Chloe’s countenance fell.
“Never mind; your going there shall bring you nearer, Chloe. Yes, you may go; and your wages shall every cent of them be laid aside for your husband’s redemption.”
As when a bright sunbeam turns a dark cloud to silver, so Chloe’s dark face brightened immediately,—it really shone.
“Laws! if Missis isn’t too good! I was thinking of dat ar very thing; cause I shouldn’t need no clothes, nor shoes, nor nothin,—I could save every cent. How many weeks is der in a year, Missis?”
“Fifty-two,” said Mrs. Shelby.
“Laws! now, dere is? and four dollars for each on em. Why, how much ’d dat ar be?”
“Two hundred and eight dollars,” said Mrs. Shelby.
“Why-e!” said Chloe, with an accent of surprise and delight; “and how long would it take me to work it out, Missis?”
“Some four or five years, Chloe; but, then, you needn’t do it all,—I shall add something to it.”
“I wouldn’t hear to Missis’ givin lessons nor nothin. Mas’r’s quite right in dat ar;—’t wouldn’t do, no ways. I hope none our family ever be brought to dat ar, while I ’s got hands.”
“Don’t fear, Chloe; I’ll take care of the honor of the family,” said Mrs. Shelby, smiling. “But when do you expect to go?”
“Well, I want spectin nothin; only Sam, he’s a gwine to de river with some colts, and he said I could go long with him; so I jes put my things together. If Missis was willin, I’d go with Sam tomorrow morning, if Missis would write my pass, and write me a commendation.”
“Well, Chloe, I’ll attend to it, if Mr. Shelby has no objections. I must speak to him.”
Mrs. Shelby went up stairs, and Aunt Chloe, delighted, went out to her cabin, to make her preparation.
“Law sakes, Mas’r George! ye didn’t know I ’s a gwine to Louisville tomorrow!” she said to George, as entering her cabin, he found her busy in sorting over her baby’s clothes. “I thought I’d jis look over sis’s things, and get ’em straightened up. But I’m gwine, Mas’r George,—gwine to have four dollars a week; and Missis is gwine to lay it all up, to buy back my old man agin!”
“Whew!” said George, “here’s a stroke of business, to be sure! How are you going?”
“Tomorrow, wid Sam. And now, Mas’r George, I knows you’ll jis sit down and write to my old man, and tell him all about it,—won’t ye?”
“To be sure,” said George; “Uncle Tom’ll be right glad to hear from us. I’ll go right in the house, for paper and ink; and then, you know, Aunt Chloe, I can tell about the new colts and all.”
“Sartin, sartin, Mas’r George; you go ‘long, and I’ll get ye up a bit o’ chicken, or some sich; ye won’t have many more suppers wid yer poor old aunty.”
“The Grass Withereth—the Flower Fadeth”