An African American woman moved home to take care of her dying mother giving up the opportunity to experience a world beyond segregation. Zoraida Hughes Williams finds that some things have changed about her hometown of Fort Worth, Texas while some have stayed the same, like Hell’s Half Acre, an area where saloons, prostitution and gambling runs wild. Like most of the residents, she wants to keep her head down and stay away from trouble, but it comes in the unlikely form of an Anglo Baptist preacher. He messes up everything and almost gets them killed.
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She had just picked up her first newspaper when she heard.
“Miss Zoraida Williams, you are looking lovely today.”
She turned to see the man who had rescued her at the train station on the day she first arrived. She could not remember his name, but she remembered his smile and his playful big brown eyes. He was a big dark skinned man with a solid build. He had on a nice pair of pants and a suit jacket that didn’t quite match it, but looked good on his build. He looked like a business man, not a farmer.
“Andrew Forrest. My friends call me Drew.”
“I just want to thank you for your help the other day.”
When Zo arrived in Fort Worth off the train, she was confronted by a big smoky black colored man who the locals called Big Bull. He was notorious for meeting colored women who were fresh from the country and putting them to work in his prostitution houses. It had become an acceptable practice among the white and colored whore house establishments. He saw Zo at the train station and tried to grab her. Andrew Forrest interrupted Big Bull’s plans.
“Now Miss Zo, it is not safe for you to be walking about by yourself. You need to let me know when you need a ride. “
“Andrew, I can take care of myself. I am not as helpless as I look.”
“Girl, I know you ain’t helpless. I know your daddy.”
She couldn’t help but laugh.