LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY 53-
" I say now, Shelby, this yer 's a most extr'or'nary business ! " said Haley, as he abruptly entered the parlor. " It seems that gal's off, with her young un."
" Mr. Haley, Mrs. Shelby is present,'' said Mr. Shelby.
" I beg pardon, ma'am," said Haley, bowing slightly, with a still lowering brow; " but still I say, as I said before, this yer 's a sing'lar report. Is it true, sir ? "
" Sir," said Mr. Shelby, " if you wish to communicate with me, you must observe something of the decorum of a gentleman. Andy, take Mr. Haley's hat and riding-whip. Take a seat, sir. Yes, sir ; I regret to say that the young woman, excited by overhearing, or having reported to her, something of this business, has taken her child in the night, and made off."
" I did expect fair dealing in this matter, I confess,'* said Haley.
" Well, sir," said Mr. Shelby, turning sharply round upon him, " what am I to understand by that remark ? If any man calls my honor in question, I have but one answer for him."
The trader cowered at this, and in a somewhat lower tone said that " it was plaguy hard on a fellow, that had made a fair bargain, to be gulled that way."
" Mr. Haley," said Mr. Shelby, " if I did not think you had some cause for disappointment, I should not have borne from you the rude and unceremonious style of your entrance into my parlor this morning. I say thus much,, however, since appearances call for it, that I shall allow of no insinuations cast upon me, as if I were at all partner to any unfairness in this matter. Moreover, I shall feel bound to give you every assistance, in the use of horses, servants, etc., in the recovery of your property. So, in short, Haley," said he, suddenly dropping from the tone of dignified coolness to his ordinary one of easy frankness, 4 the best way for you is to keep good-natured and eat some breakfast, and we will then see what is to be done."
Mrs. Shelby now rose, and said her engagements would