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|Uncle Tom's Cabin||Harriet Beecher Stowe|
Of Tom's New Master, and Various Other Matters
|Page 6 of 11||
There she is, sitting now in her state-room, surrounded by a mixed multitude of little and big carpet-bags, boxes, baskets, each containing some separate responsibility which she is tying, binding up, packing, or fastening, with a face of great earnestness.
"Now, Eva, have you kept count of your things? Of course you haven't,--children never do: there's the spotted carpet-bag and the little blue band-box with your best bonnet,--that's two; then the India rubber satchel is three; and my tape and needle box is four; and my band-box, five; and my collar-box; and that little hair trunk, seven. What have you done with your sunshade? Give it to me, and let me put a paper round it, and tie it to my umbrella with my shade;--there, now."
"Why, aunty, we are only going up home;--what is the use?"
"To keep it nice, child; people must take care of their things, if they ever mean to have anything; and now, Eva, is your thimble put up?"
"Really, aunty, I don't know."
"Well, never mind; I'll look your box over,--thimble, wax, two spools, scissors, knife, tape-needle; all right,--put it in here. What did you ever do, child, when you were coming on with only your papa. I should have thought you'd a lost everything you had." "Well, aunty, I did lose a great many; and then, when we stopped anywhere, papa would buy some more of whatever it was."
"Mercy on us, child,--what a way!"
"It was a very easy way, aunty," said Eva.
"It's a dreadful shiftless one," said aunty.
"Why, aunty, what'll you do now?" said Eva; "that trunk is too full to be shut down."
"It _must_ shut down," said aunty, with the air of a general, as she squeezed the things in, and sprung upon the lid;--still a little gap remained about the mouth of the trunk.
"Get up here, Eva!" said Miss Ophelia, courageously; "what has been done can be done again. This trunk has _got to be_ shut and locked--there are no two ways about it."
And the trunk, intimidated, doubtless, by this resolute statement, gave in. The hasp snapped sharply in its hole, and Miss Ophelia turned the key, and pocketed it in triumph.
"Now we're ready. Where's your papa? I think it time this baggage was set out. Do look out, Eva, and see if you see your papa."
"O, yes, he's down the other end of the gentlemen's cabin, eating an orange."
"He can't know how near we are coming," said aunty; "hadn't you better run and speak to him?"
"Papa never is in a hurry about anything," said Eva, "and we haven't come to the landing. Do step on the guards, aunty. Look! there's our house, up that street!"
The boat now began, with heavy groans, like some vast, tired monster, to prepare to push up among the multiplied steamers at the levee. Eva joyously pointed out the various spires, domes, and way-marks, by which she recognized her native city.
"Yes, yes, dear; very fine," said Miss Ophelia. "But mercy on us! the boat has stopped! where is your father?"
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|Uncle Tom's Cabin
Harriet Beecher Stowe
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