The Black General
.......It wasn't 5 oclock yet the daily echoes were reverberating thru and thru Coco rico, cou Couco Ri cooooo, from roof tops to corridors, from back yards to tree tops, roosters were streching their necks trumpetting announcing the arrival of the Caribbean sun. Cooco Ricoo, coo coooricoooo. That was on the early morning of February 2, 1802 in Cap Haiti named then (Cap French) the most beautiful and modern city of the Antilles.......Not too long afterwards, men were out with large brooms sweeping the streets, peasants were strolling down from the country with their produce to the city, on donkey,s on foot they came loaded, about 7am the streeets and boulevards of the Cape were littered with children, boys and girls with colorful uniforms of all kinds on their way to school, business man and women were opening their shops, fine dressed people were on their way to work to administer the affairs of the city also groups of soldiers were seen marching in formation let... right...,left...right... switching from time to time their long riffles from shoulder to shoulder on their way to barracks. Along the greens in and around the city beautiful flowers were opening themselves inviting birds and bees to come and enjoy. The large church bells were ringing every hour. Everything was going as usual.... But about two in the afternoon local fishermen on their small boats had rushed to shore anouncing an invasion by warships. People rushed to see for themselves and on the harbor and from docks and the beach. On the horizon a long line of large vessels were seen in the distance. Rumours were running wild in the city.
Indeed a large fleet of warships had surrounded Cap Haitian.................................... Alarmed by this foreign powerful presence, commands came out from the Nothern Army Headquaters of the indigenes to Fort Picolet, a coastal fort near the Cape. From there Captain Souffrant, a very tall, very lighted skin mulatto ( well educated) was odered to the flagship of the squadron to inform the commander or admiral of these ships that Governor General Toussaint Louverture was on offical business in the Spanish half of the island and that without his permission absolument no warships can be permitted to enter the harbor. At once Souffrant sailed to the flagship. The fleet was commanded by the famous French Admiral Villate Joyeuse who had no time to waste. He listen to what Captain Souffrant had to say then inform the mixed blooded negro captain that it was a matter of fact and of will to enter the port but the well seasoned admiral did not want to risk to proceed without pilots and demanded that Souffrant serve in that capacity. The proud captain refused and was immediately placed under arrest.......................Poor Captain Souffrant, when he was just a simple lieutenant in March 1796, he was ordered by his mulatto superiors to march with his bataillon against Toussaint in the first mulatto uprising. He point blank refused to obey that order. He was accused of betraying his caste specially being so white skinned, then he was severly beaten then jailed by the Rebel Mulatto General Villatte. ...... When the revolt was spoiled and aborted, General Villatte was send into exile and Souffrant was realeased and promoted to his present rank as harbormaster by General Toussaint Louverture who found fresh confidence in his loyalty. Now years later, he found himself again in the same situation. But a few days later after his lattest arrest by the French who tortured him to get military information, somehow he managed to silently kill three french sailors and escape from the prison ship he was held in. Then he swam ashore. When he reported for duty, a semi brigade was created for him and was promoted to the rank of Colonel. Back in those days promotions were given only for valor, bravery and loyalty. Now back to our story.
........................................................................................................-------------------------------------General of Division Henri Christophe, the commander of the nothern army was the one who issued the order to Captain Souffrant. Upon hearing the news of Souffrant's detention, he moved his entire headquarter to the government palace immediately in Cape French. He came with a force of 4000 men from the elite guard corp to defend the city in case of a supprised attack by the French. The elite guard was created and trained personally by Toussaint Louverture and those former slaves turned professional soldiers were directly responsible for the disorderly evacuation nad expulsion of the British Expeditionary Forces defeated and routed in their invasion of 1798. The elite troups camped right outside the the city awaiting further orders...............................
