“Years rolled on,—we had placed nearly five hundred dollars in missus’s hands: but how vain were the hopes that had borne us through so many privations for the accumulation of this portion of our price of freedom! Master has sold my children,—yes, sold them! He will not tell me where nor to whom. Missus will neither see nor hear me; and master threatens to sell me to New Orleans if I resent his act. To what tribunal can I appeal for justice? Shut from the laws of my native land, what justice is there for the slave where injustice makes its law oppression? Master may sell me, but he cannot vanquish the spirit God has given me; never, never, will I yield to his nefarious designs. I have but one life to yield up a sacrifice for right-I care not to live for wrong!” Thus he speaks, as his frenzied soul burns with indignation. His soul’s love was freedom; he asked but justice to achieve it. Sick at heart he has thrown up that zeal for his master’s welfare which bore him onward, summoned his determination to resist to the last-to die rather than again confront the dreary waste of a slave’s life. Grabguy has forfeited the amount deposited by Nicholas as part of the price of his freedom,—betrayed his confidence.
He tells us his simple story, as the workmen, with fear on their countenances, move heedlessly about the room. As he concludes, Grabguy, with sullen countenance, enters the great door at the end of the building; he is followed by three men in official garbs, two of whom bear manacles in their hands. Nicholas’s dark eye flashes upon them, and with an instinctive knowledge of their errand, he seizes a broad axe, salutes them, and, defiantly, cautions their advance. Grabguy heeds not; and as the aggrieved man slowly retreats backward to protect himself with the wall, still keeping his eye set on Grabguy, two negroes make a sudden spring upon him from behind, fetter his arms as the officers rush forward, bind him hand and foot, and drag him to the door, regardless of his cries for mercy: they bind him to a dray, and drive through the streets to the slave pen of Graspum. We hear his pleading voice, as his ruffian captors, their prey secure, disappear among the busy crowd.
He would deliver her from bondage.
About twelve o’clock of a hazy night, in the month of November, and while Annette, in the hands of Mr. Pringle Blowers, with death-like tenacity refuses to yield to his vile purposes, a little taunt-rigged schooner may be seen stealing her way through the grey mist into Charleston inner harbour. Like a mysterious messenger, she advances noiselessly, gibes her half-dimmed sails, rounds to a short distance from an old fort that stands on a ridge of flats extending into the sea, drops her anchor, and furls her sails. We hear the rumble of the chain, and “aye, aye!” sound on the still air, like the murmur of voices