A Higher Law
“Please, Miss Avery!” Dinah knelt before her mistress in the dark and gloomy barn, her apron clenched in trembling hands. Lightning flashed like searchlights outside the creaking walls while thunder stormed above in violent, wild clamors.
“She’s the only family I got left.”
Kentucky rain came fierce and heavy, drumming on the roof like an enemy assault.
“It’s against the law, Dinah.” Avery’s voice wavered. Her lantern flickered as phantom drafts disturbed the evening air. If her husband found out…
“Is it against your conscience, Miss?” Dinah’s strong African features contorted with desperation.
Avery stood still. The sound of baying hounds pierced through the raging tempest.
Avery reached up and touched the golden cross which hung around her neck. The wind paused and her lamp burned steady. She nodded assent.
Dinah leapt to her feet, peering behind her into tall, dark hay stacks.
“Precious!” she cried. “Sister, show yourself!”
A small black woman appeared from the shadows, dripping wet and muddy. Blood glistened from a gash high upon her cheekbone. Rusted shackles circled bony wrists.
“Come quick!” ordered Avery, her senses renewed. “We don’t have much time.”