main ad larger image margaret johnson email
main ad two


The African Gentleman

…and The Plot to Re-establish The New World Order

A Novel by Fred Beauford

Chapters 34-35


My life has continued to be eventful ever since Gladys and I met in that bar in The Village, parts of which I have really liked. Eric and Gladys are fun and interesting, but other parts I am not sure about. Assai may be history, but the organization he is alleged to be the head of seems to be alive and well, and scaring the living shit out of everyone.

Just the other day I was about halfway down the steps, heading for the train to take me across The River, when I heard an explosion. Boom! I had never heard a sound so loud in my life. Yet it still sounded strangely muffled, and some distance away.

People started running past me, an excited, panicked look on their faces, and hurried up the stairs, followed by small wisps of smoke.

“A bomb went off in the tunnel!”

“Oh, my God. Oh, my God!”

“Run, run, it may breach!”

I turned and joined the panic-stricken crowd, trying to get as far away from the subway as we could.

I soon stopped running, and leaned hard against a large building. I could feel my heart racing, barely able to catch my breath.

I started slowly gathering my wits. I could now hear the wailing of countless sirens, and saw that the air was filled with the loud noise of low flying helicopters. Out of nowhere, a sleek Air Force drone, flying as low as I had ever witnessed such a grim, forbidden object fly over large populations--ominously streaked across the sky.

I was confused as to what to do next. I first walked in one direction, with a street filled with confused people like me, then stopped, trying to decide which way I should go, and to where.

I wanted to go back to the subway and see what had been the final outcome, so I kept walking back and forth. On the other hand, I wanted to get as far away from the bombing as I could.

I decided that walking back and forth made little sense, and headed back to my apartment, which fortunately was within walking distance, as in all probability, all public transportation systems across the area were now in a state of utter chaos.

I could watch the drama fully unfold on the flat screen, and in Liz Gant’s last great gift to me, the full comfort of my tasteful home. And hopefully find out how someone penetrated the dogs, the occasional body pat-down, eye scans, metal detectors, the fancy, expensive new machines that could spot a half-used pack of matches even in the dead of winter, when one was layered with garments. Large bags are no longer allowed on trains. So who could…               

I was suddenly overcome with a feeling of overpowering dread, and my hands started sweating. That could have been me, perhaps killed or trapped alive under piles of rubble, had I not decided this morning that a Danish would not do, but instead I had to have the ham and eggs I dreamt about the night before.

Doctors and government officials have been warning us ever since I can remember that ham and eggs might just mean that you would only live to 75. Who cared! I wanted ham and eggs, and a little hash-browns to go along with it, and maybe even a little buttered toast.

Fuck the food police!

But ham and eggs also meant dishes had to be washed. Growing up in The City, I have developed a healthy fear of roaches, bedbugs and mice, grounded in much reality, so I always made sure that no dirty dishes remained in my sink.

The time that I took to cook and clean up might have just saved my life.


I was still shaken by the event when I met Eric for drinks a few days later. He had consented to come to my favorite bar in The Village. I told him he would like the place because writers like Gladys hung out there. I was handing him half-truths. I have met few writers there, mostly just some grumpy old white men.

How Gladys ever wandered into this place in the first place, I can only guess and will no doubt never know.

But Eric wasn’t interested in people like Gladys this night. He had other things on his mind; which, I was soon to find out, he was more than willing to share.

“Running a book company is not always what it seems,” he said to me.

He was elegantly dressed, which put to shame all the ordinary looking “regulars,” including my missing friend, the white-haired old man.

Eric appeared somewhat downcast, as if recent events were weighing heavily on his mind.

I was eager to hear just what kinds of things he was finding so exasperating. Maybe he was as spooked by the bombing as much as I was, although it seemed he wasn’t aware it had happened at all.

I wanted more than anything to see if our two worlds shared anything important in common.

“I have no experience in what you are doing. I have always worked online. I guess it’s the same, but maybe not?” I answered.

He sighed. “First, we are face to face, not like you guys. Since we have now put books back into people’s hands, and writers have become popular again, they now want to hang out. Why do you think I dress like this, for God’s sake!? Sometimes I long for the good old days when writers were mousy types, hiding behind electronic screens. Now they are a bunch of Prima Donnas longing for the spotlight.

“Now I have to be a fucking actor: ‘Yes, yes, you’re right in tune with what’s happening, absolutely, my friend;’ that kind of stuff you have to say all day, and late into the night at all the endless parties and openings.”

