The man starts to yell at us. He says he is a bounty hunter and he thinks we is runaway slaves. He says he will turns us in for the bounty. We is all scared and afraid. He grabs my arm and tells me I will fetch a good sum. My mans tries to help but the bounty hunter hits him and he falls to the ground. I crys for my man. We is not sure what to expect next. None of us can fight a gun.
The lady guide is telling him we is not slaves. Her voice is calm and I am surprised. He yells louder that he is gonna turn us all in and collect the bounty. Then... out of the woods a loud voice sounds out. It yells at him to move away from us. It is a black woman with a shotgun. She yells louder as she moves closer to the bounty hunter. She repeats her order to move on his way or she will shoots him. He is scared and I can see him shaking. He knows she means business. He runs down the road yelling he will bring his friends and come back. She hurries us along to follow her. She says she's a friend of a friend.
She leads us deep in the woods. We move quickly as we follow the woman. I helps my mans to walk. He is not completely well from his sickness and now that bounty hunter hurt him bad and he is bleeding. He limps along not complaining. It is far to the woman's camp and he trips many times on sticks and twigs. I have to helps him off the ground often. I wish we could stop and rest but we keeps moving along.
The weather has gotten colder here up north. We isn't used to such cold weather. The woman leads us to her camp. It is just a tent made out of some logs and twigs. She has a fire burning and it feels good to sit and rest. She tells us of how there are others in the woods that are friend of a friend. She hunts small animals and has learned how to sell their skins for potatos and flour. She is surviving... but I can sees my mans is not going to.
A few days later my mans dies. We buries him deep in the woods. The others say they must move along, but I am sad to leave my mans alone. I reluctantly leaves with them, but I mark my way in the woods to remembers where he's buried. I move slowly as I look back now and then to see his grave getting smaller and smaller til it is lost in the woods. I picks up my head and moves along.
Our group waves good-bye to the lady with the gun. We are lucky the bounty hunters haven't come back yet. We is so deep in the forest they would have a hard time finding us. Our lady guide leads us back to the road. We sing our songs quietly as we walk. I am still thinking about my mans alone in the woods. A day later the lady guide says we are almost in Oberlin. We will be safe in Oberlin. From there we will go to Sheffield to a place called Burrell Home. Then we will walk to the docks and board a boat to Heaven. Then we is free.
Another day and we make it to the Burrell Home. There are candles in the window of the house and a quilt on the front fence post. A mans says he is a friend of a friend and leads us into the house and we is told to be quiet cause he has guests. His wife comes in the room and she sees us and gives us some food and drink. She whispers we is to be quiet so's no one knows we is here. There is a knock on the door and two guests force themselves into the room and sees us. They yells at the master of the house that we is runaway slaves and they will go to jail if they help us.
I can tell they is all scared. I am thankful for their help. I hope they won't turn us in to the sheriff. The master of the house tells them of how Abraham Lincoln is trying to make sure all men are free. He wants everyone to work for a wages no matter what color they are. The guests yell that he will not be elected as president but the master of the house says he will. "It will be a new United States," he says. They argue back and forth and I am scared someone will hear and turn us in.
Suddenly there is a pounding on the front door. The bounty hunters have found us. They have heard all the yelling. They is trying to break in the door. We is rushed outside to the back barn. I gets lost in the bustle and makes my way to the woods and hide. I sees the bounty hunters go into the house and I makes my way back the way we came. I run and I run... backs to my mans. I marked my way well and I have no trouble finding him. I don't stops tils I see the cross over his grave. I don't look back. I hopes the others makes their way to heaven.
I am alones with my mans. Now what should I do? I needs to survive. The weather is getting colder. I remember what the woman with the gun told us about her life. I paid close attention when she spoke. I will make myself a home here in the woods like her. I have a little bit of flour and a few pieces of fruit. I am a good trapper and I will learn to sell skins. I looks at my sack of supplies and I find a knife. I cut a few tree limbs and start a fire. Tomorrow I will make a shelter out of the extra blanket I have and start trapping. I will be fine on my own as long as I am by my mans.
I haves to be careful no one finds me. I hopes my master doesn't put no bounty on me cause then men will come looking for me. I am close to my mans but I miss my children. I have met a few other free slaves here in the woods. Some of them have children so I ams like their granny. Their parents have learned me to tan hides to sell for potatoes and flour. The lady in the woods with the shotgun is a good friend. I made it to a free state but I is not free... but I is happy.