Honesty Is the Best Policy
Beth woke up to an early morning. Yellow petals shown in the air shone like gold in the sun. The day seemed to be promising, and Beth could not imagine it would turn out the way it did. She was aware of the hard task ahead of her, and she was determined to complete it in time. Beth and her family belonged to the Chumash tribe. The Chumash are the Native American individuals who historically occupied the southern and central coastal area of California. This location is in lots of what is currently San Luis Obispo, Ventura, Los Angeles, and Santa Barbara counties ranging from Morro Bay located in northern Malibu. They also inhabited the three Channel Islands that are Santa Cruz, San Miguel, and Santa Rosa; the minor Anacapa Island was occupied. Modern location designations with Chumash roots comprise Malibu, Ojai, Lompoc, Pismo Beach, Port Hueneme, Point Mugu, Piru, Saticoy, Simi Valley, and Lake Castaic. Archaeological study establishes that the Chumash have deep origins in the area of Santa Barbara Channel. The clan has lived along the coast of southern California for millennia. The culture and customs of the Chumash allowed people to remarry if their spouse died.
It was only one of the finest days that showed hoped to enjoy together with her stepsister, Clare. Since her mother passed away five years ago, Beth had been coping with a tough and hard life. Her father decided to marry another wife so that they could move on together. Unfortunately, Beths new mother was not comfortable with her brightness. Beth was always organized and worked hard in everything she did. She always obeyed her father and gained appreciation from him. Her father promised to ensure Beth inherited all his properties after his death. On the other hand, Clare was not as hard-working as Beth. She was always disorganized and rude to adults. The most annoying difference between the two sisters was that Beth was the most beautiful girl in the village. Every person who saw her commented about her beauty. All the parents admired her character and wished their daughters were as beautiful as Beth. They told their daughters to emulate Beth as she was the role model in the village. In fact, it was ironic that the two sisters from the same mother could be so different in character and looks.
The differences in character and appearance between Beth and Clare made their mother jealous. She was uncomfortable with Beth and planned to eliminate her. However, the two sisters loved each other too much. Beth encouraged her step sister to work hard and trained her how to be organized. They played together and slept together. However, Beth was supposed to do all home chores alone. Her step mother had cautioned Clare never to help Beth. Therefore, Beth woke up early, prepared breakfast, cleaned utensils, fed the goats, and did everything else that the mother would command. Beth worked hard and with determination. She never regretted her mothers death as she knew that everything happened with a purpose.
Fortunately, Clare was not comfortable with how her mother was treating her sister. She would be always helping her secretly to complete the chores. If the mother had a chance to find Clare helping Beth, Beth would be beaten and ordered to sleep hungry. Therefore, she requested her sister to stop helping her as she was going through tough punishment from her mother. During the day, Beth could not eat anything. Clare and her mother would eat food and give her nothing. Historically, foods that were eaten by the Chumash comprised numerous marine species like the Appeasing littleneck clam, black abalone, butternut clam, bent-nosed clam, red abalone, ostrea lurida oysters, angular unicorn snails, and Pacific littleneck clams. They as well manufactured flour from the dehydrated laurel sumac fruits.
Beth was not supposed to report to her father as her step mother promised to kill her in case she reported her. Additionally, the Chumash tribe was a hunter and gatherer community. They were skilled at fishing activities in the period of Spanish foundation. They made one of the comparatively few Current World persons who regularly explored the ocean. Another one was the Tongva that was the neighboring tribe positioned to the south. Some communities built plank boats known as tomols that provided good distribution. They could also be utilized for whaling. In this case, Beths father was not at home during the day. He would only come in the evening tired and hungry. Her step mother took advantage of the situation and ensured that Beth never had time to talk with her father privately. Therefore, she could not manage to communicate with him and tell him how she was mistreated. Therefore, Beth could go to her mothers grave and cry the whole day. She wept and wished her mother was alive, so she could be eating and playing like other girls of her age. In the evening, Beth would go back to the house and pretend that everything was alright. The step mother behaved as if she loved the two daughters as her own.
