‘I’ll make ye laugh,’ said Haley, laying about their heads with his riding whip.
They ducked their heads, ran shouting up the bank, and were on their horses before he could reach them.
‘Good evening, mas’r,’ said Sam. ’I berry much ’spect missis be anxious ‘bout us. Mas’r Haley won’t want us no longer.’ Then off they went as fast as their horses could gallop.
It was late at night before they reached home again, but Mrs. Shelby was waiting for them. As soon as she heard the horses galloping up she ran out to the balcony.
‘Is that you, Sam?’ she called. ‘Where are they?’
‘Mas’r Haley’s a-restin’ at the tavern. He’s drefful fatigued, missis.’
‘And Eliza, Sam?’
‘Come up here, Sam,’ called Mr. Shelby, who had followed his wife, ’and tell your mistress what she wants to know.’
So Sam went up and told the wonderful story of how Eliza had crossed the river on the floating ice. Mr. and Mrs. Shelby found it hard to believe that such a thing was possible.
Mrs. Shelby was very, very glad that Eliza had escaped. She told Aunt Chloe to give Sam and Andy a specially good supper. Then they went to bed quite pleased with their day’s work.
ELIZA FINDS A REFUGE
A lady and gentleman were sitting talking happily together in the drawing-room of the white house to which Eliza had gone. Suddenly their old black man-of-all-work put his head in at the door and said, ’Will missis come into the kitchen?’
The lady went. Presently she called to her husband, ’I do wish you would come here a moment.’
He rose and went into the kitchen.
There lay Eliza on two kitchen chairs. Her poor feet were all cut and bleeding, and she had fainted quite away. The master of the house drew his breath short, and stood silent.
His wife and the cook were trying to bring Eliza round. The old man had Harry on his knee, and was busy pulling off his shoes and stockings, to warm the little cold feet.
‘Poor creature,’ said the lady.
Suddenly Eliza opened her eyes. A dreadful look of pain came into her face. She sprang up saying, ‘Oh, my Harry, have they got him?’
As soon as he heard her voice, Harry jumped from the old man’s knee, and running to her side, put up his arms.
‘Oh, he’s here! he’s here,’ she said, kissing him. ‘Oh, ma’am,’ she went, on turning wildly to the lady of the house, ’do protect us, don’t let them get him.’
‘Nobody shall hurt you here, poor woman,’ said the lady. ’You are safe; don’t be afraid.’
‘God bless you,’ said Eliza, covering her face and sobbing, while Harry, seeing her crying, tried to get into her lap to comfort her.
’You needn’t be afraid of anything; we are friends here, poor woman. Tell me where you come from and what you want,’ said the lady.