Will and his friend are risking their lives and have escaped the plantation. They are on the run; but before Will took off, the old conjure woman warned him, "Evil spirits creeps 'round at night, and tricky spirits kin hex people--even da smart ones likes you."
Evil spirits are not the only problem; slave hunters, patrollers, and a mercenary detective are all after Will and Tom, and his childhood companion, Teeny. Luckily, the three friends encounter a group of abolitionists--a lawyer, a riverboat captain, a businessman, and a wealthy heiress--who want nothing more than to help them escape to freedom. But slaves are valuable property, and owners will go to any lengths to get them back.
What transpires for these three slaves borders on the implausible, but is rooted in historical fact. They all flee in different directions and make their way north by steamboat on the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. This harrowing journey involves wearing disguises, finding new love, and risking a fortune in a poker game. But the real gamble is a slave betting he can escape and be free...he pays the ultimate price if he loses.