Uncle Tom's Cabin
Abridged for Use in Schools
Cleveland: World Publishing Company, c. 1930


  LATE in the afternoon of a chilly day in February, two gentlemen were sitting alone over their wine, in a well-furnished dining parlor, in the town of P——, in Kentucky.

  For convenience sake, we have said, hitherto, two gentlemen. One of the parties, however, did not seem, strictly speaking, to come under the species. He was a short, thick-set man, with coarse, commonplace features. He was much over-dressed, in a gaudy vest of many colors, a blue neckerchief, bedropped gayly with yellow spots, and arranged with a flaunting tie, quite in keeping with the general air of the man. His hands, large and coarse, were plentifully bedecked with rings; and he wore a heavy gold watch-chain, with a bundle of seals attached to it, which he was in the habit of flourishing and jingling with evident satisfaction.

  His companion, Mr. Shelby, had the appearance of a gentleman. The two were in the midst of an earnest conversation.

  "That is the way I should arrange the matter," said Mr. Shelby.


  "I can't make trade that way—I positively can't, Mr. Shelby," said the other.

  "Why, the fact is, Haley, Tom is an uncommon fellow; he is certainly worth that sum anywhere,—steady, honest, capable, manages my whole farm like a clock."

  "You mean honest, as niggers go," said Haley, helping himself to a glass of brandy.

  "No; I mean, really, Tom is a good, steady, sensible, pious fellow. He got religion at a camp-meeting, four years ago; and I believe he really did get it. I've trusted him, since then, with everything I have,—money, house, horses—and let him come and go round the country; and I always found him true and square in everything.

  "Why, last fall, I let him go to Cincinnati alone, to do business for me, and bring home five hundred dollars. 'Tom,' says I to him, 'I trust you, because I think you're a Christian—I know you wouldn't cheat.' Tom comes back, sure enough—I knew he would. Some low fellows, they say, said to him: 'Tom, why don't you make tracks for Canada?' 'Ah, master trusted me, and I couldn't!' They told me about it. I am sorry to part with Tom, I must say. You ought to let him cover the whole balance of the debt; and you would, Haley, if you had any conscience."

  "Well, I've got just as much conscience as any man in business can afford to keep—just a little, you know," said the trader, jocularly. "Haven't you a boy that you could throw in with Tom?"

  "Hum!—none that I could well spare; to tell the truth, it's only hard necessity makes me willing to sell at all. I don't like parting with any of my hands—that's a fact."


  Here the door opened, and a small quadroon boy, between four and five years of age, entered the room. There was something in his appearance remarkably beautiful and engaging. His black hair, fine as floss-silk, hung in glossy curls about his round, dimpled face, while a pair of large dark eyes, full of fire and softness, looked out from beneath the rich, long lashes, as he peered curiously into the apartment. A certain comic air of assurance, blended with bashfulness, showed that he had been not unused to being petted and noticed by his master.

  "Hulloa, Jim Crow!" said Mr. Shelby, whistling, and snapping a bunch of raisins towards him, "pick that up, now!"

  The child scampered, with all his little strength, after the prize, while his master laughed.

  "Come here, Jim Crow," said he.

  The child came up and the master patted the curly head, and chucked him under the chin.

  "Now, Jim, show this gentleman how you can dance and sing."

  The boy commenced one of those wild songs common among the negroes, in a rich, clear voice, accom-


panying his singing with many comic evolutions of the hands, feet, and whole body, all in perfect time to the music.

  "Bravo!" said Haley, throwing him a quarter of an orange.

  "Tell you what," said he, suddenly clapping his hand on Mr. Shelby's shoulder, "fling in that chap, and I'll settle the business—I will. Come, now."

  At this moment the door was pushed gently open, and a young quadroon woman, apparently about twenty-five, entered the room.

  There needed only a glance from the child to her, to identify her as its mother. There was the same rich, full, dark eye, with its long lashes; the same ripples of silky black hair.

  "Well, Eliza?" said her master, as she stopped and looked hesitatingly at him.

  "I was looking for Harry, please, sir," and the boy bounded toward her, showing his spoils, which he had gathered in the skirt of his robe.

  "Well, take him away then," said Mr. Shelby; and hastily she withdrew, carrying the child on her arm.

  "Well, you'll let me have the boy?" said the trader; "you must own I've come down pretty handsomely for him."

  "What on earth can you want with the child?" said Shelby.

  "Why, I've got a friend that's going into this yer branch of the business—wants to buy up handsome boys to raise for the market."

  "I would rather not sell him," said Mr. Shelby, thoughtfully; "the fact is, sir, I'm a humane man, and I hate to take the boy from his mother, sir."

  "O, you do? I understand, perfectly. It is


mighty onpleasant getting on with women, sometimes. Now, what if you get the girl off for a day, or a week, or so; then the thing's done quietly—all over before she comes home."

  And the trader leaned back in his chair, and folded his arms.

  "Well," said Haley, after they had both silently picked their nuts for a season, "what do you say?"

  "I'll think the matter over, and talk with my wife. Call up this evening between six and seven, and you shall have my answer," said Mr. Shelby, and the trader bowed himself out of the apartment.


  "I'd like to have been able to kick the fellow down the steps," said he to himself, as he saw the door fairly closed, "with his impudent assurance; but he knows how much he has me at advantage. If anybody had ever said to me that I should sell Tom down south to one of those rascally traders, I should have said, 'Is thy servant a dog, that he should do this thing?' And now it must come, for aught I see. And Eliza's child, too! I know that I shall have some fuss with wife about that; and, for that matter, about Tom, too. So much for being in debt—heigho! The fellow sees his advantage, and means to push it."

  Now, it had so happened that, in approaching the door, Eliza had caught enough of the conversation to know that a trader was making offers to her master for somebody.

  She would gladly have stopped at the door to listen as she came out; but her mistress just then calling, she was obliged to hasten away.

  Still she thought she heard the trader make an offer for her boy; could she be mistaken? Her heart swelled and throbbed, and she involuntarily strained him so tight that the little fellow looked up into her face in astonishment.

  "Eliza, girl, what ails you to-day?" said her mistress, when Eliza had upset the wash-pitcher and knocked down the work-stand.

  Eliza started. "O, missis!" she said, raising her eyes; then, bursting into tears, she sat down in a chair, and began sobbing.

  "Why, Eliza child! what ails you?" said her mistress.

  "O! missis, missis," said Eliza, "there's been a trader talking with master in the parlor! I heard him."


  "Well, silly child, suppose there has."

  "O, missis, do you suppose mas'r would sell my Harry?" And the poor creature threw herself into a chair, and sobbed.

  "Sell him! No, you foolish girl! You know your master never deals with those southern traders, and never means to sell any of his servants, as long as they behave well. Why, you silly child, who do you think would want to buy your Harry? Do you think all the world are set on him as you are, you goosie? Come, cheer up, and hook my dress. There now, put my back hair up in that pretty braid you learnt the other day, and don't go listening at doors any more."


  "Well, but, missis, you never would give your consent—to—to—"

  "Nonsense, child! to be sure, I shouldn't. What do you talk so for? I would as soon have one of my own children sold. But really, Eliza, you are getting altogether too proud of that little fellow. A man can't put his nose into the door, but you think he must be coming to buy him."

  Reassured by her mistress' confident tone, Eliza proceeded nimbly and adroitly with her toilet, laughing at her own fears, as she proceeded.

  She had been brought up by her mistress, from girlhood, as a petted and indulged favorite. Safe under the protecting care of her mistress, Eliza had been married to a bright and talented young mulatto man, who was a slave on a neighboring estate, and bore the name of George Harris.

  He was possessed of a handsome person and pleasing manners, and was a general favorite. For a year or two Eliza saw her husband frequently, and there was nothing to interrupt their happiness up to the time that her husband was rudely torn from his kind employer, and brought under the iron sway of his legal owner.

  [George was then taken away from the factory, in which he had worked for some time, and was put to the meanest drudgery of the farm. He seldom had opportunity to see his wife and child.]

Uncle Tom's Cabin
Abridged for Use in Schools
Cleveland: World Publishing Company, c. 1930


  MRS. SHELBY had gone on a visit, and Eliza stood in the verandah, looking after the carriage, when a hand was laid on her shoulder. She turned, and a bright smile lighted up her fine eyes.


  "George, is it you? How you frightened me! Well; I am so glad you's come! Missis is gone to spend the afternoon; so come into my little room, and we'll have the time all to ourselves."

  Saying this, she drew him into a neat little apartment opening on the verandah, where she generally sat at her sewing, within call of her mistress.


  "How glad I am!—why don't you smile?—and look at Harry—how he grows." The boy stood shyly regarding his father through his curls, holding close to the skirts of his mother's dress. "Isn't he beautiful?" said Eliza, lifting his long curls and kissing him.

  "I wish he'd never been born!" said George, bitterly. "I wish I'd never been born myself!"

  Surprised and frightened, Eliza sat down, leaned her head on her husband's shoulder, and burst into tears.

  "George! George! how can you talk so? What dreadful thing has happened, or is going to happen? I'm sure we've been very happy, till lately."

  "So we have, dear," said George. Then drawing his child on his knee, he gazed intently on his glorious dark eyes, and passed his hands through his long curls.

  "Just like you, Eliza; and you are the handsomest woman I ever saw, and the best one I ever wish to see; but, oh, I wish I'd never seen you, nor you me!"

  "O, George, how can you!"

  "Yes, Eliza, it's all misery, misery, misery! My life is bitter as wormwood; the very life is burning out of me. I'm a poor, miserable, forlorn drudge; I shall only drag you down with me, that's all. What's the use of our trying to do anything, trying to know anything, trying to be anything? What's the use of living? I wish I was dead!"

  "O, now, dear George, that is really wicked. I know how you feel about losing your place in the factory, and you have a hard master; but pray be patient, and perhaps something—"

  "Patient!" said he, interrupting her; "haven't I been patient? Did I say a word when he came and took me away, for no earthly reason, from the place


where everybody was kind to me? I'd paid him truly every cent of my earnings; and they all say I worked well."

  "Well, it is dreadful," said Eliza; "but, after all, he is your master, you know."

  "My master! and who made him my master? That's


what I think of—what right has he to me? I'm a man as much as he is; I'm a better man than he is; I know more about business than he does; I can read better than he can; I can write a better hand and I've learned it all myself, and no thanks to him—he says he'll bring me down and humble me, and he puts me to just the hardest, meanest and dirtiest work, on purpose."

  "Oh, George—George—you frighten me! Why, I never heard you talk so; I'm afraid you'll do something dreadful. I don't wonder at your feelings, at all; but, oh, do be careful—do, do—for my sake—for Harry's!"

  "I have been careful, and I have been patient, but it's growing worse and worse—flesh and blood can't bear it any longer. Every chance he can get to insult and torment me, he takes. I thought I could do my work well, and keep on quiet, and have some time to read and learn out of work-hours; but the more he see I can do, the more he loads on."

  "Oh, dear, what shall we do?" said Eliza, mournfully.

  "It was only yesterday," said George, "as I was busy loading stones into a cart, that young Mas'r Tom stood there, slashing his whip so near the horse that the creature was frightened. I asked him to stop, as pleasant as I could; he just kept right on. I begged him again, and then he turned on me, and began striking me. I held his hand, and then he screamed and kicked and ran to his father, and told him that I was fighting him. He came in a rage, and said he'd teach me who was my master; and he tied me to a tree, and cut switches for young master, and told him that he might whip me till he was tired; and he did do it. If I don't make him remember it some time!"


The brow of the young man grew dark, and his eyes burned with an expression that made his young wife tremble. "Who made this man my master?—that's what I want to know," he said.

  "Well," said Eliza, mournfully, "I always thought that I must obey my master and mistress, or I couldn't be a Christian."

  "There is some sense in it, in your case; they have brought you up like a child—fed you, clothed you, indulged you, and taught you, so that you have a good education—that is some reason why they should


claim you. But I have been kicked and cuffed and sworn at, and at the best only let alone; and what do I owe? I've paid for all my keeping a hundred times over. I won't bear it. No, I won't!" he said, clenching his hand with a fierce frown.

  Eliza trembled, and was silent. She had never seen her husband in this mood before.

  "What are you going to do? Oh, George, don't do anything wicked; if you only trust in God, and try to do right, he'll deliver you."

  "I an't a Christian like you, Eliza; my heart's full of bitterness: I wish I could be good; but my heart burns, and can't be reconciled, anyhow. You couldn't in my place; you can't now, if I tell you all I've got to say. You don't know the whole yet."

  "What can be coming now?"

  "Well, lately Mas'r has been saying that he was a fool to let me marry off the place; that he hates Mr. Shelby and all his tribe, because they are proud, and hold their heads up above him, and that I've got proud notions from you; and he says he won't let me come here any more, and that I shall take a wife and settle down on his place. At first he only scolded and grumbled these things; but yesterday he told me that I should take Mina for a wife, and settle down in a cabin with her, or he would sell me down river."

  "Why, but you were married to me by the minister, as much as if you'd been a white man!" said Eliza, simply.

  "Don't you know a slave can't be married? There is no law in this country for that; I can't hold you for my wife if he chooses to part us. That's why I wish I'd never seen you—why I wish I'd never been born; it would have been better for us both—it would


have been better for this poor child if he had never been born. So, Eliza, my girl," said the husband; mournfully, "bear up, now, and good-by; for I'm going."

  "Going! George—going where?"

  "To Canada," said he, straightening himself up, "and when I'm there, I'll buy you—that's all the hope that's left us. You have a kind master, who won't refuse to sell you. I'll buy you and the boy—God helping me, I will!"

  "Oh, dreadful! If you should be taken?"

  "I won't be taken, Eliza—I'll die first! I'll be free, or I'll die!"

  "You won't kill yourself!"

  "No need of that; they will kill me fast enough; they never will get me down the river alive!"

  "Oh, George! for my sake, do be careful! Don't do anything wicked; go you must—but go carefully, prudently; pray God to help you."

  "Well, then, Eliza, hear my plan. Mas'r took it into his head to send me right by here, with a note to Mr. Symmes, that lives a mile past. I believe he expected I should come here to tell you what I have. It would please him, if he thought it would aggravate 'Shelby's folks,' as he calls 'em. I'm going home quite resigned, you understand, as if all was over. I've got some preparations made,—and there are those that will help me; and, in the course of a week or so, I shall be among the missing, some day. Pray for me, Eliza; perhaps the good Lord will hear you."

  "Oh! pray yourself, George, and go trusting in him; then you won't do anything wicked."

  "Well, now, good-by," said George, holding Eliza's hands, and gazing into her eyes, without moving.


They stood silent; then there were last words, and sobs, and bitter weeping—and the husband and wife were parted.

  The cabin of Uncle Tom was a small log building, close adjoining to his master's dwelling. In front it had a neat garden-patch, where, every summer, strawberries, raspberries, and a variety of fruits and vegetables, flourished under careful tending.

  Let us enter the dwelling. The evening meal at the house is over, and Aunt Chloe, who presided over its preparation as head cook, has come out into her own snug territories, to "get her ole man's supper"; therefore, doubt not that it is her you see by the fire, lifting the cover of a bake-kettle, from whence steam forth indubitable intimations of "something good." A round, black, shining face is hers, so glossy as to suggest the idea that she might have been washed over with white of eggs, like one of her own tea rusks.

  On a rough bench in the corner, a couple of woolly-headed boys, with glistening black eyes and fat shining cheeks, were busy in superintending the first walking operations of the baby.

  A table was drawn out in front of the fire, and covered with a cloth, displaying cups and saucers of a decidedly brilliant pattern. At this table was seated Uncle Tom, Mr. Shelby's best hand. He was a large, broadchested, powerfully-made man, of a full glossy black, and a face whose truly African features were characterized by an expression of grave and steady good sense, united with much kindliness and benevolence.

  He was very busily intent at this moment on a slate lying before him, on which he was carefully and slowly endeavoring to accomplish a copy of some letters, in which


operation he was overlooked by young Mas'r George, a smart, bright boy of thirteen.

  "Not that way, Uncle Tom—not that way," said he, briskly, as Uncle Tom laboriously brought up the tail of his g the wrong side out; "that makes a q, you see."

  "La sakes, now, does it?" said Uncle Tom, looking with a respectful, admiring air, as his young teacher flourishingly scrawled q's and g's innumerable for his edification; and then, taking the pencil in his big, heavy fingers, he patiently recommenced.

  [Uncle Tom was looked up to with great respect by his companions, as a sort of minister among them; and after he and his family had taken supper, a number of friends assembled in the cabin to join with him in singing and prayer.]

Uncle Tom's Cabin
Abridged for Use in Schools
Cleveland: World Publishing Company, c. 1930


  Mr. and Mrs. Shelby had retired to their apartment for the night. He was lounging in a large easy chair, looking over some letters that had come in the afternoon mail, and she was standing before her mirror, brushing out the braids and curls in which Eliza had arranged her hair. Turning to her husband, she said, carelessly.

  "By the bye, Arthur, who was that low-bred fellow?"

  "Haley is his name," said Shelby, turning himself rather uneasily in his chair, and continuing with his eyes fixed on a letter.

  "Haley! Is he a negro-trader?" said Mrs. Shelby.

  "Why, my dear, what put that into your head?" said Shelby, looking up.


  "Nothing—only Eliza came in here, after dinner, in a great worry, crying and taking on, and said you were talking with a trader, and that she heard him make an offer for her boy—the ridiculous little goose!"

  "She did, eh?" said Mr. Shelby, returning to his paper, which he seemed for a few moments quite intent upon, not perceiving that he was holding it bottom upward.

  "Well, Emily," said her husband, "the fact is that my business lies so that I shall have to sell some of my hands."

  "To that creature? Impossible! Mr. Shelby, you cannot be serious."

  "I'm sorry to say that I am," said Mr. Shelby. "I've agreed to sell Tom."

  "What! our Tom?—that good, faithful creature:—been your faithful servant from a boy! Oh, Mr. Shelby!—and you have promised him his freedom, too—you and I have spoken to him a hundred times of it. Well, I can believe anything now; I can believe now that you could sell little Harry, poor Eliza's only child!" said Mrs. Shelby, in a tone between grief and indignation.

  "Well, since you must know all, it is so. I have agreed to sell Tom and Harry both; and I don't know why I am to be rated as if I were a monster for doing what every one does every day."

  "But why, of all others, choose these?" said Mrs. Shelby. "Why sell them, of all on the place, if you must sell at all? Tom is a noble-hearted, faithful fellow, if he is black. I do believe, Mr. Shelby, that if he were put to it, he would lay down his life for you."

  "I know it, I dare say; but what's the use of all this? I can't help myself."


  "Why not make a pecuniary sacrifice? I'm willing to bear my part of the inconvenience. Oh, Mr. Shelby, I have tried—tried most faithfully, as a Christian woman should, to do my duty to these poor, simple, dependent creatures. I have cared for them, instructed them, watched over them, and known all their little cares and joys for years; and how can I ever hold up my head again among them, if, for the sake of a little paltry gain, we sell such a faithful, excellent, confiding creature as poor Tom, and tear from him in a moment all we have taught him to love


and value? I have talked with Eliza about her boy—her duty to him as a Christian mother, to watch over him, pray for him, and bring him up in a Christian way; and now what can I say, if you tear him away, and sell him, soul and body, to a profane, unprincipled man, just to save a little money?"

  "I'm sorry you feel so about it, Emily—indeed I am," said Mr. Shelby; "but I tell you now, solemnly, it's of no use—I can't help myself. I didn't mean to tell you this, Emily; but, in plain words, there is no choice between selling these two and selling everything. Either they must go, or all must. Haley has come into possession of a mortgage, which, if I don't clear off with him directly, will take everything before it. I've raked and scraped, and borrowed, and all but begged, and the price of these two was needed to make up the balance, and I had to give them up. Haley fancied the child; he agreed to settle the matter that way, and no other. I was in his power, and had to do it. If you feel so to have them sold, would it be any better to have all sold?"

  Mrs. Shelby stood like one stricken. Finally, turning to her toilet, she rested her face in her hands, and gave a sort of groan.

