At recess, Kevin delivers the sad news that he can't "time travel" with the kids because he hasn't finished his math homework. The others set the Paw Pilot and OFF they go, landing in 1844 at the huge plantation of Eliza Lucas Pinckney. While there, they hear her talking with friends about the problem of slaves escaping from the plantations. They are very concerned because these enslaved Africans provide all the work to keep the huge crops of rice, cotton, and indigo growing. These crops are sold and provide lots of money for the plantation owners. The kids overhear several slaves planning their escape...they are going to follow something called the "drinking gourd" and look for the "underground railroad." Will they make their escape to the "safe houses" provided by Quakers and other people who don't believe in slavery? Later, the kids talk to a Union soldier about the Civil War. He shows the kids old-timey photographs of Lincoln, Grant, Sherman, and Lee. They learn a lot about South Carolina and this strange time in our country's history. When they come back, Bonz has collected more clues...and shockingly, their favorite science teacher, Mr. Gaston, is a SUSPECT!