Dan’s secret is exposed.
“And what of the slaves…” Dan began.
“My boy, you read one novel,” Joel said more heatedly, “and you’re a raging abolitionist—it’s a disgrace.”
“I’m not ashamed of it,” Dan said. “The injustice of selling families and such. I’m awake to it.”
“Oh, wide awake this, wide awake that! If you put more time into the plow and less into your rail splitter club and all them books, you wouldn’t be wasting away to nothing,” Joel said.
Dan blanched. The room was still, as if a sudden recognition had descended upon them all. Dan recovered first and tossed his head defiantly. “To make a contented slave, it’s necessary to make a thoughtless one,” Dan said then, quoting Frederick Douglass.
Uncle Charles, who had taken a seat, jumped up. “Time to check the meal, Lavinia.” He turned to the men. “Well, my grandfather was as thin as a splint of wood and lived over a century. You’ll do the same, I reckon, Dan. Ye know more history than me, I bet. Civil wars be the worst kind and no amount of pretty uniforms nor capes will change that.”
Fanny had been sitting petting the family cat. “Men talk about war as if it should be someone else’s boy to do it. There be nothin’ wrong with a son goin’ to fight for a godly cause. I agree with Dan that slavery be wrong. Everyone knows it be! If he wanted to join up, I would be proud to see him march off.” She smiled Dan’s way, but he couldn’t bear to meet his mother’s eyes with his own.
“You don’t know what you’re saying,” Joel grumbled.
“On this, Joel and I agree,” Charles said. “What have we got to do with the sins of the planters?”
Edward Shufelt spoke up. “I don’t know, but our mills use their cotton.”
“Are you a Wide Awake, too?” Joel asked. Edward retreated, wanting to remain on good footing with his future father-in-law.
Hope you enjoyed this sneak peek at my current work in progress about a New York farmer boy who goes to war to keep his family’s farm afloat.
2 responses to “By the Shores of Solon Pond (8)”
Nice job, Adrienne. I like the interplay between the family members. How far along are you with your project? Mine is taking forever.
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Thank you! I’m done with the first draft and working through editing which I love. What’s yours about?