Isabel was born a slave on Rhode Island. She was separated from her father and her mother who had died from disease, and all Isabel had left was her little sister, Ruth. Her old slave owner has died, and now Isabel and her sister belong to Mr. Robert. Mr. Robert then sells them to a Loyalist couple, the Locktons.
Isabel and her sister go with the Locktons to New York, where they live. Isabel fears that her sister Ruth, who Isabel is very protective of, would get in trouble with Madam Lockton, who is as means as a bull. Ruth suffers from seizures which causes Madam Lockton to threaten to sell her.
One evening, after hours of work, Isabel came back and noticed Madam was being a kind lamb instead of a fierce lion. She had baked gingerbread and had warm milk for Isabel. "Did she fall and hit her head?" Isabel asked surprised. Becky, a housemaid, explained that Madam wanted to change her ways. Isabel ate and fell asleep quickly.
The next morning, Isabel noticed she awoke very late in the morning and realized that Ruth was not present with her. She must be downstairs, Isabel thought. Isabel checked the parlor, the kitchen, and the library. Still no Ruth. "Where's Ruth?" Isabel asked Becky. Becky did not answer and looked down with a gloomy face. A thousand thoughts came to her head. "Becky?" Becky still did not answer. Isabel near fainted, wondering where Ruth would have escaped to. "She's gone," Becky said, her heart heavy. "Sold."
Isabel was raging with anger that she could not show. How could Madam have done this? She stormed down the hallway- there she was. It was Madam, stood at the top of the stairs proudly gazing at her paintings. Isabel furiously walked up two steps. "Did you sell Ruth?" Isabel asked with a rotten tone. Madam Lockton would not answer.
Boom! Crack! Bang! Just as Isabel looked away, Madam Lockton threw one of her precious paintings onto the head of Isabel! Not thinking, Isabel dashed out of the open door past white folk trying to grab her. As Isabel was seeking help from one of the sergeants in the nearby barber that she stopped at, she was turned in by her fellow men and was taken to city hall. Accompanied by Madam Lockton and a few other soldiers, Isabel knew she was going to be deeply punished.