The poor wretch advanced timidly a few steps, then turned back suddenly, as if overcome with mortal fear.
The master became very impatient, and in angry vociferous tones commanded the keeper to bring him out by force.
All this time, the keeper had stood with his hand on the key of the iron door, very reluctant to open it. But at last he unlocked it, and told the poor terrified creature that he must go. He rushed to the door in the frenzy of desperation, gazed in his master's face for an instant, then flew back, took a sharp knife, which he had concealed about him, and drew it across his throat with such force, that he fell senseless near his master's feet, spattering his garments with blood.
All those who witnessed this awful scene, supposed the man was dead.
Church, physician of the prison, examined the wound, and said there was scarcely a possibility that he could survive, though the wind-pipe was not entirely separated.
But even the terrible admonition of that ghastly spectacle produced no relenting feelings in the hard heart of the slaveholder.
He still demanded to have his victim delivered up to him. When the keeper declined doing it, and urged the reason that the physician said he could not be moved without imminent danger to his life, the brutal tyrant exclaimed, ‘Damn him!
He's my property; and I ’