“I wish I could say good-bye to Grace,” said Sylvia as she went down the steps of the porch. She was all ready to enter the carriage when she heard her name called: “Sylvia! Sylvia!” and Grace came flying up the path.
“Grace! Grace!” responded Sylvia, and for a moment the two little girls, “Yankee” and southern girl, clung closely together, while the noise of the echoing guns from the forts boomed over the harbor.
“We will always be friends, won’t we, Sylvia?” said Grace; and Sylvia responded “Always.” Then with one more good-bye kiss Grace turned and ran back to Mammy Esther. She had persuaded her mother to bring her to Charleston that she might bid Sylvia good-bye, and now they would hasten back to the country, for Charleston might be attacked by United States ships of war, and was no longer a place of safety.
The Fultons now entered the carriage. Aunt Connie and Estralla were the only members of the party who were smiling and happy. To Estralla it was the most wonderful day of her life. She was free. And with her mammy and her Missy Sylvia she was starting for a world where little colored girls could go to school, just as white children did, and never be bought or sold. She looked at Sylvia with adoring eyes.
“What are you thinking of, Estralla?” asked Sylvia.
Estralla leaned close to her “true fr’en’” and whispered: “I was a-t’inkin’ ‘bout my breakin’ of de pitcher, an’ a-spillin’ de hot water, Missy Sylvia. You took my part den, Missy, an’ you’se allers taken my part. My mammy say she bress de Lord dat you came to Charleston.”
Sylvia smiled back at the little colored girl. For a moment she forgot the booming of the distant guns, and remembered only her friends and the happy days she had spent in her southern home.
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