“She jest like bright angel, in her white gownds and dem long curls, and Sam like her so much. She promise to write to Mas’r Browne and tell him whar I is. I didn’t cry loud then—heart too full. I cry whimperin’ like, and she cry, too. Then she tell me about God, and Sam listen, oh, listen so much, for that’s what he want to hear so long. Miss Nancy, in Kuntuck, be one of them that reads her pra’rs o’ Sundays, and ole mas’r one that hollers ’em. Sam liked that way best, seemed like gettin’ along and make de Lord hear, but it don’t show Sam the way, and when the ministers come in, he listen, but they that reads and them that hollers only talk about High and Low—Jack and the Game, or something, Sam disremembers so bad; got mizzable memory. He only knows he not find the way, ’till Miss Ellis tells him of Jesus, once a man and always God. It’s very queer, but Sam believe it, and then she sing, ‘Come unto me.’ You ever hear it?”
Adah nodded, and Sam went on.
“But you never hear Miss Ellis sing it. Oh, so fine, the very rafters hold their breff, and Sam find the way at last.”
“Where is Miss Ellis now?” Adah asked, and Sam replied:
“Gone to Masser—what you say once. She gived me five dollars and then ask what else. I look at her and say, ’Sam wants a spear or two of yer shinin’ hair,’ and Miss Mabel takes shears and cut a little curl. I’se got ’em now. I never spend the money,” and from an old leathern wallet Sam drew a bill and a soft silken curl, which he laid across Adah’s hand.
“Yes, that is like her hair,” Adah said, gazing fondly upon the tiny lock which was Sam’s greatest earthly treasure; then, returning it to him, she asked: “And where is that Sullivan?” a chill creeping over her as she remembered how about four years ago the man she called her guardian was absent for some time, and came back to her with colored hair and whiskers.
“Oh, he gone long before, nobody know whar. Sam b’lieves, though, he hear they tryin’ to cotch him, but disremembers, got such mizzable memory.”
“You say he had a mark like mine?” Adah continued.
“Yes, berry much, but more so. Show plainer when he cussin’ mad, just as yours show more when you tired. Whar you git dat?” and Sam bent down to inspect more closely Adah’s birthmark.
“I don’t know. I was born with it,” and Adah half groaned aloud at the sad memories which Sam’s story had awakened within her.
She could scarcely doubt that Sullivan, the negro-stealer, and Monroe, her guardian, were the same, but where was he now, and why had he treated her so treacherously, when he had always seemed so kind?
“Miss Adah prays,” the old man answered. “Won’t she say ‘Our Father’ with Sam?”
Surely Hugh’s sleep was sweeter that night for the prayer breathed by the lowly negro, and even the wild tumult in Adah’s heart was hushed by Sam’s simple, childlike faith that God would bring all right at last.