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These excerpts are from The Prince of Sumba, Husband to Many Wives.
Copyright 1998 Don Milton All Rights Reserved.
All Copyright Laws Apply - Thou Shalt Not Steal

Chapters: [Prologue] [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17]  [18]  [19]  [20]  [21]  [22]  [23]  [24]  [25]

Prince of Sumba - Select Passages - Romance, Prose, Humor, and Insight

   If you're not sure what the Prince of Sumba is about, the following excerpts will give you the flavor. If you like it, please read. For now it's available for viewing on this website.

   I'll begin this section with a few paragraphs that I think you'll like. I'll follow those with a chapter by chapter excerpting of what you can find here on this website.

~~~~~~~

   For a moment there was silence. Then Sarapita, my precious bride, spoke.

   "My prince. May I be as a shadow when there is light and as a dream at night, ever with you. May you know that I love you even when I don't say it, and may you know that you are as the Lord to me. May you know that your greatest hopes are mine as I pray that our Lord shall guide you. I am yours. The cloth for the tokens of my virginity has been placed upon our bed of love. Take me now."

   If a man can still live without breathing, I am proof. As I looked upon Sarapita that first night of love there was no room left within me for anything but her. She immersed me in a most splendid suffocation. Her scent filled my lungs, her kisses stopped my breathing, and her love beat within my heart. May every man who loves the Lord experience such a love as this.

Click here to read all of Chapter 16 - 'There Is No Other Way to Have a Man!'

~~~~~~~

Prologue

There were some however, who called themselves brothers, yet like Jonah were "angry with us enough to die" and would have preferred to continue wasting water on a "withering vine."

   But it came to pass that the Lord's Spirit was poured out upon us. He softened our hearts so that we might "take away the reproach" of our women and "prepare the way of the Lord" for that great opening of Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

Click Here to read all of the Prologue

Chapter 1 - Mission Mindanao

   Suni, in sharp contrast to the delapidated sari-sari store, looked more like a fashion model than a poor roadside vendor. Her lips were glossed and her fingernails glistened in the sun. When she walked her toes would peek out from her long skirt revealing their stylish pedicure and then hide themselves again. Her hips swayed each time she came around the corner to put another snack in front of us. I know. Such things are to be far from a missionary's mind but that was why I was so blessed to have Mary, my wife. It seems my youthful drive had never left me. I knew that I must be a married man or face the possibility of fornication and disgrace each time a beauty such as Suni sauntered by.

Click Here to read all of Chapter 1 - Mission Mindanao

Chapter 2 - The Arrival

   Among themselves pastors tend to be fond of joking and making puns. A pastor's congregation often takes him so seriously that it isn't kosher to kid, so he relishes getting visits from other pastors who can cut the mustard and in this way he avoids getting into a pickle with his congregation.


Click Here to read all of Chapter 2 - The Arrival

Chapter 3 - Humble Adobo
  

   Then I smelled it, a stench!
   I said to Mary, "Do you smell that?"
   She sniffed, "Eww, what is it!"
   We both sniffed again to try to determine the location of the smell, then Mary looked at me with one of those crooked little expressions she gets.
   She leaned over and whispered, "It's you!"
   She was right. It was me! My body had not yet accustomed itself to the tropical climate. I guess you could say my clothes were beginning to ferment. Fortunately, Tony had left our bags sitting next to the door and I got out a change of clothes. I hurried to one of their many bathrooms and showered. Intay, one of the maids, walked by the bathroom just as I was coming out. I was wearing my clean change of clothing and was no longer ashamed, so I asked her help.
   "Excuse me, could you be so kind as to put my dirty clothes in the wash?"
   She squatted next to the clothes, poked them with one end of her broom stick and said, "Eww!"
   Apparently she'd been watching when Mary and I had discovered the smell. Sisiw, one of the other maids, went into the bathroom and knelt down next to Intay to help her. She held the dust pan while Intay pushed my clothes in with her broom stick. Pretending that my clothes carried some contagious disease, she yanked her fingers back and squealed when the clothes nearly touched them. Both maids now looked up at me, repeating in unison the new word they'd learned, "Eww!" In their scrunched down positions they now fell backwards laughing. I couldn't help but laugh with them.
   "I'm Ish." I said as I reached down with both hands to help them up to their feet.
   "I'm Intay and this is Sisiw."
   Sisiw matter-of-factly lifted up my arm now and sniffed my armpit. "Ah, much better. Your wives will be very happy now. Ah, sorry sir, I mean your wife will be very happy now." They giggled all the more.
   "Please just call me Ish." I wasn't sure whether Sisiw was kidding with the 'wives' comment or if it really was a slip of the tongue.
   I remembered the missionary who was sent home for insulting the hotel clerk. I said a silent prayer for him right then that he'd stop taking the little things in life too seriously and start enjoying life's blessings. How wonderful it is when the help can make fun without fearing for their jobs. My request to take my clothes to the laundry had become an introduction to a pair of adorable young ladies.


