THE BONUS OF REDONDA by Robert D. Abrahams


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I be like Ruth in Good Book that preacher tell about in Sunday School. Even if you wither, I goes along. That's what this Ruth said and that I say too."" So Bonus L. T. Hamilton joins his grandfather in hiding on Nevis (in the West Indies), then goes to nearby Redonda. Gran'pa, the local fisherman king, fears he'll go to prison for a fire set, by contract with a local witch, to destroy the property of his rival, a government appointee with finer boats and nets. Bonus (so named because his mother couldn't go to St. Croix to get hers) secretly pretends to be The Bonus (better than king) of Redonda. But when they get there, fact does not live up to fantasy; Nevis looks like the greener pasture, and gran'pa just looks green--in fright at the unfamiliar surroundings. Telling what happened until gran'pa decides to return, Bonus reveals native levels of misunderstanding and turns up some funny contortions of language--a ""cattle light in morbid"" for a U.S. satellite in orbit. (But will children catch all of them?) The boy's song-making, a donkey named Monkey, and some locals--Bim Bess the witch, the Warden (""a His Worship""), George-or-William (which twin died at birth?)--are natural features of the countryside. The Bonus is a premium story.

Pub Date: Feb. 24th, 1969
Publisher: Macmillan