  "This is God's curse on slavery!—a bitter, bitter, most accursed thing!—a curse to the master and a curse to the slave!"

  "My dear, I trust you see the necessity of the thing, and you see that I have done the very best that circumstances would allow."

  "Oh, yes, yes!" said Mrs. Shelby, hurriedly. "I haven't any jewelry of any amount," she added, thoughtfully; "but would not this watch do something?—it was an expensive one when it was bought.


If I could only, at least, save Eliza's child, I would sacrifice anything I have."

  "I'm sorry, very sorry, Emily," said Mr. Shelby, "I'm sorry this takes hold of you so; but it will do no good. The fact is, Emily, the thing's done; the bills of sale are already signed, and in Haley's hands; and you must be thankful it is no worse."

  "Is he so hard, then?"

  "Why, not a cruel man, exactly; but a man of leather—a man alive to nothing but trade and profit—cool, and unhesitating, and unrelenting, as death and the grave."

  "And this wretch owns that good, faithful Tom, and Eliza's child!"

  "Well, my dear, the fact is that this goes rather hard with me—it's a thing I hate to think of—Haley wants to drive matters, and take possession to-morrow. I'm going to get out my horse bright and early, and be off. I can't see Tom, that's a fact; and you had better arrange a drive somewhere, and carry Eliza off. Let the thing be done when she is out of sight."

  "No, no," said Mrs. Shelby; "I'll be in no sense accomplice or help in this cruel business. I'll go and see poor old Tom, God help him, in his distress! They shall see, at any rate, that their mistress can feel for and with them. As to Eliza, I dare not think about it. What have we done, that this cruel necessity should come on us?"

  There was one listener to this conversation whom Mr. and Mrs. Shelby little suspected.

  Communicating with their apartment was a large closet, opening by a door into the outer passage. When Mrs. Shelby had dismissed Eliza for the night, her feverish and excited mind had suggested the idea


of this closet; and she had hidden herself there, and, with her ear pressed close against the crack of the door, had lost not a word of the conversation.

  When the voices died into silence, she rose and crept stealthily away.

  She moved cautiously along the entry, paused one moment at her mistress' door, and raised her hands in mute appeal to Heaven, and then turned and glided into her own room. It was a quiet, neat apartment, on the same floor with her mistress.

  There on the bed, lay her slumbering boy, his long curls falling negligently around his unconscious face, his rosy mouth half open, his little fat hands thrown out over the bed-clothes, and a smile spread like a sunbeam over his whole face.

  "Poor boy! poor fellow!" said Eliza; "they have sold you! but your mother will save you yet!"

  No tear dropped over that pillow. She took a piece of paper and a pencil, and wrote hastily:

  "Oh, missis! dear missis! don't think me ungrateful—don't think hard of me, anyway—I heard all you and master said tonight. I am going to try to save my boy—you will not blame me! God bless and reward you for all your kindness."

  Hastily folding and directing this, she went to a drawer and made up a little package of clothing for her boy, which she tied with a handkerchief firmly round her waist.

  It was some trouble to arouse the little sleeper; but, after some effort, he sat up, and was playing with his bird, while his mother was putting on her bonnet and shawl.

  "Where are you going, mother?" said he, as she drew near the bed, with his little coat and cap.


  "Hush, Harry," she said; "mustn't speak loud, or they will hear us. A wicked man was coming to take little Harry away from his mother, and carry him 'way off in the dark; but mother won't let him—she's going to put on her little boy's cap and coat, and run off with him, so the ugly man can't catch him."

  Saying these words, she had tied and buttoned on the child's simple outfit, and, taking him in her arms, she whispered to him to be very still; and, opening a door in her room which led into the outer verandah, she glided noiselessly out.

  It was a sparkling, frosty, starlight night, and the mother wrapped the shawl close round her child, as, perfectly quiet with vague terror, he clung round her neck.

  A few minutes brought them to the window of Uncle Tom's cottage, and Eliza, stopping, tapped lightly on the window-pane.

Uncle Tom's Cabin
Abridged for Use in Schools
Cleveland: World Publishing Company, c. 1930


  ALTHOUGH it was now between twelve and one o'clock, Tom and his worthy helpmeet were not yet asleep.

  "What's that?" said Aunt Chloe, starting up, and hastily drawing the curtain. "My sakes alive, if it an't Lizzy! Get on your clothes, old man, quick! I'm gwine (going) to open the door."

  And suiting the action to the word, the door flew open, and the light of the tallow candle, which Tom had hastily lighted, fell on the haggard face and dark, wild eyes of the fugitive.

  "Bless you! What's come over ye?"

  "I'm running away, Uncle Tom and Aunt Chloe—carrying off my child—Master sold him!"


  "Sold him?" echoed both, lifting up their hands in dismay.

  "Yes, sold him!" said Eliza, firmly; "I crept into the closet by mistress' door to-night, and I heard master tell missis that he had sold my Harry, and you, Uncle Tom, both to a trader, and that he was going off this morning on his horse, and that the man was to take possession to-day."

  Tom had stood during this speech with his hands raised, and his eyes dilated, like a man in a dream. Slowly and gradually, as its meaning came over him, he collapsed, rather than seated himself, on his old chair, and sunk his head down upon his knees.

  "The good Lord have pity on us!" said Aunt Chloe. "Oh, it don't seem as if it was true! What has he done, that mas'r should sell him?"

  "He hasn't done anything—it isn't for that. Master don't want to sell, and missis—she's always good. I heard her plead and beg for us; but he told her 'twas no use—that he was in this man's debt, and that this man had got the power over him—and that if he didn't pay him off clear, it would end in his having to sell the place and all the people, and move off.

  "Master said he was sorry; but, oh, missis! you ought to have heard her talk! I'm a wicked girl to leave her so; but then I can't help it. She said, herself one soul was worth more than the world; and this boy has a soul, and if I let him be carried off, who knows what'll become of it?"

  "Well, old man!" said Aunt Chloe, "why don't you go, too? There's time; be off with Lizzy—you've got a pass to come and go any time. Come, bustle up, and I'll get your things together."

  Tom slowly raised his head, and looked sorrowfully but quietly around, and said:


  "No, no; I an't going. Let Eliza go—it's her right. I wouldn't be the one to say no. 'Tan't in natur for her to stay; but you heard what she said! If I must be sold, or all the people on the place, and everything go to rack, why, let me be sold. Mas'r always found me on the spot—he always will. I never have broke trust, nor used my pass contrary to my word, and I never will. It's better for me alone to go than to break up the place and sell all. Mas'r an't to blame, Chloe, and he'll take care of you and the poor—"

  Here he turned to the rough trundle bed full of little


woolly heads, and broke fairly down. He leaned over the back of the chair, and covered his face with his large hands. Sobs, heavy, hoarse and loud, shook the chair, and great tears fell through his fingers on the floor!

  "And now," said Eliza, as she stood in the door, "I saw my husband only this afternoon, and I little knew then what was to come. He told me, to-day, that he was going to run away. Do try, if you can, to get word to him. Tell him how I went, and why I went; and tell him I'm going to try and find Canada. You must give my love to him, and tell him, if I never see him again,—" she turned away, and stood with her back to them for a moment, and then added, in a husky voice, "tell him to be as good as he can, and try and meet me in the kingdom of heaven."

  A few last words and tears, a few simple adieus and blessings, and clasping her wondering and affrighted child in her arms, she glided noiselessly away.

  [There was great excitement amongst Mr. Shelby's slaves as soon as Eliza's flight was discovered. Haley, the trader who had bought the child, was furious with rage.

  Two of the men, Sam and Andy, were ordered to accompany Haley in pursuit, on horseback. By various tricks and pretenses they wasted as much time as possible before starting, and then allowed Haley to go by the wrong road, for they hoped by such means to give Eliza time to get to the river which they expected she would try to cross.]

  It is impossible to conceive of a human creature more wholly desolate and forlorn than Eliza, when she turned her footsteps from Uncle Tom's cabin.

  Her boy was old enough to have walked by her side, but now the bare thought of putting him out of her arms


made her shudder, and she strained him to her bosom, as she went rapidly forward.

  The frosty ground creaked beneath her feet, and she trembled at the sound; every quaking leaf and fluttering shadow sent the blood backward to her heart, and quickened her footsteps.


  The child clung quietly round her neck, only asking as he found himself sinking to sleep:

  "Mother, I don't need to keep awake, do I?"

  "No, my darling; sleep, if you want to."

  "But, mother, if I do get asleep, you won't let him get me?"

  "No! so may God help me!" said his mother, with a paler cheek, and a brighter light in her large dark eyes.

  "You're sure, an't you, mother?"

  "Yes, sure!" said the mother, in a voice that startled herself; for it seemed to her to come from a spirit within that was no part of her; and the boy dropped his little weary head on her shoulder, and was soon asleep.

  The boundaries of the farm, the grove, the wood-lot, passed by her dizzily, as she walked on; and still she went, leaving one familiar object after another, slacking not, pausing not, till reddening daylight found her many a long mile from all traces of any familiar objects upon the open highway.

  She had often been with her mistress to visit some connections, in the little village of T——, not far from the Ohio river, and knew the road well. To go thither, to escape across the Ohio river, were the first hurried outlines of her plan of escape; beyond that, she could only hope in God.

  When horses and vehicles began to move along the highway, she became aware that her headlong pace and distracted air might bring on her remark and suspicion. She therefore put the boy on the ground, and, adjusting her dress and bonnet, walked on at rapid a pace. In her little bundle she had provided a store of cakes and apples, which she used as expedi-


ents for quickening the speed of the child, rolling the apple some yards before them, when the boy would run with all his might after it.

  After a while, they came to a thick patch of woodland, through which murmured a clear brook. As the child complained of hunger and thirst, she climbed over the fence with him; and, sitting down behind a large rock, which concealed them from the road, she gave him a breakfast out of her little package. The boy wondered and grieved that she could not eat; and when, putting his arms round her neck, he tried to wedge some of his cake into her mouth, it seemed to her that the rising in her throat would choke her.

  "No, no, Harry, darling! mother can't eat till you are safe! We must go on—on—till we come to the river!" And she hurried again into the road.

  An hour before sunset, she entered the village of T——, by the Ohio river, weary and foot-sore, but still strong in heart.

  It was now early spring, and the river was swollen; great cakes of floating ice were swinging heavily to and fro in the turbid waters, filling up the whole river, and extending almost to the Kentucky shore.

  Eliza stood for a moment contemplating this unfavorable aspect of things, which she saw at once must prevent the usual ferry-boat from running, and then turned into a small public-house on the bank, to make a few inquiries.

  The hostess stopped as Eliza's sweet and plaintive voice arrested her.

  "What is it?" she said.

  "Isn't there any ferry or boat that takes people over to B——y, now?" she said.

  "No, indeed!" said the woman; "the boat has stopped running."


  Eliza's look of dismay and disappointment struck the woman, and she said inquiringly—

  "Maybe you're wanting to get over?—anybody sick? Ye seem mighty anxious?"

  "I've got a child that's very dangerous," said Eliza. "I never heard of it till last night, and I've walked quite a piece to-day, in hopes to get to the ferry."

  "Well, now, that's unlucky," said the woman, whose motherly sympathies were much aroused. "There's a man that's going over with some truck this evening, if he durs' to; he'll be in here to supper to-night, so you'd better set down and wait. That's a sweet little fellow," added the woman, offering him a cake.

  But the child, wholly exhausted, cried with weariness.

  "Poor fellow! he isn't used to walking, and I've hurried him on so," said Eliza.

  "Well, take him into this room," said the woman, opening into a small bedroom, where stood a comfortable bed. Eliza laid the weary boy upon it, and held his hands in hers till he was fast asleep. For her there was no rest. As a fire in her bones, the thought of the pursuer urged her on; and she gazed with longing eyes on the sullen, surging waters that lay between her and liberty.

  Here we must take our leave of her for the present, to follow the course of her pursuers.

  In consequence of all the various delays it was about three quarters of an hour after Eliza had laid her child to sleep in the village tavern that the party came riding into the same place. Eliza was standing by the window, looking out in another direction, when Sam's quick eye caught a glimpse of her. Haley and Andy were two yards behind.



  At this crisis, Sam contrived to have his hat blown off, and uttered a loud ejaculation, which startled her at once; she drew suddenly back; the whole train swept by the window, round to the front door.

  A thousand lives seemed to be concentrated in that one moment to Eliza. Her room opened by a side door to the river. She caught her child, and sprang down the steps towards it. The trader caught a full glimpse of her just as she was disappearing down the bank; and throwing himself from his horse, and calling loudly on Sam and Andy, he was after her like a hound after a deer.

  In that dizzy moment her feet to her scarce seemed to touch the ground, and a moment brought her to the water's edge. Right on behind they came; and, nerved with strength such as God gives only to the desperate, with one wild cry and flying leap, she vaulted sheer over the turbid current by the shore, on to the raft of ice beyond.

  It was a desperate leap—impossible to anything but madness and despair; and Haley, Sam, and Andy, instinctively cried out, and lifted up their hands as she did it.

  The huge green fragment of ice on which she alighted pitched and creaked as her weight came on it; but she staid there not a moment. With wild cries and desperate energy she leaped to another and still another cake; stumbling—leaping—slipping—springing upwards again!

  Her shoes are gone—her stockings cut from her feet—while blood marked every step; but she saw nothing, felt nothing, till dimly, as in a dream, she saw the Ohio side, and a man helping her up the bank.


  "Yer a brave gal, now, whoever ye ar!" said the man.

  Eliza recognized the voice and face for a man who owned a farm not far from her old home.

  "O Mr. Symmes!—save me—do save me—do hide me!" said Elia.

  "Why, what's this?" said the man.

  "My child!—this boy—he'd sold him! There is his mas'r," said she, pointing to the Kentucky shore. "O, Mr. Symmes, you've got a little boy!"

  "So I have," said the man, as he roughly, but kindly, drew her up the steep bank.

  When they had gained the top of the bank, the man paused.

  "I'd be glad to do something for ye," said he; "but then there's nowhar I could take ye. The best I can do is to tell ye to go thar," said he, pointing to a large white house which stood by itself, off the main street of the village. "Go thar; they're kind folks. They'll help you,—they're up to all that sort o' thing."

  "The Lord bless you!" said Eliza, earnestly.

  "No 'casion, no 'casion in the world," said the man. "What I've done's of no 'count."

  "And, oh, surely, sir, you won't tell any one!"

  The woman folded her child to her bosom, and walked firmly and swiftly away. The man stood and looked after her.

  [Haley was greatly disappointed and enraged. He bargained with two men that they should attempt to capture Eliza. They were to sell her as their reward, and to hand little Harry over to Haley.

  Meanwhile Sam and Andy returned to tell the news to Mr. and Mrs. Shelby, thankful that Eliza had baffled her cruel pursuer.]

Uncle Tom's Cabin
Abridged for Use in Schools
Cleveland: World Publishing Company, c. 1930


  [SENATOR BIRD and his wife sat at home discussing the law which forbade persons to give food or shelter to a runaway slave, and Mrs. Bird declared that she would disregard it, and would aid any homeless creature if she had the opportunity.]

  [Said Mrs. Bird:] "I tell you folks don't run away when they are happy; and when they do run, poor creatures! they suffer enough with cold and hunger, and fear, without everybody's turning against them; and, law or no law, I never will."

  "Mary! Mary! My dear, let me reason with you."

  "I hate reasoning, John! You don't believe it's right any more than I do; and you wouldn't do it any sooner than I."

  At this critical juncture, old Cudjoe, the black man-of-all-work, put his head in at the door, and wished "missis would come into the kitchen;" and our senator looked after his little wife with a whimsical mixture of amusement and vexation, and, seating himself in the arm-chair, began to read the papers.

  After a moment, his wife's voice was heard at the door, in a quick, earnest tone—"John! John! I do wish you'd come here, a moment."

  He laid down his paper, and went into the kitchen, and started, quite amazed at the sight that presented itself. A young and slender woman, with garments torn and frozen, with one shoe gone, and the stocking torn away from the cut and bleeding foot, was laid back in a deadly swoon upon two chairs.

  He drew his breath short, and stood in silence. His wife, and their only colored domestic, old Aunt Dinah, were busily engaged in restorative measures; while old Cudjoe had got the boy on his knee, and was busy



pulling off his shoes and stockings, and chafing his little cold feet.

  "Sure, now, if she an't a sight to behold!" said old Dinah, compassionately. "She asked if she couldn't warm herself here a spell; and I was just a-askin' her where she came from, and she fainted right down."

  "Poor creature!" said Mrs. Bird, compassionately, as the woman slowly unclosed her large, dark eyes, and looked vacantly at her. Suddenly an expression of agony crossed her face, and she sprang up, saying, "Oh, my Harry! Have they got him?"

  The boy, at this, jumped from Cudjoe's knee, and running to her side, put up his arms. "Oh, he's here—he's here!" she exclaimed.

  "O, ma'am!" said she, wildly, to Mrs. Bird, "do protect us! don't let them get him!"

  "Nobody shall hurt you here, poor woman," said Mrs. Bird, encouragingly. "You are safe; don't be afraid."

  "God bless you!" said the woman, covering her face and sobbing; while the little boy, seeing her crying, tried to get into her lap.

  With many gentle and womanly offices, which none knew better how to render than Mrs. Bird, the poor woman was in time rendered more calm. A temporary bed was provided for her on the settee, near the fire; and, after a short time, she fell into a heavy slumber, with the child, who seemed no less weary, soundly sleeping on her arm.

  Mr. and Mrs. Bird had gone back to the parlor, where, strange as it may appear, no reference was made, on either side, to the preceding conversation; but Mrs. Bird busied herself with her knitting-work, and Mr. Bird pretended to be reading the paper.


  "I wonder who and what she is!" said Mr. Bird, at last, as he laid it down.

  "When she wakes up and feels a little rested, we will see," said Mrs. Bird.

  "I say, wife!" said Mr. Bird after musing in silence over his newspaper.

  "Well, dear!"

  "She couldn't wear one of your gowns, could she, by any letting down, or such matter? She seems to be rather larger than you are."

  A quite perceptible smile glimmered on Mrs. Bird's face, as she answered, "We'll see."

  Another pause, and Mr. Bird again broke out,

  "I say, wife!"

  "Well—what now?"

  "Why, there's that old cloak that you keep on purpose to put over me when I take my afternoon's nap; you might as well give her that—she needs clothes."

  At this instant, Dinah looked in to say that the woman was awake, and wanted to see missis.

  Mr. and Mrs. Bird went into the kitchen, followed by the two eldest boys, the smaller fry having, by this time, been safely disposed of in bed.

  The woman was now sitting up on the settee by the fire. She was looking steadily into the blaze, with a calm, heart-broken expression, very different from her former agitated wildness.

  "Did you want me?" said Mrs. Bird, in gentle tones. "I hope you feel better now, poor woman. Tell me where you came from, and what you want."

  "I came from Kentucky," said the woman.

  "When?" said Mr. Bird, taking up the interogatory.


  "How did you come?"


  "I crossed on the ice."

  "Crossed on the ice?" said every one present.

  "Yes," said the woman, slowly, "I did. God helping me, I crossed on the ice; for they were behind me—right behind—and there was no other way!"

  "Law, Missis," said Cudjoe, "the ice is all in broken-up blocks, a-swinging up and down in the water!"

  "I know it was—I know it!" said she, wildly; "but I did it! I wouldn't have thought I could—I didn't think I should get over, but I didn't care! I could but die, if I didn't. The Lord helped me; nobody knows how much the Lord can help 'em, till they try," said the woman, with a flashing eye.

  "Were you a slave?" said Mr. Bird.

  "Yes, sir; I belonged to a man in Kentucky."

  "Was he unkind to you?"

  "No, sir; he was a good master."

  "And was your mistress unkind to you?"

  "No, sir—no! my mistress was always good to me."

  "What could induce you to leave a good home, then, and run away, and go through such dangers?"

  The woman looked up at Mrs. Bird, with a keen, scrutinizing glance, and it did not escape her that she was dressed in deep mourning.

  "Ma'am," she said, suddenly, "have you ever lost a child?"

