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By Michele Levy

The Portuguese Creole writer Alfred H. Mendes used to be an incredible member of the Beacon staff of writers in Trinidad within the Nineteen Thirties. His autobiography deals a personal standpoint of the guy at the back of a well-liked West Indian character, and comprises annotations and an advent via Michele Levy.

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Quick! " "But tell me how it happened," said Antonio. "No, no, I have no time. Give me the money now. " Antonio was now thoroughly alarmed and shaking in every limb. "Wait here," he said, and a few minutes later returned, both hands filled with coins. "This is all I have in the house, a few hundred dollars. " Joao took the coins and ran. Three days went by, Antonio every morning searching the Port of Spain Gazette with dread. On the fourth morning, a friend came in to see him. " Immediately Antonio's face blanched with mortification and anger: mortification that he had been fooled again by his brother, and anger that he had thrown away such a large sum of money.

After six months of struggle with it, my enthusiasm mounting as I plodded on every night after my school work, the task came to an end. I put the manuscript aside for a few days and then took a look at it 28 School in England, 1912-1015 . . and consigned it to the waste-paper basket. I attempted a one-act play in free verse: this received similar treatment. After reading all the English Romantic poets, I realized that my talent, if any, was certainly not verse, but still the fury drove me, and I fought doggedly on.

Very early in his business career, around 1895, my father, whose name was Alfred and who was then twenty-one years old, sailed to Grenada to join a relative of his in a provisions business in St George's, the capital. While there, he visited the Jardim family who had anglicized their name to Jardine, and learned that a daughter had gone into a convent with the object of taking the veil. This surprised my father who knew the Jardines to be converts. My maternal grandmother then explained that she had reverted to Roman Catholicism soon after their arrival in Grenada, and that she had baptized all her children in the Church and that they were now practising Catholics.

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