Click Here to read all of Chapter 3 - Humble Adobo

Chapter 4 - Sisters in Need

   I don't know why they called the after service get togethers "coffees." The members put more cream into those cups than coffee. o­ne of the young ladies joked with me,

   "Do you take coffee in your cream or do you drink it white?"

   "Black," I said.

   "Black cream!" she giggled,    "Whoever heard of such a thing?"

   She grasped my hand as she poured the hot coffee into my cup, not wanting to scald me with it. You could tell how much this opportunity to mingle and kid around meant to her. Was she flirting with me or was it simply my fertile imagination that noticed a slight wink as she turned to serve the others?

Click Here to read all of Chapter 4 - Sisters in Need


Chapter 5 - The Barbecue

   "You will know them by their fruit," Sam answered. "Modelisa is responsible for half of the women you see here at this gathering coming to a saving knowledge of the Lord!"

   I looked out at all the single ladies there. All of those from his church were there; over 700.

   I spoke, my throat now tightening, "You're telling me that Modelisa has brought over 300 women to Christ?"

   "More." Sam responded. "There are other churches here besides Tigas View."

   My tears gushed from my eyes. I could barely get out the words, "Excuse me."

   Suni took me to her apartment where I sat down for a few minutes and wept privately.

   Mary walked in and said, "What's the problem, Ish?"

   I started to try to tell her but the tears started gushing again. Sam was standing outside the door so Mary went out to ask him.

   "It's about Hope; how she's brought hundreds to a saving knowledge of our Savior."

   I could hear Mary whisper to Sam, "Oh, Ish is always crying about something. He'll get over it."

   Mary didn't realize I could hear her. It cut me deep. Not because it was disrespectful to me but because of the way my wife had reacted to Hope, the greatest evangelist I had ever met. How could it be that Mary had no awe for the great power that God had given that woman?

   Sam walked over, "Now that you've gotten to know the ladies, don't you think it's time for a Bible study? The girls have been waiting for this moment."

   "Sure," I said, "But I'll need some water first."

   Suni already had it poured. "My father used to cry when he preached." She said. "I was responsible for the water. He'd go through two liters in o­ne sermon."

   Suni's caring words warmed me. "C'mon Ish. The other girls are waiting." Suni took my hand and led me out to the center of the courtyard.

