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Title: Watch and Wait - or The Young Fugitives
Author: Optic, Oliver, 1822-1897
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Watch and Wait - or The Young Fugitives" ***

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[Illustration: CYD HAS A BAD FIT. Page 196.]



 WOODVILLE STORIES

 BY

 OLIVER OPTIC



 WATCH AND WAIT.



 BOSTON.
 LEE & SHEPARD.



 WATCH AND WAIT;

 OR,

 THE YOUNG FUGITIVES.



 A Story for Young People.

 BY

 OLIVER OPTIC,

 AUTHOR OF "THE BOAT CLUB," "ALL ABOARD," "NOW OR NEVER," "TRY
 AGAIN," "POOR AND PROUD," "LITTLE BY LITTLE," "RICH AND
 HUMBLE," "IN SCHOOL AND OUT," "THE SOLDIER BOY,"
 "THE RIVERDALE STORY BOOKS," ETC.



 BOSTON:
 LEE AND SHEPARD,
 (SUCCESSORS TO PHILLIPS, SAMPSON & CO.)
 1868.



 Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1864, by
 WILLIAM T. ADAMS,
 In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the
   District of Massachusetts.



 ELECTROTYPED AT THE
 BOSTON STEREOTYPE FOUNDRY,
 4 Spring Lane.



 TO

 WALTER F. POPE

 This Book

 IS AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED

 BY HIS UNCLE.



 THE WOODVILLE STORIES.

 IN SIX VOLUMES.

 LIBRARY FOR BOYS AND GIRLS.

 BY OLIVER OPTIC.

 1. RICH AND HUMBLE.

 2. IN SCHOOL AND OUT.

 3. WATCH AND WAIT.

 4. WORK AND WIN.

 5. HOPE AND HAVE.

 6. HASTE AND WASTE.



PREFACE.


However much the author of "WATCH AND WAIT" may sympathize with
that portion of the population of our country to which the principal
characters of the story belong, he is forced to acknowledge that his
book was not written in the interests of the anti-slavery cause. His
young friends require stirring incidents of him, and the inviting field
of adventure presented by the topic he has chosen was the moving spring
which brought the work into existence; and if the story shall kindle any
new emotion of sympathy for the oppressed and enslaved, it will have
more than answered the purpose for which it was intended, and the writer
will be all the more thankful for this happy influence.

As a story of exciting adventure, the writer hopes it will satisfy all
his young readers; that they will love the gentle Lily, respect the
manly independence of Dan, and smile at the oddities of Cyd; and that
the book will confirm and increase their love of liberty and their
hatred of tyranny. If the young fugitives were resolute, even to
shedding the blood of the slave-hunter, they had forgiving and Christian
hearts, in which there was neither malice nor revenge; and in this
respect, if in no other, they are worthy exemplars for the young and the
old.

With this explanation, I give the third volume of the Woodville Stories
into the hands of my young friends, bespeaking for it the same favor
which has been bestowed upon its predecessors.

 WILLIAM T. ADAMS.

 DORCHESTER, August 15, 1864.



CONTENTS.
                                                       PAGE

 CHAP. I.--The Plantation of Redlawn                     11

 CHAP. II.--The Edith goes down to Green Point           21

 CHAP. III.--Master Archy receives an Unlucky Blow       31

 CHAP. IV.--Dandy determines to "watch and wait."        41

 CHAP. V.--The Tragedy at the "Dead Oak."                51

 CHAP. VI.--A Vision of the Promised Land                62

 CHAP. VII.--The Isabel is prepared for a Cruise         73

 CHAP. VIII.--The Departure of the Young Fugitives       84

 CHAP. IX.--The Fugitives reach Lake Chicot              95

 CHAP. X.--Breakfast on board the Isabel                107

 CHAP. XI.--The Bay of the Bloodhounds                  117

 CHAP. XII.--Quin, the Runaway                          128

 CHAP. XIII.--The Night Chase on the Lake               139

 CHAP. XIV.--The Battle for Freedom                     152

 CHAP. XV.--The Fate of the Slave-Hunters               164

 CHAP. XVI.--In the Swamp                               176

 CHAP. XVII.--Cyd has a Bad Fit                         187

 CHAP. XVIII.--The Affray on the Lake                   199

 CHAP. XIX.--Lily on the Watch                          211

 CHAP. XX.--Preparing for the Voyage                    220

 CHAP. XXI.--Down the Lake                              229

 CHAP. XXII.--The Isabel runs the Gantlet               241

 CHAP. XXIII.--Colonel Raybone changes his Tone         252

 CHAP. XXIV.--The Young Fugitives make a Harbor         264



WATCH AND WAIT.



WATCH AND WAIT;

OR,

THE YOUNG FUGITIVES.



CHAPTER I.

THE PLANTATION OF REDLAWN.


One soft summer evening, when Woodville was crowned with the glory and
beauty of the joyous season, three strangers presented themselves before
the Grant family, and asked for counsel and assistance. The party
consisted of two boys and a girl, and they belonged to that people which
the traditions of the past have made the "despised race;" but the girl
was whiter and fairer than many a proud belle who would have scorned her
in any other capacity than that of a servant; and one of the boys was
very nearly white, while the other was as black as ebony undefiled. They
were fugitives and wanderers from the far south-west; and the story
which they told to Mr. Grant and his happy family will form the
substance of this volume.

       *       *       *       *       *

The plantation of Colonel Baylie Raybone was situated on one of the
numerous bayous which form a complete network of water communications in
the western part of the parish of Iberville, in the State of Louisiana.
The "colonel," whose military title was only a courtesy accorded to his
distinguished position, was a man of immense possessions, and
consequently of large influence. His acres and his negroes were numbered
by thousands, and he was largely engaged in growing sugar and rice. The
estate on which he resided went by the name of Redlawn. His mansion was
palatial in its dimensions, and was furnished in a style of regal
magnificence.

The region in which Redlawn was situated was a low country, subject to
inundation in the season of high water. The sugar plantation was located
on a belt of land not more than a mile in width, upon the border of the
bayou, which, contrary to the usual law, was higher ground than portions
farther from the river. The lower lands were used for the culture of
rice, which, our young readers know, must be submerged during a part of
the year.

A short distance from the splendid mansion of the princely planter was a
large village of negro huts, where the "people" of the estate resided.
As Colonel Raybone was a liberal and progressive man, the houses of the
negroes were far superior to those found upon many of the plantations of
the South. They were well built, neatly white-washed, and no doubt the
negroes who dwelt in them regarded it as a fortunate circumstance that
they were the slaves of Colonel Raybone.

Along the front of the negro hamlet, and of the mansion house, ran the
public highway, while in the rear of them, and at a distance of nearly
half a mile, was the bayou, which was generally called the "Crosscut,"
because it joined two larger rivers. At the foot of a gravel walk,
leading from the mansion down to the bayou, was a pier, upon which was
built a tasty summer house, after the style of a Chinese pagoda, so that
the planter and his family could enjoy the soft breezes that swept over
the surface of the stream. There they spent many of their summer
evenings; and truly it was a delightful place.

Fastened to the pier were several small boats, including a light wherry,
and a four-oar race boat. Moored in the middle of the stream lay a large
sail boat, in which the planter often made long trips for pleasure; for,
by the network of rivers with which the bayou was connected, he could
explore a vast tract of country, and even reach the Red River on the
north, and the Gulf of Mexico on the south.

The family that dwelt in the "great house," as the negroes called the
mansion, were Colonel Raybone, his wife, and two children. The planter
himself was a genial, pleasant man, when nothing disturbed him; but he
was quick and impulsive, and exacted the homage due to his position from
his inferiors. Mrs. Raybone was an easy, indolent woman, who would
submit to injury rather than endure the effort required to redress it.

Master Archibald Raybone, his older child, was a youth of fifteen, and
was as much like his father as Miss Edith, a young lady of fourteen, was
like her mother. Archy, as he was familiarly called by black and white,
was fond of having his own way; and, as long as it did not conflict with
that of his imperious father, he was indulged to the fullest extent.
Miss Edith was fond of repose, and could not even speak French or play
upon the piano, because it was too much trouble to obtain these
accomplishments, though private tutors had labored sedulously for
several years to meet the exigencies of the case.

Besides those who were properly members of the family, there was a small
army of servants, ranging from the purest white to the blackest black;
all slaves, of course. There were cooks, laundresses, waiters, valets,
lackeys, coachmen, body-servants, and lady's-maids; every kind of
servitor which ingenuity could devise or luxury demand. Master Archy had
a body-servant, and Miss Edith had a lady's-maid. As these individuals
are important personages in our story, we must give our young friends a
better idea of who and what they were.

The body-servant of the son and heir was a youth of sixteen. He was
nearly white, his complexion being very slightly tinted with the yellow
hue of the mulatto. He was tall of his age, and exceedingly well formed.
As the servant and companion of Master Archy, of course it was necessary
that he should make a good appearance; and he was always well dressed,
and managed his apparel with singularly good taste and skill. His name
was Daniel; but his graceful form and excellent taste in dress had
caused his name to be corrupted from "Dan," by which short appellative
he had formerly been called, into "Dandy," and this was now the only
name by which he was known on the plantation.

Dandy was a boy of good parts. He could read and write, and had a better
understanding of the ordinary branches of knowledge than his young
master, for Archy was always attended by his body-servant when engaged
in his studies. Though no efforts had been wasted upon the "chattel," he
had learned the lessons better than the son and heir, upon whose
education a small fortune had been lavished. Dandy was quick to see and
comprehend what Archy had to have explained to him over and over again.
Though the slave was prudent enough to conceal his attainments, he was
wise enough to profit by the opportunities which were afforded to him.
In the solitude of his chamber, while his young master slept, he
diligently used the books he had privately secured for study. And the
instructions of the tutor were not wasted upon him, though he often
seemed to be asleep during the lessons. He listened and remembered; he
pondered and reasoned.

Dandy's mother was dead. She had been a house servant of Colonel
Raybone. It was said that she had become refractory, and had been sold
in New Orleans; but the son had only a faint remembrance of her. Of his
father he knew nothing. Though he had often asked about him, he could
obtain no information. If the people in the house knew any thing of
him, they would not tell the inquisitive son. Such was Dandy, the
body-servant of Master Archy. He led an easy life, having no other
occupation than that of pleasing the lordly young heir of Redlawn.

Miss Edith's lady's-maid was whiter and fairer than her young mistress.
The keenest observer could detect no negro characteristic in her looks
or her manner. So fair and white was she, that her mistress had given
her the name of "Lily." And yet she was a slave, and that which made her
fascinating to the eye had given her a value which could be estimated
only in thousands of dollars. Of her father and mother Lily knew
nothing. One of her companions in bondage told her that she had been
bought, when a child, on board of a Red River steamboat. That was all
she knew, and all she ever was to know. Those who are familiar with the
slave system of the South can surmise who and what she was.

Miss Edith was indolent, but she was sour and petulant, and poor Lily's
daily life was not a bed of roses. All day long she had to stand by her
exacting young mistress, obey her slightest gesture, and humor all her
whims. Though she was highly valued as a piece of property by her owner,
she had only one real friend in the wide world--a cold, desolate, and
dreary world to her, though her lot was cast in the midst of the sweet
flowers and bright skies of the sunny south--only one friend, and that
was Dandy. He knew how hard it was to indulge all the caprices of a
wayward child; how hard it was to be spurned and insulted by one who was
his inferior in mind and heart.

Dandy had another friend, though the richest treasures of his friendship
were bestowed upon the fair and gentle Lily. A wild, rollicking,
careless piece of ebony, a pure negro, was his other friend. He was a
stable boy, and one of the crew who pulled the four-oar race boat, when
Master Archy chose to indulge in an excursion upon the water. His
master, who in his early years had made the acquaintance of the
classics, had facetiously named him Thucydides--a long, hard word, which
no negro would attempt to utter, and which the white folks were too
indolent to manage. The name, therefore, had been suitably contracted,
and this grinning essence of fun and frolic was called "Cyd"--with no
reference, however, to the distinguished character of Spanish history.
But Cyd was a character himself, and had no need to borrow any of the
lustre of Spain or Greece. He shone upon his own account.

With this introduction to Redlawn, and those who lived there, our
readers are prepared to embark with us in the story of the young
fugitives.



CHAPTER II.

THE EDITH GOES DOWN TO GREEN POINT.


"Shove off!" said Master Archy, in the most dignified manner, as he sunk
upon the velvet cushions in the stern sheets of the four-oar boat.

"Shove off!" repeated Dandy, who, as coxswain of the boat, was charged
with the execution of the orders delivered by his imperial master.

Cyd, who was the bow oarsman, opened his mouth from ear to ear,
displaying a dual set of ivories which a dentist would have been proud
to exhibit as specimens of his art, and with a vigorous thrust of the
boat-hook, forced the light craft far out into the stream, thus
disturbing the repose of a young alligator which was sunning himself
upon a snag. Cyd was fond of the water, and had no taste for the various
labors that were required of him about the house and stable. He was
delighted with the prospect of a sail on the river; and being a slave,
and not permitted to express his views in the ordinary way, he did so by
distending his mouth into a grin which might have intimidated the
alligator on the log.

"Toss!" added Dandy; and up went the four oars of the rowers.

"Let fall!" and with a precision which would have been creditable to the
crew of a commodore's barge, the blades struck the water as one.

"Give way!" and the boat dashed down the stream, impelled by the
vigorous strokes of the dusky oarsmen.

The crew were boys of sixteen, or thereabouts, selected from the hands
on the plantation with reference to their size and muscular development.
They were clothed in white duck pants, blue cotton frocks, trimmed with
white, and wore uniform straw hats, encircled by black bands, upon which
was inscribed, in gilt letters, the name of the boat, "Edith," in
compliment to the young boatman's sister.

The Edith was a magnificent craft, built in New York, and fitted,
furnished, and ornamented without regard to cost. Colonel Raybone had a
nephew who was a passed-midshipman in the navy, who, while on a visit to
Redlawn, had instructed the crew in the elements of boating. The black
boys did not regard their labors as work, and took so much pride in
making themselves proficient in their duties, that they might well have
challenged comparison with the best boat club in the country.

Master Archy was very dignified and magnificent as he reclined in the
stern of the beautiful craft. He said nothing, and of course the
coxswain, who sat behind him, was not privileged to say any thing. It
was his duty to speak when he was spoken to, and with a keen eye he
watched the progress of the boat, as she cut her way through the
sluggish waters of the bayou.

Dandy, as we have before remarked, was a youth of quick parts, and under
the scientific instruction of Mr. Midshipman Raybone, he had thoroughly
mastered the art of boating, not only in its application to row boats,
but also in reference to sailing craft; and there was no person on the
place more skilful in the management of the schooner than the
body-servant of Master Archy.

The Edith flew on her course, frightening from their repose the herons
and the alligators that were enjoying the sunshine of the bright spring
morning. Master Archy did speak sometimes, but this morning he was
unusually taciturn. He seemed to be brooding over something: those who
did not know him might have supposed that he was thinking; but the son
and heir of Redlawn did not often give himself up to meditation in its
higher sense. It was more likely that he was wondering what he should do
next, for time hung heavy on his hands. He had nothing to do but amuse
himself, and he had completely exhausted his slender ingenuity in
devising new amusements.

"Stop her," said he, languidly, after the boat had gone about two miles.

Dandy obeyed the order without a question, and the Edith soon floated
listlessly on the water, waiting the pleasure of her magnificent owner.

"Back to the pier," added Archy; and under the orders of her skilful
coxswain, she was put about, and darted up the river on her return.

The shining ebony face of the great Athenian philosopher's namesake
looked glum and discontented. He was not satisfied with the order; but
not being a free agent, he was cruelly deprived of the luxury of
grumbling. Roaming in the cane-brake, or sunning himself on a log like
the juvenile alligators, while Master Archy took his walk, or even
pulling the boat, was much more to his taste than rubbing down the
horses and digging weeds out of the gravel walks in front of the
mansion. The order to return, therefore, was a grievous disappointment
to him; for the head gardener or the head groom would be sure to find a
job for him that would last all day.

Master Archy did not know his own mind; and he did not have the same
mind for a great while at a time. Cyd supposed he had thought of
something that would please him better on the estate. No doubt if the
surfeited young devotee of pleasure had permitted his dark companions to
think for him, they might have invented a new pleasure; but he seldom
spoke to them, and they were not allowed to speak to him, except in a
case of emergency.

The boat reached the pier, and was brought alongside the landing steps,
in a style that was above criticism. Poor Cyd was disgusted and
indignant at the idea of having his day spoiled in this capricious
manner. If he had been born under the free skies of New England, he
would, no doubt, have remonstrated; but his social position and the
discipline of the boat did not permit him to utter even a word of
disapprobation. But Cyd was needlessly disturbed in the present
instance, for his lordly master had no intention of abandoning the
cruise, though if he had been so condescending as to say so when he
ordered the Edith to return, he would have saved her crew all the bitter
pangs of disappointment which they had endured during the retrograde
passage.

"Cyd!" said Master Archy, when the boat came up to the steps, and the
rowers had tossed their oars.

"Sar!" replied Cyd, exploding the word as though he had been a member of
Monsieur Crapeau's class in French elementary sounds, and with a start
which seemed to shake every fibre in his wiry frame.

"Do you know where my boxing gloves are?"

"Yes, Massa Archy; in de gym-shum," answered Cyd, again exhibiting his
ivories, for the case began to look slightly hopeful.

"In the what?" demanded Archy, a languid smile appearing upon his face.

"In de gym-shum," said Cyd, taking advantage of this faint smile, and
exploding the two syllables with all the vigor of a pair of healthy
lungs.

"In the gymnasium, you black rascal!"

"Yes, Massa Archy, dem's um----in de gym----shum. Dat's jes what I say,
massa----in de gym-shum."

"Go up and get them; and mind you don't keep me waiting all day,"
continued Archy, who was not equal to the effort of making the boy
pronounce the word correctly.

Cyd darted off with a speed that promised the best results.

"I feel stupid to-day, and I think a bout with the gloves will do me
good," yawned Archy, with a hideous gape, as he stretched himself at
full length upon the velvet cushions, with his feet hanging out over the
water.

"Perhaps it would, sir," replied Dandy, to whom the remark was supposed
to be addressed.

"We will go down to Green Point," added he.

"Yes, sir."

The conversation ended here, the young magnate of Redlawn closing his
eyes and gaping by turns for the next ten minutes, till Cyd, puffing
like a grampus, appeared on the steps.

"Here's de glubs, Massa Archy," said he, as he handed them to the
attentive coxswain.

"Where's the other pair, you black rascal?" roared Archy, springing up
from his recumbent posture.

"I only fotched ober de one pair, massa," replied Cyd, with an
exceedingly troubled expression.

"Cyd, you are a fool!"

"Yes, Massa Archy," answered the black boy, who seemed to be perfectly
willing to grant the position.

"What do you suppose I want of one pair of gloves!" continued Archy,
angrily, as he seized one of the oars, and aimed a blow at the head of
the culprit, which, however, Cyd was expert enough to dodge. "Go and get
the other pair; and if you are gone half as long as you were before,
I'll have you flogged."

The eye of Dandy kindled for a moment,--for the same blood flowed in the
veins of both,--as he listened to the brutal words of his young master.

"That boy is a fool!" said Archy, as he settled down into his reclining
posture again. "He needs a whipping to sharpen his understanding."

Dandy wholly and entirely dissented from this view; but of course he was
not so impolitic as to state his views. In ten minutes more, Cyd
reappeared with another pair of boxing gloves; but these were not the
right ones. They were too large either for Dandy or his master, and the
poor boy was solemnly assured that he should be whipped when they
returned from the excursion. The coxswain was then sent, and during his
absence, Archy amused himself in pointing out the enormity of Cyd's
conduct, first in bringing one pair, and then bringing the wrong pair of
gloves.

Dandy returned in fifteen minutes, and after snarling at him for being
so long, Master Archy gave the order for the boat to push off. All the
forms were gone through with as before, and again the Edith darted down
the bayou. After a pull of five miles down the Crosscut, they reached
another and larger river. Green Point was the tongue of land between the
two streams, and here Master Archy and his coxswain landed.



CHAPTER III.

MASTER ARCHY RECEIVES AN UNLUCKY BLOW.


Green Point was a very pleasant place, to which the luxurious occupants
of the mansion at Redlawn occasionally resorted to spend a day. The land
was studded with a growth of sturdy forest trees. Formerly it had been
covered with a thick undergrowth of canes; but these, near the Point,
had been cut away, and the place otherwise prepared for the visits of
the grand people.

The day was cool and pleasant for that locality, and perhaps the
magnificent son and heir of the planter of Redlawn felt that a little
sharp exercise would be beneficial to him. He never performed any useful
labor; never saddled his own pony, or polished his own boots; never hoed
a hill of corn, or dug up a weed in the garden. He had been taught that
labor was degrading, and only suited to the condition of the negro.

Master Archy, therefore, never degraded himself. His indolence and his
aristocratic principles were in accord with each other. Though he
actually suffered for the want of something to do, he was not permitted
to demean himself by doing any thing that would develop the resources of
the fruitful earth, and add to the comfort of his fellow-beings. I am
quite sure, if the young seignior had been compelled to hoe corn, pick
cotton, or cut cane for a few hours every day, or even been forced to
learn his lessons in geography, grammar, and history, he would have been
a better boy, and a happier one.

Idleness is not only the parent of mischief, but it is the fruitful
source of human misery. Master Archy, with every thing that ingenuity
could devise and wealth purchase to employ his time, was one of the most
unhappy young men in the country. He never knew what to do with himself.
He turned coldly from his boats to his pony; then from the pony to the
gymnasium; then to the bowling alley; and each in turn was rejected, for
it could not furnish the needed recreation.

Master Archy landed at Green Point, and he was fully of the opinion
that he could amuse himself for an hour with the boxing gloves. For the
want of a white companion of his own age, he had been compelled to
practise the manly art of self-defence with his body-servant. Perhaps
also there was some advantage in having Dandy for his opponent, for,
being a slave, he would not dare to give as good as he received.

Dandy had taken lessons in the art with his young master, and though he
was physically and "scientifically" his superior, he was cunning enough
to keep on the right side of Master Archy, by letting him have the
set-to all his own way. It was no easy matter to play at fisticuffs with
the young lord, even with gloves on, for his temper was not particularly
mild when he was crossed. If he happened to get a light rap, it made him
mad; and in one way or another he was sure to wreak ample vengeance upon
the offender. Dandy was therefore obliged to handle his master with
extreme care.

Yet Archy had a fantastic manliness in his composition, which enabled
him to realize that there was no credit in beating an unresisting
opponent. Dandy must do some thing; he must bestow some blows upon his
capricious companion, but he had learned that they must be given with
the utmost care and discretion. In a word, if he did not hit at all,
Master Archy did not like it; and if he hit too hard, or in a
susceptible spot, he was mad.

Our readers who are fond of manly sport will readily perceive that Dandy
was in the position of the frogs,--that what was fun to Archy was death
to him, in a figurative sense. He did not have much fondness for the
manly art. He had no moral views on the subject, but he hated the game
for its own sake.

With the two pairs of gloves in his hands, Dandy followed his young lord
till they came to a smooth piece of ground, under the spreading shade of
a gigantic oak. Master Archy then divested himself of his white linen
sack, which his attentive valet hung upon the trunk of a tree. He then
rolled up his sleeves and put on the gloves. He was assisted in all
these preparations by Dandy.

"Come, Dandy, you are not ready," said he, petulantly, when he was fully
"mounted" for the occasion.

"I am all ready, sir," replied Dandy, as he slipped on the other pair of
gloves.

"No, you are not," snarled Archy, who, for some reason or other, was in
unusually bad humor. "Do you think I will box with you while you have
your jacket on?"

"I can do very well with my jacket on," replied Dandy, meekly.

"No, you can't. I can whip you in your shirt sleeves. I don't want to
take any advantage of you. Off with your jacket, and put yourself in
trim."

Dandy obeyed, and in a few moments he was the counterpart, so far as
dress was concerned, of his master.

"Now stand up to it like a man, for I'm going to give you a hard one
to-day," added Archy, as he flourished with the gloves before his
companion.

There was a faint smile upon his countenance as he uttered these words,
and Dandy saw signs of unusual energy in his eyes. He evidently
intended to do some "big thing," and the sport was therefore more
distasteful than ever to the body-servant, whose hands were, in a
measure, fettered by his position.

Dandy placed himself in the proper attitude, and went through all the
forms incident to the science. At first Master Archy was cool and
self-possessed, and his "plungers" and "left-handers" were adroitly
parried by the other, who, if his master intended to win a decided
triumph on the present occasion, was determined to make him earn his
laurels. But Dandy did little more than avoid the blows; he gave none,
and received none.

"Come, stand up to it!" shouted Archy, who soon began to be disgusted
with these tame proceedings. "Why don't you exert yourself?"

"I do, sir; I have done my best to ward off your blows," replied Dandy.

"I will give you something more to do, then," added Archy, and sprang to
his game with redoubled vigor.

As a matter of prudence, Dandy permitted himself to be hit once on the
side of the head. This encouragement was not lost upon Archy, and he
increased his efforts, but he could not hit his rival again for some
time. After a few moments his "wind" gave out, and operations were
suspended. When he had recovered breath enough to speak, he proceeded to
declare that Dandy had no spirit, and did not try to make the game
exciting.

"I have done my best, sir," replied Dandy.

"No, you haven't. You haven't hit me yet, and you haven't tried to do
so."

"Yes, sir, I have."

"Don't contradict me. Now we will try again."

They commenced once more, and immediately Dandy, in order to gratify his
master, gave him a pretty smart blow upon the end of his nose. He hoped
this would satisfy the grumbler, and bring the sport to a happy
termination. As usual, the blow excited the pugnacity of Master Archy;
and setting the rules of the art at defiance, he rushed upon his
companion with all the impetuosity of his nature.

Dandy simply stood steady, and warded off the blows of his infuriate
master; but in spite of his exertions he was hit several times in the
breast and face, and even "below the belt," for he did not deem it
prudent to give another blow. Archy reared and plunged like an angry
steed, till he had exhausted himself; but his temper had not yet spent
itself. He sat down upon the ground, and rested himself for a moment,
then, throwing away the gloves, proposed to finish the contest with the
naked fists.

"I would rather not, Master Archy," replied Dandy, appalled at the idea.

"Throw away your gloves, and come on!" said Archy, brandishing his
fists.

"I hope you will excuse me, Master Archy. I don't want to be pounded to
a jelly."

This was certainly complimentary, but there was still a burning
sensation lingering about the nose of the young planter, where that
member had been flattened by his fellow-pugilist.

"No whining; come on!" repeated Archy; and certain malicious thoughts
which rankled in his heart were manifest in his eyes.

"If you please, Master Archy, I will keep my gloves on, and you may play
without any."

"Do you think I will do that?" sneered Archy. "I am willing to take as
good as I send. Off with your gloves!"

"But only consider, sir, if any thing should happen. If I should hit you
by accident----"

"Hit, then!" cried Archy, angrily, as he sprang forward, and planted a
heavy blow upon the cheek of the body-servant before the latter had time
to place himself in the attitude of defence, though he had thrown away
his gloves in obedience to the mandate of his master.

For a few moments, Dandy defended himself from the impetuous assault of
the young gentleman, who displayed a vigor and energy which he had never
before exhibited. The consequences of any "accident" to his master were
sufficiently apparent and he maintained his coolness until an unlucky
blow on the nose caused that member to bleed, and at the same time
produced a sharp and stinging pain.

Dandy had been politic and discreet up to this time, but the sharp pain
roused a feeling of resentment in his nature. He had borne all he could,
and no longer acting upon the defensive alone, he assumed the
aggressive. Both parties were angry now, and for a moment, each did his
best, which shortly brought the combat to a disastrous conclusion.

Dandy's arm, which had before been prudentially soft and nerveless,
suddenly hardened into solid muscle, and one of his heavy blows came
full and square upon the region of Archy's left eye. The young lord of
the manor reeled as though a tornado had struck him, and fell heavily
upon the ground.

The blow was a hard one, and it fired his southern blood still more. He
leaped up, and seizing a large stick which lay upon the ground, he
rushed towards his unhappy servant, with the intention of annihilating
him upon the spot. Dandy's senses came to him when he saw Archy fall,
and he was appalled at the result of the conflict. He had struck the
blow upon the impulse of a momentary rage, and he would have given any
thing to recall it.

"I didn't mean to do it, Master Archy! Forgive me!" pleaded he, as he
retreated to avoid the uplifted club.

Archy was so furious that he could not speak, and Dandy was compelled to
run for his life.



