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|Uncle Tom's Cabin||Harriet Beecher Stowe|
|Page 4 of 8||
"But--did--have you really seen?--Come, Cass, what is it, now,--speak out!"
"You may sleep there, yourself," said Cassy, "if you want to know."
"Did it come from the garret, Cassy?"
"_It_,--what?" said Cassy.
"Why, what you told of--"
"I didn't tell you anything," said Cassy, with dogged sullenness.
Legree walked up and down the room, uneasily.
"I'll have this yer thing examined. I'll look into it, this very night. I'll take my pistols--"
"Do," said Cassy; "sleep in that room. I'd like to see you doing it. Fire your pistols,--do!"
Legree stamped his foot, and swore violently.
"Don't swear," said Cassy; "nobody knows who may be hearing you. Hark! What was that?"
"What?" said Legree, starting.
A heavy old Dutch clock, that stood in the corner of the room, began, and slowly struck twelve.
For some reason or other, Legree neither spoke nor moved; a vague horror fell on him; while Cassy, with a keen, sneering glitter in her eyes, stood looking at him, counting the strokes.
"Twelve o'clock; well _now_ we'll see," said she, turning, and opening the door into the passage-way, and standing as if listening.
"Hark! What's that?" said she, raising her finger.
"It's only the wind," said Legree. "Don't you hear how cursedly it blows?"
"Simon, come here," said Cassy, in a whisper, laying her hand on his, and leading him to the foot of the stairs: "do you know what _that_ is? Hark!"
A wild shriek came pealing down the stairway. It came from the garret. Legree's knees knocked together; his face grew white with fear.
"Hadn't you better get your pistols?" said Cassy, with a sneer that froze Legree's blood. "It's time this thing was looked into, you know. I'd like to have you go up now; _they're at it_."
"I won't go!" said Legree, with an oath.
"Why not? There an't any such thing as ghosts, you know! Come!" and Cassy flitted up the winding stairway, laughing, and looking back after him. "Come on."
"I believe you _are_ the devil!" said Legree. "Come back you hag,--come back, Cass! You shan't go!"
But Cassy laughed wildly, and fled on. He heard her open the entry doors that led to the garret. A wild gust of wind swept down, extinguishing the candle he held in his hand, and with it the fearful, unearthly screams; they seemed to be shrieked in his very ear.
Legree fled frantically into the parlor, whither, in a few moments, he was followed by Cassy, pale, calm, cold as an avenging spirit, and with that same fearful light in her eye.
"I hope you are satisfied," said she.
"Blast you, Cass!" said Legree.
"What for?" said Cassy. "I only went up and shut the doors. _What's the matter with that garret_, Simon, do you suppose?" said she.
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|Uncle Tom's Cabin
Harriet Beecher Stowe
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