Today I have an exclusive extract from Steven Donahue’s Where Freedom Rings – take a look…
In this scene, Kelsa is getting a lecture from Jackson Mallard, her owner. A neighbor named Wilkensen had questioned her about slaves who escaped from his plantation, whom he thought were hiding on the Mallard’s property.
They stood in silence for a moment until Kelsa composed herself. She looked at Jackson. “May I go, sir?” she asked. He said yes. Kelsa looked down at the floor as she unsteadily walked away. She was nearly out of the room when he asked her to stop. She turned and faced him with her fists balled tightly.
“The slaves Wilkensen is looking for,” Jackson said softly. “They were badly mistreated by his foremen.” He inched toward her until he was close enough to touch her. “They were abused, poorly fed, and kept apart from their families. It was a miserable existence. But you have it good here, Kelsa. You and your family. Far better than slaves at other plantations.” He slowly took a deep breath. “Remember that,” he said.
“We appreciate your kindness,” replied Kelsa. She folded her hands and rested them against her legs. “I understand how things are here. This is our home. We don’t have any desire to leave.” She looked into Jackson’s eyes and hoped he believed her. “I should get back to work,” she said. “Miss Virginia has chores for me.” Jackson nodded, giving her the opportunity to leave the library.