Figure 1. A photo showing Chumash people fishing. Among them, there is Beths father
The greatest mistake occurred when the richest young man in the village reported to Beths father early in the morning. This was the man that every parent admired and wished he could marry their daughter. Surprisingly, the young man had been admiring little Beth without her notice. He wanted to ask her father for his daughters hand in marriage. When the man got into the compound accompanied by his father and two elders, Clares mother hoped that they had come for her daughters marriage. She had done everything in her capability to ensure that Clare looked beautiful. She bought expensive clothes and jewels for her. She did not want her to do any work as she could get dirty and tired. In fact, she ensured that the young man saw her daughter every time she wore beautiful clothes. She befriended the young mans family and visited them regularly with her daughter so that the young man could meet her. Unfortunately, the young man was never interested in Clare. In fact, he did not even notice her mothers concentration that was directed at him. The young man was an anthropologist who used to collect long Chumash bags. The two of the premium assortments were in Washington, DC, Smithsonian Institution and the Mankind Museum in Paris, France. The Natural History Museum located at the Santa Barbara was supposed to have the biggest Chumash baskets collection. Therefore, he had enough money to woo any girl of his choice. He chose Beth and was determined to marry her.
The mother could not imagine that Beth was the one to be married by her dream son-in-law. To make matters worse, the rich man promised to bring dowry that would satisfy the entire Chumash tribe. This was bitter in the eyes of Clares mother to hear that her enemy would be prominent in future. In her heart, she had preserved that man for her own daughter. She despised Mother Nature for its cruel nature. She was not ready to witness Beths wedding. Since her husband loved Beth more than Clare, she knew that all concentration would be taken to her daughters home when she got married to the rich man. Therefore, something needed to be done quickly.
Figure 2. A photo showing a basket that the young man collected
On this important day, Clares mother had an evil plan. She had been thinking of a plan that would help her eliminate Beth. She called her daughter and asked her where she slept on the bed. Innocently, Clare told her mother that she slept on the entrance while Beth slept next to the wall. Surprisingly, mother told Clare they should exchange sleeping positions for that night only. Beth was the one to sleep on the bed entrance while Clare was to sleep next to the wall. Clare asked her mother why they had to exchange sleeping positions as they had been sleeping that way for a long time. Her mother was not ready to answer that question, but reminded her daughter that it was an order that had to be obeyed.
When the two sisters went to bed, Clare requested her sister to exchange sleeping positions with her. Beth asked her why she preferred sleeping near the wall and she was always afraid of spiders. Clare was not ready to say that it was her mothers order. Therefore, she told her sister that she just felt like sleeping there. Beth did not argue. She comfortably agreed with her sister and they exchanged the positions. Clares mother put some herbs in the house to prevent her husband from waking up. Herbs utilized in the Chumash traditional medicine comprising dense leave Yerba Santa were to maintain airways exposed to suitable breathing. The laurel sumac is the bark root that was utilized to create a tisane for discussing dysentery black sageand . Stems and Leaves of the plant made a robust sun tea. This was scrubbed on the sore area or utilized to immerse one's bases. The plant has diterpenoids like the aethiopinoneursolic and acid , which are pain relievers. The evil-minded woman used home herbs that made the family sleep without waking up. This way, she could implement her plan without being noticed.
At midnight, the cruel mother woke up and ignited a fire in the house. She made a strong fire and put a large pot of water. She waited patiently for the water to boil so that she could accomplish her evil plan. Fortunately to Beth and unfortunately to Clare and her mother, the house became very warm and hot. In this case, Beth in her sleep felt too hot. She unconsciously exchanged the sleeping positions that their mother had dictated. After boiling the water, Clares mother went to the bedroom to check whether her husband was still asleep. Luckily, she found him deep asleep as a result of the herbs she had used.
Happily, the cruel woman moved to the daughters room. She first confirmed whether they were asleep. She was as happy as a king when she found they had migrated to the dream land. They were in deep sleep and snoring loudly. The woman looked at the girls with joy as she knew that her daughter would inherit her fathers property. She would also be married by the richest man in the village. Everyone would look at her with admiration. This was all she had desired since she was married. The long struggle was soon coming to an end. A person who was expected to be a mother to a girl whose mother had died was just about to do something unbelievable.
Without wasting time, the woman took the girl that was sleeping at the bed entrance. She did not take time to check her face as she believed that her daughter had followed her instructions. Additionally, she feared that the girl would wake up if she uncovered her face. In a fraction of a minute, the merciless woman threw the sleeping girl in the pot. She covered the pot and comfortably allowed the girl to taste the boiling water. The poor girl had no time to scream. She immediately succumbed to the pain and died instantly. The vindictive woman kept adding firewood as if she was preparing a meal for an extended family. After two hours, she was convinced that the enemy was dead. She knew that she has saved her daughter and given her the best she could. Therefore, she removed the dead body and quickly went out and buried it in a deep grave that she had dug two days ago. She then returned to the house, put off the fire, and went to sleep. She could be hardly sleeping because she was extremely happy. This was her happiest day in life.
