I couldn't even believe what I was doing as I ran barefoot through the underbrush. My feet ran swiftly and automatically as my mind raced, flashing between lamenting the inherent concequences of my decision and reminding myself of what I was striving to attain. There is a sort of clarity that washes over you when you know you can never turn back. I had reached that point, now I would either attain my freedom or die trying.

Just as Will had described, I suddenly came upon a split tree with a broken wagon in the distance. As I rounded the corner behind the tree I stopped, caught my breath and listened. I panted and turned around, looking. Slowly they emerged from behind the brush - the solemn faces of my brethern staring back at me - filled not with terror or doubt but with pride, certainty and readiness.

Somewhere in the distance a dog barked and broke our silence. The sun would be coming up soon; they'd be looking for us. With little time wasted for introductions and the reiteration of immediate plans, we headed as a unit towards the first checkpoint. Mary had spoken of a shack to the left of the Harrison place up in Tuckersville where we could get something to eat and stay the day. We had to get a move on; if we didn't make it past the limits of Selma by morning we'd never survive.