"Give me my child!" a mother cried,
"My sweet, my lovely boy--
("Give me my child!" the rocks replied)--
Or else my life destroy!"
Want of money induced Dr. Young to hire William out again, and this time the young slave was placed in the hands of Walker, the negro-trader of whom are have made mention in a preceding chapter. The speculator had noticed William's activity and usefulness as a waiter on the steamboat, and being always on the look-out for valuable slaves, called on Dr. Young, and offered a high price for the piece of property. The Doctor, however, declined selling, whereupon, the trader, wanting a man to look after his slaves that he took to market, resolved to hire William for the period of one year, with the hope of buying him at the expiration of the term. Walker was an uncouth, ill-bred man, with little or no education. Before embarking as a negro-driver, he had been a dray-driver in St. Louis, and had earned, by his own hard labor, the capital with which he commenced in trade. Money was the only God he worshipped, and he knelt at no altar but that erected at the expense of suffering humanity. William shuddered at the idea of having such a man for a master, but there was no alternative.
In no situation could he have been placed to give
Soon after leaving St. Louis, William had to commence preparing the slaves for the market. The old men's gray hairs were plucked from their heads, and their whiskers shaved off clean; and where the white hairs were to numerous, hair dye was used to bring about the desired color. These old men and women were also told how old they were to be, when undergoing an examination by those who might wish to purchase.
Not less than four lots of slaves were purchased by this monster in human shape, and resold further South, during the year that William was with this "soul driver." On the arrival of the trader at New Orleans with his merchandise, swarms of planters and small speculators might be seen making their way to Mr. Walker's slave-pen. Once, when marching his gang to slaves from St. Charles to St. Louis, by land, the trader had among them a woman, with a sick child,
This heartless, cruel, ungodly man, who neither loved his Maker nor feared Satan, was a fair representative of thousands of demons in human form that are engaged in buying and selling God's children. The more William saw of slavery, while Walker, the more he hated it, and determined to free himself