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|Uncle Tom's Cabin||Harriet Beecher Stowe|
An Authentic Ghost Story
|Page 4 of 5||
This lady, having gathered, from George's conversation, that he was from Kentucky, seemed evidently disposed to cultivate his acquaintance; in which design she was seconded by the graces of her little girl, who was about as pretty a plaything as ever diverted the weariness of a fortnight's trip on a steamboat.
George's chair was often placed at her state-room door; and Cassy, as she sat upon the guards, could hear their conversation.
Madame de Thoux was very minute in her inquiries as to Kentucky, where she said she had resided in a former period of her life. George discovered, to his surprise, that her former residence must have been in his own vicinity; and her inquiries showed a knowledge of people and things in his vicinity, that was perfectly surprising to him.
"Do you know," said Madame de Thoux to him, one day, "of any man, in your neighborhood, of the name of Harris?"
"There is an old fellow, of that name, lives not far from my father's place," said George. "We never have had much intercourse with him, though."
"He is a large slave-owner, I believe," said Madame de Thoux, with a manner which seemed to betray more interest than she was exactly willing to show.
"He is," said George, looking rather surprised at her manner.
"Did you ever know of his having--perhaps, you may have heard of his having a mulatto boy, named George?"
"O, certainly,--George Harris,--I know him well; he married a servant of my mother's, but has escaped, now, to Canada."
"He has?" said Madame de Thoux, quickly. "Thank God!"
George looked a surprised inquiry, but said nothing.
Madame de Thoux leaned her head on her hand, and burst into tears.
"He is my brother," she said.
"Madame!" said George, with a strong accent of surprise.
"Yes," said Madame de Thoux, lifting her head, proudly, and wiping her tears, "Mr. Shelby, George Harris is my brother!"
"I am perfectly astonished," said George, pushing back his chair a pace or two, and looking at Madame de Thoux.
"I was sold to the South when he was a boy," said she. "I was bought by a good and generous man. He took me with him to the West Indies, set me free, and married me. It is but lately that he died; and I was going up to Kentucky, to see if I could find and redeem my brother."
"I heard him speak of a sister Emily, that was sold South," said George.
"Yes, indeed! I am the one," said Madame de Thoux;--"tell me what sort of a--"
"A very fine young man," said George, "notwithstanding the curse of slavery that lay on him. He sustained a first rate character, both for intelligence and principle. I know, you see," he said; "because he married in our family."
"What sort of a girl?" said Madame de Thoux, eagerly.
"A treasure," said George; "a beautiful, intelligent, amiable girl. Very pious. My mother had brought her up, and trained her as carefully, almost, as a daughter. She could read and write, embroider and sew, beautifully; and was a beautiful singer."
"Was she born in your house?" said Madame de Thoux.
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|Uncle Tom's Cabin
Harriet Beecher Stowe
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