to be allowed to trade without licensing or regulation. Most of these markets were run by Middle Easterners, and they specialized in selling discontinued stock, or big box discounts, or whatever the current term was for stolen goods, especially cheap processed and canned food items, since food had become so expensive. The Horakovas were able to replenish their supply of Vienna sausages, beans, several boxes of crackers, and a block of processed cheese food one of the dusky Hindu traders had in an ice cooler. At Eddie’s recommendation, Eli also bought a cheap burner cell phone that had the capacity to receive netcasts from CNN, Fox, and the major news networks. All the Horakovas had their own phones, but Eli had forbidden their use and removed their circuit cards with the federally mandated built-in GPS microchip, lest they be used by the Chicago police or the FBI to track them down. Then they were back on the road.

They cut their available funds almost in half filling the van’s gas tank in St. Paul. They were now about eleven hundred miles from Butte, Montana, a town split down the middle by Interstate 15. “In theory we should be able to get one more fill-up and make it,” said Eli. “We could, if we were just driving down the interstate, like you could before all the trouble. Technically speaking, the Northwest Republic begins at Exit 227, where I-90 runs into 15. But there’s no way they’re going to just let us pull off and check into the nearest HoJo’s.”

Then began the long trip down I-94 through the darkness, through Minnesota and then across the broad, flat expanse of North Dakota. The silence in the van was broken only by the newscasts that Eddie found on the new disposable cell phone and put on speaker. He would try the Chicago internet stations for a while, to see if there was any news about what they had left behind in the house on Kildare Avenue, and then he would scan for news items or anything to do with border conditions ahead. “As near as I can tell from the news, the barbed wire and the barriers and the minefields are all on the American side, so once we actually get into Northwest territory we should be safe,” said Eddie.

“After Billings we have to get off the interstate and find a way to get to I-15 by back roads, at night, and then cross over without being detected,” Eli said.

The Horakovas noticed there were a lot of headlights all around them, almost all of them heading west. “I wonder how many of the people in these other cars are doing like we’re doing and trying to get into the Northwest Republic?” asked Eddie.

“Quite a few of them, I suspect,” replied Eli.

“Maybe we should all form a wagon train together like the pioneers did back in the old days,” suggested Eddie.

“That’s not a good idea,” said Eli. “Those assholes in D.C. admit they’re monitoring traffic on the interstate from satellites in space, and at some point down the line here, the cops and the military are going to start straining out anybody they think might be trying to leave the joys of the so-called greatest nation on earth for someplace where niggers don’t come into your house and try to drag your daughter away. We have to get as close as we can to the border and find a place where we can cross without being noticed. Eddie, ride the internet on that thing, and see if you can get some idea of what’s going on in the border area, what kind of trouble we might be running into.”

Finally, as the dawn broke, they crossed the state line into the plains of eastern Montana. Eddie and Millie and Lorna stared out the windows of the van at the vastness of the land under the rising sun; they had never been farther out of the city than the Forest Preserves, and they had never even imagined that such a huge amount of space uncluttered by brick or asphalt or concrete could even exist. “It’s all empty,” whispered Millie, staring out the back window of the van. “How are we going to find the Northwest Republic in all this?”

“Imagine what it was like a hundred-and-fifty years ago when the first pioneers were walking across these plains with Conestoga wagons pulled by mules and oxen,” said her father. “A lot of white people have made this trip before us, Millie. We should have made it ourselves, long before we were forced to. Then we wouldn’t have to be doing it now, like this, on the run and with only the shirts on our backs. I remember once, many years ago, I looked at one of the old Party web sites and that old guy was trying to tell people just that. I didn’t listen then. I wish to hell I had.”

Their first problem came that afternoon outside Billings, when they were pulled over by a Montana State Highway Patrol officer. Eli looked up and saw the flashing LED lights in his side mirror. He pulled over to the shoulder of the interstate. A tall white state trooper, about 30 years old, got out of the unit and walked up to the driver’s side of the van. His name tag read Cornwell. “License and registration, please,” he demanded laconically.

