Tag Archives: Colin Leslie Beadon

Colin Leslie Beadon – Crossroads

Crossroads

by Colin Leslie Beadon

by Colin Leslie Beadon

It was late Autumn and the trees were shedding golden leaves that swirled in eddies on the crossroads. The damp gutters were filled with leaves and the children shuffled through them on the way to school. The clear shrill song of a robin came from the sycamores back of the cafe where the old man sat.

He tilted his head on the side of his good ear so he might hear the song better. A double-decker bus swept past with ‘Smarden’ on its billboard. The wind the bus left ruffled the old man’s thin white hair where he sat in the shelter a wicker screen made with the wall of the cafe. Late roses blossomed and twisted in the screen.

A waitress came with a tray.

“Another cup of coffee sir?” she asked, noting his dry wrinkled hands, his thread-worn jacket, the deeply lined strangely scarred face.

“Thank you. No,” he said slowly.

“Will there be anything else?”

“Nothing else.”

“That will be thirty-five p., sir.”

The old man fumbled the inside pocket of his waistcoat.

He pulled out three coins. The girl leaned over in her clean apron. With fine supple hands she spread the coins on the table. A small diamond engagement ring flashed on her finger.

“That’s not enough,” she said suspiciously.

“It is all that I have,” the old man peered up through grey hard-seeing eyes.

“Where do you live sir?” the girl asked. She swept back the blond hair a gust had driven partly over her eyes.

The old man’s mouth remained stubbornly closed. He looked across at the bank that had just opened. The girl shook her head and swayed saucily away with his cup and the last of his money.

The old man looked around at the other tables. He saw that he was quite alone now. He looked across at the bank again. He had not noticed anybody enter its doors.

He felt between the buttons of his wrinkled, once white, too many times washed shirt. Careful as his lightly trembling hands would allow, he pulled out the gun and lay it on his lap. He looked at it tenderly. It was an old pitted Smith and Wesson ’45, an American sergeant with Wingate had given him in Burma. The wood of the grip was gnarled, and there was a small piece missing. He stuck it back and closed the flaps of his jacket protectively.  Continue reading

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Filed under Crime & Law, People, Stories and Memories

Something Different…

Trinidad Barbados Oil Rig

by Colin Leslie Beadon

by Colin Leslie Beadon

Rain had threatened since Friday, and now the morning hung with dark low clouds. It was hot and sticky and still in the high bush where the rig stood in a clearing. Parrots flitted noisily from creeper and orchid festooned trees, and a brightly plumed toucan peeved monotonously.

The Rig Superintendent took a last bleary-eyed look at the pump pressures and rotary table torque gauges on the drilling console where it stood front of the driller, and then turned, sore-footed, to descend the ladder from the rig floor.

He slumped across the uneven dusty gravel of the location, his shirt wet with sweat, his face showing stubble and drilling fluid smatterings of a three day stretch without sleep. He climbed the few steps to the doghouse.

“I’m going in Carl,” he said hoarsely. “Call me if we run into it again. I’ll be at the house.”

The toolpusher raised eyes from the drilling report. He was a big solid man with strong placid face as black as midnight soot. He had strong very white uneven teeth, and a badly healed scar running across his bare chest.

“Go on in Cappie. Get some sleep.” He smiled faintly.

“I’ve since Friday to catch up on.” The Rig Superintendent said. “It’s a bad son-of-a-bitch, this one. ‘Bout time something went right.”

“It’s Easter Sunday. Maybe you should try going in church,” the toolpusher smiled faintly. “It might change your luck Cappie.”

“Maybe I’ll try it,” the Rig Super said, yawning and stretching.

“Maybe you could try a whore. That works for me,” said the toolpusher smiling again. He had just taken up tour and there was still the hint of sleep in his face. “Whores work, I tell you. Or a virgin if you can find one.”

“I could do that,” the Rig Super said. “But I’ve got something better in the house, and I don’t have to pay one way or another.”   Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Stories and Memories, Trinidad and Tobago

Dear Colin Leslie Beadon…

Colin Leslie Beadon Author

Hi Colin,

Would you kindly get in touch with one of your readers, Thomas Brown: Tom@tbrown23.wanadoo.co.uk

For those looking for samples of the ever-imaginative work by and about Colin, check out these at BFP.

