In this extract from the autobiography of Olaudah Equiano, Equiano describes some of the trading trips that he made to islands in the West Indies and to America. He was an astute business man and resolutely continued to save as much as possible so that he would be able to purchase his freedom. By July 1766 he had saved the necessary amount and describes the joy he felt at becoming a free man. He remained for a time with his former master, the Quaker merchant Robert King, and continued to make trading trips. He then returned to England where he found work as a hairdresser. The pay was not good so Equiano returned to sea, working on commercial ships travelling to the Mediterranean and West Indies. He also describes an expedition to the Arctic in 1773 in search of the Northeast Passage. The voyage proved that it was not possible to find a passage to India across the North Pole. The extract ends with Equiano's description of his conversion to Christianity.