Chapter 29 Summary

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Last Updated on October 26, 2018, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 604

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 gentlemen to a tavern and let them eat and drink. He instructs the soldiers not to let the tavern keeper charge the gentlemen for their meal. Tonight, as a reward for their loyalty to King George III, these men will be guests of the British Army.

Houses open up, and the Loyalists of New York come out to greet the British soldiers and congratulate them for winning control of the city. As Isabel watches this, a man separates himself from the group of fine gentlemen. “Sal?” he says.

The man is Master Lockton. He asks Isabel what she is doing, and she stammers that she is going to market. Captain Campbell lies for her. He says that she came to the waterfront to greet him and thank him for taking over New York. Master Lockton chuckles at this, declaring it “quaint” that slaves have opinions about the war. Then he goes with the other gentlemen to the party in the tavern.

Isabel has no way to get to freedom, so she goes on her shopping trip. All the way home, her mind is reeling with her realization that she has no escape from slavery merely because she is unlucky enough to have been bought by a pair of Loyalists.

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