a short biographical play
(A simple shack on the plantation EDWARD BRODESS. HARRIET is seen talking to her husband, JOHN TUBMAN).
Harriet, Harriet. Wake up sweetheart. You were screaming again. Did you have another bad dream?
(still recovering from the bad dreamís visions)
Oh, they're coming, they're coming, I must go!
Harriet! It was a dream! Just a dream. Donít be fretting yourself, woman. Thereís no danger now.
Oh no, John. The horsemen, theyíre coming. I heard the screams of women and children, as they were being dragged away to a far worse slavery than that they were enduring here. I tell you, we need to go away from here.
No Harriet. Itís was just a dream. The danger is past. None of us is going to suffer.
Oh, John. I seemed to see a line, and on the other side of that line were green fields, and lovely flowers, and beautiful white ladies, who stretched out their arms to me over the line, but I just couldn't reach them. I always fell before I got to the line.
Youíre nothing but a fool, Harriet. There is no danger. It was just a dream. I donít know why I put up with the likes of you. I should have married some sensible woman who wasnít obsessed with this foolishness.
I got to get some fresh air.
(She stands to leave. Turns back) I was hoping at least you would support me, John.
( She leaves by the door, but runs into her best friend, MARY)
Harriet, I have been trying to talk to you all day.
It is hard to talk with the Masterís overseers watching all the time.
Hush, Harriet. This is important! Your sisters are going to be sold. Tomorrow! I heard the Master discussing it in the parlor with several visitors. They are coming by tomorrow to get them.
Then I must get them out of here tonight. Can you get word to them, Mary? You are a house slave and Iím a field slave. Tell them to meet me behind the tackle shed an hour after sunset. It will be best if we travel at night.
Iíll tell them, Harriet. But what about your brothers? They will be sold soon, too.
Iíll let them know. You just get my sisters, Mary.
And you have to tell your mother.
I canít tell her. She would raise such a fuss, sheíd give us away. No, I have to keep it from my mother. I can only tell friends or close family members.
But if the overseers hear you, theyíll flog you and stop you from going.
Thatís why Iíll sing my message, Mary. That way theyíll think I am just singing and wonít understand that I am really sending a message. Now you just get my sisters. Iíll take care of the rest.
Good luck, Harriet. (She turns) Lordy, lordy, the Masteríc coming.
Hush, now. Go do as I say. Let my sisters know where to meet me.
(MARY runs off. MASTER BRODESS rides by. HARRIET begins to sing. Several slaves, walking by turn and stare. They look at each other knowingly, then hurry off.)
I'm sorry I'm gwine to leave you,
Farewell, oh farewell;
But I'll meet you in the morning,
Farewell, oh farewell.
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