My favourite is Captain Giovanni’s daughter followed by The Barbados Chum Machine…

Profile of a writer: Colin Leslie Beadon

The Barbados Chum Machine… by Colin L. Beadon

Captain Giovanni’s daughter

Growing Our Own Produce. For God’s Sake!

You can’t make a meal out of Barbados sugar. What fools we are.

Today’s Monopoly Game

Bayes’s theorem of Inverse Probabilities

Dementia: New revelations are old hat to Colin L. Beadon

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Filed under Barbados, Island Life

Captain Giovanni’s daughter

Our old friend Colin Leslie Beadon was once a sailor – and so is fully qualified to tell some tales. How much is fact, how much is wishful thinking? That’s something we’ll leave for Colin to explain in the comment section.

Meanwhile, we bring you…

Captain Giovanni’s daughter

by Colin Leslie Beadon

Down around the south Atlantic the huge albatross stay with me day and night, floating like huge ghostly shadows. The seas are full of groups of penguins and seals, and porpoise jump along in thousands, and the ocean breathes, like the breathing of the very earth, and the ship rises and falls, slowly, on the Earth’s huge bosom.

Into all this stepped Anna, the captain’s vixen-haired daughter, tanned, deep gold like I am, except her tan came from her race. I was on the bridge wing the first time I saw her. She stepped into the wheelhouse, and ignored me. I saw her, flaxen hair to her waist, talking to the second mate. Even then I could see she was attractive, and she knew it and knew how to twist a man’s guts with her firm enticingly potent form, a form that eats away at youth and makes youth toss and turn in his bunk. She was about my own age, I was sure, maybe a year younger. This was the first we had seen of her, perhaps she had taken a few days to get over seasickness, some people take longer than others on big liners with their slow sluggish motion.

Yet she did not ignore me later. I was out on the port wing, and she came out and spoke to me. Her eyes were a strange wolf grey, the wind played with her hair, her small strong hands gripped the spray dodger so she could pull herself high enough on tiptoe to look over the top. She asked me about the crow’s nest up on the foremast, and what the view was like from up there. And I told her it was where I would be if the weather was clear, as you could see a lot further out to sea.

I felt, right away she knew I liked her company. I would get those long melting looks that seemed to search my soul from her dimpled round face, the high Latin cheek bones, her more than perfect skin, the full supreme lips and starlet Italian nose. She was an alive sculpture off the walls of a Roman amphitheatre, her body nubile, potent, painfully desirable. Continue reading

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Profile of a writer: Colin Leslie Beadon

The staff and many readers at BFP look forward to the little gifts left here and there on the blog by our friend Colin Leslie Beadon. Sometimes it’s a paragraph or two on some forgotten piece of island or world history – while other times it will be a longer look at society or the environment. Colin’s work is spiced with humour, always a good read and however light-hearted often carries a serious perspective about how people and society do work versus how things should be.

Colin’s latest book is Escapades and Islands, a collection of short stories that are highly influenced by his free-thinking world view and, he’d probably admit, by his rambling and unsettled early life.

He was born in Maymyo Burma in 1935 of Colonial-era parents who were themselves born in India. His mum died early in his life, and his step-mother from 6 years old was Irish-Burmese. Throw in some English Boarding schools, Irish Catholic college in Trinidad where his father became Police Commissioner, and stints as a sailor, aircraft mechanic and oil field rough neck all over the Caribbean and South America and you have some idea of why Colin looks at the world a little differently than people who live, work and die within a few miles of their birthplace.

Fast Fingers has just posted an excellent interview with Colin Leslie Beadon where he talks about his life and his new book…

“The story  ‘First Light’ is based on my arrival in Trinidad, aged twelve, and meeting the first girl I had ever met, who has been my first love ever since. I wrote her as a black girl in the story, but she is of probably blended Irish-Spanish stock, at least her temperament and beauty hinted these bloods, but she is very much a West Indian, though now living in California.  We have never lost touch for long.”

“I started writing aged thirty two in Trinidad, 1967.  Sold my first short story in 1974 , and kept hammering away until the Short Story became  hard to sell by 1995.   So that is about 28 years. But I never stopped writing entirely, doing letters to the Newspapers in Trinidad and Barbados, hundreds of letters I’ve written. And I wrote all the time to friends and family across the world.  Then came the computer and email, then Blog sites…”

From the Fast Fingers author interview – Colin Leslie Beadon: About Me and Writing

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Filed under Barbados