The Underground Railroad
Chapter 6Beatrice survived a few days without interruption. She sometimes slept in hallow trees but traveled very fast for the rest of the time. Sometimes, when she was really hungry, she would stop and nibble on the bread that Susanna had given her.
After the fifth day of this routine, Beatrice saw a faint sparkle up ahead. At first she didn’t know what it was, but then she recognized the sound of a river flowing downstream.
Beatrice ran until she came to the river. She remembered that one of the other slaves had mentioned this river. When a slave crosses it, no slave owners own the slave anymore. The slave is then free! Beatrice jumped up and down with joy, but then she heard the sound of a galloping horse. Beatrice looked back, and she saw an angry-looking Richard on a horse, racing towards her.
“I’ll catch you, slave. And when I do, you will wish that you had never run away from the David Plantation!” Richard yelled his threat over the sound of the horse running.
In desperation, Beatrice jumped into the river. It was freezing cold, and Beatrice wasn’t a very good swimmer. She swam and swam. The current of the river was taking her downstream. She pushed herself to swim even faster. And finally, her feet touched the pebbles on the opposite bank. She dragged herself onto dry land, tired and panting. Beatrice heard Richard’s angry yells from across the river, but she didn’t care. He could not do anything to her anymore.
Finally, Beatrice thought, I’m in Canada. I’m free!