Click Here to read all of Chapter 5 - The Barbecue

Chapter 6 - Cherry the Harlot

 "All right, since I have a volunteer, I'd like to use her. Come over here Sexy." I was certain that calling Suni by her nickname, "Sexy" would keep the crowd's attention and it did. A slight tittering of "uhhhhh~" could be heard again from the girls in the audience.
   "You're going to be the single lady, Sexy. Stand over there."
   Sexy put on a pouting face.
   "I wanted to be the married lady!" She said, stomping her feet like a spoilt toddler.
   "Yes, let her be the married lady!" The girls shouted.
   No more had I gotten out the words,
   "Okay, so you're the married lady." than Suni said,
   "Who's my husband?"
   Exasperated I replied,
   "Okay, so you want a husband. Let's see, who do you argue with most."
   "I'm arguing with you right now." She snapped.
   Again the crowd interrupted with their chorus of "uhhhh~"
   "Okay, so you're my wife."
   "Whatcha want for dinner honey?"
   I turned to the side shaking my head. Sexy was a natural when it came to tickling the crowd. I could barely keep a straight face. My wife, Mary, was watching from the front row and having just as much fun watching Sexy pretend to be my wife as Sexy was having playing the part.
   "All right, all right, let's get on with this."
   "Well we better. We're married. If we don't get on with this you'll have me to deal with when we get home."
   The girls giggled. I looked out at them scratching my head.
   "Does she always act like this?"
   "Oh not at all," Asina shouted, her voice ever loud, "she's never been married before. Maybe you should try making up with her."
   "Yes, let's kiss and make up." Sexy pouted again.
   "Well, you guys, like it or not, I'm going to get on with this."
   "I knew you'd agree." Sexy closed her eyes and puckered her lips.
   "That's not what I'm talking about!"
   The ladies roared with laughter.
   Sexy and I couldn't have put on a better show had we planned it. But this was supposed to be a Bible study and I was determined not to let their desire for entertainment stop me from my duties.
   "Sexy, I know you're enjoying being my wife but I've got to get on with my duties."
   "Oh, aren't you fresh!"
   "Fresh? What are you talking about, Sexy?"
   "Isn't it a little bit early in the day to be performing your marital duties."
   "This is nuts. Okay, you're my wife. That means that I have rights too. Like to ignore you while I read the newspaper."
   "I thought this was a Bible study."
   "It is, it is a Bible study."
   "Ya see, sometimes it takes a wife to set things straight. How are ya feeling now that I've helped unconfuse you?"
   The girls were in fits of laughter by now. I just had to ignore Sexy for the moment and continue as if she weren't there. I did as best I could to compose myself.


Click Here to read all of Chapter 6 - Cherry the Harlot


Chapter 7 - Loaves of Bread, Fish!

 As the members of Sam's church and the volunteers from other churches went among the crowd, the newly saved were crying out with sobs of repentance and praises to Jesus for His Free Gift of Salvation. I could hear continued shouts and screams of "Alleluia" and "Thank you Jesus" each time one of them rose out of the baptismal. It's astounding how the mouths of new converts can be so suddenly filled with praises for God.
Those who had come simply to see what all the noise was about were each having their own face to face with God's Spirit as the Lord's Presence continued to move powerfully through the crowd.
"Unclean, I'm unclean!" A nun screamed as she ran to the front of the stage.
"I'm full of pride! Help me. I hate Born Agains! I'm in bondage to rules but have never known the Lord. Pray for me father."
I stepped down for a moment to speak with her, microphone attached.
"I'm not your father. Other than the man who conceived you with your mother you have just one Father and He is in heaven."
"Blasphemy! I'm a blasphemer!" She shouted. "I have called the pope Holy Father. The pope is a blasphemer!" She now shouted.


 Click Here to read all of Chapter 7 - Loaves of Bread, Fish!


Chapter 8 - The Market

   I had heard about the brass market. It was a place where mountain men and lowlanders mixed in a clattering of brass from all over the island. Sam said we might inquire as to some remote places to go where the inhabitants weren't entirely hostile to "foreign missionaries." Our purpose for coming here, after all, had been to go on a mission. What better way than to spontaneously set out in search of adventure?
   As we got closer to the market the pot holes increased as well as the noise. I had a hard time telling between the the clattering of Sam's truck and the chattering of my teeth. Had I really had that much dental work? Now I understood what Paul meant when he said in his letter to the Corinthians that practicing gifts without love is as sounding brass. What a racket! Between the pounding in the brass market and Sam's Ford Fiera growing ever closer to its final bump, I was able to make out that one joyous sentence from Sam.
   "There's a parking stall. Shall I pull in?"
   "PLEASE!" We shouted in unison.
   "Well it's good to hear that we're all of one voice!" Sam shouted back.
   We beeped and edged our way past carts and vegetables laid out on woven mats to squeeze into what I was sure would be the final resting spot for Sam's truck. The sputtering sound when he turned off the key convinced me that we'd surely have to find another mode of transportation for our return home.

