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to accuse Lincoln of being anti-slavery, when the President merely wants to preserve the Union. O’Sullivan has kept in regular contact with Mangan and thinks that he would readily join a sensible cause for Ireland. What O’Sullivan cannot understand is why Finbar is contemplating having anything to do with the Fenians. As a journalist, he has watched the movement grow but has seen nothing to suggest it could achieve anything. Finbar will not be drawn on what he is planning but says there will come a time soon that he will need certain stories planted in the press and to seek public support for his cause. O’Sullivan says that if the cause is for an independent Ireland, his newspaper will readily support it. He goes on to guarantee additional support from newspaper friends in New York and Chicago. After waiting for three weeks, Finbar receives a letter from Mangan suggesting that Finbar make his way to a town about 500 miles northwest of St Louis. Any further will be too dangerous given the current scale of Indian attacks, so he will arrange a party to meet him there.

49:Boonville. Missouri. August 1861

Belle and Charles travel across country, keeping off the roads for the first 50 miles north from the Cobb Estate. Their papers work when they board a steamship at Vicksburg, bound for Memphis. The war was helping, with groups of Confederate soldiers crowding the boat and all the river stations along the route. At Memphis a suspicious clerk questions them, but Belle bluffs her way past saying their master has sent them to his brother in Missouri. It was at Osceola, Arkansas, that a more officious officer guesses they are runaways. Charles overpowers the man and he and Belle run, pursued by an angry mob. They find cover and wait for darkness. Another slave spots them and secures their escape out of the town, taking them to an Underground Railway contact. Armed with a new route and again travelling cross-country, they are heartened to cross the border into Missouri, a slave state, but one that has not joined the Confederacy. Eventually, exhausted, they reach their goal, a small town on the Missouri River, where Belle has been told a white family will contact them and arrange their onward journey north into the free state of Illinois.

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