Eli produced them; fortunately, the registration on the van was up to date. “What’s the problem, officer?” he asked, acutely aware of the cold metal of the .45 pressing into his back underneath his shirt.

“Where are you headed, Mr. Horakova?” asked Trooper Cornwell. To Eli’s surprise he pronounced the family name correctly, the first time.

“We’re on vacation,” said Eli. “We’re going to get on I-90 going south at Billings and drive down to the Little Big Horn to see the monument there. Where Custer fought the Indians. Pardon me, the Native Americans.”

“I’ve heard of it, yes,” replied the highway patrolman in a dry tone. “I’m just going to issue you a warning this time, Mr. Horakova.”

“A warning for what?” asked Eli. “You still haven’t told me what law I’m breaking, officer.”

“The law of self-preservation,” said Cornwell. “My warning to you is to quit being so fucking stupid, because you’re going to get yourself and your family killed. You’ve got what looks like everything you own packed in this vehicle, and all of you have that blank poker face that any cop learns to recognize in his rookie year, the face that’s a dead giveaway that you’re up to something, and we both know what. You’re not going down 90 East to commune with the spirit of Custer. You’re going to get on 90 West, but you’ll never make it. A few miles down from here, just after Billings, is where the army and the FATPO checkpoints begin, and if you try a moronic story like that with some of those men, they will drag you all out of the vehicle and shoot you through the head, including the little boy. It’s happened before, and there is not one damned thing the Patrol or anyone else can do about it. Actually, by this time next week, anyone using any interstate highway at all in eastern Montana will need a permit. They can enter and exit only through checkpoints, and they have to file a trip itinerary with somebody, don’t know who yet. New regulation from the highway czar in Washington, D.C. The government of the United States is a wounded animal, Horakova, the most dangerous in the world. My warning to you is to turn around and head back to Chicago.”

Something made Eli decide to take a chance, or maybe he had just run as far as he was inclined to run. “We can’t go back,” he told the state trooper in a level voice. “Not ever.”

“Why not?” asked the cop.

Eli jerked his head toward the back of the van where the kids were hunkered. “That’s my son, Eddie. He’s sixteen. That’s my daughter, Millie. She’s thirteen. Two days ago, a nigger carrying a gun and a semi-official badge from the Cicero Neighborhood Watch walked into my home and tried to take Millie by force down to their clubhouse for a little rape and sodomy session. Eddie shot him dead. Originally the idea was for Eddie to try and make it Northwest on his own. My father was crippled, confined to a wheelchair, and suffering from massive kidney failure treatable only through dialysis, so we couldn’t bring him with us, and I refused to leave him there at the mercy of those black and brown animals. That night, my father stuck a gun into his mouth and blew his own brains out. He did it to lighten our load, so all of us could make this trip together. We’re not going back, Mr. Cornwell. Now do whatever the fuck you think you gotta do.” Eli didn’t mention that he had the .45 and Eddie was packing Rico Tubbs’ Glock. He figured the cop could fill in the blanks for himself.

The trooper looked at the ground and sighed. “Jesus!” After a while, he looked up. “Okay, listen good, because I’m only going to say this once. You folks have to get off the interstate. I mean it; do not try to get past a checkpoint looking like you do. They will read you like a book. The McCurtain isn’t just a fence, it’s a whole network of obstacles and checkpoints and surveillance and patrols covering hundreds of square miles on this side of Interstate 15, and you’re about to run right into it. Last I heard, the first FATPO roadblock is around Park City somewhere. You need to get out of Billings and take the northbound exit at Laurel. From there take County road five thirty-two up to Broadview, then get on state Highway Three going north. Then when it runs into Highway Twelve, head west. There are still a lot of patrols and helicopter surveillance even on Twelve, but it’s a big country out there. On the interstate you have no chance at all.”

