“Why, daddy Jake, you should not take it so hard,” said Mr. Garie, with an attempt at cheerfulness. “You’ll see us all again some day.”
“No, no, massa, I’se feared I won’t; I’se gettin’ mighty old, massa, and I’se gwine home soon. I hopes I’ll meet you all up yonder,” said he, pointing heavenward. “I don’t ’spect to see any of you here agin.”
Many of the slaves were in tears, and all deeply lamented the departure of their master and his family, for Mr. Garie had always been the kindest of owners, and Mrs. Garie was, if possible, more beloved than himself. She was first at every sick-bed, and had been comforter-general to all the afflicted and distressed in the place.
At last the carriage rolled away, and in a few hours they reached Savannah, and immediately went on board the vessel.
Mrs. Ellis had been for some time engaged in arranging and replenishing Charlie’s wardrobe, preparatory to his journey to Warmouth with Mrs. Bird. An entire new suit of grey cloth had been ordered of the tailor, to whom Mrs. Ellis gave strict injunctions not to make them too small. Notwithstanding the unfavourable results of several experiments, Mrs. Ellis adhered with wonderful tenacity to the idea that a boy’s clothes could never be made too large, and, therefore, when Charlie had a new suit, it always appeared as if it had been made for some portly gentleman, and sent home to Charlie by mistake.
This last suit formed no exception to the others, and Charlie surveyed with dismay its ample dimensions as it hung from the back of the chair. “Oh, gemini!” said he, “but that jacket is a rouser! I tell you what, mother, you’ll have to get out a search-warrant to find me in that jacket; now, mind, I tell you!”
“Nonsense!” replied Mrs. Ellis, “it don’t look a bit too large; put it on.”
Charlie took up the coat, and in a twinkling had it on over his other. His hands were almost completely lost in the excessively long sleeves, which hung down so far that the tips of his fingers were barely visible. “Oh, mother!” he exclaimed, “just look at these sleeves—if such a thing were to happen that any one were to offer me a half dollar, they would change their mind before I could get my hand out to take it; and it will almost go twice round me, it is so large in the waist.”
“Oh, you can turn the sleeves up; and as for the waist—you’ll soon grow to it; it will be tight enough for you before long, I’ll warrant,” said Mrs. Ellis.
“But, mother,” rejoined Charlie, “that is just what you said about the other blue suit, and it was entirely worn out before you had let down the tucks in the trowsers.”
“Never mind the blue suit,” persisted Mrs. Ellis, entirely unbiassed by this statement of facts. “You’ll grow faster this time—you’re going into the country, you must remember—boys always grow fast in the country; go into the other room and try on the trowsers.”