‘Oh, Tom, you look so funny!’
Tom had a sober smile on his face. He seemed in his own quiet way to be enjoying the fun quite as much as his little mistress. When he lifted his eyes and saw his master he looked as if he were afraid he might be scolded. But Mr. St. Clare only smiled.
‘How can you let her do that?’ said Miss Ophelia.
‘Why not?’ said Mr. St. Clare.
‘Why? I don’t know. It seems dreadful to me.’
’You would think it was quite right and natural if you saw Eva playing with a large dog, even if he was black. But a fellow-creature that can think, and reason, and feel, and is immortal, you shudder at. I know how you north-country people feel about it. You loathe the blacks as you would a toad or a snake. Yet you pity them, and are angry because they are often ill-treated.’
‘Well, cousin,’ said Miss Ophelia thoughtfully, ’I daresay you are right. I suppose I must try to get over my feeling.’
UNCLE TOM’S LETTER
Uncle Tom felt that he was indeed very fortunate to have found such a kind master and so good a home. He had nice clothes, plenty of food, and a comfortable room to sleep in. He had no hard, disagreeable work to do. His chief duties were to drive Mrs. St. Clare’s carriage when she wanted to go out, and to attend on Eva when she wanted him. He soon grew to love his little mistress very, very much indeed.
Mr. St. Clare too began to find Tom very useful. He was dreadfully careless about money, and his chief servant was just as careless as his master. So between them a great deal was not only spent but wasted.
Mr. Shelby had trusted Tom in everything, and Tom had always been careful of his master’s money—as careful as if it had been his own. Waste seemed dreadful to him, and he tried to do something to stop it now.
Mr. St. Clare was not long in finding out how clever Tom was, and soon trusted him as thoroughly as Mr. Shelby had done.
But in spite of all his good fortune, Tom used to long very much to go home to see his dear ones again. He had plenty of spare time, and whenever he had nothing to do he would pull his Bible out of his pocket and try to find comfort in reading it.
But as time went on, Uncle Tom longed more and more for his home. At last one day he had a grand idea. He would write a letter.
Before Uncle Tom was sold, George Shelby had been teaching him to write so he thought he could manage a letter.
He begged a sheet of writing-paper from Eva, and going to his room began to make a rough copy on his slate.
It was very difficult. Poor Uncle Tom found that he had quite forgotten how to make some of the letters. Of those he did remember, he was not quite sure which he ought to use. Yes, it was a very difficult thing indeed.