 Click Here to read all of Chapter 8 - The Market


Chapter 9 - John's Place

   Ruth now opened the huge decorative oyster shell that was in the middle of her platter. There were tiny oysters floating in sauce.
   "Oysters in cashew sauce with ginger and diced lamb. This is our customary dish for a groom on his wedding night, and this time I'm not kidding, Ish."
   As well I knew. All four ingredients were high in zinc. I remembered what I had studied; that the Israelite men were believed to have been extremely fertile because of their high intake of lamb. I wondered, why was Ruth feeding me as if it were my wedding night? Did she have plans for me? or did they simply have a custom to feed their guest of honor by the hand of their most beautiful maiden.
   Ruth raised the spoon again to my lips. It was exquisite. I could taste each ingredient and yet they combined into something entirely different. I let her feed me till I had finished all of it. She then put her delicate fingers into the sauce that remained in the bottom of the oyster shell and pulled out a small pearl. Wiping it with a cloth, she handed it to me.
   "This is for you to remember this day."
   "Thank you Ruth, I will."
   I wondered if there was some hidden meaning behind Ruth's gesture with the pearl. Nonetheless, I would remember this day. I couldn't help but think that John had given me the highest honor a guest could have; to be entertained by his maiden daughter.

Click Here to read all of Chapter 9 - John's Place


Chapter 10 - A Hard Teaching

   "Back to your family, John. We want to make sure you know that even if we disagree with you concerning your marrying more than one wife;" Mary paused, looking at me as if seeking some outward sign of agreement. I gave none. She continued. "We want to know everything about your family and couldn't imagine you having even one wife less."
   The applause were now for Mary. Everyone stood and one of John's older sons shouted,
   "A toast for Mary, 'Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.'"
   "Here here," another son said, "and give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates."
   Ruth completed the stream of thought by quoting one more verse from proverbs,
   "She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness."
   At that, a tear began to form in one of Mary's eyes. She was not used to such compliments and certainly not to being the center of attention. Asina now showed her softer side using humor to get Mary out of the spotlight. She proudly quoted Proverbs again.<br>    "'She layeth hold of the spindle, and holds the rod for spinning thread.' Mary, you don't suppose you could help me sew this button back onto my blouse." She held up a button which she'd secretly removed just for effect.
   Now Mary was laughing and so were the rest of us. I was impressed with Asina's character. In fact, I was impressed with everyone I'd met since setting foot on this island.

Click Here to read all of Chapter 10 - A Hard Teaching


Chapter 11 - Zealous Women

   "Well then who do you propose, no pun intended, that Adam married?" I had to ask.
   "Well Mr. Joker," Ruth replied, "He could have married his daughter, his granddaughter, his great granddaughter or any of his various progeny because incest wasn't banned until Moses received the law on Mount Sinai. My point in this discussion is simply that there is no logic in claiming that Adam had only one wife based on the false premise that God created only one woman. God created every woman who was born to Eve. God likely created dozens, if not hundreds, of women before Seth was born. He 'created them' through Adam and Eve, and it is likely that he also 'created them' through Adam and his female progeny. After all, the pastors always say that Cain and Seth must have married their own sisters. Why would they make that conclusion with such ease but cannot consider the possibility that Adam married his own daughters. He did have other daughters as the Bible clearly states and it does not stipulate that he had those daughters only after the birth of Seth, or Abel or even Cain for that matter. He could have had them fifty or even a hundred years before the birth of Cain. Now let's keep in mind that Adam's daughters probably begged him to give them children and especially if they were born that many years before any male children were born. We see in the story of Lot's daughters, when they were confronted with what appeared to be a world without men, that they took their father as their husband. They bore children, Moab and Ammon, and there was no condemnation of their making love with him. This is because their union took place before such relations were forbidden. In fact, the Lord set aside a portion for the children of Lot; the land of Ar. Listen to what Lot's daughters said:
   And the firstborn said unto the younger, 'Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth.'
   They go on to say:
   'We will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.'
   You'll find that in Genesis 19:31&32"
   Ruth surely had the gift of Biblical exegesis but she wasn't finished making her point.

