“Harry-oh, Harry! is it you?”
“Ellen! my good Ellen, my friend, and old master’s friend!” is the simultaneous salutation.
“Sold you, too?” enquires Harry, embracing her with all the fervour of a father who has regained his long-lost child. She throws her arms about his neck, and clings to him, as he kisses, and kisses, and kisses her olive brow.
“My sale, Harry, was of little consequence; but why did they sell you? (Her emotions have swollen into tears). You must tell me all, to-night! You must tell me of my child, my Nicholas,—if master cares for him, and how he looks, grows, and acts. Oh, how my heart beats to have him at my side;—when, when will that day come! I would have him with me, even if sold for the purpose.” Tears gush down her cheeks, as Harry, encircling her with his arm, whispers words of consolation in her ear.
“If we were always for this world, Ellen, our lot could not be borne. But heaven has a recompense, which awaits us in the world to come. Ellen!"-he holds her from him and looks intently in her face-"masters are not to blame for our sufferings,—the law is the sinner! Hope not, seek not for common justice, rights, privileges, or anything else while we are merchandise among men who, to please themselves, gamble with our souls and bodies. Take away that injustice, Ellen, and men who now plead our unprofitableness would hide their heads with shame. Make us men, and we will plead our own cause; we will show to the world that we are men; black men, who can be made men when they are not made merchandise.” Ellen must tell him what has brought her here, first! He notices sad changes in her countenance, and feels anxious to listen to the recital of her troubles.
She cannot tell him now, and begs that he will not ask her, as the recollection of them fills her heart with sorrow. She discloses the object of her mission, will guide him to his new master, who, they say, is going to die, and feels very bad about it. He was a desperate man on his plantation, and has become the more contrite at death’s call. “I hope God will forgive him!”
“He will!-He will! He is forgiving,” interrupts Harry, hurriedly.
Ellen reconnoitres the wearied bodies of the others as they lie around. “Poor wretches! what can I do for them?” she says, holding the lamp over them. She can do but little for them, poor girl. The will is good, but the wherewith she hath not. Necessity is a hard master; none know it better than the slave woman. She will take Harry by the hand, and, retracing her steps, usher him into the presence of the wounded man. Pressing his hand as she opens the door, she bids him good night, and retires to her cabin. “Poor Harry!” she says, with a sigh.
The kind woman is Ellen Juvarna. She has passed another eventful stage of her eventful life. Mine host, good fellow, bought her of Mr. O’Brodereque, that’s all!