80 UNCLE TOMS CABIN; OR
Eliza made her desperate retreat across the river just in the dusk of twilight. The gray mist of evening, rising slowly from the river, enveloped her as she disappeared up the bank, and the swollen current and floundering masses of ice presented a hopeless barrier between her and her pursuer. Haley therefore slowly and discontentedly returned to the little tavern to ponder further what was to be done. The woman opened to him the door of a little parlor, covered with a rag carpet, where stood a table with a very shining black oil-cloth, sundry lank, high-backed wood chairs, with some plaster images in resplendent colors on the mantel-shelf, above a very dimly smoking grate ; a long hard-wood settle extended its uneasy length by the chimney, and here Haley sat him down to meditate on the instability of human hopes and happiness in general.
" What did I want with the little cuss, now," he said to himself, " that I should have got myself treed like a coon, as I am, this yer way ? " and Haley relieved himself by repeating over a not very select litany of imprecations on himself, which, though there was the best possible reason to consider them as true, we shall, as a matter of taste, omit.
He was startled by the loud and dissonant voice of a man who was apparently dismounting at the door. He hurried to the window.
" By the land ! if this yer an't the nearest, now, to what I 've heard folks call Providence," said Haley. " I do b'lieve that ar 's Tom Loker."
Haley hastened out. Standing by the bar, in the corner