To continue... A boat was lowered from the fleet's flagship and the Admiral's aide-de-camp General Lebrun was rowed to Fort Picolet. When he reached the fort he said that he was the bearer of a written communication from the Commander of the expedition. A horse was provided for him then he was escorted by 5 negro officers to the government palace. As they rode thru the city Lebrun was astonished at every corner. THe appearance of the city supprised him. The houses of hewn stones had an air of solidity and prosperity. The many squares with water fountains, the great church. The streets were crowded with people doing all kind of activities. When they reached the heart of the city, they were in the main square, Lebrun's heart was beatting faster. The French envoy look on the right he saw a colorful market place with all the visual disillusionary effects one would see in a modern Haitian market painting, then he look on the left he saw two persons with etrarodinary size heads and features, they were tied up, bounded and being escorted by soldiers, he ask what is this scene? and they told him that it was two diables (warewolfs) caught in midday. They gallopped not too far and then they found themselves blocked by a live Rara that had just turn the corner, full with people beating drums, blowing bomboos dancing wildly and waving flags ect... Lebrun was shocked anew and ask himself "what kind of country is this who are these poeple ?"............ The officers had to maneuvre with force and used the flat side of their swords to make way. Howerver the officers feeling thevibrations of the drumbeats were moving their heads and shoulders back and forth in approval and in harmony to the drums. Lebrun tooked notice and also commented about their gayety also on what he called negroid ugly features of the all the people in his journal. Finally they broke free from the business district. At last they were approaching the government palace when a group of vendors rushed toward the horses and offered mangoes, tamarins, cirouelles and kenepps for sale. Lebrun took a good look and them, their layback demeanor and relaxed appearences. He again said to himself what kind of a place is that? Is that the way free savages lives?.............. Moving in a fast pace under the hot Haitian sun, on the unique Haitian Caribbean landscape, seeing all these unusual scenes and bright colors bombarding his senses from left to right left him comfused, baffled not able to make out any sense of anything. The French high officer did not know if he was suppose love or hated his new experiences. It was as if he was awake in a dream. All that he saw and witnessed he wrote in his journal. Poor French soldier was touched by the spirit of Haiti .........................................................................................................................................
After withnessing the grand spectacles of Haitian life , upon his arrival at the goverment palace Lebrun found more to wonder about. The imposing proportions of the edifice, the well kept gardens and tasteful furniture, the smartly well dressed black and and mulatto officers and soldiers, the liveried servants futhermore the the palace was administered by many white secretaries and clerks- it was not thus he had imagined a country ruled by savage negroes. He was ushered by a white officer into a room hung with gold brocades. Here a giant negro figure, General Henri Christophe welcomed him. The black general informed him that he was empowered to receive any communications intended for Governor General Toussaint Louverture. Lebrun, eventhou was very well enchanted but did not lose sight of his mission. Lebrun surrendered the sealed enveloppe and Christophe called a couple of white officers secretaries and handed the letter to them and ordered them to read it aloud, for the black general did not know how to read and write. But he could speak and understand french from his early job or profession as a waiter at the Hotel La Couronne before the slave revolution of 1791..........(But ladies and gentlemen if you discredit the black general for his lack of education you will fell to understand and will have no notion of the drive,visions and invincibilities of these black giants in the history of the Americas).........................To continue. After listening very patiently to the recitation of the the proclamation of the First Consul of France Napoleon Bonaparte also to a demand that suitables quarters be provided for the army which was about to land, the black general stood up and ordered the secretaries to write his response in this formal decleration: "Without an order from Governor General Toussaint Louverture, who is at present in the Spanish part of the island, I cannot receive the squardron and the army it has on board". Lebrun used all his skills as the great communicator and diplomat that he was to persuade Christophe to yield, and after an hour or so the black general drew back and rebuked Lebrun and said that he could not listen to any proposals without an order from the Governor General point blank. Then he looked out at the large windows that viewed over the sea and noticed that the fleet had departed. He calm down and and told Lebrun that he would remain and sleep at the palace that night and will rejoined the fleet the next day. Then Christophe left the room+.............. .........................................................................................................................
After Chistophe left the room it was about 4:30 in the afternoon so there were a few hours left of daylight so Lebrun too full opportunity and went to explore the gevernment palace grounds. He went and talk to some white officers and others. He ask many questions but was left unsatisfied. He went to the kitchen, there he saw a very dark olive skin cook woman who captured his attention. He asked her her name ect.. He watched every move every gestutre she made. After absorbing all that he could he returned to the guest appartment in the palace as night fell. Then four servant entered, drew the curtains, lit the candles in the candelabra and laid a table with snow-white damask, then laid heavy silver plates with spons, forks and knifes made of pure gold. One of the servant was the same beautiful cook name Maria that Lebrun saw earlier. Lebrun again stared at her from head to toe, back and front as he has seen the most beautiful woman in his life. She was 22 years old. Lebrun was asked to seat himselfand a diner was served to him such as he seldom taste.
