Summary: The Fight, Part 13

When Dana awakes, she is bleeding and riding along on the back of Rufus’s horse. He stops, wipes her face, and unties her after she promises not to struggle. He puts her in front of him on the horse. He tells her to lean on him before she falls off, and she does. As they approach the house, Rufus tells her she will be whipped. Once off the horse, Dana resists, terrified, scratching and bruising Rufus, Weylin, and Edwards. Weylin ties her up, strips off her clothes, and beats her senseless. Dana tries to time travel by telling herself that her life is in danger, but in her heart she knows that Weylin is punishing her, not killing her. Rufus asks Carrie and Alice to care for Dana. Dana wonders whether she will find the strength to run away again. She realizes that despite her superior education, she managed to escape only for a few hours, while Alice escaped for days.

Summary: The Fight, Part 14

It turns out that Liza, the cleaning woman, was the one who told Weylin about Dana’s attempt to escape. She did it because she hates Alice, and Dana saved Alice’s life. The other slaves beat Liza badly to punish her for betraying Dana.

Summary: The Fight, Part 15

Rufus shows Dana a letter Kevin sent to Weylin. In it, Kevin says he is coming, and asks Weylin to convey the news to Dana. Rufus says his father wrote to Kevin when he found out that Rufus had not sent Dana’s letters. Weylin felt bound to do so because of Rufus’s promise to Dana. Dana tells Rufus that she already knew he didn’t mail the letters. He says he didn’t mail them because he doesn’t want Kevin to come and take her North. Dana reflects that Rufus loves her because she cares about him. She wonders why she does not hate him, as Alice does, and why she keeps forgiving him. Despite her fondness for Rufus, she thinks she would kill him if he tried to rape her.

Rufus says Weylin is the only man he knows who keeps promises faithfully to both blacks and whites. Dana advises him to emulate that quality.

Summary: The Fight, Part 16

One day when Weylin and Rufus are in town, Edwards orders Dana to do the wash. This is usually the job of Tess, who was Weylin’s bedmate until he tired of her and passed her on to Edwards. But today, Tess will be sent out to the fields. Dana knows that doing the wash will hurt her back, but she complies when Edwards threatens to whip her. Alice offers to help. Just then, Kevin rides up. He is furious to hear about the whipping Weylin gave her, and he wants revenge. Dana convinces him they should leave. She turns to say goodbye to Alice, but Alice refuses to acknowledge her. On the road, Dana and Kevin run into Rufus. When they won’t agree to stay, he turns a gun on them. Dana provokes him until he is on the brink of shooting her. At the last moment, Kevin falls on Dana.

Analysis: The Fight, Parts 13–16

Tom Weylin is not a completely evil person. Many men in his position would have thought nothing of breaking a promise to Dana—particularly a promise made by someone else. But Weylin does not care to whom Rufus gave his word. What matters is that Rufus’s word, once given, is kept. Weylin knows that when Kevin returns, he is likely to take Dana away with him. Keeping Rufus’s word, then, means indirectly helping Dana flee, the very act for which Weylin whipped her. Keeping Rufus’s word also means losing a hard worker. Despite these outcomes, which are undesirable for Weylin, Weylin writes to Kevin. His motives are not pure. He certainly does not care about Dana’s happiness, and he may write partly from a conviction that he should help Kevin locate a woman he considers Kevin’s property. And Weylin is by no means a good man. He punishes slaves severely and brutally, and he has sex with whichever women he pleases, discarding them when he is sated. Yet despite his numerous shortcomings, in this section he comes across as a more honorable man than Rufus.