I was now left to my fate i was all alone and within

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I was now left to my fate. I was all alone, and within the walls of a stone prison. But a few days before, and I was full of hope. I expected to have been safe in a land of freedom; but now I was covered with gloom, sunk down to the ut- most despair. I thought the possibility of freedom was gone. I was kept in this way about one week, at the end of which, Captain Auld, my master, to my surprise and utter astonish- ment, came up, and took me out, with the intention of send- ing me, with a gentleman of his acquaintance, into Alabama. But, from some cause or other, he did not send me to Ala-
77 Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass bama, but concluded to send me back to Baltimore, to live again with his brother Hugh, and to learn a trade. Thus, after an absence of three years and one month, I was once more permitted to return to my old home at Baltimore. My master sent me away, because there existed against me a very great prejudice in the community, and he feared I might be killed. In a few weeks after I went to Baltimore, Master Hugh hired me to Mr. William Gardner, an extensive ship-builder, on Fell’s Point. I was put there to learn how to calk. It, how- ever, proved a very unfavorable place for the accomplish- ment of this object. Mr. Gardner was engaged that spring in building two large man-of-war brigs, professedly for the Mexican government. The vessels were to be launched in the July of that year, and in failure thereof, Mr. Gardner was to lose a considerable sum; so that when I entered, all was hurry. There was no time to learn any thing. Every man had to do that which he knew how to do. In entering the ship-yard, my orders from Mr. Gardner were, to do whatever the car- penters commanded me to do. This was placing me at the beck and call of about seventy-five men. I was to regard all these as masters. Their word was to be my law. My situation was a most trying one. At times I needed a dozen pair of hands. I was called a dozen ways in the space of a single minute. Three or four voices would strike my ear at the same moment. It was—“Fred., come help me to cant this timber here.”— “Fred., come carry this timber yonder.”— “Fred., bring that roller here.”— “Fred., go get a fresh can of wa- ter.”— “Fred., come help saw off the end of this timber.”— “Fred., go quick, and get the crowbar.”—”Fred., hold on the end of this fall.”— “Fred., go to the blacksmith’s shop, and get a new punch.”— “Hurra, Fred.! run and bring me a cold chisel.”— “I say, Fred., bear a hand, and get up a fire as quick as lightning under that steam-box.”— “Halloo, nigger! come, turn this grindstone.”— “Come, come! move, move! and bowse this timber forward.”— “I say, darky, blast your eyes, why don’t you heat up some pitch?”— “Halloo! halloo!

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