Sunday, August 29, 2010

Chapter Three

“Confederates fire on Fort Sumter, read all about it!” yelled a paperboy as he held up a copy of the Boston Daily Advertiser.
“That is horrible,” said Molly, passing the boy and his titanic pile of papers.
“Yes, it is horrible it had to come to this,” Sam agreed somberly, “and to think that out of all the states, it had to be South Carolina that started it.”
Over a year had passed since the two of them had conducted their first underground railroad route. Since then, much had been going on, and not all of it was good. South Carolina had seceded, soon followed by: Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas. President Lincoln was trying his best to keep the Union together, but now it had gone too far and war was starting to seem like one of the few options.
“I just wish there was something I could do about it,” said Molly.
“We all do Molly,” replied her brother lugubriously.
They turned onto Charleston Street and went a few more blocks to the public gardens. It was a mild April afternoon, and also the first day in weeks that the sun had come out, everybody was out walking around. Though, because of the dreary news of Fort Sumter everything was still more on the somber side.
As they walked down the paths and crossed the bridge across the pond in the gardens, they came to a light post. On the post was a recruiting poster, Molly had seen many of them before and not had a second thought about them, but something was different this time.
Sam looked quizzically at his sister, then, seeing the look on her face said, “Oh, Molly, no that would never work!”
“I can disguise myself as a boy, no one would recognize me, I can make it work.”
“You and your conspiratorial plotting, I’ll never see the end of it,” he said jokingly, trying to keep his argument light-hearted. Then, realizing that that would not work he said, “but what about the underground railroad route we are supposed to conduct?” trying not to sound desperate.
“Sam, there is no route, I can tell when you’re lying to protect me. And though I think it is admirable that you wish me to be safe, I also find it obnoxious, you thought I was able enough to make my own decisions about leaving home. That turned out to be a good idea.”
“That was much different.”
“Perhaps,” and with that she spun on her heel and began to continue walking, but not so fast that her handicapped brother could not catch up to her.

Since she had invited them the day before, that night Molly and Sam went to Diana’s inherited penthouse for dinner. As the casserole was being passed out, Molly told Diana of her idea.
“What do you think?” asked Molly.
“Well, I know you are not one to be going around making hasty decisions.”
“Sure she isn’t,” said Sam, his voice dripping with sarcasm.
“I mean,” continued Diana, “you’re a say-what-you-mean mean-what-you-say type of person, even if what you mean isn’t what other people want you mean,” she glanced over at Sam. “But,” she added, “it would be extremely risky. I wouldn’t do it, but if I were I’d take time for preparations.”
“You sound as though you plan to help her!” Sam exclaimed.
“I never said that.”
“What do you mean?” said Molly, disappointed.
“I mean that I don’t want you in some war before we know were it is headed.”
“But,” she started, then realizing as of now that her case was hopeless, she said, “Fine I’ll wait to see where the war is headed before I make any ‘hasty’ decisions.”

