Come To The Oaks: The Death of Obi
Just before sundown, Tobias and Ben had finished a day’s work, when they spotted Dexter riding up the long drive-way, leading another horse. Dexter was moving slowly and on the second horse was a body slumped over its back. As he drew closer, they could see that it was Obi,…
…but he wasn’t moving. Dexter rode up past the house towards the barn with the lifeless body. Tobias stayed silent as they watched Dexter pass by.
Later, Tobias learned from Ben that Dexter had found Obi stuck in a large crack of ice over the river. Obi had attempted to cross the frozen river when the ice cracked, causing him to fall shoulder deep into the river. Although the current was barely moving, he likely froze to death, unable to free himself.
Obi, being new to the plantation, didn’t get much in the way of a burial. A couple of the males he shared the cabin with, buried him with a crude stick marker that read Obi.
Why This Scene Was Deleted
In the third draft of the manuscript, the time line changed from the time Tobias experienced his first winter on the plantation. In the original manuscript, Tobias was on the plantation for two winters before he escaped. This scene occurred during the second winter, which was deleted. When combining some of the elements from the second winter into the first and only winter, it was thought that, since this scene did not actually move the story of Tobias and Ben forward, it was taken out.