Chapter IX: The Runaway

De Laud's good—bless his name !' exclaimed mammy Judy wringing her hands as Henry entered their hut, ' 'e heahs de prahs ob 'is chilen. Yeh hab reason t' tang God yeh is heah dis day!'
' Yes Henry, see wat de Laud's done fah yeh. Tis true's I's heah dis day ! Tang God fah dat!' added daddy Joe.
' I think,' replied he after listening with patience to the old people, 'I have reason to thank our Ailcey and Van Winter's Biddy; they, it seems to me should have some credit in the matter.'
' Sho boy, g' long whah yeh gwine ! Yo' backslidin, gwine git yeh in trouble ghin eh reckon?' replied mammy Judy.
5Having heard the conversation between her mistress and Henry, Ailcey as a secret, informed Van Winter's Derba, who informed her fellow servant Biddy, who imparted it to her acquaintance Nelly, the slave of esquire Potter, Nelly informing her mistress, who told the 'Squire, who led Franks into the secret of the whole matter.
' Mus'n blame me, Henry !' said Ailcey in an undertone, ' I did'n mean de wite folks to know wat I tole Derba, nor she di'n mean it nuther, but dat devil, Pottah's Nell! us gals mean da fus time we ketch uh out, to duck uh in da rivah! She's rale wite folk's nigga, dat's jus' wat she is. Nevah mine, we'll ketch her yit!'
' I dont blame you Ailcey, nor either of Mrs. Van Winter's girls, as I know that you are my friends, neither of whom would do anything knowingly to injure me. I know Ailcey that you are a good girl, and believe you would tell me—'
' Yes Henry, I is yo' fren' an' come to tell yeh now wat da wite folks goin' to do.'
'What is it Ailcey; what do you know ?'
10' Wy dat ugly ole devil Dick Crow—God fah gim me ! but I hate 'im so, case he nothin' but po' wite man, no how—I know 'im he come from Fagina on—'
' Never mind his origin, Ailcey, tell me what you know concerning his visit in the house.'
' I is goin' to, but da ugly ole devil, I hates 'im so ! Maus Stephen had 'im in da pahla, an' 'e sole yeh to 'im, dat ugly ole po' wite devil, fah—God knows how much—a hole heap a money ; " two" somethin.'
' I know what it was, two thousand dollars, for that was his selling price to Jack Harris.'
' Yes, dat was da sum, Henry.'
15' I am satisfied as to how much he can be relied on. Even was I to take the advice of the old people here, and become reconciled to drag out a miserable life of degradation and bondage under them, I would not be permitted to do so by this man, who seeks every opportunity to crush out my lingering manhood, and reduce my free spirit to the submission of a slave. He cannot do it, I will not submit to it, and I defy his power to make me submit.'
' Laus a messy, Henry, yeh free man ! huccum yeh not tell me long'o ? Sho boy, bettah go long whah yeh gwine, out yandah, an' not fool long wid wite folks !' said mammy Judy with surprise, ' wat bring yeh heah anyhow ?'
' That's best known to myself, mammy.'
' Wat make yeh keep heah so long den, dat yeh ain' gone fo' dis ?'
' Your questions become rather pressing mammy ; I cant tell you that either.'
20'Laud, Laud, Laud ! So yeh free man ? Well, well, well!
' Once for all, I now tell you old people, what I never told you before, nor never expected to tell you under such circumstances ; that I never intend to serve any white man again. I'll die first!'
'De Laud a' messy on my po' soul! An' huccum yeh not gone befo'?'
' Carrying out the principles and advice of you old people "standing still, to see the salvation." But with me, " now is the accepted time, to-day is the day of salvation."'
' Well, well, well!' sighed mammy Judy.
25' I am satisfied that I am sold, and the wretch who did it, seeks to conceal his perfidy by deception. Now if ever you old people did anything in your lives, you must do it now.'
' Wat dat yeh want wid us?'
' Why, if you'll go, I'll take you on Saturday night, and make our escape to a free country.'
' Wat place yeh call dat ?'
' Canada!' replied Henry, with emotion.
