Chapter 29 Summary
Isabel is alone on the streets of New York City. As she runs toward the waterfront, she wonders if she should have run away with the rebel soldiers. But it is too late to turn back now. Besides, she is still upset by Colonel Regan’s betrayal. She reassures herself that her choice is the right one, and she prays that she will get to safety before Madam sends someone out on a search.
When Isabel reaches the waterfront, she sees men in red coats coming to shore from the boats that have been anchored in the harbor for weeks. An officer sends groups of men scurrying forward to search the rebels’ camps. When his troops are gone, Isabel approaches him. She is not sure how to ask for freedom, so she begs him for work, telling him how useful she is. He tells her to go away.
Soon a soldier reports to the officer, Captain Campbell, that the rebel tents appear empty. The food and blankets are still there, but the men are gone. The captain orders the soldier to search every tent to ensure that it is not a trap. Moments later, another solider arrives to say that the battery is empty of men but still supplied with food and weapons. The British soldiers have even found a bubbling teakettle on the stove.
The soldiers all wonder aloud where General Washington’s New York headquarters are located. Captain Campbell tells someone to ask a tavern keeper, but Isabel jumps in with the answer instead. She explains that Washington worked in the Kennedy Mansion. She describes how to get there, and the soldiers leave.
After this, Captain Campbell tells Isabel that she is indeed as useful as she says. He asks about the mark on her face, and she explains that she tried to run away from her masters after her five-year-old sister was sold away from her. The captain seems sympathetic. He asks about her owners, and she says, without thinking, that they are Loyalists. At this, he tells her to go back home:
I do not hold with slavery, but I cannot help you. We do not interfere with loyalist property.
As Isabel tries to absorb this, the British soldiers determine that it is safe to bring a boatload of fine gentleman to shore. Captain Campbell orders his men to take the...
(The entire section is 604 words.)