CHAPTER IV.

DANDY DETERMINES TO WATCH AND WAIT.


Fortunately for Dandy, Master Archy was not as "long-winded" as some
orators of whom we have read, and, unhappily, heard; and therefore we
cannot say to what extent his passion would have led him on the present
occasion. There was no fear of consequences to deter him from smiting
his bondman, even unto death. If he had killed him, though the
gentle-hearted might have frowned or trembled in his presence, there was
no law that could reach him. There was no dread of prison and scaffold
to stay his arm, and what his untamed fury prompted him to do, he might
have done with impunity. Even the statute made for the protection of the
slave from his cruel master, would have been of no avail, for the want
of a white witness to substantiate the facts.

Dandy ran away. It was all he could do, except defend himself, which
might have resulted in further injury to his young master, and thus
involved him deeper than before in the guilt of striking a blow in his
own defence. With no particular purpose in his mind, except to avoid the
blow of the club, he retreated in the direction which led him away from
the point where they had landed. He ran at his utmost speed for a few
moments, for the impetuosity of his master had wonderfully increased his
fleetness. Master Archy's wind soon gave out, and he was no longer able
to continue the chase. He abandoned the pursuit, and throwing himself
upon the ground, vented his rage in a flood of tears.

Dandy did not deem it prudent to approach him while in this mood, and he
seated himself on a stump at a point where he could observe his master's
motions. Master Archy was not cruel or vindictive by nature, and Dandy
hoped that a few moments of rest would restore him to his equilibrium.
Archy's faults were those of his education; they were the offspring of
his social position. He had been accustomed to have his own way, except
when his will came in opposition to that of his father, which was very
seldom, for Colonel Raybone was extremely and injudiciously indulgent to
his children.

It was evident to his body-servant that something had gone wrong that
morning with Master Archy. He had never before carried his fury to such
an extreme. Though he was never reasonable, it was not often that he was
so unreasonable as on this occasion.

Dandy watched him patiently till he thought it was time his passion had
spent itself, and then walked towards him. Archy discovered the movement
before he had advanced many steps; but without making a demonstration of
any kind, he rose from the ground, and moved off towards the scene of
the late encounter. As he passed the spot, he took his coat upon his
arm, and made his way to the Point.

The unhappy servant was troubled and mystified by this conduct; and he
was still more bewildered when he saw Archy step into the boat, and
heard him, in sharp tones, order the boatmen to pull home.

"Dar's Dandy. Isn't he gwine to go home wid us?" said Cyd, who was even
more mystified than the body-servant.

"No questions! Obey my orders, and pull for home," replied Archy, as he
adjusted his shirt sleeves and put on his coat.

When he had arranged his dress, he threw himself upon the velvet
cushions, and took no further notice of Dandy or the crew. His orders
were, of course, obeyed. The bow oarsman pushed off the boat, and she
was headed up the Crosscut. By this time, poor Dandy, who,
notwithstanding the obliquities of his master's disposition, had a
strong regard for him, reached the shore.

"I am very sorry for what has happened, Master Archy, and I hope you
will forgive me," said he, in humble tones.

The imperious young lord made no reply to this supplicating petition.

"Please to forgive me!" pleaded Dandy.

"Silence! Don't speak to me again till I give you permission to do so,"
was the only reply he vouchsafed.

Dandy knew his master well enough to obey, literally, the injunction
imposed upon him. Seating himself upon the ground, he watched the
receding boat, as the lusty oarsmen drove it rapidly through the water.
The events of the morning were calculated to induce earnest and serious
reflection. The consequences of the affair were yet to be developed, but
Dandy had no strong misgivings. Archy, he hoped and expected, would
recover his good nature in a few hours, at the most, and then he would
be forgiven, as he had been before.

It is true, he had never before given his master an angry blow; but he
had been grievously provoked, and he hoped this would prove a sufficient
excuse. Archy had lost his temper, sprung at him with the fury of a
tiger, and struck him several severe blows. His face was even now
covered with blood, and his nose ached from the flattening it had
received. He could not feel that he had done a very wicked deed. He had
only defended himself, which is the inborn right of man or boy when
unjustly assailed. He had been invited, nay, pressed, to strike the blow
which had caused the trouble.

Then he thought of his condition, of the wrongs and insults which had
been heaped upon him; and if the few drops of negro blood that flowed in
his veins prompted him to patience and submission, the white blood, the
Anglo-Saxon inspiration of his nature, which coursed through the same
channels, counselled resistance, mad as it might seem. As he thought of
his situation, the tears came into his eyes, and he wept bitterly. The
future was dark and forbidding, as the past had been joyless and
hopeless. They were tears of anger and resentment, rather than of
sorrow.

He almost envied the lot of the laborers, who toiled in the cane-fields.
Though they were meanly clad and coarsely fed, they were not subjected
to the whims and caprices of a wayward boy. They had nothing to fear but
the lash of the driver, and this might be avoided by diligence and care.
And then, with the tears coursing down his pale cheeks, he realized that
the field-hands who labored beneath the eye of the overseer and the
driver were better off and happier than he was.

"What can I do!" murmured he, as he rose from the ground, and walked
back to the shade of the trees. "If I resist, I shall be whipped; and I
cannot endure this life. It is killing me."

"I will run away!" said he, as he sat down upon a stump at some distance
from the Point. "Where shall I go?"

He shuddered as he thought of the rifle of the overseer, and the
bloodhounds that would follow upon his track. The free states were far,
far away, and he might starve and die in the deep swamps which would be
his only hiding place. It was too hopeless a remedy to be adopted, and
he was obliged to abandon the thought in despair.

"I will watch and wait," said he. "Something will happen one of these
days. If I ever go to New Orleans again, I will hide myself in some ship
bound to the North. Perhaps Master Archy will travel some time. He may
go to Newport, Cape May, or Saratoga, with his father, this season or
next, and I shall go with him. I will be patient and submissive--that is
what the preacher said we must all do; and if we are in trouble, God
will sooner or later take the burden from our weary spirits. I will be
patient and submissive, but I will _watch and wait_."

WATCH AND WAIT! There was a world of hope and consolation in
the idea which the words expressed. He wiped away the tears which had
trickled down his blood-stained face. WATCH AND WAIT was the
only north star which blazed in the darkened firmament of his existence.
He could watch and wait for months and years, but constant watching and
patient waiting would one day reveal the opportunity which should break
his bonds, and give him the body and spirit that God had bestowed upon
him as his birthright.

Comforted by these reflections, and inspired by a new and powerful hope,
he walked down to the river again. His step was elastic, and in his
heart he had forgiven Master Archy. He determined to do all he could to
please him; to be patient and submissive even under his wayward and
petulant rule. He washed the blood from his face, and tried to wash away
the rancor which his master's conduct had kindled in his soul.

Having made his peace with himself, his master, and all mankind, he sat
down upon the stump, and took from his pocket a small Testament, which a
pedler had dared to sell him for the moderate sum of five dollars. He
read, and the blessed words gave him new hope and new courage. He felt
that he could bear any thing now; but he was mistaken, for there was an
ordeal through which, in a few hours, he was doomed to pass--an ordeal
to which his patience and submission could not reconcile him.

While he was reading, he heard the dip of oars. Restoring the volume to
his pocket, he waited the arrival of the boat. It was the barge of
Archy; but the young gentleman was not a passenger. The crew had been
sent down by Colonel Raybone to convey him back to the estate.

The blank looks of the crew seemed ominous of disaster. Even the
brilliant ivories of the ever-mirthful Cyd were veiled in darkness
beneath his ebony cheek. He looked sad and terrified, and before any of
the crew had spoken a word, Dandy was fully assured that a storm was
brewing.

"Massa Raybone done send us down to fotch you up," said Cyd, gloomily.

"What's the matter, Cyd?" demanded Dandy, trying to be cheerful in the
face of these portending clouds of darkness.

"Massa Archy done git a black eye some how or oder, and Massa Kun'l frow
'imself into a horrid passion. Den he roar and swear jes like an
alligator wid a coal o' fire in 'is troat," replied Cyd, aghast with
horror.

"Well, what then?" asked Dandy, with a long breath.

"Den he send for Long Tom."

"For Long Tom!" gasped Dandy, his cheek paling and his frame quivering
with emotion.

"Dat's de truf," replied Cyd, shaking his head.

"Long Tom" was a tall, stout negro-driver, who did the whipping upon the
plantation. He was to be whipped! It was a barbarism to which he had
never been subjected, and he was appalled at the thought.

At first, he decided not to return. Even the bloodhounds and the perils
of the swamp were less terrible than the whipping-post. But he was
unwilling to believe that he was to be subjected to this trying ordeal,
and impelled by the resolutions he had made, he at last determined to
meet his master, and by a fair representation of the case, with an
earnest appeal to Archy, he hoped, and even expected, to escape the
punishment.

Taking his place in the boat, he was soon gliding swiftly on his way to
the plantation.



CHAPTER V.

THE TRAGEDY AT THE "DEAD OAK."


When the boat touched at the pier, the slight shock of its contact with
the steps seemed to shake the very soul of the culprit, who had already
been tried and condemned. Though he hoped to escape, the doubt was heavy
enough to weigh down his spirits, and make him feel sadder than he had
ever felt before in his life. It was not with him as it would have been
with one of the crew--with Cyd, for instance, who had been whipped half
a dozen times without taking it very sorely to heart. The Anglo-Saxon
blood in his veins boiled at the thought of such an indignity, and if he
had not entertained a reasonable hope that he should escape the terrible
shame and degradation which menaced him, he would certainly have taken
to the swamp, and ended his days among the alligators and herons.

There was no one on the pier when he landed; and leaving the crew to
dispose of the boat, he walked with a heavy heart towards the mansion of
the planter. He had accomplished but half the distance, when he was met
by one of the house servants, who directed him to repair to the "dead
oak" beyond the negro village. The boy who had delivered this order
hastened back to the house, affording him no opportunity to ask any
questions, even if he had been so disposed.

"Long Tom" and the "dead oak" were ominous phrases at Redlawn, for the
former was the whipper-general of the plantation, and the latter the
whipping-post. The trunk of the decaying tree had been adapted to the
purpose for which it was now used, and though Colonel Raybone was
considered a liberal and humane master, the "dead oak" had been the
scene of many a terrible tragedy.

Because his master was a just and fair man, Dandy hoped to escape the
doom for which all the preparations had already been made; but the
planter was only as humane, as just and fair, as the necessities of the
iniquitous system upon which he had lived and thrived would permit him
to be. If he had lived beyond the reach of the influence of this Upas
tree he might have been a true and noble man. Dandy believed that a true
statement of the facts in the case would move the heart of his master to
mercy--would at least save him from the indignity of being whipped.

With hope, and yet with some fearful misgivings, he went to the "dead
oak," where the group who had been summoned to witness the punishment
were already assembled. By the side of them stood Long Tom, with the
whip in his hand. The strap by which he was to be fastened to the trunk
was adjusted.

Dandy felt a cold chill creep through his frame, attended by a
convulsive shudder, as he beheld these terrible preparations. The hope
which had thus far animated him received a heavy shock, and he regretted
that he had not improved the opportunity to run away before it was too
late.

"Take off your coat!" said Colonel Raybone, sternly.

Dandy obeyed. His cheeks were white, and the color had deserted his
lips. He was then directed, in the same cold and determined tones, to
remove his shirt. His teeth chattered, and his knees smote each other;
and he did not at once obey the order.

"If you please, master, what am I to be whipped for?" said Dandy, in
trembling tones.

"What for, you young villain? How dare you ask such a question?" replied
Colonel Raybone, angrily. "You know what you are to be whipped for. Look
in Archy's face!"

He did look; it was, undoubtedly, a black eye which he had inflicted
upon his young master.

"If you please, sir, Master Archy will explain how it happened," added
Dandy, in soft and subdued tones, which contained a powerful appeal to
the magnanimity of the young lord of the manor.

"Archy has explained how it happened. Do you think I will let one of my
niggers strike my son such a blow as that? Off with your shirt!"

"I didn't want to strike him at all. I didn't want to take off the
gloves, sir. He made me do it."

"Did he make you give him a black eye?" roared the planter. "Do you
expect me to believe such a story as this?"

"Didn't you make me strike?" continued Dandy, turning to his young
master.

"I didn't ask you to get mad, and fly at me like a madman," replied
Archy, coldly, as he placed his handkerchief upon the injured eye.

"I didn't mean to strike him so hard, master. Forgive me this time, and
I never will strike him again."

"I wanted you to strike, but not to get mad," added Archy.

"Forgive me this time, master," pleaded Dandy.

"Forgive you, you villain! I'll forgive you. I'll teach you to strike my
son! Tear off his shirt, Tom!"

Long Tom was a slave. He had groaned and bled beneath the lash himself;
but the trifling favors he had received had debauched his soul, and he
was a willing servant, ready, for a smile from his master, to perform
with barbarous fidelity the diabolical duties of his office. Seizing
Dandy by the arm, he pulled off his shirt, and led him to the tree.

The last ray of hope had expired in the soul of Dandy. His blood
rebelled at the thought of being whipped. He was not stirred by the
emotions which disturb a free child with a whipping in prospect. He
cringed not at the pain, he rebelled not at proper and wholesome
punishment. This whipping was the scourging of the slave; it was the
emblem of his servitude. The blows were the stripes which the master
inflicts upon his bondman. His soul was free, while his body was in
chains; and it was his soul rather than his body that was to be
scourged.

The thought was madness. His blood boiled with indignation, with horror,
and with loathing. The tide of despair surged in upon his spirit, and
overwhelmed him. He resolved not to be whipped, and, when Long Tom
turned away to adjust the strap, he sprang like an antelope through the
group of spectators, and ran with all the speed he could command towards
the river.

Perhaps it was a mistake on the part of Dandy, but it was the noblest
impulse of his nature which prompted him to resist the unjust sentence
that had been passed upon him. He ran, and desperation gave him the
wings of the wind; but he had miscalculated his chances, if he had
considered them at all, for the swift horse of the planter was tied to
a stake near the dead oak. He had been riding over the estate when Archy
returned from Green Point with the story of the blows which had been
inflicted upon him.

Colonel Raybone leaped upon his horse the instant he realized the
purpose of the culprit, and, before Dandy had accomplished half the
distance to the river, the planter overtook him. He rode the horse
directly upon him, and if the intelligent beast had not been kinder than
his rider, the story of poor Dandy might have ended here. As it was, he
was simply thrown down, and before he could rise and recover himself the
planter had dismounted and seized him by the arm.

So deeply had the prejudices of his condition been implanted in his
mind, that the thought of bestowing blows upon the sacred person of his
master did not occur to him. If he had dared to fight, as he had the
strength and the energy to fight, he might still have escaped. Colonel
Raybone was an awful presence to him, and he yielded up his purpose
without a struggle to carry it out.

The planter swore at him with a fury which chilled his blood, and
struck him several smart blows with his riding-whip as the foretaste of
what he was still to undergo.

"Now, back to the tree," said Colonel Raybone, as he mounted his horse
again.

Dandy had given up all hope now, and he marched to the whipping-post, as
the condemned criminal walks to the scaffold. He had advanced but a
short distance before he met the other spectators to his doom, and Long
Tom seized him by the wrist, and held him with an iron gripe till they
reached the dead oak.

"Tie him up quick, Tom," said Colonel Raybone. "It has been more work to
flog this young cub than a dozen full-grown niggers."

Long Tom fastened the straps around Dandy's wrists, and passed them
through a band around the tree, about ten feet from the ground. He then
pulled the victim up till his toes scarcely touched the earth.

"Now, lay them on well," said the planter, vindictively.

"How many, Massa Raybone?" asked Tom, as he unrolled the long lash of
his whip.

[Illustration: THE TRAGEDY AT THE DEAD OAK. Page 58.]

"Lay on till I say stop."

Dandy's flesh quivered, but his spirit shrunk more than his body from
the contamination of the slave-master's scourge. The lash fell across
his back--his back, as white as that of any who read this page. The
blood gushed from the wound which the cruel lash inflicted, but not a
word or a groan escaped from the pallid lips of the sufferer. A dozen
blows fell, and though the flesh was terribly mangled, the laceration of
the soul was deeper and more severe.

"Stop!" said Colonel Raybone.

Long Tom promptly obeyed the mandate. He evidently had no feeling about
the brutal job, and there was no sign of joy or sorrow in his
countenance from first to last. If he felt at all, his experience had
effectually schooled him in the difficult art of concealing his
emotions.

"Take him down," added the planter, who, as he gazed upon the torn and
excoriated flesh of the victim, seemed to feel that the atonement had
washed away the offence.

During the punishment Master Archy had betrayed no small degree of
emotion, and before the driver had struck the sixth blow he had asked
his father, in a whisper, to stay the hand of the negro. He had several
times repeated the request; but Colonel Raybone was inflexible till the
crime had, in his opinion, been fully expiated.

Long Tom unloosed the straps, and the body of the culprit dropped to the
ground, as though the vital spark had for ever fled from its desecrated
tabernacle.

"De boy hab fainted, Massa Raybone," said the driver.

"I see he has," replied the planter, with some evidence of emotion in
his tones, as he bent over the prostrate form of the boy, to ascertain
if more was not done than had been intended.

He felt the pulse of Dandy, and satisfied himself that he was not dead.
We must do him the justice to say that he was sorry for what had
happened--sorry as a kind parent is when compelled to punish a dear
child. He did not believe that he had done wrong, even accepting as true
the statement of the culprit; for the safety of the master and his
family made it necessary for him to regard the striking even of a blow
justifiable under other circumstances as a great enormity. It was the
system, more than the man, that was at fault.

Dandy was not dead, and Colonel Raybone ordered two of the house
servants, who were present, to do every thing that his condition
required. He and Archy then walked towards the house, gloomy and sad,
both of them.



CHAPTER VI.

A VISION OF THE PROMISED LAND.


Dandy, lacerated and bleeding, but still insensible, was conveyed to his
chamber in the mansion house, by some of the servants. His physician was
an old slave, skilled in the treatment of cases of this kind. When the
patient recovered from the swoon into which he had fallen, his back was
carefully washed, and the usual remedies were applied. Though suffering
terribly from the effects of his wounds, he did not permit a sigh nor a
groan to escape him.

The mangled flesh could be healed, but there was no balm at Redlawn that
could restore his mangled spirit. Dandy felt that he had been crushed to
earth. Slavery, which had before been endurable with patience and
submission, was now intolerable. He had been scourged with the lash. He
had realized what it was to be a slave in the most bitter and terrible
sense.

"I will watch and wait," said he to himself, when the old slave had left
him alone with his reflections, "but no longer with patience and
submission. I will cease to be a slave, or I will die a freeman with the
herons and the alligators in the swamp."

The day wore slowly away, but it was filled up with earnest and
energetic reflections,--in a word, with plans and suggestions of plans
for escaping from the bondage whose fetters now galled him to the quick.
And before the sun set upon the day of his greatest humiliation, he had
matured a scheme by which he hoped and expected to win the priceless
boon of freedom. It was a daring scheme, and its success must depend
wholly upon the skill and energy with which its details were managed.

When one resolves to do a thing, it is already half done; and Dandy,
stretched upon his couch of pain, was inspired by the hope and comfort
which his plan afforded him. It might be weeks or months before the
favorable opportunity for executing his purpose should arrive; but the
time would come, sooner or later.

"I will watch and wait," said he, while a smile of hope illuminated his
pale face.

WATCH AND WAIT had now a new significance, more vital than
before; and he kept repeating the words, for they were an epitome of the
whole duty of the future.

While he was pondering his great purpose, he was surprised to receive a
visit from Master Archy. The imperious young gentleman displayed a
languid smile upon his face as he entered the chamber. It was intended
as a token of conciliation. If his pride had permitted him to speak to
the suffering bondman, he would have said, "Dandy, you see this smile
upon my face. It is the olive-branch of peace. I freely forgive you for
what you have done; and you see, by my coming, that I feel an interest
in you. Not every young master would bestow a visit of sympathy upon his
slave, after he had been whipped; so you see how condescending I am. We
will be friends, as we were before. It is true you have been whipped;
but you deserved it, and I am willing to forgive you. It may have been
my fault, but as you are a nigger, and in my power, it don't make much
difference."

This was what Master Archy's looks said, and the sufferer read them as
well as though the words had been written upon his face. After Dandy
came to his senses, his first thought was, that he would be revenged
upon Archy for his mean and cowardly conduct; but the great scheme he
had matured drove this purpose from his mind. Success required that he
should conceal his feelings, or he might lose the confidence of his
master, and thus be deprived of the opportunity for which he intended to
watch and wait.

"How do you feel, Dandy?" asked Archy, in tones of sympathy, as he
placed himself by the bedside of his body-servant.

"Not very well, Master Archy," replied Dandy.

"My father carried it farther than I intended, Dandy. I tried to stop
him before."

"Thank you, Master Archy," answered the patient, meekly.

"Though it was more than I meant you should have, I hope you will
remember it a long time," added Archy.

"I shall, master."

"My eye is not in very good condition," said he, wiping the injured
organ with his handkerchief. "It was a hard blow you gave me."

Dandy wished he would leave him, and he did not care to argue the matter
with him, even if he had been privileged to do so.

"It won't do to let your servant go too far," said Archy.

"I am very sorry it happened," replied Dandy.

"Well, I hope the lesson will last you as long as you live."

"It will, Master Archy."

The young tyrant, when he had fully satisfied himself that his minion
was in a tractable state, took his leave, much to the satisfaction of
the sufferer. The old negro who acted as his physician paid him another
visit in the evening, and assured him that he would be well in a few
days. He left him with the injunction to go to sleep, and forget all
about it.

Dandy could not go to sleep, could not forget all about it. The wound in
his soul was more painful than those upon his back, and hour after hour
passed away, but his eyes were still set wide open. His great resolution
filled the future with sublime visions, which he panted to realize. His
path lay through trial and danger, was environed by death on every side;
but paradise was at the end of it, and he was willing to encounter every
hardship, and brave every danger, to win the glorious prize, or content
to die if his struggles should be in vain.

He was determined to leave Redlawn at the first favorable opportunity;
and while he pictured a glowing future beyond the chilly damps of the
swamp, and out of the reach of the rifle-ball and the bloodhound, there
were still some ties which bound him to the home of his childhood.

Home! No, it was only a mockery of that heaven upon earth! It had been
the scene of his tribulation--that which riveted the bonds upon his
limbs. But it was home so far as it was the abiding place of his
friends,--not those who scourged him, whose caprices had tormented him;
not his young master, not his old master. That delightful poetry which
paints a loving slave clinging fondly to the master that scourges him
had never glowed in his imagination. Whatever of regard he had before
cherished towards his master had been driven from his heart by the
thongs of the slave whip.

He had friends at Redlawn,--the gentle, meek, and patient Lily,--the
wild, rollicking, mirthful Cyd. They were his friends, indeed, and the
thought of leaving them at all was sad; the thought of leaving them in
bondage, to be sold and scourged, was intolerable. While he was thinking
of them he heard a slight rap at the door.

"May I come in?"

It was Lily, and the permission was promptly given. The clock in the
great hall below had struck eleven, and the family had but just retired.
She had been waiting all this time to pay a visit of sympathy to the
sufferer.

"How do you do, Dandy?" asked she, as she sat down in a chair at the
head of the bed.

"I'm better, Lily."

"I'm very glad. I wanted to come and see you very much, but I was afraid
to do so. It was terrible, Dandy! To think that you should be whipped! I
should as soon have thought of being whipped myself."

"It is terrible, Lily."

"What did you do, Dandy? It must have been some awful thing."

The sufferer briefly related the particulars of the event at Green
Point, which had procured him the whipping. Lily expressed her horror at
the meanness of Master Archy, and poured out her sympathy in unmeasured
fulness upon her friend.

"But I shall not be here long, Lily," added Dandy, in a whisper.

"Why, what do you mean?" asked she, amazed at the idea of resistance in
any form.

"Will you keep my secret, Lily?"

"You know that I will, Dandy."

"I mean to run away."

"Run away!" gasped Lily.

"I will not stay here another month if I can help it."

"But where will you go?"

"I know where to go, and how to go; and, live or die, I shall make the
attempt."

"And you will be free?"

"I will, or I will die. I will not be a slave!" said he, in an energetic
whisper.

"How grand it would be! I wish I could be free," sighed Lily. "I don't
know what will become of me one of these days."

"None of us can know."

"If I were a man I should not fear so much. Master was offered two
thousand dollars for me a year ago."

"He will not sell you."

"Whether he does or not, I shall be miserable as long as I live. I often
wish I was dead."

"Poor Lily!" sighed Dandy.

"Can't I go with you," asked she, bending over him, and whispering the
words into his ear.

"You, Lily! I shall go to the swamps first. I may have to live with the
alligators for months, perhaps for years."

"I am not afraid of them. If you will let me, I will go with you," added
she, eagerly.

"I shall have to meet hardships and dangers,--more than you could bear."

"I'll bear every thing, Dandy. I will help you; I will die with you."

"Poor girl!"

"I would bear any thing. I would rather live with the alligators than
with Miss Edith. You don't know how much I have to bear, Dandy."

"The same that I have to bear from Master Archy. If I thought you could
stand it, Lily, I should be glad to take you with me."

"I can stand it," replied she, with enthusiasm.

"You shall go, Lily."

"Heaven bless you, Dandy!"

"And I'm going to take Cyd with me, too, if he will go; but he don't
know any thing about it yet."

"When shall we start?"

"I don't know; not till master goes a hunting again. I will tell you all
about it in a few days."

Lily was content to leave every thing with Dandy, in whom she had more
confidence than in any other person, for he was her only real friend.
With her soul full of new emotions, she left the chamber of the sick
boy just as the clock struck twelve.

Dandy's great purpose now assumed a new significance; and as Lily was to
share in the toils, privations, and dangers of the enterprise, a new
responsibility was imposed upon him.

It was two hours more before his exciting thoughts would permit him to
sleep. His wounds had ceased to smart, and he had even forgotten his
flogging in the glorious vision to which it had introduced him. And when
he slept it was but to dream of the swamp and its perils, and of the
promised land which his fancy pictured beyond it.



CHAPTER VII.

THE ISABEL IS PREPARED FOR A CRUISE.


At the end of a week the lacerated flesh of poor Dandy was so far healed
that he again discharged all the duties of his position near the person
of his young master. The flesh was healed, but the spirit still smarted
under the effects of the whipping. "Watch and wait," was his motto; and
though he possessed his soul in patience, he kept his eyes and his ears
wide open, ready to seize upon the desired opportunity to carry out his
great resolution.

The season most favorable for shooting had arrived, and Dandy was in
expectation that Colonel Raybone would order the preparations to be made
for his annual excursion, either to the rivers above, or the lakes
below, in search of game. Upon this event was based his hope of making
his escape.

The smiling month of May was ushered in with its pleasant days, and
about a fortnight after his whipping Dandy had the satisfaction of
hearing the subject broached. The excursion was a matter of considerable
importance, for the planter was generally absent two or three weeks,
during which time he and his party lived on board of the large
sail-boat. As there were no guests at Redlawn, the people wondered who
were to be the colonel's companions.

"We will leave on Wednesday," said the planter to his son.

"Are you going alone, father?"

"Certainly not; you may go with me for one, and you may take Dandy with
you. Jake and Cyd shall go to do the heavy work."

"Who else? There is room enough in the cabin for four."

"There is no one else to go. So we shall have the more room ourselves,"
replied the planter, as he walked away.

Master Archy announced to Dandy and Cyd that they were to attend the
party, and both expressed their satisfaction at the privilege accorded
to them. They were directed to put the Isabel, which was the name of
the boat, in good order for the trip. She had to be thoroughly washed
and dried that she might be in readiness to receive her stores on the
following day, which was Tuesday, and they hastened off to perform their
task.

The Isabel was about twenty-five feet long. She was very broad on the
beam, and drew but very little water for a boat of her size. She was
provided with a centre board, and worked admirably on the wind. She had
been built expressly for the shallow waters of the lower lakes.

She was schooner-rigged, and could carry a heavy press of sail, which
the light winds of these inland lakes rendered necessary. The cabin was
twelve feet long, and nine feet wide at the broadest part, and contained
four berths. The "trunk," which was elevated about fifteen inches above
the deck, afforded a height of about five feet beneath. The berths,
which extended beneath the main deck, answered for beds by night, and
sofas by day.

The standing room, or open space abaft the cabin, was eight feet long,
with cushioned seats on three sides. Forward of the cabin there was a
"stow-hold," four feet long, in which the fuel and furnaces used for
cooking were kept. Under the cabin table, and under the berths and seats
in the standing room, were a plenty of lockers for the reception of
provisions and other articles required on board.

