Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Henry Bibb, an American Slave, Written by Himself eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 159 pages of information about Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Henry Bibb, an American Slave, Written by Himself.

I could converse with him understandingly from personal acquaintance, for I had lived there when I first ran away from Kentucky.  But I felt it to be my duty to start off the next morning before breakfast, or sunrise.  I bought a dozen of eggs, and had them boiled to carry with me to eat on the way.  I did not like the looks of those three men, and thought I would get on as fast as possible for fear I might be pursued by them.

I was then about to enter the territory of another slave State, Missouri.  I had passed through the fiery ordeal of Sibley, Gatewood, and Garrison, and had even slipped through the fingers of Deacon Whitfield.  I had doubtless gone through great peril in crossing the Indian territory, in passing through the various half civilized tribes, who seemed to look upon me with astonishment as I passed along.  Their hands were almost invariably filled with bows and arrows, tomahawks, guns, butcher knives, and all the various implements of death which are used by them.  And what made them look still more frightful, their faces were often painted red, and their heads muffled with birds feathers, bushes, coons tails and owls heads.  But all this I had passed through, and my long enslaved limbs and spirit were then in full stretch for emancipation.  I felt as if one more short struggle would set me free.

FOOTNOTES: 

[4] This singular fact is corroborated in a letter read by the publisher, from an acquaintance while passing through this country in 1849.

CHAPTER XV.

Adventure on the Prairie.—­I borrow a horse without leave.—­Rapid traveling one whole night.—­Apology for using other men’s horses.—­My manner of living on the road.

Early in the morning I left the Indian territory as I have already said, for fear I might be pursued by the three white men whom I had seen there over night; but I had not proceeded far before my fears were magnified a hundred fold.

I always dreaded to pass through a prairie, and on coming to one which was about six miles in width, I was careful to look in every direction to see whether there was any person in sight before I entered it; but I could see no one.  So I started across with a hope of crossing without coming in contact with any one on the prairie.  I walked as fast as I could, but when I got about midway of the prairie, I came to a high spot where the road forked, and three men came up from a low spot as if they had been there concealed.  They were all on horse back, and I supposed them to be the same men that had tried to get lodging where I stopped over night.  Had this been in timbered land, I might have stood some chance to have dodged them, but there I was, out in the open prairie, where I could see no possible way by which I could escape.

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