Chapter VII: Master and Slave

Early on Tuesday morning in obedience to his master's orders, Henry was on his way to the city, to get the house in readiness for the reception of his mistress, Mrs. Franks having much improved in three or four days. Mammy Judy had not yet risen when he knocked at the door.
' Hi Henry ! yeh heah ready ! huccum yeh git up so soon ; arter some mischif I reckon? Do'n reckon yeh arter any good!' saluted mammy Judy.
' No mammy,' replied he ; ' no mischief, but like a good slave such as you wish me to be, come to obey my master's will, just what you like to see.'
'Sho boy! none yeh nonsens' ; huccum I want yeh bey maus Stephen ? Git dat nonsens' in yeh head las' night long so, I reckon ! Wat dat yeh gwine do now?'
5' I have come to dust and air the mansion for their reception. They have sold my wife away from me, and who else would do her work?' This reply excited the apprehension of mammy Judy.
' Wat yeh gwine do Henry ? yeh arter no good; yeh ain' gwine 'tack maus Stephen is yeh ?'
' What do you mean mammy, strike him?'
' Yes! reckon yeh ain' gwine hit 'im ?'
' Curse—!'
10' Henry, Henry, membeh wat ye 'fess ! fah de Laud sake, yeh ain gwine take to swahin?' interrupted the old woman.
' I make no profession mammy. I once did believe in religion, but now I have no confidence in it. My faith has been wrecked on the stony hearts of such pretended christians as Stephen Franks, while passing through the stormy sea of trouble and oppression ! and—'
' Hay, boy ! yeh is gittin high ! yeh call maussa "Stephen?" '
' Yes, and I'll never call him " master" again, except when compelled to do so.'
' Bettah g'long ten't' de house fo' wite folks come, an' nebeh mine talkin' 'bout fightin' 'long wid maus Stephen. Wat yeh gwine do wid white folks? Sho!'
15' I don't intend to fight him, mammy Judy, but I'll attack him concerning my wife, if the words be my last! Yes, I'll—!' and pressing his lips to suppress the words, the outraged man turned away from the old slave mother, with such feelings as only an intelligent slave could realize.
The orders of the morning were barely executed, when the carriage came to the door. The bright eyes of the foot boy Tony sparkled when he saw Henry approaching the carriage.
' Well Henry! ready for us ?' enquired his master.
'Yes sir,' was the simple reply. ' Mistress!' he saluted, politely bowing as he took her hand to assist her from the carriage.
' Come Henry, my man, get out the riding horses,' ordered Franks after a little rest.
20' Yes sir.'
A horse for the Colonel and lady each, was soon in readiness at the door, but none for himself, it always having been the custom in their morning rides, for the maid and man-servant to accompany the mistress and master.
' Ready did you say ?' enquired Franks on seeing but two horses standing at the stile.
' Yes sir.'
' Where's the other horse ?'
25'What for sir?'
' What for ? yourself to be sure!'
' Colonel Franks !' said Henry, looking him sternly in the face, ' when I last rode that horse in company with you and lady, my wife was at my side, and I will not now go without her! Pardon me—my life for it, I won't go!'
' Not another word you black imp !' exclaimed Franks,with an uplifted staff in a rage, ' or I'll strike you down in an instant !'
' Strike away if you will sir, I dont care—I wont go without my wife !'
30' You impudent scoundrel! I'll soon put an end to your conduct! I'll put you on the auction block, and sell you to the negro traders.'
' Just as soon as you please sir, the sooner the better, as I dont want to live with you any longer!'
' Hold your tongue sir, or I'll cut it out of your head! you ungrateful black dog! Really things have come to a pretty pass, when I must take impudence off my own negro! By gracious !—God forgive me for the expression—I'll sell every negro I have first! I'll dispose of him to the hardest negro trader I can find!' said Franks in a rage.
' You may do your mightiest, colonel Franks. I'm not your slave, nor never was, and you know it! and but for my wife and her people, I never would have staid with you till now. I was decoyed away when young, and then became entangled in such domestic relations as to induce me to remain with you ; but now the tie is broken ! I know that the odds are against me, but never mind!'
' Do you threaten me, sir! Hold your tongue, or I'll take your life instantly, you villain!'
35'No sir, I dont threaten you, colonel Franks, but I do say that I wont be treated like a dog. You sold my wife away from me, after always promising that she should be free. And more than that, you sold her because !
and now you talk about whipping me. Shoot me, sell me, or do anything else you please, but dont lay your hands on me, as I will not suffer you to whip me!'
