Turtledove, Harry - American Empire 01 - Blood and Iron by Turtledove Harry

Turtledove, Harry - American Empire 01 - Blood and Iron by Turtledove Harry

Author:Turtledove, Harry [Turtledove, Harry]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Fiction
ISBN: 9780345494283
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Published: 2008-12-16T05:00:00+00:00

Cincinnatus Driver looked back at the house in which he’d lived his whole married life. He looked around at the Covington, Kentucky, neighborhood in which he’d lived his whole life. There was a last time for everything, and this was it.

He cranked the engine. The shabby old Duryea truck thundered into life. It didn’t give half the trouble it usually did, as if it too were glad to shake the dust of Kentucky from its tires. Cincinnatus hurried back to the cab.

There sat Elizabeth, Achilles on her lap. “We ready?” Cincinnatus asked as he slid in behind the wheel. In one way, it was a foolish question: everything they owned and aimed to take along was behind them in the bed of the truck. In another way, though, it was the question, and Cincinnatus knew it. He still didn’t know whether he and his family were ready to abandon everything they’d ever known in the hope for a better life.

Ready or not, they were going to do it. Elizabeth nodded. Achilles yelled “Ready!” at the top of his lungs. Cincinnatus put the truck in gear. He waited for the engine to die or for something else dreadful to happen. Nothing did. Smooth as if it were ten years newer, the Duryea began to roll.

As Cincinnatus turned out of Covington’s colored district and onto Greenup, Elizabeth said, “I do wish your ma and pa decided to come along with us.”

“I do, too,” he answered. “But they’re set in their ways, like folks can get. I ain’t gonna worry about it much. Once we find a place, you wait and see if they don’t come after us.”

“Maybe they will,” his wife said. “I hope they do. Won’t be so lonesome if they do, that’s for sure.”

“Yeah.” If Cincinnatus had let his hands drive the truck for him, he would have gone on to the waterfront. He’d been heading there, walking or taking the trolley or driving the truck, since the early days of the war. But he wasn’t going to head there any more. Instead, he took the suspension bridge north across the Ohio River and over into Cincinnati.

“The United States,” Elizabeth said softly.

Cincinnatus nodded. Oh, Kentucky was one of the United States these days, but in many ways Kentucky still seemed as it had when it belonged to the Confederacy. That was the biggest reason Cincinnatus had decided to better his luck and his family’s elsewhere. He wasn’t going to wait around holding his breath till he got the vote and other privileges whites in Kentucky took for granted.

Back in the days before the war, he’d spent a lot of time looking across the Ohio. Negroes didn’t have it easy in the USA. He knew that. Had he not known it, he would have got his nose rubbed in it during the war. A lot of men down from the United States thought they had to act like slave drivers to get any kind of work out of Negroes. But not


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