After a more than a month living and sleeping onboard a ship Lebrun after diner went out like a light .
. Then about 9:30 pm a large delegation from the municipality was in the palace hall asking questions, requesting to see the French agent. Christophe who occupied the governor's cabinet came out to meet the impatients, concerned citizens who feared for the safety of their great city. The delegation was headed by Mayor Telemaque, an old but wise venerable negro who had been free and educated before the Revolution. He pleaded with the general to welcome the French and save the city from bombardment by the fleet. The black general replied that he cannot be sure that the vessels were French because a number of them had foreign flags floating from their mastheads. And they had not announced their arrival ahead of time. He told them that a dispach was already send to Governor Toussaint and he is now waiting for Toussaint himself or instructions from the governor. He told them very clearly that he was a subordinate only to the governor nad takes orders only from him. Then Telemaque realised the gravity of the situation, afterwards he asked for permission to see the French agent in the morning and to call with a smaller delegation on the commander of the of the expedition. The local prominent citizens would try to obtain a 48 hour delay by which time Governor General Toussaint Louverture would have returned. General Henri Chritophe granted the permission. In the next morning of February4 1802 in the early morning, Telemaque and four white men accompagned Lebrun to the flagship. Two of the citizens were leading businessmen, one was the high preist and the fourth was Tobias Lear, Consul General of the United States.
That day the city arose slowly, tense and nervous. Rumours were runnind like wild winds. One rumor was that Toussaint and all his generals were to be killed or arrested and all his white collaborators would be deported back to France, another was that slavery would be reinstall ect,, ect,, ect,, . It was no secret that it was Toussaint's secret agents who were spreading the rumours. The population was aroused and commerce was halted, schools closed and large crouds gathered around the warf awating the delegation, another croud was in front of the government palace. Everyone was in suspense as to what is going on and waiting for news and developpment. They also noticed Toussaint's elite troops on the outskirt of the city. So they knew something treathening was at foot. Also in those days Haiti had a system of communication by drums ( Maman Drums) were heard from the distant mountains communicating news from one end of the land to the other as the day progresses. On the flagship the delegation was courteously receive by the Captain General Charle Victor Emmanuel Lecler, the commander of the French Expeditionary forces. Lecler was a close friend and aide de camp to Napoleon. He was with Napoleon in the Italian campaign of 1795. After tenures in the Army of Ireland and the Army of England , Leclerc gained promotion to general de division, which allowed him to aide Napoleon Bonaparte's bid for power. He participated in the coup d'etat of 18 Brumaire (in November 1799) making Napoleon the ruler and military dictator ("First Consul") of France. the rising young Leclerc married Napoleon's younger sister Pauline Bonaparte in 1800. More military campaigns followed on the Rhine and in Portugal and then in 1802 his brother-in-law Napoleon appointed him commander of the expedition to recover the former French colony of St Domingue the richest colony of France, now Haiti where the Black general Toussaint Louverture had mastered a virtually autonomous state. With a large expedition that would included more than 50,000 European troups he was to cleaned the land from the threat of negroes in power. Pauline Bonaparte accompanied him in his mission in Haiti................................................................................................................ When Lebrun arrived on board, it was noticed that he was a different Lebrun. Something was changed in him forever. In a private meeting when he was debreiffed as to what information he found. Lebrun stuned his listeners, he told them that the mission of the expedition was impossible, then a French general in the meeting rose up and made a joke and said that he would whip slap his whip in the air and all the negroes would go back in the palntations. Lebrun told them all of France could not put chains back on a free people. Howerver Lebrun became marked man and awhile after the troops finally landed he had romantic affair in the open with the same Maria that he met at the government palace. Lebrun was destined for deportation or assassination. But Lebrun had good ears. When his arrest was near and emminent Lebrun dissapeared into the mountains with his mistress and was never to be heard again. Haiti had swallowed Lebrun whole. Is is not known exactly what happened to him, if he was eaten by diables (werewolfs) or if he became one himself. ......