30' How fah yeh gwine take me ?' earnestly enquired the old woman.
'I cant just now tell the distance, probably some two or three thousand miles from here, the way we'd have to
' De Laus a messy on me ! an' wat yeh gwine do wid little Joe; ain gwine leave 'im behine ?'
' No, mammy Judy, I'd bury him in the bottom of the river first! I intend carrying him in a bundle on my back, as the Indians carry their babies.'
35' Wat yeh gwine do fah money; yeh ain' gwine rob folks on de road ?'
' No mammy, I'll starve first. Have you and daddy Joe saved nothing from your black-eye peas and poultry selling for many years ?'
' Ole man, how much in dat pot undeh de flo' dah ; how long since yeh count it ?'
' Don'o,' replied daddy Joe, ' las' time ah count it, da wah faughty guinea* uh sich a mauttah, an' ah put in
some six-seven guinea mo' since dat.'
40' Then you have some two hundred and fifty dollars in money.'
' Dat do yeh ?' enquired mammy Judy.
' Yes, that of itself is enough, but—'
' Den take it an' go long whah yeh gwine; we ole folks too ole fah gwine headlong out yandah an' don'o whah we gwine. Sho boy ! take de money an' g'long!' decisively replied the old woman after all her inquisitiveness.
' If you dont know, I do mammy, and that will answer for all.'
45' Dat ain' gwine do us. We ole folks ain' politishon an' undehstan' de graumma uh dese places, an' w'en we git dah den maybe do'n like it an calm' git back. Sho chile, go long whah yeh gwine!'
'What do you say, daddy Joe? Whatever you have to say, must be said quick, as time with me' is precious.
' We is too ole dis time a-day chile, t'go way out yauah de Laud knows whah; bettah whah we is.'
' You'll not be too old to go if these whites once take a notion to sell you. What will you do then ?'
'Trus' to de Laud !'
50' Yes, the same old slave song—" Trust to the Lord." Then I must go, and—'
' Ain' yeh gwine take de money Henry?' interrupted the old woman.
' No mammy, since you will not go, I leave it for you and daddy Joe, as you may yet have use for it, or those may desire to use it, who better understand what use to make of it than you and daddy Joe seem willing to be instructed in.'
' Den yeh 'ont have de money ?'
' I thank you and daddy most kindly, mammy Judy, for your offer, and only refuse because I have two hundred guineas about me.'
55' Sho boy, yeh got all dat, yeh no call t'want dat little we got. Whah yeh git all dat money ? Do 'n reckon yeh gwine tell me ! Did'n steal from maus Stephen, do'n reckon?'
' No mammy I'm incapable of stealing from any one, but I have, from time to time, taken by littles, some of the earnings due me for more than eighteen years' service to this man Franks, which at the low rate of two hundred dollars a year, would amount to sixteen hundred dollars more than I secured, exclusive of the interest, which would have more than supplied my clothing, to say nothing of the injury done me by degrading me as a slave. " Steal" indeed ! I would that when I had an opportunity, I had taken fifty thousand instead of two. I am to understand you old people as positively declining to go, am I?'
' No no, chile, we cahn go! We put ouh trus' in de Laud, he bring us out mo' nah konkah.'
' Then from this time hence, I become a runaway. Take care of my poor boy while he's with you. When I leave the swamps, or where I'll go, will never be known to you. Should my boy be suddenly missed, and you find three notches cut in the bark of the big willow tree, on the side away from your hut, then give yourself no uneasiness ; but if you don't find these notches in the tree, then I know nothing about him. Good bye !' and Henry strode directly for the road to Woodville.
' Fahwell me son, fahwell, an' may God a'mighty go wid you ! May de Laud guide an' 'tect yeh on de way !'
60The child, contrary to his custom, commenced crying, desiring to see mama Maggie and dadda Henry. Every effort to quiet him was unavailing. This brought sorrow to the old people's hearts and tears to their eyes, which they endeavored to soothe in a touching lamentation:
' See wives and husbands torn apart,
Their children's screams, they grieve my heart.
