Shaman made great strides, and after a few months mastered Miss Burnham’s exercises so well that the two of them could move on to more advanced tasks.
For a long time they dealt with the technique of changing the meaning of a sentence by shifting the intonation.
Sometimes Rachel would hold his hand and squeeze the word he wanted to emphasize, which he liked a lot. He didn’t really like the exercises on the piano anymore, because his mother saw them as a feat that she sometimes had him perform in front of others.
But Rachel continued to work with him on the piano, and she was fascinated when she played the scale in a different key and he could even see this subtle difference in vibrations.
Over time he learned not only to feel the different tones on the piano, but also to differentiate between other vibrations in his environment. Soon he could perceive someone knocking on the door, although he did not hear the knock himself. And he even felt footsteps on a staircase that others around him couldn’t even hear.
One day Rachel took his hand and put it on her throat as Dorothy Burnham had done. At first she spoke to him sonorous. Then she changed the volume of her voice and just whispered. “Do you feel the difference?”
Her flesh was warm and very smooth, tender and yet firm. Shaman felt muscles and tendons. He thought of a swan, and then of a little bird, when he felt her pulse flutter under his fingers in a way he had not noticed on Miss Burnham’s thicker neck.
Nobody shot at Rob J. If the incident at the stable was really a warning that he had to stop pushing for a reopening of Makwa’s case, the shooter obviously had reason to believe that his warning would be followed. Rob J. didn’t do anything new because he didn’t know what else to do. At one point he received polite letters from Congressman Nick Holden and the Governor of Illinois. They were the only officials who answered him, and their letters were kind but unequivocal refusals. It annoyed him, but he had more pressing issues to address. At first he was asked very irregularly for the hospitality of his niche, but after several years of helping slaves escape, the dribble turned into a steady stream, and at times there was a lively change in his hiding place.