We are thus particular in describing the Isabel, because Dandy and his
friends were destined to make their home on board of her for some time.
They might have found many a worse dwelling place on shore, for the boat
had ample accommodations for them. The cabin was elegantly fitted and
furnished, and there was every thing on board which could be needed to
make them comfortable.

While Dandy and Cyd were cleaning the Isabel, the former boldly
announced his purpose to run away, and invited his friend to make one of
the party.

"Golly! Dis chile go for sure!" roared Cyd, displaying his wealth of
ivories, and dropping his scrubbing brush with amazement at the
magnificence of the idea.

"Hush, Cyd! You will tell every one on the place."

"No, sar! I won't tell no one ob it. Dat's de truf, Dandy."

"Be careful then, and don't speak so loud."

"But where you gwine?" demanded Cyd.

"I'm going into the swamp, and shall stay there till master thinks we
are all dead. Then I'm going to run down to the sea, and get on board of
some vessel that will carry us to the free states."

This prospect was rather too much for the simple comprehension of the
unlettered negro boy, and he only rolled the whites of his eyes in mute
astonishment.

"I've studied it all out, Cyd, and I know where to go, and how to get
there."

"Yes, Dandy, you knows ebery ting, and I'll foller you to de end ob de
world--dat's de truf," added Cyd.

"And Lily will go with us."

"Lily?"

"Yes; now keep your mouth shut, and don't look any different from what
you always do."

"Golly--yes; when you gwine to go, Dandy?"

"To-morrow night. Every thing will be put on board, ready for the
colonel to start early the next morning. Just as soon as all the people
in the house have gone to bed, we will meet here, and go on board."

"Den I shall be a free nigger?"

"Yes, if we get off, and the plan works well. But you must be very
careful."

"You kin trust dis chile, Dandy. You knows you kin."

"I do, or I should not have made you my companion."

Dandy instructed his sable friend very minutely in the duties he was to
discharge in connection with the enterprise. He had every confidence in
Cyd's discretion, and knew that he would rather die than betray him.

The Isabel was carefully cleaned, and left to dry in the bright sunshine
of a clear day. The next morning, the steward of the plantation laid out
the stores which were to go on board; and as their storage was a nice
matter, Dandy was charged with this duty. He was assisted by Archy's
boat crew, who conveyed the articles on board; and before sunset the
boat was ready for her cruise. Every locker was filled with meat,
vegetables, crackers, wines, liquors, fruits, cakes, cordials--with
every thing which could contribute to the comfort or luxury of the
excursionists. There were two barrels of water in the standing room, and
the choice fowling pieces of the planter and his son were in the cabin,
with a supply of ammunition sufficient to destroy half the game of the
parish.

To the supplies laid out by the steward, Dandy contrived to add a dozen
hams, nicely sewed up in canvas bags, and several kegs of crackers,
which he took from the store room. These articles were stowed in the
forward cuddy, and concealed beneath the fuel and furnaces, so that the
planter, when he inspected the boat, might not discover them. Some other
articles were placed in a convenient position on shore, that they might
be taken on board in the night.

At sunset, Colonel Raybone went off to the Isabel, and carefully
examined every part of her, to satisfy himself that there had been no
omissions in her outfit.

"You have done very well, Dandy," said the planter, when he had
completed his inspection. "How many hams have you put on board?"

"Six, sir," replied Dandy.

"We may be absent five or six weeks; you may put in six more," added
Colonel Raybone.

"Yes, sir."

He also ordered an additional supply of smoked beef and tongues, which,
of course, the caterer was glad to convey on board. When these stores
had been added to the stock, he was satisfied, and ordered Dandy and Cyd
to be on board by six in the morning.

The superintendent of these operations then locked up the cabin, and
went on shore. Though he was burning with excitement, he managed to
demean himself with his ordinary coolness, and Cyd looked as immovable
as a statue.

At the usual hour they retired to their several rooms, but not to sleep.
Dandy, as the conductor of the enterprise, was weighed down with the
responsibilities of his position. Though he had done every thing he
could to insure the success of the venture, he was still burdened with a
feverish anxiety lest something had been omitted, and with the dread
that something might happen to interfere with the plan.

There were many things which might intervene to thwart his purpose. If
the night should prove to be calm, there would be scarcely a hope of
success; for the Isabel was so large that the two boys could not row her
far enough, before daylight, to place them out of the reach of pursuit.
There was quite a fresh breeze when he went to his room; but he trembled
with fear lest it should subside before he could take advantage of it.

While Miss Edith was at dinner that day, he had found an opportunity to
whisper his purpose into the ear of Lily, and to give her such
instructions as the occasion required. He had no doubt that his
companions would meet him on the pier at the appointed time.

Fortunately for the success of the plan, the family retired at an
earlier hour than usual, and Dandy waited with impatience till the
stillness of the house assured him it was safe to leave his chamber. He
then tied up a portion of his clothing, and crept softly down stairs.
His heart beat with most tremendous pulsations. The opportunity for
which he had been watching and waiting had come, and issues more
terrible than those of life and death hung upon the success of the
enterprise. If he failed, if he was captured, he might expect the
auction block, for Colonel Raybone always sold a servant that attempted
to run away.

The destiny of poor Lily was also in his keeping, and for her to be sold
was to be consigned to a fate worse than death to a pure-minded girl--a
fate which both of them were old enough to understand.

"God be with me!" ejaculated Dandy, half a dozen times before he left
his chamber.

It was all the prayer he ever uttered, but it was an earnest and sincere
one.

"God be with me," repeated he, in a whisper, as he closed the front door
of the house behind him, and with stealthy step crept down to the pier.

Cyd was already there, for he did not sleep in the great house, and had
not to wait the movements of the family. He trembled with excitement as
Dandy joined him, for he knew the fate of the runaway if he was caught.
They immediately brought the articles which had been concealed down to
the steps, and put them in the bateau, which was used as a tender for
the Isabel.

"What's dis for?" asked Cyd, as he deposited two pots of paint in the
boat.

"Don't ask questions," whispered Dandy, earnestly. "Not another word, or
I'll leave you. Now, put these things on board, and mind you don't make
a particle of noise."

Cyd obeyed the order to the letter, and paddled off to the sail-boat.
Every thing was now in readiness for their departure, but Lily had not
yet made her appearance. Cyd returned to the shore, and they waited half
an hour, but the lady's-maid did not come.

There was a stiff breeze blowing, and Dandy was impatient at the loss of
a single moment of precious time. He walked up to the house, fearful
lest something had happened to prevent her from keeping her appointment.
There was a light in Miss Edith's chamber, which explained her
non-appearance; but he could not think of going without her.

When his patience was nearly exhausted, the light was extinguished. Lily
soon made her appearance on the lawn, and they hastened down to the
pier.



CHAPTER VIII.

THE DEPARTURE OF THE YOUNG FUGITIVES.


"Dear me!" exclaimed Lily, when Dandy joined her on the lawn; "I am
frightened out of my senses."

"There is nothing to fear yet, Lily," said her conductor, as he took her
by the hand to restore her confidence. "The wind is quite fresh, and
long before we are missed we shall be out of the reach of pursuit."

"I am frightened, and I can't help it."

"You will feel better when you get on board of the boat. You shall have
a nice cabin, and you can lie down and go to sleep just as you would in
your own chamber."

"I don't think I shall sleep much to-night. I was afraid I should not be
able to join you, for Miss Edith had the headache, and made me stay with
her till she could go to sleep."

"We are all right now, Lily. Every thing is as favorable as it can be.
We have nothing to fear as long as the wind blows."

Lily had very little practical knowledge of boating, and she did not
comprehend the allusions of Dandy; but she trusted him with all her
soul, and when he said there was no danger, her fluttering heart was
calmed down. Before they reached the pier she had entirely recovered her
self-possession, though she could not help being deeply impressed by the
important step she was taking.

Cyd was seated on the landing steps, whistling the air of a negro
melody, as cool as though he was about to engage in a lawful enterprise.
He had been tremendously agitated at the announcement of the idea, and
when he decided to form one of the party; but he was one of that class
to whom exciting events soon become an old story. He already regarded
his freedom as achieved, and he had even made himself familiar with his
new social condition.

Dandy handed Lily into the bateau which was to serve as the Isabel's
tender, and then seated himself in the bow.

"Come, bear a hand, Cyd," said the leader, in a low but sharp tone.

"What am I to bear a hand to?" demanded Cyd.

"Jump in quick, and paddle off to the Isabel."

"Golly! Is dis chile got to row de boat? Says I, 'Cyd,' says I, 'you's a
free nigger, and you got nuffin to do but----'"

"Take your paddle quick, or I will leave you here!" interposed Dandy.

Cyd obeyed this time. His ideas of freedom were, no doubt, derived from
his master and the other white people at Redlawn, who had nothing to do
but amuse themselves and order the negroes round the place. They were
very crude ideas, and he was yet to learn that freedom did not mean
idleness. He paddled the bateau off to the sail-boat, and Lily was put
on board.

"Now, haul the Edith alongside," said the skipper, as he proceeded to
unloose the sails.

"De Edif!" exclaimed Cyd. "Wha--wha--what you gwine to do wid de Edif?"

"Haul her alongside!" replied Dandy, sharply. "If you spend the night in
talking, we shall not get off till morning."

"Hossifus!" ejaculated Cyd, whose vocabulary being rather limited, he
was under the necessity of coining a word occasionally, when he felt the
need of a strong expression. "Dis nigger tink he was free, but it's Do
dis, and Do dat. Hossifus; dis chile tink he's only got a new
massa--dat's all, for sartin."

"If you don't want to go, Cyd, you needn't. I will put you on shore, and
go without you."

"Gossifus! Dis chile like to know what you gwine to do widout Cyd."

"I shall do very well without him. Shall I put you on shore, or not?"

"Possifus! No, Dandy; I'se gwine wid you, any how."

"Then you must mind me!" added the skipper, earnestly.

"I done do dat."

"Haul the Edith alongside, then."

"Sartin, Dandy. I'se gwine to haul de Edif alongside, but dis chile like
to know what for?"

"Mind me, or I'll put you on shore!" cried Dandy, angrily.

"Mossifus! I'se gwine, Dandy," said Cyd as he stepped into the tender,
and paddled off to the Edith, which was moored a short distance above.

Presently he returned, and the painter of the race boat was made fast to
a cleat on the quarter of the Isabel. Cyd was much mystified by the
operation, for he could not see why they should take the Edith with
them. He was very anxious to argue the point with Dandy, who, it seemed
to him, had never before in his life been so sharp and ill-natured. But
the skipper was too much excited by the tremendous issues of the hour to
be in a mood for argument.

By this time Dandy had cast loose the sails, and together they manned
the halyards, and hoisted the mainsail. It was large, and the fresh
breeze caused it to flap and beat with a fearful noise, which added not
a little to the excitement of the skipper.

"Stand by the moorings, Cyd, and have your jib halyards ready!" said
Dandy, as he took his place at the tiller.

"Hossifus! I'm dar, Massa Dandy."

"You needn't 'massa' me, Cyd. Stop!"

"Which'll I do, Massa Dandy, stand by de moorings, or stop?" demanded
Cyd, whose ivories were now distinctly visible in the gloom of the
night.

"Neither; jump into the bateau, and bring the wherry alongside," replied
Dandy.

"Gossifus! What you gwine to do wid de wherry?"

"Mind me, or go on shore!" said the skipper, sternly.

"I'se gwine. Golly! dat makes two boats apiece all round, for sartin."

"Go, quick!"

"I'se gone; 'pears like I'se only swapped off Massa Archy for Massa
Dandy."

But Cyd obeyed the order, and brought the wherry to the side of the
Isabel, to which she was secured, like the other boats. The bewildered
boy was not in the habit of doing his own thinking, and his faculties
were not, therefore, very fully developed, and an explanation would have
relieved him of a world of doubts and conjectures.

"Now, have your jib halyards ready, and stand by the moorings," said
Dandy.

"Yes, sar!" replied Cyd, putting a wicked emphasis on the complimentary
part of the answer.

"Let go the moorings!" shouted Dandy, as he hauled in the main sheet.

"All gone, Massa Dandy," replied Cyd, as the heavy rope by which the
boat was secured splashed into the water.

"Hoist the jib!" added the skipper, in the same loud tones, that he
might be heard above the noise of the flapping sail.

"Up she goes," responded Cyd, joyously.

The Isabel, released from her moorings, caught the breeze, and the
voyage of the young fugitives was commenced. She leaped like a
race-horse before the fresh breeze.

"We done gone!" exclaimed Cyd, as he walked aft, when he had secured the
jib sheet.

"We are off!" replied Dandy, as he cast an anxious glance in the
direction of the planter's great house, to assure himself that none of
its inmates witnessed their departure.

The night was very dark, and there were indications of a storm. It
required all the skill of the bold leader of the expedition to steer the
boat in the thick gloom of the night. The navigation was difficult and
dangerous. The bayou was filled with snags and stumps, and to strike one
of them was to dash the boat in pieces, and wreck all the hopes which
hung upon the success of the enterprise. But Dandy was thoroughly
acquainted with all the difficulties in his course, and was so familiar
with the waters of the bayou, that he was as much at home upon them by
night as by day.

"Hoist the foresail, Cyd," said the skipper.

"Mossifus! Dis chile tinks de boat's gwine fas enough," answered Cyd,
"but I'se gwine to do jus what you say, Massa Dandy."

"Do it then."

Cyd did do it then; but it was evident to the commander of the Isabel
that the "crew" of his vessel was in a lamentable state of
insubordination. All his orders were questioned, and the boat was liable
to go to the bottom in an emergency, because his commands were not
promptly obeyed. He was not a little astonished at Cyd's conduct, for in
the boat of Master Archy he was in the habit of obeying all orders like
a machine, never presuming to ask a question, or suggest a doubt.

The foresail was set, and the Isabel dashed on with increased speed.
There was no more "working ship" to be done, and Cyd again took his
place on the cushioned seats in the standing-room, a luxury, by the way,
in which he had never before attempted to indulge himself; but when it
is considered that he had just emerged from slavery to freedom, his want
of respect for the dignity of the "quarter deck" will be fully excused.

"Go forward, Cyd, and keep a sharp lookout ahead," said Dandy, as soon
as the "crew" was comfortably seated on the cushion.

"Gossifus! I suppose I'se a nigger still," said he. "Dis chile tinks
he's jes as good's any body now."

"You are, Cyd."

"Den I mus squat on de hard deck, and you sets on de cushions."

"Take one of the cushions with you, if you wish to; but go forward and
keep a sharp lookout."

"I'se gwine."

"Go, then."

"Dis nigger don't zackly like dis kind ob freedom," growled Cyd, as he
moved forward.

The wind was about south-west, which was fair for the course the Isabel
was then steering, and in three quarters of an hour she made Green
Point. Dandy could not but recall the events which had occurred there
three weeks before, for they had stimulated him to the daring enterprise
in which he was now engaged. It was there he had resolved to watch and
wait in patience and submission for a less perilous opportunity to
effect his escape than that which he had now embraced. The spot was full
of interest, for his great resolution had been born there; but the
moment was big with the destiny of the whole party, and he could not
stop to indulge in sentimental reflections.

"Stand by the jib sheet, Cyd!" said he, as the Isabel swept past the
point.

"Yes, sar--all ready!" replied Cyd, who had so many times assisted in
working the boat, that he was perfectly familiar with the routine of a
foremast hand's duty.

"Hard--lee!" cried Dandy, as he put the helm down, and brought the
Isabel up on the other tack.

Cyd tended the jib sheet without further instruction, and then took his
place again on the forecastle to look out for danger ahead. The course
for the next five miles was up the large bayou, of which the Crosscut
was a tributary. It was lined on both sides with large trees, which
sheltered the water, to some extent, from the force of the wind, and her
progress was less rapid than before. The navigation was less obstructed,
and Cyd was called aft to enjoy the luxury of the cushioned seats.

Lily, who had now become reconciled to her situation, also joined the
skipper in the standing room. The hurry and excitement of the departure
had passed off, and the load of anxiety was removed from the mind of
Dandy.

It was midnight, dark and gloomy; but the young fugitives felt that they
were passing from the gloom of slavery into the light of freedom. The
first difficulties of the enterprise had been overcome, and though there
were months of peril and hardship before them, it seemed as though the
glorious sun of the new existence had already risen.



CHAPTER IX.

THE FUGITIVES REACH LAKE CHICOT.


The Isabel moved steadily through the waters of the wide bayou, bearing
her precious freight farther and farther from the plantation. With every
mile she advanced, the hopes of the fugitives grew stronger. Though
Dandy alone knew the route by which they were to reach the land of
freedom, they were conscious that any white man whom they might meet
would arrest them as runaways. Before they could pass out of the limits
of the state, they must go in sight of many plantations, where they were
liable to be seen, and even near two or three villages.

In spite of the perils which the future had in store for them, the party
were quite cheerful. Even Lily, gentle and timid as she was, soon became
accustomed to the novel situation in which she was placed, and ceased
to dread the pursuing footsteps of the slave-hunters.

"Do you think we shall escape, Dandy?" asked she, as she seated herself
by the side of her friend.

"I expect we shall," replied he, unwilling to kindle too strong a hope
in the mind of the girl. "If we manage well, we have a good chance."

"I hope we shall, for master would certainly sell us all if we should be
caught."

"Dat ud be wus as staying wid Massa Kun'l," added Cyd. "But I s'pect we
won't be caught, Massa Dandy."

"Why do you call me master, Cyd?"

"Dis chile tink you cutting it rader fat."

"What do you mean by that?"

"You'se tell me do dis, and, Cyd, do dat,--jes as dough dis nigger no
account at all."

"I am in command of the boat; and it was my duty to get her under way.
When I told you to do any thing, you began to ask questions."

"Dis nigger's free now," replied Cyd, with becoming dignity.

"Not yet, Cyd. We may be caught at any moment."

"Gossifus! I tought I was free now."

"What made you think so?"

"We done runned away from Massa Kun'l."

"He may catch you again."

"De Kun'l ain't here, no how, Dandy; 'pose I neber see him any more, and
he neber see me any more, who's my massa den?"

"When you get into a free country, you will be free."

"But who's my massa now? Dat's what dis chile want to know for sartin."

"You have no master."

"Den I'se free," exclaimed Cyd, exhibiting his ivories, which the gloom
of the night, increased by the deep shadows of the tall trees, was
powerless to conceal. "I tell you, I'se a free nigger."

Cyd commenced a most violent demonstration of satisfaction as he
contemplated his new social position. He laughed, kicked with his heels,
sang and danced. He felt that he had got the best of the argument, and
this was no small ground of rejoicing.

"Suppose you should be caught?"

"Den I be Massa Kun'l's boy again."

"But why did you call me Massa Dandy?"

"Kase you order me round jes like Massa Kun'l, and de white folks. Dis
chile begin to tink he's your nigger."

"You are just as good as I am."

"Yes, sar; Cyd knows all about dat. You tell me to git de row boat; den
to git de wherry; and when I ask what for, you tell me to mind my own
business, and not ask queshuns."

"It was because we had no time to spare," replied Dandy, whose feelings
were injured by the charge of his sable companion.

"Dat may be; but you speak to me jes like de white folks."

"I didn't mean to do or say any thing that would make me seem like a
master, for I hate the very sound of the word."

"Hossifus!" exclaimed Cyd, gratified by this acknowledgment. "I done
tink you meant to be my massa, jes like de kun'l. If dis chile jes as
good you be, Cyd can't see why you don't tell what you do dese tings
for."

"I am willing to tell you what I did these things for, now that I have
time to do so. But, Cyd, I will change places with you."

"Possifus! What fur?"

"You shall command the boat, and I will obey all your orders without
asking a single question."

"What, Cyd?"

"Yes, Cyd," replied Dandy, earnestly. "Here, take the helm!"

"Gossifus! I dunno whar you're gwine."

"Very well; I will give you my map of the country, and you shall find
the way for yourself, as I shall have to do."

"What you gib me?"

"The map."

"What's dat?"

"Here it is," replied Dandy, giving him a small pocket map of the State
of Louisiana, of which he had possessed himself a few days before the
departure.

Cyd took the map, turned it over two or three times, and could not make
out its use. Lily and Dandy both enjoyed his confusion, for it was a
great puzzle to him to know how they were to find their way through the
swamp by the aid of this little book, as he called it. A lantern was
lighted, and Lily unfolded the map, and spread it out upon one of the
berths.

"Mossifus!" exclaimed Cyd, when he had carefully examined the map, and
the lantern was prudently extinguished. "I don't see what dis paper
fur."

"It's all I have to guide me to the ocean, after we have passed Chicot.
Now, if you will take the map, and command the boat, I will obey you in
all things."

"Golly! I don't see what good de paper's fur. I kin foller de norf
star."

"But we are going to the south."

"I tink I will stay where I is, and you shall command de boat."

"Then you must mind me at once. Our very lives may depend upon your
prompt obedience."

"I will, Dandy."

"Free men have to obey, as well as slaves. On board a ship, every body
obeys the captain."

"What's use ob bein free, den?"

"The captain of the ship can't sell the sailor, nor separate him from
his wife and children. The man is paid for what he does, and when his
voyage is up he may go where he pleases."

"I knows all about it now, Dandy."

"I don't want to be called Dandy any more. My name is Daniel, but you
may call me Dan for short."

"Possifus! Den's what's my name? I'se free too, and I wan't my name
changed."

"Your name is Thucydides."

"Tucydimes!"

"No, Thucydides," laughed Dan--for we will adopt his suggestion, and
call him no longer by his plantation name.

"Hossifus! Hab to git up afore breakfast to speak dat word in season for
dinner," chuckled Cyd.

"You are called Cyd for short, as I am Dan. There is nothing bad about
the word."

"It's a very good name, Cyd," added Lily.

"Goshus! If you say so, Missy Lily, it's all right. If it suits de fair
seck, it suits me," said Cyd, shaking his fat sides with satisfaction.
"Dis chile don't keer what you calls him, if you only calls him to
supper."

"Now, Cyd, I will answer the questions you asked when we were getting
under way."

"Yes, what ye got all dem boats draggin arter us fur?"

"Don't you see the reason, Cyd?"

The boy scratched his head, but he could not see. As we have before
observed, he had not been in the habit of doing his own thinking, and,
consequently, he was not skilled in reasoning from effect to cause.

"Suppose we had left the boats, Cyd," added Dan.

"Den we shouldn't hab em wid us, keepin de boat back."

"At six o'clock in the morning, Colonel Raybone will be ready to start
on his trip. He will go down to the pier, and expect to find us all
there."

"Gossifus! we shan't be dar!" exclaimed Cyd, whose imagination was
lively enough to enable him to picture the scene that would ensue.

"What then, Cyd?"

"Golly! Massa Kun'l up and rave like he neber did afore," replied Cyd,
who appeared to enjoy the idea.

"Well, what then?"

"Dunno. He can't help hisself," chuckled Cyd.

"Suppose we had left the boats?"

"Mossifus! He tell four stout boys to git in de club-boat, and streak it
down de riber like an alligator arter a possum. Yah! ha, ha!" roared
Cyd, holding on to his sides.

"Do you see why I have taken all the boats?"

"Yes, Dandy--Dan; I sees into it jes like a millstone. You'se got a long
head, Dan. But what ye gwine to do wid de paint?"

"We shall live in the swamp till the colonel has done looking for us.
This boat is white now, and we will paint her green, so that she can't
be seen so easily."

"Dat's good, Dan; but de kun'l won't stop lookin fur us till he finds
out something."

"I mean that he shall find out something. He will suppose that we have
gone to the north. He will never suspect that we have come this way.
Here we are," said Dan, suddenly rising in the boat, as she came to a
narrow opening on the southerly bank of the river.

Running the boat up to the bank of the bayou, he ordered Cyd to make her
fast to a tree on the shore.

"What's gwine to be done now, Dan?" asked Cyd, when he had obeyed the
order.

"We shall follow the big river no farther. Now, I want to make Master
Raybone think we have gone up that way, which leads to the Mississippi.
I left some papers in my room, which will convince him that I intended
to go that way. Now, Lily, we must leave you for a little while," added
Dan, as he drew the bateau alongside. "We will not be gone more than an
hour."

Dan and Cyd got into the bateau, and towed the other boats about two
miles up the river, where they secured them in such a position that they
seemed to be abandoned. When the search for them was made, these boats
would be found two miles from the course the fugitives had actually
taken. They then pulled back to the Isabel, and got under way again.

Their course was now changed, and the boat passed down the narrow
cut-off, which soon widened into a broad stream. The wind, which had
been quite fresh when they started, had now subsided to a gentle breeze;
but as the country was more open than on the Big River, as it was
called, they still moved along at the rate of three or four miles an
hour.

At five o'clock in the morning--Dan had a silver watch which had been
presented to him by Master Archy--they reached the entrance of Lake
Chicot. It was about daylight, and as there was a plantation on the
western bank, it was not deemed prudent to proceed any farther, for if
the boat was seen, it would at once be recognized as that of Colonel
Raybone.

The westerly side of the lake was low, swampy ground, covered with a
thick growth of trees and an undergrowth of cane. The skipper of the
Isabel ran along this shore till he found a stream flowing into the
lake. Hauling up the centre board, he ran his craft into this creek. As
the sails would not draw, being sheltered by the trees and cane, the two
boys worked the boat up the stream with their oars till she was
completely concealed from the opposite shore, or from the lake, if any
boat should happen to pass during the day.

Here the careful skipper intended to lie until the friendly shades of
another night should permit them to proceed on the voyage to a more
secure haven.



CHAPTER X.

BREAKFAST ON BOARD THE ISABEL.


"Now, Cyd, get up the furnace, and make a fire," said Dan, as soon as
the sails of the Isabel had been furled, and the boat carefully secured
to a tree on the shore.

"Sartin," replied Cyd, as he took off the hatch of the stow-hold. "Who's
gwine to be de cook, Dan?"

"Do you know how to cook, Cyd?"

"Hossifus! I don't know nossin at all 'bout it."

"Neither do I; and I think Lily does not. I will try my hand at the
business first. We can make some coffee, boil the potatoes, and fry the
bacon. I am sure I can do that."

"So kin Cyd."

"Just as soon as we get to the place where we are going, we will divide
the work between us. You shall be cook one week, and I will the next
week. Now bring up the bacon, the potatoes, and the coffee."

Old Jake, who was to do the cooking for the excursionists, had provided
every thing that would be needed for the purpose. In a short time the
fires were blazing in the two furnaces, the coffee and the potatoes were
boiling upon one, and the other was in readiness for the frying-pan,
when the other articles should be in a sufficiently forward state to
require its use.

Though Dan had never actually turned his hand to the business of
cooking, he had so often seen the various operations performed, that he
was competent to do it himself, after acquiring a little experience. He
was a keen observer, and whenever he saw any thing done, he could
generally do it himself.

In the forward part of the cabin of the Isabel, reaching from the
foremast to the centre-board, was a fixed table; and while Dan was
cooking the bacon, Cyd prepared it for the morning meal. They had every
thing which could be found in any well-ordered house, and the table had
more the appearance of that of a first-class hotel than one provided for
the use of the runaway slaves.

"Possifus!" exclaimed Cyd, when the table was ready, as he sat down upon
the berth to observe the effect. "Dat's bery fine! Cyd, you'se gwine to
set down to dat table. You'se a free nigger, now, Cyd, and jes as good
as de best ob dem. Dar's de bread, dar's de pickles, dar's de butter,
dar's de sugar, dar's de milk, dar's de salt, dar's de castor. Gossifus!
All dat's bery fine, and Cyd's gwine to set down at de fus table."

"Here, Cyd," called Dan, through the sky-light, as he proceeded to pass
down the breakfast. "Put them on the table."

"Mossifus! Do you think Cyd don't know what to do wid dese yere tings? I
knows what fried bacon's fur!"

The potatoes, the bacon, and the coffee were handed down, and when they
were placed upon the table, the effect called forth another rhapsody
from Cyd. While he was apostrophizing the bacon and the potatoes, he was
joined by Dan.

"Come, Lily," said he; "breakfast is ready."

"Hossifus! We forgot one ting for sartin," exclaimed Cyd, suddenly
looking as sober as though he had not a friend in the world.

"What, Cyd."

"De bell."

"Bell? What do we want of a bell?"

"To call de folks to breakfas, to be sure," replied Cyd, distending his
mouth from ear to ear.

"I think we can get along without a bell," replied Dan, laughing at the
folly of his companion.

