But Abram did not wait to hear the verdict. He reached the Committee safely in this city, in advance of his companion, and was furnished with a free ticket and other needed assistance, and was sent on his way rejoicing. After reaching his destination, he wrote back to know how his friend and companion (George) was getting along; but in less than three weeks after he had passed, the following brief story reveals the sad fate of poor Romulus Hall, who had journeyed with him till exhausted from hunger and badly frost-bitten.
A few days after his younger companion had passed on North, Romulus was brought by a pitying stranger to the Vigilance Committee, in a most shocking condition. The frost had made sad havoc with his feet and legs, so much so that all sense of feeling had departed therefrom.
[Illustration: DEATH OF ROMULUS HALL.]
How he ever reached this city is a marvel. On his arrival medical attention and other necessary comforts were provided by the Committee, who hoped with himself, that he would be restored with the loss of his toes alone. For one week he seemed to be improving; at the expiration of this time, however, his symptoms changed, indicating not only the end of slavery, but also the end of all his earthly troubles.
Lockjaw and mortification set in in the most malignant form, and for nearly thirty-six hours the unfortunate victim suffered in extreme agony, though not a murmur escaped him for having brought upon himself in seeking his liberty this painful infliction and death. It was wonderful to see how resignedly he endured his fate.
Being anxious to get his testimony relative to his escape, etc., the Chairman of the Committee took his pencil and expressed to him his wishes in the matter. Amongst other questions, he was asked: “Do you regret having attempted to escape from slavery?” After a severe spasm he said, as his friend was about to turn to leave the room, hopeless of being gratified in his purpose: “Don’t go; I have not answered your question. I am glad I escaped from slavery!” He then gave his name, and tried to tell the name of his master, but was so weak he could not be understood.
At his bedside, day and night, Slavery looked more heinous than it had ever done before. Only think how this poor man, in an enlightened Christian land, for the bare hope of freedom, in a strange land amongst strangers, was obliged not only to bear the sacrifice of his wife and kindred, but also of his own life.
Nothing ever appeared more sad than seeing him in a dying posture, and instead of reaching his much coveted destination in Canada, going to that “bourne whence no traveler returns.” Of course it was expedient, even after his death, that only a few friends should follow him to his grave. Nevertheless, he was decently buried in the beautiful Lebanon Cemetery.
In his purse was found one single five cent piece, his whole pecuniary dependence.