"Wait, Cudjo. Aren't you pretty late in leaving today?"
Cudjo, too, secluded himself in a sheltered nook close to the
stone stairway leading to William's cell, the gate guard not noting
"Jest on my way out now, suh. Been awatchin' some birds on the battle-ments 'fore they went to the forest for they sleep. Pretty things they is."
"Yeah. What you got left to sell?"
"Just a couple litty cakes, suh. You want?"
The sweets and money changed hands and the men went their separate ways. Cudjo breathing deeply with relief over his narrow escape from detection.
Thereafter, always on the alert against discovery, Cudjo would stop momentarily beside William's barred window whenever an opportunity presented itself.
"How you is today, Massa?" he would whisper as he stood to the side of the grating, his back to the stone wall. "Is you gittin' thinner? My plans is amaking."
"Yes, you rapscallion," would answer the prisoner. "Soon I'll be a living skeleton. I'm starving myself and getting weak as a day old hound-dog. They don't let me have any exercise, either, and these are cramped quarters."
"Keep it up, suh. Time's agittin' close."
"What is yourplan,-Cudjo?"
"Ain't atellin', suh, but you watch out for the first dark, rainy night."
"Marse Willum might talk in he sleep," thought Cudjo. He was. wise enough to keep his ideas to himself.
Early October brought a dark night with a drizzle of rain to obscure any moving object. A brisk wind to distort small sounds provided the background necessary for Cudjo's project. Bits of gray moss from the nearby forest and ashes blown from the open cook