“We got a pretty good map,” said Eli. “We’ll find our way.”

“Twelve will take you right into Helena, or the American half of Helena, but don’t do that,” Cornwell told them. “The American sectors of Helena and Butte are crawling with Fatties, military police, FBI, and Blackwater contractors that the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center have hired as bounty hunters to stop white people from entering the Republic. A lot of people have been killed in the towns, trying to climb over the barbed wire or tunnel under the fence to get into the NAR sector. The Blackwater goons and the FATPO both just shoot to kill. The FBI likes to arrest refugees so they can torture them, waterboarding and the electric chair and the bath of flies, the whole nine yards. For God’s sake, don’t let the Bureau catch you. They’ll make your kids watch. They have been publicly defeated and humiliated by white men, and they are out of their minds with rage and hate. If you absolutely must surrender to anyone, try to make it local police or the MPs, although some of them are just as bad. Lotta Mexicans. Your best bet is to get a few miles away from Helena in either direction. Helena’s smaller and there’s fewer hostiles in that area. Then find some back road that will get you right up to the fence along the American side of I-15. You’ll have to cut through, but be careful. Some sections of the fence are electrified now.”

“They’ve got the whole interstate fenced off?” asked Eli.

“Yeah,” said Trooper Cornwell in disgust. “For fifty years they couldn’t put up a fence along the Mexican border to keep illegals out, but when it’s a matter of keeping white people in, they can build the McCurtain and fence Montana in half, in nine months. Go figure.”

“We got bolt cutters,” said Eddie from the back.

“When you get to the fence, be careful,” said Cornwell. “There are minefields in a lot of places leading up to it. Some of the minefields are posted with signs, some aren’t, and sometimes they’ve got the signs up but no minefield. I can’t give you any advice on where to try and break through. I don’t know that part of the state well.”

“Why not come with us, and cross over with us?” suggested Lorna.

“Can’t,” Cornwell told her. “I have to keep my nose clean. My ex-wife and my two kids are living in Pittsburgh.”

“Oh, they wouldn’t… ”

Cornwell cut Lorna off. “Oh, yes ma’am, they would,” he said bleakly. “They would indeed. We got a memo that made it very clear. That’s all I have to say, except I still advise you to turn around and find some way out of your problems besides heading west. You’ll probably be dead by this time tomorrow. Forget you ever saw me.” Cornwell turned and stalked back to his patrol car.

“Was that an angel, Mommy?” asked Tommy.

“Maybe,” Lorna told him.

“No, son,” answered Eli. “That was just a good man who has been placed in an impossible position by this hellish country and this sick society we live in. Just like us, son. That seems to be America’s specialty, destroying everything that’s good in it. It’s been going on for a hundred years now. Those people on the other side of that fence are trying to fix what’s broken in the world, and that’s why we have to get there.” Eli pulled the van back onto the interstate.

They got lost only once following Cornwell’s directions, and by midnight, they were coming into Helena on Highway 12. They passed a mileage sign that said Helena 14.

“How’s the gas, Dad?” asked Eddie. “We’re pretty much out of money.”

“The dial shows we got about a quarter tank left,” said Eli. “Better than I thought we’d do. We need to get off this highway. We could start running into military patrols or those private goon squads the cop mentioned any time now. This is where the dangerous part begins.” He chose a side road at random and exited. A few miles down the road he pulled over into a stand of pines and killed the engine and the light. “I’m going to put the gas from the jerry can into the tank,” he said. “That ought to do it for us, for better or worse. Give me a hand, Ed. Bring the funnel. You girls get out and stretch your legs. Hang onto Tommy’s hand.” They carefully drained the fuel from the can into the gas tank, and Eli tossed the empty can into the trees. He looked up at the star-filled sky. “Guess I know now why they call it Big Sky Country. Let’s see how much I remember from my army map and compass training. That’s the North Star, so we need to keep on moving west, in that direction,” he said, pointing down the road.

