I asked him if there was any way for us to get to Dresden that night. He answered, ’No, it is a dark night, and a muddy road, and no conveyance can be got tonight.’ I soon found that we must stay in Chatham until Monday morning.
On our way to the boarding-house, the gentleman said to me: ‘Is this your son with you?’ I answered, no; and then I asked him, if he knew a man living in D., by the name of Bradley. He replied that he was very well acquainted with him, and then inquired if that young man was Mr. Bradley’s brother. I said, no—not exactly a brother. He must have thought it strange that I did not give him a more definite answer to his question.
When we reached the house, we found several boarders in the sitting-room and a few neighbors. I had already told him my name, but with regard to Joe, I had not yet had a chance to explain. I, of course, was introduced to those who were in the room, but Joe—well, Joe took a seat, and did not seem to be troubled about an introduction. As the landlord was going out of the room, I asked permission to speak with him alone. He took me into another room, and I said to him: ’That young man, as you call him, is a young woman, and has come dressed in this manner, all the way from Washington City. She would be very glad now to be able to change her clothes.’
He was greatly surprised, and would hardly believe that it was so; but said, ‘I will call my wife.’ She came, and I guess all the women in the house came with her. They soon disappeared, and Joe with them, who, after being absent a while, returned, and was introduced as Miss Ann Maria Weems. The whole company were on their feet, shook hands, laughed, and rejoiced, declaring that this beat all they had ever seen before. Chatham contains, I was told, more than three thousand fugitives. The weather there, is not colder than in New York.
The next morning was the Sabbath, but this I must pass and hasten to D., the residence of Mr. Bradley. We started early Monday morning. As a part of the road was very bad, we did not reach there till a late hour. As we were passing along, and getting near to the place, we met two colored men who were talking together—one on horseback, and the other on foot. I inquired of them, if they could tell me how far it was to Mr. Bradley’s. The man on horseback said it was about a mile further, and then proceeded to give directions. After he had done this, he said: ’I reckon I am the one that you want to find, my name is Bradley.’ Well, I replied, probably you are the man. Just then Ann Maria turned her head around. As soon as he saw her face, he exclaimed: ’My Lord! Maria, is that you? Is that you? My child, is it you? We never expected to see you again! We had given you up; O, what will your aunt say? It will kill her! She will die! It will kill her.’
I told him, that as I was obliged