Eric once again worked his magic on me and alternatively had me laughing out loud, while nodding my head in a thoughtful manner. I also hoped, perhaps selfishly, that we would bond so closely after this night out that he would invite me to tag along to some of his openings and galas.

I also liked hearing that he must be an actor in order to do his job, something I knew in more detail than I wanted. Could there really be another actor sitting across from me?

“I guess I never told you,” I replied, “and Gladys no doubt never mentioned it to you, but I was once an actor; a damn good one, if I say so myself. I have done everything there is to do as an actor except sweep the floor.” I said, turning the conversation to me.

“No shit?”


I wasn’t about to launch into my misadventures in Hollywood with a shapely Angel, and poor, bright-eyed Miss Ross, as I did with Gladys, to further fuel his piqued curiosity, so I let that conversation die.

We turned back to his problems, thankfully leaving my unfortunate and short-lived career as an actor to another conversation to be had at a later date.


Eric was both well-known and little known at the same time. As I read through the lines as he talked, it seemed that when he walked around The City, looking as fancy and dapper as he always did, someone was always running up to him, mistaking him for someone famous.

“You’re, you’re?”

“I tell you man, I like dressing like this, but I wish my follow citizens wouldn’t pay so much attention to me because of that. Everyone thinks that I am rich, which is as far from the truth as you can imagine. I just got back from Vegas. I met my daughters for a week of family fun. My girls, well you can’t exactly call them girls, in that all three are grown women.”

“They have grown into New World Goddesses! You should have seen the way those old fat folks looked up from their slot machines, as soon as the four of us entered a room. You would think that it was Gladstone.”

I smiled at his remarks and gave him a thoughtful nod of my head. I recognized that I lived such a dull, non-glamorous life, that I could never even begin to understand the grief he obviously felt at cutting such a dashing figure, and attracting so much attention.

No one cares, or notices, when geeks like me walk down the street. Why I keep running into political masterminds like Assai, peacocks like Eric, and brilliant novelists like Gladys, I will never know.


Despite the drama, and grandstanding, I knew that in the end Eric was still a small publisher, although he did have a knack of attracting first-class writers like Gladys.

We finally came to something that he was really anxious to talk about. “It seems that I have published something powerful that people don’t like.”

With bombs going off left and right, and one almost right in front of my face, I can see why publishers are careful about what the public reads. We almost forgot about the tremendous power of the written word, until we were fried. Now people like Eric are once again people to keep a close eye on.

“Well, they can forget about it. I will keep publishing what I like. In fact, I have an idea, Can you write?” he said.

“Well, I was an actor. An editor I met in Hollywood, someone much like you, once told me that actors are born writers.”

“How’s that?”

“Words are what we both work with, and we both have to figure out how to breathe humanity into them.”

My statement even impressed me. It had been a long time since I would have even said such a thing, much less feel the nagging truth of those words deep within me.

Eric looked closely at me. I could almost hear his mind busily working. I knew that he knew the point of this meeting was at least on the table.

“I think I guessed right,” he finally said.


“So, you want me to write a thrilling, provocative novel about the folks trying to prevent the reestablishment of The New World Order using my inside knowledge of intimately knowing the leader. Do I have it right?”


“Wow. What can I say? But before we go on, could you please tell me what this New World Order stuff is all about?”

Eric seemed a little annoyed by my question, the look on his face suggested that perhaps I was putting him on. But that was not the case. As I had indicated to Gladys, I paid little attention to politics, or the news.

I guess he saw that on my face because he replied, somewhat disapprovingly: “Boy, you really have been living in a vacuum. You should read more books.”

“I am the only son of immigrants,” I answered, in defense of myself.

“Ok, where do we start? Let’s start in The City.”

“You mean The New World Order started here?” I interrupted.

“You could say that. The City has changed over the course of the years. This was once noted as a place for artists, writers and non-conformists. But a philosophy took hold in the last century that all that talk about art and meaning in life was bullshit. That heaven, or paradise, or whatever, was right here on earth, but most people are too dumb to see that was the only thing that really mattered, and the only worthwhile function for human beings was to make as much money as was humanly possible to be able to pay to have a university building named after yourself, start endless wars, and die.

“In this century, the people behind the concept, which to them had now become a religion, actually started believing that they could corner the market on most of the world’s wealth and produce a new class of trillionaires that would have more power and money than all the governments on earth combined.”

“Oh my god, that old white-haired man was right!”

“What are you talking about? What white-haired man?”

I could see on his face that Eric did not like being interrupted with irrelevances, and this was the second time I had done so.