“Dad!” said Eddie. “That sounds like a helicopter!”

“Get away from the van!” commanded Eli. “They may have infrared tracking equipment, which means that hot engine will show up like a Christmas tree on their scope!”

The family moved off at a trot up a small hill and lay down behind it, almost a hundred yards from the vehicle. A helicopter slowly settled down into the air over the little pine grove, hovering, and then a spotlight beam snaked from the chopper’s belly, weaved around for a bit, and found the parked van. Eli couldn’t see any markings at all on the chopper. It seemed to hang in the air over the van below it for a long moment, like a scientist studying a specimen under a microscope, and then a chain gun opened fire on it in a stream of lead and tracer bullets. The van’s gas tank exploded and a ball of fire rose into the sky, singeing the pine needles on the trees and hurling burning debris all throughout the stand. Then the copter rose lazily into the air and ambled off back into the sky.

“Those stupid assholes set the woods on fire,” said Millie, staring after them. “They just don’t care.”

“They wouldn’t have cared if we were in it,” said Eli. “Maybe they thought we were.”

“They didn’t even try to find out,” whispered Lorna, horrified.

“They probably have a quota of white people they have to kill every week, like cops have a quota of speeding tickets,” said Eddie.

“Oh, Eli, everything we had in the world was in that van!” cried Lorna in despair.

“No, honey, everything we have in the world is right here. Tommy, are you okay?” asked Eli, reaching over and giving his son a hug.

“Bad men,” said Tommy calmly.

“Yes, son. Very bad men.”

“Now what?” asked Lorna.

“If I remember the map right, I figure we’re about three miles from Interstate 15,” said Eli. “We walk. We have to stay on the road because if we blunder around in the woods we’ll get completely lost. It’s risky, but we have no choice. I’ll go first, then Eddie. Eddie and me will take turns carrying Tommy. Lorna, you and Millie follow us, and hold hands, to make absolutely sure you don’t get separated. If somebody comes and I yell move, we get off the road and hide about twenty yards into the woods. We stay together at all times. Now let’s go. Millie’s right, those stupid bastards have probably started a forest fire here, and we need to clear out. Maybe it will serve as a distraction, although again, I think Millie’s right. They don’t seem to care what they do.”

The family began walking down the road, away from the burning trees and the smoke. There was no moon, but the sky was clear and the stars overhead were bright enough to illuminate the two lanes of asphalt in a thin, ghostly light. Every now and then, they passed unpaved access roads gleaming white in the half-light, leading off to the right or the left, and occasionally darkened houses and mobile homes on either side of the road, none of which seemed to be occupied. Twice vehicle headlights appeared, once behind them and once in front, and they scuttled off the shoulder and into the woods to lie in concealment in the scrub brush. The first vehicle was a private car of some kind. The second set of lights turned out to be a pair of Humvees containing men with M-16 rifles, moving slowly down the road. In the darkness it was impossible to discern any insignia or tell who they were, army, FATPO, Blackwater mercenaries, whoever. When they were gone Millie and Lorna took the last two small bottles of water out of their handbags and shared them around, making sure Tommy drank most of it. Then they trudged on.

Even summer nights in Montana were cold, and all their warm clothing had been in the van. No one complained, and Tommy did not cry. Eli’s heart swelled with pride at his family’s courage and hardihood in the face of an adversity that Americans weren’t supposed to be able to meet any more. He began to get a glimmer of understanding as to how the rebels of the Northwest had done it, how they had thrown off the tyrant’s chains. At the very last minute, just before the darkness descended forever, something had awakened in the white man. Eli could see it now in his wife and his children. Freedom was near. They could all feel it, sense it.

