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Zina. Because I hid in the swamp when he was trying to sell me to some brutal traders from the coast. Oh, please buy me, Master D’Arneaux! I will work for you day and night and eat the poor food after the other hands.

D’A. But you have seemed to be so much attached to your master, I had hardly dared to broach the matter of adding your pretty face and good heart to the family of my mother.

Zina. Oh, please do not say what I tell you! they would whip me so. I force myself to appear happy and contented, to please master. He is so cross when he finds me crying. Oh, he drinks so much! You will not tell him what I have said? (Falls on her knees, sobbing.) I am so fearful of a worse fate than that.

D’A. Have they dared to insult you while you are but a child?

Zina. Oh, please buy me, Master D’Arneaux, I am so miserable now.

D’A. Zina, your honor is more sacred than your life, and you have the right to defend it to the death, even against your master (handing stiletto). Take this knife and kill the miscreant who would insult you.

Zina (kissing and hugging it to her bosom). Oh, I am so helpless alone with them.

D’A. Zina, you were not born to be a slave. God has not put the stamp of that race in your angel face. Your brain is sharper than your master’s. Think! at fourteen you read as well as the best at the plantation. In music you are a prodigy.

Zina. Oh, Master D’Arneaux, you are always so kind to me. Heaven is good to your help when it gives so good a master.

Fiction & Literature
October 6
Library of Alexandria

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