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‘ [172] seen to come here,’ said he. ‘Where is he? Produce him.’

Friend Hopper replied very quietly, ‘The man has been here; but he is gone now.’

This answer made the agent perfectly furious. After discharging a volley of oaths, he said he had a search warrant, and swore he would have the house searched from garret to cellar. ‘Very well,’ replied Friend Hopper, ‘thou art at liberty to proceed according to law; but be careful not to overstep that boundary. If thou dost, it will be at thy peril.’

After the slave-hunter had vented his rage in a torrent of abuse, the constable proposed to speak a few words in private. With many friendly professions, he acknowledged that they had no searchwarrant. ‘The gentleman was about to obtain one from the mayor,’ said he; ‘but I wished to save your feelings. I told him you were well acquainted with me, and I had no doubt you would permit me to search your house without any legal process.’

Friend Hopper listened patiently, perfectly well aware that the whole statement was a sham. When the constable paused for a reply, he opened the door, and said very concisely, ‘Thou art at liberty to go about thy business.’

They spent several days searching for the fugitive, but their efforts were unavailing.

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Isaac T. Hopper (3)
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