Running up to his chamber, colonel Franks seized a revolver, when Mrs. Franks grasping hold of his arm exclaimed—
' Colonel! what does all this mean ?'
' Mean, my dear? It's rebellion ! a plot—this is but the shadow of a cloud that's fast gathering around us! I see it plainly, I see it!' responded the Colonel, starting for the stairs.
40' Stop Colonel!' admonished his lady, ' I hope you'll not be rash. For Heaven's sake, do not stain your hands in blood!'
' I do not mean to, my dear! I take this for protection !' Franks hastening down stairs, when Henry had gone into the back part of the premises.
' Dah now! dah now !' exclaimed mammy Judy as Henry entered the kitchen, 'see wat dis gwine back done foh yeh! Bettah put yo' trus' in de Laud! Henry, yeh gone clean back t'de wuhl ghin, yeh knows it!'
' You're mistaken mammy, I do trust the Lord as much as ever, but I now understand him better than I use to, that's all. I dont intend to be made a fool of any longer by false preaching.'
' Henry !' interrogated Daddy Joe, who apprehending difficulties in the case, had managed to get back to the house, ' yeh gwine lose all yo' ligion ? Wat yeh mean boy !
45' Religion!' replied Henry rebukingly, ' that's always the cry with black people. Tell me nothing about religion when the very man who hands you the bread at communion, has sold your daughter away from you !'
' Den yeh 'fen' God case man 'fen' yeh! Take cah Henry, take cah! mine wat yeh 'bout; God is lookin' at yeh, an' if yeh no' willin' trus' 'im, yeh need'n call on 'im in time o' trouble.'
' I dont intend, unless He does more for me then than he has done before. "Time of need!" If ever man needed his assistance, I'm sure I need it now.'
' Yeh do'n know wat yeh need ; de Laud knows bes.' On'y trus' in 'im, an' 'e bring yeh out mo' nah conkah. By de help o' God I's heah dis day, to gib yeh cumfut!'
' I have trusted in Him daddy Joe, all my life, as I told mammy Judy this morning, but—'
50' Ah boy, yeh's gwine back ! Dat on't do Henry, dat on't do !'
' Going back from what ? my oppressor's religion ! If I could only get rid of his inflictions as easily as I can his religion, I would be this day a free man, when you might then talk to me about "trusting." '
' Dis Henry, am one uh de ways ob de Laud ; 'e fus 'flicks us an' den he bless us.'
' Then it's a way I dont like.'
' Mine how yeh talk, boy!'
55' God moves in a myst'us way
His wundahs to pehfaum,' an—'
' He moves too slow for me daddy Joe; I'm tired waiting so—'
' Come Henry, I hab no sich talk like dat! yeh is gittin' rale weaked ; yeh gwine let de debil take full 'session on yeh! Take cah boy, mine how yeh talk !'
'It is not wickedness, daddy Joe; you dont understand these things at all. If a thousand years with us is but a day with God, do you think that I am required to wait all that time ?'
60'Dont Henry, dont! de wud say '' Stan' still an' see de salbation.''
' That's no talk for me daddy Joe, I've been " standing still" long enough; I'll " stand still" no longer.'
' Den yeh no call t' bey God wud ? Take cah boy, take cah !'
' Yes I have, and I intend to obey it, but that part was intended for the Jews, a people long since dead. I'll obey that intended for me.'
' How yeh gwine bey it ?'
65' "Now is the accepted time, to-day is the day of salvation." So you see, daddy Joe, this is very different to standing still.'
' Ah boy, I's feahd yeh's losen yeh 'ligion!'
' I tell you once for all daddy Joe, that I'm not only " losing," but I have altogether lost my faith in the religion of my oppressors. As they are our religious teachers, my estimate of the thing they give, is no greater than it is for those who give it.'
With elbows upon his knees, and face resting in the palms of his hands, daddy Joe for some time sat with his eyes steadily fixed on the floor, whilst Ailcey who for a part of the time had been an auditor to the conversation, went into the house about her domestic duties.
' Never mind Henry ! I hope it will not always be so with you. You have been kind and faithful to me and the Colonel, and I'll do anything I can for you!' sympathetically said Mrs. Franks, who having been a concealed spectator of the interview between Henry and the old people, had just appeared before them.
70Wiping away the emblems of grief which stole down his face, with a deep toned voice, upgushing from the recesses of a more than iron-pierced soul, he enquired—
' Madam, what can you do ! Where is my wife?' To this, Mrs. Franks gave a deep sigh. ' Never mind, never mind !' continued he, ' yes, I will mind, and by—!'
