1929. The author's West Indian mail boat lay at anchor in a tropical green gulf. At the water's edge, lit by sunset, sprawled the town of Cap Haitien. Among the modern structures were the wrecked mansions of the 16th century French colonials who imported slaves from Africa and made Haiti the richest colony in the western hemisphere. In the ruins was the palace built for Pauline Bonaparte when Napoleon sent his brother-in-law with an imperial army to do battle with slaves who had won their freedom. All this was panoramic as they lay at anchor, but as night fell, it faded to vagueness and disappeared. Only the jungle mountains remained, dark, mysterious; and from their slopes came presently far across the water the steady boom of Voodoo drums.
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