Dear Austin: Letters from the Underground Railroad
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Now in paperback! In this companion novel to Dear Levi, told in letters,11-year-old Levi helps a young African American in a harrowing flight for freedom along the Underground Railroad.
standing in back of the man with the gun. Their faces were all black as the night, and they looked as frightened as we were. “Last time I heard ‘bout yah daddy,” the man continued, “heard he be runnin’ a route up in de state of Pennsylvania. Work wit some preacher. Would dat be de same Winston Hale?” Jupiter nodded. “Preacher Tully was de name, if I remember,” the man said. “He and your daddy be deliverin’ slaves goin’ on up into Canada.” I turned to look at Jupiter, wondering what the man
wrongheaded, Austin? How does that happen? I may only be a boy, but I know the difference between an animal and a little girl. And to be truthful, Austin, these men were treating these people worse than animals. I stood on the edge of a trough so I could get a good look, but there were too many people packed in and not enough time to see them all afore the curtain came back down. The voice I had thought to be Darcy's was lost in all of the shouting and sobbing. When I realized that there were
this little bird at the top looks like it's ready to take to the sky. That's a talent with wood, that is. Just how talented are you, young buck? Let's see how talented you are with your feet. Can you dance for these fine folks?” The overseer cracked his whip and the crowd roared with laughter. Stunned, I turned my head in time to see the auctioneer waving Darcy's walking stick in the air. And beside him on the platform stood Jupiter, stripped to the waist, his eyes wide with fear as the
Darcy were born, it is against the law to teach a slave to read or write. Our state of Pennsylvania is free, but the trouble is there are no schools for col-oreds close by. Later when Nelly Hepple came over with the wool she had spun for Miss Amelia, she stopped in the yard to talk to Possum and me. I asked Nelly if she knew about Darcy's reading. She said that Darcy had been pleading to learn to read, so Nelly's older sister Hannah had been teaching her, using the family Bible. Nelly said that
figure out on my own. Jupiter, Possum, and I were out in front of the house having a critters contest. There was frog jumping, turtle crawling, and worm slinking. We had lined all the critters” up and were running races. Most of the contestants were performing admirably, ‘cepting the worms. They kept curling up and didn't seem especially interested in the notion of speed. Anyway, we were watching the worms and waiting for them to straighten out and move when Darcy Nightingale came over from