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Will von Steinmann, Paul (eBook)

  • Verlag: Windy City Publishers
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Will and his friend are risking their lives and have escaped the plantation. They are on the run; but before Will took off, the old conjure woman warned him, 'Evil spirits creeps 'round at night, and tricky spirits kin hex people-even da smart ones likes you.' Evil spirits are not the only problem; slave hunters, patrollers, and a mercenary detective are all after Will and Tom, and his childhood companion, Teeny. Luckily, the three friends encounter a group of abolitionists-a lawyer, a riverboat captain, a businessman, and a wealthy heiress-who want nothing more than to help them escape to freedom. But slaves are valuable property, and owners will go to any lengths to get them back. What transpires for these three slaves borders on the implausible, but is rooted in historical fact. They all flee in different directions and make their way north by steamboat on the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. This harrowing journey involves wearing disguises, finding new love, and risking a fortune in a poker game. But the real gamble is a slave betting he can escape and be free...he pays the ultimate price if he loses.


    Format: ePUB
    Kopierschutz: AdobeDRM
    Seitenzahl: 394
    Sprache: Englisch
    ISBN: 9781941478615
    Verlag: Windy City Publishers
    Größe: 1714kBytes
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IN LATE SEPTEMBER A CAGED wagon carrying Teeny and five other slaves rumbled into the Memphis auction house. Teeny was quickly ushered to a holding pen along with three other female slaves. The next day a burly patroller walked her to a small platform. It was almost noon. Everyone was surprised to see a fair skinned octoroon being bid on at auction. The auctioneer began his sales pitch. "Look what we have here gentlemen! Is she a fancy girl, or a slave? This beautiful woman is a first-rate house servant who has cooking and sewing skills. She worked on the finest Plantation in Mississippi, Mary Dale, and as you can see she is ready for breeding." Teeny was humiliated. Her blouse had been opened so that her breasts were exposed. The auctioneer lifted her skirt with his cane, and ordered her to turn. The men gawked and whistled. From the back of the crowd a bid-runner made his way to the platform. He handed a note to the auctioneer. Angry shouts rang out when the auctioneer ordered Teeny to step down. A cotton sheet was thrown over her shoulders, and a burly patroller escorted her to a waiting carriage. A well-dressed man wearing round spectacles stepped down to greet her. His straw-colored hair, white shirt, and clean-shaven face, presented a stark contrast to the patroller's full beard, rumpled plaid shirt, and wide brimmed hat. Richard Walther held out a clean, manicured hand to assist his new slave mistress. He dismissed the patroller and said, "Do you remember me? My name is Richard Walther." "Yes, sah, I knows who ya be. Ya vis'ted Mary Dale." "We will be traveling to St. Louis by riverboat and are leaving in a few hours. Get in the carriage." Teeny stepped into the carriage and sat on the bench opposite Walther. She did not look up when he spoke; she was wary of making eye contact. "Have you ever been to a large city?" "Yes, sah, I been to Na Orlans wid Mastah an Missus Douglas." "Did you enjoy your time in the city?" "Doan know much 'bout en'joyin life in da city, we wuz only dere a few...." Walther interrupted her in mid-sentence. "Enough! I know from my time at Mary Dale that you read and can speak proper English. This charade of yours is annoying me." Teeny made eye contact. She examined his square face, protruding ears, and blue eyes. His demeanor was harsh and demanding. She responded, "My people feel uncomfortable when I speak the way you do." Walther scoffed, "Your people? Who are your people?" Teeny wasn't sure how to answer the question. She didn't know her mother; she knew Jeff Owens was her father but he had nothing to do with her. She fought back tears as she stared out the carriage window. Walther ended the discussion with a curt warning. "Speak proper English when you are with me." Outside the carriage two large steamboats came into view. Walther pulled out a small package from under his seat. "Here is a towel and clean clothes; there's a traveling bag for you on the back of the carriage. After you change we will board the Silver Cloud. Carry yourself as if you belong in my company-walk erect, don't stare at the ground." Teeny removed her torn top and tattered skirt, then slipped into the beige dress and brown leather shoes. The shoes were several sizes too large, and she wondered how she would maneuver in them. She ran her fingers through her tangled hair, and used the towel to wipe the dust from her face and arms. Teeny emerged from the carriage and stood in line with Walther to board the riverboat, then followed him across the gangplank, head up and shoulders back. Walther handed one of the crew a f

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