When the train reached a distance of two or three hundred yards from the station I simply slid down from the car and out into the black night—so black and dark that not the shape of an object could be seen. I landed in some bushes which only scratched me and tore my clothes, adding a trifle to their already tattered condition; while the sentinel standing in the car door fired his musket out into the blackness, and a number of the guard upon the top of the train followed his example. The moment I struck I crawled up alongside the track, which brought me under the projecting sides of the cars as they sped on, and there I lay like a log till the train was half a mile away.
I first tried to recall my school-boy knowledge of the geography of the State of Georgia, and that part of it that might appertain to a spot on the Macon and Savannah Railroad about sixty miles from Savannah. Meantime I kept walking mechanically in the direction my train had gone, and soon found myself upon trestle-work in a swamp. The night was dark, though starlight, and there seemed no alternative but to keep along upon the trestle.
I walked through the long night till I could barely drag one leg after the other, frequently stopping to rest in the damp air of the swamp. The only sounds I heard were the occasional hooting of an owl and the frequent splashing of alligators. I was getting very lonesome, and even tired of my freedom. It seemed a swamp without end, with only alligators and owls for companionship. Doré must have seen some such place, else he could never have drawn his illustrations of Dante's "Inferno."
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