Lily joined the boys in the forward cabin, as they called the space
forward of the centre-board. She looked as pleased and happy as Dan and
Cyd; and one would hardly have believed, from their appearance, that
they were fugitives from slavery. All the talk about the chilly damps of
the swamp, the perils and the hardships of the flight, appeared to have
been forgotten. The planter and his son could hardly have been more
jovial than the party which had taken possession of the yacht.

Cyd was not accustomed to the refinements of social life, as Dan and
Lily had been, and he began to behave in a very indecorous and
remarkable manner. As it was all in the family, Dan ventured to suggest
to him that, as he was now seated at a gentleman's table, he should
behave in a gentlemanly manner, and not eat bacon from his fingers, when
a knife and fork had been especially provided for this purpose. Cyd
accepted the rebuke, and thereafter imitated the manners of his
companions, even carrying his ideas of gentility to extremes.

The cooking was a decided success, with the exception of the coffee,
which was very muddy and uninviting. This was not strange, inasmuch as
none of the chemical conditions, upon which good coffee is produced, had
been complied with. It was nothing but coffee and water stewed together.
Dan was mortified, and apologized for the failure.

"How did you make it, Dan?" asked Lily, with a smile, which fully spoke
the offender's pardon.

"I put the coffee in, and then the water," replied the amateur cook,
with a blush.

"Hot water?"

"No, cold."

Lily laughed aloud at this blunder, and then gave him a receipt for
making good coffee, which included the use of boiling water and
fish-skin.

"I saw that fish-skin in the locker, and I couldn't think what it was
for?" laughed Dan.

But the breakfast was finished, and, in spite of the drawback of poor
coffee, it was pronounced satisfactory, especially by Cyd, whose
plantation rations had not included coffee, butter, white bread, and
other articles which graced the table of the Isabel.

"Now, Dan and Cyd, you can go away and do what you please," said Lily.

"We will clear up the table and wash the dishes first," replied Dan.

"No; I am going to do that."

"You, Lily?"

"I am going to do my share of the work. I can't manage a boat, but I
think I can cook, and take care of the cabin, set the table, and do
every thing that belongs to the women."

"I didn't mean to have you work, Lily," said Dan. "You have been a
lady's-maid all your life, and never did any work."

"Well, I know how; and I'm going to do my share. I should not feel right
to live like a lady here. I mean to do all the work in the cabin, and
the cooking too."

"No, Cyd and I will do that."

"Mossifus! Do all dat, and all de rest too."

"I must do something, or I should be very unhappy."

"Well, Lily, you shall have your own way; and while you are clearing off
the table, Cyd and I will prepare the lady's cabin."

"The what?" asked Lily.

"Your cabin; you shall have a room all to yourself."

Dan left the cabin, followed by Cyd. Taking from one of the lockers, in
the standing room, an awning which was used to spread over the forward
deck, he unrolled it, and proceeded to make his calculations, while Cyd
stood by, scratching his head and wondering what was going to be done.

The cabin of the Isabel was entered by two doors, one on each side of
the centre-board, which divided the after cabin into two apartments.
Dan, after measuring the cabin, cut the awning to the size required,
and then nailed it up as a partition between the forward and the after
cabin. The space thus enclosed formed a state room, six feet long and
three feet wide, outside of the berth. This room could be entered only
by the door from the standing room. It made a very neat and comfortable
chamber, and Lily was much pleased with it.

By the time the dishes were washed and put away, there was considerable
gaping among the party. Cyd opened his mouth fearfully wide, and Miss
Lily's eyelids drooped, like her fragrant namesake, when its mission on
earth is nearly finished. The fugitives had come to the knowledge that
they had slept none during the preceding night, and as the voyage was to
be continued when darkness favored the movement, it was necessary that
the hours should be appropriated to slumber. Lily retired to her new
state room, closed the door, and was soon asleep.

"Now, Cyd, one of us must turn in," said Dan.

"Can't we bof turn in?"

"No; one of us must stand watch while the other sleeps. We have been
getting along so finely, that we have almost forgot that we are in
danger."

"Possifus!" gasped Cyd. "Wha--wha--what you want to keep watch fur?"

"Suppose any one should come upon us while we are asleep?" added Dan.

"'Pose any one come 'pon us when we're awake: what den? Who's a gwine to
help hisself?" yawned Cyd.

"I am, for one. I shall not be taken, if I can help it."

"Gossifus! What you gwine to do? 'Pose you see de nigger hunter, wid
tree, four dozen bloodhounds: wha--wha--what you gwine to do den?"

"I'm going to fight! And you must do the same!" replied Dan, with
energy, as he grasped one of the fowling-pieces that lay upon the bunk.

"Gwine to fight!" cried Cyd, opening his eyes with astonishment. "Gwine
to kill de dogs and kill de men?"

"That's what I mean. I will shoot man or dog that attempts to touch me."

"Wha--wha--wha--" stammered Cyd, as he always did when excited; but the
idea was too big for him just then, and he broke down altogether.

"That's a settled point, and you must learn to use a gun."

"Woo--woo--woo--would you shoot Massa Kun'l, if he come for to take
you?" demanded Cyd.

"I would, or any other man. I belong to myself now, and I will fight for
my own freedom to the last."

"I dunno 'bout dat, Dan," mused Cyd. "Hossifus! Shoot Massa Kun'l! Dunno
'bout dat."

"Turn in, Cyd, and go to sleep. You may have the first chance."

The two boys drew lots for the choice of berths, and Dan obtained the
after one. Cyd was soon snoring in one of the forward bunks, while Dan
took his place upon deck to guard against the approach of man or beast
that might threaten their newly-acquired freedom.



CHAPTER XI.

THE BAY OF THE BLOODHOUNDS.


Dan had his solitary watch for four hours, with nothing to disturb his
meditations except the occasional visit of an alligator; but as the ugly
reptiles did not offer to swallow the boat, or otherwise interfere with
her, the lonely sentinel did not even challenge the intruders. He was
very sleepy, for he had not closed his eyes during the preceding night,
and his great purpose had sadly interfered with his slumbers since the
time for its execution had been fixed.

It was one o'clock when he called the "watch below." Lily was still
wrapped in slumber, worn out by her sleepless night, and by the
excitement of her novel position. After charging Cyd to keep awake,
assuring him that "eternal vigilance was the price of liberty," Dan went
into the cabin to obtain the rest he so much needed. He slept soundly,
and, no doubt, dreamed strange things; but when he awoke it was nearly
dark. Starting up with a spring, he bounded to the deck, where he found
Cyd fast asleep upon the cushions of the standing room.

"Cyd!" exclaimed he, seizing the faithless sentinel by the collar. "Is
this the way you keep watch?"

"Possifus!" ejaculated Cyd, as he sprang to his feet. "I done been
asleep."

"Been asleep! I should think you had! Have you been snoring there all
the afternoon?"

"No, _sar_! Dis chile hain't been asleep more'n two minutes--no, sar,
nor more'n a minute and a half."

"Yes, you have; you have been asleep all the afternoon. You deserve to
be a slave all the rest of your life!" added Dan, indignantly.

"Gossifus! I tink not. Wha--wha--wha--what does you mean by dat?"
stuttered Cyd.

"How dared you go to sleep when you were on watch?"

"I tell you, Dan, I'se been wide awake all de arternoon. Hadn't been
asleep quite two minutes."

"He hasn't slept long, Dan," said Lily, as she came out of the cabin;
"for I was with him only a little while ago."

"I'm glad of it, if he hasn't," added Dan, more calmly.

"You kin bet yer life dis chile don't go to sleep on de watch. No,
_sar_!"

"But you did go to sleep, Cyd. You were asleep when I came on deck."

"I jes close my eyes for a minute, but I was jes gwine to wake up when
you comed on deck."

"I can't keep awake all the time; I must sleep some."

"Bout six hours," chuckled Cyd; and his companion had really slept about
this time.

"Why didn't you call me then, as I did you?"

"I told him not to do so, Dan," interposed Lily, whose sweet smile was
sure to remove any objection which Dan might have. "We ate our supper
about an hour ago. Cyd was going to call you, but I wouldn't let him. I
knew how tired you were, and you will not have any chance to sleep
to-night."

"It was very kind of you, Lily," said Dan with a smile. "But I must
teach Cyd not to sleep when he is on watch. Any carelessness of this
kind might spoil every thing."

"I never'll go to sleep on de watch agin, so help me Possifus!"
exclaimed Cyd, now fully impressed by the magnitude of his criminal
neglect.

"I'll answer for him," said Lily; "I'll stay on deck and keep him awake
next time."

"O, no, you needn't, Lily."

"But why can't I keep watch in the daytime, and let both of you sleep?
If there was any danger I could call you."

"I don't mean to ask you to keep watch, or do any such work. It is not a
woman's place."

"I mean to take my turn next time," said she, resolutely. "Now, Dan, I
will get your supper. Cyd and I ate bread and butter, and drank cold
water; but if you are going to sail the boat all night, you will want
some tea."

"Thank you, Lily; you are very kind. I will get the tea myself."

"No, you shall not. I am not going to be idle all the time. I mean to do
my share of the labor. If it isn't a woman's work to keep watch, it is
to get tea; and if you please, I will do it myself."

My young readers will remember that Lily, though a slave girl, was a
gentle, delicate creature. She had never done any manual labor. She had
simply stood by her young mistress, fanned her when she was warm,
brushed away the flies, handed her a book, or other article, when she
wanted it, picked up her handkerchief when she dropped it, and assisted
at her toilet. If Miss Edith needed any greater exertion of bone and
muscle, another person was called to render the service. But she had
been about the kitchen and work rooms of the plantation, and having a
taste for the various housekeeping operations, she had incidentally
acquired some little skill in cooking, needle-work, and other branches
of female industry.

Her form was agile and graceful, her organization delicate; and no
person, even with a knowledge of her social condition, and rankly imbued
with southern prejudices, could have denied that she was beautiful in
form and feature. Her complexion was fairer than that of a majority of
Anglo-Saxon maidens. Her eye was soft, and sweetly expressive. Such was
Lily, the slave girl of Redlawn; and when she talked of performing the
drudgery of the Isabel, Dan, with that chivalrous consideration for the
gentler sex which characterizes the true gentleman, resented the idea.
He preferred to labor day and night, rather than permit her to soil her
white hands with the soot of the furnaces.

Lily, as we have seen, had wiser and more sensible ideas on the subject.
She had an instinctive contempt for that sort of chivalry, and in spite
of the remonstrances of the knightly skipper of the Isabel, she kindled
a fire, and with the assistance of Cyd, soon placed the tea and bread
and butter upon the cabin table. She then took her place at the head of
the board, and "did the honors" with an elegance and grace which would
have adorned the breakfast parlor at Redlawn. Though Cyd had been to
supper, he accepted the invitation to repeat the operation.

Before the meal was commenced, it was necessary to light the cabin
lantern, which swung over the table. Whether there is any exhilaration
in a cup of tea or not, the party soon became very cheerful; and Cyd was
as chipper as though he were in the midst of the Christmas holidays.

After supper Dan took the bateau, and pulled out to the lake, to
reconnoitre the position, and assure himself that there were no
obstacles to the departure of the Isabel. When he returned, Lily had
washed the dishes and put the cabin in order, thus carrying her point,
and establishing herself as mistress in this department. Dan did not
deem it prudent to start so early in the evening; but the sails were
hoisted, and every thing made ready for the departure.

The wind was light, and the leader of the expedition had some doubts
about starting at all that night. The Isabel had made only about twenty
miles during the preceding night, with a strong breeze to help her
during a portion of the time. He had carefully studied the maps in his
possession, and estimated the distances by the scale between the various
points. He knew exactly where he intended to go, and a failure to reach
the place before daylight would expose him to the risk of being seen
from some of the plantations on the banks of the lake.

The responsibility of deciding this important question rested upon him
alone. The distance to be accomplished before they could reach another
place of security was about twenty-five miles. An average of three miles
an hour would enable him to complete the passage by sunrise, and he at
last decided to attempt it.

About nine o'clock the two boys got into the bateau, and towed the
Isabel out of the creek, and with gaff-topsails and staysail set, in
addition to the jib, fore, and main sails, the voyage was renewed.
Keeping as near the western shore of the lake as it was prudent to go,
the boat glided gently over the tranquil waters.

In a couple of hours the Isabel reached the narrow outlet of the lake.
Thus far, the south-westerly wind had enabled her to run with a free
sheet; but at this point the course changed, and Dan found that he
should be compelled to beat dead to windward in order to reach his
destination. Then he wished he had not started; but up the creek he had
been unable to determine from what direction the light breeze came, and
had decided the question to the best of his ability.

Though he had no reason to reproach himself for his want of care, the
situation was none the less difficult or trying on that account. But
there was one compensating advantage: as he passed through the narrow
outlet of the lake, the broad surface of the Chetemache was before him.
It was forty miles long by ten miles wide, and afforded him abundant
space in which to work the boat. And in this open sea the wind came
unobstructed to his sails.

The course of the Isabel, on her first tack, lay close to the eastern
shore of the lake. The boat moved very slowly through the water, and
Lily and Cyd sat by the side of the skipper, talking in low tones of the
future, with its hopes and its trials, its joys and its dangers.
Suddenly they heard a crackling sound in the cane-brake near them; then
came from a greater distance the bay of bloodhounds. There was no
mistaking these sounds; and for an hour they listened in almost
breathless anxiety to these appalling indications of a slave-hunt.

The yelp of the dogs came nearer and nearer; but they had lost the
sounds which indicated the presence of the hunted fugitive.

"Gossifus!" whispered Cyd, for he had been forbidden to speak a loud
word. "Where you 'pose de nigger dem dogs is chasin' is?"

"I don't know. I pray that he may escape," replied Dan.

"Can't you help him?" asked Lily, whose frame shook with terror, as her
fancy pictured the terrible scene which she had so often heard
described.

A splash in the water a hundred yards astern of the Isabel now attracted
the attention of the party.

"Can't you help him?" repeated Lily, in trembling tones.

"It will not be safe for us to show ourselves, for the human bloodhounds
are not far off."

"Do help him if you can. Save him from those terrible dogs!" pleaded
Lily.

"He will swim to that island," said Dan. "Perhaps the dogs will not
catch him."

"Yes, they will."

"Yes, dey will. Dey done leap in de water. Dar dey go!" added Cyd, as
they listened to the splashes as the brutes sprang into the lake.

"Save him! Save him, Dan!" cried Lily.

"It may cost us our lives and our liberty," replied Dan.

"No matter. Let us die if we can save the poor man from the fangs of the
bloodhounds."

"I will, Lily," replied Dan, as he put the Isabel about, and headed
towards the small island, about half a mile from the shore. "Take the
helm, Cyd," continued he, as he left his post at the tiller, and rushed
into the cabin.

He returned in a moment with two fowling-pieces in his hands, and
proceeded to load them. By this time the panting fugitive was distinctly
seen, closely pursued by the dogs.



CHAPTER XII.

QUIN, THE RUNAWAY.


Dan had loaded the fowling-pieces with buckshot. Though not a good
marksman, he had some experience in the use of arms, and felt fully
competent to cut off the bloodhounds before they could pounce upon their
human prey. Leaving Cyd at the helm, he went forward and stationed
himself at the heel of the bowsprit.

The dogs were better swimmers than the fugitive, and were rapidly
gaining upon him, for the poor creature's limbs seemed to be partially
paralyzed by the appalling danger that menaced him. The Isabel was
approaching the scene of this exciting race with a rapidity which
promised soon to terminate the affair.

Dan immediately obtained a correct idea of the relative positions of the
dog and the man. His object was to run the boat between them, and thus
cut off the savage beasts from their prey.

"Luff a little, Cyd," said he.

"Luff 'em 'tis," replied the helmsman, who was boatman enough to
understand the nautical phrase, and even to handle the craft under the
direction of a more skilful skipper.

"Steady as she is."

"See here, Dan. Is you gwine to shoot?" asked Cyd.

"Certainly I am. What do you suppose I got the guns for?"

"Possifus! What you gwine to shoot?"

"The dogs, of course. Luff a little--luff! You are letting her fall
off."

"Luff 'em 'tis. See here, Dan. You be mighty keerful you don't hit de
nigger."

"Silence, now, and mind your helm! You are steering wild."

Cyd had so far improved in the cultivation of the quality of obedience
on shipboard, that he did not speak again, but he was fearfully excited
by the stirring scene which was transpiring near him. Dan was not less
moved, though his cool determination produced a different manifestation
of his feelings. He was conscious of the danger to which his
interference in the hunt subjected him. There were probably several
slave-hunters on the track of the fugitive. The Isabel would be seen by
them, and possibly be recognized, which would certainly bring pursuers
upon her track.

But it was not in his nature to permit his suffering fellow-creature, in
this unequal strife, to be conquered by his human and brute antagonists.
The appeal of the gentle Lily had been addressed to a sympathizing
heart, and he entered with all his soul upon the task of saving the
slave from the fangs of his pursuers.

The Isabel had now come within a few yards of the dogs and their prey.
The time for action had come. Dan was fully sensible of the great crime,
as the southern slave law regarded it, of shooting a "nigger dog;" but
with a steady hand, though his heart bounded with exciting emotions, he
raised the gun to his shoulder, and taking deliberate aim at the nearest
hound, he fired. The brute gave a deep yell, and for some time
continued to splash about in the water.

"Don't shoot me, massa! Don't shoot me, and I'll gib myself up," cried
the fugitive, who seemed to have heard the report of the gun, without
observing the effect which the shot had produced.

"I mean to save you," replied Dan, as he levelled the gun at another of
the dogs; but this time he missed his aim, and the hound continued to
swim towards the negro.

"Luff a little more," said Dan to Cyd, as the boat came between the man
and the dogs.

"Luff 'em 'tis."

As the boat now divided the dogs from their prey, Dan did not again load
the guns; but seizing the boat-hook, he gave the foremost hound a knock
on the head, which caused him to retreat, howling with pain.

"Swim this way," cried Dan to the negro. "I will save you."

"Yes, sar," gasped the negro, whose breath was nearly exhausted by the
hard struggle through which he had just passed.

As the Isabel luffed up, the fugitive came alongside, and Dan assisted
him to climb upon the deck.

"O Lord!" groaned he, as he threw himself at full length upon the
forecastle.

"Poor fellow!" sighed Lily, who ran forward to see the sufferer as soon
as he was hauled on board. "What can we do for him?"

"He needs rest. He is all worn out. He may have run for miles before he
took to the water."

"Can't we give him something? There is some cold tea in the cabin."

"I will get him something," added Dan; and he ran aft and entered the
cabin.

He returned in a moment with a bottle and a tumbler. The fugitive still
lay upon the deck, panting and groaning like a dying gladiator after the
mortal struggle of the arena. Freedom was worth the exertion he had
made, though every fibre in his frame had been strained. He had manfully
fought the battle, though without the interference of our party he would
certainly have lost the day. Dan poured out a tumblerful of the wine
which the bottle contained, and placed it at the lips of the sufferer.
He eagerly drank off the draught, and sank back upon the deck.

"He will be better soon. He is all out of breath," said Dan, as he
brought one of the cushions from the standing room and put it under the
poor man's head.

"Gossifus!" shouted Cyd, who still retained his position at the helm,
though his interest in the scene of the forward deck caused him to steer
very badly. "Hossifus!" added he, in gasping tones; "de dogs! de dogs!"

"What's the matter, Cyd?" demanded Dan.

"De dogs! Dey done eat dis chile all up! Dey won't leabe de ghost ob a
grease-spot luff of dis nigger!" cried Cyd, in mortal terror.

"Mind how you steer, then!" replied Dan, hastening to the assistance of
his terrified companion. "Don't you see you have thrown her up into the
wind, so that the sails don't draw a bit!"

"Mossifus! dis chile don't wan't to be food for de dogs."

"You will be, if you don't mind what you are about," said Dan, as he
took the tiller; and putting it up, the boat gathered fresh headway, and
soon shot out of reach of the bloodhounds.

"Why don't you shoot de wicked dogs?"

"I don't want any more noise. I hate the dogs as bad as you do, but we
must be careful," replied Dan. "Now, can you mind what you are about,
and keep the sails full."

"Dis chile kin do dat, for sartin."

"If you don't the dogs will have you. Now, be careful, and I will go
forward, and take care of the poor fellow, who is nearly dead. Watch the
sails; never mind the dogs; they can't catch you, if you sail the boat
properly."

"You kin trus dis chile for dat. Cyd isn't afeerd ob notin, only he
don't want to be eat up by de wicked dogs."

Dan went forward, where Lily was bending over the panting runaway,
rubbing his temples, and speaking sweet words of hope and comfort to
him. In a short time he was in some measure recovered from the effects
of his fearful struggle with the fate that beset him.

"I was sure I was caught, when I saw de boat," said he, as he raised
himself to a sitting posture, and gazed with astonishment at those who
had so singularly proved to be friends, instead of foes.

"Are there any men on your track?" asked Dan, who could not lose sight
of the peril he had incurred by this Samaritan act.

"I speck dar is," replied he. "I hear dem off eber so far, but I don't
see dem."

"Can they chase you on the lake?"

"I speck dey can. Dey'll get a boat and follor de dogs."

"Where are you from?" asked Lily.

"From Major Pembroke's plantation, 'bout ten mile from dese yere parts,
I speck."

"How long since you run away?"

"I luff de place about tree days ago. I stay in de cane-brake till noon
to-day, and git so hungry I could stan it no longer. Den I goes out to
find someting to eat. Den somebody sees me, and dey follow me wid de
dogs. I done kill two of dem dogs, and I kill de rest, but I hear de men
coming, and I run for de lake. I speck, when I git in de water, to frow
de dogs off de scent, but dey git so near dey see and hear me. Dem's
mighty fine nigger dogs, or dey never follor me into de water. I done
gib it all up when I hear dem in de water arter me."

"Did you get any thing to eat when you went out of the cane-brake,"
asked Lily.

"No, missy; I got seen 'fore I find any ting."

"Poor fellow! Then you haven't had any thing to eat for three days?"

"Noting but leabes an de bark ob trees."

"I will give you some supper at once," said Lily, as she hastened to the
cabin.

"Lily!" called Dan. "You mustn't light the lantern, or make a fire."

"Why not?"

"The light would betray us. The slave-hunters will soon be out in their
boat after this man."

"I will not, then."

While Lily was engaged below, Dan provided the runaway with a suit of
his own clothes, which were not much too small for him, as he was a man
of medium stature. He then conducted him to the standing room, for he
was still too weak to walk without support. His supper was brought up,
and he ate cold bacon and potatoes, bread and cheese, till the wondering
Lily thought he would devour their whole stock of provisions, and till
Dan kindly suggested that he would make himself sick if he ate any more.

While he was eating, Dan satisfied his curiosity in regard to the Isabel
and the party on board of her. The runaway, whose name was Quin,--an
abbreviation of Quincy,--listened with astonishment to the story of
these elegant fugitives, who ran away in a yacht, and lived in a style
worthy of a planter's mansion. No doubt he thought their experience was
poetical and pretty, compared with his own, for his flight had been a
death struggle with famine and flood, with man and brute.

In the mean time, the Isabel had run the dogs out of sight, and the
waters in the direction from which she had just come were as still as
death. No doubt the lake would be scoured in search of the fugitive; but
for the present the party seemed to be secure from pursuit.

The boat was now approaching the northern shore of the lake, and it
became necessary to tack. The wind held steady, but light; and Dan had
but small hopes of being able to reach his destination before daylight.
When every thing was made snug on the other tack, and there seemed to be
no present danger ahead or astern, Cyd conducted Quin to one of the
forward berths, and he turned in for the night. The runaway was
evidently a very pious slave, and the young fugitives listened with
reverend interest to the long prayer he offered up before he retired. It
was a pæan of thanksgiving for his escape from the fangs of the
slave-hunters. It was homely speech, but it was earnest and sincere, and
those who listened were deeply impressed by its fervid simplicity.

Dan and Lily sat alone in the stern of the boat, for Cyd had been
permitted to turn in with the runaway. They talked of freedom and the
future for an hour, and then they were started by the sound of oars in
the distance. The slave-hunters were on their track.



CHAPTER XIII.

THE NIGHT CHASE ON THE LAKE.


Though the Isabel carried all her extra sails, the wind was so light
that she made very little progress through the water, and the sound of
oars which indicated the approach of a boat was appalling to Dan. There
could be no doubt that it contained the slave-hunters in pursuit of
Quin; and the fate of the whole party seemed to be linked with that of
the slave, who was sleeping in happy security in the cabin.

The schooner was close-hauled, and sailing as near the wind as she
could; but Dan, as soon as he realized the peril of the situation, gave
the boat a couple of points, which sensibly increased her speed. When he
first heard the pursuer's boat, it was just abeam of the Isabel. His
present course, therefore, carried him nearer to the boat for a time,
but it was not safe to permit her to get to the windward of the Isabel,
in that light breeze.

Dan was satisfied that, if he had been in the four-oar boat with his
black crew, he could have overhauled the Isabel in a short time, if the
two craft had been in the positions occupied by the pursuer and the
pursued. The race depended entirely upon the character of the boat in
which the slave-hunters had embarked.

Whatever the result of the pursuit, Dan was fully determined not to be
taken himself, nor to permit his friends on board to be taken. With the
arms in the cabin, he was confident that he could make a good defence.
But the thought of taking the life, even of a slave-hunter, was terrible
to him, though he had fully reasoned himself into the belief that such a
course would be perfectly justifiable before God; and he cared little
for the judgment of a slave-holding community. His Maker had given him
the right to be free--had endowed him with the right to use his own bone
and sinew for his own benefit and happiness; and the man or the
community that attempted to deprive him of this right committed a crime
against God and him, and it was his duty to defend himself against this
violation of his Heaven-given right.

He hoped, however, to be spared the pain of resorting to the use of
arms. He prayed to God, with all the earnestness of an earnest nature,
for more wind; for his creed, if he had any, was very simple, and
included a belief in special providences. The boat of the slave-hunters
was now not more than half a mile distant, and the chase had become
intensely exciting to Dan and Lily, who alone were on deck. The
trembling maiden could with difficulty maintain a reasonable
self-possession. She was terrified as the panting hare when she feels
the warm breath of the pursuing hound.

"We shall certainly be taken, Dan," said she, as she caught sight of the
boat beneath the main boom of the schooner. "We are lost."

"No, Lily, not lost. You shall never be taken while I have a drop of
blood left in my body," replied Dan, in a low and earnest tone.

"Why, they are ever so much nearer than they were when we first saw
them."

"That is true; but it is only because I changed the course of the boat."

"Why did you change it, then?"

"Because, if I run her down into the corner of the lake, they can easily
cut us off."

"I suppose you have done the best you could."

"There was no other way to do," answered Dan, as he glanced under the
boom at the pursuer. "We shall soon know which boat goes the fastest
now."

"I don't understand it at all," said Lily, whose knowledge of seamanship
was very limited.

"You know the shape of the letter A?"

"I do."

"Well, that boat has been running up one leg of the A, and I have been
running up the other; so, you see, we must be coming nearer together. I
had to run this way in order to use the wind to the best advantage."

"But you will come together in this way in a few moments."

"No; we are as near now as we can be, unless that boat sails faster than
we do. I shall continue to sail in a straight line, but I shall get
ahead of the other if she does not change her course. She cannot cut me
out now, at any rate."

Probably Lily was willing to talk of this subject to banish more painful
thoughts from her mind, though it is not likely that she clearly
comprehended the tactics of the skipper of the Isabel.

"Don't you think I had better call Cyd and Quin?" asked she, after she
had again glanced at the position of the pursuing boat.

"No, let them sleep. We will not call them till it is necessary to do
so," replied Dan.

"Do you think we can escape them?" asked she, anxiously.

"I cannot tell, Lily. I hope so. It depends entirely upon the wind. If
the breeze should die out, of course we could make no progress at all."

"Do you think the wind will die out?" said she, nervously.

"I can't tell, Lily. I hope not, I pray not."

"Suppose it should die out, Dan?" added she, moving up nearer to the
skipper.

"If we lose the wind there is nothing to prevent the boat from
overtaking us at once."

"O, dear!" shuddered Lily, moving up still nearer to him who was her
only earthly protector.

"Why do you tremble so, Lily?" asked Dan, as he took her hand and
pressed it in his own, perhaps thinking that he might thus impart to her
some of his own steadiness.

"Because I am so terribly frightened," replied she, with quivering lips.
"I would rather die than be taken; and I have been thinking that I would
throw myself into the lake if the boat catches us."

"You shall not be taken, Lily," said Dan, his lips compressed, and his
teeth tightly closed, evincing the determination with which he had
resolved to meet the slave-hunters, if they attempted to lay their
polluting hands upon the gentle girl by his side.

