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In 1831 there was a powerful slave named Joseph. He lived on a tobacco plantation in Virginia as a slave. This plantation was owned by a man who lacked the fundamental emotion of compassion. He controlled the slaves on the plantation through the fear of death or of something worse. His name was Bradford and the only goal he had in life was to have a plantation that functioned at a hundred and ten percent efficiency. The only barrier between him and his goal was Joseph and his defiant acts that tested Bradford’s authority. In normal situation Bradford would have just killed Joseph but that was no longer an option. He had left Joseph alone for to long and now his power among the slaves had tremendously grown. If he killed Joseph now the other slaves revolt and cost him a fortune in damages and replacing slaves. Bradford tried everything to stop Joseph power from continuing to rise. He separated Joseph from the other slave and moved him to the other side plantation were wild vegetation grew, he made him work alone, and had his men and his slaves spies watch Joseph all day and night. Nothing worked and Joseph power continued to rise. Then one day as Bradford was trying to find a solution to his problem and George (a ten year old slave spy) walks into his room. Sirens go off in Bradford’s head and the answer is right there in front of him. He could make George live with Joseph and have him gain Josephs trust while spying on him.
Joseph was playing his handmade harmonica on the steps of his shack/house as George approached him. Joseph just kept on playing expecting George to leave, but when he didn’t Joseph stopped playing. “What are you doing here boy” Joseph asked with a hint of steel in his voice.
“I live here” George said as his whole body started to sweat and his legs turned to jelly.
Joseph started playing his harmonica again and walked off into the wild vegetation, leaving George in front of the shack. Then at dinner as George was about to eat Joseph shows up and, out of the blue Joseph asked George “what does Bradford want with me now and why did he send a kid to spy on me?” with a face that was completely blank of any emotions.
George’s muscles tensed up and he managed to say, “Who said I was a spy.”
Joseph rolled his eyes and muttered something under his breath before he said “Don’t play dumb with me kid.”
George couldn’t see any point in continuing to lie anymore. In fact he thought it was time to reveal why he was truly there. Georges tensed muscles eased up when he said “you’re right I am spy but I’d like to help you with revolt against Bradford.”
“And why would you want to do that” Joseph said as he burst out laughing.
“I’ve seen Bradford kill slaves without a second’s hesitation when they defy him. You are the first slave he hasn’t, so I believe you have a chance at killing him before he kills you. So do you want my help or not.” George said spitting every word out with years of contempt.
After hearing this Joseph believed George was sincere and decided to take him to one of the meetings. Once they finished eating dinner Joseph took George to the back of the shack, were he stated to lift up several loose floorboards to reveal a small tunnel. Once they got out of the tunnel George saw that they were only twenty feet from the shack and in the wild vegetation. Then George thought that Bradford’s plan to separate Joseph from the slaves had backfired. After a short a walk they came to a clearing where seven other slaves were already sitting and talking. Upon their arrival everybody greeted Joseph. Then Joseph introduced George as a slave spy and then George got bombarded with questions from everyone. The main question they asked George was what could he do for them. George answered them quickly and without hesitation “I’ll give you an answer at the next meeting.” most of the slaves at the meeting were satisfied with his answer except, a few who didn’t like a new guy at the meetings though none of them voiced it. At the next meeting brought a medium sized bag with him. Then one of the people who didn’t like George asked what his answer was. George just opened his bag and dumped it contents onto the ground. Then everybody except Joseph was at the edge of their seats even though they were all sitting on the ground. Among the contents of the bag were papers that held the movements of Bradford and his men, a list of other slave spies, but the best things were the five old guns and ammo. When the meeting ended George thought that it went significantly better than his first slave revolt meeting. Over the next few months George developed a routine were he would give false reports to Bradford, then go work in the fields, and then last thing he did almost everyday was go to a revolt meeting. At the meetings the slaves would talk about how many slave they had recruited and when they would actually rebel against Bradford.
Four months had passed since George had joined the revolt and the slaves finally had enough weapons to fight back. Everybody on the plantation was happy excluding Bradford. Bradford felt like a fool, for he had just figured out that George had betrayed him. After he figured out that George had betrayed him, he had his men secretly bring George to his house. Where Bradford could personally interrogate him and find out what he knows about the revolt.
After about twelve hours Joseph noticed George’s absence and assumed that Bradford had finally figured out that George had betrayed him. Joseph had the rebellion moved up to the next day hoping that he wouldn’t be too late to help George. The next day all the slaves in the rebellion got their weapons secretly and at lunch time they quickly killed most of Bradford’s men. Then most of the slaves spread out and ran north towards their freedom. Joseph stayed back with a few of the other slaves and they went to Bradford’s house. They broke the door and then a firefight broke out between Bradford’s remaining men and the few slaves that stayed with Joseph. While Joseph’s men kept Bradford’s men occupied, Joseph made his way to the back of the house where they were most likely keeping George. When he reached the back of the house he saw Bradford was holding an unconscious George up and in front of him with a gun to Georges head. Bradford gave a high-pitched scream, mixed with surprise and panic, at the sight of Joseph. Then Bradford composed as best he could and ordered Joseph to drop his gun or he would shot George. Joseph of course complied but not before calling Bradford a bastard. Then Bradford pushed George away from him and aimed his gun at Joseph. At that exact moment Joseph pulled out a second gun from behind his back and aimed it at Bradford. Time seemed to slow down for the both of them, their adrenaline started pumping and they both fired their guns simultaneously. Joseph’s bullet found Bradford’s head and Bradford died before he even hit the ground. Bradford’s bullet hit Joseph in the chest and Joseph fell to the ground coughing up blood. Then Joseph’s men showed up and Joseph managed to say after enormous gulps of air “give this to the boy” handing a slave something wrapped in rags. After they had left Joseph smiled to himself and then closed his eyes.
George regained conscious in the back of a cart that the slaves, who stayed with Joseph to kill Bradford, had stolen from Bradford. After George collected himself he asked the slave nearest to him what had happened. He told George that they had killed Bradford and were now heading north. Then George asked the slave “Where is Joseph” and the atmosphere in the back of the cart changed from cheery to sadness and despair. George asked the slave again but this time with desperate frustration “Where is Joseph”. The slave only pulled out the rag covered thing Joseph gave him and handed it to George. George took it and then hesitantly ripped the rags off it. There underneath all the rags was Joseph’s harmonica. Then George broke out into tears as he remembered the first time he met Joseph on the steps of the shack playing that harmonica. George made it to the north safely and lived the rest of his life trying to free all slaves and master the harmonica.