At dawn, Clares mother woke up earlier than usual. She prepared breakfast and served for the four members of her family that included her husband, her two daughters, and herself. She prepared sweet potatoes and sour porridge that was Beths favorite. The main aim was to pretend to be innocent and that she cared for her daughters taste. However, she did not go to the girls room to wake Beth to do her chores. Usually, the lazy woman was not preparing breakfast. Instead, she shouted to Beth while still in bedroom. Beth had to wake up early, prepare breakfast, and get ready to go to work immediately after her father left.
The most shocking thing in the womans life appeared when the breakfast was ready. It was about seven in the morning and her husband woke up. Coincidentally, the girl in the bedroom woke up and could not believe her eyes when she saw sunrays in their room. She used to wake up early before the sun rose. Therefore, she quickly discharged her night dress and moved to the table room. Clares mother could not believe her eyes. She stood up to confirm what she was seeing. Innocently, Beth went to her and bowed to apologize for waking up that late. Her father was already enjoying the palatable breakfast that his wife had prepared for him. He was shocked to see her wife stand up in disbelief. The shocked woman called out her daughters name, Clare! There was no one to answer. Beth started to explain how sorry she was for not waking up to prepare breakfast. She apologized to her step mother for oversleeping and promised never to do it again. However, the traumatized mother did not recognize any of the apologies. She hoped that she was in a dream that would immediately end so that she could wake up and face the reality. It was hard to imagine that she was seeing Beth. In her mind, it was not possible to have Beth in front of her eyes. She had already boiled Beth dead and buried her under the bananas in the banana plantation. How then could she be standing next to her apologizing?
The traumatized woman turned to her husband and daughter. At this time, Beth and her father were worried about her behavior. Beths father asked her where she had left her sister. In response, Beth said that they slept together, but she had not seen her in the bedroom. However, she apologized to her father for waking up that late and said that maybe Clare had already gone to the river to fetch water. The traumatized woman had not said a word since Beth appeared. Her husband was surprised that she was not even asking about her daughter. Therefore, he went to the bedroom and checked on her. Clare was nowhere to be seen. He sent Beth to go to the river and check whether she was there. It was all in vain. Clare was not there. Tension was raised in the whole family. Beth and her father continued to search for Clare in the neighboring homestead, but did not find her.
All of a sudden, Clares mother broke the silence with a loud cry. She said that she wanted to kill Beth, but she had killed her own daughter. The villagers could not believe their ears. This was the most horrifying confession they had ever heard in their lives. Everybody thought that the woman had lost her mind because of her lost daughter. However, the traumatized woman took them to the banana plantations where she had buried her daughter in the name of the enemy. She cried and cried for her stupidity and jealousy. She boiled her daughter for two hours unknowingly. Her plan had overturned. Her step daughter was left to inherit her fathers property, while Clare, her own daughter, laid in the grave dead. It was all her fault.
The elders quickly met under the holy fig tree to decide on the matter. They had to think quickly before the entire village got into chaos. One of the wise men stood up and said that Clares mother should follow her daughter to the land of no return. All the other elders agreed with that decision as they could not allow a murderer of her own daughter to disgrace their village forever. They called upon the warriors to get the killer and bring her to custody. The warriors obeyed the orders and went for the woman. The whole village was called for an urgent meeting so that they could witness the brutal punishment that the murderer would face. The woman was brought and commanded to explain why she did that. The warriors gave her thorough beatings provoking her to speak the truth quickly. She narrated how she was jealous of her step daughter from the time she had married. She disliked her because she was hardworking, beautiful, and likeable. She broke into tears when narrating how she had tried to make the young rich man fall in love with her daughter, but it was all in vain. This is why, she decided to eliminate Beth and get Clare joy. She could not explain how she ended up killing her own daughter.
Figure 3. A photograph showing the elders listening to the womans story
Everyone in the meeting started crying. They were ready to have the woman stoned to death. What she had done was not bearable. Therefore, they blamed her for the death of an innocent girl and for mistreating Beth. The woman was ready to be stoned to death. She was not ready to be forgiven as she could be unable to face the world with that shame. Fortunately, the elders said that the woman should not be killed. She was sent out of the village as an outcast. From that day onwards, the Chumash and Clares mother understood the meaning of the saying that goes Honesty is the Best Policy.