  The question was unexpected, and it was thrust on a new wound; for it was only a month since a darling child of the family had been laid in the grave.

  Mr. Bird turned around and walked to the window, and Mrs. Bird burst into tears; but, recovering her voice, she said: "Why do you ask that? I have lost a little one."


  "Then you will feel for me. I have lost two, one after another—left 'em buried there when I came away; and I had only this one left. I never slept a night without him; he was all I had. He was my comfort and pride, day and night; and, ma'am, they were going to take him away from me,—to sell him,—sell him down south, ma'am, to go all alone,—a baby that had never been away from his mother in his life! I couldn't stand it, ma'am. I knew I never should be good for anything, if they did; and when I knew the papers were signed, and he was sold, I took him and came off in the night; and they chased me,—the man that bought him, and some of mas'r's folks—and they were coming down right behind me, and I heard 'em. I jumped right on to the ice; and how I got across, I don't know; but first I knew, a man was helping me up the bank."

  Mrs. Bird had her face fairly hidden in her pocket-handkerchief; and old Dinah, with tears streaming down her black, honest face, was ejaculating, "Lord have mercy on us!" Our senator was a statesman, and of course could not be expected to cry, like other mortals; and so he turned his back to the company, and looked out of the window, and seemed particularly busy in clearing his throat.

  "How came you to tell me you had a kind master?" he suddenly exclaimed.

  "Because he was a kind master; I'll say that of him, any way;—and my mistress was kind; but they couldn't help themselves. They were owing money; and there was some way, I can't tell how, that a man had a hold on them, and they were obliged to give him his will. I knew 't was no use of my trying to live, if they did it; for 't 'pears like this child is all I have."


  "Have you no husband?"

  "Yes, but he belongs to another man. His master is real hard to him, and won't let him come to see me, hardly ever; and he's grown harder and harder upon us, and he threatens to sell him down south;—it's like I'll never see him again!"

  "And where do you mean to go, my poor woman?" said Mrs. Bird.

  "To Canada, if I only knew where that was. Is it very far off, is Canada?" said she, looking up, with a simple, confiding air, to Mrs. Bird's face.

  "Poor thing!" said Mrs. Bird, involuntarily.

  "Is 't a very great way off, think?" said the woman, earnestly.

  "Much further than you think, poor child!" said Mrs. Bird; "but we will try to think what can be done for you. Here, Dinah, make her up a bed in your own room, close by the kitchen, and I'll think what to do for her in the morning. Meanwhile, never fear, poor woman. Put your trust in God; he will protect you."

  Mrs. Bird and her husband reentered the parlor. She sat down in her little rocking-chair before the fire, swaying thoughtfully to and fro. Mr. Bird strode up and down the room, grumbling to himself, "Pish! pshaw! awkward business!" At length, striding up to his wife, he said, "I say, wife, she'll have to get away from here, this very night. That fellow will be down on the scent bright and early to-morrow morning."

  "To-night! How is it possible?—where to?"

  "Well, I know pretty well where to," said the senator, beginning to put on his boots.

  "It's an awkward ugly business," said he, at last, beginning to tug at his boot-straps again, "and that's


a fact!" After one boot was fairly on, the senator sat with the other in his hand, profoundly studying the carpet. "It will have to be done, though, for aught I see,—hang it all!" and he drew the other boot anxiously on, and looked out of the window.

  [Mr. Bird determined to drive Eliza, by night, to the house of his friend Van Trompe, a kind-hearted man with whom she would be safe. The roads were in bad condition, and the journey was very dangerous and fatiguing.]

Uncle Tom's Cabin
Abridged for Use in Schools
Cleveland: World Publishing Company, c. 1930


  THE February morning looked gray and drizzling through the window of Uncle Tom's cabin. It looked on downcast faces, the images of mournful hearts. The little table stood out before the fire, covered with an ironing-cloth; a coarse but clean shirt or two, fresh from the iron, hung on the back of a chair by the fire, and Aunt Chloe had another spread out before her on the table. Carefully she rubbed and ironed every fold and every hem, every now and then raising her hand to her face to wipe off the tears that were coursing down her cheeks.

  Tom sat by, with his Testament open on his knee, and his head leaning upon his hand; but neither spoke. It was yet early, and the children lay all asleep together in their little rude trundle-bed.

  Tom got up and walked silently to look at his children.

  "It's the last time," he said.

  Aunt Chloe did not answer, only rubbed away over and over on the coarse shirt, already as smooth as hands could make it; and finally setting her iron sud-


denly down with a despairing plunge, she sat down to the table, and "lifted up her voice and wept."

  "S'pose we must be resigned; but oh Lord! how ken I? If I know'd anything whar you 's goin', or how they'd sarve you!"

  "There'll be the same God there, Chloe, that there is here. I'm in the Lord's hands," said Tom; "nothin' can go no furder than he lets it;—and thar's one thing I can thank him for. It's me that's sold and going down, and not you nur the chil'en. Here you're safe; what comes will come only on me; and the Lord, he'll help me—I know he will."

  Ah, brave, manly heart, smothering thine own sorrow, to comfort thy beloved ones! Tom spoke with a thick utterance, and with a bitter choking in his throat—but he spoke brave and strong.

  "Let's think on our marcies!" he added, tremulously, as if he was quite sure he needed to think on them very hard indeed.

* * * * * *

  The simple morning meal now smoked on the table, for Mrs. Shelby had excused Aunt Chloe's attendance at the great house that morning. The poor soul had expended all her little energies on this farewell feast—had killed and dressed her choicest chicken, and prepared her corn-cake.

  "Now," said Aunt Chloe, bustling about after breakfast, "I must put up yer clothes. Jest like as not, he'll take 'em all away. I know thar ways! Wal, now, yer flannels for rhumatis is in this corner; so be careful, 'cause there won't nobody make ye no more. Then here's yer old shirts, and these yer is new ones. I toed off these yer stockings last night, and put de ball in 'em to mend with. But who'll ever


mend for ye?" and Aunt Chloe, again overcome, laid her head on the box side, and sobbed.

  Here one of the boys called out, "Thar's missis acomin' in!"

  "She can't do no good; what's she coming for?" said Aunt Chloe.

  Mrs. Shelby entered. Aunt Chloe set a chair for her in a manner decidedly gruff and crusty. She did not seem to notice either the action or the manner. She looked pale and anxious.

  "Tom," she said, "I come to—" and stopping suddenly, and regarding the silent group, she sat down


in the chair, and, covering her face with her handkerchief, began to sob.

  "Lor, now, Missis, don't—don't!" said Aunt Chloe, bursting out in her turn; and for a few moments they all wept in company.

  "My good fellow," said Mrs. Shelby, "I can't give you anything to do you any good. If I give you money, it will only be taken from you. But I tell you solemnly, and before God, that I will keep trace of you, and bring you back as soon as I can command the money, and till then, trust in God!"

  Here the boys called out that Mas'r Haley was coming, and then an unceremonious kick pushed open the door. Haley stood there in very ill humor, having ridden hard the night before, and being not at all pacified by his ill success in recapturing his prey.

  "Come," said he, "ye nigger, ye'r ready? Servant, ma'am!" said he, taking off his hat, as he saw Mrs. Shelby.

  Aunt Chloe shut and corded the box, and, getting up, looked gruffly on the trader, her tears seeming suddenly turned to sparks of fire.

  Tom rose up meekly, to follow his new master, and raised up his heavy box on his shoulder. His wife took the baby in her arms to go with him to the wagon, and the children, still crying, trailed on behind.

  Mrs. Shelby, walking up to the trader, detained him for a few moments, talking with him in an earnest manner, and while she was thus talking, the whole family party proceeded to a wagon that stood ready harnessed at the door. A crowd of all the old and young hands on the place stood gathered around it, to bid farewell to their old associate. Tom had been


looked up to, both as a head servant and a Christian teacher, by all the place, and there was much honest sympathy and grief about him, particularly among the women.

  "Get in!" said Haley to Tom, as he strode through the crowd of servants, who looked at him with lowering brows.

  Tom got in, and Haley, drawing out from under the wagon-seat a heavy pair of shackles, made them fast around each ankle.

  A smothered groan of indignation ran through the whole circle, and Mrs. Shelby spoke from the verandah: "Mr. Haley, I assure you that precaution is entirely unnecessary."

  "Don' know, ma'am; I've lost one five hundred dollars from this yer place, and I can't afford to run no more risks."

  "What else could she 'spect on him?" said Aunt Chloe indignantly, while the two boys, who now seemed to comprehend at once their father's destiny, clung to her gown, sobbing and groaning vehemently.

  "I'm sorry," said Tom, "that Mas'r George happened to be away."

  George had gone to spend two or three days with a companion on a neighboring estate, and having departed early in the morning, before Tom's misfortune had been made public, had left without hearing of it.

  "Give my love to Mas'r George," he said, earnestly.

  Haley whipped up the horse, and, with a steady, mournful look, fixed to the last on the old place, Tom was whirled away.

  And here, for the present, we take our leave of Tom, to pursue the fortunes of other characters in our story.

Uncle Tom's Cabin
Abridged for Use in Schools
Cleveland: World Publishing Company, c. 1930


  A QUIET scene now rises before us. A large, roomy, neatly-painted kitchen, its yellow floor glossy and smooth, and without a particle of dust; glossy green wood chairs, old and firm; a small flag-bottomed rocking-chair, and in the chair, gently swaying back and forward, her eyes bent on some fine sewing, sat our old friend Eliza. Yes, there she is, paler and thinner than in her Kentucky home, with a world of quiet sorrow lying under the shadow of her long eyelashes, and marking the outline of her gentle mouth!

  By her side sat a woman with a bright tin pan in her lap, into which she was carefully sorting some dried peaches. She might be fifty-five or sixty; but hers was one of those faces that time seems to touch only to brighten and adorn. Her hair, partially silvered by age, was parted smoothly back from a high placid forehead, and beneath shone a large pair of clear, honest, loving brown eyes; you only needed to look straight into them, to feel that you saw to the bottom of a heart as good and true as ever throbbed in woman's bosom.

  "And so thee still thinks of going to Canada, Eliza?" she said, as she was quietly looking over her peaches.

  "Yes, ma'am," said Eliza, firmly. "I must go onward. I dare not stop."

  "And what'll thee do, when thee gets there? Thee must think about that, my daughter."

  "My daughter," came naturally from the lips of Rachel Halliday, for hers was just the face and form that made "mother" seem the most natural word in the world.


  Eliza's hands trembled, and some tears fell on her fine work; but she answered, firmly—

  "I shall do—anything I can find. I hope I can find something."

  "Thee knows thee can stay here as long as thee pleases," said Rachel.

  "Oh, thank you," said Eliza, "but"—she pointed to Harry—"I can't sleep nights; I can't rest. Last night I dreamed I saw that man coming into the yard," she said, shuddering.

  "Poor child!" said Rachel, wiping her eyes; "but thee mustn't feel so. The Lord hath ordered it so


that never hath a fugitive been stolen from our village. I trust thine will not be the first."

  The door here opened, and a short, round, woman stood at the door, with a cheery, blooming face, like a ripe apple.

  "Ruth Stedman," said Rachel, coming joyfully forward; "how is thee, Ruth?" she said, heartily taking both her hands.

  "Nicely," said Ruth, taking off her little drab bonnet.

  "Ruth, this friend is Eliza Harris; and this is the little boy I told thee of."

  "I am glad to see thee, Eliza—very," said Ruth, shaking hands, as if Eliza were an old friend she had long been expecting; "and this is thy dear boy—I brought a cake for him," she said, holding out a little heart to the boy, who came up, gazing through his curls, and accepted it shyly.

  Simeon Halliday, a tall, straight, muscular man, in drab coat and pantaloons, and broad-brimmed hat, now entered.

  "How is thee, Ruth?" he said, warmly, as he spread his broad open hand for her little fat palm; "and how is John?"

  "O! John is well, and all the rest of our folks," said Ruth, cheerily.

  "Any news, father?" said Rachel, as she was putting her biscuits into the oven.

  "Peter Stebbins told me that they should be along to-night, with friends," said Simeon, significantly, as he was washing his hands at a neat sink, in a little back porch.

  "Indeed!" said Rachel, looking thoughtfully, and glancing at Eliza.


  "Did thee say thy name was Harris?" said Simeon to Eliza, as he re-entered.

  Rachel glanced quickly at her husband, as Eliza tremulously answered "yes;" her fears, ever uppermost, suggested that possibly there might be advertisements out for her.

  "Mother," said Simeon, standing in the porch, and calling Rachel out.

  "What does thee want, father?" said Rachel, rubbing her floury hands, as she went into the porch.

  "This child's husband is in the settlement, and will be here to-night," said Simeon.

  "Now, thee doesn't say that, father?" said Rachel, all her face radiant with joy.

  "It's really true. Peter was down yesterday, with the wagon, to the other stand, and there he found an old woman and two men, and one said his name was George Harris; and, from what he told of his history, I am certain who he is. He is a bright, likely fellow, too. Shall we tell her now?" said Simeon.

  "Let's tell Ruth," said Rachel. "Here, Ruth!—come here."

  Ruth laid down her knitting-work, and was in the back porch in a moment.

  "Ruth, what does thee think?" said Rachel. "Father says Eliza's husband is in the last company, and will be here to-night."

  A burst of joy from the little Quakeress interrupted the speech. She gave such a bound from the floor, as she clapped her little hands, that two stray curls fell from under her Quaker cap, and lay brightly on her white neckerchief.

  Rachel came out into the kitchen, where Eliza was sewing, and opening the door of a small bedroom,


said gently, "Come in here with me, my daughter; I have news to tell thee."

  The blood flushed in Eliza's pale face; she rose, trembling with nervous anxiety, and looked toward her boy.

  "No, no," said little Ruth, darting up, and seizing her hands. "Never thee fear; it's good news, Eliza—go in, go in!" And she gently pushed her to the door which closed after her; and then, turning round, she caught little Harry in her arms, and began kissing him.

  "Thee'll see thy father, little one. Does thee know it? Thy father is coming," she said, over and over again, as the boy looked wonderingly at her.

  Meanwhile, within the door, another scene was going on. Rachel Halliday drew Eliza toward her, and said, "The Lord hath had mercy on thee, daughter; thy husband hath escaped from the house of bondage."

  The blood flushed to Eliza's cheek in a sudden glow, and went back to her heart with as sudden a rush. She sat down, pale and faint.

  "Have courage, child," said Rachel, laying her hand on her head. "He is among friends who will bring him here to-night."

  "To-night!" Eliza repeated, "to-night!" The words lost all meaning to her; her head was dreamy and confused; all was mist for a moment.

  When she awoke, she found herself snugly tucked up on the bed, with a blanket over her, and little Ruth rubbing her hands with camphor, and as she lay, with her large, dark eyes open, she followed, as in a quiet dream, the motions of those about her. She saw the door open into the other room; saw the supper-table, with its snowy cloth; heard the dreamy murmur of


the singing teakettle; saw Ruth tripping backward and forward, with plates of cake and saucers of preserves, and ever and anon stopping to put a cake into Harry's hand, or pat his head, or twine his long curls round her snowy fingers.

  Eliza slept, as she had not slept before, since the fearful midnight hour when she had taken her child and fled through the frosty starlight.

  She dreamed of a beautiful country—a land, it seemed to her, of rest, green shores, pleasant islands, and beautifully glittering water; and there, in a house—which kind voices told her was a home—she saw her boy playing, a free and happy child. She heard her husband's footsteps; she felt him coming nearer; his arms were around her; his tears falling on her face, and she awoke! It was no dream. The daylight had long faded; her child lay calmly sleeping by her side; a candle was burning dimly on the stand, and her husband was sobbing by her pillow.

  The next morning was a cheerful one at the Quaker house. "Mother" was up betimes, and surrounded by busy girls and boys, and when George and Eliza and little Harry came out, they met such a hearty, rejoicing welcome, no wonder it seemed to them like a dream.

  At last they were all seated at breakfast. It was the first time that ever George had sat down on equal terms at any white man's table.

  This, indeed, was a home—home—a word that George had never yet known a meaning for.

  "Father, what if thee should get found out again?" said Simeon second, as he buttered his cake.

  "I should pay my fine," said Simeon, quietly.

  "But what if they put thee in prison?"


  "Couldn't thee and mother manage the farm?" said Simeon, smiling.

  "Mother can do almost everything," said the boy. "But isn't it a shame to make such laws?"

  "Thee mustn't speak evil of thy rulers, Simeon," said his father, gravely.

  "I hope, my good sir, that you are not exposed to any difficulty on our account," said George, anxiously.

  "Fear nothing, George, for therefore are we sent into the world. If we would not meet trouble for a good cause, we were not worthy of our name."

  "But, for me," said George, "I could not bear it."

  "Fear not, then, friend George; it is not for thee, but for God and man, we do it," said Simeon. "And now thou must lie by quietly this day, and to-night, at ten o'clock, Phineas Fletcher will carry thee onward to the next stand—thee and the rest of thy company. The pursuers are hard after thee; we must not delay."

  "If that is the case, why wait till evening?" said George.

  "Thou art safe here by daylight, for every one in the settlement is a Friend, and all are watching. Moreover, it has been found safer to travel by night."

  The Mississippi! What other river of the world bears on its bosom to the ocean the wealth and enterprise of such another country?—a country whose products embrace all between the tropics and the poles!

  The slanting light of the setting sun quivers on the sea-like expanse of the river as the heavily laden steamboat marches onward.

  Piled with cotton-bales, from many a plantation,


up over deck and sides, till she seems in the distance a square, massive block of gray, she moves heavily onward to the nearing mart. We must look some time among its crowded decks before we shall find again our humble friend Tom. High on the upper deck, in a little nook among the everywhere predominant cotton-bales, at last we may find him.


  Tom had insensibly won his way far into the confidence even of such a man as Haley, and for some time had enjoyed a sort of parole of honor, being permitted to come and go freely where he pleased on the boat.

  Ever quiet and obliging, and more than ready to lend a hand in every emergency which occurred among the workmen below, he had won the good opinion of all the hands, and spent many hours in helping them with as hearty a good will as ever he worked on a Kentucky farm.

  When there seemed to be nothing for him to do, he would climb to a nook among the cotton-bales of the upper deck, and busy himself in studying over his Bible—and it is there we see him now.

  From the deck of the steamer, Tom saw the distant slaves at their toil; he saw afar their villages of huts gleaming out in long rows on many a plantation, distant from the stately mansions and pleasure-grounds of the master; and as the moving picture passed on, his poor, foolish heart would be turning backward to the Kentucky farm, with its old shadowy beeches—to the master's house, with its wide, cool halls, and, near by, the little cabin. There he seemed to see familiar faces of comrades who had grown up with him from infancy; he saw his busy wife bustling in her preparations for his evening meals; he heard the merry laugh of his boys at their play, and the chirrup of the baby at his knee; and then, with a start, all faded, and he saw again the cane-brakes and cypresses and gliding plantations, and heard again the creaking and groaning of the machinery, all telling him too plainly that all that phase of life had gone by forever.

  Is it strange, then, that some tears fall on the pages of his Bible, as he lays it on the cotton-bale, and, with


patient finger, threading his slow way from word to word, traces out its promises?

  Let us follow him a moment, as pointing to each word, and pronouncing each half aloud, he reads:

  "Let—not—your—heart—be—troubled. In—my—Father's—house—are—many—mansions. I—go-to—prepare—a—place—for—you."

Uncle Tom's Cabin
Abridged for Use in Schools
Cleveland: World Publishing Company, c. 1930


  AMONG the passengers on the boat was a young gentleman of fortune and family resident in New Orleans, who bore the name of St. Clare. He had with him a daughter between five and six years of age, together with a lady who seemed to claim relationship to both, and to have the little one especially under her charge.

  Tom, who had the soft nature of his kindly race, ever yearning toward the simple and childlike, watched the little creature with daily increasing interest. Whenever her golden head and deep blue eyes peered out upon him from behind some dusky cottonbale, or looked down upon him over some ridge of packages, he half believed that he saw one of the angels stepped out of his New Testament.