As it turned out, it was very hard to tell which way the war was headed. Many thought it would just be a few months, but it had now been two years since the firing on Fort Sumter, and still the war dragged on. During this time, Molly had brought up the subject of her enlisting many times, but each time Sam and Diana had a new excuse for her. She knew that they wanted her to keep waiting to go in until the war was over and she had no reason to and drop the subject entirely. After much thought and contemplation, she decided that if her words were not being listened to, her actions would.
Rain was pouring, the droplets of water came tumbling over the awnings of the many shops outside. Molly sat at the breakfast table, waiting for her brother. She had with her, a pair of scissors. Her brother came, still wiping the sleep from his eyes. He sat down and took up the newspaper Molly had brought him.
“What are the scissors for?” he yawned.
“My hair,” she answered simply.
“Oh, your hair,” Sam said drowsily, then realizing what she was saying, “What! Your hair?”
“That is correct.”
“But why?”
“How many soldiers do you know have long hair? Excuse me for answering a question with a question.”
“Oh come off it Molly!”
“Fine then, I guess I will just be the fashion disaster of the month then,” Molly took the scissors and a clump of hair in her hands, and was about to cut it when Sam finally gave in.
“Wait, fine I will help you, don’t you cut your hair yet. I guess there is no point of me trying to talk you out of it?”
“What have you been trying to do for the past two years.”
“I know, well, here let me help you out.”
After Sam had cut her hair down so that it looked like a boy’s, he took her to his wardrobe and selected some men’s clothes for her to wear. The siblings were roughly the same height, so the clothing fit Molly fine. They then went over to Diana’s, were they told her that Molly was going to go into the army.
“I figured we would not be able to persuade you to stay here forever,” Diana sighed, “I suppose he tried to talk you out of it one last time?”
“Surprisingly, no actually.”
“Well,” Diana’s eyes were starting to fill with tears, “promise to write.”
“I will.”
“Oh, and take this,” Diana held up a pendant of a four leafed clover on a piece of twine she had around her neck. “It was my grandfather’s good luck charm, he wore it when he came over from the old country.”
“ My goodness! this is beautiful, thank you so much Diana!” said Molly, placing it around her own neck.
“You are welcome, now what are you going to call yourself, you need a boy’s name.”
“I was thinking about Roger.”
“Terrific, God be with you, Roger,” at that moment the tears spilled over Diana’s cheeks, and she embraced her friend.
“Good-bye Diana.”
“Good-bye Molly.”
With that Roger went with her brother to sign up to fight for the Union in the Civil War. She had never seen Samuel cry before, but she swore that she saw him wipe a tear from his eyes as she left with the other new recruits. Though it could have just been the rain.

12th Massachusetts Outside Lewiston
Dear Brother,
I am taking my pen in hand to tell you that the army wasn’t everything I expected it to be. Ever since I received my uniform, we have been drilling day in and day out. Though drilling is in some ways good, seeing as I have challenge enough fitting in with everybody, and this puts everyone on a level playing field. I have been assigned to the 12th Massachusetts regiment.
I would like you to tell Diana that the lucky charm had already worked some magic! Despite my challenges, I have met and befriended a man named Tristen, who lived on a farm outside of Boston. He and I have a lot in common, and he was quite enthusiastic when I told him about our work on the underground railroad. I am sure that he would very much like to meet you when the war is over and we are relieved from our duties.
As always, your loving sister, Molly.

