Book Notes Chapter 42 Notes from Uncle Tom's Cabin

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Uncle Tom's Cabin Chapter 42

The legends of ghosts on the Legree property are growing, as the servants are now claiming that they hear footsteps in the night. The rumors get to Legree, who begins to drink more. One night, as he is sleeping, Legree sees a figure in white hovering over his bed, and in his frightened state, he believes it is a ghost (though it is simply Cassy in a white sheet). That night, Cassy and Emmeline escaped, and the next morning, the servants began to speak of how they saw two figures in white, gliding down the road. Meanwhile, Cassy and Emmeline made their way to town, with Cassy disguised as a wealthy Creole woman and Emmeline as her servant. Cassy and Emmeline board a boat, where Cassy recognizes George Shelby, whom she had seen knocking Legree down from her loop-hole in the garret. Once on the boat, Emmeline and Cassy requested a stateroom, and they hid out there on the pretense that Cassy was ill. George, having helped Cassy on the boat and wanting to help her out in her supposed illness, requested a room next to hers. George also befriends a woman named Madame de Thoux, who is occupying the room next to Cassy's. George and Madame de Thoux discover through their conversations an astonishing coincidence--she happens to be the sister of George Harris.

Madame de Thoux says she knows George Harris and asks George Shelby what became of him. When he tells her that George has escaped to Canada with his wife and child, she bursts into tears, explaining that George is her brother and that they were sold away from each other as children. George explains that George Harris married a servant of the Shelby's, a beautiful woman named Eliza, whom his father had purchased from the New Orleans slave market when she was a girl. Cassy, having overheard the conversation, asks George if he knows the names of the people from whom Mr. Shelby bought the girl. He replies that it was a family named Simmons, and Cassy faints upon hearing this. Everyone rushes around her to help her, and when she comes to, she bursts into sobs. But she feels a renewed sense of hope, feeling suddenly confident that she will one day see her daughter again.

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