Eli had no idea how far they had walked, but at around three o’clock that morning they saw a glow of light ahead, and ten minutes later they were standing at a chain link fence looking down an embankment at Interstate 15 below. Now the McCurtain was literally a curtain of steel, through which they could actually see the Homeland. The roadside lights were still on, and they could see the empty highway below them clearly. “I remember from the news something they said about this border along 15,” said Eddie. “Technically speaking the border runs down the median strip. The northbound lanes are on the American side and only American official and military vehicles use it, otherwise you have to have a permit. The southbound lanes belong to the Northwest Republic and they let anybody use it who wants, just remember it’s at your own risk because of all the gun-toting federal goons on the other side of the road.”

“I don’t see anybody,” said Eli. “Our bolt cutters got incinerated in the van. We have to find some way to get through the fence.” He looked up and saw a coil of razor wire at the top. “Climbing’s out. We have to find someplace to dig under. Let’s move along and see if we can find some kind of dip in the ground, but be careful. Remember what that state trooper said about land mines.”

As they moved along the fence, searching the ground, Lorna said to her husband, “Eli, I don’t know if this makes it any better or not, but Stash was right. There is no way we could have made it this far with him along.”

“I know,” said Eli. “It just pisses me off. I always accepted that one of the immutable facts of my life was that my father was an evil son of a bitch, and I was this really big man for turning the other cheek and taking him in, and not letting him die in one of those hellish state nursing homes. One of the few points in my plus column. Now as the last act of his life, Stash proves he was a bigger man than I’ll ever be. Damn him!”

“You’ve got four other points in your plus column, Dad,” said Millie.

“Thanks honey,” said Eli.

“Dad, look here,” said Eddie, pointing. By the dim light of the interstate lamps, they could see a small, grassy ditch worn by rain water drainage, about two feet wide and two feet deep that ran under the fence. There was about a foot of clearance between the jagged bottom of the chain link and the ground. “We can enlarge this.”

Eli and Eddie both had clasp knives on their belts. They attacked the sides and bottom of the ditch with the blades, breaking up the soil, for about five minutes at a time, and then they and the women clawed at the earth, burrowing the dirt away with their bare hands and throwing it aside. Then it was back to hacking away at the ground with the knives. “You don’t think this fence is electrified, do you?” asked Lorna.

“I don’t hear any humming, and I don’t see any joint boxes or ceramic fittings or connectors,” said Eli. “We may have lucked out, honey. Just dig this out enough for us all to slip through, then we dash across the highway and we’re free. I doubt we’ll be the only white people showing up in the Northwest with nothing but the clothes on our backs. As long as Eddie and I can work, we’ll make it. But we have to get this done before the sun comes up. If anybody does see us, we’ll be sitting ducks in the daylight.”

They dug away like lunatics, even Tommy helping to carry the soil, and slowly the hole under the fence grew bigger. It was on a downward slope, and so if they could just get the aperture beneath the fence deep and wide enough, they could get through. But dawn comes early in Montana in July, and by the time the hole was sufficiently enlarged, they could see without the need of the stars or the highway lights. “Okay, Millie first, then we hand Tommy through to Millie,” said Eli. “Then Lorna, then Eddie, and me last.” Eli was a large man, and the hole wasn’t quite big enough for him, and so for another five minutes he had to chop away with his knife and dig with his hands, but finally all five Horakovas stood erect in the dawn on the other side of the fence.

Lorna looked across the highway. The countryside there looked no different from what they had just left, scrubby brush and low stunted pines, but they all stared at it. “There it is,” whispered Eddie. “Free land. White man’s land. No niggers with guns from the Watch, no Mexicans, no junkies, no crooked cops beating us and robbing us, no Jews laying Dad off, no more of their goddamned laws and judges and creeps in suits telling everybody what to do and how to live. No more America.”

“Let’s go,” said Eli. “Eddie, you carry Tommy.” They slid down the embankment, onto the shoulder, and stepped onto the highway, just as a convoy of armored vehicles came around the bend from the south. The lead vehicle was a black Humvee with a mounted M-60 machine gun; behind it was an eighteen-wheeler, and behind that a truck, carrying armed men in black fatigues. The lettering on the side of the Humvee said Blackwater.