Two days after Molly sent her letter to Sam, she was sent to her first battle. Her regiment was sent down near a town called Gettysburg, and were positioned on a place named Oak Ridge.
“It is exciting is it not?” asked Tristen, as he and Roger sat under a tree. Chewing absent-mindedly on some hardtack.
“What is?”
“Finally being able to do something for the war! Actually fighting! Not just drilling and giving our friends and family the right to boast and say “Oh Tristen is in the army. Oh Roger is in the army.”
“Oh yes it is exciting,” said Molly, clearing her throat. Ever since she had been in the army she had found it difficult to keep her voice sounding boyish, but Tristen seemed none the wiser.
“You have been suffering from quite the cold Roger, what is it three weeks now? You had better get your voice back to normal or else everyone will start to think you’re a girl!” Tristen punched Molly on her shoulder playfully.
She threw her hardtack at him jokingly, but took the unintentional advice quite seriously.
“Ouch!,” he squawked upon impact, “that stuff really hurts.”
“You’d better toughen up Tristen,” warned Roger, “if a bullet hits you, you will be dead from the pain before you even lose one drop of blood if you let a piece of hardtack throw you off.
Suddenly, there was a bellow from a nearby officer, “soldiers prepare for battle, on the double-quick!”
Molly and Tristen stood up and ran to the place where the rest of the regiment was congregating into formation.
“It’s the Rebs!” one man cried.
Molly could feel her heart pounding inside her chest. She could see the Confederates gathering and preparing to exchange fire with her army; she was in the second row, with Tristen to her left. The order was given.
In battle, everything was chaos. Time seemed to slow down, and everything was in much more detail, like an unusually vivid dream. Molly had no knowing if five minutes had past, or five hours. After firing, she ran to the back of her line, shoving the ramrod down her gun. Her hands were trembling like aspen leaves in a particularly brisk wind. Within no time, she was parched for water, each time she bit into a packet containing her ammunition and bullet, the minuscule amount of gunpowder that got into her mouth sucked up her spit like a sponge does water.
Sweat was dripping down her brow and into her eyes when the retreat was ordered. They fell back, making their way to Cemetery Ridge. All of the smoke made it impossible to see anything clearly except the people in front of her, so Molly followed them. She looked back, and could barely see make out the silhouettes of the brave soldiers who gave their lives for the war, their bodies strewn on the field. Tears filled Molly’s eyes as she went on the double-quick with the rest of her colleagues on their fall back to Cemetery Ridge, meeting up with some ignonble skedaddlers on the way.
When she reached Cemetery Ridge she was relieved to find that Tristen was alive with barely a scratch on him. He offered her some water from a canteen, and she realized that she had never been so thankful for water in her entire life. Molly had half a mind to throw her arms around Tristen in gratitude, but then she realized that that probably was not something that Roger would do, so she just thanked him and said how happy she was that he was alive.
The next two days were far from uneventful. The next day, Molly found herself fighting again against another southern regiment. With all the adrenaline rushing through her veins from the day prior, she had barely gotten any sleep, but now was no time to be tired.
Time dragged by and the guns fired,all Molly heard was the rhythm of metallic ramrod and bursting fire in a hostile symphony, infused with the cries of the wounded. Each time she faced the shooting line, Molly felt as though she would faint. Each time she stood their in the front line firing, her life would flash before her eyes, yet no bullet touched her.
I never wanted to be in battle if I knew this is what it would be like. Thought Molly.
When the guns finally ceased to fire, there was a meal of bacon and peaches (courtesy of a family farm several miles away).
The battle lasted for a third day, and the 12th Massachusetts was sent down to join another group of regiments to fight against some Rebs, who in a desperate last act, sent many, many men in a charge. ‘Picket’s Charge’, it would later be known as, that is where they were at last defeated. Not to say that they did not admit defeat without a good fight though. It seemed like a miracle to Molly that the only injuries she suffered were a twisted ankle, and a scrap on her cheek where a bullet had grazed it.
When it was finally over, and the Union had claimed victory, Molly collapsed to her knees, the past few days exhaustion catching up to her. And when Tristen found his friend, Roger, sitting on the grass, he went to join him. After a silence Roger said, “maybe drilling isn’t so bad after all.”

