The Underground Railroad
Chapter 3Beatrice found herself along with 5 other slaves forced to share a small hut with each other. There were no beds, not even a thin mat. There was a small bucket of muddy water in the corner, along with a torn up rag that served as a wash cloth. Beatrice put her sack on the ground and sat down. She looked around at the new faces. There were two children, an old man, and two women. Their faces all looked the same, hurt, angry, and most of all, afraid. They were all eyeing her curiously, but Beatrice was too tired to care. She lay down on the floor and fell into a fight full sleep.
Beatrice woke up the next day to the sound of water splashing onto the floor. She pushed herself up off of the floor, and saw one of the children trying to carry a big bucket of water back from the well. With much effort, Beatrice got up and walked over to the young boy.
“Do you need help?” Beatrice asked to boy. The boy looked up at Beatrice with his big brown eyes, and slightly shook his head. From out of nowhere, a whip came flying from out of nowhere. It looked like it was about to hit the boy. The boy cringed, but did not move. But just second before the whip was about to hit the boy, Beatrice pushed the boy out of the way. The boy got out of the way just in time, but it skimmed across Beatrice’s shoulder. She flinched, but said nothing.
“How dare you!” shouted a voice, “He was slacking out on his work, he deserved a good whipping. Why I ought to whip you good too. Lucky for you I have orders to not whip anyone on their first day. But just you wait, tomorrow, you will get it.” And with that, he stalked away.
“Thank you.” The boy said quietly. Beatrice thought that she saw the boy’s lips curl up into a smile, but it was gone within a second. “What are you going to do tomorrow? He will surely not forget how you embarrassed him.” Beatrice just shrugged.
“I will worry about that when the time comes.” But inside her chest, her heart was pounding very hard, she was scared out of her mind, but she couldn’t let the boy knew that.
“What is your name?” Beatrice asked the boy.
“Matthew.” Said the boy.
“Well, Matthew, I am sorry for causing you trouble. I have to go now, but I will see you around later, ok?” Matthew grinned at Beatrice. Then he picked up the bucket of water and kept on walking.
“You had better watch out” said a voice from behind Beatrice. Beatrice turned around to find an elder lady staring at her. “You have to run away, far away. Or else that man will make sure that tomorrow is the last day that you will ever live.” A shudder ran down Beatrice’s spine, she thought about it, but then pushed it out of her mind. The thought of dying scared her too much.
“What should I do?” Beatrice asked the lady, her eyes full of worry. The elder lady cocked her head and looked at Beatrice. “Isn’t it obvious? You have to run away and never return. Use the Underground Railroad that is the only safe way for you to travel.” The Underground Railroad, Beatrice thought, she had head that name somewhere, but she could not remember where. All of a sudden it struck her. Tom had talked about it! One night when they were falling asleep talking, Tom had mentioned the Underground Railroad to her, and how someday, they would try and run away on it together, and be free forever. The thought of Tom made Beatrice feel angry, how could he have just let them take her away from home like that? He should have done something, anything, to help her. I will do it, Beatrice thought, I will run away from this place forever, and never return. I will forget about my past and start a new future, where I am in charge of myself.
“Ok.” Beatrice told the elder lady. “I will do it. Where does it start?”