"What can you do against such men as those?"

"I can fight, Lily; I would do so to save myself, but more to save you."

"O Heaven! If I should be taken! What would become of me?"

"No, no, Lily: don't take on so," said Dan, as he passed his arm around
her waist--a familiarity in which he had never before indulged, but
which was done only as a father clasps his child--to inspire her with
more confidence, to assure her that she was in the care of one who was
able and willing to save her from the dreadful fate that impended.

"I wish I could be brave as you are, Dan," said she, confidingly; for
the expedient of her devoted friend seemed not to be without some
effect. "You don't appear to be at all alarmed."

"Because I have firmly resolved not to be taken myself, and not to let
you be taken."

"I suppose they only want Quin."

"They cannot have him. He is a fugitive, like ourselves, and I don't
believe God would permit us to escape if we should wickedly abandon
him."

"Nor I; we won't do that. We will all be taken together," said Lily,
whose sympathy for the hunted runaway seemed, for the moment, to give
her new courage.

"Do you suppose they know any thing about us?" asked she.

"Perhaps they do. I suppose Colonel Raybone has sent hunters in every
direction for us, and has probably offered a reward."

"Then we shall certainly be taken," answered Lily, with a shudder.

"We will not be taken, Lily, whoever pursues us."

"Hallo! In the boat there!" shouted a man of the pursuing party.

The slave-hunters were now within less than a quarter of a mile of the
Isabel, for they had been gaining upon her by a vigorous use of their
oars. The boat which contained them was now exactly astern of the
schooner.

"Hallo!" replied Dan, who, knowing that the men could not talk and row
to the best advantage, was quite willing to converse with them.

"What boat's that?" shouted the spokesman of the slave-hunters.

"Captain Barrett's," replied Dan, whose virtue was not sufficiently
developed to induce him to tell the truth in his present perilous
situation.

"Where from?"

"Down below Brashear," answered Dan, who had previously made up his
mind what to say if any conversation with the pursuers should become
necessary.

"What ye doin up here?"

"Came up with a party."

"Seen ary runaway nigger in the water?"

"No," shouted Dan, promptly.

The question filled him with hope, for it assured him the slave-hunters
had not been near enough even to hear the report of the fowling-pieces
when he fired them; or, at least, not near enough to discover who had
fired them.

"Didn't ye see him?" asked the pursuers again.

"No."

"Gossifus! Wha--wha--wha--what's de matter?" demanded Cyd, rushing up
from the cabin with Quin, both of them having been awakened from their
slumbers by the voice of the skipper.

"Silence, Cyd!" said Dan, in a low, decided tone.

"Hush, Cyd!" added Lily, in a whisper. "Don't speak a word."

"Wha--wha--wha----"

"Hush, Cyd!" repeated Lily, who seemed, in the moment of danger, to be
endowed with a self-possession at variance with her former timidity.

"Where you bound now?" called the slave-hunter.

"Home," replied Dan.

They asked no further questions for a time, and Dan saw, with a thrill
of satisfaction, that they were lying upon their oars. He hoped that his
answers had convinced them the runaway was not on board; but in this he
was disappointed. He heard the men in the boat talking together, though
he could not make out what they said. When the conference was ended,
they renewed their efforts to overtake the Isabel.

"Hallo, the schooner!" shouted the spokesman again.

"Hallo, the boat," replied Dan.

"Heave to, and let us see you a minute."

"What for?"

"Want to talk with you."

"Can't stop."

"Guess ye kin. Heven't ye seen nary nigger?"

"No."

"Well, stop--won't ye?"

"Can't stop; must get home by sunrise."

"Well, ye must stop!" yelled the speaker, angrily, and with an oath.

"Hossifus!" groaned Cyd, in mortal terror.

"Shut up, Cyd," added Dan, sternly. "If you can't hold your tongue, I'll
throw you overboard!"

"Possifus! Ugh! Wha--wha--wha----"

"Come, Cyd," interposed Quin, in a low tone, "don't make a noise. If you
do, we shall all be lost."

"Dis chile's awful skeered. I done wish I hadn't come," replied Cyd, in
a gentler tone; but the words trembled on his lips.

"Quin," said Dan.

"Sar," replied the fugitive, with a self-possession which thoroughly
shamed the quaking Cyd.

"Take hold of the painter of the bateau, and haul it alongside."

"Yes, sar."

"Cyd, take hold and help him. Haul it up to the foremast, and take it on
deck."

The order was obeyed, though Cyd, in his terror, was not able to render
much assistance. The bateau was taken on deck to assist the sailing of
the Isabel, and also to prevent the pursuers from seizing it, if they
should unfortunately come near enough to do so.

"Stop your boat, I say," yelled the slave-hunter, after they had pulled
for a few moments with the most determined zeal.

"Can't stop!" replied Dan.

"Stop her, or I'll fire into you!"

"Gossifus!" exclaimed Cyd, whose teeth were still chattering with fear.

Dan made no reply, and concluded not to answer any more questions.

"Are ye go'n to stop her?" demanded the pursuer. "I b'lieve you've got
that nigger on board; and if ye don't heave to, I'll fotch ye up with a
bullet."

"Bring up the guns, Cyd," said Dan, with forced coolness.

"Wha--wha--wha----"

"The guns!" said Dan, fiercely, as he stamped his foot upon the flooring
to emphasize his meaning.

"Gossifus! I done think--" But Cyd disappeared in the cabin without
giving those on deck the benefit of his thoughts.

"Now, Lily, you must go into your cabin. Lie down in your berth, for
they may fire upon us," said Dan. "Don't be alarmed; there are only
three men in that boat, and we can certainly beat them off."

"I will not leave you, Dan. I am not afraid of the bullets. I only
fear----"

At that moment the report of a gun startled them, and the ball whistled
close by Dan's head.



CHAPTER XIV.

THE BATTLE FOR FREEDOM.


"Take the helm, Cyd, and mind how you steer!" said Dan, with
earnestness, as he rose from his seat, and seized one of the guns.

"Hossifus!" exclaimed Cyd, aghast at the thought. "Wha--wha--wha----"

"Take the helm!" repeated the resolute skipper, with a decision which
left no alternative for the boy.

"Possifus! Dis chile don't want to set dar, and be shooted."

"There is no more danger there than there is any where else. Take your
place, and don't be a coward. If you want to be free, you must fight for
it now."

"Golly! Dis nigger ain't afeered, but Cyd don't want to be shooted, kase
you can't do widout Cyd."

But the trembling foremast hand took his place at the tiller. He
continued to mutter to himself, as though he was repelling the charge of
cowardice which had been fastened upon him.

"Come, Lily, you must go into your cabin now," added Dan, tenderly, as
he turned to Lily. "This is no place for you."

"O, I'm not afraid of the guns, Dan; only of the slave-hunters, and I
cannot hide myself from them."

"You may escape if you stay in the cabin, and you can do no good here. I
shall feel better to know that you are in a place of safety."

"I'm not afraid, Dan; really, I am not," replied she, earnestly.

"But you are in our way here, Lily. Do go into your cabin, and lie down
in your berth."

"I will if I am in the way."

"If we have to fight, it will be right here, and I am determined to
resist to the last."

"I will go;" and Dan led her to the door of her cabin.

She entered, and threw herself upon the cushions of the berth, and Dan,
satisfied that she was in a place of comparative safety, turned his
attention to the defence of his party.

"Can you handle a gun?" said he, turning to Quin, who appeared to be as
cool and resolute as the skipper.

"Well, I done shoot some," replied Quin.

"Take a gun, then."

"Wha--wha--wha----" gasped Cyd.

"Silence, Cyd! Keep both eyes on the sails, or I'll put a bullet through
your head. I didn't expect you would be a coward at such a time as
this."

"Dis chile ain't a coward," answered Cyd, rising from his seat.

"Sit down, and mind your helm then!"

"Give me de gun, and I'll show you Cyd ain't no coward, no how."

"You never fired a gun in your life. You would be more likely to shoot
yourself than any body else. Mind your helm; that's all we want of you."

"Possifus! Dis chile ain't no coward, no how," growled Cyd, as he cast
his eyes at the sails. "Fire away dar, and show dese folks Cyd's no
coward!"

"Gwine to fire into dem folks in de boat?" asked Quin.

"I am, if occasion requires," replied Dan, as he discharged the gun he
held in his hand in the direction of the pursuers. "But I want to let
them know that we are armed, and able to give as good as they send. I
don't want to kill any of them if I can help it."

"I don't mind killin ob 'em; dat's what dey done do to me if dey gits a
chance."

"Stop your boat!" shouted one of the men again; and it was evident, from
the tones of the speaker, that the report of the gun from the Isabel was
not altogether favorable to the views of the pursuers.

Dan made no reply, but loaded up his gun for further use.

"Stop your boat, or we'll fire into you again," shouted the speaker.

"If you do you will get as good as you send," answered Dan, as he put
the cap upon his piece.

The reply was followed by another shot from the slave-hunters; but the
ball whistled far above the heads of the fugitives. Dan took deliberate
aim at the boat, and fired, ordering Quin to do the same. So far as
they could discover, neither of the shots took effect. From this time
both parties kept up an occasional firing; but as the night was so dark,
and the motion of the boats not favorable to a steady aim, no one in the
Isabel was hit, and Dan and his companion were not aware of any
different result to the other boat.

Cyd maintained his position at the helm with the steadiness of an old
salt who had stood at the wheel in a hundred battles; and Dan,
witnessing his improved demeanor, began to think his singular conduct
had been the result of excitement rather than of timidity.

But one thing was painfully evident to all on board of the
schooner--that the boat was gaining upon her, and that the wind was
gradually dying out. There was no hope for them except in their own
right arms. They must fight for liberty, fight for the rights which they
had boldly reässumed. Dan and Quin were fully determined upon this
course, and if they could bring Cyd up to a sense of duty on this trying
emergency, there would be some chance of success.

As it was, the odds were against them. The pursuers were probably men
accustomed to the use of arms, while all in the Isabel were, to say the
least, very indifferent marksmen. Hitherto, they had fired at a dark
mass on the water, for they could not distinguish the enemy in the gloom
of the night, and the pursuers had been subject to the same
disadvantage. A nearer approach to each other of the contending parties,
would enable both to obtain a more accurate aim, and the work of death
could not be much longer postponed.

"De wind's clean gone," said Cyd, as the heavy sails of the Isabel began
to flap idly in the brails.

"Cyd, you must fight!" added Dan, earnestly.

"Possifus!" exclaimed Cyd, rising and seizing a boat-hook that lay on
the quarter. "Dis chile will fight, for sartin."

"Good, Cyd! You are a brave fellow! You deserve to be free, and you
shall be."

"Hossifus! Don't tell Cyd he's a coward, kase he ain't no such ting, no
how."

"I didn't mean that, Cyd; and I take it all back," added Dan. "The boat
has lost her headway now. They will be upon us in a moment or two.
Stand firm, Cyd, and break the head of any man that attempts to get into
the boat."

"Yes, sar! Dat's jus what I'se gwine to do. I'll broke de head ob any
nigger-hunter dat's gwine to come in dis boat, for sartin."

"Now, stoop down both of you, and let them fire over our heads as they
come up."

Dan crouched down in the bottom of the Isabel, with the gun ready for
use when the decisive moment should arrive; Quin and Cyd did the same,
and the intrepid skipper proceeded to give them such instructions for
repelling the assault as the occasion required. All of them were to keep
their places till the pursuers were close alongside, when the four guns,
which were ready for use, were to be discharged. They hoped this would
be sufficient to drive them off. If it should not, a fifty-six pound
weight, taken from the ballast in the run, was to be pitched into the
boat, as she came alongside, which would break out a hole in its bottom,
and sink it before the enemy could get on board; Cyd was then to do duty
with his boat-hook, and the others with similar weapons.

The slave-hunters showed some hesitation in boarding the schooner. The
guns which had been fired from her had undoubtedly inspired them with a
proper respect for those on board of her. The Isabel lay with her sails
hanging loosely from the gaffs for half an hour, and still the enemy did
not come up to her.

"We's gwine to hab a shower," said Quin.

"And a squall too, I'm afraid," added Dan, as he cast his eyes anxiously
over the rail, to observe a pile of dense black clouds, which had
suddenly rolled up the midnight sky.

"Whar's de boat?" asked Cyd.

"She lies off here only a little way from us. If she will only keep
still till we can get a breeze, we shall be all right."

"Let 'em come on; dis chile's all ready for 'em," replied Cyd.

"Have you got over being scared?"

"Never was skeered."

"You said you were."

"Cyd's only jokin den. I done feel so kinder stirred up. I done want to
holler--make de nigger feel good."

"Hush! They are coming!" exclaimed Dan, whose quick eye detected a
stealthy movement on the part of the boat.

"Hallo! In the boat, thar," shouted the slave-hunter.

"Well. What do you want?"

"We're go'n to come on board of yer."

"No, you are not. You are all dead men if you attempt it."

"What do you want to shoot us fur? We ain't a go'n to hurt yer."

"You fired first, you infernal chicken thieves! We know what you are,"
replied Dan, who thought it best to class them with these
depredators--men who frequent the western and southern rivers,
plundering boats or houses, as opportunity presents.

"We ain't no chicken thieves."

"Keep off. We know you," repeated Dan.

This conversation was followed by another pause, during which the
careful skipper had another opportunity to examine the weather
indications. They were decidedly unfavorable. It was probable that a
squall, if not a tornado, would soon burst upon them, and he deemed it
prudent, even at the risk of being shot, to haul down the jib-topsail,
the staysail, and the gaff-topsails. This he succeeded in doing; but he
had scarcely finished the job, without giving himself time to stow the
extra sails, before he saw the boat of the pursuers dashing rapidly
towards the Isabel. The slave-hunters had at last made up their minds
what to do. They meant to risk the encounter.

Just then a sharp flash of lightning illumined the lake, followed by the
muttering thunder. A few fitful flashes of lightning had before glared
on the gloomy scene; but now it gleamed fiercely from the sombre clouds,
and the heavy thunder rolled an almost incessant peal.

"Ready! Ready, now!" said Dan, earnestly, as he sighted his gun at the
trio in the boat, which the lightning plainly revealed to him.

"All ready," replied Quin.

"Now give it to them," said Dan, as he discharged his gun, and grasped
another.

Quin did the same. The pursuers' boat was not more than ten rods from
them, but, from the want of skill in the marksmen, the discharge proved
harmless.

"Put in! Put in!" yelled one of the slave-hunters. "Never mind their
firing. They can't hit nothing."

Dan and Quin fired again.

"I'm hit!" roared one of the enemy, with a horrible oath. "Don't go no
furder."

"Keep her a goin!" replied another. "We'll fix 'em in a minute now."

The boat dashed up towards the Isabel; but Dan, as soon as he had fired,
leaped from his place, and seizing the fifty-six pound weight, plumped
it full into the bottom of the boat. The fugitives heard the pine boards
crash, as the weight broke its way through, and went to the bottom of
the lake.

"Stand by, now!" shouted Dan, as he seized his club, and dealt a heavy
blow upon the head of the slave-hunter who was in the act of leaping on
board the schooner.

"We're sinkin!" cried another of them; and the gunwale of the bateau in
which they sailed was nearly submerged.

[Illustration: THE BATTLE FOR FREEDOM. Page 162.]

They had no time to act upon the aggressive; it was all they could do to
secure their own safety. Just then, the expected squall struck the
Isabel, and though Dan had before cast off all the sheets, she careened
over till the water flowed into the standing room. Her watchful skipper
sprung to the helm, and in an instant she righted partially, and darted
forward like a steed pricked with the spur.

"We are safe!" exclaimed Dan, as Lily rushed from her cabin, startled by
the exciting events which had just transpired.



CHAPTER XV.

THE FATE OF THE SLAVE-HUNTERS.


"Haul down the foresail, Cyd!" shouted Dan, as the Isabel gathered way,
and forged ahead. "Be quick, but be careful of yourself."

With the assistance of Quin, Cyd got the foresail in, though it was not
without a deal of hard tugging, for the wind now blew a fierce gale. As
soon as sail was thus reduced, the sheets of the jib and mainsail were
secured, and the schooner lay down to her work, dashing through the
water at a furious rate.

"We are all right now, Lily," said Dan. "Go into your cabin again, or
you will be blown away."

"Were any of you hurt in the fight?" asked she, as loud as she could
scream, for the wind howled fearfully through the rigging of the
schooner.

"No, we are all well and hearty. Go to the cabin, Lily."

She returned to her place of security, and seemed to be satisfied that
the hour of peril had passed, for the thunder and the lightning, the
dashing waves and the roaring wind, had no terrors compared with those
produced by the presence of the slave-hunters.

The Isabel labored fearfully in the heavy squall, and it was only by the
exercise of all his skill that Dan could keep her right side up. He was
obliged, as the gusts of wind struck her, to ease off the sheets, and to
luff her up. By the glare of the blinding lightning he obtained the
position of the boat in the lake, or he might have run her on shore,
and, with the beautiful craft, wrecked all the hopes of his party.

"Here, Cyd and Quin, stand by to reef this mainsail! We can't stand this
long," said Dan, as he threw the Isabel up into the wind.

"Possifus!" yelled Cyd, above the howling of the tempest. "We all go to
de bottom, for sartin."

"No, we won't; stand by, and work lively. Let go the peak halyards,"
replied he, as he cast off the throat halyards, on the other side. "Haul
down the sail as fast as you can, Quin."

With the jib still drawing full, the Isabel continued steadily on her
course, while Dan and Cyd put a double reef in the mainsail, Quin
standing at the helm in the mean time, and acting under the direction of
the skipper.

"Now, up with it," added Dan, when the reef-points were all taken up.

The mainsail was hoisted, and again the Isabel dashed madly on her
course, for she had now all the sail she could carry in that fierce
blow. Dan stood at the helm, with his eyes measuring the distances, as
the vivid lightning revealed the bearings of the shores. Cyd was ordered
to the forecastle to keep a sharp lookout ahead, while Quin was directed
to bale out the boat, for at least a hogshead of water had poured in
over the side when the flaw struck her.

The wind came in heavy gusts, each one of which threatened to "knock
down" the Isabel; and if her skipper had not been a thorough boatman,
such must have been her fate. By skilfully meeting the flaws as they
struck her, he prevented her from capsizing. Under ordinary
circumstances he would have deemed it highly imprudent to carry any
sail, and would have anchored the boat with a long cable; but this was
the battle of Freedom, and success was worth any risk and any peril
which it might require.

The tempest, however, was of short duration. When the rain began to pour
in torrents, the gale subsided. The reefs were shaken out, and, finally,
the foresail was set again. The wind continued to blow pretty fresh, but
all danger was at an end.

"What you 'pose come ob dem men?" asked Quin, as he finished his task of
baling out the boat.

"I don't know; but I feel confident that not all of them are able to
tell what has happened to them."

"One of them was hit wid de shot," added Quin.

"And I struck one over the head with a fender."

"Dem two mus be gone killed dead for sure," said Quin, with solemn
earnestness.

"Of course it was not possible for them to get ashore, for their boat
was stove all to pieces. Do you know them, Quin?"

"Yes, sar; dey's all nigger-hunters."

"Could they swim?"

"I dunno; but I s'peck dey could."

"It would not make much difference whether they could or not. The wind
blew a hurricane for a few moments."

"Quin tinks dey must be all dead," replied the man, shaking his head.

"I'm afraid they are; but it was not our fault. If I thought they were,
I would not go down the lake any farther," added Dan, musing.

"I feels almost sartin dey's gone to dar reward--'may de good Lo'd hab
mercy on dar sinful souls.'"

Dan considered the question for a time in silence, and finally
determined to put the boat about, and head her for his destination at
the north-westerly corner of the lake. The rain still came down in
torrents; but as all on deck were provided with rubber coats, belonging
to the boat, which had been provided for the use of the planter and his
guests on board, they did not suffer, and were not even very
uncomfortable. But if they had been, it would not have been regarded as
a serious matter, amid the fierce excitements of that eventful night.

The storm was nothing more than one of those sudden showers which come
up so unexpectedly at the south. We once passed through a tornado in
Louisiana, which came in a shower that gathered upon a blue sky in less
than half an hour. It tore up tall trees as though they had been
cornstalks, and rolled up the Mississippi so that it looked like a
boiling caldron. In half an hour more the sun was shining gayly on the
scene of devastation, as though Nature had no terrors in her laboratory
of forces.

In an hour after the exciting scene on the lake, the Isabel had a gentle
breeze and fair weather. Cyd still maintained his position on the
forecastle, and Lily once more ventured into the standing room. Dan gave
her a minute account of the affray with the slave-hunters, and concluded
by stating his belief that all three of them had been drowned in the
lake.

Lily shuddered at the thought; for the taking of a human life, even in
defence of the freedom which she valued more highly than life itself,
seemed a terrible thing to her gentle heart.

"Perhaps they are not dead," said she.

"Perhaps not; but it is hardly possible that they could have swum
ashore. We were at least three miles from the land, and their boat was
all stove to pieces."

"Dey might hab hold on to de boat," suggested Quin.

"But there was an awful sea for a few moments. Why, the water dashed
clean over our decks," added Dan. "One of them may have saved himself,
but I am confident the other two must have been lost."

"Hi, Dan!" shouted Cyd, from his position at the heel of the bowsprit.

"What is it, Cyd?"

"Dar's someting ober dar," added Cyd, pointing over to leeward, as he
walked aft.

"What is it?"

"Cyd tinks it's de boat ob de slabe-hunters."

"Perhaps it is," said Dan, musing. "And our wounded or dying enemies may
be clinging to it. Shall we save them?"

"Hossifus! Dey kill us ef we does," exclaimed Cyd.

"'Lub your enemies,'" said Quin, piously. "Let us sabe dem if we can. We
kin tie dar hands and fotch 'em ober dar."

"I don't think they are there."

"We must save their lives," added the gentle Lily.

"And perhaps lose our own; but I will overhaul the boat, to satisfy
myself whether the men were lost or not," said Dan, as he let out the
main sheet, and put up the helm. "Stand by with the boat-hook, Cyd."

In a few moments the Isabel had run up to the wreck of the boat, and Cyd
grappled it with the boat-hook. There were no men clinging to it, but in
the bottom of the boat, covered over with water, lay the body of one of
the slave-hunters. It was probably the one who had been shot. He had not
been killed at once, for he had spoken after he was hit; it looked as
though he had been drowned in the bottom of the boat where he lay.

The fugitives were filled with horror at this discovery. Poor Lily had
nearly fainted, and if Cyd had been shot himself, he could hardly have
made a stronger demonstration. Quin uttered many pious ejaculations,
showing that he had, from his heart, forgiven this man, who, an hour
before, had thirsted for his blood. Dan, though not less impressed than
his companions, was calm and resolute.

"This body may betray us," said he. "We must sink it in the lake."

"Ugh!" exclaimed Cyd, with a thrill of horror.

"We have no time to spare," added Dan, briskly. "Bring up another
fifty-six, Quin."

The weight was brought up and tied to the corpse of the slave-hunter, as
it lay in the boat. Dan then ordered his companions to tip the boat
over; but Quin, asking for a moment's delay, threw himself upon his
knees, and commenced an earnest prayer in behalf of the deceased,
supplicating forgiveness for his bloodthirsty enemy. Dan listened
reverently to the prayer, while Lily sobbed as though the departed
slave-hunter had been her dearest friend, instead of the bitter foe of
her race.

The service was ended; the boat was careened till the body rolled out,
and disappeared in the depths of the lake.

"May de good Lo'd hab mercy on his poor, sinful soul, for de lub of
Jesus' sake!" exclaimed Quin, as the corpse sank to its resting-place.

"Make fast the boat to that cleat on the quarter, Cyd," said Dan, as he
hauled aft the sheets, and put his helm down.

Cyd obeyed, and the Isabel filled away upon her course again. Lily was
calmer now, but she was still much impressed by the solemn and awful
scene of which she had just been a witness.

"It's all over now, Lily. Don't think any more about it," said Dan, in
soothing tones.

"It is terrible--isn't it, Dan?" replied she, with a shudder.

"It is, Lily; but there was no help for it. All that we have done was in
self-defence."

"But it is awful to think of killing them."

"It is better as it is than if we had let them take us."

"Did you really mean to kill them, Dan?"

"Not if I could help it; but I would have killed a dozen of them rather
than be carried back into slavery."

"We didn't kill 'em, Missy Lily," interposed Quin. "Dey done drownded.
De good Lo'd strike 'em down jus like he did de 'Gyptians in de Red Sea,
in de midst ob dar wickedness. We didn't kill 'em, Missy Lily."

"That's it, Lily," added Dan, indorsing the explanation, though the
religious aspect of the case was not so strongly impressed upon his mind
as upon that of his pious companion.

"We might have saved them," continued the gentle-hearted girl, who
derived but little consolation from the words of Quin. "You might have
taken them on board when the squall came."

"Why, Lily, I had just smashed their boat with my own hands, and I
wasn't going to put my head into the lion's mouth. It is best as it is,
Lily. The death of these men will remove all danger from our path, for
no one has seen us except them."

"But how awful!" sighed she.

"I told you, Lily, before we started, that terrible things might happen
to us. You shall be free; let this thought comfort you."

But it did not comfort her, and she continued to bewail the catastrophe
that had befallen the slave-hunters till the attention of her companions
was called to the position of the Isabel.

"Dar's land on de bof sides of us," called Cyd, who had again been
stationed at the heel of the bowsprit to act as lookout man.

"All right! I see it," responded Dan. "Quin, let go the foresail
halyards. How does it look ahead, Cyd?"

"Dark as de back of dis chile's hand."

"Look out sharp!"

"Do dat, for sartin."

The Isabel continued slowly on her course, for the woods on the shore
now began to shelter the sails from the full force of the wind. The
corner of the lake grew narrower with every moment she advanced, till
the boat was not more than a couple of rods from either shore. She was
running up one of the tributaries of the lake.

Presently the creek was less than thirty feet wide; and having passed
round a bend so as to hide her from the open lake, Dan ordered his
companions to make fast to a tree, as he ran her up to the shore.



CHAPTER XVI.

IN THE SWAMP.


The place where the Isabel had been moored was in the midst of a gloomy
and extensive swamp. Though Dan had never been here before, he had heard
of the region, and from the first had determined to conceal his party
within its deep and almost impenetrable morasses. The swamp was about
fifteen miles in extent from north to south, and ten from east to west.
It was full of bayous and lagoons, and inhabited only by herons,
alligators, and other wild animals of the south-west.

It was impossible to penetrate the swamp without a boat, for the _terra
firma_ of the region consisted only of islands covered with trees, most
of them surrounded by shallow and muddy waters. It is doubtful whether
any human being had ever fully explored this extensive swamp; and Dan
was confident that, if he could succeed in making his way with the
Isabel to a distance of two or three miles from the lake, his party
would be free from intrusion, unless, indeed, the slave-hunters made a
business of driving them from their covert.

The information of the leader of the expedition in regard to the swamp
was exceedingly limited. All he knew had been derived from Colonel
Raybone, who, in conversation with some of his friends, had mentioned
the region, and given a partial description of it. He had learned that
the bayou, which was the outlet of the waters of the swamp, was
obstructed by fallen timber a short distance from the lake. As runaway
slaves could not live in this desolate place, there had been no occasion
to pursue them into its deep recesses.

The party on board the Isabel were very much fatigued by the labor and
excitement of the night; and when the schooner was safely moored, Dan
declared that nothing more should be done until the party had rested
themselves. It was not yet daylight, and the boat was in a secure
position.

"But we must not all go to sleep," added Dan. "I intend to keep a watch
night and day while we stay in this place, if it should be for a year."

"Hossifus! What's de use of keepin de watch?" yawned Cyd, as he
stretched himself, and opened his mouth wide enough to take in a small
alligator.

"Suppose half a dozen slave-hunters should come up here while we are all
asleep!" replied Dan, sharply.

"'Pose dey come when we're all awake--what den?"

"We can beat them off, as we did those last night."

"Gossifus! Some ob us git killed for shore, if dey keep shooten wid de
guns."

"Better die than be taken, Cyd. We must believe this before we can be
sure of success."

"Dat's what I's gwine to do," added Quin. "Dis chile will fight till dey
ain't notin lef ob him--ye kin be shore ob dat."

"Possifus! Den, if you's all gwine to fight, Cyd ain't gwine to be out
ob de fashion, for sartin. I's don't know much about de guns, but Cyd
kin split a two-inch plank a buttin agin it. I's can't shoot, but I can
butt," grinned Cyd. "You kin bet your life dis chile ain't no coward, no
how."

"You did very well last night, Cyd, and I hope you will stand up to your
principles," said Dan.

