even the skeletal frame of William was a weight far beyond that of an average man, at last Cudjo leaned against the rock of the wall, set his master on his feet, then they both sank to the stone floor in total exhaustion.
Cudjo had accomplished the supposedly impossible, thus far!
"Breathe quiet, Massa, quiet as you kin," cautioned the slave, and gradually the gasps of laboring lungs being refilled with air subsided.
"Where are we?" asked the lieutenant, his voice weak and low from fear of discovery and lack of strength.
"Well, I’ll tell you, suh. Them is good Injuns and black folks I’se been livin’ and sociatin’ with. The Injuns has been round here a long time and knows lots about this old fort and so does I. We'se on the roof and there's four watch towers and guards
in each of ‘em, so we’se got to be quiet and sneaky, but we sure cain’t get losted, and when we gits to my spot, some Injuns goin' to be there to help us. Now effen youse rested ‘nough you lean on me and we'll go fast as we kin for we'se got to be 'way and hid afore the sojers misses you."
The complete darkness enveloping them forced them to feel their way with hands against the wall wet from the rain, the necessity for all haste possible and the pitiable weakness of the Lieutenant, gave to their passage a nightmarish quality-. Exhaustion was fast . overcoming the weakened William, even assisted as he was by Cudjo. Determination alone provided William with the strength to reach Cudjo's carefully chosen spot, a portion of the battlement at
some distance from the western guard tower. The rain had decreased to a thin drizzle, the wind swirled with eerie sounds around corners, a pale moon gave a diluted light through the clouds racing overhead. The black man, reaching under his tattered shirt drew forth, from its coils around his body, a long sturdy length of rope, knotted at intervals some two feet apart, and with a double saddle loop at one end. The other end Cudjo fastened securely to the nearest cannon mounting, then carefully placed one of the loops over each of William's legs, drawing the rope up to the crotch.