LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY 7
ness. I 've seen 'em as would pull a woman's child out of her arms, and set him up to sell, and she screechin' like mad all the time ; —- very bad policy, — damages the article, — makes 'em quite unfit for service sometimes. I knew a real handsome gal once, in Orleans, as was entirely ruined by this sort o' handling. The fellow that was trading for her did n't want her oaby; and she was one of your real high sort, when her blood was up. I tell you, she squeezed up her child in her arms, and talked, and went on real awful. It kinder makes my blood run cold to think on 't; and when they carried off the child, and locked her up, she jest went ravin' mad, and died in a week. Clear waste, sir, of a thousand dollars, jest for want of management, — there 's where 't is. It's always best to do the humane thing, sir; that's been my experience." And the trader leaned back in his chair, and folded his arms, with an air of virtuous decision, apparently considering himself a second Wilberforce.
The subject appeared to interest the gentleman deeply; for while Mr. Shelby was thoughtfully peeling an orange, Haley broke out afresh, with becoming diffidence, but as if actually driven by the force of truth to say a few words more.
" It don't look well, now, for a feller to be praisin' himself ; but I say it jest because it's the truth. I believe I 'm reckoned to bring in about the finest droves of niggers that is brought in, — at least, I 've been told so ; if I have once, I reckon I have a hundred times, all in good case, — fat and likely, and I lose as few as any man in the business. And I lays it all to my management, sir ; and humanity, sir, I may say, is the great pillar of my management."
Mr. Shelby did not know what to say, and so he said, " Indeed ! " "
" Now, I 've been laughed at for my notions, sir, and I 've been talked to. They an't pop'lar, and they an't common ; but I stuck to 'em, sir ; I 've stuck to 'em, and