Shows D

finally strong enough to get out of bed and she comes to the Quarters where she is welcomed by the group and reconnects with Nathan and Harker. Ruth interrupts, looking for Nathan, but leaves in embarrassment, not wanting to talk to him in front of everyone. The slaves make fun of Ruth, and urge Nathan to tell Dessa Rose about the plan for escaping to freedom. In this plan, Nathan explains, they must find a white person who will pretend to sell them off at auction. Then, they will escape and rejoin the group, a plan to be repeated in towns across the south until they earn enough money to buy their way to a free black settlement in the West. Later, Nathan is confronted by Ruth. She has been eavesdropping outside, and has overheard the hands mocking her and also their plans for escape. Nathan asks her to join them in the scheme, but she is deeply hurt and refuses. even though she says that he is now "her only friend." Alone, Dessa Rose remembers her love for Kaine and suddenly they are together again in her memory. Lights come up on Ruth and Nathan as they are drawn to one another and finally kiss. Elsewhere, Nehemiah yearns for Dessa Rose. The next morning, Dessa Rose is appalled to find Nathan and Ruth in bed together. Ruth sings her inner turmoil at being caught like this. Ruth decides she has nothing left to lose and agrees to embark on the scheme. Lights come up on Ruth's Mother in a flashback from the past. as she instructs Ruth in the proper way for a lady to travel. An angry Dorcas hauls heavy trunks and packs as Ruth's Mother blithely gives instructions. Now we are back in the present. The group sets out on the road, but Ruth and Dessa Rose aren't speaking to one another. Nathan tries to make peace. They are embarking on a dangerous adventure in which Ruth will pretend to sell them off one by one. There's no room for any quarrels now. They are going into unknown slave territory and unknown emotional territory as well. Over the course of a few days. they travel from auction to auction and meet up later, camping out in the woods. Ruth is frightened for Nathan, but he says "It's not about us now." Harker tries to convince Dessa Rose not to be so angry at Ruth but to trust her instead. Meanwhile, Nehemiah is tracking Dessa Rose, following her trail and posting rewards for her capture. Ruth and Dessa Rose manage to wangle the offer of shelter for a night in the house of a wealthy landowner. Ruth, back in polite society, begins to drink too much and flirt with her host Mr. Oscar, whose wife is away. Afraid that Ruth will reveal the scheme, Dessa Rose tries to keep Ruth in line, but can't. After dinner. Dessa Rose convinces Ruth to go up to their room, where they have an argument, and then settle down to sleep. In the middle of the night, Mr. Oscar tiptoes into the room and tries to rape Ruth. Dessa helps Ruth, and together they beat him off with pillows. It's almost funny, but in the end, it is a frightening ordeal for Ruth and a realisation for Dessa Rose that all women are vulnerable, no matter what their skin colour. Frightened to be alone, Ruth pats the bed next to her, inviting Dessa Rose to sleep there that night. They cuddle their infants, and Ruth nurses one and then the other, a moment of communion for both women. In Ruth's mind, Dorcas appears, embodying motherhood and humanity. Dessa Rose and Ruth's journey is coming to an end. The group has made a huge amount of money, which is all sewn into the seams of Dessa Rose's clothing. Soon they will all meet up, split the money and go their separate ways. Ruth and Dessa Rose check into a hotel and play their exaggerated "mistress and servant" roles, although when the door closes and they're alone, they giggle a little, having grown more comfortable with one another. Ruth asks Dessa Rose how she would feel if Ruth "came West" with them. She doesn't want to live around slavery anymore. Dessa Rose is surprised and confused, and runs from the room, not knowing how to respond to such a clear expression of friendship from a white person. All at once she is seized by Adam Nehemiah. She tries to run, they struggle, and Sheriff Hughes interrupts. Nehemiah accuses her of being a fugitive from justice, and Dessa Rose claims innocence, so the Sheriff takes them both back to the jailhouse fo questioning. He sends