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Chapter Two

The chill had a tangible edge to it in the rough Boston winter. It crept down Molly’s spine, as she pulled her fur coat more closely around her. It had been several years since Sam had first told her about the abolitionists. Since then, when Sam had first returned to Harvard they had kept in touch by letter, and he informed her upon everything the abolitionists said.
Finally, Sam had graduated, but soon afterward when Sam returned home, he started up a heated argument about how he did not want to run the plantation. Sam said it was because he had fallen in love with Boston, and though that was probably true, Molly knew it was because she knew her brother would have nothing to do with owning slaves. He did not stay long, two days later, he couldn’t take the constant quarreling any longer and took off back to Boston, where he said he had gotten a job in accounting.
Molly had waited several weeks for her father to calm down from the situation, and then asked if she could go up to Boston to visit Sam. She had told him that she would try to persuade him to change his mind and come back (though that was not at all what she planned to do). It had taken some time, but when Sam had shone up for the winter holidays, Molly believed her father would say yes. After a very long conversation, her father had said that she could go with Sam to Boston for two weeks in January. Though it turned out to be much longer than that.
They had arrived a few days earlier, and the first thing Sam did was give Molly the grand tour of Boston. He took her to the public gardens and Faneuil hall and the Charles river. All the while telling her the history of each of the places they went. Now, on their third day there, Sam was taking Molly to a meeting held by the abolitionists, which Molly had highly anticipated.
As the speaker walked onto the podium, Sam leaned over to Molly from his seat and whispered, “that is Barry Collins, he always gives the first speech. He’s the owner of this warehouse we are in, and he started this particular congregation.”
“I see,” replied Molly.
“Thank you all for coming,” said Mr. Collins in a spirited baritone voice. “First of all, I would like to announce that word has reached me that Mr. Hogan has just successfully conducted a group of slaves on the underground railroad and is just now returning. The letter I received said that he should arrive back in a week or so.”
“What is the underground railroad?” Molly asked her brother.
“The underground railroad is a group of people who lead slaves north from their plantations to freedom.”
“Oh,” said Molly. She was about to ask more when Mr. Collins began to speak again.
He spoke of slavery and said many things about why it was wrong and that it should be abolished as soon as possible. His voice rang out from the podium like a roar from a lion. He was a very good speaker. The points he made were followed by enthusiastic applause.
The meeting went on for several more hours and Molly listened intently all the while. After the meeting was over, everyone had stood up to leave. Sam lead Molly through the crowd towards the podium, his cane making a tap-tapping sound on the cold stone floor of the low roofed warehouse.
“Sam, where are we going?” asked Molly.
“There’s a friend of mine that I want you to meet,” answered Sam
When they reached the podium, most of the people had filed out, except for two figures: one was Mr. Collins, the other was a lady that Molly did not recognize. The two of them were talking.
“Excuse me,” Sam said.
The people who were talking looked up. “Oh, hello Sam!” said the lady.
“Hello Diana, how have you been?”
“I have been quite well thank you, who is this?” said Diana, indicating Molly.
“This is my sister, Molly. She is visiting with me from our home in South Carolina. Molly, this is Diana, she is a good friend of mine.”
“You’re Molly? Well it is wonderful to finally meet you, Sam has told me so much about you.”
“It is nice to meet you as well,” said Molly, who was about to point out to her brother that he had not mentioned Diana in any of his letters, but then, knowing her brother thought better of it.
“Diana, I was wondering if you wished to join Molly and me for dinner tonight?” asked Sam.
“You know I would love to, but I am attending a dinner meeting with Robert Crawford, the wealthy abolitionist that funds most of our conventions. You could come if you would like. Robert knows you Sam, he would be delighted!”
“That sounds interesting,” said Molly, “may we go Sam?”
“Of course, it sounds quite intriguing. We’ll be there,” confirmed Sam.
“Alright, see you there then. It starts at six. Sam, you have been to Mr. Crawford’s house before have you not? You remember how to get there, right?”
“See you later then, good bye.”
“Good bye,” said Sam and Molly simultaneously. Sam stood there for a moment, looking a bit hazy eyed, dreamy. Molly rolled her eyes dramatically, “come on,” she told her brother before walking toward the door.
