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April Adventure

by Edward Norton

Copyright 2011

by Edward Norton

Smashwords edition

Chapter One

Anna turned in the hard wagon seat for a last view of the bare wood house she was born in. She was anxious to get on with the trip from Lincoln County, North Carolina, down the bumpy red-clay road to the rail cars at Charlotte, but she felt a sadness leaving the small house her father had built. Anna had never been to Charlotte. She had never been more than six miles from her birthplace.

Mrs. Elizabeth Williams, Anna's mother, held the reins as the old mules pulled the creaking wagon. Anna had wanted to direct the team down the road but Mrs. Williams said, "I'll handle the team. You just keep us going in the right direction." Anna smiled. She didn't know what direction Charlotte was. But she wanted to get there, get on the cars and find her father.

Others in the wagon were a thin black woman known as "Settie Number One," and her daughter, "Settie Number Two," a girl about Anna's own age, 12. "Two" thought she was 12. She wasn't sure. The two black women sat on the wagon floor, hugging two carpetbags that contained all the Williams' clothing and worldly goods.

The county road was empty and dusty in the April heat. Anna felt the sun's warmth as it rose higher in the spring sky. The mules kicked up dust in the road. The women were leaving the farm that Henry Williams had bought in 1858, after he moved his wife and daughter to Lincoln County from Chester, South Carolina. Settie Number One and Two went to Lincoln with the Williams family. They had been owned by Henry's brother in Chester and sold to Henry, along with One's husband, Oscan.

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