"What's dem?"

"What do you think, Cyd?"

"Hossifus! Cyd tinks he's sleepy," yawned he, opening his mouth in a
fearful gape. "I's stand up to dat, for shore."

"Very well; but one of us shall stand watch while the others sleep.
Which shall it be?"

"I'll be de fus. I done sleep some last night," said Quin. "You didn't
shet your eyes once."

"Whose turn next?"

"Cyd's, for sartin. You'm did a big ting last night, Dan. We all done
gwine to de bottom ob de lake, or de nigger-hunters hab us for shore, if
'twan't for you, Dan. You kin sleep all day."

"I'm very tired, and need rest, for we have hard work before us; but you
must keep awake, whoever is on the watch. Our lives depend upon the man
on the watch."

"You kin trust me, Dan," replied Quin.

"So you kin me," added Cyd.

Dan examined all the guns, to see that they were in condition for
immediate use, and then turned in, to obtain the rest he so much needed.
Lily had already retired, and before the weary skipper could close his
eyes, Cyd was snoring like a sleepy alligator.

Quin was tired and sleepy, as well as his companions; but it was a
matter of conscience with him to keep awake. He walked up and down the
standing room in his bare feet, that the noise might not disturb the
sleepers, to guard against the possibility of being unfaithful to the
solemn duty which had been imposed upon him. The sun rose bright and
clear, and the solitary sentinel still kept vigil over the sleeping
party in the cabin. Two hours, four hours, elapsed, and Quin still paced
the deck. It was full six hours before the sleepers showed any signs of
life.

Lily was the first to wake and come on deck. In a whisper she told Quin
to go to his berth, and permit her to keep the watch. At first he
objected; but her persistence finally overcame his scruples, and he
crept softly to his bunk in the forward cabin. In a few moments he was
sleeping as soundly as the rest. The two boys were physically incapable
of going without their rest. They were growing, and to sit up all night,
filled with anxiety and excitement, was more than they could bear
without Nature's strongest protest.

They slept hour after hour, and Lily faithfully performed her duty as
sentinel over them. The swamp was as still as the house of death; not a
sound was to be heard, for even the alligators were motionless, as they
sunned themselves upon the dead logs of the lagoons.

Dan, having slept eight hours strong, was the first to appear on deck.
As he looked at his watch he was surprised to find it so late, and
surprised to find Lily acting as watch on deck. His orders had been
disregarded; but Lily was too powerful an advocate with him to permit
any blame to be cast upon his companions. She persuaded him that every
thing which had been done was for the best. Cyd soon after made his
appearance, having slept all he could at one stretch, and the boys
proceeded to get breakfast. Ham and eggs, coffee and toast, constituted
the repast, prepared by the skilful hand of Lily, though she was
assisted by her willing friends.

Quin did not wake till the meal was ready to be put upon the table; and
the party all sat down to this princely banquet in the forward cabin,
with the feeling that they were fortunate beyond all other fugitives
that had ever escaped to the swamp.

After breakfast--or rather dinner, if we designate the meal by the time
of day--Lily insisted upon her right to clear off the table and wash the
dishes, which was yielded after some discussion, though with the proviso
that Cyd should assist in the heavy work. While they were thus engaged,
Dan and Quin took the bateau, which had been put into the water before
dinner, and rowed up the bayou to explore the region above them. Finding
an unobstructed passage for about two miles, they returned.

By this time the work of the housekeepers was finished, and the labor of
towing the Isabel up the bayou was commenced. As the water was very
shallow in some places, they had to follow the channel; and it was
sundown when they had moored her to the point they had reached in the
bateau.

"That will do very well," said Dan, as they made her fast to a tree.

"De nigger-hunters neber find us here, for sartin," added Cyd, as he
dashed the sweat from his brow.

"We are not in a safe place yet," continued Dan. "But we are in no
hurry, and we won't do any more to-day. Let us have supper and go to
bed."

Lily had already made the tea, and had every thing in a forward state of
preparation.

After supper, the important question of the watch came up again for
consideration.

"We may as well settle this matter once for all," said Dan. "I suppose
six hours' sleep is enough for any of us."

"Plenty," added Quin.

"Dunno," said Cyd, shaking his head, and gaping as though he had not
slept any for a week. "Dis chile allus goes to sleep at eight, and wakes
up at five. How long's dat, Dan?"

"Nine hours; that's enough for a hog."

"Nuff for a nigger too."

"I have got a plan all ready, and if you agree to it we will adopt it,"
added Dan.

"You's de cap'n, and weder we 'gree to it or not, you mus hab your own
way," continued Cyd.

"Not at all. We'll have no captain here. We are not at sea, and we will
all be equal. What we do will be for our own safety. I intend to keep my
watch, and do my share of the work; so you needn't grumble, Cyd."

"Possifus! Cyd neber grubble in his life."

"You seem to think that I want to make you do more than your share."

"No, sar! I's tink you do more'n your share, Dan. Cyd ain't notin but a
nigger, and you's almos' a gen'leman."

"Come, come, Cyd. I shall be angry if you talk in that way. I am just
the same as the rest of you."

"Hossifus! Wha--wha--wha----"

"That'll do, Cyd."

"You's got all de brains, and knows jes what to do and where to go.
Gossifus! Wha--wha--what become ob us widout Dan?"

"Dat's jus what I tinks," added Quin. "You does de tinkin, and we does
de wuck."

"I shall do my part of the work. Now listen to me, and I will tell you
how I think the work ought to be divided. We'll go to bed at nine
o'clock, and turn out at five."

"Dem's um," nodded Cyd.

"I will take the first watch to-night, till one o'clock, and Cyd the
second, till five in the morning."

"But whar's my watch?" demanded Quin.

"At five o'clock you shall turn out and get breakfast. To-morrow night
it shall be your first watch, and my second, and Cyd shall get breakfast
the next morning. Then Cyd shall have the first watch the third night,
and Quin the second, and I will get breakfast. That makes a fair
division, I think."

"Dat's all right," added Quin.

"Those who sleep but four hours in the night can sleep during the day,
if they wish."

"Yes, when de wuck's done," said Quin.

"We shall not have much work to do after we get settled," replied Dan.

"All that's very fine," added Lily, who had been listening to the
arrangement; "but I shall not consent to it. I intend to get breakfast
myself."

"No, Lily," remonstrated Dan. "If you do all the cooking, you will have
to work harder than any of the boys. One of us will do the heavy work on
deck, and you shall attend to the table. I am willing you should do your
share of the work, if you insist upon it, but not more than your share.
We shall have nothing to do but eat and sleep when we get the boat in
position."

Lily insisted for some time, but was forced to yield the point at last;
for neither Dan nor his companions would consent to her proposition. At
nine o'clock Lily went to her cabin, and Quin and Cyd were soon sound
asleep in their bunks. At one o'clock Cyd was called, and Dan gave him
his watch, that he might know when to call Quin.

It was a difficult task for the sentinel to keep awake; but I believe he
was faithful this time in the discharge of his important duty. At five
Quin was called, and Cyd immediately proceeded to make up for lost
time.



CHAPTER XVII.

CYD HAS A BAD FIT.


Cyd was roused from his slumbers at nine o'clock to assist in working
the Isabel farther into the swamp, and in the course of the day she was
safely moored in her permanent position. The quick eye of Dan had
detected the admirable fitness of this place both for concealment and
defence. It was not more than three miles from the lake.

The Isabel was secured between two islets, in the midst of a broad
lagoon. The channel between the two portions of land was only wide
enough to admit the boat, and the shore was covered with an impenetrable
thicket of bushes and trees, so that the fugitives were obliged to
"strip" the sail-boat, and take out her masts, before they could move
her into the narrow bayou.

The next day, when the morning work on board was done, they commenced
the task of concealing the Isabel more effectually from the view of any
persons who might possibly penetrate the swamp. A half-decayed log was
thrown across the channel, and green branches stuck in the ground, till
the boat could not be seen. A coat of green paint was then put over the
white one, and the party were satisfied that no one could discover their
retreat, unless he happened to blunder upon it.

In these preparations a great deal of hard work was done; but the
feeling of security which they procured amply compensated for the labor.
When it was done, the fugitives enjoyed a season of rest, and for a week
they did nothing but eat and sleep, though a strict watch was kept all
the time to guard against a surprise. But this was an idle and stupid
life; and even Cyd, who had formerly believed that idleness was bliss,
began to grow weary of it. A few days more were employed in building a
bridge from the deck of the boat to the island, in establishing a
kitchen on shore, and in making such other improvements on board and on
the land as their limited experience in the swamp suggested.

After every change and addition which the ingenuity of the fugitives
could devise had been completed, the time again began to hang heavily on
their hands. It was a happy thought of Lily that Dan should open a
school for the instruction of Quin and Cyd, and half the day was very
pleasantly occupied in this manner. At the end of a month both of these
pupils were able to read a little from Dan's Testament, and they
continued to make good progress during the remainder of their residence
in the swamp.

At the end of a month Dan saw with dismay the inroad which had been made
upon the supply of provisions. The addition of one person to the party
had deranged his calculations, for Quin was blessed with a tremendous
appetite. It was necessary that a sufficient quantity of the bacon and
crackers should be reserved for the voyage that was yet before them,
which might be a month in duration, or even longer. This supply had been
carefully stowed away in the fore hold, and at the rate they consumed
their provisions, the remainder would not last them two months.

Dan communicated his doubts and fears on this subject to Quin and Cyd,
who immediately became very wise, and suggested a dozen expedients to
meet the difficulty. Cyd proposed to forage on a plantation, which was
immediately condemned as involving too much risk. Quin thought they
might go to the nearest store and purchase food, as both Dan and Lily
had considerable sums of money. This also was too dangerous.

"What's de use stoppin here so long?" asked Quin.

"The search for us has not ended yet," replied Dan.

"But dey won't tink no more ob us in two monfs from dis yere time."

"Very true; but the water will be so low that we can't get out of the
lake in less than one month from now. We must stay here till next
spring," added Dan, decidedly.

"Wha--wha--what ye gwine to stop here a whole year fur?" demanded Cyd,
with his usual impetuosity.

"When would you leave?"

"When de water gets high in de fall."

"If we go to sea in the fall or winter, we shall meet with terrible
storms in the Gulf. We should perish with the cold, or founder in a
gale. We may have to be at sea a month. We shall have to meet our
greatest perils after we leave this place."

"Well, I s'pose you knows best, Dan; and we's gwine to do jus what you
say," replied Quin, meekly.

"Dem's um, Dan; you jus tell dis chile wot you wants done, and we's
gwine to do notin but do it," said Cyd.

"But we must have something to eat while we remain here," added Dan.

"Dat's so; niggers can't lib widout eatin."

"We can do as the Indians do--we can hunt and fish," suggested Dan.

"Sartin--plenty ob ducks and geese, pigeons and partridges."

"And we have fowling pieces, with plenty of powder and shot; but none of
us are hunters, and I'm afraid we shall not have very good luck in
shooting game."

It was decided that Dan and Quin should try their luck on the following
day; and having taken an early breakfast, they started in the bateau,
rowing down the bayou in the direction of the lake. Dan was provided
with a fowling piece, while Quin was to try his luck as a fisherman. The
former was landed at a convenient place, while the latter pushed off
into the deep waters of the lake, each to exercise his craft to the best
of his ability.

On the shore of the lake Dan saw an abundance of wild ducks; but they
were so very wild that he found a great deal of difficulty in getting
near enough to risk the expenditure of any portion of the precious
ammunition which was to last a year. He fired twice without injuring the
game, and began to think that he was never intended for a sportsman. The
third time he wounded a duck, but lost him. This was hopeful, and he
determined to persevere. At the next shot he actually bagged a brant,
and, what was better, he believed he had "got the hang" of the business,
so that he could hunt with some success.

We will not follow him through the trials and disappointments of a six
hours' tramp; but the result of his day's shooting was five ducks and
one goose, with which he was entirely satisfied. With the game in his
bag, he hastened back to the place where Quin had landed him in the
morning. The other sportsman had been waiting two hours for him, and had
been even more fortunate than his companion, having captured about a
dozen good-sized catfish. The result of the expedition was very
promising, and the food question appeared to be settled. With light
hearts they pulled back to the camp, as Dan had christened their
dwelling-place in the swamp.

"Where is Cyd?" asked Dan, as he hauled the boat through the dense
thicket which concealed the Isabel from the gaze of any outsiders.

"He is here on deck," replied Lily, with a troubled expression.
"Something ails him."

"What's the matter?"

"I don't know; he is very sick, and I am so glad you have come!" added
the poor girl, who appeared to have suffered an age of agony in the
absence of the hunter.

Dan was alarmed, for he had not yet considered even the possibility of
the serious illness of any member of the party; and Lily's announcement
conjured up in his vivid imagination visions of suffering and death. He
was full of sympathy, too, for his companion, to whom he was strongly
attached. With a heart full of painful and terrible forebodings, he
leaped upon the deck of the Isabel, and rushed to the standing room,
where Cyd lay upon the floor. The sufferer had evidently just rolled off
the cushioned seat, and was disposed in the most awkward and
uncomfortable position into which the human form could be distorted.

Dan and Quin immediately raised him tenderly from the floor, and placed
him upon the cushions. This movement seemed to disturb the sufferer, and
he opened his eyes, muttering some incoherent words. At the same time he
threw his arms and legs about in a frightful manner. Dan was quite as
much puzzled and alarmed as Lily had been. He did not know what to do
for him. His experience as a nurse had been very limited, and his
knowledge of human infirmities was extremely deficient.

"What ails him?" asked Lily, whose anxiety for the patient completely
beclouded her beautiful face.

"I don't know," replied Dan, hardly less solicitous for the fate of his
friend. "How long has he been sick?"

"After you went away I was busy in the cabin for two or three hours,
taking care of the dishes and cleaning up the place. When I came on deck
he seemed to act very strangely. I never heard him talk so fast before.
He said he felt sick, and thought he should vomit. He was so weak he
could not walk; when he tried to do so, he staggered and fell. I helped
him upon the seat, and then he seemed to be asleep. I bathed his head
with cold water. When he waked up he was stupid, and I was afraid he
would die before you got back. I didn't know what to do; so I gave him
some brandy."

"How much did you give him?" asked Dan.

"Only about half a tumbler full--as much as you gave Quin when he was
sick. Poor fellow! You don't know how much I have suffered in your
absence."

During this conversation, Quin, who had more skill as a physician and
nurse than his companions, had been carefully examining the patient.

"What do you think of him, Quin?" asked Dan, as he turned from Lily to
consult with him.

"I tink dar's hope for Cyd," replied he, a queer smile playing about
his mouth as he glanced at the anxious leader of the party.

"Do you? Then you understand the case--do you?"

"Yes, sar; I do, for sartin. My old massa used to hab jus such fits as
dat," added Quin, his countenance beaming with intelligence.

"What did you do for him?"

"Notin, but put him to bed and let him sleep it off; I tink cold water
good for him. Dat's what missus used to do for old massa when he hab it
bery bad."

At the suggestion of Quin, Cyd was placed outside of the washboard, and
half a dozen buckets of cold water were dashed upon him by the
relentless hand of the negro nurse.

"Wha--wha--wha--" roared Cyd, as the first bucket fell upon him.

"See dar!" exclaimed Quin, triumphantly. "He done git better so quick.
Gib him some more;" and he dashed another pailful upon him.

"Go away dar!" cried Cyd, trying to rise; but Dan held him fast.

"Dat do him heaps ob good," added Quin; and he continued to apply the
harsh remedy.

"Don't do it any more, Quin," interposed Lily, who seemed to think the
remedy was as bad as the disorder.

"Do him power ob good. Drive de fit right away from him," answered Quin,
as he remorselessly dashed another bucket of cold water upon the
patient. "Dat's wat dey call de water-cure."

"Go away dar!" screamed Cyd. "Luff dis chile lone."

"Don't, Quin; he does not like it," said Lily.

"'Pose he don't; nobody likes de medicine."

"But you may kill him," added Dan.

"Kill him! Don't you see he's growin better all de time? Dar; dat'll
do," replied Quin, as he carried the bucket to the forecastle.

"Wha--wha--what's the matter?" demanded Cyd.

"Do you feel better, Cyd?" asked Dan, tenderly, as he permitted the
patient to roll over into the standing room.

"Yes, sar!

 'I's born way down 'pon de Mississip;
 I's crossed de riber on a cotton-wood chip,'"

roared Cyd, trying to sing a familiar song.

"Why, he is crazy!" exclaimed Lily.

"Yes, missy, he's crazy; but he soon git ober it," answered Quin,
laughing.

"Why do you laugh, Quin? You don't seem to be at all concerned about
him," added Lily.

"Bad fit, missy!"

"What ails him?"

"Bad fit, missy; my ole massa use to hab lots ob dem fits," chuckled
Quin.

"But what kind of a fit is it, Quin?"

"Notin, missy, only Cyd done drink too much whiskey, and get
drunk--dat's all."



CHAPTER XVIII.

THE AFFRAY ON THE LAKE


Even Lily laughed when she realized that her friend Cyd was in no danger
of dying in the bad fit which had attacked him; she laughed at his
strange actions and his silly expressions; they all laughed for a time,
but there was something very serious in the occasion. The patient was
taken down into the cabin, and put to bed in his bunk.

When he was asleep again, and the rest of the party had returned to the
deck, the serious part of the affair came up for consideration; and the
meeting was so solemn and momentous that even the good luck of the two
sportsmen was forgotten, and the game and fish were allowed to remain
unnoticed in the bateau. To Dan and Lily it was a terrible thing for a
boy like Cyd to get drunk. It was very funny, but it was awfully serious
in view of future consequences.

Several bottles of wine and liquor had been deposited in the lockers
under the seats in the standing room, and Cyd had helped himself as he
sat there alone. This was the key to his mysterious sickness; and while
his companions congratulated themselves upon Cyd's expected recovery, it
was deemed prudent to place all the intoxicating beverages on board in a
secure place. A locker in Lily's cabin was selected for this purpose,
and it was soon out of Cyd's reach.

Dan wanted to throw all the liquor overboard, except a couple of bottles
to be used as medicine; but Quin thought that some use might be made of
it at a future time. There was no one on board, except Cyd, who would
drink it; and he had imbibed rather as a frolic than because he had any
taste for the fiery article.

The patient slept all the rest of the day and all the following night.
The next morning he was afflicted with a terrible headache, and was so
stupid that he was good for nothing. He was severely reprimanded for his
folly, and made a solemn promise never to partake again; and as the
dangerous fluid was all locked up, and the key in Lily's possession, it
was believed that he would not violate his obligation.

Roast ducks and geese, and fried fish, were the food of the party for
several days to come; and the change from salt provision was very
agreeable. About once a week Dan and Quin repeated the excursion to the
lake, and almost always returned with a plentiful supply of fish and
game. The fugitives lived well, especially as pigeons, partridges, and
an occasional wild turkey graced their table. A roast coon was not an
unusual luxury; for by extending their hunting-grounds in various
directions, they added very much to the variety of their larder.

The small stores, such as butter, salt, sugar, coffee, and tea, were
exhausted in the fall, though they had been very carefully expended.
They had been so long accustomed to their luxurious living, that the
want of these articles was felt as a very great hardship. Their nice
ducks and geese were absolutely loathsome without salt, and Dan came to
the conclusion that salt was a necessity, and that it must be procured
at any risk. About twenty miles from the camp there was a village where
groceries could be obtained; and after a great deal of consideration it
was decided to undertake a journey for this purpose. They had been five
months in the swamp without seeing any human being, though Dan and Quin,
in one of their hunting trips, had heard voices on the lake. They felt
entirely secure in the camp, and Lily was not afraid to remain with Cyd
while Dan and Quin went after the needed supplies.

It was resolved that Dan should pass himself off as a white boy, who,
with a party of hunters, had encamped in the woods. He therefore dressed
himself for the part he was to play, and embarked in the bateau with
Quin, who was to act as his servant. With the utmost care they pursued
their journey, and, without any incident or accident, came in sight of
the village where they were to purchase the stores. But Dan did not
think it prudent to visit the place in broad daylight; so they concealed
themselves in the swamp, and slept by turns till nearly daylight the
next morning.

This seemed to be the most favorable time to visit the store; and they
entered the village, which was called so by courtesy, for it had only
six houses. Putting on the bold, swaggering air of a young southerner,
Dan entered the place, followed by his servant. With all the bluster
necessary to keep up his character, he roused the shopkeeper, and
ordered, rather than requested, him to open his store. Fortunately trade
was not so lively in the place as to render the merchant independent of
his business, and he gladly opened his establishment even at that
unseemly hour. He asked a great many questions, which Dan answered very
readily. The purchases were all made, and Dan's funds, though they
amounted to nearly thirty dollars, were almost exhausted. When the
stores had been gathered together, a new and appalling difficulty
presented itself. Dan had not intended to purchase a quarter part of the
supplies which were now piled in the middle of the store. It was five
miles to the lake, and no two men in the universe could have carried
them that distance.

The matter was one of so much importance, and the articles obtained with
so much greater facility than he expected, that he had been tempted to
procure this large stock. But the pile was so large that he began to
repent of the act, and to wish that half his money was in his pocket
again. To remedy the difficulty he began to bluster, and told the
storekeeper that he must get a team and tote the goods down to the lake
for him.

The man objected; but he at last consented to procure his neighbor's
mule team and help them out. For this service Dan paid him two dollars
more, which entirely collapsed his exchequer. The stores were safely
deposited in the bateau, and the man drove off, apparently as well
satisfied with his morning's work as the other party to the transaction.

As soon as he was out of sight and hearing, Quin could contain himself
no longer, and vented his satisfaction at the success of the enterprise
in the most violent and extraordinary manner. He laughed till his eyes
were filled with tears, and had nearly upset the overloaded boat by his
extravagant demonstrations.

"What's the matter, Quin?" demanded Dan, astonished at the conduct of
his usually prudent and sedate companion.

"Bress de Lo'd, we's got all de tings," exclaimed Quin.

"Don't crow till you get out of the woods."

"Dar's de hard bread, and de salt, and de butter--golly, Massa Dan, you
done do dat ting bery fine."

"Wait till we get back to the camp before you say any thing. We are not
out of danger yet."

"But we's got de tings, Dan--de coffee, de sugar, and de salt."

"Take your oar now, and when we get back we'll have a jolly time."

"Bress de Lo'd, yes, Dan," said the delighted Quin, as he grasped the
oar.

Prosperity makes men careless and reckless. The bateau was so crowded
with stores that the rowers had but little space to use the oars. Their
progress was necessarily very slow. They wanted to get back to the camp
before night, and instead of keeping under the lee of the land, where
the boat would not be likely to attract attention, they proceeded by the
shortest route. When they reached the upper end of the lake, and were
within five miles of the camp, they were startled to see a boat put out
from one of the small islands, and pull towards them.

"De Lo'd sabe us!" exclaimed Quin, as he discovered the boat, which
contained two white men.

"Take no notice of them, and don't speak a word," said Dan, in a low
tone.

"De Lo'd hab us in his holy keeping!" ejaculated Quin, reverently, as he
raised his eyes towards heaven.

"Do you know them?" asked Dan.

"One of dem's Massa Longworth; don't know de oder," replied Quin, his
teeth chattering as though he had been suddenly seized with the ague.

"Who is he?"

"De oberseer on de plantation next to ole massa's."

The overloaded bateau rendered an escape by fast rowing impossible, and
the fugitives continued to pull steadily, as before. Dan had his gun in
a position where he could use it when occasion required. The two men
pulled up to within a short distance of the bateau, and rested on their
oars.

"Where ye gwine with all that stuff?" demanded Longworth.

"We belong to a party of gunners up here," replied Dan, boldly; for he
was determined to make the most of the circumstances.

"Where be they?"

"Up to Chicot--about ten miles from here."

"Ha, ha, ha!" laughed Longworth, glancing at his companion. "That's a
good story, but it won't go down."

"You open your mouth wide enough to take any thing down," answered Dan,
smartly.

"Can't swallow that story, no how," said the overseer. "But who's that
boy with you?"

"None of your business. I don't make stories for you to laugh at."

"Yes, you do, my boy. But you needn't row any furder. We want ye both."

"You can't have us."

"We'll see about that," added the man, as he raised his fowling piece.

"No use,--'tain't loaded," snarled the other man in the boat.

"Mine is," replied Dan, elevating the piece.

Longworth cursed his companion for the revelation he had made, and
proceeded to load the gun. In the mean time Dan dropped his piece, and
began to pull again.

"Stop, now. I don't want to destroy val'able property with this yere
iron, but I must if you don't stop," continued the overseer, as he
finished loading his gun.

"Perhaps I can destroy as much valuable property as you can," said Dan,
as he took his fowling piece again.

"You must come with me. I know that nigger in the boat with you, and I
reckon you belong to Colonel Raybone."

"I, you villain! How dare you insult me? I am a free white man."

"Perhaps you be, but you've been advertised enough to let any man in
these yere parts know you. That nigger belongs to my neighbor. If you've
a mind to come in quietly, I'll see you let off without any whippin."

"I have no mind to come in, either quietly or otherwise," replied Dan.

"Then the wust's your own;" and Longworth fired.

The ball whistled within a few feet of Dan's head; but, unterrified by
the peril, he raised his gun and fired.

"I'm hit!" groaned Longworth, as he sank down into the boat.

The other man in the boat with Longworth took the gun, loaded it, and
fired. At that moment Dan had stooped down to pick up his shot-pouch,
and Quin being the more prominent party in the bateau, the other man
fired at him.

"De Lo'd sabe me!" groaned Quin, as he placed both hands on his chest.

Dan was ready to fire again; but, to his astonishment, he saw the man
who had shot his companion seize the oars and pull away from the spot as
fast as he could.

It was evident that the fate of his companion had appalled him; and
seeing Dan nearly ready to discharge his gun again, he hastened to widen
the distance between them. He rowed with the desperation of a doomed
man. As the boat receded, Longworth raised himself up, as if to assure
the fugitives that he was not dead.

Dan pointed the gun at the retreating boat for some time, and then
fired, but not with the intention of hitting his savage foes. They were
slave-drivers, but he did not wish to kill them.

The boat shortly disappeared, and Dan turned his attention to his
wounded companion. The ball had passed through his lungs, and had
penetrated a vital organ. Deeply affected by the event, he did what he
could to stanch the blood; but poor Quin was past the aid of any
surgery, and breathed his last a few minutes later.

Fearful that other pursuers might soon appear, Dan worked the boat up
the bayou as rapidly as he could alone; but it was late at night when he
reached the camp. Then he wept; then the tears of Lily mingled with his
own over the corpse of the honest and faithful Quin, whose spirit had
soared aloft, where the black man is as free as his white oppressor.



CHAPTER XIX.

LILY ON THE WATCH.


The death of poor Quin filled his companions with sorrow and dismay.
There was weeping all night long on board of the Isabel. He had been a
true and faithful friend to each individual of the party, and they were
all sincerely and devotedly attached to him. With this sad bereavement
came the sense of personal peril, for those who had slain their
associate would not be content till they had driven his companions from
their covert, and shed their blood or again reduced them to slavery.

Lily was disposed to abandon all her hopes in despair, and Cyd trembled
with fear as he thought of what the next day or the next week might
bring forth. But the energy and firmness of Dan soon quieted their
fears, and restored, in some measure, the confidence which had before
prevailed in the camp.

"We have defeated the slave-hunters twice, and we can do it again," said
he, as he rose from his seat at the cabin table, around which, as Dan
ate his supper, the party had considered their sad and perilous
condition.

"It's terrible to think of poor Quin," said Lily. "He was so good and
kind."

"And we have one arm less to assist in our defence. Don't cry any more,
Lily. I'm afraid we haven't seen the worst of it yet."

"Can't we do something? Can't we get away from this place?" asked Lily.

"That is impossible. The water is too low to float the Isabel down to
the lake, even if she were ready to go. It will take several days to rig
her, and put her in order for our voyage."

"What will become of us?"

"I don't know. I hope for the best. Don't cry, Lily. I am not afraid of
any thing. If we are resolute, we can defend ourselves if the
slave-hunters should find us, which I don't think they can."

"It's awful to think of fighting and being shot," murmured Lily, as she
cast a tender glance at Dan.

"I thought of all these things before we started, and I will not shrink
from them now. But come, Cyd; we must go to work and unload the bateau."

The stores, which had been procured at such a terrible sacrifice, were
taken on board the Isabel, while the body of poor Quin was laid upon the
trunk cabin, and covered up with a blanket. As they lifted the lifeless
form from the bateau, Dan could not but recall the extravagant joy of
the deceased when the stores were safely embarked. The scene which
followed was a sad commentary on the hopes which the honest fellow had
cherished only a few hours before.

