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|Uncle Tom's Cabin||Harriet Beecher Stowe|
|Page 7 of 12||
"Edwards--Dick and Lucy--man and wife, six hundred dollars; wench Polly and two children--six hundred for her or her head.
"I'm jest a runnin' over our business, to see if we can take up this yer handily. Loker," he said, after a pause, "we must set Adams and Springer on the track of these yer; they've been booked some time."
"They'll charge too much," said Tom.
"I'll manage that ar; they 's young in the business, and must spect to work cheap," said Marks, as he continued to read. "Ther's three on 'em easy cases, 'cause all you've got to do is to shoot 'em, or swear they is shot; they couldn't, of course, charge much for that. Them other cases," he said, folding the paper, "will bear puttin' off a spell. So now let's come to the particulars. Now, Mr. Haley, you saw this yer gal when she landed?"
"To be sure,--plain as I see you."
"And a man helpin' on her up the bank?" said Loker.
"To be sure, I did."
"Most likely," said Marks, "she's took in somewhere; but where, 's a question. Tom, what do you say?"
"We must cross the river tonight, no mistake," said Tom.
"But there's no boat about," said Marks. "The ice is running awfully, Tom; an't it dangerous?"
"Don'no nothing 'bout that,--only it's got to be done," said Tom, decidedly.
"Dear me," said Marks, fidgeting, "it'll be--I say," he said, walking to the window, "it's dark as a wolf's mouth, and, Tom--"
"The long and short is, you're scared, Marks; but I can't help that,--you've got to go. Suppose you want to lie by a day or two, till the gal 's been carried on the underground line up to Sandusky or so, before you start."
"O, no; I an't a grain afraid," said Marks, "only--"
"Only what?" said Tom.
"Well, about the boat. Yer see there an't any boat."
"I heard the woman say there was one coming along this evening, and that a man was going to cross over in it. Neck or nothing, we must go with him," said Tom.
"I s'pose you've got good dogs," said Haley.
"First rate," said Marks. "But what's the use? you han't got nothin' o' hers to smell on."
"Yes, I have," said Haley, triumphantly. "Here's her shawl she left on the bed in her hurry; she left her bonnet, too."
"That ar's lucky," said Loker; "fork over."
"Though the dogs might damage the gal, if they come on her unawars," said Haley.
"That ar's a consideration," said Marks. "Our dogs tore a feller half to pieces, once, down in Mobile, 'fore we could get 'em off."
"Well, ye see, for this sort that's to be sold for their looks, that ar won't answer, ye see," said Haley.
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|Uncle Tom's Cabin
Harriet Beecher Stowe
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