The Interesting Narrative and Other Writings - Chapter 6 Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 6 Summary and Analysis

Equiano relates a couple of strange events on the island. There is first a place called "Brimstone Hill" which is riddled with ponds full of boiling water. Equiano also relates a time when he feels the earth shake in the middle of the night and thinks it is ghosts; he is later told it is an earthquake, which he has never experienced.

At the end of 1763, Equiano begins serving on the ship of a Captain Thomas Farmer. Farmer likes Equiano's work ethic so much that he badgers Equiano's master to let him voyage with him on his trading journeys around the islands. The master (King) relents, and soon Equiano is once more a sailor.

For the next four years he spends his years sailing with Farmer. During this time he conducts a small but profitable merchant business. Starting with the purchase of one tumbler, he buys items and then sells them for more than the purchase price on another island. Though there is a stigma against slaves owning anything whatsoever—Equiano relates a time when two white men simply take hard-earned bags of fruit from him—Captain Farmer for the most part protects Equiano's interests. Equiano earns a few pounds with his merchant business—an amazing amount of money for a slave.

Meanwhile, Equiano dreams of escaping slavery. He hires the first mate of the vessel to teach him navigation, in the chance he might have any opportunity to escape slavery by sailing away in the ship. However, when given the opportunity, Equiano does not steal Captain Farmer's ship, as he is ambivalent towards the man.

One day, King, Equiano's master, and Captain Farmer confront Equiano, stating that King will sell Equiano because they heard he intends to run away. Equiano swears he had no such intentions, and Captain Farmer confirms that there were many opportunities in which Equiano could have run away but did not. It turns out the first mate is trying to get Equiano in trouble by spreading a lie about his intention to run away. King is then convinced of Equiano's honesty, and in fact gives him additional goods to sell in Equiano's long quest to buy his freedom. Equiano is allowed to take a trip to Philadelphia, which Equiano has been excited about since meeting King.

Equiano sells goods in Philadelphia and makes quite a profit. He also visits a prophet of sorts, Mrs. Davis, who claims she can see the future. She tells him he is not long for slavery, and Equiano rejoices at the news.

While on travels between Montserrat, Philadelphia, and Georgia, Equiano has several brushes with death. He gets the ague in Georgia and nearly dies before recovering.

This section contains 458 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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