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|Uncle Tom's Cabin||Harriet Beecher Stowe|
Emmeline and Cassy
|Page 3 of 5||
"I've had a h--l of a night!" he said to Cassy, who just then entered from an opposite door.
"You'll get plenty of the same sort, by and by," said she, dryly.
"What do you mean, you minx?"
"You'll find out, one of these days," returned Cassy, in the same tone. "Now Simon, I've one piece of advice to give you."
"The devil, you have!"
"My advice is," said Cassy, steadily, as she began adjusting some things about the room, "that you let Tom alone."
"What business is 't of yours?"
"What? To be sure, I don't know what it should be. If you want to pay twelve hundred for a fellow, and use him right up in the press of the season, just to serve your own spite, it's no business of mine, I've done what I could for him."
"You have? What business have you meddling in my matters?"
"None, to be sure. I've saved you some thousands of dollars, at different times, by taking care of your hands,--that's all the thanks I get. If your crop comes shorter into market than any of theirs, you won't lose your bet, I suppose? Tompkins won't lord it over you, I suppose,--and you'll pay down your money like a lady, won't you? I think I see you doing it!"
Legree, like many other planters, had but one form of ambition,--to have in the heaviest crop of the season,--and he had several bets on this very present season pending in the next town. Cassy, therefore, with woman's tact, touched the only string that could be made to vibrate.
"Well, I'll let him off at what he's got," said Legree; "but he shall beg my pardon, and promise better fashions."
"That he won't do," said Cassy.
"No, he won't," said Cassy.
"I'd like to know _why_, Mistress," said Legree, in the extreme of scorn.
"Because he's done right, and he knows it, and won't say he's done wrong."
"Who a cuss cares what he knows? The nigger shall say what I please, or--"
"Or, you'll lose your bet on the cotton crop, by keeping him out of the field, just at this very press."
"But he _will_ give up,--course, he will; don't I know what niggers is? He'll beg like a dog, this morning."
He won't, Simon; you don't know this kind. You may kill him by inches,--you won't get the first word of confession out of him."
"We'll see,--where is he?" said Legree, going out.
"In the waste-room of the gin-house," said Cassy.
Legree, though he talked so stoutly to Cassy, still sallied forth from the house with a degree of misgiving which was not common with him. His dreams of the past night, mingled with Cassy's prudential suggestions, considerably affected his mind. He resolved that nobody should be witness of his encounter with Tom; and determined, if he could not subdue him by bullying, to defer his vengeance, to be wreaked in a more convenient season.
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|Uncle Tom's Cabin
Harriet Beecher Stowe
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