|CHAPTER VIII. -- OCTOROON LIFE IN NEW ORLEANS.|
Q. --" Well , now tell me about your life in New Orleans."
A. --"Well, when Mr. Williams bought me he told me where I was goin', to New Orleans, and what he bought me for. Then I thought of what Mrs. Cook told me; and I thought, now I shall be committin' adultery, and there's no chance for me, and I'll have to die and be lost. Then I had this trouble with him and my soul the whole time."
Q. --"Did you ever say any thing to him about this trouble?"
A. --"Yes, sir; I told him often. Then he would dam' at it. He said he had all that to answer for himself. If I was only true to him, then I could get religion--that needn't hinder me from gettin' religion. But I knew better than that. I thought it was of no use to be prayin', and livin' in sin.
"I begin then to pray that he might die, so that I might get religion; and then I promise the Lord one night, faithful, in prayer, if he would just take him out of the way, I'd get religion and be true to Him as long as I lived. If Mr. Williams only knew that, and get up out of his grave, he'd beat me half to death. Then it was some time before he got sick. Then, when he did get sick, he was sick nearly a year. Then he begin to get good, and talked kind to me. I could see there was a change in him. He was not all the time accusin' me of other people. Then, when I saw that he was sufferin' so, I begin to get sorry, and begin to pray that he might get religion first be fore he died. I felt sorry to see him die in his sins. I pray for him to have religion, when I did not have it myself. I thought if he got religion and then died, I knew that I could get religion.
"It seems he did get religion, because he was so much changed in his way; but he said he wanted to see his way clearer."
Q. --"Was he rich?"
A. --"Oh no, sir. He had to borrow some of the money of his brother to buy me."
Q. --"What kind of a house did you live in?"
A. --"Why, it was a rented house. When he got up, one mornin', I got him up in a chair by the fire--it was cold weather--then he told me he was goin' to die, and that he could not live; and he said that if I would promise him that I would go to New York, he would leave me and the children free. He was then writin' to a table--had a little table to the side of him. Then he told me how to conduct myself, and not to live as I had lived with him, with any person. He told me to come out this way (North), and not to let any one know who I was, or that I was colored. He said no person would know it, if I didn't tell it; and, if I conducted myself right, some one would want to marry me, but warned me not to marry any one but a mechanic--some one who had trade, and was able to take care of me and the children."
Q. --"How many children had you then?"
A. --"Only two. I had four, but two had died. Then I promised him to go to New York. Then he said, just as soon as he died I must go right to New York; and he said he would leave me the things. He hadn't any thing to leave me but the things."
Q. --"What things?"
A. --"The things in the house--the beds, and tables, and such things."