Like her sister, Bessie leaves home to teach and raise money for college. She moves to Boardman, North Carolina, a small town where she "was the most exciting thing that happened [...] in about a hundred years" (4.14.8).
Her students love her despite the fact that she's one tough teacher. And the fellas, well, let's just say that they were going wild for Bessie too.
While in Boardman, Bessie stays with the Atkinsons. Although she loves the family, she can't help but feel homesick for her comfortable life back in Raleigh.
After two years, Bessie moves to Brunswick, Georgia. Although Georgia is a "mean place," the city of Brunswick is at least somewhat like Raleigh (4.14.30). In fact, Bessie meets a woman named Gooch there who will become her best friend.
A few years later, Bessie is almost lynched. As she's boarding a train, a drunk white man approaches and berates her. Never one to back down from a fight, Bessie has a few words for him too.
The drunk man loses it and a crowd of white people gather. Luckily, even the white people can see that the man is drunk out of his mind, and the arrival of a train stops the situation before it escalates any further.
Throughout all of this, Bessie doesn't even move—she "would rather die than back down" (4.14.40).