  Often and often she walked mournfully round the place where Haley's gang of men and women sat in their chains. Several times she appeared suddenly among them, with her hands full of candy, nuts, and oranges, which she would distribute joyfully to them, and then be gone again.

  Tom watched the little lady a great deal before he ventured on any overtures towards acquaintanceship. But at last they got on quite confidential terms.


  "What's little missy's name?" said Tom, at last, when he thought matters were ripe to push such an inquiry.

  "Evangeline St. Clare," said the little one, "though papa and everybody else call me Eva. Now, what's your name?"

  "My name's Tom; the little chil'en used to call me Uncle Tom, way back thar in Kentuck."

  "Then I mean to call you Uncle Tom, because, you see, I like you," said Eva. "So, Uncle Tom, where are you going?"

  "I don't know, Miss Eva."

  "Don't know?" said Eva.

  "No. I am going to be sold to somebody."

  "My papa can buy you," said Eva, quickly; "and if he buys you, you will have good times. I mean to ask him this very day."

  "Thank you, my little lady," said Tom.

  The boat here stopped at a small landing to take in wood, and Eva, hearing her father's voice, bounded nimbly away. Tom rose up, and went forward to offer his service in wooding, and soon was busy among the hands.

  Eva and her father were standing together by the railings to see the boat start from the landing-place, the wheel had made two or three revolutions in the water, when, by some sudden movement, the little one suddenly lost her balance and fell sheer over the side of the boat into the water. Her father, scarce knowing what he did, was plunging in after her, but was held back by some behind him, who saw that more efficient aid had followed his child.

  Tom was standing just under her on the lower deck as she fell. He saw her strike the water, and sink, and



was after her in a moment. A broad-chested, strong-armed fellow, it was nothing for him to keep afloat in the water, till, in a moment or two the child rose to the surface, and he caught her in his arms, and swimming with her to the boat-side handed her up, all dripping, to the grasp of hundreds of hands, which, as if they had all belonged to one man, were stretched eagerly out to receive her. A few moments more, and her father bore her, dripping and senseless, to the ladies' cabin.

  [At Eva's request her father, Mr. St. Clare, bought Tom from the trader, Haley. In due time Mr. St. Clare, Eva, and her Aunt (Miss Ophelia) arrived at their home at New Orleans. Tom's new master was rich, and lived in a grand home, which was surrounded by lovely gardens and trees. He was kind to his slaves, but Mrs. St. Clare had no kind feeling for them, and would have been harsh and cruel if the management of the slaves had rested with her. Tom and Eva had many talks together, for the child grew as fond of the old slave as he was of her.]

Uncle Tom's Cabin
Abridged for Use in Schools
Cleveland: World Publishing Company, c. 1930


  THERE was a gentle bustle at the Quaker house as the afternoon drew to a close. Rachel Halliday moved quietly to and fro, collecting from her household stores such needments as could be arranged in the smallest compass, for the wanderers who were to go forth that night. The round red sun shone into the little bed-room where George was sitting with his child on his knee, and his wife's hand in his. Both looked thoughtful and serious and traces of tears were on their cheeks.


  "Yes, Eliza," said George, "I know all you say is true, and I will try to do as you say. I'll try to act worthy of a free man. I've meant to do well—tried hard to do well—when everything has been against me; and now I'll forget all the past, and put away every hard and bitter feeling."

  "And when we get to Canada," said Eliza, "I can help you. I can do dressmaking very well; and I understand fine washing and ironing; and between us we can find something to live on."


  "Yes, Eliza, so long as we have each other and our boy. Oh, Eliza, if these people only knew what a blessing it is for a man to feel that his wife and child belong to him! I've often wondered to see men that could call their wives and children their own fretting and worrying about anything else. Why, I feel rich and strong, though we have nothing but our bare hands. I feel as if I could scarcely ask God for any more."

  "But yet we are not quite out of danger," said Eliza; "we are not yet in Canada."

  "True," said George, "but it seems as if I smelled the free air, and it makes me strong."

  At this moment, voices were heard in the outer apartment, in earnest conversation, and very soon a rap was heard on the door. Eliza started and opened it.

  Simeon Halliday was there, and with him a Quaker brother, whom he introduced as Phineas Fletcher.

  "Our friend Phineas hath discovered something of importance to the interests of thee and thy party, George," said Simeon; "it were well for thee to hear it."

  "That I have," said Phineas, "and it shows the use of a man's always sleeping with one ear open, in certain places, as I've always said. Last night I stopped at a little lone tavern, back on the road. I found that there were some men in the room, sitting round a table, drinking and talking; and I thought I'd just see what they were up to, especially as I heard them say something about the Quakers.

  "'So,' says one, 'they are up in the Quaker settlement, no doubt,' says he. Then I listened with both ears, and I found that they were talking about this very party. So I lay and heard them lay off all their plans.


  "This young man, they said, was to be sent back to Kentucky, to his master, who was going to make an example of him, to keep all niggers from running away; and his wife two of them were going to run down to New Orleans to sell on their own account, and they calculated to get sixteen or eighteen hundred dollars for her; and the child, they said, was going to a trader, who had bought him; and then there was the boy Jim, and his mother, they were to go back to their masters in Kentucky.

  "They've got a right notion of the track we are going tonight; and they'll be down after us, six or eight strong. So, now what's to be done?"

  George stood with clenched hands and glowing eyes, and looking as any other man might look whose wife was to be sold at auction, and son sent to a trader, all under the shelter of a Christian nation's laws.

  "What shall we do, George?" said Eliza faintly.

  "I know what I shall do," said George, as he stepped into the little room, and began examining pistols.

  "Ay, ay," said Phineas, nodding his head to Simeon; thou seest, Simeon, how it will work."

  "I see," said Simeon, sighing; "I pray it come not to that, and," he added, laying his hand kindly on George's shoulder, and pointing to the pistols, "be not over hasty with these—young blood is hot."

  "I will attack no man," said George. "All I ask of this country is to be let alone, and I will go out peaceably; but"—he paused, and his brow darkened and his face worked—"I've had a sister sold in that New Orleans market, and am I going to stand by and see them take my wife and sell her, when God has given me a pair of strong arms to defend her?


No; God help me! I'll fight to the last breath, before they shall take my wife and son. Can you blame me?"

  "Mortal man cannot blame thee, George. Flesh and blood could not do otherwise," said Simeon.

  "Well," said George, "isn't it best that we hasten our flight?"

  "I got up at four o'clock, and came on with all speed, full two or three hours ahead of them, if they start at the time they planned. It isn't safe to start till dark, at any rate. I will go over to Michael Cross, and engage him to come behind on his swift nag, and keep a bright look-out on the road, and warn us if any company of men come on. Michael keeps a horse that can soon get ahead of most other horses; and he could shoot ahead and let us know if there were any danger. I am going out now to warn Jim and the old woman to be in readiness, and to see about the horses. So, have good courage, friend George; this isn't the first ugly scrape that I've been in with thy people," said Phineas, as he closed the door.

  "Phineas is pretty shrewd," said Simeon. "He will do the best that can be done for thee, George."

  "All I am sorry for," said George, "is the risk to you."

  "Thee'll much oblige us, friend George, to say no more about that. What we do we are conscience bound to do; we can do no other way. And now, mother," said he, turning to Rachel, "hurry thy preparations for these friends, for we must not send them away fasting."

  And while Rachel and her children were busy making corn-cake, and cooking ham and chicken, George and his wife sat in their little room, with their arms folded about each other, in such talk as husband and



wife have when they know that a few hours may part them forever.

  "Eliza," said George, "people that have friends, and houses, and lands, and money, and all those things can't love as we do, who have nothing but each other. Till I knew you, Eliza, no creature had loved me, but my poor, heart-broken mother and sister. And now, Eliza, I'll give my last drop of blood, but they shall not take you from me. Whoever gets you must walk over my dead body."

  "O Lord, have mercy!" said Eliza, sobbing. "If he will only let us get out of this country together, that is all we ask."

  And now Rachel took Eliza's hand kindly, and led the way to the supper table. As they were sitting down a light tap sounded at the door, and Ruth entered.

  "I just ran in," she said, "with these little stockings for the boy—three pair, nice, warm woollen ones. It will be so cold, thee knows, in Canada.

  "Keep up good courage, Eliza?" she added, tripping round to Eliza's side of the table, and shaking her warmly by the hand, and slipping a seed-cake into Harry's hand. "I brought a little parcel of these for him," she said, tugging at her pocket to get out the package. "Children, thee knows, will always be eating."

  "Oh, thank you; you are too kind," said Eliza.

  "Good-by, Eliza; good-by, George; the Lord grant thee a safe journey;" and, with a few tripping steps, Ruth was out of the apartment.

  A little while after supper, a large covered-wagon drew up before the door; the night was clear starlight; and Phineas jumped briskly down from his seat


to arrange his passengers. George walked out of the door with his child on one arm and his wife on the other. His step was firm, his face settled and resolute. Rachel and Simeon came out after them.

  "You get out, a moment," said Phineas to those inside, "and let me fix the back of the wagon, there, for the women-folks and the boy."

  Jim came out first, and carefully assisted out his old mother, who clung to his arm, and looked anxiously about, as if she expected the pursuer every moment.

  "Jim, are your pistols all in order?" said George, in a low, firm voice.

  "Yes, indeed," said Jim.

  "And you've no doubt what you shall do, if they come?"

  "I rather think I haven't," said Jim, throwing open his broad chest, and taking a deep breath. "Do you think I'll let them get mother again?"

  During this brief colloquy, Eliza had been taking her leave of her kind friend, Rachel, and was handed into the carriage by Simeon. The old woman was next handed in and seated and George and Jim placed on a rough board seat front of them, and Phineas mounted in front.

  "Farewell, my friends," said Simeon, from without.

  "God bless you!" answered all from within.

  And the wagon drove off, rattling and jolting over the frozen road.

  There was no opportunity for conversation, on account of the roughness of the way and the noise of the wheels. The vehicle, therefore, rumbled on, through long, dark stretches of woodland, over wide dreary plains, up hills, and down valleys, and on, on, on they jogged, hour after hour.


  The child soon fell asleep, and lay heavily in his mother's lap. The poor, frightened old woman at last forgot her fears; and, even Eliza, as the night waned, found all her anxieties insufficient to keep her eyes from closing.

  But about three o'clock George's ear caught the hasty and decided click of a horse's hoof coming behind them at some distance, and jogged Phineas by the elbow. Phineas pulled up his horses, and listened.

  "That must be Michael," he said; "I think I know the sound of his gallop;" and he rose up and stretched his head anxiously back over the road.

  A man riding in hot haste was now dimly descried at the top of a distant hill.

  "There he is, I do believe!" said Phineas. George and Jim both sprang out of the wagon before they knew what they were doing. All stood intensely silent, with their faces turned towards the expected messenger. On he came.

  "Yes, that's Michael," said Phineas; and, raising his voice, "Halloa, there, Michael!"

  "Phineas! is that thee?"

  "Yes; what news—they coming?"

  "Right on behind, eight or ten of them, hot with brandy, swearing and foaming like so many wolves."

  And just as he spoke, a breeze brought the faint sound of galloping horsemen towards them.

  "In with you—quick, boys, in!" said Phineas. "If you must fight, wait till I get you a piece ahead." And, with the word, both jumped in, and Phineas lashed the horses to a run, the horseman keeping close beside them.

  The wagon rattled, jumped, almost flew, over the frozen ground, but plainer, and still plainer, came the


noise of pursuing horsemen behind. The women heard it, and, looking anxiously out saw, far in the rear, on the brow of a distant hill, a party of men looming up against the red-streaked sky of early dawn.

  Another hill, and their pursuers had evidently caught sight of their wagon, whose white cloth-covered top made it conspicuous at some distance, and a loud yell of brutal triumph came forward on the wind. Eliza sickened, and strained her child closer to her bosom; the old woman prayed and groaned, and George and Jim clenched their pistols with the grasp of despair.

  The pursuers gained on them fast; the carriage made a sudden turn, and brought them near a ledge of a steep overhanging rock, that rose in an isolated ridge or clump in a large lot, which was, all around it, quite clear and smooth. It was a place well known to Phineas, who had been familiar with the spot in his hunting days, and it was to gain this point he had been racing his horses.

  "Now for it!" said he, suddenly checking his horses, and springing from his seat to the ground. "Out with you, every one, and up into these rocks with me. Michael, tie thy horse to the wagon, and drive ahead to Amariah's and get him and his boys to come back and talk to these fellows."

  In a twinkling they were all out of the carriage.

  "There," said Phineas, catching up Harry, "you, each of you, see to the women; and run, now if you ever did run!"

  They needed no exhortation. Quicker than we can say it, the whole party were over the fence, making with all speed for the rocks, while Michael, throwing himself from his horse, and fastening the bridle to the wagon, began driving it rapidly away.


  "Come ahead," said Phineas, as they reached the rocks and saw in the mingled starlight and dawn, the traces of a rude but plainly marked foot-path leading up among them; "this is one of our old hunting dens. Come up."

  Phineas went before, springing up the rocks like a goat, with the boy in his arms. Jim came second, bearing his trembling old mother over his shoulder, and George and Eliza brought up the rear. The party of horsemen came up to the fence, and, with mingled shouts and oaths, were dismounting, to prepare to follow them.

  A few moments' scrambling brought them to the top of the ledge; the path then passed between a narrow defile, where only one could walk at a time, till suddenly they came to a rift or chasm more than a yard in breadth, and beyond which lay a pile of rocks, separate from the rest of the ledge, standing full thirty feet high, with its sides steep and perpendicular as those of a castle.

  Phineas easily leaped the chasm, and sat down the boy on a smooth, flat platform of crisp white moss, that covered the top of the rock.

  "Over with you!" he called; "spring, now, once, for your lives!" said he, as one after another sprang across. Several fragments of loose stone formed a kind of breastwork, which sheltered their position from the observation of those below.

  "Well, here we all are," said Phineas, peeping over the stone breastwork to watch the assailants, who were coming tumultuously up under the rocks. "Let 'em get us, if they can. Whoever comes here has to walk single file between those two rocks, in fair range of your pistols, boys, d'ye see?"


  "I do see," said George; "and now, as this matter is ours, let us take all the risk, and do all the fighting."

  "Thee's quite welcome to do the fighting, George," said Phineas, "but I may have the fun of looking on, I suppose. But see, these fellows are kinder debating down there, and looking up, like hens when they are going to fly up on to the roost. Hadn't thee better give 'em a word of advice, before they come up, just to tell 'em handsomely they'll be shot if they do?"

  George appeared on the top of a rock above them, and, speaking in a calm, clear voice, said:

  "Gentlemen, who are you, down there and what do you want?"

  "We want a party of runaway niggers," said Tom Loker; "one George Harris, and Eliza Harris, and their son, and Jim Selden, and an old woman. We've got the officers, here, and a warrant to take 'em; and we're going to have 'em, too. D'ye hear? An't you George Harris, that belongs to Mr. Harris, of Shelby county, Kentucky?"

  "I am George Harris. A Mr. Harris, of Kentucky, did call me his property. But now I'm a free man, standing on God's free soil; and my wife and my child I claim as mine. Jim and his mother are here. We have arms to defend ourselves, and we mean to do it. You can come up, if you like; but the first one of you that comes within the range of our bullets is a dead man, and the next, and the next; and so on till the last."

  "O, come! come!" said a short, puffy man, stepping forward, and blowing his nose as he did so. "Young man, we're officers of justice. We've got the law on our side."

  "I know very well that you've got the law on your


side, and the power," said George, bitterly. "But you haven't got us. We don't own your laws; we don't own your country; we stand here as free, under God's sky, as you are; and by the great God that made us, we'll fight for our liberty till we die."

  George stood out in fair sight, on the top of the rock, as he made his declaration of independence; the glow of dawn gave a flush to his swarthy cheek, and bitter indignation and despair gave fire to his dark eye; and, as if appealing from man to the justice of God, he raised his hand to heaven as he spoke.

  The attitude, eye, voice, manner, of the speaker for a moment struck the party below to silence. Marks was the only one who remained wholly untouched. He was deliberately cocking his pistol, and, in the momentary silence that followed George's speech, he fired at him.

  "Ye see ye get jist as much for him dead as alive in Kentucky," he said coolly, as he wiped his pistol on his coat sleeve.

  George sprang backward—Eliza uttered a shriek—the ball had passed close to his hair, had nearly grazed the cheek of his wife, and struck in the tree above.

  "It's nothing, Eliza," said George, quickly.

  The party below, after Marks had fired, stood for a moment rather undecided.

  "I think you must have hit some on 'em," said one of the men. "I heard a squeal!"

  "I'm going right up for one," said Tom. "I never was afraid of niggers, and I an't going to be now. Who goes after?" he said, springing up the rocks.

  George heard the words distinctly. He drew up his pistol, examined it, pointed it towards that point in the defile where the first man would appear.


  One of the most courageous of the party followed Tom, and, the way being thus made, the whole party began pushing up the rock—the hindermost pushing the front ones faster than they would have gone of themselves. On they came, and in a moment the burly form of Tom appeared in sight, almost at the verge of the chasm.

  George fired—the shot entered his side; but, though wounded, he would not retreat; but, with a yell like that of a mad bull, he was leaping right across the chasm into the party.

  "Friend," said Phineas, suddenly stepping to the front, and meeting him with a push from his long arms, "thee isn't wanted here."

  Down he fell into the chasm, crackling down among trees, bushes, logs, loose stones, till he lay bruised and groaning, thirty feet below. The fall might have killed him, had it not been broken and moderated by his clothes catching in the branches of a large tree.

  Marks headed the retreat down the rocks with much more of a will than he had joined the ascent, while all the party came tumbling precipitately after him.

  "I say," said Marks, "you jist go round and pick up Tom, there, while I run and get on to my horse to go back for help;" and, without minding the hootings and jeers of his company, Marks was as good as his word, and was soon seen galloping away.

  [The attacking party having fled, the fugitives continued their flight, after they had removed the wounded man to a cottage where he might receive attention.]

Uncle Tom's Cabin
Abridged for Use in Schools
Cleveland: World Publishing Company, c. 1930


  OUR readers may not be unwilling to glance back, for a brief interval, at Uncle Tom's Cabin on the Kentucky farm, and see what has been transpiring among those whom he had left behind.

  It was late in the summer afternoon, and the doors and windows of the large parlor all stood open, to invite any stray breeze, that might feel in a good humor, to enter.

  Mr. Shelby sat in a large hall opening into the room, and running through the whole length of the house, to a balcony on either end. Leisurely tipped back on one chair, with his heels in another, he was enjoying his after-dinner cigar. Mrs. Shelby sat in the door, busy about some fine sewing; she seemed like one who had something on her mind which she was seeking an opportunity to introduce.

  "Do you know," she said, "that Chloe has had a letter from Tom?"

  "Ah! has she? Tom 's got some friend there, it seems. How is the old boy?"

  "He has been bought by a very fine family, I should think," said Mrs. Shelby, "is kindly treated, and has not much to do."

  "Ah! well, I'm glad of it—very glad," said Mr. Shelby, heartily. "Tom, I suppose, will get reconciled to a Southern residence—hardly want to come up here again."

  "On the contrary, he inquires very anxiously," said Mrs. Shelby, "when the money for his redemption is to be raised."

  "I'm sure I don't know," said Mr. Shelby. "Once get business running wrong there does seem to be no end to it."

  "It does seem to me, my dear, that something might


be done to straighten matters. Suppose we sell off all the horses, and sell one of your farms, and pay up square?"

  "Oh, ridiculous, Emily! You don't understand business; women never do, and never can."

  Mrs. Shelby ceased talking with something of a sigh. Her heart was set on performing her promise to Tom and Aunt Chloe, and she sighed as discouragements thickened around her.

  "Don't you think we might in some way contrive to raise that money? Poor Aunt Chloe! her heart is so set on it!"


  "I'm sorry, if it is. I think I was premature in promising. I'm not sure, now, but it's the best way to tell Chloe, and let her make up her mind to it."

  "I tell you, my dear," said Mrs. Shelby, "I cannot absolve myself from the promises I make to these helpless creatures. If I can get the money no other way I will take music scholars; I could get enough, I know, and earn the money myself."

