The Master was away and Sadie was worried that in his absence the Mistress would sell her just to spite him. Or she was afraid that she would arrange for a bad accident to happen to her or that she would get one of the darkies to take her by force and lie with her and then report to the Master that she, Sadie had encouraged him. And the Master would believe the Mistress. He would shoot the darkie and whip her. Every day she was on pins and needles, fearing that something terrible would happen before the Master came back. Earnestly, she prayed to God to protect her.
One morning when she was working in the field, Bill, the foreman came and told her that the Mistress wanted to see her. She was afraid to go but muttering under his breath, he grabbed her by the arm and forced her to go with him.
The Mistress was waiting for them at the bottom of the steps leading the front entrance of the house. “Wait over there,” she told Bill, pointing some distance away.
Sadie watched Bill walk away, her heart pounding. Then, she turned and faced the Mistress but kept her eyes lowered. She could feel her watching her. Several minutes passed. What did the Mistress want? she wondered. Was she going to sell her? Fear gripped her and in her mind she begged the good Lord not to let the Mistress sell her. She didn’t want to leave the plantation or the Master.
She cried out when suddenly she felt a stinging sensation on her right cheek. The Mistress had struck her. She resisted putting her hand to her face. It really hurt.
“You little black whore,” the Mistress muttered. Her voice was dripping with venom. “You’re destroying my family. I don’t know what kind of hold you have over my husband. I don’t know what he sees in you. You’re not even pretty. And you’re so dark.”
Sadie kept her eyes lowered. She didn’t say a word. She braced herself for another slap. Her face was still smarting.
“I wish he would get rid of you. I hate that you’re here on this plantation. I hate that you and he go to the cabin where you engage in your disgusting and crude acts. Most of all, I hate you.”
Sadie stood motionless.
“What’s the matter, Girl. Don’t you have anything to say?”
Sadie shook her head. “No, Mistress.”
“No, Mistress.” Clarissa mockingly mimicked her. “You dare to call me Mistress and yet you’re having relations with my husband. I ought to whip your hide right now for such an affront.”
Sadie’s heart leapt in her chest. She hoped that the Mistress wouldn’t whip her. She waited with bated breath.
The Mistress motioned to Bill. “Get her out of my sight.”
“And don’t breathe a word of this to the Master,” she told him.
“No, Ma’am.” He grabbed Sadie by the arm roughly and jerked her away from the spot where she had been standing. “Let’s go, girl. And you heard the Mistress. Don’t you go saying anything to the Master about what just happened, you hear?”
“Yes, Sir. I ain’t gon say a word to nobody, ‘specially the Massa.”
Clarissa watched them go. Her hand was hurting from the slap. She regretted losing her temper like that, but she couldn’t help it. When she looked at the girl, her mind was flooded with images of JT naked on top of her, moving his hips quickly back and forth as he rammed himself into her, his head thrown back and his throat bared, his eyes closed and the bestial sounds he made.
Red, hot jealousy consumed her and she struck her hard across the face. She wanted to scratch her eyes out, get a horse whip and use it on her. Never in her life had she ever hated anyone. It was an emotion she never thought herself capable of feeling until this wretched girl came into their lives and bewitched her husband.
She wished with all her heart that something bad would happen to the girl such as she got sick and died or drowned or met with an unfortunate accident. Then, she remembered that earlier that morning she had read the scripture, But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts?
Convicted, she put all such thoughts out of her head. And she prayed that the Lord would convince JT to sell the girl for the sake of their marriage and their children.