"So, you're thinking these are coded directions?" Will asked. In a back pew of the church, Nate, Will, and Hannah sat discussing the note Nate found.
"Maybe," Nate answered. "I read up on the Underground Railroad. Symbols and codes played a big part."
"You could be right. Peg Leg Joe's song, 'Follow the Drinking Gourd' basically told slaves to follow the North Star to freedom. So, let's see if this is anything like it." Nate handed Will a sheet of paper on which he had copied the words of the note. He figured the real thing was just too fragile to carry around.
The three crowded together and read in silence.
"I agree," Will said, after a minute. "Looks like directions?"
"I concur," Hannah said, smiling and squeezing Nate's hand. "I can't believe the location of the note came to you in a dream!" She beamed. "You've done so well, Nathan."
"But bear in mind," Will said, "most slaves couldn't read. So that might hint that this had nothing to do with the Railroad."
"There were exceptions," Hannah said. And maybe this was meant for someone specific. Someone who could read."
"We can argue the point later. Let's try to decipher this before someone figured out we're not back here having Bible study. We'll go line-by-line and see what we can piece together," Will said.
"I'll read." Hannah reached over and took the note and placed it on the page of her opened Bible. By all appearance, it looked as though she was reading from the scriptures. "When the North wind blows, find the falling snow."
"That's obvious," Will said, "It means to head North in the winter."
"Yeah, I think so too," Nate said.
Hannah nodded and read the next lines. "Seek out the gray snake, on his back lies the gate."
"I know from reading about the ...
... middle of paper ...
...te said. "That's something. Who would have guessed? Our grandparents are willing to risk jail to help do the right thing. You guys, shouldn't we follow their example. Ask yourselves, what is the right thing to do here, then listen to your heart. Hajji needs our help. And if we help him, we're helping to protect our troops and maybe our nation."
"But Nathan, it seems contrary from what we're hearing on the news. Our government is telling us to turn him in, that he is a national security risk."
Nate squeezed her hand. "You're going to have to accept that occasionally our government is wrong."
Nate watched Hannah and Will look down at the note. He hoped they were thinking about other times when the nation had stood on the wrong side of right. If not for the courage of a few brave souls…
"Okay," Hannah said. "We'll talk to him, but that's all we'll promise."