A lot happened at the office and so I was about an hour late getting home on Monday. In Amesbury, as I turned off Main Street, I was surprised to notice that part of town appeared to be blocked off. I could see flashing lights, but couldn’t make out what was going on. I went out for a walk almost immediately after getting home. First, I wanted to find out what was happening. I’ll admit it, it’s a small town and we are all slightly nosy. But also, I had promised Izle that I would talk to her. Despite it being Izle, I was very curious. She said she wanted to want to warn me about something. I had wondered if it were similar to Alexander’s warning. On the other hand, she had mentioned Galvin. I couldn’t imagine him being involved in anything, but he could be a stooge, just like when he was a lookout for the kids exploring the mansion.
As I walked, I thought a little about Alexander and his issues. Mike from the historic society had written back that after thinking about it, he was about 90% certain that I was correct that Alexander was a black man. It explained so much about his life. He was a business genius and a good man in most ways, but something always held him back. And no matter how polite he was, people took an instant dislike to him. Seeing an issue with racism made all of the pieces of the puzzle fit neatly together. Mike said that he was amazed that it had never been brought up before. Later he wrote back and said that after a bit of research, he was 100% sure Alexander was black. He was wrong and found that it had been brought up, at least in Alexander’s lifetime, but for some reason the historians missed it. I wondered if the historians were as racist as the people 200 years ago, thinking that only a white person could be so successful and never entertaining the idea that Alexander wasn’t white, despite the fact he was often referred to as “the black devil”. From what Mike said, it was even more than that, that people called him black all of the time, but people had taken it to mean his personality.
Walking into the center of the village, I discovered that Mill Street had been blocked off and the traffic rerouted. I could see emergency vehicles down around the large mill building that housed Cooper’s Scientific Instruments. I knew I couldn’t go down there, so I decided to do the next best thing and headed to Strickland’s.
I wasn’t too surprised that most of the usual guys were there, hanging out. Continue reading