Thunder crackled above and the rain poured down relentlessly. John moved swiftly along the side of the road. The rain wouldn’t last forever, and he had a schedule to keep. He really didn’t mind the rain. A heavy downpour helped to hide his identity from undesirables and allowed him to move swiftly without much distraction. He could even let his mind wander a little as he trudged along. A mile ahead was the home of a familiar and friendly couple. Hopefully, he could get a wagon ride to cover most of the way he had to travel. He needed to store as much energy as he could. More than likely, there wouldn’t be a chance for a wagon ride back. Just hard continuous walking across wooded grounds and fields of tall grass. Trips like this always seemed to cause him to ponder his younger days. Pressing through the cold, loud, and wickedly wet weather, he remembered running from Mobile after teaching a horrid hospital nurse a lesson she wouldn’t soon forget. She had a reputation for beating sick, weak, and helpless slave patients just to keep them in line. He couldn’t help himself in giving her a sound beating. He had lost his temper again. A regular condition that seemed to happen way too often during his time in Mobile. He was certain that he would of been beaten to the edge of his life if not killed for what he had done in the hospital. He took off running away from Mobile, Alabama; planning to never come back again. He remembered running through the woods seeking to find the closest river and then hopefully steal away into a boat headed North. Memories of thorny branches, uneven ground, and mossy trees flooded his head as he thought back. He recalled using the moss on the trees to make sure he was heading North. He had found the river he was looking for and a boat to steal away in. But they had also found him hiding on the boat…
John’s thoughts abruptly stopped when he came upon a familiar residence. A rustic old cabin nestled behind a nest of trees. John made his way to the back door. He could have went to the front door, but whenever John was on a task similar to the task he was on now, the back door was always the best option. Friendly folk who knew him, understood that if John was knocking on the back door, he must be on a sensitive mission. That sensitive mission almost always had to do with helping some slave or group of slaves get across the river to the lands in Ohio.
Before John could knock on the door, the door creaked open, and soon he was looking into the eyes of Ms. Eve. Eve was the wife of Jackson Briggs. Jackson was a free man, that did a lot of handywork for many white farms in the area. Surely, he could ride John some of the way on his wagon.
“Come on out of the rain, John.” Eve spoke quietly. The wrinkles on her face reflected a wise woman. But also a woman who had experienced more sorrow than any woman should be akin to. “Come dry up by the fire, Jackson’s in there doing the same.”