Read Books Online, for Free
|Uncle Tom's Cabin||Harriet Beecher Stowe|
|Page 1 of 5||
"No matter with what solemnities he may have been devoted upon the altar of slavery, the moment he touches the sacred soil of Britain, the altar and the God sink together in the dust, and he stands redeemed, regenerated, and disenthralled, by the irresistible genius of universal emancipation." CURRAN. 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 farmhouse on the road-side.
Tom Loker we left groaning and touzling in a most immaculately clean Quaker bed, under the motherly supervision of Aunt Dorcas, who found him to the full as tractable a patient as a sick bison.
Imagine a tall, dignified, spiritual woman, whose clear muslin cap shades waves of silvery hair, parted on a broad, clear forehead, which overarches thoughtful gray eyes. A snowy handkerchief of lisse crape is folded neatly across her bosom; her glossy brown silk dress rustles peacefully, as she glides up and down the chamber.
"The devil!" says Tom Loker, giving a great throw to the bedclothes.
"I must request thee, Thomas, not to use such language," says Aunt Dorcas, as she quietly rearranged the bed.
"Well, I won't, granny, if I can help it," says Tom; "but it is enough to make a fellow swear,--so cursedly hot!"
Dorcas removed a comforter from the bed, straightened the clothes again, and tucked them in till Tom looked something like a chrysalis; remarking, as she did so,
"I wish, friend, thee would leave off cursing and swearing, and think upon thy ways."
"What the devil," said Tom, "should I think of _them_ for? Last thing ever _I_ want to think of--hang it all!" And Tom flounced over, untucking and disarranging everything, in a manner frightful to behold.
"That fellow and gal are here, I 'spose," said he, sullenly, after a pause.
"They are so," said Dorcas.
"They'd better be off up to the lake," said Tom; "the quicker the better."
"Probably they will do so," said Aunt Dorcas, knitting peacefully.
"And hark ye," said Tom; "we've got correspondents in Sandusky, that watch the boats for us. I don't care if I tell, now. I hope they _will_ get away, just to spite Marks,--the cursed puppy!--d--n him!"
"Thomas!" said Dorcas.
"I tell you, granny, if you bottle a fellow up too tight, I shall split," said Tom. "But about the gal,--tell 'em to dress her up some way, so's to alter her. Her description's out in Sandusky."
"We will attend to that matter," said Dorcas, with characteristic composure.
As we at this place take leave of Tom Loker, we may as well say, that, having lain three weeks at the Quaker dwelling, sick with a rheumatic fever, which set in, in company with his other afflictions, Tom arose from his bed a somewhat sadder and wiser man; and, in place of slave-catching, betook himself to life in one of the new settlements, where his talents developed themselves more happily in trapping bears, wolves, and other inhabitants of the forest, in which he made himself quite a name in the land. Tom always spoke reverently of the Quakers. "Nice people," he would say; "wanted to convert me, but couldn't come it, exactly. But, tell ye what, stranger, they do fix up a sick fellow first rate,--no mistake. Make jist the tallest kind o' broth and knicknacks."
|Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
|Uncle Tom's Cabin
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004