‘You don’t need to do that,’ said Mrs. Shelby, ‘Tom won’t run away.’
’Don’t know so much about that, ma’am; I’ve lost one already. I can’t afford to run any more risks,’ replied Haley.
‘Please give my love to Mas’r George,’ said Tom, looking round sadly. ‘Tell him how sorry I am he is not at home to say good-bye.’
Master George was Mr. and Mrs. Shelby’s son. He was very fond of Tom, and was teaching him to write. He often used to come and have tea in Uncle Tom’s little cottage. Aunt Chloe used to make her very nicest cakes when Mas’r George came to tea. But he was not at home now, and did not know that Tom had been sold.
Haley whipped up the horse, and, with a last sad look at the old place, Tom was whirled away to a town called Washington.
UNCLE TOM MEETS EVA
Haley stayed in Washington several days. He went to market each day and bought more slaves. He put heavy chains on their hands and feet, and sent them to prison along with Tom.
When he had bought all the slaves he wanted, and was ready to go, he drove them before him, like a herd of cattle, on to a boat which was going south.
It was a beautiful boat. The deck was gay with lovely ladies and fine gentlemen walking about enjoying the bright spring sunshine.
Down on the lower deck, in the dark, among the luggage, were crowded Tom and the other poor slaves.
Some of the ladies and gentlemen on board were very sorry for the poor niggers, and pitied them. Others never thought about them at all, or if they did, thought it was quite just and proper that they should be treated badly. ‘They are only slaves,’ they said.
Among the passengers was a pretty little girl, about six years old. She had beautiful golden hair, and big blue eyes. She ran about here, there, and everywhere, dancing and laughing like a little fairy. There were other children on board, but not one so pretty or so merry as she. She was always dressed in white, and Tom thought she looked like a little angel, as she danced and ran about.
Often and often she would come and walk sadly around the place where the poor slaves sat in their chains. She would look pityingly at them, and then go slowly away. Once or twice she came with her dress full of sweets, nuts, and oranges, and gave them all some.
Tom watched the little lady, and tried to make friends with her. His pockets were full of all kinds of things, with which he used to amuse his old master’s children.
He could make whistles of every sort and size, cut baskets out of cherry-stones, faces out of nut-shells, jumping figures out of bits of wood. He brought these out one by one, and though the little girl was shy at first, they soon grew to be great friends.
‘What is missy’s name?’ said Tom one day.
‘Evangeline St. Clare,’ said the little girl; ’though papa and everybody else call me Eva. Now, what’s your name?’