Uncle Tom's Cabin Chapter 14
After a time on the boat with Haley, Tom has won the slave trader's trust and is permitted to walk around the boat unfettered. Tom spends his days helping workmen on the boat or reading his Bible, and one day he meets a beautiful child, aged between five and six, named Evangeline St. Clare:
"Her form was the perfection of childish beauty, without its usual chubbiness and squareness of outline. There was about it an undulating and aerial grace, such as one might dream of for some mythic and allegorical being. Her face was remarkable less for its perfect beauty of feature than for a singular and dreamy earnestness of expression, which made the ideal start when they looked at her, and by which the dullest and most literal were impressed, without exactly knowing why." Chapter 14, pg. 146
Evangeline, or Eva as she asks to be called, strikes up a friendship with Tom and tells him she is going to ask her father to buy him. The child ambles away, and just a few moments later, loses her balance as she is standing near the deck. She tumbles off the boat and into the water, and Tom immediately dives into the river and saves her. The next day, Eva's father, a kind, yet somewhat fanciful young man with a droll sense of humor, agrees to buy Tom from Haley.