"I am Lieutenant James Creighton in his Majesty, George ill's service" the commander of the detachment introduced himself.
"1 will not ask for your paroles in as much as we have you well outnumbered and are heading for Fort San Marcos at Saint Augustine, from which no prisoner has yet been known to escape. Let us be on our way," and they began their journey through the
During this brief conversation Cudjo sat quietly in his saddle, filled with misgiving as to his own fate. He thought, "they'll put Marse Willum in the prison but what they gonna do wif me? 1 ain't never been far from him since we was litty bitty boys. What'll I do effen they seprate us?"
The custom was well established among the Colonial planters and other well-to-do slave owners, of allotting, soon after infancy, to each of their children, a slave of like sex and comparable age, to serve as playmate in very early childhood and as valet-body servant or maid as they grew in years. More often than not these chosen young negroes were taught the rudiments of reading and writing, while living as they did with the "white folks" they acquired many of the niceties of a cultured society. They slept at night on cot or pallet within call of the white master, ran errands, assisted in bathing, robing or disrobing, sharing in great measure the daily living. From such close association with their young "massa" or "missy" a deep and abiding affection often developed. This practice continued from the Colonial era until the abolition of slavery following the War Between the States. The actual love existing between many body-servants or maids and their owners, lasting throughout their life spans, is hard of understanding by later generations. The possible dissolution of this constant closeness and personal interdependence was the cause of Cudjo's fear. His master, big in stature as himself, was his ideal and idol.
The journey to the fortress had been neither eventful nor too uncomfortable. As they neared their destination Lieutenant Caldwell had given his servant what meager information he himself knew of the impregnability of this prison to which they were being taken.
"Cudjo, this fort to which we're going was begun in 1672 by the Spanish and was some twenty years in the building. Its walls are sixteen feet thick, of coquina rock quarried from the pits across the bay on Anatasia Island. The battlements are protected by four watch