It was necessary that the corpse should be buried that night, for the
weather was warm, and none knew what were to be the events of the coming
day. A suitable spot was selected on one of the adjacent islands, where
Cyd and Dan dug a shallow grave. The remains of poor Quin, wrapped in
the blanket, were then conveyed in the bateau to the spot, and deposited
in their final resting-place. By the dim light of the lantern, Dan read
a chapter from his Testament, and then all of them knelt around the
grave. No audible prayers were repeated, but the hearts of these
sincere mourners were filled with the spirit of prayer; and He who wants
no vain words to praise Him, accepted the solemn but silent service.

The grave was filled, and the fugitives used all their ingenuity to
conceal the broken ground, that it might not betray them to the ruthless
slave-hunters, who might soon visit the spot. With sad hearts they
returned to the camp. Dan was nearly exhausted by the fatigue and
anxiety of the last two days; but he could not sleep while there was any
thing to be done to prepare for the expected visit of the slave-hunters.
His first care was to put all the arms and ammunition in readiness. He
then showed Lily how to load a gun, that she might assist them in the
defence.

On the islands they had collected a great quantity of logs, to serve
them for fuel during the winter. These were carried upon the deck of the
Isabel, and so arranged as to form a kind of breastwork, to shield the
boys from the bullets of the enemy. By noon on the following day, every
thing that could be thought of to conceal or defend the camp had been
done. They were ready for the slave-hunters then, and if Quin had only
been with them, they would have felt confident of the result of an
attack.

In the afternoon Dan was so worn out that he could endure no more, and
at Lily's urgent request he went below, and was soon asleep. Cyd was
fully alive to the necessities of the occasion. He kept his eyes and
ears wide open, but he neither saw nor heard any thing that indicated
the approach of an enemy. Lily, though very much alarmed, was as
resolute as her companions; for she knew and felt what slavery would be
if its shackles were again fastened upon her. She was a gentle, timid,
shrinking girl; but she was determined to die rather than be restored to
the tyranny of her capricious mistress, and the more terrible fate which
would eventually overtake her.

The long, gloomy night that followed passed away, the anxious watchers
still keeping vigil by turns upon the deck of the Isabel. The next day,
while Lily was keeping watch, both Dan and Cyd being asleep in the
cabin, she heard the dip of oars in the bayou. Her heart beat a furious
tattoo against her ribs, and she almost sank with horror, as she
listened to the sounds which indicated the approach of the dreaded
enemy. It was her duty to call Dan; but she seemed to be riveted to her
seat. The sounds came nearer and nearer, and soon she could hear the
voices of the slave-hunters. She could distinguish the curses that fell
from their lips as they advanced, and she was faint and sick with
apprehension.

The Isabel was moored at some distance from the bayou, which led to the
lake; but through the dense foliage which shrouded the boat, she could
discover the slave-hunters. They were now not forty rods distant, and
the slightest sound might betray their hiding-place. With quivering lips
and trembling limbs, she peered through the bushes to ascertain whether
the boat turned up the channel which led to the camp. It was a moment of
terrible suspense; a moment fraught with the issues of freedom or
slavery--life or death.

Why did she not call her companions, who were sleeping peacefully in the
cabin, while she was torn and distracted by these agonizing fears? She
dared not do so, lest one of them should speak and betray them all. Cyd
was impetuous, and a word from him might render futile the labors and
the perils of months.

Hardly daring to breathe lest it should undo them, she watched the
progress of the boat. The slave-hunters paused at the mouth of the
channel, consulted for a few moments, and then the bow of the boat was
turned towards the camp. With a gasp of horror, Lily crouched down upon
the floor of the standing room, and crept towards the cabin door. A
torrent of despair seemed to be turned loose upon her soul. She grasped
the side of the cabin door, when suddenly all her strength forsook her,
and she sank senseless upon the floor. The terrible agony of that
tremendous moment was more than she could endure, and she fainted.

The frail and delicate watcher had failed in the important duty she had
assumed at the very instant when her warning notes were most needed, and
the fugitives were then apparently at the mercy of the slave-hunters.
Dan slept, Cyd slept; both wearied out with watching and hard work, all
unconscious that their gentle, willing sentinel had failed them, and
that the fiends they dreaded were within pistol shot of their retreat.
They slept, and were silent. Lily, senseless upon the floor of the
standing room, pale and motionless as a marble statue chiselled in the
form of angelic beauty, was silent as the grave. Not a breath of air
stirred the forest leaves, not a ripple agitated the waters. It was
perfect stillness in the camp. There was no sound to disturb the solemn
quiet of that temple of nature, save the ribald speech of the
slave-hunters, mingled with fiendish curses.

There was none to keep watch and ward in the camp of the fugitives--none
but He who watches over the innocent when they sleep and when they wake.
He was there keeping ceaseless vigil by the senseless maiden, and over
the sleeping boys. "He doeth all things well;" and the very silence that
reigned in the camp saved the fugitives from the keen scrutiny of the
enemy.

The hunters remained in the vicinity for a few moments, and finding no
clew to the fugitives, turned their boat, and went back to the bayou.
They proceeded up the stream a few miles farther, and then, abandoning
the search in this direction, returned to the lake.

Still Dan slept, and Cyd slept, and Lily still lay silent in marble
stillness upon the floor at the door of the cabin.



CHAPTER XX.

PREPARING FOR THE VOYAGE.


The deep silence which pervaded the camp was first broken by Dan. He
woke slowly from his profound slumbers, looked about him for a moment,
then glanced at Cyd, who, contrary to his usual custom, did not snore.
Every thing was still; his ear was not saluted with the sharp crack of a
slave-hunter's rifle, and no curses disturbed the solemn silence of the
place. Every thing seemed to be secure, and he wondered that the enemy
had not yet appeared.

He was tempted to turn over and go to sleep, for he still felt very
weary, and his repose had not restored his wonted vigor. But he
concluded to go on deck, as every prudent skipper should, before he
finished his nap. Rising leisurely from his bunk, he made his way to the
standing room where he was almost paralyzed at the discovery of Lily
lying apparently dead upon the floor.

Dan was prompt and decided in action; and taking the insensible girl in
his arms, he placed her upon the cushioned seat. Tremulous with emotion,
he bent over her to ascertain whether his worst fears were to be
realized. Her heart beat; there was life, and there was hope.

"Cyd! Cyd!" shouted he, in tones which would have roused a sleepier boy
than his fellow-fugitive, and which, had it been heard a quarter of an
hour sooner, would have brought the slave-hunters upon them.

Cyd leaped from his couch as the imperative tones of Dan reached his
ears, fully believing that the enemy, for whom they had been so
patiently preparing, was upon them. Seizing a gun which lay upon the
table, he rushed aft, ready to do his share in the impending battle.

"Wha--wha--whar's de nigger-hunters?" demanded he, furiously.

"They are not here; there is no danger," replied Dan, calmly, as he
continued to rub the temples of Lily.

"Possifus! Wha--wha--what's de matter wid Missy Lily?" cried he, as soon
as he saw the insensible form of the maiden.

"Bring me a pitcher of water, Cyd."

"Is she dead?" gasped the poor fellow, as he obtained a better view of
the pale face of Lily.

"No, no; bring me the water--quick."

Cyd obeyed the order, and Dan sprinkled her face with the contents of
the pitcher. He then left her for a moment to procure some lavender in
her cabin. Though not a very skilful nurse, he had seen a lady faint,
and knew what to do upon such an emergency. He applied the lavender and
the cold water so vigorously, and yet so tenderly, that Lily soon began
to show signs of returning consciousness.

"What's de matter wid her?" demanded Cyd for the tenth time, for Dan was
too busy to waste time in answering idle questions.

"She is better," mused Dan, as he pushed back the curls that had strayed
forward upon the patient's face.

"Hossifus! Dis chile knows what ails Missy Lily," continued Cyd, opening
his mouth to the utmost of its tension, and exhibiting all its wealth
of ivory.

"What's the matter with you, Cyd? Shut your mouth, and behave like a
decent man," added Dan, rebuking the levity of his companion.

"Gossifus! Dis chile knows all about dat; been dar hisself," chuckled
Cyd. "Dis chile neber tink Missy Lily drink too much whiskey."

"Silence! you rascal! How dare you think such a thing!" replied Dan,
sternly; for he was vexed enough to pitch Cyd overboard for indulging in
such a suspicion.

"Mossifus! Dat's jus de way dis chile was."

"Silence! She has fainted. She is better now. See! She is opening her
eyes."

Dan continued to bathe the temples of Lily with lavender till her
consciousness returned, and the terrible incident which had preceded her
fainting was present to her mind. Suddenly, as Dan left her for a
moment, she sprang upon her feet, and rushed to the place where she had
stood gazing at the approaching boat.

"Where are they?" gasped she.

"Lie down again, Lily. You are too weak to stand," interposed Dan, as he
put his arms around her waist to support her.

"Where are they? O, we are all lost!" exclaimed she.

"What do you mean by _lost_?"

"Where are they?"

"Who, Lily? What is the matter with you?"

"Haven't you seen them, Dan?"

"Seen whom?"

"The slave-hunters!" gasped Lily.

"I haven't seen any one," replied Dan, calmly; for he began to fear that
the mind of his fair charge was affected.

"They are here--close by us, Dan. We shall all be taken."

"There is no danger, Lily. We are perfectly safe. Be calm, my dear. You
have been dreaming."

"No, I have not been dreaming. I haven't even been asleep. It was all
real; but I have been a faithless sentinel."

"Now you are better, Lily, tell me all about it," continued Dan, seating
her upon the cushions.

Lily related the incident which had transpired while her companions were
asleep below; but Dan could hardly believe so strange a story, and
insisted that she must have dropped asleep and dreamed it.

"I know I was not asleep."

"Why didn't you call me?"

"I was afraid that some noise might attract the attention of the
slave-hunters, and I deferred it till I was sure they would discover us.
Then I was creeping on the floor, so that they should not see me, to the
cabin, when I fainted."

"Hossifus!" gasped Cyd, appalled at the narrow escape of the party.

"Don't you believe me, Dan? I am very sure I was not asleep," added
Lily, earnestly.

Dan was compelled to believe the story, and he shuddered as he thought
of the peril that had menaced them while they were all so helpless.
Though he concluded that it was not safe to trust Lily on the watch, he
did not utter a word of reproof to her for not calling him sooner.

"You think I did wrong, Dan, not to call you. I know you do, though you
will not blame me."

"I can't help thinking what might have happened if the slave-hunters had
found us while we were all asleep," replied Dan, seriously. "But I will
not blame you, Lily."

"The slave-hunters did not find us. I think it was all for the best,
Dan, that I fainted."

"Indeed?"

"If I had waked you and Cyd, you might have made a noise that would have
exposed us," answered Lily, very solemnly. "I think it was the good God
that took my strength away in order to preserve us all."

"It may be; but I had rather be awake when there is any danger."

"If you had been awake, you might have been shot; and then what would
have become of us?"

Lily was fully satisfied that her fainting was a special providence,
which had saved them all from capture or death. Dan was not so clear
upon this point, and resolved never to sleep again when there was a
possibility of an attack.

For several weeks after these exciting incidents, all the fugitives
confined themselves to the Isabel and the islands on either side of
her. Indeed, between Dan and Cyd, it was about enough for them to do the
necessary work, and keep "watch and watch" during the day and night. As
nothing more was seen or heard of the slave-hunters, they concluded that
the search had been abandoned, and they soon ceased to dread their
approach. Dan ventured to hunt again, and every thing went off as
before, though all the party missed Quin very much.

The autumn passed away; the winter came, and then the spring. If our
space would permit us to record the daily life of the young fugitives
while they remained in the swamp, it would, no doubt, be interesting to
our readers; and for their sake, no less than for our own, we regret
that our limits do not admit of this lengthened narrative. They had many
trials from cold and storms, from high water in the bayous and low water
in the casks, from alligators and buzzards; but they lived through it
all. Lily was sick a fortnight, and Dan a week; their fuel gave out in
the coldest of the weather; and an alligator bit off the heel of Cyd's
boots; and a hundred other events occurred which would bear an extended
recital; but we turn from them, with regret, to the closing events in
the career of the young fugitives.

With the high water in April, Dan and Cyd went to work, in the most
vigorous manner, to prepare the Isabel for the uncertain sea voyage
which was before her. After a month of hard labor she was rigged, the
sails bent, her water casks filled, a supply of fuel put in the fore
hold, and the remaining stores conveniently stowed for the cruise.

On the fifteenth of May every thing was in readiness; the obstructions
in the channel were removed; and at sunset, with a smashing breeze, the
Isabel hauled out of the channel, and commenced her voyage.



CHAPTER XXI.

DOWN THE LAKE.


At the period of which we write, the railroad through the Teche country
had not been constructed, and the population was very sparsely scattered
over this region. Most of the available land, however, was occupied;
but, of course, none of the little villages which spring up around
railroad stations, and which, in the course of years, grow into large
towns and cities, had yet appeared.

With many doubts and fears in regard to the future, the young fugitives
commenced the voyage to the Gulf. It was seventy miles from the camp,
and it was absolutely necessary that the trip should be performed by
night, for the lake, at the season of high water, was navigable for
small steamers, which, with other craft, occasionally passed over its
turbid tide. In the passage down, they were liable to meet some of
these boats; and though the search for the runaways had long since
ceased, the Isabel might be recognized, and the mystery of her singular
disappearance explained.

Dan was determined to be very cautious, and to expose his party to no
risks which could possibly be avoided. The voyage was perilous enough at
best, and he was not disposed to trifle with the good fortune which had
thus far attended the expedition. He knew nothing of the navigation of
the lake, or of the Atchafalaya River, through which he must pass to the
Gulf of Mexico. He was therefore exposed to many perils. The boat might
get aground at a perilous point, which might expose them to an
examination from some inquisitive slaveholder. He might be stopped by a
steamer, or overhauled by a boat, and the fugitives taken into custody
because they could not give a good account of themselves.

Then, if he succeeded in reaching the Gulf, he knew that a day's sail at
the most would take him out of sight of land; and he had nothing but a
small compass and a map of the coast of Texas and Louisiana to guide
him. He had no expectation of being able to reach the free North in the
Isabel. He depended upon being picked up by some vessel bound to New
York or Philadelphia; and he had read the newspapers and listened to the
conversation of his master and his guests enough to know that
shipmasters were very cautious about carrying slaves to the North. But
he had made his plans, and hoped he should be able to overcome even this
most formidable difficulty.

To contend against all these adverse circumstances, he had a good boat,
though she was not fully adapted to a sea voyage. With her light draught
she had but a slight hold on the water; yet Dan was an excellent
boatman, and trusted in his skill to overcome the deficiencies of his
vessel. The Isabel was well provisioned for at least a month; and if the
weather was even tolerably favorable, he felt confident that he should
be able to contend successfully against the elements. At any rate he
feared the ocean, storm, and distance less than the insatiate
slave-hunters of the South.

With these difficulties before them, the young fugitives started upon
their uncertain voyage. It was a bright, pleasant evening, with a lively
breeze from the westward. The long confinement of the camp in the swamp
made the changing prospect exceedingly exhilarating. They had
encountered perils before, and the experience of the past prepared them
for the trials of the future. They had a head wind down the bayou which
led to the lake, and it required two hours of hard work for the two boys
to work the Isabel down to the open water; but when this labor was
accomplished, the foresail, mainsail, and jib were hoisted, and they had
a fair wind down the lake.

"Now, Lily, our voyage is commenced," said Dan, as he seated himself at
the helm.

"Yes; and I am so glad to get out of that dismal swamp!" replied she,
with a smile which spoke the joy of her heart.

"Perhaps you will wish yourself back again before many days, and perhaps
before many hours."

"Do you think there is much danger, Dan?"

"We may not meet with a single difficulty, and we may be in danger all
the time. I cannot tell. I hope for the best, but I am ready for the
worst."

"Any thing is better than slavery, Dan."

"Even death itself, Lily," replied Dan, solemnly.

"But there will be no people out on the lake in the night--will there?"

"There may be; but we may not find a good place to conceal ourselves
during the day. We may be discovered, for there are more people at the
lower end of the lake than in the part where we have been."

"We will pray to God, Dan, every day, and He will protect us, as He has
before," added Lily, confidingly.

"And while we do that, we must be very careful. There is one thing I
have been dreading ever since we began to prepare for this cruise."

"What is that, Dan?"

"You know Mr. Lascelles?"

"Yes; he spends a week at Redlawn every year, and master used to stay a
week at his plantation."

"He lives down this way somewhere--I don't exactly know where. The
Isabel, I think, came down here one year; if so, I am afraid they will
know the boat."

"Possifus!" exclaimed Cyd, who had been silently listening to this
conversation. "Dey'll ketch us, for shore."

"I'm not afraid of being caught; but Colonel Raybone almost always
visits Mr. Lascelles in the month of May. Suppose he should be there,
and we should happen to go near his plantation?"

"Hossifus!" groaned Cyd. "Massa Raybone down dar! Dis chile gubs it all
up den."

"Don't give up yet, Cyd," laughed Dan.

"Mossifus! If dis nigger see ole massa, he done sink into de ground,
like a catfish in de mud."

"You haven't seen him yet, Cyd; and what is more, I don't believe you
will see him."

"I hope not," added Lily, with a shudder.

"If we do, it will not alter any thing."

"What would you do, Dan?"

"I will never become a slave again. We have guns and powder, bullets and
shot."

"Would you kill him?"

"No man shall stand between me and freedom. I would shoot him or any
other man, if it were necessary to secure our safety."

"Gossifus! Shoot Massa Raybone!" exclaimed Cyd.

"I hope we shall not be obliged to fire upon any man; but I shall do so,
and you must do the same, Cyd, if we are in danger of being captured."

"Do any ting you say, Dan," replied Cyd whose mind readily settled upon
any policy adopted by his leader.

"Now, Lily, you had better turn in, as Midshipman Raybone used to say.
You must sleep while you can, for you may have no rest again for several
days."

"I'm not sleepy; but you are going to have a very hard time. When we get
out to sea we shall have to run all the time--shall we not?"

"Yes--night and day."

"Then when will you sleep?"

"Cyd and I must sleep by turns. We shall get along very well if the
weather is only good."

About eleven o'clock both Lily and Cyd retired to their berths, leaving
Dan alone on deck. The wind held fair till about three o'clock in the
morning, at which time the Isabel was within ten miles of the outlet of
the lake. It was too dark for the careful skipper to discover the nature
of the shore, and he was waiting for a little daylight to enable him to
find a suitable place to lie up during the next day. The boat was fully
three miles from either shore, when the wind suddenly died out. Directly
ahead, there were several small islands, but they were farther off than
the main shore.

The first of the skipper's trials seemed to have overtaken him; but he
did not permit himself to despair. He hoped, when the sun rose, a breeze
would come, and enable him to find some hiding-place for the day. There
was nothing to do but watch and wait, and Dan reclined upon the
cushioned seat to meditate upon the uncertainties before them.

There was not a breath of air upon the lake, and the sails hung
motionless in their places. Lily and Cyd still slept, and Dan did not
call them; for he was willing to spare them even an hour's useless
anxiety. The moments hung heavily upon the impatient skipper; but at
last the daylight came, and he had a chance to study the situation. On
the shore at his left there was a sugar plantation, the mansion of which
was built within a short distance of the water; for here, as in the
vicinity of Redlawn, the highest land was nearest to the streams. But
the estate was three miles distant, and he hoped that the Isabel would
not attract the attention of the people on the place.

The sun rose, but no wind came to gladden the heart of the impatient and
anxious skipper. The active life of the plantation had commenced. He
could see the smoke curling up from the chimneys of the cook-house near
the mansion; and in different parts of the lake he counted three boats
moving about near the shore. These signs produced an intense uneasiness
in his mind, which was not lessened by the appearance of Lily, who came
upon deck about this time.

While he was explaining to her the nature of their unpleasant position,
the smoke of a little steamer was seen beyond the islands. She soon came
in sight, and was headed directly towards the spot where the Isabel lay
becalmed. Dan and his fair companion were appalled by this new danger;
for a suspicion in the mind of any person on board the steamer could
hardly fail of being fatal to them. But Dan was soon prepared to make
the best of the circumstances.

"Cyd, Cyd!" called he, as he rushed into the cabin.

"Wha--wha--what's de matter?" stammered Cyd, springing to his feet.

"Go on deck at once," replied Dan, as he slung the powder-horn and
shot-pouch over his shoulders, and took one of the fowling pieces.

Cyd was on deck before him, and discovered the nature of the danger
which menaced them. The bateau, which had been placed upon deck, was
launched, and Cyd was directed to get into it with the oars, and pull
off a few rods from the Isabel.

"Now, Lily, you must go to your cabin, close the door, and on no account
show yourself while the steamer is in sight," said Dan.

"But what are you going to do, Dan?" asked she, with an expression of
the deepest concern. "Are you going to shoot any one?"

"No, dear," replied Dan, with a smile at her fears; "I am going to
pretend to be a sportsman. As we can't get out of the way of the
steamer, I intend to be as bold and impudent as I can. There, go to your
cabin now, and we will hope for the best."

Lily retired to the cabin, closed the door after her, and threw herself
on her knees to pray for the safety of herself and her friends during
the impending peril. In the mean time, Dan walked up and down the deck,
with the gun in his hand, apparently looking in all directions for game.
Just as the steamboat came within hailing distance of the Isabel, a
couple of brant fortunately flew over, and Dan fired. His practice in
the swamp had made him a very good marksman, and he was so lucky as to
bring down one of the birds. Cyd, as before instructed, pulled with all
his might to the spot where the game had fallen.

"Possifus!" shouted he; "massa fotch dat bird down, for shore!"

When he uttered this exclamation the bateau was within a few yards of
the steamer, and the few passengers on board of her, anxious to see the
sport, hastened to the boiler deck, and thus obtained a full view of the
Isabel, as she rounded in under her stern, on her way to the plantation,
where she evidently intended to make a landing.

"Any news below?" shouted Dan, hailing the steamer as she approached.

"By Heaven! that's my boat and my boy!" exclaimed a gentleman on the
boiler deck, as the steamer glanced by the Isabel. "Stop the boat! Stop
her!"

It was Colonel Raybone!



CHAPTER XXII.

THE ISABEL RUNS THE GANTLET.


Dan heard the words of the gentleman on the boiler deck of the Terre
Bonne,--for that was the name of the steamer,--and at once recognized
his master. The worst fear that he had entertained was fully realized.
That unfortunate calm had betrayed him into the hands of his enemy. But
he was fully determined to carry out his resolution, and fight for life
and liberty, even if he had to contend against the whole force of the
steamer.

It appeared that the request, or rather the command, of Colonel Raybone
to stop the boat was not immediately complied with; for she continued on
her course for several minutes before her wheels ceased to revolve, and
when she did stop she was fully a quarter of a mile from the Isabel. By
this time Cyd returned with the bird which the sportsman had killed,
and Dan announced the appalling fact that Colonel Raybone was on board
of the steamer, and had recognized him and the boat.

"Possifus!" exclaimed Cyd, leaping upon the deck of the Isabel.
"Wha--wha--what we gwine to do?"

"Take this gun, and do as I do," replied Dan, as he went into the cabin
after the rifle.

"Gwine to shoot him!" groaned Cyd. "Hossifus! gwine to shoot ole Massa
Raybone!"

"Do you want to go back to Redlawn with him, Cyd?" demanded Dan, with
compressed lips.

"Don't want to go back, for shore. Gossifus! Dis chile's a free man
now."

"Then use your gun when I tell you."

"Cyd do dat, for sartin," replied he, examining the lock of the fowling
piece. "Mossifus! Dis nigger shoot de whole crowd if you says so, Dan."

"Don't fire till I tell you, and take good aim," added the skipper, as
he finished loading the rifle.

"What's the matter, Dan?" asked Lily, opening the cabin door a little
way, for she had heard the stirring words of her friends on deck.

Dan told her, in as few words as possible, what had happened, and the
poor girl nearly fainted when she heard the name of her master.

"Then we are lost!" added she, in tones tremulous with emotion.

"Not yet, Lily. Be of good courage, and don't show yourself on deck."

The affrighted maiden threw herself upon her knees by her cot, and
prayed fervently that God would interpose his strong arm to save them
from the fate which now seemed to be inevitable. While she prayed, Dan
and Cyd worked, and made such preparations for the pending encounter as
their limited means would allow. There was only a small number of
passengers on board of the steamer, and the resolute captain of the
Isabel hoped that a few shots would intimidate them, and prevent Colonel
Raybone from rushing upon certain death.

But the planter of Redlawn was as resolute as his runaway chattel, and a
battery of artillery would not have deprived him of the satisfaction of
pouncing upon the fugitives. Though no fear could deter the master from
attempting to recover what he regarded as his own by the law of God and
man, it was otherwise with the captain of the Terre Bonne; for he
declared that he was in a tremendous hurry to make his trip, having been
detained over night at the foot of the lake. He sympathized with Colonel
Raybone in his desire to recover his slaves; but he positively refused
to put the boat about and capture the runaways.

It is not improbable that the captain of the steamer saw the guns and
the preparations made to receive a boarding party, and possibly he
reasoned in his own mind that a chance shot was as likely to kill him as
any other man on board; at any rate, he was as resolute in his refusal
as any of the resolute parties we have already mentioned.

Dan could hardly believe his senses when he saw the Terre Bonne standing
out towards the landing-place before the plantation. When her wheels
started again, he nerved himself for the encounter; for he supposed she
would come about, and bear down upon him. It was incredible that Colonel
Raybone should give up the chase without an effort to capture them; and
he knew his master too well to think, after more consideration, that he
would abandon his slaves without an energetic effort to recover them.

The steamer went in to the landing-place, leaving Dan to wonder and
rejoice at the happy turn which had taken place in the affairs of his
party. He informed Lily of the altered state of things on deck, and the
devout girl was happy in the reflection that her prayers had been so
promptly answered.

"But we haven't seen the end of it yet, Lily. O, no," added Dan,
"Colonel Raybone will never give us up. He would spend more money than
we are all worth for the pleasure of flogging me for running away; but
he shall never have that satisfaction. I had rather die here like a man
than to be scourged to death at the Dead Oak."

"Can't we get away? Is there no chance to escape?" asked Lily, whose
beating heart was full of mortal terrors.

"Gossifus! Wha--wha--what's de reason we can't take de bateau and row
ober to de shore, and take to de woods?" suggested Cyd.

"Well, what then?" demanded Dan, calmly.

"Why, den run like a possum up a gum tree."

"With bloodhounds and slave-hunters on your track. No, Cyd; we should
certainly be taken if we did that."

"What shall we do, Dan?" murmured Lily. "We shall certainly be taken if
we stay here."

"No; we have beaten off the slave-hunters twice, and we can do it again.
They will come in small boats, and I will shoot them down, one at a
time, if they persist," answered Dan, bringing down the butt of the
rifle upon the floor of the standing room to emphasize his words.

"But you may be shot, yourself, Dan," said Lily, with a visible shudder.

"No; I will conceal myself behind the bulwarks when they come within
range of my rifle."

"But can't we get away? Can't we escape without shooting any of them?"
pleaded the poor girl, with a natural horror of bloodshed.

"We cannot unless we have wind."

"Gossifus! Dar dey come!" exclaimed Cyd, pointing to two boats pulling
out from the landing-place of the plantation.

"Heaven protect and defend us!" cried Lily. "I will pray for wind; I
will pray with all my soul for a breeze, Dan, and our Father in heaven,
who has so often heard my prayers will hear me again."

"Stop a minute, Missy Lily; stop a minute," interposed Cyd, gazing
earnestly down the lake; "needn't pray no more, Missy Lily; dare's a
breeze coming up from de souf-east. Hossifus! de breeze am comin like a
possum down a cotton tree! Possifus! Hossifus! Gossifus! De breeze am
coming!" shouted Cyd, as he danced round the deck like a madman.
"Needn't pray no more, Missy Lily. De breeze am come."

"Then I will thank God for sending it," replied the poor girl, a smile
of joy playing radiantly upon her fair face.

If Dan was not so extravagant as his companion on deck, he was not less
rejoiced, especially as the wind from this quarter promised to be a
strong one. The bateau was hastily hoisted upon the deck of the Isabel,
and the sails trimmed to catch the first breath of the coming breeze.

"Mossifus! Dat breeze wuth a hun'd tousand million dollars!" shouted
Cyd, as the first puff of the welcome wind swelled the sails of the
Isabel.

"It may be worth more than that," replied Dan calmly. "It may be life
and liberty to us."