  Here the conversation was interrupted by the appearance of Aunt Chloe, at the end of the verandah.

  [Chloe wished to suggest that her mistress should allow her to be hired out to work, and that her mistress should put aside a portion of the earnings to help in making up the money needed to buy Tom again. Mrs. Shelby consented readily; and promised Chloe that she should keep and save the whole of the money she could earn.]

  Life passes, with us all, a day at a time; so it passed with our friend Tom till two years were gone. At this time in our story, the whole St. Clare establishment is, for the time being, removed to their villa on Lake Pontchartrain.

  Eva came tripping up the verandah steps to her father. It was late in the afternoon, and the rays of the sun formed a kind of glory behind her as she came forward in her white dress, with her golden hair and glowing cheeks, her eyes unnaturally bright with the slow fever that burned in her veins.

  St. Clare had called her to show a statuette that he had been buying for her; but her appearance, as she came on, impressed him suddenly and painfully. Her father folded her suddenly in his arms, and almost forgot what he was going to tell her.

  "Eva, dear, you are better now-a-days, are you not?"


  "Papa," said Eva, with sudden firmness, "I've had things I wanted to say to you, a great while. I want to say them now, before I get weaker."

  St. Clare trembled as Eva seated herself in his lap. She laid her head on his bosom, and said: "It's all no use, papa, to keep it to myself any longer. The time is coming that I am going to leave you. I am going, and never to come back!" and Eva sobbed.

  "Oh, now, my dear little Eva!" said St. Clare, trembling as he spoke, but speaking cheerfully,


"you've got nervous and low-spirited; you mustn't indulge such gloomy thoughts. See here, I've bought a statuette for you!"

  "No, papa," said Eva, putting it gently away, "don't deceive yourself!—I am not any better, I know it perfectly well; and I am going, before long."

  "Why, dear child, what has made your poor little heart so sad? You have had everything to make you happy that could be given you."

  "Oh, things that are done, and done all the time. I feel sad for our poor people; they love me dearly, and they are all good and kind to me. I wish, papa, they were all free."

  "Why, Eva, child, don't you think they are well enough off now?"

  "Oh, but, papa, if anything should happen to you, what would become of them? There are very few men like you, papa. Uncle Alfred isn't like you, and mamma isn't. Papa, isn't there any way to have all slaves made free?"

  "That's a difficult question, dearest. There's no doubt that this way is a very bad one—a great many people think so; I do myself. I heartily wish that there were not a slave in the land; but then I don't know what is to be done about it."

  "Papa, you are such a good man, and so noble, and kind; couldn't you go all round and try to persuade people to do right about this? When I am dead, papa, then you will think of me, and do it for my sake. I would do it if I could."

  "There, there, darling," said St. Clare, soothingly, "only don't distress yourself, and don't talk of dying, and I will do anything you wish."

  "And promise me, dear father, that Tom shall have



his freedom as soon as—" she stopped, and said, in a hesitating tone,—"I am gone!"

  "Yes, dear, I will do anything in the world—anything you could ask me to."

  The shadows of the solemn evening closed round them deeper and deeper as St. Clare sat silently holding the little frail form to his bosom. He saw and felt many things, but spoke nothing; and, as it grew darker, he took his child to her bedroom; and when she was prepared for rest, he sent away the attendants, and rocked her in his arms, and sung to her till she was asleep.

  The deceitful strength which had buoyed Eva up for a little while was fast passing away; seldom and more seldom her light footstep was heard in the veranda, and oftener and oftener she was found reclined on a little lounge by the open window, her large, deep eyes fixed on the rising and falling waters of the lake.

  Uncle Tom was much in Eva's room. It was Tom's greatest delight to carry her little frail form in his arms, resting on a pillow, now up and down her room, now out into the verandah; and when the fresh sea-breezes blew from the lake, and the child felt freshest in the morning, he would sometimes walk with her under the orange-trees in the garden, or, sitting down in some of their old seats, sing to her their favorite old hymns.

  Her father often did the same thing; but his frame was slighter, and when he was weary, Eva would say to him: "Oh, papa, let Tom take me. Poor fellow! it pleases him; and you know it's all he can do now, and he wants to do something!"

  "So do I, Eva!" said her father.


  "Well, papa, you can do everything, and are everything to me. You read to me—you sit up nights—and Tom has only this one thing, and his singing; and I know, too, he does it easier than you can. He carries me so strong!"

  The desire to do something was not confined to Tom. Every servant in the establishment showed the same feeling, and in their way did what they could.

  [But nothing could save the life of dear little Eva. Before many days more had passed, her short life was ended, and her father almost broken-hearted at his loss. Tom remained faithful to his master, doing all he could to comfort him.]

Uncle Tom's Cabin
Abridged for Use in Schools
Cleveland: World Publishing Company, c. 1930


  WEEK after week glided away in the St. Clare mansion, and the waves of life settled back to their usual flow, where that little bark had gone down.

  All the interests and hopes of St. Clare's life had unconsciously wound themselves around this child. It


was for Eva that he had managed his property; it was for Eva that he had planned the disposal of his time; and, to do this and that for Eva—to buy, improve, alter, and arrange, or dispose something for her—had been so long his habit, that now she was gone, there seemed nothing to be thought of, and nothing to be done.

  St. Clare was in many respects another man. He read his little Eva's Bible seriously and honestly; he thought more of his relations to his servants; and one thing he did, soon after his return to New Orleans, and that was to commence the legal steps necessary to Tom's emancipation, which was to be perfected as soon as he could get through the necessary formalities.

  Meantime, he attached himself to Tom more and more every day. In all the wide world there was nothing that seemed to remind him so much of Eva; and he would insist on keeping him constantly about him.

  "Well, Tom," said St. Clare, the day after he had commenced the legal formalities, "I'm going to make a free man of you; so have your trunk packed, and get ready to set out for Kentuck."

  The sudden light of joy that shone in Tom's face as he raised his hands to heaven rather discomposed St. Clare; he did not like it that Tom should be so ready to leave him.

  "You haven't had such very bad times here, that you need be in such a rapture, Tom," he said drily.

  "No, no, mas'r!—it's bein' a free-man! That's what I'm joyin' for."

  "Why, Tom, don't you think, for your own part, you've been better off than to be free?"


  "No indeed, Mas'r St. Clare," said Tom, with a flash of energy. "No, indeed!"

  "Why, Tom, you couldn't possibly have earned, by your work, such clothes and such living as I have given you."

  "Knows all that, Mas'r St. Clare; mas'r been too good; but, mas'r, I'd rather have poor clothes, poor house, poor everything, and have 'em mine, than have the best, and have 'em any man's else! I had so, mas'r; I think it's natur, mas'r."

  "I suppose so, Tom; and you'll be going off and leaving me, in a month or so," he added, rather discontentedly. "Though why you shouldn't, no mortal knows," he said, in a gayer tone; and, getting up, he began to walk the floor.

  "Not while mas'r is in trouble," said Tom. "I'll stay with mas'r as long as he wants me—so as I can be any use."

  The conversation was here interrupted by the announcement of some visitors.

  It was a warm, golden evening. St. Clare and walked thoughtfully up and down the verandah, seeming to forget everything in his own thoughts; so absorbed was he that Tom had to remind him twice that the tea-bell had rung, before he could get his attention.

  St. Clare was absent and thoughtful all tea-time. After tea, he and Marie and Miss Ophelia took possession of the parlor almost in silence.

  "I don't know what makes me think of my mother so much to-night," he said. "I have a strange kind of feeling, as if she were near me. I keep thinking of things she used to say. Strange, what brings these past things so vividly back to us sometimes!"

  St. Clare walked up and down the room for some minutes more, and then said: "I believe I'll go down street a few moments, and hear the news to-night."

  He took his hat and passed out.

  Tom followed him to the passage, out of the court, and asked if he should attend him.

  "No, my boy," said St. Clare. "I shall be back in an hour."

  Tom sat down in the verandah. It was a beautiful moonlight evening, and he sat watching the rising and falling spray of the fountain, and listening to its murmur.

  Tom thought of his home, and that he should soon be a free man, and able to return to it at will. He thought how he should work to buy his wife and boys. He felt the muscles of his brawny arms with a sort of joy, as he thought they would soon belong to himself, and how much they could do to work out the freedom of his family.

  Then he thought of his noble young master, and his thoughts passed on to the beautiful Eva, whom he


now thought of among the angels. And, so musing, he fell asleep, and dreamed he saw her coming bounding towards him, just as she used to come, with a wreath of jessamine in her hair, her cheeks bright, and her eyes radiant with delight.

  Tom was awakened by a loud knocking, and a sound of many voices at the gate.

  He hastened to undo it; and, with smothered voices and heavy tread, came several men, bringing a body, wrapped in a cloak, and lying on a shutter. The light of the lamp fell full on the face; and Tom gave a wild cry of amazement and despair, that rung through all the galleries, as the men advanced, with their burden, to the open parlor door, where Miss Ophelia still sat knitting.

  St. Clare had turned into a cafe, to look over an evening paper. As he was reading, an affray arose between two gentlemen in the room, who were both partially intoxicated. St. Clare and one or two others made an effort to separate them, and St. Clare received a fatal stab in the side with a bowie-knife, which he was attempting to wrest from one of them.

Uncle Tom's Cabin
Abridged for Use in Schools
Cleveland: World Publishing Company, c. 1930


  WHEN St. Clare breathed his last, terror and consternation took hold of all his household. He had been stricken down so in a moment, in the flower and strength of his youth! Every room and gallery of the house resounded with sobs and shrieks of despair.

  Marie, whose nervous system had been enervated by a constant course of self-indulgence, had nothing to support the terror of the shock, and, at the time her husband breathed his last, was passing from one fainting fit to another.

  Miss Ophelia had remained with her kinsman to the last—all eye, all ear, all attention; doing everything of the little that could be done, and joining with her whole soul in the tender and impassioned prayers


which the poor slave had poured forth for the soul of his dying master.

  The funeral passed, with all its pageant of black crape, and prayers, and solemn faces; and back rolled the cool, muddy waves of every-day life; and up came the everlasting hard inquiry of "What is to be done next?"

  It rose to Miss Ophelia, who began to turn her thoughts towards her northern home. It rose, in silent terrors, to the minds of the servants, who well knew the unfeeling, tyrannical character of the mistress in whose hands they were left. All knew very well that the indulgences which had been accorded to them were not from their mistress, but from their master.

  A few days after, Tom was standing musing by the balconies, when he was joined by Adolph, who, since the death of his master, had been entirely crestfallen and disconsolate. Adolph knew that he had always


been an object of dislike to Marie; but while his master lived he had paid but little attention to it.

  Marie had held several consultations with her lawyer. After communicating with St. Clare's brother, it was determined to sell the place, and all the servants except her own personal property, and these she intended to take with her, and go back to her father's plantation.

  "Do ye know, Tom, that we've all got to be sold?" said Adolph.

  "How did you hear that?" said Tom.

  "I hid myself behind the curtains when missis was talking with the lawyer. In a few days we shall be sent off to auction, Tom."

  "The Lord's will be done!" said Tom, folding his arms and sighing heavily.

  "We'll never get another such a master, said Adolph, "but I'd rather be sold than take my chance under missis."

  Tom turned away; his heart was full. The hope of liberty, the thought of distant wife and children rose up before his patient soul, as to the mariner ship-wrecked almost in port rises the vision of the church-spire and loving roofs of his native village, seen over the top of some black wave only for one last farewell.

  He drew his arms tightly over his bosom, and choked back the bitter tears, and tried to pray. The poor old soul had such a singular, unaccountable prejudice in favor of liberty, that it was a hard wrench for him; and the more he said "Thy will be done," the worse he felt.

  Tom sought Miss Ophelia, who, ever since Eva's death, had treated him with marked and respectful kindness.


  "Miss Feely," he said, "Mas'r St. Clare promised me my freedom. He told me that he had begun to take it out for me; and now, perhaps, if Miss Feely would be good enough to speak about it to missis, she would feel like going on with it, was it as Mas'r St. Clare's wish."

  "I'll speak for you, Tom, and do my best," said Miss Ophelia; "but if it depends on Mrs. St. Clare, I can't hope much for you; nevertheless, I will try."

  So the good soul gathered herself up, and, taking her knitting, resolved to go into Marie's room.

  She found Marie reclining at length upon a lounge, supporting herself on one elbow by pillows, while Jane, who had been out shopping, was displaying before her certain samples of thin black stuffs.

  "That will do. What do you think?" said Marie to Miss Ophelia.

  "It's a matter of custom, I suppose," said Miss Ophelia. "You can judge about it better than I."

  "The fact is," said Marie, "that I haven't a dress in the world that I can wear; and, as I am going to break up the establishment, and go off, next week, I must decide upon something."

  "Are you going so soon?"

  "Yes. St. Clare's brother has written, and he and the lawyer think that the servants and furniture had better be put up at auction, and the place left with our lawyer."

  "There's one thing I wanted to speak with you about," said Miss Ophelia. "Augustine promised Tom his liberty, and began the legal forms necessary to it. I hope you will use your influence to have it perfected."

  "Indeed, I shall do no such thing!" said Marie,


sharply. "Tom is one of the most valuable servants on the place; it couldn't be afforded, any way. Besides, what does he want of liberty? He's a great deal better off as he is."

  "But he does desire it very earnestly, and his master promised it," said Miss Ophelia.

  "I dare say he does want it," said Marie; "they all want it, just because they are a discontented set, always wanting what they haven't got. Now, I'm against emancipating in any case. Keep a negro under the care of a master, and he does well enough and is respectable, but set them free, and they get lazy and won't work, and take to drinking, and go all down to be mean, worthless fellows, I've seen it tried hundreds of times. It's no favor to set them free."

  "But Tom is so steady, industrious, and pious."

  "Oh, you needn't tell me! I've see a hundred like him. He'll do very well as long as he's taken care of, that's all."

  "Well," said Miss Ophelia, "I know it was one of the last wishes of your husband that Tom should have his liberty; it was one of the promises that he made to dear little Eva on her death-bed, and I should not think you would feel at liberty to disregard it."

  She saw that it would do no good to say anything more. Miss Ophelia therefore did the next best thing she could for Tom;—she wrote a letter to Mrs. Shelby for him, stating his troubles, and urging them to send to his relief.

  The next day, Tom and Adolph, and some half a dozen other servants, were marched down to a slave-warehouse, to await the convenience of the trader, who was going to make up a lot for auction.

Uncle Tom's Cabin
Abridged for Use in Schools
Cleveland: World Publishing Company, c. 1930


  A SLAVE warehouse in New Orleans is a house, externally, not much unlike many others, kept in neatness; and where every day you may see arranged, under a sort of shed along the outside, rows of men and women, who stand there as a sign of the property sold within.

  Then you shall be courteously entreated to call and examine, and shall find an abundance of husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, and young children, to be "sold separately, or in lots to suit the convenience of the purchaser."

  It was a day or two after the conversation between Marie and Miss Ophelia, that Tom, Adolph, and about half a dozen others of the St. Clare estate, were turned over to the loving kindness of Mr. Skeggs, the keeper of a depot in —— street, to await the auction next day.

  Tom had with him a trunk full of clothing, as had most others of them. They were ushered for the night into a long room, where many other men, of all ages, sizes, and shades of complexion, were assembled, and from which roars of laughter and unthinking merriment were proceeding.

  "Ah, ah! that's right. Go it, boys—go it!" says Mr. Skeggs, the keeper. "My people are always so merry! Sambo, I see!" he said, speaking approvingly to a burly negro who was performing tricks of low buffoonery, which occasioned the shouts which Tom had heard.

  As might be imagined, Tom was in no humor to join these proceedings; and, therefore, setting his trunk as far as possible from the noisy group, he sat down on it, and leaned his face against the wall.


  [Amongst the women awaiting their fate in the auction room were two who seemed superior in appearance to the rest. One of them, known as Susan, was between forty and fifty years of age; the other, a young girl of fifteen, was her daughter Emmeline. Both were weeping; the mother knew well that on the morrow they might be sold to different masters, and separated, perhaps forever!]

  A little before the sale commenced, a short, broad, muscular man elbowed his way through the crowd, like one who is going actively into a business; and, coming up to the group, began to examine them. From the moment that Tom saw him approaching, he felt an immediate and revolting horror at him, that increased as he came near. He was evidently, though short, of gigantic strength. This man proceeded to a very free personal examination of the lot. He seized Tom by the jaw, and pulled open his mouth to inspect his teeth; made him strip up his sleeve, to show his muscle; turned him round, made him jump and spring, to show his paces. Again he stopped before Susan and Emmeline. He put out his heavy, dirty hand, and drew the girl toward him, passed it over her neck, felt her arms, looked at her teeth, and then pushed her back against her mother, whose patient face showed the suffering she had been going through at every motion of the hideous stranger.

  The girl was frightened, and began to cry.

  "Stop that, you minx!" said the salesman; "no whimpering here; the sale is going to begin." And accordingly the sale begun.

  "Now, up with you, boy! d'ye hear?" said the auctioneer to Tom.

  Tom stepped upon the block, gave a few anxious



looks round; all seemed mingled in a common, indistinct noise—the clatter of the salesman crying off his qualifications in French and English, the quick fire of French and English bids, and almost in a moment came the final thump of the hammer, and the clear ring on the last syllable of the word "dollars," as the auctioneer announced his price, and Tom was made over. He had a master!

  He was pushed from the block; the short, bullet-headed man seized him roughly by the shoulder, pushed him to one side, saying, in a harsh voice, "Stand there, you!"

  Tom hardly realized anything; but still the bidding went on, rattling, clattering, now French, now English. Down goes the hammer again,—Susan is sold; she goes down from the block, stops, looks wistfully back; her daughter stretches her hands toward her. She looks with agony in the face of the man who has bought her—a respectable middle-aged man, of benevolent countenance.

  "O, Mas'r, please do buy my daughter!"

  "I'd like to, but I'm afraid I can't afford it!" said the gentleman, looking, with painful interest as the young girl mounted the block, and looked around her with a frightened and timid glance.

  The blood rushes painfully in her otherwise colorless cheek, her eye has a feverish fire, and her mother groans to see that she looks more beautiful than she ever saw her before.

  "I'll do anything in reason," said the benevolent-looking gentleman, pressing in and joining with the bids. In a few moments they have run beyond his purse.

  He is silent; the auctioneer grows warmer; but bids


gradually drop off. It lies now between an aristocratic old citizen and our bullet-headed acquaintance. The citizen bids for a few turns, but the bullet-head has the advantage over him in length of purse; the hammer falls, he has got the girl.

  Her master is Mr. Legree, who owns a cotton plantation on the Red river. She is pushed along into the same lot with Tom and two other men, and goes off, weeping as she goes.

  The benevolent gentleman is sorry; but, then, the thing happens every day!

Uncle Tom's Cabin
Abridged for Use in Schools
Cleveland: World Publishing Company, c. 1930


  ON THE lower part of a small, mean boat, on the Red river, Tom sat—chains on his wrists, chains on his feet, and a weight heavier than chains lay on his heart. All had faded from the sky—moon and star; all had passed by him, as the trees and banks were now passing, to return no more.

  Kentucky home, with wife and children, and indulgent owners; St. Clare home, with all its refinements and splendors; the golden head of Eva, with its saint-like eyes; the proud, gay, handsome, seemingly careless, yet ever-kind St. Clare; hours of ease and indulgent leisure—all gone! and in place thereof, what remains?

  Mr. Simon Legree, Tom's master, had purchased slaves at one place and another, in New Orleans, to the number of eight, and driven them, handcuffed, in couples of two and two, down to the good steamer Pirate, which lay at the levee, ready for a trip up the Red river.

  Having got them fairly on board, and the boat being off, he came round to take a review of them. Stopping opposite to Tom, who had been attired for sale in his best broadcloth suit, with well-starched linen and shining boots, he briefly expressed himself as follows:

  "Stand up."

  Tom stood up.

  "Take off that stock!" and, as Tom, encumbered by his fetters, proceeded to do it, he assisted him, by pulling it, with no gentle hand, from his neck, and putting it in his pocket.