“They’ve seen us!” bellowed Eli. “Run!”

The family’s sudden appearance caught the mercenaries by surprise, and they were almost across the interstate before the first machine gun and rifle bullets began snapping over their heads and cracking into the concrete. They leaped onto the soil of the Northwest American Republic and ran toward a small stand of pines, but the driver of the Humvee apparently decided to ignore little niceties like an international border, and the vehicle swerved across the interstate and pursued them. So close! Eli screamed in his mind. So close, and now these animals are going to murder my family for money! FOR FUCKING MONEY! He whirled, whipped out the .45, dropped down on one knee and carefully emptied the magazine into the oncoming Humvee that was plowing up the low hill after them, trying to hit the driver. He must have hit something, because the vehicle swerved and stopped, but the M-60 gunner opened up again. Eli remembered enough of Iraq to hit the dirt, roll out, then jump up running, throwing the empty gun away as he did so. He saw his family ahead of him, and they seemed to disappear. He reached the point where they had been and saw that they were down in a kind of ditch or gully. He looked back and saw that the body-armored mercenaries had de-bused from their truck and were running through the scrubby pines after them, fanning out. He jumped down into the wash and yelled “Come on!” to the others. “Eddie, gimme the Glock! I’ll hold them off while the rest of you get into those trees!”

“Any last standing to be done, Dad, we do it together,” said his son.

Eli realized that they were trapped in the dry wash. Surrounded by the enemy gunmen, the minute any of them poked their heads up they would be picked off. At least we’ll die in the Northwest Republic, he thought, bitter bile and rage rising in his throat.

Lorna, Millie, and Tommy were huddled against the wall of the dry wash, their faces white with terror. All around them the mercenaries could be heard, shouting and firing their weapons, maybe even shooting at each other. The gunfire seemed to increase, the rattle of the M-16s mixing with a more hollow, popping roll of automatic fire. Goddamned Iraq all over again, thought Eli, and then something hit him. “Yeah,” he said out loud, puzzled. “Just like Iraq! Those aren’t just sixteens, those are AKs!”

“What?” asked Eddie.

The Horakovas heard the engine of a motor vehicle coming toward them, but from the western side of the wash. Then a man wearing tiger-stripe camouflage and a coal-scuttle helmet appeared over their heads about ten feet away, kneeling and firing a weapon Eli remembered as an MM1 revolving grenade launcher. The shield on the side of his helmet was blue, white, and green. The soldier fired again and again, and they could hear the explosions as his projectiles slammed into the targets. Then a camouflaged Humvee drove into sight behind the soldier, on which was mounted a Browning .50-caliber machine gun, the muzzle spitting fire and thunder back and forth. For another minute there was shooting and shouting and then it all died away, leaving behind an eerie silence.

A man got out of the Humvee and walked over to the wash, where the Horakovas stared up at him. He was tall, and despite his light amber beard he seemed little older than Eddie. He wore tiger-stripes and a peaked Alpine cap, and on the cap and over his right shirt pocket was an eagle and swastika. He carried a Kalashnikov rifle on his hip, the sling over his shoulder. On one collar tab was a single black first lieutenant’s bar, and on the other were the black embroidered letters NDF. “You folks okay down there?” he called. “Anybody need a medic?”

Eli looked at his family. None of them seemed to be hurt. “No,” he croaked, shaking his head.

“We were shadowing those apes along the fire road on our side back there, and we saw you make your break for it,” said the lieutenant. “Don’t worry, they’ve all skedaddled back across the highway.” He reached down, took Eli’s hand, pulled him up to ground level and said, “Welcome Home, comrades!”

Eli Horakova looked down at his wife. “Lorna,” he said, “I think we’ve found your angel.”