Sam and Molly arrived at five fifty in the evening at Robert Crawford’s house. It was cold and grey outside. The clouds hung low over the city like a wet blanket, and the two of them couldn’t wait to get inside.
“What is Mr. Crawford’s profession? How did he come into all of his money?” asked Molly after a butler with very rosy cheeks had ushered them inside.
“No one really knows, although there are are plenty of rumors, none of them at all probable though,” replied Sam as he sat himself down in a chair in the lobby where everybody was waiting. Diana arrived a few minutes later and the three of them began talking. Diana seemed particularly interested in how two people, who for their whole lives had been told that slavery was good, were now against it.
“I do not know why I have never asked you this before Sam,” said Diana, “it is really quite peculiar, in a good way mind you.”
Before they could respond, there was an announcement that everybody should start entering the dining hall. Soon afterward, a man with a large brown beard walked in and sat down, gesturing to butlers with silver platters to come and serve his guests.
Their dinner of chicken, mashed potatoes, and fillet of cod was served steaming hot and smelled delicious. Molly was about to take a bite of the fish when she had an idea. “Sam, I have been thinking, every moment that I am in the company of abolitionists, I just feel so angry about what Father is doing, having slaves and all. And I want to do something about it. It makes me want to conduct the underground railroad and free our father’s slaves, especially Tess, our old nurse, remember?”
Sam choked on a mouthful of mashed potatoes, “what has gotten into you Molly, do you ever think before you speak? Do you not realize what that could do to us? Once our parents found out it was us, they would never forgive us, I want to end slavery too, but I am not sure that I am ready to completely betray our family to do it.”
“But it is what’s right.”
“What, betraying out parents?”
“No, giving other human beings the chance to live as such.”
Those words stroke a chord within Sam. That was what abolition was all about, right? But could a cause, even as important as this one, be worth severing family connections? Sam was already not really on speaking terms with his father, but for Molly’s sake. Molly can make her own decisions though, thought Sam. Finally, he said, “I do see your point Molly, yet still, I don’t know the underground railroad well enough to find the safe houses and such.”
“I am sure that Mr. Crawford could help you with that.”
“I suppose, but you do realize that you would have to sever your connections to our family. I already have, but you are due back in a week or so, the railroad takes much longer than that.”
Molly was silent for for a moment, then she said, “ I suppose it might be difficult, but I never liked our stepmother that much. And my whole life I have felt that Father was my caretaker, but he was never really warm to me, if I run off, he’ll assume that I am staying with you and working at a factory.”
“Is that a yes?”
“It is.”
When the group was done with dinner they went out to the sitting room, and socialized. The men pouring brandy from crystal decanters and lighting up thick brown cigars imported from many different locations. Few of them American. While the women complimented each others clothing and gossiped. Molly and Sam approached Mr. Crawford and asked him about the organization of a route from their plantation to Canada, and he was only too happy to help.
A little more than three weeks later, Molly and Sam were ready. They went down with another conductor, David Thomson, a former escaped slave himself who knew the routes better than anybody. Sam, due to his bad leg, would be taking a group of ten slaves in a carriage. Whereas Molly and David would take another group of fifteen on foot. Taking the slaves who worked in the house would be to difficult to get past the guards, seeing as there quarters were a mere stone’s throw away from the mansion. Instead, they were to bring all twenty-five of the tobacco workers who lived on the east most slave quarters.
Then, when all were informed and ready, they set off in the light of the full moon. Molly felt guilty that she could not bring Monica, but the house servants had an easier life than the field workers, she had heard her father say so herself. And Molly felt hopeful that one day all slaves would be free, a practice as evil as slavery could not last forever.
The dirt road in front of them seemed regal almost, with the moonlight bathing it. As they set off both Molly and Sam looked back, not knowing if they’d ever see the house. As they started there way to Canada, they felt that they were shedding an old history, a history of naïvete. And they felt stronger because of it.

