The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or Gustavus Vassa, The African eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 243 pages of information about The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or Gustavus Vassa, The African.
our greatest exertions, we got the vessel off.  The next day we returned to Providence, where we soon got her again refitted.  Some of the people swore that we had spells set upon us by somebody in Montserrat; and others that we had witches and wizzards amongst the poor helpless slaves; and that we never should arrive safe at Georgia.  But these things did not deter me; I said, ’Let us again face the winds and seas, and swear not, but trust to God, and he will deliver us.’  We therefore once more set sail; and, with hard labour, in seven day’s time arrived safe at Georgia.

After our arrival we went up to the town of Savannah; and the same evening I went to a friend’s house to lodge, whose name was Mosa, a black man.  We were very happy at meeting each other; and after supper we had a light till it was between nine and ten o’clock at night.  About that time the watch or patrol came by; and, discerning a light in the house, they knocked at the door:  we opened it; and they came in and sat down, and drank some punch with us:  they also begged some limes of me, as they understood I had some, which I readily gave them.  A little after this they told me I must go to the watch-house with them:  this surprised me a good deal, after our kindness to them; and I asked them, Why so?  They said that all negroes who had light in their houses after nine o’clock were to be taken into custody, and either pay some dollars or be flogged.  Some of those people knew that I was a free man; but, as the man of the house was not free, and had his master to protect him, they did not take the same liberty with him they did with me.  I told them that I was a free man, and just arrived from Providence; that we were not making any noise, and that I was not a stranger in that place, but was very well known there:  ‘Besides,’ said I, ‘what will you do with me?’—­’That you shall see,’ replied they, ‘but you must go to the watch-house with us.’  Now whether they meant to get money from me or not I was at a loss to know; but I thought immediately of the oranges and limes at Santa Cruz:  and seeing that nothing would pacify them I went with them to the watch-house, where I remained during the night.  Early the the next morning these imposing ruffians flogged a negro-man and woman that they had in the watch-house, and then they told me that I must be flogged too.  I asked why? and if there was no law for free men?  And told them if there was I would have it put in force against them.  But this only exasperated them the more; and instantly they swore they would serve me as Doctor Perkins had done; and they were going to lay violent hands on me; when one of them, more humane than the rest, said that as I was a free man they could not justify stripping me by law.  I then immediately sent for Doctor Brady, who was known to be an honest and worthy man; and on his coming to my assistance they let me go.

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The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or Gustavus Vassa, The African from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.