Click Here to read all of Chapter 11 - Zealous Women


Chapter 12 - Rites of Manhood

    John now turned to Ruth.
   "Could you please read what Princess Kasmina wrote in the memoirs that she gave to Tika when they met?"
   "Sure daddy." John took out the now well worn papers that he had tucked inside his pocket and handed them to Ruth.
   "Prince John did more than warm the hearts of his admirers. He knew well the spell he could cast with a smile and I, Princess Kasmina, was not immune to his charms. I treasure still the small gifts he gave me as a child. Ever since I was a little girl my heart beat faster when the prince approached. I dreamed of Prince John at night and when I awoke my daydreams of him would begin. I dreamed of riding off into the sunset on royal stallions, the prince escorting me through his island paradise. I dreamed of ascending mountain peaks, John at my side, to gaze at distant islands embraced by the sea's warm blue waters. Would that I were one of those islands and John were the sea. Tall and strong, John should be mine! However this could not be. All the palace princesses knew John was first in line to the throne. As such, he was expected to take many foreign princess brides to strengthen the now delicate alliance. Yet Prince John was all my little heart desired. Only the year before John's manly voyage, I, Princess Kasmina, was a little girl. Now I was thirteen and required to wear a veil since I was of marriageable age. Though a princess rarely marries that young, the veil was our custom and I looked forward to wearing it as an indication that I was a maiden. I was convinced Prince John was secretly in love with me and I prayed five times daily that he would defy custom and take me as his bride. I wished I could run away to return secretly behind my veil as one of his 'foreign' brides. I knew he could easily keep me in his harem without anyone's knowing my true identity. After all, it would be better to have one tenth of John then 100% of any other man. Alas, poor Kasmina, I knew only too well that I could never bring up such a plan to the prince for the mere doing so would be scandalous and would lower me in his eyes. It was my lot to keep my love for John as secret as my dreams. I wondered if he could see the loving looks I gave him from behind my sheer veil as I looked at him adoringly each time we spoke. I wanted to shout out my love for him but destiny had other plans. There would be a husband for me, that one and only, who had truly been selected by the hand of the Lord. I still pray five times a day for John, not that I may have him but that he would continue on his pursuit of the destiny that the Lord has placed before him. The Lord has already led him to many destinies. I have met some of them."
   As Ruth read these last words of Princess Kasmina's memoirs, a loud crashing came from the hallway. John's four wives as well as Mary, fell into the room. Apparently they'd all been leaning against the door listening. They got up giggling and John's wife, Tika, feigned a swoon.
   "Wow, I'm a destiny!"
   At this, we all broke into a fit of laughter. The tension that had been building in John's story, the women falling through the door, and Tika's comment, had all combined into a funny bone elixir more potent than John's mountain grown coffee. After each of us had thoroughly discovered the others' particular way of giggling, moaning, chuckling, and guffawing, we gained our composure.

Click Here to read all of Chapter 12 - Rites of Manhood


Chapter 13 - Treasures or Troubles

    I woke up early enough to see the sun rising over this island of mystery as surely as I had seen it set behind Captain Stephen's ship the night before. I greeted the day sensing we were not far from the treasures we sought. I knew the crew didn't share my enthusiasm for exploration but Captain Stephen wasn't going to let me, a prince, return from my manly voyage empty handed, so after a healthy breakfast we started out with determination.