  Legree now turned to Tom's trunk, which, previous


to this, he had been ransacking, and, taking from it a pair of old pantaloons and dilapidated coat, which Tom had been wont to put on about his stable-work, he said, liberating Tom's hands from the handcuffs, and pointing to a recess in among the boxes—

  "You go there, and put these on."

  Tom obeyed, and in a few moments returned.

  "Take off your boots," said Mr. Legree.

  Tom did so.

  "There," said the former, throwing him a pair of coarse, stout shoes, such as were common among the slaves, "put these on."


  In Tom's hurried exchange, he had not forgotten to transfer his cherished Bible to his pocket. It was well he did so; for Mr. Legree, having refitted Tom's handcuffs, proceeded deliberately to investigate the contents of his pockets.

  He drew out a silk handkerchief, and put it into his own pocket. Several little trifles, which Tom had treasured, chiefly because they had amused Eva, he looked upon with a contemptuous grunt and tossed them over his shoulder into the river.

  Tom's Methodist hymn-book, which, in his hurry, he had forgotten, he now held up and turned over.

  "Humph! pious, to be sure. So, you belong to the church, eh?"

  "Yes, mas'r," said Tom, firmly.

  "Well, I'll soon have that out of you. I have none o' yer bawling, praying, singing niggers on my place; so remember. Now, mind yourself," he said, with a stamp and a fierce glance of his gray eye, directed at Tom, "I'm your church now! You understand,—you've got to be as I say."

  Simon Legree glared for a moment on the downcast face of Tom, and walked off. He took Tom's trunk, which contained a very neat and abundant wardrobe, to the forecastle, where it was soon surrounded by various hands of the boat.

  With much laughing, the articles very readily were sold to one and another, and the empty trunk finally put up at auction. It was a good joke, they all thought, especially to see how Tom looked after his things, as they were going this way and that.

  This little affair being over, Simon sauntered up again to his property.

  "Now, Tom, I've relieved you of any extra baggage,


you see. Take mighty good care of them clothes. It'll be long enough before you get more. I go in for makin' niggers careful; one suit has to do for one year, on my place."

* * * * * *

  The boat moved on—freighted with its weight of sorrow—up the red, muddy, turbid current, through the abrupt tortuous windings of the Red river; and sad eyes gazed wearily on the steep red-clay banks, as they glided by in dreary sameness. At last the boat


stopped at a small town, and Legree, with his party, disembarked.

  Trailing wearily behind a rude wagon, and over a ruder road, Tom and his associates faced onward.

  In the wagon was seated Simon Legree; and the two women, still fettered together, were stowed away with some baggage in the back part of it, and the whole company were seeking Legree's plantation, which lay a good distance off.

  It was a wild, forsaken road, now winding through dreary pine barrens, where the wind whispered mournfully, and now over log causeways, through long cypress swamps, the doleful trees rising out of the slimy, spongy ground, hung with long wreaths of black moss.

  The wagon rolled up a weedy gravel walk, under a noble avenue of China trees, whose graceful forms and ever-springing foliage seemed to be the only things there that neglect could not daunt or alter.

  But the place looked desolate and uncomfortable; some windows stopped up with boards, some with shattered panes, and shutters hanging by a single hinge—all telling of coarse neglect and discomfort.

  Bits of board, straw, old decayed barrels and boxes, garnished the ground in all directions; and three or four ferocious-looking dogs, roused by the sound of the wagon-wheels, came tearing out, and were with difficulty restrained from laying hold of Tom and his companions, by the effort of the ragged servants who came after them.

  "Ye see what ye'd get!" said Legree, caressing the dogs with grim satisfaction, and turning to Tom and his companions. "Ye see what ye'd get if ye try to run off. So, mind yerself! How now, Sambo!" he


said, to a ragged fellow, without any brim to his hat, who was officious in his attentions. "How have things been going?"

  "Fust rate, mas'r."

  "Quimbo," said Legree to another, who was making zealous demonstrations to attract his attention, "ye minded what I telled ye?"

  "Guess I did, didn't I?"

  These two colored men were the two principal hands on the plantation. Legree had trained them in savageness and brutality as systematically as he had his bull-dogs. Sambo and Quimbo cordially hated each other; the plantation hands, one and all, cordially hated them.

  As they stood there now by Legree, they seemed an apt illustration of the fact that brutal men are lower even than animals. Their coarse, dark, heavy features; their dilapidated garments fluttering in the wind—were all in admirable keeping with the vile and unwholesome character of everything about the place.

  "Here, you Sambo," said Legree, "take these yer boys down to the quarters."

  "Come, mistress," he said to Emmeline, "you go in here with me."

  A dark, wild face was seen, for a moment, to glance at the window of the house; and, as Legree opened the door, a female voice said something in a quick tone. Tom, who was looking with anxious interest after Emmeline as she went in, noticed this, and heard Legree answer angrily, "You may hold your tongue! I'll do as I please, for all you!"

  Tom heard no more; for he was soon following Sambo to the quarters. The quarters was a little


sort of street of rude shanties, in a row, in a part of the plantation far off from the house. They had a forlorn, brutal, forsaken air. Tom's heart sunk when he saw them.

  He had been comforting himself with the thought of a cottage, rude, indeed, but one which he might make neat and quiet, and where he might have a shelf for his Bible, and a place to be alone out of his laboring hours. He looked into several; they were mere rude shells, destitute of any species of furniture, except a heap of straw, foul with dirt, spread confusedly over the floor, which was merely the bare ground, trodden hard by the tramping of innumerable feet.

  "Which of these will be mine?" said he, to Sambo, submissively.

  "Dunno; ken turn in here, I spose," said Sambo; "spect thar's room for another thar; thar's a pretty smart heap o' niggers to each on 'em, now; sure, I dunno what I 's to do with more."

  It was late in the evening when the weary occupants of the shanties came flocking home—men and women, in soiled and tattered garments, surly and uncomfortable, and in no mood to look pleasantly on new-comers.

  The small village was alive with no inviting sounds; hoarse voices contending at the hand-mills where their morsel of hard corn was yet to be ground into meal, to fit it for the cake that was to constitute their only supper. From the earliest dawn of the day they had been in the fields, pressed to work under the driving lash of the overseers; for it was now in the very heat and hurry of the season.

  Tom looked in vain among the gang, as they poured


along, for companionable faces. He saw only sullen, scowling men, and feeble, discouraged women, who, treated in every way like brutes, had sunk as nearly to their level as it was possible for human beings to do.

  To a late hour in the night the sound of the grinding was protracted; for the mills were few in number compared with the grinders, and the weary and feeble ones were driven back by the strong, and came on last in their turn.

  "Thar, yo!" said Quimbo, throwing down a coarse bag, which contained a peck of corn; "thar, nigger, grab—take car on 't, yo won't get no more, dis yer week."

  Tom waited till a late hour to get a place at the mills; and then, moved by the utter weariness of two women, whom he saw trying to grind their corn there, he ground for them, put together the decaying brands


of the fire where many had baked cakes before them, and then went about getting his own supper.

  It was a new kind of work there—a deed of charity, small as it was; but it woke an answering touch in their hearts—an expression of womanly kindness came over their hard faces. They mixed his cake for him, and tended its baking; and Tom sat down by the light of the fire, and drew out his Bible—for he had need for comfort. The women went off to their cabins, and Tom sat alone, by the smouldering fire, that flickered up readily in his face.

  The silver, fair-browed moon rose in the purple sky, and looked down, calm and silent, as God looks on the scene of misery and oppression—looked calmly on the lone black man, as he sat, with his arms folded, and his Bible on his knee.

  Tom rose, disconsolate, and stumbled into the cabin that had been allotted to him. The floor was already strewn with weary sleepers, and the foul air of the place almost repelled him; but the heavy night-dews were chill, and his limbs weary, and, wrapping about him a tattered blanket, which formed his only bedclothing, he stretched himself in the straw and fell asleep.

  In dreams a gentle voice came over his ears; he was sitting on the mossy seat in the garden, and Eva, with her serious eyes bent downward, was reading to him from the Bible; and he heard her read:

  "When thou passest through the waters I will be with thee, and the rivers they shall not overflow thee; when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle upon thee; for I am the Lord thy God."

Uncle Tom's Cabin
Abridged for Use in Schools
Cleveland: World Publishing Company, c. 1930


  IT TOOK but a short time to familiarize Tom with all that was to be hoped or feared in his new way of life. He was an expert and efficient workman in whatever he undertook; and was prompt and faithful.

  He saw enough of abuse and misery to make him sick and weary; but he determined to toil on with religious patience, not without hope that some way of escape might yet be opened to him.

  Legree took silent note of Tom. He rated him as a first class hand; and yet he felt a secret dislike to him. He saw plainly that when, as was often the case, his violence and brutality fell on the helpless, Tom took notice of it

  Tom in various ways manifested a tenderness of feeling for his fellow-sufferers, strange and new to them, which was watched with a jealous eye by Legree.

  One morning, when the hands were mustered for the field, Tom noticed with surprise a new comer among them, whose appearance excited his attention. It was a woman, tall and slenderly formed, with remarkably delicate hands and feet, and dressed in neat and respectable garments. Where she came from, or who she was, Tom did not know. The first he did know, she was walking by his side, erect and proud, in the dim gray of the dawn. To the gang, however, she was known. [Her name was Cassy.]

  Tom was soon busy at his work; but as the woman was at no great distance from him, he often glanced an eye to her, at her work. She picked very fast and very clean, and with an air of scorn, as if she despised both the work and the disgrace of the circumstances in which she was placed.


  In the course of the day Tom was working near the mulatto woman who had been bought in the same lot with himself. She was evidently in great suffering, and Tom often heard her praying, as she wavered and trembled, and seemed about to fall down. Tom silently, as he came near to her, transferred several handfuls of cotton from his own sack to hers.

  "Oh, don't, don't!" said the woman, looking surprised; "it'll get you into trouble."

  Just then Sambo came up. He seemed to have a special spite against this woman; and, flourishing his whip, said, in brutal tones, "What dis yer, Luce,—foolin a'?" and, with the word, kicking the woman with his heavy cow-hide shoe, he struck Tom across the face with his whip.

  Tom silently resumed his task.

  The woman seemed stimulated, for a few moments, to an unnatural strength, and worked with desperate eagerness.

  At the risk of all that he might suffer, Tom came forward again, and put all the cotton in his sack into the woman's.

  "Oh, you mustn't! you donno what they'll do to ye!" said the woman.

  "I can bar it!" said Tom, "better 'n you;" and he was at his place again. It passed in a moment.

  Suddenly, the stranger woman whom we have described, and who had, in the course of her work, come near enough to hear Tom's last words, raised her heavy black eyes, and fixed them for a second on him; then, taking a quantity of cotton from her basket, she placed it in his.

  "You know nothing about this place," she said, "or you wouldn't have done that. When you've been



here a month, you'll be done helping anybody; you'll find it hard enough to take care of your own skin."

  The woman suddenly turned to her work, and labored with a dispatch that was perfectly astonishing to Tom. She seemed to work by magic. Before the day was through, her basket was filled, crowded down, and piled, and she had several times put largely into Tom's. Long after dusk the whole weary train, with their baskets on their heads, defiled up to the building appropriated to the storing and weighing the cotton. Legree was there, busily conversing with the two drivers.

  Slowly the weary, dispirited creatures wound their way into the room, and, with crouching reluctance, presented their baskets to be weighed.

  Legree noted on a slate, on the side of which was pasted a list of names, the amount.

  Tom's basket was weighed and approved, and he looked with an anxious glance for the success of the woman he had befriended.

  Tottering with weakness, she came forward, and delivered her basket. It was of full weight, as Legree well perceived; but, affecting anger, he said: "What, short again! Stand aside; you'll catch it, pretty soon!"

  The woman gave a groan of utter despair, and sat down on a board.

  The person who had been called Cassy now came forward, and, with a haughty, negligent air, delivered her basket. As she delivered it, Legree looked in her eyes with a sneering yet inquiring glance!

  She fixed her black eyes steadily on him, her lips moved slightly, and she said something in French. What it was, no one knew but Legree; he half raised


his hand, as if to strike—a gesture which she regarded with fierce disdain, as she turned and walked away.

  "And now," said Legree, "come here, you Tom. You see, I didn't buy ye for the common work. I mean to promote ye, and make a driver of ye; and to-night ye may jest as well begin to get yer hand in. Now, ye jest take this yer gal and flog her; ye've seen enough on't to know how."

  I beg mas'r's pardon," said Tom; "hopes mas'r won't set me at that. It's what I never did—and can't do, no way possible."

  "Ye'll larn things ye never did know, before I've done with ye!" said Legree, taking up a cowhide, and striking Tom a heavy blow cross the cheek, and following up the infliction by a shower of blows.

  "There!" he said, as he stopped to rest; "now, will ye tell me ye can't do it?"

  "Yes, mas'r," said Tom, putting up his hand, to wipe the blood that trickled down his face. "I'm willin' to work night and day, and work while there's life and breath in me; but this thing I can't feel it right to do; and, mas'r, I never shall do it—never!"

  Tom had a remarkably smooth, soft voice, and a habitually respectful manner, that had given Legree an idea that he would be cowardly, and easily subdued.

  When he spoke these last words, a thrill of amazement went through every one; the poor woman clasped her hands, and said, "O Lord!" and every one involuntarily looked at each other and drew in their breath, as if to prepare for the storm that was about to burst.

  "Mas'r, if you mean to kill me, kill me; but as to my raising my hand agin any one here, I never shall—I'll die first!"

  Tom spoke in a mild voice, but with a decision that


could not be mistaken. Legree shook with anger; he kept back his strong impulse to proceed to immediate violence, and broke out into bitter raillery.

  "Well, here's a pious dog, at last, let down among us sinners! Here, you rascal, you make believe to be so pious—did you never hear, out of yer Bible, 'Servants, obey yer masters'? An't I yer master? Didn't I pay down twelve hundred dollars, cash? An't yer mine, now, body and soul?" he said, giving Tom a violent kick with his heavy boot; "tell me!"

  In the very depth of physical suffering, bowed by brutal oppression, this question shot a gleam of joy and triumph through Tom's soul. He suddenly stretched himself up, and looking earnestly to heaven, while the tears and blood that flowed down his face mingled, he exclaimed:

  "No! no! no! my soul an't yours, mas'r! You haven't bought it—ye can't buy it! It's been bought and paid for by one that is able to keep it; no matter, no matter, you can't harm me!"

  "I can't!" said Legree, with a sneer; "we'll see. Here, Sambo, Quimbo, give this dog such a breakin' in as he won't get over, this month!"

  The two gigantic negroes laid hold of Tom with fiendish exultation in their faces. The poor woman screamed with apprehension, and all rose, as by a general impulse, while they dragged him unresisting from the place.

  It was late at night, and Tom lay groaning and bleeding alone, in an old forsaken room of the gin-house, among pieces of broken machinery, piles of damaged cotton, and other rubbish which had there accumulated.

  The night was damp and close, and the thick air swarmed with myriads of mosquitos, which increased the restless


torture of his wounds; whilst a burning thirst—a torture beyond all others—filled up the uttermost measure of physical anguish.

  "O good Lord! Do look down—give me the victory!—give me the victory over all!" prayed poor Tom, in his anguish.

  A footstep entered the room, behind him, and the light of a lantern flashed on his eyes.

  "Who's there? Oh, please give me some water!"

  The woman Cassy—for it was she—set down her lantern, and pouring water from a bottle, raised his head, and gave him drink. Another and another cup were drained, with feverish eagerness.


  "Drink all ye want," she said; "I knew how it would be. It isn't the first time I've been out in the night, carrying water to such as you."

  "Thank you, missis," said Tom, when he had done drinking.

  "Don't call me missis. I'm a miserable slave, like yourself," said she, bitterly; "but now," said she, going to the door, and dragging in a small pallaise, over which she had spread linen cloths wet with cold water, "try, my poor fellow, to roll yourself on to this."

  Stiff with wounds and bruises, Tom was a long time in accomplishing this movement; but, when done, he felt a sensible relief from the cooling application to his wounds.

  "Now," said the woman, when she had raised his head on a roll of damaged cotton, which served for a pillow, "there's the best I can do for you."

  Tom thanked her; and the woman, sitting down on the floor, looked fixedly before her, with a bitter and painful expression of countenance.

  "It's no use, my poor fellow!" she broke out, at last, "it's of no use, this you've been trying to do. You were a brave fellow—you had the right on your side; but it's all in vain, and out of the question, for you to struggle; he is the strongest, and you must give up!"

  Tom closed his eyes, and shuddered at the words.

  "You see," said the woman, "you don't know anything about it—I do. I've been on this place five years, body and soul, under this man's foot; and I hate him! Here you are, on a lone plantation, ten miles from any other, in the swamps; not a white person here who could testify if you were burned alive—if you were scalded, cut into inch-pieces, set up for the dogs to tear, or hung up and whipped to death."


  The woman sternly continued: "And what are these miserable low dogs you work with, that you should suffer on their account? Every one of them would turn against you the first time they got a chance. They are all as low and cruel to each other as they can be; there's no use in your suffering to keep from hurting them."

  "Poor critturs!" said Tom, "what made 'em cruel? And if I give out I shall get used to 't, and grow, little by little, just like 'em! No, no, missis! I've lost everything—wife, and children, and home, and a kind mas'r—and he would have set me free, if he'd only lived a week longer. I've lost everything in this world, and it's clean gone, forever—and now I can't lose Heaven, too; no, I can't get to be wicked, besides all!"

  There was a silence awhile, in which the breathing of both parties could be heard, when Tom faintly said, "Oh, please, missis!"

  The woman suddenly rose up, with her face composed to its usual stern, melancholy expression.

  "Please, missis, I saw 'em throw my coat in that ar' corner, and in my coat-pocket is my Bible—if missis would please get it for me."

  Cassy went and got it. Tom opened, at once, to a heavily marked passage.

  "If missis would only be so good as read that—it's better than water."

  Cassy took the book, with a dry, proud air, and looked over the passage. She then read aloud, in a soft voice. Often, as she read, her voice faltered, and sometimes failed her altogether, when she would stop, till she had mastered herself. When she came to the touching words "Father forgive them, for they know


not what they do," she threw down the book, and, burying her face in the heavy masses of her hair, she sobbed aloud.

  [Before leaving Tom, Cassy related to him her sad history. Years ago her two little children, Henry and Elise, had been her pride and joy. But the time came when they were taken from her, and sold as slaves, and she had never seen them since. Grief for her lost children, and the thought of all they would suffer made life bitter for her. As a slave she had been sold from one master to another until at last she came into the possession of Legree, and for the last few years she had suffered greatly from his cruelty.]

  [In order that Tom might escape the cruel punishment that seemed in store for him, Cassy reminded Legree that Tom could not be spared from the cotton fields at a time when there was so much picking to be done. Legree, in consequence, determined not to go on with the cruel treatment he had intended, but to make Tom beg his pardon. Early next morning he went out to the shed where the poor slave was lying.]

  "Well, my boy," said Legree, with a contemptuous kick, "how do you find yourself? How do yer like it—eh? Ye couldn't treat a poor sinner, now, to a bit of sermon, could yer, eh?"

  Tom answered nothing.

  "Get up," said Legree, kicking him again.

  This was a difficult matter for one so bruised and faint, and as Tom made efforts to do so, Legree laughed brutally.

  "What makes ye so spry, this morning, Tom? Cotched cold, maybe, last night."

  Tom by this time had gained his feet, and was confronting his master with a steady, unmoved front.


  "I believe you haven't got enough yet," said Legree, looking him over.

  "Now, Tom, get down on yer knees and beg my pardon for yer shines last night."

  Tom did not move.

  "Down, you dog!" said Legree, striking him with his riding-whip.

  "Mas'r Legree," said Tom, "I can't do it. I did only what I thought was right. I shall do just so again, if ever the time comes. I never will do a cruel thing, come what may."

  "Yes, but ye don't know what may come, Master


Tom. How would ye like to be tied to a tree, and have a slow fire lit up around ye? Wouldn't that be pleasant—eh, Tom?"