About noon time after serious negotiations with General Leclerc, where Leclerc expreesed his admiration for Toussaint and his black generals but he absolutetly refused to grant the delay, fearing no doubt that it would be used to fortified the city's defences. The French general was a serious man who had no time to waste and he was tired from living fatiguely aboard ship for more than a month. He Also warned the mayor that if within half an hour after the delegation had set foot on shore and if he did not receive assurance that the ships would be welcomed , he would resort to force. He also gave them assurance that the military actions would be quik and swift.. He promess to silence any canon fire from fort Picolet or any shore batteries and quell any resistance from any local threat. He promess in no more than two hours he would take over the entire city. He shook everyone hands and assured them again that he was the new French authory comming to take charge also nothing would change in their fortunes exect for the regime of Toussaint Louverture. The delegation was sattisfied and rested.
Then the delegation left the flagship but this time the French diplomat Lebrun was not with them, he was no longer trusted, in his place a tall blond French general with his chest decorated with gold medaillons accompanied the distinguished delegation to give the black general Henri Christophe a response for his tardiness, delaying to receive the fleet......................................................................................................................
The little vessel carrying the distinguished gentlemen had detached itself from the main fleet and was approching the shores. The croud watched attentitvely. Ladies and gentlemen my good and patient readers and listeners please read on..............................Before the boat ferrying the delegation reached shore, the Caribbean sky changed from bright clear utimarine blue, with the mighty glowing sun wearing pure gold for color, forcefully distarching, penetrating rays of life giving light on this world and beyond that no one dare to look at it directly at midday in its full glory............ A layer ofpale lazy azur color mixed with tint of permanent green at the horizon relaxing in transparency, connecting the earth to the heavens ,,,,,,,,,,,,, all this changed in a matter of minutes, the skies turned completely to solid grey. The sun had dissapeared and was overwelmed by the descending clouds. The closer the boat got to shore the darker it became and what make it more noticable is that it was high noon. To further deepens the sureal experience, as the delegation making way, as the members setting foot onland, a low murmurred, a rumbling of thunder was heard balancing left, right, in the skies above, it also accompanied even darker clouds in unision thus announcing the worse................ Eventhou it is a normal fenomenon in the Caribbean for the sky to change mood suddenly and as a matter of fact no one else paid too much attention to the sudden change but for the croud watching closely at the shores, it was a deeply felt mystical experience that left everyone looking with wild wide eyes at each other in amazement not able to say anything. Many took this natural manifestation as a terrible omen. Some people started crying outright.
As the delegation mounted the horses the wind started to blow stronger. Everyone coud smell the earth at this point. The earth was just begging for water. At this point before this union can take place, the croud knowing too well the how heavy the rain is going pour, they started running in all directions. The small delegation then rushed and galloped on accompanied by the new envoy carrying the letter from Captain General Leclerc. They went first to the municipality building to meet first with the rest of the larger body of the municipality where they discussed their meeting onboard the flagship. They all agreed that a new day was dawning on the island. The black generals were finished and they were ready and prepared to submit to the new order. At the end of the meeting, in every corner of the room one can see these fine gentlemen were engaging and passing hand shakes, hugs, smiles ect.... At the door the high preist named Monseignur raising his right arm, was doing the sign of the cross every few minutes. Then they all went to meet the black general to give him the news.
General Christophe was waiting for them. The black general looked at them with suspicious eyes as they all sat and made themselves confortable. The French envoy handed the letter to Christophe who handed it to his white secretary who read it outloud.
"I learned with indignation, Citizen General, that you refuse to receive the French squdrom and the army I have the honor to command. You give as a pretext that you have received no order to that effect from the Governor General. France is now at peace with England and her Government is sending an army to this colony fully capable of imposing its will upon rebels, if there are such in the colony. I should be chagrined, General, to be forced to the conclusion that you are a rebel. I warned you that if you fail to turn over to me today the forts of Picolets, Belair and all the coastal batteries, fifteen thousand men will be landed at once. Four thousand are landed this very moment at Fort Liberte and eight thousand at Port Republicain. I value very highly the services you have rendered, but will hold you personally responsible for the course of events."
THen everyone was waiting for Cristophe to act.. as the black general went into a deep reflection. ( I personally I think the word rebel did not sat in well with the general. Maybe if another word was shosen like the word warlord ect... like we use in our modern times thing might of been different....well enough of speculations nad back to our story)...........
