Uncle Tom's Cabin Chapter 22
Tom receives a letter from Mas'r George that tells him of Chloe's plan and her new job. Tom is so excited to get the letter that he and Eva have discussions on the possibility of getting it framed. Tom's relationship with Eva is growing, and he adores her not just as a companion, but also worships her as if she is a divine creature. She begins reading him the Bible, and he is as thrilled with her reading as she is with the book's contents. The family relocates to their villa on Lake Pontchartrain for the summer, and one day, as Tom and Eva are sitting in the garden, he begins singing her a hymn about "new Jerusalem." She asks him where new Jerusalem is, and he tells her that it is "up in the clouds." He begins singing her another hymn about angels, and she tells him sincerely that she has seen them--that they come to her in her sleep. She solemnly tells Tom she is "going there." When he asks where, she points to the sky and says:
"'I'm going there, to the spirits bright, Tom; I'm going, before long.'" Chapter 22, pg. 259
Tom's heart sinks suddenly, as he realizes that Eva has, in fact, grown paler and thinner, and becomes tired very easily. He has heard Miss Ophelia speak of Eva's seemingly incurable cough, but he had never thought the child might be seriously ill. At once, he gravely realizes that her illness is more serious than he thought. Just then, Miss Ophelia calls Eva inside, telling her she shouldn't be outdoors when the dew is falling. Miss Ophelia tries to warn St. Clare about Eva's symptoms, but he shrugs them off casually, saying that the child simply has a cold. Secretly, he is worried, and he begins to pay more attention to her and spend more time with her. He is struck by Eva's rapidly increasing maturity, noticing that she seems to have an "unworldy wisdom" not common in such a young child. She suddenly becomes even more thoughtful and generous than before, and she one day tells her mother that she thinks they should teach their servants to read, so that they can read the Bible themselves. Marie tells her that they can get it read to them and it's useless to teach them to read. She pronounces her daughter an odd child. She shows Eva some valuable jewels and tells her that she will wear them one day when she is introduced into society; one day she will not have time to worry about the servants. Eva tells her that she wishes she could sell the jewels and buy their slaves and set them free and set up a boarding school where they could learn to read and write. Marie tells Eva that their conversation is giving her a headache, and Eva leaves. Shortly thereafter, Eva begins giving Mammy reading lessons on the sly.