Brown, Hallie Q.
Frances never forgot her first impression of slavery. One bright spring morning, as a little girl, her mother sent her to the nearby town pump for water. Hanging her new tinpail on the spout and swinging onto the huge wooden handle, she was startled by a great cloud of dust which seemed to be coming up the road toward her. Greatly frightened, she left her pail and hid herself behind a clump of bushes by the roadside. She had scarcely concealed herself when a man, with black whiskers and a big straw hat, seated on horseback, brandishing a big, black whip rounded up a long line of naked slaves two by two, chained to each other, calling sharply on them to drink in a hurry. She saw them lap the water from the horse trough under the pump as the soul-driver drank from the pail. Then with the crack of the whip, he dashed down the road, the slaves running at full speed to keep pace with the horse and its rider. For days together, she could not lose sight of those poor creatures with wild staring eyes and tongues lolled out lapping the water like dumb, thirsty animals.