Click here to read all of Chapter 13 - Treasures or Troubles.

Chapter 14 - Dreams & Visions

   "Praise God!"
   "Alleluia"
   "The Lord is wonderful!"
   The table erupted with shouts. I'd never heard such a joyous commotion.
   "Excuse us John!" Sarapita was dancing as she laughed and sang, shaking a tambourine. "We've never heard this story before. It's so wonderful. God has blessed us so much that you brought this book. We were told of its existence but only now do we know its wonder!"
   Sarapita's voice was like nothing I'd ever heard. The melody and words sang praises to an Almighty that I had known far too little. She sang with joy of His love and of His forgiveness. She sang as if He Himself were holding her in His hand as she danced, and truly, it were as if suspended in air, she moved about.

Click here to read all of Chapter 14 - Dreams & Visions.

Chapter 15 - Coming of Age

 "Tatang proclaims:
   'My daughter is yours. May the Lord bless you and keep you...safe from those who wish to harm you. May your wives bless you with many children and let their arguments be over you, not with you. The maidens Zuah and Saldexa shall be your only guests at Sarapita's Coming of Age party since she is yours already. Love her and love your other wives for that is the command of the Lord. I am a happy father this night. May you and your wives live to see each one of your many children celebrate such an evening.'"
   Now Zuah and Saldexa quickly checked their work.
   "Make sure there is no dirt on him. He must be spotless for the princess." Zuah warned.
   They each looked over my face as if I were a child going to Sunday school. They were searching for the tiniest imperfection, a misplaced hair, a piece of dandruff. They even sniffed me.
   "Umm!" Saldexa said as she pinched my cheek. "He looks good!"
   "Num!" said Zuah, "Ang sarap!" (tasty)
   What was I? A man or a boy, or a piece of food? I felt like all of that, but when Sarapita entered the room singing and dancing to the music which was playing outside the marriage chamber I was a groom on fire for his bride!
 I had only seen such artistry in the hand crafted music boxes that my mother kept. Sarapita missed not one beat, nor was any note untrue as she sang and danced around me. Her performance lasted hours but I cannot tell you any more about it or I might cause the men here to sin by coveting her.

Click here to read all of Chapter 15 - Coming of Age.

Chapter 16 - 'There is no other way to have a man!'

   I sent my maids in to attend to Sulpicia's needs. After they'd finished bathing her I could hear her pleading with them to leave.
   "Please go, I'm just a simple girl. John loves me as I am. What? What is this? Mm, delightful, and this? Ah."
   I chuckled to myself. They had presented her with my gifts; colognes and lotions of the kind found only on night stands of princesses and rich men's wives. Amazing what the right gifts can do to a simple girl. One moment a girl, the next a princess. As they applied the lotion to my Sulpicia's ticklish back, I could hear her giggling. She inhaled deeply as they anointed her arms and ankles with cologne.
   "Am I to be in chains!" She nearly set me running in to see what was wrong.
   "No, no princess. You must not be naked as a peasant on your wedding night." I could overhear the maids. "You must wear these."
   "They're heavy. Too heavy, what is this?"
   "It is gold, pure gold. If you do not want them we cannot force you."
   "Oh no, please. Put them on me. Oh, they're so heavy!"
   "Your lord's love is heavy for you. We do not know where he got these but there are no such chains in the kingdom. Surely he loves you dearly."
   The maids amused me. They had told Sulpicia that she must wear her bank around her wrists, ankles, and neck. The reason that they believed there were none like them in the kingdom was because my other wives kept theirs safely locked away. Seventy pounds of gold is a bit much to wear, even for a princess.

Click here to read all of Chapter 16 - 'There Is No Other Way to Have a Man!'


Note: These excerpts are from The Prince of Sumba, Husband to Many Wives.
Copyright 1998 Don Milton All Rights Reserved.
All Copyright Laws Apply - Thou Shalt Not Steal

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