They are torn away to Georgia!
Come and go along with me—
65They are torn away to Georgia
Go sound the Jubilee !'
* 'Guinea' with the slave, is a five dollar gold piece.
To Chapter X

Textual Notes

1De] 59; 'De 61
1his] 59; 'is 61
1Judy] 59; mammy Judy, wringing 61
1their] 59; the 61
1,] 59; ; 61
1'e heahs] 59; he hears 61
1prahs] 59; pr'rs 61
1t'] 59; to 61
1heah] 59; here 61
2fah] 59; fer 61
2true] 59; tru 61
2heah] 59; hear 61
2fah] 59; for 61
3,] 59; ; 61
4whah] 59; war 61
4' backslidin] 59; backsliding 61
4ghin eh] 59; g'in I 61
5,] 59; not in 61
6,] 59; ; 61
6Pottah] 59; Potteh 61
6da] 59; de 61
6uh] 59; 'er 61
6uh] 59; 'er 61
6da rivah] 59; de riveh 61
6jus] 59; jis 61
6Nevah] 59; Neveh 61
6her] 59; 'er 61
7dont] 59; don't 61
8now] 59; not in 61
8da] 59; de 61
10fah] 59; for 61
10hate] 59; hates 61
10,] 59; not in 61
10know '] 59; knows 61
10'im] 59; knows im; he 61
10come] 59; comes 61
10on] 59; an 61
12to] 59; te 61
12da] 59; de 61
12da pahla] 59; de parla 61
12'e] 59; he 61
12fah] 59; for 61
12.'] 59; '.' 61
13,] 59;61
13,] 59;61
14da] 59; de 61
15,] 59; ; 61
16huccum] 59; how cum 61
16bettah] 59; betteh 61
16whah] 59; whar 61
16yandah] 59; yondeh 61
16bring] 59; brings 61
16heah] 59; hear 61
18heah] 59; hear 61
20man ?] 59; ma. 61
20!] 59; !' 61
21!'] 59; .' 61
22huccum] 59; how cum 61
23people] 59; old people; "standing 61
23,] 59; not in 61
30fah] 59; far 61
35fah] 59; for 61
37dah] 59; dar 61
38ah] 59; I 61
38da wah] 59; de was 61
38uh] 59; or 61
38mauttah] 59; mautter 61
38ah] 59; I 61
40.'] 59; ?' 61
41yeh] 59; you 61
42that] 59; tat 61
43whah] 59; whar 61
43fah] 59; for 61
43yandah an] 59; yondeh ah 61
43whah] 59; whar 61
43'] 59; not in 61
43all] 59; not in 61
45'] 59; not in 61
45uh] 59; ob 61
45w'en] 59; wen 61
45dah] 59; dar 61
45maybe] 59; may be 61
45calm] 59; can 61
45whah] 59; whar 61
46,] 59; not in 61
46as] 59; , as the time wit 61
46'] 59; not in 61
46.] 59; .' 61
47yauah] 59; yondeh 61
47whah] 59; whar 61
47bettah whah] 59; betteh whar 61
55t'] 59; to 61
55Whah] 59; Whar 61
55Stephen,] 59; , I do'n reckon? 61
56mammy] 59; Mammy, 61
56,] 59; ; 61
56,] 59; not in 61
57/ '] 59; I?' / 'Wat dat yeh mean, dat 'cline' so!' / 'Oh! by "decline," I mean wont go.' / 'No, no, 61
57No] 59; go.' / 'No, no, 61
57cahn] 59; can' 61
57!] 59; ? 61
57ouh] 59; our 61
57nah konkah] 59; ner konker 61
58cut] 59; s cut out in th 61
58willow] 59; will 61
58don't] 59; dont 61
59me] 59; my 61
60desiring] 59; asking 61
60mama] 59; 'mamma 61
60.] 59; .' 61
62.] 59; ! 61
65away] 59; not in 61
66!'] 59; ;' 61
67'] 59; not in 61
67' with the slave] 59; —among slaves 61
67is] 59; not in 61
67.] 59; not in 61