“Well,” I answered, “normally he would be sitting right were you’re sitting. I haven’t seen him in weeks. I hope he’s ok. Remember that big protest parade that made all the news not long ago? This old guy and I sat here and watched it pass by. He said it was all because of a “pissing contest” to see who was going to become the first trillionaire.”

“Pissing contest, I like that. Perhaps we could make that the title of the novel.”

Back to that would-be novel. There was something that neither Gladys, nor Eric knew about me. I really wasn’t much of a book person. I just wasn’t a good reader. In fact, reading was often difficult for me. I think it’s because of my non-linear brain. Interestingly, this is also what makes me such an effective editor of my website; because I read so slowly, I rarely missed anything out of sorts.

So we shall see about this so-called novel he wanted me to write.

“Anyway,” Eric said, continuing on with my education of the New World Order, “I am still puzzled by all of this New World Order Stuff.”

“Why’s that?”

“Well, this is an aside, but I started this company because I thought that the next real conflict in this century was going to be between the tightly genetically bred, whose internal make-up screams throughout the centuries so loudly to the very essence of who they think and believe they are, that they are unable, as much as some of them try—to hear little else.

“For God sakes, some can name a village they came from as far back as 6,000 years. And you African dudes go all the way back to Lucy.”

Thanks, Count Eric, I needed that, smart guy.  Lucy, indeed!

“And then there are those like me, New World People, with multiple streams informing their inner self, with none overwhelming the other, but each given a fair hearing. Do you understand where I am coming from?”

I nodded. He lost me a few times, but he expressed his ideas well. I also saw myself in that genetic mix.  I saw I was one of those who had many, many centuries screaming loudly at me, as Eric so artfully put it.

“But explain to me to me the New World Order, which I think is clearly different from New World People,” I said.

“Ok,” he answered. “They succeeded earlier this century in setting up The New World Order. They brought governments, lock, stock and barrel on local, state and Federal levels all over the globe. They took away workers’ rights. They brought what was then the best armed force on earth, and forced us into endless wars. They had us bomb the hell out of those cats with the beards, and even tried to have their religion outlawed.  In fact, one even set himself up as Mayor for life in The City and he lived to be 110!”

“They proved that they were right, that money could buy anything. But then people started to really understand, and figure out how to really use the new technology that arose at the end of the 20th Century. They learned to go over the heads of the billionaires and inform each other of all the trickery that was taking place. And slowly, what they had worked so hard for slowly came apart, first Hollywood fell, then the rest of what they had built. Their rule fell apart and the wars ended.

“But the greed gene had not been tamed, and they are making a slow but steady comeback, this time with a vengeance. Then they were only Billionaires. Part of the plan, which I think your wise friend identified, was to hijack the country as they did before, or at least all of the major centers of money, media and commerce, and The City is the biggest prize of all, as it was the last time they ruled.”

“Do you think that they were the ones that fried us?” I asked.

“That thought has entered my mind more than once. They had the most to gain. Whether they fried us or not, they have been using the same plan as before: flood the country with apolitical immigrants, and encourage them to think about this country not as a country, but as an economic opportunity. These people were expected to work six days a week, stick to their own kind and stay out of politics.”

I nodded in recognition. At my job, if you take 20 minutes for lunch, you are suspected of being a slacker. “Now, that sounds familiar.”

“Yep. They got away with it for years.”

As Eric spoke, I did indeed remember those days. I was a young man, at the very peak of my considerable heat. But my darling Angel had just left me for an African American, and I couldn’t get arrested. Even the hos ran the other way. That’s perhaps why I have this attitude toward African Americans. They just seemed to always know when to pull rank, as a white friend in the service once said to me about African Americans, in a hot fit of anger.

Still, I was being blown away by what Eric was telling me. How did I miss all this?

I leaned over to him,” I think you should be the one to write this novel, not me.”

He just smiled. “Well, the plot really thickens with the Law of The Unintended Consequence. They didn’t foresee that the very people they brought over would one day turn against them, because they thought it was their God-given right for people to work like that just to make a handful of people filthy rich. The workers turned out not to be as dumb as those would-be trillionaires thought.”

“So that was what that sign was all about.”

“What sign?”

“The one they were holding in that parade, Against God. I thought it was about sex.”

Eric started laughing so loud that everyone at the bar looked up and turned in our direction. “Man, you don’t even know what century you’re living in. You could fuck a cow in the middle of City Square and no one would give a fuck.”

Return to home page