Could it be true? Pascal's runaway brother was back saying they were free! The slaves had been freed by President Lincoln! And besides, Gideon said, they could have forty acres of land and maybe a mule just for the asking. Gideon said land meant freedom.That night Pascal, twelve, and his friend Nelly, eight, ran away with Gideon. They were going to get a farm. They had to hide lest they be taken back into slavery. Also, land didn't seem as easy to find as Gideon had thought. What did it mean if you had to run and hide, if you were crippled and couldn't do what others did?Joined by other former slaves, Pascal, Gideon, and Nelly did find a farm. They even found a school that Pascal and Nelly could attend. They learned about dignity and the Freedmen's Bureau and the Union League and the Republicans. But they also discovered it was not easy for former slaves to stay free and to keep their land.Based on the author's research about events in the South in 1865, this is the story of what might have happened to one small group of African Americans.