Chapter 40 Notes from Uncle Tom's Cabin

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Uncle Tom's Cabin Chapter 40

Chapter 40

Legree, angered by Cassy and Emmeline's escape, wakes up the next morning with a renewed sense of hatred toward Tom. He gathers a search party of several of the cruelest overseers from neighboring plantations and vows that if he cannot find the two fugitives, he will take his wrath out on Tom. Meanwhile, Cassy and Emmeline are in the garret. Cassy tells Emmeline that if not for her, she would march right up to the party and ask them to kill her. Emmeline reaches out to her, but Cassy tells her not to, saying that she does not want to ever love anything else again. Emmeline asks her not to feel so, telling her she may yet see her children again. She says she fears she may never see her mother again, but she would like to be a daughter to Cassy. Cassy replies with despair that her heart is empty, and that if God gave her children back to her, she could pray. Emmeline sincerely asks her to pray anyway, and to trust in God. Cassy says that God's wrath is upon them, and Emmeline tells her to have hope, as she always has.

Meanwhile, Legree's long and exhaustive hunt has yielded nothing, and he tells Quimbo to retrieve Tom. When he sees Tom, Legree viciously tells Tom that he has made up his mind to kill him if he does not tell Legree what he knows about Cassy and Emmeline:

"'Hark'e, Tom!--ye think, 'cause I've let you off before, I don't mean what I say, but, this time, I've made up my mind, and counted the cost. You've always stood it out agin' me: now, I'll conquer ye; or kill ye!--one or t' other. I'll count every drop of blood there is in you, and take 'em, one by one, till ye give up!'" Chapter 40, pg. 410

Tom tells Legree that he doesn't have anything to tell. Legree asks him if he knows their whereabouts, and Tom calmly replies that he does, but he cannot say anything--he will die first. Legree tells him that he will kill him if he doesn't tell what he knows, and Tom begs him not to, saying that such a sin would bring unending trouble on Legree and would hurt him more than it would hurt Tom. He tells Legree he would gladly die for his soul if it could save him and warns him that his troubles will never end if he doesn't repent:

"'Mas'r, if you was sick, or in trouble, or dying, and I could save ye, I'd give ye my heart's blood; and, if taking every drop of blood in this poor old body would save your precious soul, I'd give 'em freely, as the Lord gave his for me. O, Mas'r! don't bring this great sin on your soul! It will hurt you more than't will me! Do the worst you can, my troubles'll be over soon; but, if ye don't repent, yours won't never end!'" Chapter 40, pg. 410

Tom's words momentarily stun Legree, but his silent reflection lasts only a moment.

Topic Tracking: Morality 27

Legree then beats Tom severely, asking him to confess as he does it.

Topic Tracking: Violence 5

Tom refuses, and after awhile says to Legree, "There an't no more ye can do! I forgive ye, with all my soul!" Chapter 40, pg. 411 and faints away. After Legree leaves, Sambo and Quimbo, who have been touched by Tom's patience in spite of their dislike for him, try to revive Tom. Sambo remarks to Quimbo that they have done a terrible thing, and the two slaves wash his wounds and give him a bed. One of them goes to Legree's house and asks for some brandy, pretending he wants it for himself, then sneaks back out and gives it to Tom. Quimbo apologizes to Tom, telling him they have been terrible to him. Tom says faintly that he forgives them. Sambo then asks Tom, "'Do tell us who is Jesus anyhow? Jesus, that's been a standin' by you so, all this night!--Who is he?'" Chapter 40, pg. 412 The question rouses Tom, who tells them about God. Sambo and Quimbo begin to weep, and Tom prays to God for the redemption of their souls. Sambo declares that he does believe.

Topic Tracking: Redemption 13

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