The delegation who had accompanied Lebrun, the french general carrying the letter and the municipality group of leading citizens were all dismayed and stuned to see that the ultimatum, far from intimidating or scaring Christohpe like there were hoping and praying for, the ultimatum seemed to have the reverse effect, it seems to have incensed and infuriated Christophe. He was visibly enflammed. The good, well tempered generald was tranformed, his eyes became red, his face was solid cold. One of the leading citizens, a certain Lagarde came closer in an attempt to reason and calm the menaced black general, he put his hand on Christophe shoulder and tried to have Christophe resign himself to French superoir authority and to pursuade him into accecpting the inevitable as a matter of course. At this moment Christophe made a giant step back and made a couple of gestures with his head, akind of strange signal and two of the palace guards who stood in alert at every palace doors came and seized the french citizen and escorted him outside the palace where some people, who had braved the rain were waiting for news and answers at any cost about the safety, security and things concerining their geat city Cap French. Lagarde feeling manhandled and abused went away disoriented without answering any questions. Inside, the audience was silence from that point on, the festive atmosphere was replaced by a somber, gloomy reality where everyone were looking very attentively at the black general, some were shaking their heads, some with thier hand holding their chin in suspense and dissatisfaction of aewful things they suspect will surely come to pass. Not even a murmured was heard in the large main room. Then the black general Henri Christophe full with visible indignations, standing firm on his feet, pointing his his finger downward, he orderd the secretary to write his reply as the winds intesnsified and the large window curtains were balancing, flowing in the air violently, exposing the panoramic Caribbean vue of the skyes bombling with dark clouds, at that moment the room was alighted by a series of very bright lightning flashes that criss crossed the skyes in between the dark cloud, dividing the very skyes in half. Immediately after the flashes followed was a loud tremendous sound of thunder deafening everyone who heard it...................................... looking with his eyes fixed, looking sraight into eternity, with a tremblinb voice he he didtated his reply to Captain General Leclerc who impatiently was waiting, of which this is the most significant paragraph that all the Haitian history students have and will learn.
After discribing is so many words that he did not care who the distingiushed French captain General was. He went further in explaining in detail that even if the Captain General was the devil in person that would not make any difference. His unyielding loyalty layes with the orders of Toussaint Louverture. The final paragraphs reads:
"I'm awaiting the Governor's orders. Until I hear from him I cannot permit you to land. And if you use force, I will fight you, and if you succeed in making a landing, you will entere a city reduced in ashes. Even on thoses ashes I will continue to fight you to the last breath. As for the troops you say have already landed, you are buildind a house of cards that will be scattered by the wind."
....................... Then the french evoy departed with the letter taking the ferry heading back to the flagship, the delegation and everyone else ran out the palace doors into the rain spreading the alarming news............................
General Henri Christophe was left at the palace after averyone ran to the streets in the rain. The black general was seen furiously issuing orders from left to right as hosts of officers came and went. Reinforcements was emmadiately sent to the coast. The notherm army already amassing outside the city invaded the city. Hundreds and hundreds of soldiers were seen crisscrossing the streets of Cape French, they were comming and going running from every street corner. Some were seen positioning themselves
on tree tops, roof tops, hill tops, mountain tops ect... looking out, waiting for the French invasion...................On board ship on the otherside, after Leclerc held a war council with his generals debating the letter and the reply from Christophe. The French Captain General decided to wate no time as he ordered to attack immediately. The admirals were orderd to storm the city by force landing. As the winds entensified and the waves became unmanageable. War Frigates were positionning themselves to at least send a salvo of cannon fire to the city, but the waves entisified even more and the squardom was facing the possibility of sinking. Facing with this immediat and real threat, the admirals send word to the Captain General that they had no choice but to abandon they postions near the coast. The squardom then dissaperared from view and went into the dept of the ocean for safety. It was evening time on the terrible day of February fourth 1802. Cape French did not sleep that night. Thunder roared and lightning flashed across Cape French all night.
...............................The next morning on February 5th, the bright golden Carribean Sun arose afresh. With it arose also all living ceatures, seen and unseen, all were streching their limbs, shaking the old away and embracing the new.....Cape french arose very nervous not knowing what is to come. To everyone delight the awesome, terrible, menacing squardom did not reapear. That same morning a large populace, a great croud of women, children and old men of all colors and representing every social class of Cape French, marched slowly through the streets and boulevards towards the Government Palace. Arriving before the giant building, they knelt down and streched forth their arms in supplications, some cried, some screamed, some chanted and sang and recited religious verses ect...Then the made camped. This impressive demonstration was organize and executed by the municipality with priests at the head.
