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Page:Sketch of Connecticut, Forty Years Since.djvu/98

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SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT,

"Hide yourself, my son!" she hastily exclaimed. "these are the men who make slaves of us."

"But, in a moment, their grasp was upon my shoulder. She shrieked in agony—"Take him not away, he is our only one. Spare him, he is my all. He is but a child, what service can he render you? Take me, and leave him, for when this sickness departs, my hand is stronger than his. See! I am well already. I will labour for you, and be your slave; but let him stay to comfort his father."

"Ere she had finished speaking, they had torn me away, I gazed back on my dear home, and saw that she had crept to the door, for she was unable to walk. There she lay grovelling, following me with her eyes, and filling the air with incessant screams, while she implored the gods of Africa to restore her child.

"All that day we travelled, and in the course of it were joined by large parties of slaves. Muffled, they were not permitted to speak to each other, but groans were heard, and tears fell without measure. Chained together, two and two, they were driven along by the lash like beasts. At night, when we all lay down to sleep, an arm, raised as high as its fetters would permit, encircled me, and I heard the whispered words, "rest your head on my bosom."

I knew the voice of my father. But I could not look up, for my heart was heavier, to find him in that place of torment. He had been disarmed and sold by the treache-