Cruel people are, very often, cowardly too. When the men saw their leader first wounded, and then thrown down, they all ran away.
Mounting their horses, they rode off as fast as they could, leaving Tom Loker lying on the ground wounded and groaning with pain.
As soon as Phineas and the others saw that the wicked men had really ridden away, they climbed down, meaning to walk along the road till they met Simeon.
They had just reached the bottom, when they saw him coming back with the waggon and two other men.
‘Now we are safe,’ cried Phineas joyfully.
‘Well, do stop then,’ said Eliza, ’and do something for that poor man. He is groaning dreadfully.’
‘It would be no more than Christian,’ said George. ’Let us take him with us.’
They lifted the wounded man gently, as if he had been a friend instead of a cruel enemy, and laid him in the waggon. Then they all set out once more.
A drive of about an hour brought them to a neat farm-house. There the tired travellers were kindly received and given a good breakfast.
Tom Loker was put into a comfortable bed, far cleaner and softer than any he had ever slept in before. George and Eliza walked about the garden hand-in-hand, feeling happy together, and almost safe. They were so near Canada now.
Miss Ophelia found that it was no easy matter to bring anything like order into the St. Clare household. The slaves had been left to themselves so long, and had grown so untidy, that they were not at all pleased with Miss Feely, as they called her, for trying to make them be tidy. However, she had quite made up her mind that order there must be. She got up at four o’clock in the morning, much to the surprise of the housemaids. All day long she was busy dusting and tidying, till Mrs. St. Clare said it made her tired to see cousin Ophelia so busy.
One morning, while Miss Ophelia was busy, as usual, she heard Mr. St. Clare calling her from the foot of the stairs.
‘Come down here, cousin. I have something to show you.’
‘What is it?’ said Miss Ophelia, coming down with her sewing in her hand.
‘I have bought something for you. See here,’ he said, pulling forward a little negro girl of about eight or nine years old.
She was quite black. Her round, shining eyes glittered like glass beads. Her wooly hair was plaited into little tails which stuck out in all directions. Her clothes were dirty and ragged. Miss Ophelia thought she had never seen such a dreadful little girl in all her life.
‘Cousin, what in the world have you brought that thing here for?’ she asked, in dismay.
‘For you to teach, to be sure, and train in the way she should go,’ said Mr. St. Clare, laughing. ‘Topsy,’ he went on, ’this is your new mistress. See, now, that you behave yourself.’