Friday, August 13, 2010

War is Not a Game of Chess

Two years ago, my school had me write a novella on the civl war. Now I am going to reedit it and post it chapter by chapter. It's funny, how when you look at your work after several years the first thing you think is 'Red pen, someone get me a red pen! How did I not put a period there, Holy Moly, I just repeated that sentence!' And then,'boy, do I have a lot of work to do.' Of course I didn't have a lot of time to edit it the first time I wrote it, seeing as the deadlines were a bit shorter than I would have liked. But no more, I am doing this on my own free time now! Yay!

Chapter One
The songbirds chirped, as the sun rose in the pink morning sky casting a silhouette against the Douglas mansion. Smells of eggs and blackberry pancakes wafted up from the kitchen; occasional livestock brayed. Flowers in the courtyard bloomed, as the summer light kissed their glossy petals. Nothing, it seemed could disturb this, the most peaceful hour of the day, thought Molly, as she lay in her bed allowing her senses to wonder. Then with a jolt she remembered, and sat upright in her four poster and said in a hushed tone, “Sam is coming home today.” Sam was her brother, her closest brother, in age and in relationship.
When Molly was four and Sam was five, their mother, Barbara Douglas, died of scarlet fever. Three years later their father remarried Maggie Johnson, with whom he had the rest of the six Douglas children. During those years Molly and Sam had become quite close. Their nurse at the time, Tessa, said they were as alike as two peas in a pod. Molly had always liked Tessa, she was much friendlier than some of her father’s other slaves. They all treated her with respect, but some had a wariness that unnerved her.
When the pink tinges of dawn started to fade, Molly decided it was time to get up. She washed her face in a basin, pouring the water from a white pitcher painted with purple pansies. Then she woke Monica, her personal servant (though she was really just one of Mr. Douglas’s slaves). She told Monica to help her dress into a periwinkle blue dress made out of cotton from one of her cousin’s farms.
As soon as the last lace was tied, Molly was surprised to hear the sound of hooves and wheels on gravel. She ran to her window and saw a carriage pulling up the drive. Without wasting another second, Molly hurriedly made her way through her bedroom door, down the hallway and two flights of stairs, Monica bustling behind her.
Dress swishing, Molly finally reached the foyer and swung open the oak double doors, not expecting to find that the rest of her family already outside and waiting. “What is happening? Sam is not supposed to arrive until noon.”
“Samuel managed to catch a train that came in at six a.m. and apparently he saw the Atkinsons, and they sent one of their slaves to inform me that I should send someone to pick him up,” replied Molly’s father in his usual gruff and formal tone.
“Alright,” said Molly, “but still, why did you not wake me, Papa?”
“You are still recovering from that horrible summer cold. We thought it would be best for you to sleep in, Dear,” answered her stepmother, in her all too sweet voice which had annoyed Molly for years.
“I feel much better now though, Ma’am.”
“That is good, I am glad that you are feeling better,” said her stepmother wistfully, staring into space, indifferent to her stepson’s homecoming.

Horses hooves clomped, while Sam looked out the window of his father’s carriage. he rolled his cane back and forth with the palms of his hands in anticipation of seeing his family, Molly especially.
For the past few months he had been studying at Harvard. Personally, Sam was not at all interested in going to college first thing after being finished with his tutor, but when he had mentioned living abroad and then coming back for his education to his father, he had been scolded and his father had told him “you are not going anywhere. You will run my plantation some day and you are going to get an education before you do!” Sam did agree that education was important, but like so many things between his father and him, he only agreed with half of it. Maybe he was supposed to do more with his life then run a tobacco plantation. Sure, he would make a large amount of money, but perhaps money was not the only thing that was important in life.
There was something that he did not agree with his father about at all though, something he had learned about when he had been in Cambridge, Massachusetts: slavery. Growing up on a plantation, he had always been around slavery, but then he had always been naïve, and he had figured it was natural to have slaves. He had never thought much of it. When he was in Cambridge though, he had stumbled across a group of people called abolitionists, who were against slavery. He was intrigued by the concept, so Sam stayed for a couple of meetings and realized his father, who had many slaves, was a person who, in Sam’s opinion, was someone he would never want to be like or take after. Slavery was now another reason he didn’t want to run his father’s plantation. Sam was not in denial that the cheap labor was the reason that the plantation was still going, and he knew that his father knew it too. Sam would never look at that man the same way again.
I need to tell Molly about this. She should know, she shouldn’t have to be naïve like I was! Thought Sam.
Sam’s carriage pulled onto the drive that led to the mansion where he had lived throughout his childhood, and several other formidably sized neighboring farms. None of them as large as his family’s plantation though. Despite all the thoughts whirling relentlessly around his head, Sam could not help but admire the beautiful summer morning that South Carolina always seemed to produce. He loved the way the rays of sun hit the willows that his grandfather had planted by Williams Creek as a boy. Beams of light hit his carriage as two large, chestnut horses pulled it past.
Sam knew he was drawing close to the end of the drive and nearing his home when the dirt road was replaced with gravel, and he passed through the gates with the sign that had the words Douglas Tobacco Plantation engraved on it. Then the carriage pulled around the circular island with a statue of a bald eagle perched on a stump. There the carriage stopped and Sam could see the front view of his house and on the entrance steps stood every member of his family: his father, stepmother, stepsiblings, his father’s mother, and Molly. I am finally home!

