Manuel Pereira eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 322 pages of information about Manuel Pereira.

“How old are you, old man?” inquired the Captain.

“Ah, Massa Stranger, ye got ole Simon da!  If me know dat, den ’im know somefin’ long time ago, what buckra-man don’ larn.  I con’try-born nigger, massa, but I know yonder Massa Pringle house fo’ he built ’im.”  Just at this moment several pieces of cannon and other ordnance were being drawn past on long, low-wheeled drays.  “Ah, massa, ye don’e know what ’em be,” said the old negro, pointing to them.  “Dem wa’ Massa South Ca’lina gwan to whip de ’Nited States wid Massa Goberna’ order ’em last year, an ‘e jus’ come.  Good masse gwan’ to fight fo’ we wid ’em.”  The poor old man seemed to take a great interest in the pieces of ordnance as they passed along, and to have inherited all the pompous ideas of his master.  The negroes about Charleston have a natural inclination for military tactics, and hundreds of ragged urchins, as well as old daddies and mammies, may be seen following the fife and drum on parade days.

“Then I suppose you’ve a home anywhere, and a master nowhere, old man?” said the Captain, shaking him by the hand, as one who had worn out his slavery to be disowned in the winter of life.


Copeland’s release, and Manuel’s close confinement.

The Captain of the Janson, finding that no dependence was to be placed upon the statements of the officials, after returning to his vessel, gave orders that Tommy should be sent to the jail every day with provisions for Manuel.  The task was a desirable one for Tommy, and every day about ten o’clock he might be seen trudging to the jail with a haversack under his arm.  There were five stewards confined in the cell, and for some days previous to this attention on the part of the Captain they had been reduced to the last stage of necessity.  The quantity may be considered as meagre when divided among so many, but added to the little things brought in by Jane, and presents from several of the crew of the Janson, they got along.  Still it was a dependence upon chance and charity, which any casual circumstance might affect.  For several days they made themselves as contented and happy as the circumstances would admit; and always being anxious to enjoy the privilege of their time in the yard, they would leave their cell together, and mix with the prisoners of their own color under the stoop.

After a few days, they found that their cell had been entered, and nearly all their provisions stolen.  Not contented with this, the act was repeated for several days, and all the means they provided to detect the thief proved fruitless.  The jailer made several searches through their remonstrances, but without effecting any thing.  They kept their provisions in a little box, which they locked with a padlock; but as Daley had the keys of the cell, they had no means of locking the door.  At length Manuel set

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Manuel Pereira from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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