Jany. 4—Have had a heavy snowstorm with a gale of wind. The snow here is not flaky, but fine and powdery, fills the air so you cannot see ahead, and sifts through every crevice. Thankful when the blast died down. Mrs Auld declares if the summer heat and the winter cauld were carded through ane anither Canada would have a grand climate. The two extremes are indeed most trying.
Jany 5—Work in the bush stopped by the snow, is so deep that when a tree is felled half is buried.
THE EPISODE OF TILLY
Jany 7—All were in bed last night when I was aroused by a knock at the door. Thought one of my neighbors needed help, but on opening was surprised to see it was Jabez. Excused himself for alarming us by saying his errand was a matter of life or death. A negro girl, who had fallen into evil hands at Buffalo, had escaped to Canada and was followed by desperate men trying to retake her. An attempt had been made to kidnap her from the family that sheltered her in Toronto. She had to be hid until the search was given up, and he could think of no place so safe as with ourselves. Mr Bambray asked us, in God’s name, to take care of her for a while. ‘Where is she?’ I asked. ‘In the sleigh at the door.’ I told him to fetch her in, or she might freeze. He lifted her in, for she was numb. It was a bitter night. Laying aside her wraps, we saw, for Ailie and the whole family were now looking on, a mulatto of perhaps sixteen years of age. Alice and Ruth chafed her hands and feet to restore her circulation, while Ailie was getting a hot drink ready. Looking at the poor child I guessed her miserable story and told Jabez we would keep her. After getting warmed he drove off.
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Here I have to break into the master’s diary in order to give what happened afterwards, which he did not write down. The girl, who said her name was Tilly, got quite reconciled to us next day. She was from Kentucky, had been sold to a saloonkeeper at Black Rock, and rescued. She shuddered whenever she spoke of him. Passed from one friendly hand to another she reached Toronto, and was living quietly there as a servant. One evening there was a rap at the door and she went to answer. On opening it she beheld the fellow who claimed to own her. She screamed. Putting his hand over her mouth he lifted her to a sleigh, which drove off. Two