“Samuel!” said Mr. Douglas, greeting his son with enthusiasm.
“Father!’ replied Sam, aided by his cane walked to take the extended hand offered by his father.
Sam required the use of a cane because when he was eight, he had gone into the orchard and climbed the largest, oldest cherry tree there to steal some of the ripened fruit. After awhile he started his way down when a bird flew out of what seemed like nowhere and startled Sam so much that he fell out of the tree and plummeted to the earth a good eighteen feet down. The result was a shattered leg and a sprained wrist. All things considered, he was extremely lucky, the leg did not even need to be amputated, but he would need a cane to walk for the rest of his life.
When Sam had finished greeting everybody they all went inside to have a breakfast of eggs and blackberry pancakes.
“Will you pass the butter please Molly? I’m starved,” asked Sam.
“Yes, of course,” giggled Molly, watching her brother pile pancakes onto his plate.
“How long will you stay with us? Are you out for the summer?” Asked Sam’s stepmother, Maggie.
“Yes, I am staying here the rest of the summer. My goodness, do I have stories to tell you all,” was Sam’s reply.
“Over dinner perhaps?” suggested Maggie.
“That sounds good to me,” said Sam.
“I love it when everybody is home,” said John, Sam’s ten-year-old stepbrother.
“Me too,” added Molly, “me too.”

The summer flew by, but it didn’t really feel like summer to Sam, everyday his father had him woken early and went around preparing and teaching Sam how to run the plantation. with the days being so busy, Sam did not have time to see Molly or tell her about his time with the abolitionists, so when he finally got a break on the last week before he was scheduled to head depart for Harvard.
“Can I talk to you Molly?” he asked.
“Of course Sam,” she replied, “just let me tie this off.”
Sam waited patiently as she tied the thread of some needlework she had been doing so it would not come out. Then he led her over to the pond that was on the eastern side of their property.
“Sam, what is all this about?” inquired Molly.
“Well I have not seen you very much this summer and while I was in Cambridge... I learned some things that I thought I should tell you, things that you would not hear about around here,” said Sam, peaking Molly’s interest.
“Alright, I’m listening.”
Sam proceeded to tell Molly about everything that the abolitionists had talked about, and how he had gone to their meetings, and - in a way - had become one of them.
Even though she was a girl and many of the people Sam knew had always told him that girls brains’ were smaller then boys so they could not understand as much, Molly was one of the smartest people Sam knew. And that was after attended Harvard University.
When he finished telling her everything, it was super time was drawing close and the sun was low in the sky. Sam looked at his sister, who was deep in though. At long last she said. “I had never thought about it like that before, slavery, I mean. It does make sense though, but if it is as bad as I am inclined to believe it is, why would Father allow it.”
“I have been trying to figure that out myself,” said Sam, he paused for a moment and then, turning his mind from his father, added, “when I go back to Cambridge, I will find out more. I was only there for a few meetings, so I wouldn’t mention anything about this to Father. You know how he gets when people criticize him.”
Molly nodded. “I just never thought anything Father would ever do was bad.”
“Well, Father is a stubborn man, and he grew up around slavery, so I guess it is just what he’s used to.”
“I suppose, but so were we,” Molly pointed out.
“That is true...” Sam trailed off, then sighed, “I guess we should head on up to the homestead, it’ll be super soon.”
Molly agreeing, they started trudging up the hill that led back to their house. As they neared, they lifted their noses to the wind like two of their father’s bloodhounds, and picked up the aromas of roasted meat and potatoes coming to greet them.