Miserable, Tino trudged toward the stable, listening to the heavy, grunting bearthing of his new master. From sideways glances, he saw that Owen, was a massive man, with a lot of weight to pull along on gout-inflamed legs. He dared a backward look toward Emil. His friend was being questioned by a man in a fine frock coat with silver braiding and lace sleeves dangling beneath the cuffs. Emil would be all right, then. Such a richly dressed gentleman had to be a merchant or such. It was sure to be better than the circumstances to which he was headed.

Tino swallowed hard. It'd been Emil who'd convinced him to eat, to breathe when he's nearly died of greif ar first coming to the plantation. Emil had a large goodness about him. The smaller slave boys used to skip along with him, like devoted puppies. Remarkably tall, Emil had a tiny toy puffin his mother gave him when she had to sew things for a living. He claimed it as one of the biggest reasons he had to live. For Mr. Puffin.

Tino felt his heart hurting, he just started teaching Emil the alphabet, scratching letters in the sand down by the river after their chores were completed. Oh how dearly Tino will miss him..

The two of them had discussed the possibility of being separared this day. Emil seemed resigned to it. Many years before , he had been sold away from his family. All Emil remembered of his father – who'd been a "saltwater slave," stolen directly from West Africa – were his gold earrings.

"It's the way of it," Emil had said. "But it won't be forever, Tino. We hear about good men talking on liberty, breaking with the king. If they be aruguing against their master they see it wrong to use us the way they do."

Tino, Owen, and the auctioneer passed the manor house, a rectangular, brick building of two stories and long windows, with a commander's view of the river. In front of the door was a crowd of people as if it were a market day. A man waddled down the stone steps, bracing a huge basket filled with china against his legs. In the drive, a wagon was being filled with delicately made chairs. Several slaves balanced rolled- up Perisan carpets atop their heads, following a gentleman whose arms gleamed with a mass of candlesticks.

An older, gawky man struggled to toss a sack stuffed with leather-bound books up into a two-wheel, bright green riding chair. Tino noticed that the carriage horse fretted and shied away from the man, who foolishly flapped his arms and grabbed at the harness, further flustering the horse.

That one would be fortunate to make it home in one piece, Thought Tino. He knows naught about horses.

In the past year, Tino had come to know almost everything about houses. He's fed them, brushed them, soothed them when the farrier hammered in their shoes, soaked their sore sports after races, walked them to health when their guts twisted up in colic. He's happily slept in the hayloft of the finely build stables . Even in the winter, it wasn't so bad. He's burrow into the straw like a field mouse and sleep just fine, listening to the comforting sound of the horses munching their hay. Sometimes he crept into the stalls and curled up against the mares that had just had their foals taken from them for training. He seemed to calm their anxiety at losing their offspring , as if they regarded him as just another colt in need of care.

The head groom often commented on Tino's way with the animals. Tino didn't know from where the instinct came. He never had a horse of his own. That was far too much of a blessing for his poor family. But back in Finland, his father had worked for a saddler and harness maker. Tino steadided the horses being fitted, even when he was so young his head had barely reached the horse's chest.

That'd been his father's dream – to serve his indentureship with a saddler and then set up his own shop.

Bad way to end it, but this is sort of just part one...Hello everyone. I'm back once again! I will have to notify you, I will update once in lifetime. I gain interest for two days, LONG TIME on no interest. Yeah. I'm not dedicated in writing. I just remembered TODAY (yes, I typed this in about 15 minutes (NOT EXAGGERATED) so NO BETA) that this story exsisted. So I just wanted to let you know a chapter will be posted, this being part one. Yay. Now I must sleep. I an tired and my hands hurt from fast typing :C