The Underground Railroad
Chapter 8Beatrice turned and began to run. She kept on saying to herself, I can’t go back, I can’t go back. She heard footsteps behind her, and turned to catch a glimpse of Richard catching up with her. With a final burst of energy, she ran into the Jones family’s house. Rhia was there, as always, carrying a pail full of cleaning equipment. As soon as Rhia saw Beatrice’s face she knew something was wrong. Rhia ran to the door to lock it, while Beatrice slumped to the floor, all the time muttering, “I can’t go back, I can’t go back.”
It was silent for a while, and then there was a loud pounding on the door. Beatrice’s face turned as white as a sheet, and seeing this, Rhia ran to get her parents. When the Jones family was all there, Beatrice hadn’t moved a muscle, and Richard was still pounding on the door. Right away Rhia’s father had guessed what was happening and called Officer Troy. In a few minutes, Officer Troy came to the house. When he saw Richard pounding with his fists on the door, he knew something was very wrong.
“Hey there fella, whatcha doin’ here, eh?”
Richard turned around and glared at the officer, and replied in a sharp voice, “I am getting what is rightfully mine, so you might as well just leave.”
“I don’t think so mister; what you’re doing is intruding on people’s property, eh. So you just go and leave them alone, see.”
Richard continued to stare at the officer for a while, and then turned around and kept on banging on the door. Officer Troy, getting tired of this young man’s behavior, grabbed his arm and yanked it behind Richard’s back.
“Alrighty mister, I don’t know who you are or what you want, but it is time for you to give up this wild chase. You’re coming with me.”
Beatrice watched all this from a window, and as Officer Troy dragged Richard off, she could hear his vengeful shouts: “Beatrice, I know you can hear me. I’ll get you; if it’s the last thing I do, I will make you pay for this!”
Mr. Jones put his hand on Beatrice’s shoulder and gave it a reassuring squeeze. “Don’t worry,” he said, “You’re safe here, and you always will be.”