' O ! Henry, I hope you've not taken to swearing ! I do hope you will not give over to wickedness ! Our afflictions should only make our faith the stronger.'
' "Wickedness !" Let the righteous correct the wicked, and the Christian condemn the sinner!'
' That is uncharitable in you Henry! as you know I have always treated you kindly, and God forbid that I should consider myself any less than a Christian ! and I claim as much at least for the Colonel, though like frail mortals he is liable to err at times.'
75' Madam !' said he with suppressed emotion—starting back a pace or two —' do you think there is anything either in or out of hell so wicked, as that which colonel Franks has done to my wife, and now about to do to me ? For myself I care not—my wife!'
' Henry !' said Mrs. Franks, gently placing her hand upon his shoulder, there is yet a hope left for you, and you will be faithful enough I know, not to implicate any person ; it is this: Mrs. Van Winter, a true friend of your race, is shortly going to Cuba on a visit, and I will arrange with her to purchase you through an agent on the day of your sale, and by that means you can get to Cuba, where probably you may be fortunate enough to get the master of your wife to become your purchaser.'
' Then I have two chances!' replied Henry.
Just then Ailcey thrusting her head in the door, requested the presence of her mistress in the parlor.
To Chapter VIII

Textual Notes

2heah] 59; hear 61
2huccum] 59; huc cum 61
4' ; huccum] 59; '; huc cum 61
6;] 59; , 61
10membeh] 59; member 61
10fah] 59; far 61
10ain] 59; yeh ain' gwine 61
10swahin] 59; swarin 61
11the] 59; this 61
12gittin] 59; is gittin' high! 61
14Bettah] 59; Betteh 61
14t'] 59; to 61
14wite] 59; white 61
14nebeh] 59; neber 61
16foot boy] 59; footboy 61
21Colonel] 59; colonel 61
24-25Where's the other horse ?' / '] 59; not in 61
27, '] 59; ; 61
27my wife] 59; my wife 61
28!'] 59; ! 61
28,] 59; ; 61
29dont] 59; don't 61
31dont] 59; don't 61
32,] 59; not in 61
32off] 59; from 61
33!] 59; . 61
33!'] 59; ?' 61
34,] 59; not in 61
35dont] 59; don't 61
35colonel] 59; Colonel 61
35,] 59; ; 61
35wont] 59; won't 61
35because] 59; because---- 61
36dont] 59; don't 61
36!'] 59; .' 61
37colonel] 59; Col. 61
37Franks] 59; Mrs. Franks, grasping 61
37arm] 59; his arm, exclaimed— 61
38!] 59; , 61
39It's] 59; It's a rebellion! 61
39's] 59; is 61
39!] 59; . 61
40Stop] 59; stairs. / 'Stop, Colonel!' 61
40!'] 59; .' 61
41!] 59; . 61
41!'] 59; protection!' said Franks 61
41down stairs] 59; down-stairs 61
42Dah] 59; Dar 61
42dah] 59; dar 61
42foh] 59; for 61
42Bettah] 59; Betteh 61
42t'] 59; to 61
42wuhl] 59; wurl 61
44yo'] 59; yo' 'ligion? What 61
44Wat] 59; What 61
44!] 59; !' 61
45,] 59; ; 61
46cah] 59; 'are 61
46cah] 59; 'are 61
46wat] 59; what 61
46im] 59; him 61
46'im,] 59; 'him, 'yeh need'n 61
46im] 59; him 61
47than] 59; not in 61
48'] 59; not in 61
48nah conkah] 59; ner conker 61
48heah] 59; hear 61
48cumfut] 59; comfot 61
50,] 59; not in 61
51!] 59; ? 61
52uh] 59; ob 61
52; 'e] 59; , he 61
52'flicks] 59; fus' 'flicks us 61
53dont] 59; don't 61
54,] 59; not in 61
55'] 59; not in 61
55myst] 59; mist 61
56wundahs] 59; wandehs 61
56pehfaum,'] 59; perfaum, 61
58,] 59; not in 61
58on] 59; ob 61
58cah] 59; 'are 61
59;] 59; , 61
60''] 59; ' 61
60.''] 59; .' 61
62cah] 59; 'are 61
62cah] 59; 'are 61
66feahd] 59; fea'd 61
68whilst] 59; while 61
73correct] 59; reprove 61
75colonel] 59; Colonel 61
76shoulder,] 59; shoulder, "there is 61