The steamboat Yellowstone sat at the dock. The new boat for the American Fur Company was due to depart up the Mississippi later that day.

Grafton Edgefield looked out between wooden planks. He hadn’t eaten since he’d arrived in St. Louis three days ago. His clothes were in pieces, his bare feet shredded.

He’d avoided the slave catchers and their dogs to get this far.

The Yellowstone was planning to get further North than any boat before it. The Underground Railroad said he was one of a group they were planning to smuggle on board. They told him to wait here until they got back with the others.

Feverish and exhausted, Grafton heard the dogs coming. He couldn’t go back now. He couldn’t take another beating.

He threw open the door and staggered out, heading for the steamboat that would carry him to freedom.

The sound of the chasing bloodhounds grew louder.


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Written for ‘What Pegman Saw’, a weekly prompt based on a view from Google Maps. The idea is to write a piece of fiction of around 150 words based on the prompt. Full details can be found HERE. This week we’re off to St. Louis, and a trip back into the past.

For more stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

Feature image: Yellow Stone at St Louis by George Catlin

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19 thoughts on “BLOODHOUND LAW

    1. Thanks J Hardy. Started thinking about the steamboats, but didn’t lead me to a happy image as I thought they might have. As you say, a lot of the history is marred by blood and oppression.

      Liked by 1 person

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