  "Mas'r," said Tom, "I know ye can do dreadful things; but"—he stretched himself upward and clasped his hands—"but, after ye've killed the body, there an't no more ye can do. And oh, there's all eternity to come, after that!"

  Eternity—the word thrilled through the black man's soul with light and power as he spoke—it thrilled through the sinner's soul, too, like the bite of a scorpion. Legree gnashed on him with his teeth, but rage kept him silent; and Tom spoke in a clear and cheerful voice,

  "Mas'r Legree, as ye bought me, I'll be a true and faithful servant to ye. I'll give ye all the work of my hands, all my time, all my strength; but my soul I won't give up to mortal man. I will hold on to the Lord, and put his commands before all—die or live; you may be sure on 't. Mas'r Legree, I'd as soon die as not. Ye may whip me, starve me, burn me—it'll only send me sooner where I want to go."

  "I'll make ye give out, though, 'fore I've done!" said Legree, in a rage.

  "I shall have help," said Tom; "you'll never do it."

  "Who's going to help you?" said Legree, scornfully.

  "The Lord Almighty," said Tom.

  Legree, with one blow of his fist, felled Tom to the earth.

  A cold soft hand fell on Legree's at this moment. He turned—it was Cassy's.

  "Let him go," said Cassy, in French. "Let me alone to get him fit to be in the field again. Isn't it just as I told you?"


  Legree turned away, determined to let the point go for the time.

  "Well, have it your own way," he said, doggedly, to Cassy. "Hark, ye!" he said to Tom, "I won't deal with ye now, because the business is pressing, and I want all my hands; but I never forget. I'll score it against ye, and sometime I'll have my pay out o' yer old black hide—mind ye!"

  Legree turned, and went out.

Uncle Tom's Cabin
Abridged for Use in Schools
Cleveland: World Publishing Company, c. 1930


  A WHILE we must leave Tom in the hands of his persecutors, while we turn to pursue the fortunes of George and his wife, whom we left in friendly hands in a farm-house on the roadside. George and Eliza, with their child, were driven privately into Sandusky, and lodged beneath a hospital roof, preparatory to taking their last passage on the lake.

  Their night was now far spent, and the morning star of liberty rose fair before them. Liberty! What is it? What is freedom to that young man who sits there, with his arms folded over his broad chest, the tint of African blood in his cheek, its dark fires in his eyes—what is freedom to George Harris? To him it is the right of a man to be a man and not a brute; the right to protect and educate his child; the right to have a home of his own, a religion of his own, a character of his own, unsubject to the will of another.

  All these thoughts were rolling and seething in George's breast, as he was pensively leaning his head on his hand, watching his wife, as she was adapting to her slender and pretty form the articles of man's


attire, in which it was deemed safest she should make her escape.

  "Now for it," said she, as she stood before the glass, and shook down her silky abundance of black, curly hair. "I say, George, it's almost a pity, isn't it," she said, as she held up some of it playfully. "Pity it's all got to come off?"

  George smiled sadly, and made no answer.

  Eliza turned to the glass, and the scissors glittered as one long lock after another was detached from her head.

  "There, now, that'll do," she said, taking up a hair-brush; "now for a few fancy touches."

  "There, an't I a pretty young fellow?" she said, turning around to her husband, laughing and blushing at the same time.

  "You always will be pretty, do what you will," said George.

  "What does make you so sober?" said Eliza, kneeling on one knee, and laying her hand on his.

  "We are only within twenty-four hours of Canada, they say. Only a day and a night on the lake, and then—oh, then!"

  "O Eliza!" said George, drawing her towards him, "that is it! Now my fate is all narrowing down to a point. To come so near, to be almost in sight, and then lose all. I should never live under it, Eliza."

  "Don't fear," said his wife hopefully. "The good Lord would not have brought us so far, if he didn't mean to carry us through. I seem to feel him with us, George."

  "You are a blessed woman, Eliza!" said George, clasping her with a convulsive grasp. "But—oh, tell me? can this great mercy be for us? Will these years


and years of misery come to an end?—shall we be free?"

  "I am sure of it, George," said Eliza, looking upward, while tears of hope and enthusiasm shone on her long, dark lashes. "I feel it in me that God is going to bring us out of bondage this very day."

  "I will believe you, Eliza," said George, rising suddenly up, "I will believe; come let's be off. Well, indeed," said he, holding her off at arm's length, and looking admiringly at her, "you are a pretty little fellow. That crop of little, short curls is quite becoming. Put on your cap. So—a little to


one side. I never saw you look quite so pretty. But it's almost time for the carriage; I wonder if Mrs. Smyth has got Harry rigged?"

  The door opened, and a respectable, middle-aged woman entered, leading little Harry, dressed in girl's clothes.

  "What a pretty girl he makes," said Eliza, turning him round. "We call him Harriet."

  The child stood gravely regarding his mother in her new and strange attire, observing a profound silence, and occasionally drawing deep sighs, and peeping at her from under his dark curls.

  "Does Harry know mamma?" said Eliza, stretching her hands toward him.

  The child clung shyly to the woman.

  "Come Eliza, why do you try to coax him, when you know that he has got to be kept away from you?"

  "I know it's foolish," said Eliza, "yet I can't bear to have him turn away from me. But come—where's my cloak? Here—how is it men put on cloaks, George?"

  "You must wear it so," said her husband, throwing it over his shoulders.

  "So, then," said Eliza, imitating the motion; "and I must stamp, and take long steps, and try to look saucy. And these gloves! mercy upon us! why, my hands are lost in them."

  "I advise you to keep them on pretty strictly," said George. "Your little slender paw might bring us all out. Now, Mrs. Smyth, you are to go under our charge, and be our aunty—you mind."

  "I've heard," said Mrs. Smyth, "that there have been men down, warning all the packet-captains against a man and woman with a little boy."


  "They have!" said George. "Well, if we see any such people, we can tell them."

  A hack now drove to the door, and the friendly family who had received the fugitives crowded around them with farewell greetings.

  Mrs. Smyth, a respectable woman from the settlement of Canada, whither they were fleeing, being


fortunately about crossing the lake to return thither, had consented to appear as the aunt of little Harry; and, in order to attach him to her, he had been allowed to remain, the two last days, under her sole charge.

  The hack drove to the wharf. The two young men, as they appeared, walked up the plank into the boat, Eliza gallantly giving her arm to Mrs. Smyth, and George attending to their baggage.

  George was standing at the captain's office, settling for his party, when he overheard two men talking by his side.

  "I've watched every one that came on board," said one, "and I know they're not on this boat."

  The voice was that of the clerk of the boat. The speaker whom he addressed was our sometime friend Marks.

  "You would scarcely know the woman from a white one," said Marks. "The man is a very light mulatto. He has a brand in one of his hands."

  The hand with which George was taking the tickets and change trembled a little; but he turned cooly around, fixed an unconcerned glance on the face of the speaker, and walked leisurely toward another part of the boat, where Eliza stood waiting for him.

  Mrs. Smyth, with little Harry, sought the seclusion of the ladies' cabin, where the dark beauty of the supposed little girl drew many flattering comments from the passengers.

  George had the satisfaction, as the bell rang out its farewell peal, to see Marks walk down the plank to the shore; and drew a long sigh of relief, when the boat had put a returnless distance between them.

  It was a superb day. The blue waves of Lake Erie danced rippling and sparkling in the sunlight. A fresh


breeze blew from the shore, and the lordly boat ploughed her way right gallantly onward.

  Hours fleeted, and, at last, clear and full rose the blessed shore.

  George and his wife stood arm in arm as the boat neared the small town of Amherstberg, in Canada. His breath grew thick and short; a mist gathered before his eyes; he silently pressed the little hand that lay trembling on his arm. The bell rang—the boat stopped.

  Scarcely seeing what he did, he looked out his baggage, and gathered his party. The little company


were landed on the shore. They stood still till the boat had cleared; and then, with tears and embracings, the husband and wife, with their wondering child in their arms, knelt down and lifted up their hearts to God!

  The little party were soon guided by Mrs. Smyth to the hospitable abode of a good missionary, whom Christian charity has placed here as a shepherd to the outcast and wandering, who are constantly finding an asylum on this shore.

  Who can speak the blessedness of that first day of freedom? To move, speak and breathe, go out and come in unwatched and free from danger! How fair and precious to that mother was that sleeping child's face, endeared by the memory of a thousand dangers! How impossible was it to sleep in the possession of such blessedness!

  And yet these two had not one acre of ground, not a roof that they could call their own, they had spent their all, to the last dollar. They had nothing more than the birds of the air, or the flowers of the field—yet they could not sleep for joy.

Uncle Tom's Cabin
Abridged for Use in Schools
Cleveland: World Publishing Company, c. 1930


  WHEN Tom stood face to face with his persecutor, and heard his threats and thought in his very soul that his hour was come, his heart swelled bravely in him, but when he was gone, and the present excitement passed off, came back the pain of his bruised and weary limbs, came back the sense of his utterly degraded, hopeless, forlorn estate; and the day passed wearily enough.

  Long before his wounds were healed, Legree


insisted that he should be put to the regular field-work; and then came day after day of pain and weariness.

  In the height of the season, Legree did not hesitate to press all his hands through Sundays and week-days alike. Why shouldn't he? He made more cotton by it, and if it wore out a few more hands, he could buy better ones.

  At first, Tom used to read a verse or two of his Bible by the flicker of the fire, after he had returned from his daily toil; but, after the cruel treatment he received, he used to come home so exhausted that his head swam and his eyes failed when he tried to read, and he was fain to stretch himself down with the others in utter exhaustion.

  One evening, he was sitting, in utter dejection and


prostration, by a few decaying brands, where his coarse supper was baking. He put a few bits of brushwood on the fire, and strove to raise the light, and then drew his worn Bible from his pocket. There were all the marked passages which had thrilled his soul so often.

  A coarse laugh roused him. He looked up. Legree was standing opposite to him.

  "You were a fool," said Legree; "for I meant to do well by you when I bought you. You might have been better off than Sambo, or Quimbo either; and had easy times; and instead of getting cut up and thrashed every day or two, ye might have had liberty to lord it round and cut up the other niggers. Never mind, I'll chase you down yet, and bring you under, you'll see!" and Legree turned away.

  When the dim gray of dawn woke the slumberers to go forth to the field, there was among those tattered and shivering wretches one who walked with an exultant tread; for firmer than the ground he trod on was his strong faith in almighty, eternal love. So short now seemed the remaining voyage of life—so near seemed eternal blessedness—that life's uttermost woes fell from him unharming.

  All noticed the change in his appearance. Cheerfulness and alertness seemed to return to him, and a quietness which no insult or injury could ruffle seemed to possess him.

  "What the devil's got into Tom?" Legree said to Sambo. "A while ago he was all down in the mouth, and now he's peart as a cricket."

  "Dunno, Mas'r; gwine to run off, mebbe."

  "Like to see him try that," said Legree, with a savage grin, "wouldn't we, Sambo?"


  This was spoken as Legree was getting on his horse, to go to the neighboring town. That night, as he was returning, he thought he would turn his horse and ride round the quarters, and see if all was safe.

  It was a superb moonlight night, and the shadows of the graceful China trees lay minutely pencilled on the turf below, and there was that transparent stillness in the air which it seems almost unholy to disturb. Legree was a little distance from the quarters, when he heard the voice of some one singing. It was not a usual sound there, and he paused to listen. A musical tenor voice sang—

"When I can read my title clear
To mansions in the skies,
I'll bid farewell to every fear,
And wipe my weeping eyes."

  "So ho!" said Legree to himself, "he thinks so, does he? How I hate these cursed Methodist hymns! Here, you nigger," said he, coming suddenly out upon Tom, and raising his riding-whip, "how dare you be gettin' up this yer row, when you ought to be in bed? Get along in with you!"

  "Yes, mas'r," said Tom, with ready cheerfulness, as he rose to to in.

  Legree was provoked beyond measure by Tom's evident happiness; and, riding up to him, belabored him over his head and shoulders.

  "There, you dog," he said; "see if you'll feel so comfortable, after that!"

  But the blows fell now only on the outer man, and not, as before, on the heart. Tom stood perfectly submissive; and yet Legree could not hide from himself that his power over his bond thrall was somehow gone.


  Tom's whole soul overflowed with compassion and sympathy for the poor wretches by whom he was surrounded.

  On the way to the fields and back again, and during the hours of labor, chances fell in his way of extending a helping hand to the weary, the disheartened and discouraged.

  The strange, silent, patient man, who was ready to bear every one's burden, and sought help from none,—who stood aside for all, and came last, and took least, yet was foremost to share his little all with any who needed,—the man who, in cold nights, would give up his tattered blanket to add to the comfort of some woman who shivered with sickness, and who filled the baskets of the weaker ones in the field, at the terrible risk of coming short in his own measure—this man, at last, began to have a strange power over them.

  Even the half-crazed and wandering mind of Cassy was soothed and calmed by his simple and unobtrusive influences.

  One night, after all in Tom's cabin were sunk in sleep, he was suddenly aroused by seeing her face at the hole between the logs that served for a window. She made a silent gesture for him to come out.

  Tom came out the door. It was between one and two o'clock at night—broad, calm, still moonlight. Tom remarked, as the light of the moon fell upon Cassy's large black eyes, that there was a wild and peculiar glare in them, unlike their wonted fixed despair.

  "Come here, Father Tom," she said, laying her small hand on his wrist, and drawing him forward with a force as if the hand were of steel; "come here—I've news for you."

  "What, Misse Cassy?" said Tom anxiously.


  "Tom, wouldn't you like your liberty?"

  "I shall have it, misse, in God's time," said Tom.

  "Ay, but you may have it to-night," said Cassy, with a flash of sudden energy. "Come on."

  Tom hesitated.

  "Misse Cassy," said Tom, in a hesitating tone, "if ye only could get away from here—if the thing was possible—I'd 'vise ye and Emmeline to do it; that is, if ye could go without blood-guiltiness—not otherwise."

  "Would you try it with us, Father Tom?"

  "No," said Tom; "time was when I would; but I'll stay with these poor souls and bear my cross with 'em till the end. It's different with you; it's more'n you can stand; and you'd better go, if you can."

  "I know no way but through the grave," said Cassy. "There's no beast or bird but can find a home some where; even the snakes and the alligators have their places to lie down and be quiet; but there's no place for us. Down in the darkest swamps, their dogs will hunt us out, and find us. Everybody and everything is against us, even the very beasts side against us, and where shall we go?"

  Tom stood silent; at length he said: "Try it, and I'll pray with all my might for you."

  Cassy had often revolved, for hours, all possible or probable schemes of escape, and dismissed them all, as hopeless and impracticable; but at this moment there flashed through her mind a plan, so simple in all its details, as to awaken an instant hope.

  "Father Tom, I'll try it!" she said, suddenly.

  "Amen!" said Tom; "the Lord help ye!"

  The garret of the house that Legree occupied, like most other garrets, was a great, desolate space, dusty,


hung with cobwebs, and littered with cast-off lumber. One or two immense packing-boxes, in which furniture was brought, stood against the sides of the garret.

  In the night, when everybody else was asleep, Cassy slowly and carefully accumulated there a stock of provisions sufficient to afford subsistence for some time; she transferred, article by article, a greater part of her own and Emmeline's wardrobe. All things being arranged, they only waited a fitting opportunity to put their plan in execution.

  At the time when all was matured for action, our readers may, perhaps, like to look behind the scenes.

  It was now near evening, Legree had been absent on a ride to a neighboring farm. For many days Cassy and Legree had been, apparently, on the best of terms. At present, we may behold her and Emmeline in the room of the latter, busy in sorting and arranging two small bundles.

  "There, these will be large enough," said Cassy. "Now put on your bonnet, and let's start; it's just about the right time."

  "Why, they can see us yet," said Emmeline.

  "I mean they shall," said Cassy, coolly. "Don't you know that they must have their chase after us, at any rate? The way of the thing is to be just this. We will steal out of the back door, and run down by the quarters. Sambo or Quimbo will be sure to see us. They will give chase, and we will get into the swamp; then, they can't follow us any further till they go up and give the alarm, and turn out the dogs, and so on; and, while they are blundering round, and tumbling over each other, as they always do, you and I will slip along to the creek that runs back of the house, and wade along in it, till we get opposite the back door.


  "That will put the dogs all at fault; for scent won't lie in the water. Every one will run out of the house to look after us, and then we'll whip in at the back door, and up into the garret, where I've got a nice bed made up in one of the great boxes. We must stay in that garret a good while. He'll muster some of those old overseers on the other plantations, and have a great hunt; and they'll go over every inch of ground in that swamp. He makes it his boast that nobody ever got away from him. So let him hunt at his leisure."

  "Cassy, how well you have planned it!" said Emmeline. "Who ever would have thought of it, but you?" There was neither pleasure nor exultation in Cassy's eyes—only a despairing firmness.

  "Come," she said, reaching her hand to Emmeline.

  The two fugitives glided noiselessly from the house, and flitted through the gathering shadows of evening, along by the quarters. The crescent moon delayed a little the approach of night. As Cassy expected, when


quite near the verge of the swamps that encircled the plantation, they heard a voice calling to them to stop. It was not Sambo, however, but Legree, who was pursuing them.

  Emmeline succeeded in plunging with Cassy into a part of the labyrinth of swamp, so deep and dark that it was perfectly hopeless for Legree to think of following them without assistance.

  "Well," said he, chuckling brutally, "at any rate, they've got themselves into a trap now! They're safe enough. They shall sweat for it!

  "Hulloa, there! Sambo! Quimbo! All hands!" called Legree, coming to the quarters, when the men and women were just returning from work. "There's two runaways in the swamps. I'll give five dollars to any nigger as catches 'em. Turn out the dogs! Turn out Tiger and Fury and the rest!"

  The sensation produced by this news was immediate.

  Some ran one way, and some another. Some were uncoupling the dogs, whose hoarse, savage bay added not a little to the animation of the scene.

  "Mas'r, shall we shoot 'em if can't cotch 'em?" said Sambo, to whom his master brought out a rifle.

  "You may fire on Cass, if you like" said Legree. "And now, boys, be spry and smart. Five dollars for him that gets 'em; and a glass of spirits to every one of you, anyhow."

  The whole band, with the glare of blazing torches, and whoop, and shout, and savage yell of man and beast, proceeded down to the swamp, followed, at some distance, by every servant in the house. The establishment was, of a consequence, wholly deserted when Cassy and Emmeline glided into it the back way.

  The whooping and shouts of their pursuers were still filling the air; and, looking from the sitting room


windows, Cassy and Emmeline could see the troop, with their flambeaux, just dispersing themselves along the edge of the swamp.

Uncle Tom's Cabin
Abridged for Use in Schools
Cleveland: World Publishing Company, c. 1930


  "SEE there!" said Emmeline, pointing to Cassy; "the hunt is begun! Look how those lights dance about! Hark! the dogs! Don't you hear? Oh, for pity's sake, do let's hide ourselves. Quick!"

  "There's no occasion for hurry," said Cassy, coolly; "they are all out after the hunt—that's the amusement of the evening! We'll go upstairs by and by. Meanwhile," said she, deliberately taking a key from the pocket of a coat that Legree had thrown down in his hurry, "meanwhile I shall take something to pay our passage.

  She unlocked the desk, took from it a roll of bills, which she counted over rapidly.

  "Oh, don't let's do that!" said Emmeline.

  "Don't!" said Cassy. "Why not? Would you have us starve in the swamps, or have that that will pay our way to the free states. Money will do anything, girl." And, as she spoke, she put the money in her bosom.

  "It would be stealing," said Emmeline, in a distressed whisper.

  "Stealing!" said Cassy, with a scornful laugh. "They who steal body and soul needn't talk to us. Every one of these bills is stolen—stolen from poor, starving, sweating creatures, who must go to the devil at last, for his profit. Let him talk about stealing! But come, we may as well go up garret; I've got a stock of candles there, and some books to pass away the time. You may be pretty sure they won't come there


to inquire after us. If they do, I'll play ghost for them."