The breeze had come, and plenty of it; but for the course the skipper
wished to lay, it was dead ahead; yet it mattered little where it
carried them, if it only enabled them to escape from the terrible man
who was the impersonation of slavery to them. As the wind freshened, the
lake was agitated, and the Isabel dashed on as though she understood the
issues which depended upon her speed. In half an hour the pursuing boats
could not be seen; and no doubt they had abandoned the chase in despair.

It was useless to seek a place for concealment, for the white sails of
the Isabel were doubtless watched by scores of eager eyes; so Dan ran up
under the lee of one of the small islands that dot the lake, and came to
anchor there. He did not care to run up the lake any farther than was
necessary, and he did not think it prudent to beat down the lake in the
face of his pursuers. No more anxious skipper than he of the Isabel ever
paced a deck. Colonel Raybone was as energetic as he was remorseless,
and would leave no means untried to capture the fugitives. Dan was at
first afraid that he would charter the steamer, and pursue them in her;
but this fear was removed when he saw the Terre Bonne steaming on her
way up the lake.

The fugitives breakfasted on cold ham and hard bread while the boat
remained at anchor; but not for a single instant did the watchful
skipper intermit his gaze in the direction in which he had last seen the
pursuing boats. It was a late breakfast, for it was ten in the forenoon
when it was finished. But this meal, though it seemed to increase the
vigor and resolution of the party, did not remove a particle of their
anxiety for the future.

Dan, as we have before shown, was a master of strategy; and it is good
generalship to penetrate the purposes of the enemy. Our hero was all the
time trying to do this, but, of course, without any encouragement of
success. He only felt sure that Colonel Raybone would cover the lake
with boats filled with slave-hunters, if he could find them, and that
every hour of delay increased the peril of his situation. He intended to
wait till night, and then, under cover of the darkness, run down to the
outlet of the lake, and escape to the Gulf. This purpose was encumbered
by a terrible doubt; he feared that the south-east wind would die out
when the sun went down, and that the fugitives would again be at the
mercy of the slave-hunters. The thought was so appalling that Dan, in
the middle of the afternoon, determined to run the gantlet of the boats,
and trust to Providence for success. In a few moments after this
decision was reached, the Isabel was under way, and standing, close
hauled, down the lake.

The south-east wind, having free course, and blowing fresh, had kicked
up a heavy sea, for an inland sheet of water; but this was highly
favorable for the Isabel, and very unfavorable for the flatboats in
which the pursuers chased them. As Dan had anticipated, the
slave-hunters were on the alert; and as the Isabel was standing through
a narrow channel between two islands, the two boats, which had chased
her in the morning, dashed out from under the lea of one of them.

"Take the helm, Cyd, and keep her steady as she is!" said Dan, as he
grasped the rifle.

"Possifus!" exclaimed Cyd; but he promptly obeyed without further
speech.

Only one of the boats--that which contained Colonel Raybone--was near
enough to board the Isabel as she dashed through the passage. It was
evidently the intention of the planter to spring on board as she passed
through the channel; for he stood in the bow of his boat with the
painter in his hand. One of the rowers in the other boat had "crabbed"
his oar and lost it overboard, or the colonel's plan would have
succeeded.

"Put down the helm, Cyd! Luff, luff!" shouted Dan, as he fathomed the
purpose of his master.

"Luff um 'tis!" replied the helmsman.

The Isabel was running tolerably free at the time the order was given,
and when she luffed up, the planter's boat lay directly in her path. The
next instant she struck the bateau full on the broadside.

"Possifus!" shouted Cyd, at the top of his lungs, as he heard the
crashing and snapping of the pine boards, that indicated the destruction
of the planter's boat.



CHAPTER XXIII.

COLONEL RAYBONE CHANGES HIS TONE


The Isabel dashed furiously on her way, passing over the bateau of the
slave-hunters, which presently reappeared astern of her. Colonel
Raybone, who, in spite of his years and his habits, was an active man,
seized the bowsprit of the sail-boat, as it bore his frail bark beneath
the waves; and while Dan and Cyd were eagerly gazing into the water
astern of them in search of their dreaded master, he climbed upon the
forecastle of the Isabel, thus saving himself from the wreck and the
water.

"Hossifus!" groaned Cyd, as he turned to observe the course of the boat,
and discovered upon deck the stalwart form of Colonel Raybone--to him
the most terrible man on the face of the earth.

The exclamation attracted the attention of Dan, and a glance forward
revealed to him the desperate situation of his party. The slave-master,
nearly exhausted by the shock of the collision, and his exertions in
hauling himself up to the deck of the Isabel, had failed to improve the
first moment that ushered him into the presence of his astonished
chattels; and the loss of that opportunity was the ruin of his
expectations. Dan instantly raised his rifle; but the old feeling of awe
and reverence for the sacred person of his master prevented him from
firing at once.

"Hah, you villains! I've got you at last!" said Colonel Raybone.

Without making any reply to this expression of rage and malice, Dan
fired, but not at the head or the heart of the colonel; for he did not
wish to kill him. The rifle was aimed at one of his legs, and the ball
passed through the fleshy part of his thigh. Colonel Raybone, with a
volley of curses, sank upon the deck of the Isabel, a stream of blood
flowing from his wound. Dan dropped the rifle, and took one of the
fowling pieces, ready to complete his work if the occasion should
require. His face was deadly pale, his lips quivered, and his frame
trembled, as though the ball had passed through him, instead of his
master. He had watched and waited too long for liberty and true life to
sacrifice all his hopes, when they were on the point of being realized,
to a sentimental horror of shedding the blood of a slave-master.

Lily, as soon as she heard the report of the rifle, opened her cabin
door, and stepped out into the standing room. The pale face and
quivering lip of Dan first attracted her attention; and when he pointed
to the forecastle, she saw the prostrate form of her master, and sank
upon the seat, overcome with fear and horror.

"Don't be afraid, Lily," said he. "He cannot harm us now."

"Have you killed him?" gasped she.

"No; I did not intend to kill him. I would not have fired at him if I
could have helped it. I only hit him in the leg."

"But he will die."

"He may; I cannot help it. We should have been slaves again in a moment
more if I had not fired."

"This is horrible!" moaned Lily.

"But it is better than slavery," replied Dan, firmly, though he was
scarcely less agitated than his gentle companion. "Mind your helm, Cyd,
and go to windward of that little island ahead," he continued; for the
helmsman's ideas had been considerably shaken up by the stirring events
which had just transpired.

The second boat, astern of the Isabel, was engaged in picking up the
oarsmen of the first, and with the fresh breeze there was no danger of
pursuit from that direction. Colonel Raybone was evidently suffering
severely from his wound, but his mental tortures seemed to be greater
than his physical pain. His mouth was still filled with curses, and
maledictions of rage and hatred were poured out upon the runaways. He
was so violent in his agony, that none of the party dared to approach
him, and Dan stood with the fowling piece in his hand, ready to protect
himself and his companions from any possible assault. There he lay,
unable to rise; but still the Isabel dashed on, as if reckless of the
terrible scene which had just been enacted upon her deck.

Colonel Raybone's wound bled freely, and the loss of blood soon
moderated his fiery temper. Gradually he calmed down, and became quite
reasonable, at least so far as outward manifestations were concerned.
Then Dan ventured to approach him, though he did not relax his hold upon
the gun, and took every precaution to guard against any sudden movement
on the part of the sufferer.

"Are you much hurt, sir?" asked Dan.

"You have killed your master, Dandy," replied he, faintly, as he looked
up at the redeemed chattel.

"I did not mean to kill you, sir, and I am sorry you compelled me to
fire upon you," added Dan, in respectful and sympathizing tones.

"I am wounded and in your power now; I can do nothing more, and you may
finish me as soon as you please," groaned Colonel Raybone, completely
subdued by weakness and the fear of death.

"I do not wish to kill you, Colonel Raybone, and I am willing to do all
I can for you. But if you attempt to make me a slave again, I will shoot
you at once."

"I can't harm you now if I would," said the sufferer, faintly.

"Then we will take you into the cabin out of the sun, and do what we can
for you."

"Can't you land me at Mr. Lascelles' plantation?" asked he, lifting his
eyes up with an expression so pitiful that Dan could hardly resist the
petition.

"No, sir. I dare not do that," he replied. "But I will do all I can to
save your life."

Dan then went aft, and explained to his companions the condition of
Colonel Raybone. Lily was placed at the helm, with instructions how to
steer, and Dan and Cyd, with a great deal of difficulty, removed the
wounded planter to the cabin. But he had lost so much blood that he
fainted as soon as they had placed him upon the bunk. Cyd then took his
place at the helm; and while Lily bathed the head of the patient with
lavender, Dan examined his wound. The ball had passed entirely through
the fleshy part of the thigh, about half way between the hip and the
knee. The blood flowed steadily from the two openings, but not in jets,
which would indicate the severing of an artery.

Dan was no surgeon, but he had ingenuity and common sense, and he used
these to the best advantage his limited means would permit. He tore up
one of his shirts for bandages, and Lily made lint of of his collars.
When the sufferer had recovered from his faintness he drank a glass of
brandy, which seemed to revive him. But he was still very weak, and
breathed not a word of hatred or malice.

"Hallo! Dan! Where we gwine?" shouted Cyd from the deck, who had come to
a point in the lake where he required further sailing directions.

The skipper took his map and went on deck. From the position of three
islands laid down on his chart, and which he identified as those near
him, he concluded that the Isabel had reached the outlet of the lake,
which is the Atchafalaya River. Its course gave him a fair wind, and he
headed the boat down the stream. As the sailing of the boat was now a
matter of the utmost importance, Dan was compelled to remain on deck. He
took the precaution to place all the fire-arms on board in a safe place,
where Colonel Raybone, if his condition should so far improve as to
encourage him to make an attempt to obtain possession of the boat, could
not get them, and where he and Cyd could get them.

It was sunset when the Isabel entered the great bayou; and as she dashed
on her course, the anxious skipper saw many boats, and even some larger
craft, but no one offered to molest them. Colonel Raybone remained as
quiet as a lamb. He was feverish, and in much pain, and all night long
Lily sat by his bunk, and watched over him as tenderly as though he had
been her dearest friend, instead of her most terrible enemy. She not
only watched; she prayed for him--prayed that God would forgive him,
heal his wounds, and soften his heart.

And all night long the Isabel sped on her course, and at midnight she
entered the great bay. Dan was worn out with anxiety and long watching,
and as the waters of the bay were comparatively smooth, the wind having
subsided to a gentle breeze, he gave the helm to Cyd, and slept three
hours upon the floor of the standing room, with a cushion under his
head.

At daybreak, Point au Fer light, which was marked on Dan's map, lay
directly ahead of them. The land to the westward was low and swampy, and
with frequent indentations. In one of these Dan came to anchor about
sunrise. He was much perplexed to know what he should do with Colonel
Raybone. He could not think of going to sea with him on board, and to
send him back was to invite an immediate pursuit.

The good care which had been bestowed upon the planter had very sensibly
improved his condition. After breakfast he inquired of Dan where he had
been for a year, and the whole story of the residence in the swamp was
narrated to him. In return he told the fugitives what had been done to
recover them, and added that he was on his way from New Orleans to Mr.
Lascelles' plantation when he discovered the Isabel. Colonel Raybone
said not a word about reclaiming his property, and apparently only
cherished the hope of saving himself.

"Now, Dandy, what are you going to do with me?" asked he, when he had
finished his narrative.

"I don't know, sir. After the whipping I got, I determined to run away;
and I say now I would rather die than go back," replied he.

"Didn't I use you well?" asked the colonel.

"As well as any master can use a slave."

"I was rather sorry afterwards that I whipped you; but you were treated
as well as the members of my own family; and so was Lily."

"But I was a slave, and so was she. Master Archy tormented me, and Miss
Edith tormented Lily. I could have borne it, perhaps, if I hadn't been
whipped."

"You have your revenge now," added the planter, meekly. "I am in your
power."

"I don't seek revenge, and I wouldn't harm you for all the world,"
replied Dan.

The proud spirit of the planter was subdued by pain, weakness, and the
fear of death, and he was in no condition to think of resistance. He
offered to give the fugitives free papers if they would land him at any
place where there was a surgeon, and from which he could be removed to
Redlawn; but Dan dared not run any risks. The planter wanted to know
where they were going, but the prudent skipper declined to answer this
question.

The Isabel remained at anchor for three days, under the lea of the land,
during which time Colonel Raybone was carefully nursed by Dan and Lily;
but his wound was still very painful, and the patient, fearful of
mortification, or some other unfavorable turn in his condition, declared
himself willing to do any thing rather than remain any longer in this
place.

"I might put you on board of some vessel if I dared to do so," said Dan.

"What do you fear?" demanded the sufferer.

"If you should tell the people of the vessel what we are, they would
capture us."

"Do you think I would do that, Dandy?" asked he, in reproachful tones.

"I am afraid to run any risks, sir."

"Will you let me die here? My wound may mortify. I think it is growing
worse instead of better," added he, with a groan of anguish. "I will
give you my word, Dandy, if you will put me on board of any vessel bound
to any place where I can get home, I will give you all your freedom. If
you are arrested, send to me, and you shall have free papers. You know I
always keep my word, Dandy."

It was a terrible necessity which could extort such a declaration from
the imperious planter, and Dan decided to accept the proposition. The
anchor was weighed, and the Isabel stood out of the inlet where she had
lain for three days. They cruised all day without meeting a vessel; but
on the following morning they hailed a small schooner bound up the bay.

"I will keep my promise, Dandy, to the letter," said Colonel Raybone, as
they bore him to the deck. "Here is some money, which you may want
before long;" and he handed Dan a roll of bills.

"Thank you, sir," replied he. "I hope we part friends."

"Yes, Dandy; and if you ever want a friend, come to me."

The crew of the schooner asked a great many questions, all of which
Colonel Raybone took it upon himself to answer. He was placed in the
cabin of the vessel, and Dan, bidding him good by, hastened back to the
Isabel. They parted in peace, and Lily could not restrain her tears as
the schooner bore away on her course.



CHAPTER XXIV.

THE YOUNG FUGITIVES MAKE A HARBOR.


"Colonel Raybone is not a bad man, after all," said Dan, as the Isabel
filled away.

"He wouldn't be, if he wasn't a slaveholder," replied Lily.

"Possifus! I feel 'tickler sorry for ole massa, when he lay dar and
couldn't help hisself," added Cyd.

"If he could have helped himself, he wouldn't have lain there. I never
saw such a change come over a man. He will be ashamed of himself, I
know, when he gets well, and it will be lucky for us that we are out of
his reach."

"He would keep his word, Dan; you know that," said Lily, whose looks
seemed to contain a mild rebuke of the sentiment just uttered.

"He would; at least, he wouldn't wish to break his word; but he will
want me as soon as he gets to be Colonel Raybone again."

"Why, he was always good to us," responded Lily.

"He was always liberal and generous, and treated all the people well,
while they behaved to suit him."

"They ought to behave well."

"I had to fawn and cringe before him, and before Archy. If I dared to
say my soul was my own, I was punished for it. What did I get whipped
for?"

"For striking Archy."

"Well, why did I strike him? Didn't he insist upon my striking him? and
when he came at me like a madman, because I happened to hit him rather
harder than I intended, I was tied up to the Dead Oak, and whipped like
a mule. I shall carry the marks of that day to my grave," continued Dan,
earnestly.

"But he has changed."

"He was afraid he was going to die, and he was in my power. He knew I
could blow out his brains any moment when he attempted to lay his hands
upon me; and he knew I would do it, too."

"I never saw him so mild and gentle as he was while on board the boat."

"I hope he will always continue so, and treat the people well when he
gets back to Redlawn. I have nothing against him now. I forgive him, and
I did all I could for him when he was wounded."

"I know you did. Do you suppose he will get well, Dan?"

"I have no doubt he will."

"Shall you send for your free papers?"

"I shouldn't dare to let him know where I am."

"He gave us our freedom."

"I should be afraid that he would alter his mind; and though he might
keep his word, he might cause us to be taken up for killing the
slave-hunters, or stealing the boat and provisions, or something of that
kind. I shall keep out of his way. If we should be arrested, I would
appeal to him then."

"Where are we going now, Dan?" asked Lily, as she glanced out upon the
vast expanse of waters which rolled to the southward.

"I hardly know, Lily. We have got to the bottom of my map; I shall stand
to the south-east till something happens. If we can fall in with a
vessel which does not sail from or to a southern port, I should have
some hopes, especially as we have money enough now to pay our passage."

"How much have you, Dan?"

"Two hundred dollars," replied Dan, exhibiting the roll of bills which
the planter had given him. "Colonel Raybone is generous, but this would
not half pay us for the services we have rendered him."

The pocket compass upon which the skipper had to depend for his course
was now produced, and before dark that night the Isabel was out of sight
of land. The wind was light, the weather pleasant, and the sea not
heavier than they had seen on the lake. It was arranged that each of the
boys should steer four hours in his turn, night and day, and the voyage,
which had been looked upon as involving many perils, was found to be
very pleasant.

For two days they were favored with good weather; but on the third it
came on cloudy and blowy after dinner. The foresail was taken in, and
every thing made snug about the Isabel, in preparation for the worst.
The storm increased in violence, and they soon had their first
experience of a heavy sea. The waves tossed them about like a feather,
dashing over the decks, and several times filling the standing room half
full of water.

"Gossifus! Dis big sea!" exclaimed Cyd, as he shook the water from his
woolly locks.

"Yes, and it is coming heavier yet," replied Dan. "But the Isabel stands
it well."

"Plenty ob water on fora'd dar," said Cyd, pointing to the forecastle,
which was often submerged in the heavy billows.

"Perhaps we can remedy that. I don't think we shall want the bateau any
more, and we may as well toss it overboard. It sinks her head down too
much."

"Hossifus! Frow de boat overboard?"

"Yes; over with it, if you can."

Cyd took a boat-hook, and pried up the bateau, and after much labor
succeeded in getting it over the side, though he had nearly gone with
it, when a big sea, swooping over the deck, finished his work. The
effect of the step was instantly apparent in the working of the Isabel.
She no longer scooped up the seas, but rode over them. Before night it
began to rain, and the gale increased in violence. The bonnet had been
taken off the jib, and a reef put in the mainsail; but she could not
much longer carry this sail, and at dark she was put under a
close-reefed foresail.

Poor Lily was obliged to remain in the cabin, and she was very much
alarmed at the roaring of the waves and the terrible pitching of the
schooner; but Dan often assured her that there was no danger; that the
Isabel was behaving splendidly. During that long, tempestuous night,
there was no sleep for the fugitives. Dan did not leave the helm, and
Cyd stood by to obey the orders of the skipper. At midnight the gale
began to moderate, but the sea still ran high.

The sun rose bright and clear on the following morning. The wind had
subsided to a gentle breeze, and the Isabel moved slowly along over the
rolling waves. Cyd and Lily went to sleep after breakfast, and Dan still
maintained his position at the helm, which he had not left for fourteen
hours. He was nearly exhausted; but so was Cyd, and he was afraid the
latter would drop asleep if he left the boat in his care.

While he sat by the tiller, dreaming of the future, and struggling to
keep awake, he discovered a sail far to the southward of him. The sight
roused him from his lethargy, for he had not seen any thing that looked
like a vessel since the day he parted with Colonel Raybone. He was wide
awake; and laying his course so as to intercept the vessel, he waited
patiently till the winds wafted her within hailing distance.

It was two hours before he could clearly make her out, for the wind was
very light. She was a bark, and Dan could only hope that she was not
bound to any port in the slave states. He had a very good knowledge of
geography, and after calculating the position of the Isabel, he
concluded that the bark could not have come from any southern city.

"Sail ho!" shouted he, when he was within half a mile of the bark.

"What's the matter?" called Lily, roused from her slumbers by the shout.

"Come on deck. We are close by a vessel."

"Gossifus!" shouted Cyd, as he rushed out of the cabin, and discovered
the bark. "Wha--wha--what vessel's dat?"

"I don't know," answered Dan; "but we shall soon know all about her."

"What a monster she is!" added Lily.

Dan hailed the bark, and ascertained that she was an English vessel,
bound from Vera Cruz to New York. As this information was satisfactory,
he asked to be taken on board, with his companions. The vessel backed
her main topsail, and Dan ran the Isabel alongside. The captain and crew
were astonished to find a small boat, with two boys and a girl in her,
at this distance from land; but they were kindly taken on board. In as
few words as possible Dan told the substance of his story, and the
captain consented to carry the fugitives to New York.

"I can pay our passage, captain," added he; "and if you will take us you
shall lose nothing by it."

"I should be in duty bound to take you, any how," replied the captain;
"but what shall we do with your boat?"

"Cut her adrift, if you can't do any better. We have done with her now."

"I think we can save her," added the captain.

As the wind was light, the Isabel was lashed to the side, and the bark
squared away upon her course. In a short time every thing on board of
the sail-boat was passed on board, and she was stripped and her masts
taken out. She was then hoisted on deck, and set up between the fore and
main masts. Dan and his companions were rejoiced to preserve her, for
she had been their home for a year, and had borne them safely through
many perils. They regarded her as a dear friend.

Captain Oxnard gave Lily a state-room, and the two boys were berthed in
the steerage. It took all the rest of the day for Dan to relate the
experience of the young fugitives on board the Isabel; and the officers
of the bark were intensely interested in the narrative and in the
runaways. The listeners were all Englishmen, and had no sympathy with
slave-holders.

The passage was rather long, but it was pleasant, and on the twentieth
of June the bark anchored in New York harbor. Her consignees were
informed of the incidents which had placed the three passengers on
board, and they were not disposed to undo what Captain Oxnard had done.
While the vessel lay at anchor, the Isabel was hoisted into the water
again, rigged, and every thing placed on board of her, just as she was
when she left the camp in the swamp.

It so happened that the junior member of the firm to which the bark was
consigned, was a friend of Mr. Grant, and had dined at Woodville the day
before. It occurred to him that the young fugitives would be well cared
for in the hands of his friends, and being a boatman himself, he
resolved to proceed up the river in the Isabel.

It was a pleasant day and a happy occasion, and at an early hour in the
afternoon, the party landed at the pier in front of the Woodville
mansion. I need not inform my readers that they were kindly received by
the family; and the story of the young fugitives was again repeated to a
group of partial listeners.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mr. Grant and his friend Presby immediately set their heads at work to
determine what should be done with the party which had just arrived at
Woodville. Bertha soon settled the question so far as Lily was
concerned, by declaring that she must live with her, and go to school at
the village, for she had become strongly attached to the fair fugitive,
and would not think of permitting her lot to be cast among those who
might possibly be unkind to her.

There was less difficulty in disposing of Dan and Cyd. Boats and
boatmen were in great demand at Whitestone and other places on the
river, and the Isabel promised to bring in a fortune to her owners
during the summer months. A few days later, she was employed in carrying
parties out upon excursions, with Dan as skipper, old Ben as pilot, and
Cyd as foremast hand. In a short time Dan learned the navigation of the
river, and dispensed with the services of the pilot. They boarded with
Mr. Grant's gardener; but Cyd, very much to his disgust, was not
permitted to sit down at the first table because he was black.

Dan and Cyd made a great deal of money in the Isabel during the
remainder of the season, and when she was laid up for the winter, both
of them went down to the city and worked in a hotel; but they much
preferred a life on the water. In the spring they resumed their business
as boatmen, and for several years continued to thrive at this
occupation.

"See here, Possifus," said Mr. Presby, who never called Cyd by any other
name; "don't you want to own a boat yourself?"

"I does own one, sar," replied he. "De Isabel jus as much mine as
Dan's."

"I was going to set you up in business for yourself, Possifus."

"No, sar, tank ye; can't leabe Dan, no how; he fotched dis chile out of
de swamp, and I don't run no popposition to him."

"That's right, Possifus; stick to your friends."

But Mr. Presby continued to do a great many kind deeds for "Possifus,"
which were duly appreciated.

When Dan was twenty-one, he and Cyd had saved a considerable sum of
money; and the Isabel having become rather shaky from old age, they
proposed to procure another boat, and establish themselves at the city.
With the aid of Mr. Presby, they built a yacht of forty tons, which was
called the "Lily." It was a beautiful little vessel, and soon became
very popular among people devoted to the sea. They were very fortunate
in this new enterprise, and made money beyond their most sanguine
expectations.

Dan lived in the city now. The name on the doorplate of his house was
Daniel Preston, for he had chosen a family name to suit himself--a
privilege allotted to only a few. Mrs. Preston--of course the reader
will at once understand that this was the Lily of our story--was as
happy as liberty and prosperity could make her. Cyd--who has improved
upon his former cognomen, and now calls himself Sidney Davidson--lives
on board the Lily, a contented, happy man. He almost worships Dan and
his wife, at whose house he is an occasional visitor.

They never heard anything from Colonel Raybone, or any of his family,
perhaps because they made no inquiries. Certainly no efforts were ever
made to reclaim the chattels. They had proved that they could take care
of themselves, and that freedom was their true sphere of life.

And now, having seen the young fugitives safely through all their trials
and perplexities, and securely established in the enjoyment of those
rights and privileges with which the great Creator had endowed them, we
take leave of them, in the hope that the reign of Freedom will soon be
extended to every part of our beloved country, and that the sons of toil
shall no longer WATCH AND WAIT for deliverance from the bonds
of the slave-master.



THE ARMY AND NAVY STORIES.

In Six Volumes.

A Library for Young and Old.

BY OLIVER OPTIC.

 I.
 THE SOLDIER BOY;
 Or, Tom Somers in the Army.

 II.
 THE SAILOR BOY;
 Or, Jack Somers in the Navy.

 III.
 THE YOUNG LIEUTENANT;
 Or, The Adventures of an Army Officer.
 A SEQUEL TO "THE SOLDIER BOY."

 IV.
 THE YANKEE MIDDY;
 Or, The Adventures of a Naval Officer.
 A SEQUEL TO "THE SAILOR BOY."

 V.
 FIGHTING JOE;
 Or, The Fortunes of a Staff Officer.
 A SEQUEL TO "THE YOUNG LIEUTENANT."

 VI.
 BRAVE OLD SALT;
 Or, Life on the Quarter Deck.
 A SEQUEL TO "THE YANKEE MIDDY."



WOODVILLE STORIES.

BY OLIVER OPTIC.

 I.
 RICH AND HUMBLE;
 Or, The Mission of Bertha Grant.

 II.
 IN SCHOOL AND OUT;
 Or, The Conquest of Richard Grant.

 III.
 WATCH AND WAIT;
 Or, The Young Fugitives.

 IV.
 WORK AND WIN;
 Or, Noddy Newman on a Cruise.

 V.
 HOPE AND HAVE;
 Or, Fanny Grant among the Indians.

 VI.
 HASTE AND WASTE;
 Or, The Young Pilot of Lake Champlain.

LEE & SHEPARD, Publishers.



RIVERDALE STORY BOOKS.

BY OLIVER OPTIC.

12 vols., in neat box.

 I.
 THE LITTLE MERCHANT.

 II.
 THE YOUNG VOYAGERS.

 III.
 THE CHRISTMAS GIFT.

 IV.
 DOLLY AND I.

 V.
 UNCLE BEN.

 VI.
 BIRTH-DAY PARTY.

 VII.
 PROUD AND LAZY.

 VIII.
 CARELESS KATE.

 IX.
 ROBINSON CRUSOE, JR.

 X.
 THE PICNIC PARTY.

 XI.
 THE GOLD THIMBLE.

 XII.
 THE DO-SOMETHINGS.

LEE & SHEPARD Publishers.



LIBRARY FOR YOUNG PEOPLE.

BY OLIVER OPTIC.

 I.
 THE BOAT CLUB;
 OR, THE BUNKERS OF RIPPLETON.

 II.
 ALL ABOARD;
 OR, LIFE ON THE LAKE.

 III.
 LITTLE BY LITTLE;
 OR, THE CRUISE OF THE FLYAWAY.

 IV.
 TRY AGAIN;
 OR, THE TRIALS AND TRIUMPHS OF HARRY WEST.

 V.
 NOW OR NEVER;
 OR, THE ADVENTURES OF BOBBY BRIGHT.

 VI.
 POOR AND PROUD;
 OR, THE FORTUNES OF KATY REDBURN.

Six volumes, put up in a neat box.

LEE & SHEPARD, Publishers.



    +-----------------------------------------------+
    |            Transcriber's Note:                |
    |                                               |
    | Typographical errors corrected in the text:   |
    |                                               |
    | Page  12  consquently changed to consequently |
    | Page 150  youv'e changed to you've            |
    | Page 234  siently changed to silently         |
    +-----------------------------------------------+





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