2 Chapter 2 The Slave Marke
The carriage stopped and they climbed out. Joseph recognized the market where his mother shopped occasionally. He wasn't allowed out of the house very often, so it surprised him that they were actually in a place he knew.
They went into the inn he remembered seeing but had never been in before, and sat at a table. The waitress was very nice as she took their orders and before long, a platter of food sat before him. There was more food then he knew what to do with. His dad laughed at the look on his face.
"Once you grow a bit, this won't seem like so much. Go ahead and eat what you can, we'll take what you don't eat with us."
Joseph dug in. He hadn't eaten so late in a long time and he was starving. Before he knew it, they were done and he was carrying a small bundle of leftovers back to the carriage.
"We'll meet up with my caravan and then head over to the slave market."
Joseph couldn't wait to see his dad's slave caravan. He always parked it outside of town so that it didn't cause any issues taking up so much space. It had grown quite large over the years.
With his head sticking out of the window, he watched as they left the town walls and a row of wagons and carriages met his eyes. There must have been thirty or more all lined up, waiting for him to rejoin them. In fact, his dad's carriage slid into a hole in the line, and the whole caravan was on the move.
"I enjoy visiting that town, and will probably go back before we leave entirely. You'll need new clothes befitting the position of my son, and it's only right that I spend my coins in my home town."
Joseph tired of the view behind them, and turned to look ahead. There was a huge building, with flags flying in the breeze.
"Is that a castle?" he asked breathlessly.
"No," he dad answered with a chuckle. "That's the slave market. Everything is inside, so the slaves for sale don't burn in the sun, or if the weather is raining or snowing, the customers are somewhat comfortable. I remember when it was first started. It's really grown over the years."
Joseph watched as they drew closer and closer, then finally they entered the gates. The guards merely waved them in, as if he was familiar with this particular caravan. That wasn't hard for Joseph to imagine.
"I'll show you around," his dad said, climbing down out of the carriage.
Several people who were obviously waiting for him to arrive, stopped short when he jumped out after him. They were confused by his presence. Nodding at them, his father walked right by, taking advantage of their uncertainty.
Joseph had never seen so many slaves all at once. There was every kind of slave you could ever want here. There were cooks, tailors, guards, dancers, singers, musicians, cobblers, laborers and many more. He lost count of how many different types there were. He followed behind his father as he smiled and talked with many different people.
As lunch time rolled around, Joseph realized he had left his leftovers in the carriage.
"It's all right. We'll eat at this stall."
The stall he was referring to stretched for the entire length of the block. Slaves were cooking and serving the food to the people who sat at the bar that ran the length.
They waited for a man to get up, before sitting in front of a young man who smiled big when he saw his dad.
"Master William! It's so good to see you again!"
"How are you doing, Sean? Are they still treating you well?"
"I love it here! Thank you so much for finding me this place!"
"I'm very glad you're still happy, do you remember my favorite dish?"
"Of course! I'll whip it up right away. Do you want two helpings?" He motioned at Joseph, and his dad nodded.
Sean turned and began cooking with gusto.
"Sean used to be one of my slaves. I noticed his love of cooking when he was very young, and helped him cultivate it. The person who owns him now, lets him cook to his hearts content. Everyone was happy with the arrangement I believe."
Sean laughed and finally placed two plates in front of them. The smell that wafted up to his nose had Joseph drooling. This smelled better than anything he had ever had. As he started eating, it wasn't long before he had eaten it all. He just stared at his bowl, confused as to how he could have eaten it all.
His father laughed and paid Sean, then they were off again, allowing the next people to take their seats.
"I have to check on a client of mine, but the area isn't as nice as where we've been so far. Are you up to going with me?" There was a twinkle in his eye. He was testing him to see if he was serious about wanting to explore the world.
Joseph nodded. There was no way he wasn't going to go with his dad wherever he went. He wanted to see everything.
His father headed off with him trailing after. The clean halls turned progressively dirtier as they walked. Soon they were walking through a section that was obviously slum territory. Everyone was dirty. There was trash littered everywhere. The slaves here were dirty, and they carried wounds and scars. Their clothes were torn or worn thin. His mother had told him about places like this. They were to be avoided at all costs, because thieves and murderers lived here. The people who lived in places like this were to be pitied and avoided.
Joseph drew closer to his dad, as they approached a bordello. There was no way his father was taking him to a place like that, could he?