“You’re gonna tell me.”

“I’m not.”

“You are.”

“I’m not, Emer—I mean, Emmy.” He looked completely serious. He really wasn’t going to tell her. She picked up on this.

“Why not?” she quizzed.

“Because I don’t think you’d believe me. That and…. it’s just not a memory I’d like to bring up.” This sentence struck something in Emmy’s mind. She stared at him and blinked, her eyes wide again.

“No,” she whispered, “you… you weren’t a slave, were you?”

“Uhm… yeah. I was. I’m a runaway,” he responded. Emmy looked at the door of the small cabin. She looked back at him.

“Is… is that why you were in such a hurry to get inside whenever you showed up on my doorstep?”

“Yes…” he said quietly. “And I really shouldn’t have spent more than a week here. Soon enough, they’re gonna find me. And they’re gonna shoot me on the spot, and you’re gonna be taken to a trial, getting anywhere from 24 months imprisonment to death for harboring a runaway slave, depending on the judge and his mood.”

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