Eventhou the French in their secure war ships might have doubts about Christophe intentions and threats about reducing the great city to ashes, but they themselves, residents of Cape French knew better, the knew that Black General well and also knew what he was capable of. About noon time, ignoring the helpless petitioners and the peaceful protestation, Christophe in full battle uniform rode off to the city square, the Place D'Armes where thousands of Toussaint's Elite Guards were waiting and more thousands of civilians gathered around to witness what is going on. As the Black General after a short speech rode up and down the columns and rows of soldies. As he look at all the soldiers, he sudenly and violently raised his sword in the air. Then The atmosphere became electrifying , in unision all were swearring repeatedly to die for
liberty. Many in the croud join in the swearing. Howerver afterwards some people went home with their eyes full with fear and alarm, they
started to pack their bags suitcases and belongings..
..................................On that February fifth evening came and the fleet did nor reapear. A cool and pleasent night fell on Cap French as a bright full moon arose smiling with a silver light behind the mountains. The reflexions and beams of the Caribbean moon on the atmosphere was calming but deceiptfull, for the city was in a crisis mode. The municipality building and the great palace were buzzing with activities. All the citizens of Cape French were on the edge.
The black general did not know how to read or to write but he had great capacity to discern the true nature of a situation and had real vision
and insight. At midnignt with a military escort he arrived at the municipality building where the council was in permanent cession. He then declare
martial law and was dictating evacuation plans for the entire population in view of the comming invasion he had no doubt about. Telemaque the negro mayor heatedly protested in beautiful French. He claims that by virtue of his authority as first magistrate of the city he forbade Christophe to carry
out his threats. Christophe took one good look at the black mayor, looking at his figure from head to toes without saying a word then the black general who was unyelding and exacting in his commandship made a couple of gestures with his head then two giant soldiers
came to grab Telemaque who then understood he was going to be arrested for treason. He suddenly change his mind and gave the Black General full
coorporation in the evacuation plans. ......Henri Christophe was already famous for a military tribunal over which he presided. A number of foreign citizens have been already executed for spying and espionage including Spanish, French and English nationals so Haitians were regurlary placed facing firing squads for treason....... Ladies and gentlemen this will give you a good view of the authority and the awesome power those black generals hold in Haiti in the revolutionary times and this will also expose to you the origin of the modern Haitin's fear of authority. Then Christophe layed out his plan safeguarg and the protection of the population. The alarm bell to initiate the plan would be the sound of the feild canon fire and finally after the evacuation the loud sound of the big seige canon would announce the conflagration.. .........
| On February 6th Cape French woke up fearful and alarmed under the sound of canon fire, for the fleet had reappeared. Already in a crisis, now with the fleet in full sight panic swept in settled in for good in the city. Sodiers were running all over the place door to door urging and warning the people to leave. Poor citizens poor residents, Some were screaming, some shouting some just murmured in resignation. Some neal on the groung with open arms and raised their heads to heaven. women and elderly were seen being carried away apparently they have passed out outright. In the meantime the general who had not slept for more than 48 hours stood firm on palace balcony with his banaculars. He was watching every movement on shore and on the ocean. With the sound of canon fire at interval of every few minutes eveyone one was fully aware of the gravity and urgency of the situation. When afternoon came, a veritable exodus was under way. In carriages, in sedan chairs, on foot, on horseback, on donkeys the people fled. Some residents howerver only had for possession just the shirt on their back the shirt on their back. I myself, a poor eyewitness fell in this category of refugees. Some old bitter neighbors, old enemies were seen crying hugging each other and shaking hands ..........Rich, poor, white, mulatto and black intermigled. Rich creole ladies sat in their carriages amidst an avalanch of boxes. Negro women were balancing towering loads upon their heads. Chidren, some naked, some half naked and some fully clothes were clutching bundles perched upon handcarts laden with household stuff. Horsemen were struggling with their mount. Humanity was on the move, including dogs, cats pigs, goats even the rats followed ect.... Like a sticky, rich and viscous lava the mass of humanity pushes upward along the widind roads to Haut du Cap inch by inch, foot by foot. On top of the mountain tops and on the sides, thousands upon thousands made camp in full view of the city and the sea with the fleet poised and unmoved. It is evening now and the sun is fading away in the horizon.........................................Joseph 11-26-07---to be continued soon. So stay tuned............................,,..............|