  When Emmeline reached the garret, she found an immense box, in which some heavy pieces of furniture had once been brought, turned on its side, so that the opening faced the wall, or rather the eaves.

  Cassy lit a small lamp, and creeping round under the eaves, they established themselves in it. It was spread with a couple of small mattresses and some pillows; a box near by was plentifully stored with candles, provisions, and all the clothing necessary to their journey.

  "There," said Cassy, as she fixed the lamp into a small hook, which she had driven into the side of the box for that purpose; "this is to be our home for the present. How do you like it?"

  "Are you sure they won't come and search the garret?"

  "I'd like to see Simon Legree doing that," said Cassy. "No, indeed; he will be too glad to keep away. As to the servants, they would any of them stand and be shot sooner than show their faces here."

  Somewhat re-assured, Emmeline settled herself back on her pillow.

  The two remained some time in silence. Cassy busied herself with a French book; Emmeline, overcome with the exhaustion, fell into a doze, and slept some time. She was awakened by loud shouts and outcries, the tramp of horses' feet, and the baying of dogs. She started up, with a faint shriek.

  "Only the hunt coming back," said Cassy, coolly; "never fear. Look out of this knot-hole. Don't you see 'em all down there? Simon has to give up, for this night. Ah, my good sir, you'll have to try the race again and again—the game isn't there."


  "O, don't speak a word!" said Emmeline; "what if they should hear you?"

  "If they do hear anything, it will make them very particular to keep away," said Cassy. "No danger; we may make any noise we please, and it will only add to the effect."

  At length the stillness of midnight settled down over the house. Legree, and vowing vengeance on the morrow, went to bed.

  The escape of Cassy and Emmeline irritated the before surly temper of Legree to the last degree; and his fury, as was to be expected, fell upon the defenceless head of Tom.

  When he hurriedly announced the tidings among his hands, there was a sudden light in Tom's eye, a sud-


den upraising of his hands, that did not escape him. He saw that he did not join the muster of the pursuers. He thought of forcing him to do it; but would not, in his hurry, stop to enter into any conflict with him.

  Tom, therefore, remained behind, with a few who had learned of him to pray, and offered up prayers for the escape of the fugitives.

  When Legree returned, baffled and disappointed, all the long-working hatred of his soul towards his slave began to gather in a deadly and desperate form. Had not this man braved him—steadily, powerfully, resistlessly—ever since he bought him?

  "I hate him!" said Legree, that night, as he sat up in his bed; "I hate him! And isn't he MINE? Can't I do what I like with him? Who's to hinder, I wonder?" And Legree clenched his fist and shook it as if he had something in his hands that he could rend in pieces.

  But then Tom was a faithful, valuable servant; and although Legree hated him the more for that, yet the consideration was still somewhat of a restraint to him.

  The next morning, he determined to say nothing, as yet; to assemble a party, from some neighboring plantations, with dogs and guns; to surround the swamp, and go about the hunt systematically. If it succeeded, well and good; if not, he would summon Tom before him, and—his teeth clenched and his blood boiled—then he would break that fellow down.

  "Well," said Cassy, the next day, from the garret, as she reconnoitred through the knot-hole, "the hunt's going to begin again to-day!"

  Three or four mounted horsemen were curveting


about, on the space in front of the house; and one or two leashes of strange dogs were struggling with the negroes who held them, baying and barking at each other.

  The men are, two of them, overseers of plantations in the vicinity; and others were some of Legree's associates at the tavern-bar of a neighboring city, who had come for the interest of the sport. A more hard-favored set, perhaps, could not be imagined.

  Cassy placed her ear at the knot-hole; and, as the morning air blew directly towards the house, she could overhear a good deal of the conversation. A grave sneer overcast her face, as she listened, and heard them divide out the ground, discuss the rival merits of the dogs, give orders about firing, and the treatment of each, in case of capture.

  There was a terrible earnestness in her face and voice, as she spoke.

  "If it wasn't for you, child," she said, looking at Emmeline, "I'd go out to them; and I'd thank any one of them that would shoot me down; for what use will freedom be to me? Can it give me back my children?"

  Emmeline, in her child-like simplicity, was half afraid of the dark moods of Cassy. She looked perplexed, but made no answer. She only took her hand, with a gentle, caressing movement.

  "Don't!" said Cassy, trying to draw it away; "you'll get me to loving you; and I never mean to love anything again!"

  "Poor Cassy!" said Emmeline, "don't feel so. If the Lord gives us liberty, perhaps he'll give you back your daughter; at any rate, I'll be like a daughter to you. I know I'll never see my poor old mother


again! I shall love you, Cassy, whether you love me or not!"

  The gentle, child-like spirit conquered. Cassy sat down by her, put her arm round her neck, stroked her soft, brown hair; and Emmeline then wondered at the beauty of her magnificent eyes, now soft with tears.

  "O Em!" said Cassy, "I've hungered for my children, and thirsted for them, and my eyes fail with longing for them! Here! here!" she said, striking her breast, "it's all desolate, all empty! If God would give me back my children, then I could pray."

  "You must trust him, Cassy," said Emmeline; "he is our Father. He will be good to us! Let us hope in him—I always have had hope."

Uncle Tom's Cabin
Abridged for Use in Schools
Cleveland: World Publishing Company, c. 1930


  THE hunt was long, and thorough, but unsuccessful; and, with exultation, Cassy looked down on Legree as, weary and dispirited, he alighted from his horse.

  "Now, Quimbo," said Legree, as he stretched himself down in the sitting-room, "you just go and walk that Tom up here, right away. He is at the bottom of this whole matter; and I'll have it out of his old black hide, or I'll know the reason why!"

  Sambo and Quimbo, both, though hating each other, were joined in one mind by a no less cordial hatred of Tom. Quimbo, therefore, departed, with a will, to execute his orders.

  Tom heard the message with a forewarning heart; for he knew all the plan of the fugitives' escape, and the place of their present concealment. He knew the deadly character of the man he had to deal with,


and his despotic power. But he felt strong in God to meet death, rather than betray the helpless.

  He sat his basket down by the row, and, looking up, said, "Into thy hands I commend my spirit!" and then quietly yielded himself to the rough, brutal grasp with which Quimbo seized him.

  "Ay, ay!" said the giant, as he dragged him along, "ye'll catch it, now! No sneaking out, now! Tell ye ye'll get it, and no mistake! See how ye'll look, now, helpin' Mas'r's niggers to run away! See what ye'll get!"

  The savage words, none of them reached that ear—a higher voice there was saying, "Fear not them that kill the body, and, after that, have no more that they can do."


  As he passed along, the trees. and bushes, the huts of his servitude, the whole scene of his degradation, seemed to whirl by him as the landscape by the rushing ear. His soul throbbed—his home was in sight—and the hour of release seemed at hand.

  "Well, Tom!" said Legree, walking up and seizing him grimly by the collar of his coat, and speaking through his teeth, in a rage, "do you know I've made up my mind to KILL you?"

  "It's very likely, mas'r," said Tom, calmly.

  "I have," said Legree, with a grim, terrible calmness, "done—just—that—thing, Tom, unless you'll tell me what you know about these yer gals!"

  Tom stood silent.

  "D'ye hear?" said Legree, stamping, with a roar like that of an incensed lion. "Speak!"

  "I han't got nothing to tell, mas'r," said Tom, with a slow, firm, deliberate utterance.

  "Do you dare to tell me, ye old black Christian, ye don't know?" said Legree.

  Tom was silent.

  "Speak!" thundered Legree, striking him furiously. "Do you know anything?"

  "I know, mas'r; but I can't tell anything. I can die!"

  Legree drew in a long breath, and suppressing his rage, took Tom by the arm, and, approaching his face almost to his, said, in a terrible voice, "Hark 'e, Tom—ye think, 'cause I've let you off before, I don't mean what I say; but this time I've made up my mind and counted the cost. You've always stood it out—now I'll conquer you, or kill you!—one or t' other.

  Tom looked up to his mas'r, and answered, "Mas'r, if you was sick, or in trouble, or dying, and I could


save ye, I'd give ye my heart's blood; and, if taking every drop of blood in this poor old body would save your precious soul, I'd give 'em freely. O mas'r don't bring this great sin on your soul! It will hurt you more than 't will me!"

  Like a strange snatch of heavenly music, heard in the lull of a tempest, this burst of feeling made a moment's blank pause. Legree stood aghast, and looked at Tom; and there was such a silence that the tick of the old clock could be heard.

  It was but a moment. There was one hesitating pause, and Legree, foaming with rage, smote his victim to the ground.

* * * * * *


  TWO days after, a young man drove a light wagon up through the avenue of China trees, and, throwing the reins hastily on the horse's neck, sprang out and inquired for the owner of the place.

  It was George Shelby; and, to show how he came to be there, we must go back in our story.

  The letter of Miss Ophelia to Mrs. Shelby had, by some unfortunate accident, been detained for a month or two at some remote post-office, before it reached its destination; and, of course, before it was received, Tom was already lost to view among the distant swamps of the Red river.

  Mrs. Shelby read the intelligence with the deepest concern; but any immediate action upon it was an impossibility. She was then in attendance on the sick-bed of her husband.

  Master George Shelby, who, in the interval, had


changed from a boy to a tall young man, was her constant and faithful assistant, and her only reliance in superintending his father's affairs. Some six months after, the latter, having business for his mother down the river, resolved to visit New Orleans in person, in hopes of discovering Tom's whereabouts, and restoring him.

  After some months of unsuccessful search, by the merest accident, George fell in with a man in New Orleans who happened to be possessed of the desired information; and with his money in his pocket, our hero took steamboat for Red river, resolving to find out and repurchase his old friend.

  He was soon introduced into the house, where he found Legree in the sitting-room.

  Legree received the stranger with a kind of surly hospitality.

  "I understand," said the young man, "that you bought, in New Orleans, a boy named Tom. He used to be on my father's place, and I came to see if I couldn't buy him back."

  Legree's brow grew dark, and he broke out passionately: "Yes, I did buy such a fellow! The most rebellious, saucy, impudent dog! Set up my niggers to run away. He owned to that, and, when I bid him tell me where they was, he up and said he knew, but he wouldn't tell; and stood to it, though I gave him the hardest flogging I ever gave nigger yet. I b'lieve he's trying to die; but I don't know."

  "Where is he?" said George impetuously. "Let me see him." The cheeks of the young man were crimson, and his eyes flashed fire; but he prudently said nothing.

  "He's in dat shed," said a little fellow, who stood holding George's horse.


  Legree kicked the boy, and swore at him; but George, without saying another word, turned and strode to the spot.

  Tom had been lying two days since the fatal night; not suffering, for every nerve of suffering was blunted and destroyed. He lay, for the most part, in a quiet stupor. By stealth there had been there, in the darkness of the night, poor desolated creatures, who stole from their scanty hours' rest, that they might repay to him some of those ministrations of love in which he had always been so abundant.

  Cassy, who had glided out of her place of concealment, and, by overhearing, learned the sacrifice that


had been made for her and Emmeline, had been there, the night before, defying the danger of detection; and, moved by the last few words which the affectionate soul had yet strength to breathe, the dark, despairing woman had wept and prayed.

Uncle Tom's Cabin
Abridged for Use in Schools
Cleveland: World Publishing Company, c. 1930


  WHEN George entered the shed, he felt his head giddy and his heart sick.

  "Is it possible?—is it possible?" said he, kneeling down by him. "Uncle Tom, my poor, poor old friend!"

  Tears which did honor to his manly heart fell from the young man's eyes as he bent over his poor friend.

  "O dear Uncle Tom! do wake—do speak once more! Look up! Here's Mas'r George—your own little Mas'r George. Don't you know me?"

  "Mas'r George!" said Tom, opening his eyes, and speaking in a feeble voice, "Mas'r George!" He looked bewildered.

  Slowly the idea seemed to fill his soul; and the vacant eye became fixed and brightened, the whole face lighted up, the hard hands clasped, and tears ran down the cheeks.

  "It is—it is—it's all I wanted! They haven't forgot me. It warms my soul; it does my heart good! Now I shall die content! Bless the Lord, on my soul!"

  "You shan't die; you mustn't die, nor think of it! I've come to buy you, and take you home," said George, with vehemence.

  "O, Mas'r George, ye're too late. The Lord's bought me, and is going to—to take me home—and I long to go. Heaven is better than Kentuck."


  "Oh, don't die! It'll kill me—it'll break my heart to think what you've suffered—and lying in this old shed, here! Poor, poor fellow!"

  "Don't call me poor fellow!" said Tom, solemnly, "I have been poor fellow, but that's all past and gone now. O, Mas'r George! Heaven has come!"

  George was awe-struck. He sat gazing in silence.

  Tom grasped his hand and continued—"Ye mustn't, now, tell Chloe, poor soul, how ye found me;—'twould be so drefful to her. Only tell her ye found me going into glory; and that I couldn't stay for no one. And tell her the Lord stood by me everywhere and al'ays, and made everything light and easy. And oh, the poor chil'en, and the baby—my old heart's been most broke for 'em. Tell 'em all to follow me—follow me! Give my love to mas'r, and dear good missis, and everybody in the place!"

  At this moment the sudden flush of strength which the joy of meeting his young master had infused into the dying man gave way. A sudden sinking fell upon him; he closed his eyes; and with a smile he fell asleep.

* * * * * *

  Beyond the boundaries of the plantation George had noticed a dry, sandy knoll, shaded by a few trees; there they made the grave.

  "Shall we take off the cloak, mas'r?" said the negroes, when the grave was ready.

  "No, no; bury it with him! It's all I can give you now, poor Tom, and you shall have it."

  They laid him in; and the men shovelled away, silently. They banked it up, and laid green turf over it.


  "You may go, boys," said George, slipping a quarter into the hand of each. They lingered about, however.

  "If young mas'r would please buy us—" said one.

  "We'd serve him so faithful!" said the other.

  "Hard times here, mas'r!" said the first. "Do, mas'r, buy us, please!"

  "I can't!—I can't!" said George, with difficulty, motioning them off; "it's impossible!"

  The poor fellows looked dejected, and walked off in silence.

  There is no monument to mark the last resting-place of our friend. He needs none.

  Pity him not! Such a life and death is not for pity! Of such it is written, "Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted."

* * *

  [Cassy and Emmeline managed to escape, and to take passage on board a boat bound down the Red river for the Mississippi, where they changed steamers. On the same steamer was George Shelby, returning home. Cassy had seen him from her hiding-place on the day Tom died. She confided in him, and he was not unwilling to aid her and Emmeline in their effort to escape from the power of Legree.]

Uncle Tom's Cabin
Abridged for Use in Schools
Cleveland: World Publishing Company, c. 1930


  GEORGE SHELBY had written to his mother merely a line, stating the day that she might expect him home. Of the death-scene of his old friend he had not the heart to write. He had tried several times, and only succeeded in half choking himself; and invariably finished by tearing up the paper, wiping his eyes, and rushing somewhere to get quiet.


  There was a pleased bustle all though the Shelby mansion that day, in expectation of the arrival of young Mas'r George.

  Mrs. Shelby was seated in her comfortable parlor, where a cheerful hickory fire was dispelling the chill of the late autumn evening. A supper-table, glittering with plate and cut glass, was set out, on whose arrangements our former friend, old Chloe, was presiding.

  Arrayed in a new calico dress, with clean, white apron, and high, well-starched turban, her black polished face glowing with satisfaction, she lingered around the arrangements of the table, merely as an excuse for talking a little to her mistress.

  "Now! won't it look natural to him?" she said. "Thar—I set his plate just whar he likes it—round by the fire. Mas'r George allers wants de warm seat. And missis has heard from Mas'r George?" she said, inquiringly.

  "Yes, Chloe; but only a line, just to say he would be home to-night, if he could—that's all."

  "Didn't say nothin' 'bout my old man, s'pose?" said Chloe, still fidgeting with the tea-cups.

  "No, he didn't. He did not speak of anything, Chloe. He said he would tell all when he got home."

  Mrs. Shelby sighed, and felt a heavy weight on her heart. She had felt uneasy ever since she received her son's letter, lest something should prove to be hidden behind the veil of silence which he had drawn.

  "Missis has got dem bills?" said Chloe, anxiously.

  "Yes, Chloe."

  "'Cause I wants to show my old man dem very bills de confectioner gave me. 'And,' say he, 'Chloe,


I wish you'd stay longer.' 'Thank you, Mas'r,' says I, 'I would, only my old man's coming home and missis, she can't do without me no longer.'"

  Chloe had insisted that the very bills in which her wages had been paid should be preserved to show her husband, in memorial of her capability; and Mrs. Shelby had readily consented to humor her in the request.

  "He won't know Polly—my old man won't. It's five year since they tuck him!"

  The rattling of wheels now was heard.

  "Mas'r George!" said Aunt Chloe, starting to the window.

  Mrs. Shelby ran to the entry door, and was folded in the arms of her son. Aunt Chloe stood anxiously straining her eyes out into the darkness.

  "O poor Aunt Chloe!" said George, stopping compassionately, and taking her hard, black hand between both his, "I'd have given all my fortune to have brought him with me, but he's gone to a better country."

  There was a passionate exclamation from Mrs. Shelby, but Aunt Chloe said nothing.

  The party entered the supper-room. The money of which Chloe was so proud was still lying on the table.

  "Thar," said she, gathering it up, and holding it with a trembling hand to her mistress, "don't never want to see nor hear on 't again. Jist as I knew 'twould be—sold, and murdered."

  Chloe turned, and was walking proudly out of the room. Mrs. Shelby followed her softly, and took one of her hands, drew her down into a chair, and sat down by her.


  "My poor, good Chloe," said she.

  Chloe leaned her head on her mistress' shoulder, and sobbed out, "O missis, 'scuse me, my heart's broke—dat's all!"

  "I know it is," said Mrs. Shelby, as her tears fell fast."

  There was a silence for some time, and all wept together. At last George, sitting down beside the mourner, took her hand, and repeated the triumphant scene of her husband's death, and his last messages of love.

Uncle Tom's Cabin
Abridged for Use in Schools
Cleveland: World Publishing Company, c. 1930


  ABOUT a month after this, one morning, all the servants of the Shelby estate were in the great hall that ran through the house, to hear a few words from their young master.

  To the surprise of all, he appeared among them with a bundle of papers in his hand, containing a certificate of freedom to every one on the place, which he read successively, and presented, amid the sobs and tears and shouts of all present.

  Many, however, pressed around him, earnestly begging him not to send them away; and, with anxious faces, tendering back their free papers.

  "We don't want to be no freer than we are. We don't want to leave de ole place, and mas'r and missis, and de rest!"

  "My good friends," said George, as soon as he could get a silence, "there'll be no need for you to leave me. The place wants as many hands to work it as it did before. We need the same about the house that we did before. But you are now free men and free women. I shall pay you wages for your work, such as we shall agree on. The advantage is, that in case of my get-


ting in debt or dying—things that might happen—you cannot now be taken up and sold.

  "I expect to carry on the estate, and to teach you what, perhaps, it will take you some time to learn—how to use the rights I give you as free men and women. I expect you to be good, and willing to learn; and I trust in God that I shall be faithful and willing to teach. And now, my friends, look up, and thank God for the blessing of freedom."

  An aged, partriarchal negro, who had grown gray and blind on the estate, now rose, and lifting his trembling hand, said, "Let us give thanks unto the Lord!" As all kneeled by one consent, a more touching and hearty Te Deum never ascended to heaven, though borne on the peal of organ, bell and cannon, than came from that honest old heart.

  "One thing more," said George, as he stopped the congratulations of the throng. "You all remember our good old Uncle Tom?"

  George here gave a short narration of the scene of his death, and of his loving farewell to all on the place, and added—

  "It was on his grave, my friends, that I resolved, before God, that I would never own another slave, while it was possible to free him; that nobody, through me, should ever run the risk of being parted from home and friends, and dying on a lonely plantation, as he died.

  "So, when you rejoice in your freedom, think that you owe it to that good old soul, and pay it back in kindness to his wife and children. Think of your freedom, every time you see UNCLE TOM'S CABIN; and let it be a memorial to put you all in mind to follow in his steps, and be as honest and faithful and Christian as he was."