(Legree's House. Early morning. Stage half dark. Legree asleep in arm chair. Sambo and Quimbo asleep on the floor.)
LEGREE. (Starting in his sleep.) Take away that lock of hair! Burn it! It strangles me! I ch—oke! (Wakes.) It was only a dream, but it was awful real. I saw a figure standing over me, and though it's face was covered I know it
was my mother's. She put a lock of her own hair, dabbled in blood, around my finger, and it crawled up my arm like a snake,
and jumped at my throat, and worked and squirmed and seemed to strangle me. Where's the brandy? Wake up, you dogs! (He kicks the negroes, who rise up sulkily.)
SAM. All right, Mas'r.
QUIM. Oh! (Groans.)
LEG. Look out, and see what time it is.
SAM. 'Most time, Mas'r, to start de hands out for de fields.
LEG. Not to-day; they shall all join in the hunt. Tell 'em the first nigger who smells the two runaways out shall get five
QUIM. Dem ar shall be mine, Mas'r.
SAM. Bet yar I get 'em, Quimbo.
LEG. (Drinking.) And take out the dogs. If Cassy and little Em are in the swamp, they'll find 'em, and then ——
SAM. Ha, ha, he! And den Mas'r 'll spile dere running for some time.
QUIM. Ha, he, he, haw! (They laugh savagely.)
LEG. Yes, I'll break 'em in. Sambo, rouse up the hands and fetch old Tom here.
SAM. Yes, Mas'r, I'll fetch him. (Exit.)
LEG. And you, Quimbo, unchain the dogs, and give the niggers a drink o' rum all round.
SAM. All right, Mas'r. (Exit.)
LEG. Damn this old preaching, singing nigger, Tom; he knows something of Madam Cassy's movements, I'll be bound. I hate him,
and I'll break his stubborn old temper, or kill him, afore I've done.
SAM. Here's ole Tom, Mas'r. (Enter Tom.)
LEG. Oh, there you are.
TOM. Yes, Mas'r.
LEG. Look yar, Tom, I didn't buy you for common work, so I'm a going to promote ye. I'm a going to make a driver on ye; and
to-day you shall jest begin and get your hand in.
TOM. I beg Mas'r's pardon, but I hope Mas'r won't set me to that—it's what I never did and can't do, no way possible.
LEG. Ye'll larn a heap o' things, ye never did know, afore I've done with ye.
TOM. I'm willin' to work night and day, and work while there's life and health in me, but, Mas'r, I'd rather be driven myself
than drive these poor critters in de field.
LEG. Oh, that's your game, you're rebellious, and you must taste the cowhide.
QUIM. Dey's all ready, Mas'r, for de start.
LEG. Hold on a minute, and keep the dogs in the leash, for they'd as soon chaw 'em up, as eat their suppers. Load the guns,
and shoot Cassy, if you can't get at her, but don't mark little Em, or I'll mark you. Now, serve out the rum.
QUIM. All right, Mas'r. (Exit Quimbo.)
LEG. Now Tom, we're all going out after them women; so if you won't drive my niggers, you shall hunt 'em.
TOM. I couldn't do it, Mas'r—I couldn't, it's mo' than my soul's worth.
LEG. Oh! 'praps you know where the runaways are, then?
TOM. I, Mas'r, I?
LEG. You do; I can see by your skulking looks. They told ye whar they was going, and you shall tell me or I'll kill ye—d'ye
TOM. I hear, Mas'r, but I've nothing to tell.
LEG. But you could—now speak the truth!
TOM. I could, Mas'r, but I won't.
LEG. Why, you black beast; aint I your master, and didn't ye never read out o' your book, "servants obey your masters?"
TOM. Yes, Mas'r, but not when you ask me to sin.
LEG. Oh, ho! Here's a powerful holy nigger! Lay hold of him, you, and lash him till he roars for mercy.
(Sambo and Quimbo seize Tom. They tear off his jacket and the locket of hair is seen hanging round his neck.)
LEG. What's that?
SAM. Dunno, Mas'r; some witch thing.
TOM. Spare me dat, Mas'r; it was given me by a little angel.
LEG. An angel! (Opens it.) Ah! The lock of hair again. (Flings it down.) Throw it in the fire, you Quimbo. Burn it!
(Quimbo picks up the locket. Tom kneels to beg for its return.)
TOM. Don't, Mas'r, don't. It's de only 'membrance I've got of one who's among de saints.
LEG. Burn it, I say, and whip the heart out of this pious old thief.
(Music. Great noise without; the barking of dogs, cries. Sambo runs to the door.)
SAM. Here dey is, Mas'r. Dey've cotched 'em. Here's Cassy and Emmy; here dey is!
LEG. Hurrah! (Swallows brandy hastily.)
TOM. (Aside.) De Lord help em!
(Cassy and Emmy are brought in, their clothes torn.)
LEG. Ha! ha! ha! So ye thought to get clear o' Red River, did ye, Mistress Cass; and rob me o' this tender chicken, too. You're
jealous, are you? Ha! ha! Ha! I'll cure your jealousy with a cowhide.
(Cassy stands defiantly; Emmy crouches, clinging to her.)
CAS. Simon Legree! I defy you!
LEG. Do ye? It seems all my niggers are on the same tack. Now, you, Tom, I'll give you another chance to save your own skin.
Take this woman down to the quarters and give her fifty lashes.
TOM. No, Mas'r, I can't. You may kill me, but I'll raise no finger agin any helpless critter here.
LEG. (Raising his whip.) What! you black devil! Didn't I buy ye? Didn't I pay down twelve hundred dollars cash for all that's in your cursed black
shell? You are mine, mine, body and soul!
TOM. No, no, no! My soul aint yourn, Mas'r; ye haven't bought it; ye can't buy it; for it's bought and paid for by One who's able to keep it safe. Do your worst, Mas'r, ye can't harm me.
LEG. Take that, you pious dog!
(He knocks Tom down with the butt of his heavy whip.)
EM. Oh! mercy, mercy!
LEG. (Standing over Tom.) Now, will you do it, you beast?
TOM. No, Mas'r, ye may kill me, but I won't ——
LEG. Drag him out then, and give him such a breaking in as he wont get over in a month. (Negroes enter and seize Tom.)
TOM. De Lord have pity on ye, Mas'r.
(Tom is dragged out.)
LEG. Chain them two gals together, and set 'em to picking cotton in the fields; stand over 'em with the whip. I'll break their
CAS. You can't, Simon Legree—and kill me you dar'n't, for you know my ghost would haunt you sleeping and waking.
LEG. Curse you!
CAS. The curse of Cain is on you already! You tremble! Your mother's blood cries out for vengeance!
LEG. (Furiously.) Gag her! Take her away!
(He falls in a chair, gasping.)
CAS. Ha! ha! ha! You are pale, Simon Legree. We shall see now whose spirit is broken first.