* Louisa is a young, black woman who is returning home from a long day's work at Mr. and Mrs. Stone's home, her white employers.
* Louisa hums as she walks to her home among the shanties in a factory town.
* Louisa thinks about Bob Stone, the white son of Mr. and Mrs. Stone, and Tom Burwell, or "Big Tom," a black field hand. Both are in love with her and she is undecided as to which one she should commit.
* Louisa believes Bob is the better choice because he spends more time with her while Tom must work in the fields. She also feels Bob represents an opportunity to escape poverty because he is white, and Tom would tie her more to her current life.
* She is supposed to meet Bob in the cane fields in an hour, but suspects Tom is about to propose to her.
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