Uncle Tom's Cabin Chapter 36
Emmeline is happy to see Cassy, as the noisy goings-on downstairs have frightened her. She asks Cassy if there is any way they can escape, and Cassy says that those who have tried have been so tortured that she cannot get their screams out of her head. She says there is a tree on the property that is surrounded by a ring of ashes, and that no one will even speak of what happens there. Emmeline wishes aloud that she'd never been born, and Cassy says she has often thought of killing herself. Emmeline says it would be wicked for her to kill herself, and Cassy replies that it is only what she learned in the convent that makes her afraid to die. Meanwhile, Legree drifts off to sleep after a night of drinking and has a nightmare, in which Cassy pushes him over an abyss, laughing as she does it. Just before he falls, he sees a woman wearing a veil, and she pulls aside the veil, revealing that she is Legree's mother. Just as he realizes it is her, he drops off into the abyss.
He awakens in a terrible mood. Cassy tells him he should leave Tom alone, and that he should allow him to heal and work so that Legree will win his bet on having the best crop of the season. Legree recoils at this, knowing that she has hit him where it counts. He sullenly says he will leave Tom alone if Tom begs for his forgiveness. Cassy tells him that Tom will not do it, and that he is unlike any other slave Legree has ever owned. Legree says "we'll see" and pays Tom a visit. He sees Tom lying down and kicks him, ordering him to get up. Tom rises, and Legree tells Tom to beg for his forgiveness. He strikes Tom with a riding whip and orders him to his knees. Tom replies that he cannot, that he will never do a cruel thing, even if his master kills him, because he is not at all afraid to die. Legree says he'll make Tom give out, and Tom says that it doesn't matter, that Legree can kill him but he'll never take his soul.
Legree, enraged, strikes Tom to the ground. Cassy approaches and chastises Legree again for hitting Tom, reminding him that without Tom's help, he'll lose his bet. Legree tells Tom he won't deal with him now, but threatens him with another beating.