The slave dancer is the person who plays a musical instrument aboard a slave ship so the slaves can dance and get exercise. Jessie would play his fife at the wharf for the sailors who would give him money for his tunes. One of the sailors who heard his playing was a pirate, he kidnapped Jesse and took him aboard a slave ship to become a slave dancer. He was appalled at the treatment of the slaves aboard the ship, but nothing compared to the measures taken when the ship was approached by an American ship that would arrest them for slaving. The ship sinks in a terrible story, but Jessie and a young slave boy survive. They make land and on the beach find a chicken, followed by its owner, Daniel, a runaway slave. Daniel feeds the boys and they regain their strength. He then arranges for Ras to be ferried North on the underground railroad, and explains to Jessie how to find his way back to New Orleans.
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